Wednesday 01 Apr 2020 | 13:48 | SYDNEY

Blogs and blogging

Tuesday linkage

The age of the mercenary has not passed: A Russian fighter pilot shot down over Sudan. How Sunday night's Australia vs. Iraq World Cup qualifier looked from Baghdad. If you're interested in US politics and you don't know who Matt Drudge is, time to catch up. Former German

Friday linkage

The US Studies Centre at the University of Sydney hosted Francis Fukuyama on Wednesday. Here's the mp3. This is a promising new find: Fairer Globalization. Gobsmacking China fact of the day, from Marginal Revolution: In 1996 China had less than 1 million

Thursday linkage

Two blogs point out what Sam did not mention in his post about yesterday's McCain op-ed on Asia policy: he's much tougher on North Korea than the Bush Administration. The Huffington Post puts it nicely: Scott McClellan's soul exfoliation is all a little late in the piece. Some

Origins of The Interpreter

The passing of Hollywood royalty would not ordinarily rate a mention here, but since the death in question is of Sydney Pollack, who directed the thriller, The Interpreter, this is as good a time as any to explain that the film did not inspire the naming of this blog. Myself and several other Lowy

Tuesday linkage

Quite a flattering profile of US senior North Korea negotiator Christopher Hill. All Roads Lead to China has a good post about the logistics of the earthquake relief effort. Via a new ANU-based blog, East Asia Forum, I found this interesting John Garnaut column about what's really going

Friday linkage

Yay for think tanks: Now this is what I call policy influence. On top of the Middle East negotiation pandemic Rodger blogged about yesterday, Turkey and the Kurds are making progress too. See South Jerusalem blog for some good analysis of the Israel-Syria

Tuesday linkage

Two blog posts about China's middle class: the first notes the proliferation of luxury brand outlets to 'second tier' Chinese cities, while the second warns that you shouldn't read too much into luxury goods sales. I've just discovered Jotman.com, which looks to be one of

Tuesday linkage

Steve Clemons invites discussion on the next fault line in the American foreign policy debate: boosters versus declinists. Time magazine's China blog has analysis of Beijing's announcement that it will talk to the Dalai Lama. 'The DVD that will save America' is a year-old

Lowy Institute now on Fora TV

Speeches and presentations made at the Lowy Institute — including our regular and very popular Wendesday Lowy Lunches — are now available for viewing at Fora TV. Michael Fullilove's reflections on the US political scene are here, and Dr Jeffrey Eisenach's presentation on the future of

Tuesday linkage

More trouble ahead: The Dalai Lama has been named an honourary citizen of Paris, and will be in France during the Olympics. There are already signs of Chinese popular resentment against the French. Mind you, there is some respite for China: the Olympic torch has arrived in Pyongyang. Pro-Tibet

Friday linkage: Asian edition

Japanese PM Fukuda announces he will cut short his upcoming overseas trip, leaving Russia on his itinerary but cancelling Germany, Britain and France. I await a confected political controversy, with the opposition demanding Fukuda visit Berlin, London and Paris immediately, if not sooner. Bad

Monday linkage

Niall Ferguson's review of a book I am very much looking forward to reading: Philip Bobbitt's Terror and Consent. My enthusiasm has dimmed just a little on reading the review, which suggests what I would regard as a misplaced emphasis on WMD terrorism. A West Wing writer imagines the

Tuesday linkage

A reader sent us an update on Michael Fullilove's post of yesterday on American numberplates: in 2001, President Bush ordered the 'Taxation without representation' plates to be removed from presidential limousines. Time.com releases its 25 blogs of the year. Fun, if a bit US-

Friday linkage

Careful what you wish for: Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon has shown some enthusiasm for the F-22 as the RAAF's new fighter. But a recent US study says F-22 maintenance hours are more than double what the manufacturer promised. Yesterday, Thomas Christensen, Deputy Assistant Secretary of

Tuesday linkage

Hard to fault Opposition Foreign Affairs Spokesman Andrew Robb's logic when it comes to selling uranium to India. But Henry Sokolski put the opposing case well in a couple of guest posts he wrote for us in December and January. Recordings from last week's launch of the Lowy Institute's new

Thursday linkage

The New Republic's blog, The Plank, draws parallels between John McCain and Walter Subchak from The Big Lebowski. On a more serious John McCain note, here's his latest foreign policy speech. It's more sober and statesmanlike than I have heard him recently, and

Wednesday linkage

NY Times columnist David Brooks thinks Hillary Clinton's campaign is almost finished. I wonder if this will become the broader media narrative, given the interest the media has in keeping the race going. The UK has released a new National Security Strategy. Former Iraq Survey Group

Wednesday linkage

Yesterday I linked to the first English-language blog I found that was reporting news and posting photos from Tibet. One of Wired Magazine's in-house blogs, Threat Level, has loads more links. Alexander Downer pens an op-ed which says of Saddam Hussein, 'In the modern world, such

Tuesday linkage

The Washington Note links to video of a speech on the urgency of the climate change problem — by the CEO of the worlds 12th largest carbon emitter.  Did you see the International Space Station last night? You might have if you were in the eastern states of Australia, and you'll get

