Tag Archives: Huffington Post UK

Intervention Was Not the Cause of Libya’s Woes. Quite the Opposite

Libya is now in flames. This might seem to be a rather hyperbolic note on which to begin, but it is true. The country is spiralling out of control, and the city of Benghazi, the former rebel capital in the 2011 revolution against the dictatorship of Colonel Gaddafi, has reportedly been captured by Islamist militants and declared an ‘Islamic emirate’. Foreign diplomatic staff continue their exodus as tensions swirl and the threat of civil disintegration becomes more plausible by the day. Continue reading

Open Our Borders to Syrian Refugees

Syria is still an issue. It won’t go away just because most people have apparently stopped paying attention. Military intervention is now seemingly off the table – regrettably in my view – and the outside world is pretty much content just to let it all happen. Sadly, although this is morally repugnant, it remains politically popular – and doing anything to lessen the brutality is shrugged off by the British public; after all, such an action would cost money. Continue reading

Torture Is Torture – Regardless of Who Does It

On Tuesday, December 9, 2014, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released the executive summary and portions of an as yet unpublished report into the torture undertaken by the CIA. In the following days, much was revealed about American programmes of ‘enhanced interrogation’. We had all heard of ‘waterboarding’, of course, but this was different. In scale, intensity and variety, the programmes of torture as described in the report eclipse the expectations of all but the most seasoned and pessimistic of observers. Continue reading

Review – The Uses and Abuses of History (2008) by Margaret MacMillan

History is more than a collection of dates and facts, kings and queens, battles and wars. It is also a guide for how we see the world, a shaping influence in the construction of our own worldview. Added to that, and increasingly seen in places like Russia, where media and writing of all kinds – everything that constitutes the nation’s intellectual life – can be conscripted into the creation of sinister political machinery, it can be a powerful tool. Even a weapon. Continue reading

Russia Today UK Is Bad News – but Even Tyrants Have a Right to Free Speech

RT, formerly Russia Today, the state-funded broadcasting arm of that expansionist European nation, has recently launched a British subsidiary. If the thought of Putin’s own propaganda operation descending upon our media landscape does not give you a small frisson of trepidation, you’re probably part of its target demographic. Continue reading

No Moral Nation Can Ally with Assad

After nearly four years of almost unimaginable horror in Syria, the prime mover of all the repression, all the brutality, and all the sheer suffering of this cruellest of civil wars is getting what he wanted all along. A myopic and half-hearted aerial campaign is targeting his supposed rivals, and he is being left alone by the international community.  Continue reading