Monthly Archives: October 2022

Russia’s Hunger Plan Returns

Until this week, the prospect of global famine had disappeared from the headlines, but earlier in Russia’s war against Ukraine, a sinister possibility had begun to take shape.  

Ukraine is a breadbasket. Its produce feeds the world. And Russia, knowing this, had developed a plan to starve the world instead. Its soldiers would wreck Ukrainian farmland and kill its farmers. Russians would steal and sell all the Ukrainian grain it could. And the Black Sea – a vital artery through which most of Ukraine’s food exports travelled – would be blockaded by the Russian navy. Food shipments would not be let through. The world would starve, Ukraine’s economy would suffer, and – in Vladimir Putin’s mind – he would be the victor. 

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The HTS March on Afrin

When the forces of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), an armed Islamist group which is a successor to the al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra, rolled into Afrin in northern Syria earlier this month, the primary reaction was one of confusion. 

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Britain’s Broken Economy Broke Liz Truss

Liz Truss has announced her resignation after only a few weeks as Britain’s prime minister. Truss’ premiership has been on life support since the announcement of her mini-budget last month spooked the currency and bond markets. Truss sacrificed her finance minister, the former chancellor of the exchequer Kwasi Kwarteng, in order to delay her own departure, but it barely slowed down the inevitable. Once her successor is selected and in office before the end of the month, Truss will be left as the equivalent of a political trivia question: the shortest-serving British prime minister who left office alive. 

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The Attempted Rehabilitation of Bashar al-Assad

It’s the season for diplomacy in the Middle East, even for the most distasteful of leaders. Joe Biden paid a visit to Saudi Arabia in July, against his own inclinations, because of the need to lower oil prices. American and European diplomats still scramble hopelessly to reach a new nuclear deal with Iran. 

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The Dangers of Iranian Drones in Ukraine

As Iranian munitions have hurtled through the air at the front line in the Donbas, and as Iranian suicide drones have smashed into Ukrainian cities, Tehran has denied everything – unconvincingly. The most recent was Iran’s foreign minister, Hossein Amirabdollahian, who said on Saturday: ‘The Islamic Republic of Iran has not and will not provide any weapon to be used in the war in Ukraine’. With the piety beloved of hypocrites everywhere, he went on: ‘We believe that the arming of each side of the crisis will prolong the war’. 

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Iran’s Protestors Deserve Our Admiration

Iran’s protestors are showing immense courage. That is a given. But the reasons why are worth spelling out. 

Not only do they have the bravery to demonstrate against a theocratic dictatorship which has veiled women against their will for over forty years; they also protest in the full knowledge that the regime has already killed many thousands of activists in Iran and across the Middle East. 

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ISIS Is Wreaking Afghan Terror

The bomb tore through an examination hall in Kabul on Friday, where students – mostly minority Hazara, mostly young women – were sitting a practice test in preparation for university. Thirty-five were killed, dozens more injured. An unspeakable human tragedy. 

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