Email of the day: Comments policy

Will Grant writes: I've just signed up for your Interpreter blog posts via the email you sent — but you don't allow comments!  I really don't trust blogged opinions hidden behind comment barriers — it seems a little one sided to me. If you plan to change this, I'

Welcome to new Email Digest subscribers

Today we sent an email to people on the Lowy Institute's mailing list inviting them to subscribe to The Interpreter's email digest. We got a great response, with over 300 new subscribers already. For those not familiar with the email digest, it brings The Interpreter straight to your

Wednesday linkage

The New Yorker puts microfinance in perspective: it's useful, but not the solution to under-development. India's Foreign Minister pours some cold water on prospects that the US-India nuclear agreement will be settled soon. (Via World Politics Review.) Arms Control Wonk has some

Monday linkage

The OECD releases its Environmental Outlook to 2020 report, finding that tackling major environmental problems is both achievable and affordable. The Washington Post discovers a far more alarming study. Also on climate change, an essay on Arctic melting, which creates new economic

Friday linkage

My Tuesday post on Airbus' victory over Boeing in the US Air Force tanker contest quoted the figure of US$40 billion for the deal. As this neat bit of number-crunching shows, that's probably a large exaggeration. File under 'climate change mitigation': In arctic Norway, a high-

Introducing 'American Interpreter'

Today we're launching a new blog feature called 'American Interpreter'. There's such intense interest in this US election season that we wanted to highlight our reporting under this special banner. We also want to exploit the presence in Washington of our Global Issues Program

Thursday linkage

This has received very little coverage in Australia as far as I'm aware, but the US bombed Somalia earlier this week. Robert Kagan almost breaks my self-declared Nixon metaphor embargo. (He doesn't mention Nixon, but he uses the same dodgy logic I described in my post.) A few weeks

Friday linkage

The NY Times Baghdad bureau has a blog (via Passport). Design guru Michael Beirut gives an interesting interview on the intricacies of political branding (via Yglesias). From Time magazine's Middle East blog, a first hand account of blood-letting ceremonies during Ashura. Before you click

Wednesday linkage

Airline Business Blog worries about the sustainability of the rapid growth in Asia's low-cost aviation market.  Kevin Drum is right: the purported war between blogging and long-form journalism is a damp squib. There's room for both.  Killer robots are a threat to humanity, says UK

Towards a definition of blogging

The New York Review of Books has a very entertaining essay about blogging on its website. I read it in much the same spirit as I read foreign accounts of Australia (like this recent NY Times piece on Sydney's rock pools) — with a buzz that a world which is familiar and normal to me is

Wednesday linkage

RAAF Air Chief Marshal Geoff Shepherd makes his feelings on Super Hornet pretty clear. Doesn't this pre-empt the inquiry a teensy bit? Comic books as psychological warfare: it's happening in Iraq. The town of Obama, Japan, has picked its favourite for the US presidency. See if you can

Tuesday blog linkage

I'm a bit late on this, but Patrick Walters had a weekend scoop on the Defence White Paper and review of homeland security.  Via Clicked, nine of the most unusual buildings to be constructed around the world.  There are apparently 400,000 'cracked' iPhones in China — that

World wide webs

Today we launch Lowy Institute Paper 22, World wide webs: Diasporas and the international system, in which I argue that diasporas are getting larger, thicker and stronger, with significant implications for global economics, politics and security. I have summarised different elements of my case in

Wednesday blog linkage

Global Dashboard worries that the Pakistan military has far too much political and economic influence. But the NY Times reports the army is removing itself from the public service. Osama bin Laden lollies for sale in China. Yes, it's insensitive, but like those Che Guevara t-

Monday linkage

Two good Fairfax op-eds today: the first from Paul Monk in The Age about Indonesia and why, in foreign policy, governments often have to settle for the lesser evil. And second, Paul Dibb argues in the SMH that nuclear deterrence is still relevant (BTW, Dibb has today also managed to place an op-

Thursday blog linkage

Has a fifth Persian Gulf undersea communications cable now been cut? No word on whether this is deliberate, but five suggests more than just a case of bad luck involving ships dragging their anchors (via Global Dashboard). There's good analysis here on what this says about our

Tuesday blog linkage

Matthew Yglesias undergoes some painful contortions to argue that Europe’s reluctance to commit more troops to Afghanistan is really Bush’s fault. Surely Europe is principally to blame? Critics don’t like the new Rambo movie, but Burmese do. The

Blogospheric gems

There's more to the political blogosphere than instant analysis of breaking events. Here are two outstanding examples of how flexible and imaginative and plain wonderful this medium can be. They both have very literal titles, so need no explanation from me: Strange Maps and A Soviet Poster a

The Atlantic Monthly, free

Good news — The Atlantic Monthly is making all its magazine content available online for free. There is a heap of outstanding international policy-related content in this magazine each month, not to mention the web-only stuff. Two interesting asides: the New York Times reports that it is The

Blog editor talks about the year in blogs

Here are my favourites for the year: International relations: Passport. Initially a little light and lacking in substance, but it has grown on me, and is one model for what we are trying to achieve with The Interpreter. United States: Spoiled for choice, so I’ll pick the whole

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