Monthly Archives: August 2022

How Russia Taught Iran to Get Away With Murder

In a normal country and in normal times, the reports that Salman Rushdie’s would-be murderer was in online contact with an element of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps would be a big deal. Indeed, if a state other than Iran had an international terrorist organization like the Revolutionary Guards embedded within its government – at the heart of every aspect of its politics and economy – there would be hell to pay. 

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Britain Is Falling Apart

There’s a macabre joke in Britain these days that my friends and family also play. We compete to see who has had to wait the longest for medical treatment. It starts relatively innocuously. People talk of the ordinary things: like having to wait days to get an appointment with a doctor. They call up in the morning at 8 a.m., only to be told that all of the slots are gone. Best of luck tomorrow.

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Zawahiri’s Dead. What Now?

As soon as the president of the United States announced that his country had killed Ayman al-Zawahiri, a lively debate began about his, and al-Qaeda’s, real importance.

Zawahiri’s death had been announced before, with false news making the rounds in 2020. At the time, analysts said what they now debate: that Zawahiri was not much of a battlefield leader, and was largely ‘off-the-grid’ and disconnected from the commanders of al-Qaeda’s regional terrorist groups

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Praising Famous Men

Leadership, Henry Kissinger writes in his latest book, is a medium by which a society moves from the past of its memory to the future of imagination. It is “indispensable.” As Kissinger says, “Decisions must be made, trust earned, promises kept, a way forward proposed.” Without leadership, ordinary people are, he argues, incapable of “reach[ing] from where they are to where they have never been and, sometimes, can scarcely imagine going.” But leadership is also, in Andrew Roberts’s phrase, “a ‘protean’ thing with little fixed definition.” Leadership is ultimately what leaders do; it goes in whatever direction they choose.

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