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Articles by Jeff Sparrow

Abbott, like Menzies, is a trigger-happy hound dog, baying for blood

Liberal Party leaders have a history of agitating for war. Why is that?

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How the Liberals got from ‘subsidies for sodomy’ to ‘let the people decide’

Our old friend B.A. Santamaria was comfortable denouncing “aberrant sexual practices” and “sodomites” on national TV. His spiritual heirs are doing the same, if you listen closely enough.

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Letting kids get raped on Nauru will not, in fact, help solve climate change

Things that used to be considered political poison, such as same-sex marriage, are now mainstream party policies. Only through the actions of activists will the progressive agenda become mainstream.

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Little children are sacred — except in offshore detention

If it was unconscionable not to intervene to prevent child abuse in 2007, how, in 2015, has it become acceptable to criminalise the reporting of that abuse?

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Plastic sword the least of ASIO’s bungles in ‘terror raid’

Is ASIO willing to let innocent people suffer in order to secure more draconian powers? Or is it just incompetent?

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Critical thinking the first casualty of war

Not only are we not getting satisfactory answers about the new conflict in Iraq — no one is even asking the right questions.

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The long history of DLP paranoia, treachery and anti-Catholic scaremongering

John Madigan has quit the DLP after allegations of spying, factional intrigue and enemies in the ranks. Oh, the irony!

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Katniss Everdeen is not turning your kid into a right-wing nutjob

Some so-called progressives have worked themselves into a panic, warning that books like The Hunger Games could taint the minds of children with anti-welfare, anti-equality ideology.

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Fairfax turns on Carlton as we increasingly shoot the messenger

Here and abroad, there’s a pattern emerging where the harshest punishments are reserved for those who expose crimes rather than those who may have committed them, writes Overland editor Jeff Sparrow.

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The dangerous essentialism of anti-Semitic and Islamophobic cartoons

In Australia, there should be no place for reactionary essentialism while we debate politics and ideas, says Overland editor Jeff Sparrow.

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Afghanistan withdrawal deadline has lots of wriggle room

Neither Gillard nor Obama has the political capital to stare down public opposition forever.

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Do you know what it says on the death certificate for anyone who’s executed?

The Troy Davis execution reminds us that capital punishment in the US has an intimate relationship with race, and while plenty of US liberals are against the death penalty, three times as many Americans say they strongly favour executions.

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Why the Palestine Papers matter to the peace process

Why do al-Jazeera’s Palestine Papers matter so much? Well, because they puncture the central fictions upon which the so-called peace process has always depended.

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The social significance of the Arizona massacre

We are now seeing a concerted attempt to obscure and confuse the meaning of the terrorist act that took place in Tucson, Arizona.

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Our moral duty to stay in Afghanistan

Everyone knows that much of Afghanistan’s current misery can be traced back to the willingness of the Soviets and the US to fund various groups of cut-throats during the cold war. We’re doing exactly the same today.

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The war in Afghanistan remains out of the sight out of mind

Most Australians now oppose the conflict in Afghanistan. Yet, perversely, its very unpopularity has led to less rather than more public debate about the war.

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Afghanistan: another 30 years?

Last week, with very little fanfare, Afghanistan became the longest war in US history. Where are the mea culpas from all the experts whose earnest predictions about Afghanistan went so terribly awry?

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War criminal to hero … a dangerous precedent

A campaign of assassination of local leaders thought to be loyal to the Taliban contains an obvious potential for human rights abuses, especially since it’s almost impossible for the media to monitor what undercover troops actually do.

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Monckton’s Melbourne meeting: a gathering of men in Richie Benaud blazers

What’s it like to attend a Lord Monckton meeting? For the cheering crowd of Old-Australia-RSL-club climate change deniers who flocked to see him, it was like a rock concert.

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Future Afghan government will include Taliban

Nine years of bloodshed and death, and billions upon billions of dollars spent on the Afghanistan occupation, we are facing negotiations on significantly worse terms than before the war began.

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ASIO, not the government, calling the shots on refugees

ASIO says that five refugees from Oceanic Viking constitute a threat to national security. How can this be a healthy democratic country when a secret agency plays such a major role in a political debate, without even making its sources available?

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Conroy’s filter: a nude horse

Stephen Conroy’s internet filter smells just like a campaign to put clothes upon the world’s animals. It will generate headlines about decency and families, but leave the fundamentals of society entirely untouched.

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Who will claim patrimony over Tony Abbott’s ascension?

Did any of the Right-wing pundits who fostered the denialist cause ever sit down and decide that, in the wake of Howard’s defeat, the conservative movement would best counter Kevin Rudd’s steady popularity by installing the most ferociously reactionary leader the Liberal Party has ever seen?

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Just like the Libs, the Republicans face the conundrum of courting crazies

The Republicans in the US understand too well the conundrum now facing the Liberals: You can’t run your party if you don’t heed the crazies — but you can’t run the country if you do.

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Chilcot shines a light on Blair’s Iraq lies

A leaked contribution to the Chilcot Inquiry has revealed that Tony Blair deliberately misled parliament over his intentions in Iraq, writes Jeff Sparrow.

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Womens Agenda

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