This is, on the face of it, a silly question. Popular wisdom, fueled by an aggressive media campaign by Gulf-owned media outlets, journalist embeds with rebel forces and opposition social media outlets have dominated the discourse on Syria.
I'm in the Middle East doing research for a forthcoming paper on Syria that I'm writing with my colleague Anthony Bubalo. My early impression is that there appears to be a complete absence of rational (let alone unified) policy views about what anybody wants or believes will be the case 'the day
Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard achieved a diplomatic breakthrough in Beijing today when she and China's Premier Li Keqiang agreed that Australia and China will forge a strategic partnership. There will be an official announcement from Gillard and Premier Li in the next few hours.
Defence Minister Stephen Smith and Foreign Minister Bob Carr have been in Jakarta this week for the annual 2-2 Australia-Indonesia talks. It was a business-as-usual dialogue, with few major announcements.