In recent years, Australia has been condemned for deterring boat people. Brutal, callous, inhumane, racist, xenophobic — all these barbs have been hurled at Canberra for its treatment of refugees. The tough border-protection policies have included turning back boats, mandatory detention and refugee camps in neighboring islands of Nauru and, up until last week, Manus in Papua New Guinea. The measures are indeed severe and allegations of human rights abuse persist.
At first glance, this criticism is not surprising: That Australia, a nation of 23 million built by immigrants, is acting heartlessly toward those who want a better life would seem like the height of hypocrisy.… Seguir leyendo »
Whether it was worth doing in the first place is debatable and how it will end remains to be seen. But it looks as if the Obama administration is scoring a victory in Libya. A brutal tyrant has been overthrown; the heavy use of air power, including drones, was highly effective; a broad, international coalition remained united; and there was no loss of American lives. Perhaps “leading from behind” is not an oxymoron after all.
Those words were uttered by an unnamed adviser to President Obama in April to describe Washington’s cautious, back-seat approach to Libya. According to Ryan Lizza in the New Yorker, the term represents “a different definition of leadership than America is known for,” and it reflects the reality that the United States lacks the power to impose its will and leadership across a more plural world.… Seguir leyendo »