Tag Archives: Libya

Terror’s Wars of Words

Even in wartime, bureaucracies continue to produce weights of paper. Baathist bureaucracies are no exception. Throughout Syria’s war, the extent to which the regime of Bashar al-Assad’s worst excesses have found their way onto official paper has surprised onlookers. Couched among the death certificates issued by state-run prisons lies the documentation, officially signed, legally witnessed, describing a campaign of mass murder. It is punctilious, and in plain sight. Continue reading

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A Future Worth Hoping For

Permanence has its attractions. It seems stable and without threat. Things we elect to do indefinitely are likely to be activities we enjoy, or can endure. We hope conditions that do not change might make us safe.

This reasoning is naïve, of course. And we know it, or come to learn it through experience. True permanence is as impossible as perfection, each equally out of reach. Continue reading

A Disappearance in Istanbul

Day or night, someone is likely to know where we are. Our friends and family, for one, or our colleagues. Someone will have an idea where to find us, if necessary. Continue reading

Italy’s, and Europe’s, Migrant Crisis

Last week brought a startling report about what happens on boats transporting migrants or refugees across the Mediterranean.

Mixing among those on board – migrants, sailors, charity workers, and journalists – was another man. He was not as he seemed. Continue reading

Trump’s ‘Arab Force’ More Closely Resembles a Farce

On Syria, the confused state of American policy persists.

This month, the president, Donald Trump, authorised strikes, in tandem with Britain and France, to punish the regime of Bashar al-Assad for its use of chemical weapons in Douma, eastern Ghouta. That might be taken to suggest that the United States and allies were prepared to act – to restrain brutality, to support stability, and to prevent the eruption of general chaos. Continue reading

Facile Talk

In the ways statesmen and the nations they lead interact with the rest of the world, gestures can almost match actions in importance. This is why, when some politicians make gestures, they are greeted with the affirmation normally reserved for action. Continue reading

After the Fall of Its Caliphate, the ISIS Threat Goes Global

The capture of El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexander Kotey, two British men attempting to flee Syria for Turkey, was a brief moment for celebration. The men had formed part of a brutal Islamic State (ISIS) cell, dubbed ’the Beatles’, which had executed foreign hostages on camera and become the global face of the terror group. Continue reading