Syria’s Civil War in Libya

Libya’s civil war increasingly appears to have drawn in the world.

The war, whose new form took shape years after the defeat and death of Muammar Gaddafi, now features the following players. First, the Government of National Accord, based in Tripoli. It’s recognised by the United Nations, and in its defence, NATO’s secretary-general has recently suggested, the signatories of the North Atlantic Treaty ought to stand ready to intervene.

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You Must Die That I Might Be Free

There’s a vulgar little thought that keeps intruding when I am trying to think about anything else.

It’s of a piece with other things that have impeded my ability to think and to sit still for many weeks. And it touches on the same themes. But it is motivated less by concern and more by spite. Continue reading

China’s New Surveillance State

Authoritarian states do not respond well to crises. They deceive and conceal, and care little for human life when compared to the survival of the regime. But when a crisis settles in, and becomes routine, tyrannies can always be counted upon to capitalise somehow. They can turn the very worst that befalls a people to the state’s advantage. Continue reading

Put ‘When This Is All Over’ out of Mind

A perennial and increasingly fevered subject of conversation in this fractured moment is what, precisely, each and every one of us expects to do ‘when this is all over’. By ‘this’, of course, people mean what they are slightly incorrectly terming ‘quarantine’ and not, per se, the disease which may yet still end the lives of millions. Continue reading

Going

The pandemic has ended many lives and changed innumerably more.

It has killed and will kill firms of all sizes, and has taken and will take many livelihoods. As I have no upcoming work to speak of, and have had no real work for the past month, and have been operating below capacity for months, it seems now certain that I will not be afforded an escape from the oncoming, ravening tide. Continue reading

As the Virus Spreads Across Iran, the Revolutionary Guards Pretend All Is Well

When Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei addressed the country last week to mark Nowruz, he referred to the difficult time Iran is facing. Continue reading