Analysis

Print

US Presidential Elections

Written by Mike Minehan on .

It's interesting to try to get a fix on America in the lead up to the 2016 Presidential elections.

The first impression is the importance of celebrity. The Donald Trump run at the Presidential nomination is surely more about showbiz than substance. The Donald seems to be ahead in the Republican sweepstakes more on the basis of his celebrity, rather than rational arguments or proof of policy analysis.

The following is a showbiz analysis of the showbiz appeal of Donald Trump:

Print

Nuclear Weapons in the Middle East

Written by Mike Minehan on .

 A number of uncertainties remain about the question of Iran and nuclear weapons.

Iran claims that it doesn't intend to develop nuclear weapons, but it has hidden its nuclear research facilities in the past, and has been duplicitous about its nuclear research and development. Fox News claims that Iran is already cheating on the nuclear deal recently negotiated with the six nations, led by the USA. Admittedly Fox News is anti-President Obama, and is pro-republican, but the following analyais is still food for thought:

Print

ISIS and World Domination

Written by Mike Minehan on .

Because of all the tippy-toeing involved in trying to reassure moderate Muslims, while isolating Muslim extremists, perhaps the West has dangerously misunderstood the ISIS attempt to re-establish an Islamic caliphate.

This is the premise of a featured article in the March 2015 edition of Atlantic magazine, called ‘What ISIS Really Wants’.

And according to this article by contributing editor Graeme Wood, ISIS is aiming at a global apocalypse, not just domination of the Middle East. This ambition includes preparation from the ground up, including conditioning and brutalising children to fight as jihadists.

Print

Challenge for Japan

Written by Mike Minehan on .

The beheading of two Japanese by the Islamic State has caused more than outrage in Japan. The killings could cause Japan to become more militarily aggressive, or at least, more internationally assertive.

After its unconditional surrender following World War 11, Japan was forced to adopt a ‘peace constitution’ and commit to a pacifist course that limited its future to a strictly self-defence role.

But this is changing as Japan faces new challenges.

Print

Getting Worse

Written by Mike Minehan on .

Well, there haven't been any world wars lately, but looking back on recent events, things seem to have been getting worse.

For example, in 2014, the UN refugee agency reported that the number of refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced people worldwide exceeded 50 million people for the first time in the post-World War II era. Here is the story of only 1 group of Syrian refugees braving winter snow in Lebanon:

Print

Intelligent Life

Written by Mike Minehan on .

I recently made a flippant response to a question on the internet question-answer site, Quora. My answer was about extraterrestrials, and I was perhaps naively surprised to discover that my one line response then surfaced on Facebook.

Well, to set the record straight, what follows is a more considered response about the possibility of extraterrestrial life beyond our own world. To put it simply, I believe that the existence of extraterrestrial intelligence is extremely likely because of the abundance of galaxies beyond our own solar system.

Print

Killing Journalists

Written by Mike Minehan on .

The public beheadings of US journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, followed by the beheading of British aid worker David Haines, have tragically highlighted the dangers involved in reporting on the news for global audiences.

steven sotloff

Print

No End to Landmines

Written by Mike Minehan on .

A72-Landmine-CambodiaSo. The United States will still not sign the global treaty that bans landmines. And the Obama administration has still not indicated when it will sign the treaty, known as the Ottawa Convention.

This announcement about the USA and landmines was made at the 2014 Land Mine Treaty conference in Mozambique.

However, the good news is that the United States announced it would no longer produce or acquire antipersonnel land mines, or replace old ones that expire.

Print

Making a Difference

Written by Mike Minehan on .

It’s a welcome opportunity where we can do something that actually makes a difference.

This is what happened when I first visited Cambodia. I found out that I could personally pay to have landmines destroyed, along with other explosive remnants of war. Which I did. Other Australian friends are also helping out. Associate Tony Langer explains more: