Monthly Archives: November 2016

Foreign Fighters: From Kurdistan to the Caliphate

Much is made of the foreign fighters who flock to join the ‘caliphate’ Islamic State (IS) claims to have established in Iraq and Syria.

Although many foreign fighters are from Middle Eastern and North African countries, the international focus is on those from prosperous Western nations. These people are many things: a clear and present threat to national security, something of a rebuke to the societies from which they came, and also an important puzzle. Continue reading

Advertisements

President Trump and the Syrian Revolution

Donald Trump’s unexpected victory in last week’s presidential election took many by surprise, both domestically and around the world. There was always a chance he would win the keys to the White House, but many – including, it seems, almost all the pollsters – had convinced themselves that his opponent Hillary Clinton would be the next leader of the free world. Continue reading

“Foxfinder” – Review

Foxfinder, a play by Dawn King, presents the audience with a depressing tableau. The English countryside is not safe, nor plentiful. The threat of starvation hangs over a chastened, weary land. There are bad harvests, bad weather. Farmers fall behind on their quotas. But still England expects that they will do their duty. Continue reading

What to Expect From the Two Presidential Candidates

Just like that, the US presidential election is upon us. After months of campaigning – after a turbulent primary process and an increasingly excruciating general election campaign – the results will soon be known. America will go to the polls, and its next president will be chosen. Continue reading

The Coming British Rapprochement with Russia

After the British electorate voted to leave the European Union last June, things began to change rapidly. The prime minister speedily resigned and was replaced. His successor brought in a host of ministers – some new people and some rather old ones – to take account of this dramatic shift in public opinion. Those who had been on the fringes of the governing Conservative party – for example David Davis, an archetypal antique face – are now in the cabinet. Continue reading

Unmasking Elena Ferrante

I imagine you have heard of it already, billed as both a great piece of investigative journalism and a terrible crime against literature: the presumed unmasking of the hitherto unknown Elena Ferrante, an Italian writer of style whose essential feature, whose animating influence, had been anonymity. She could have been anyone. That was the thrill; that was a serious attraction. Continue reading