Elections are wonderful things. Despite the calculated duplicity which campaigning for the vote requires, and despite their association with politicians, elections remind voters – and observers around the world – that ordinary people, individually and together, can affect the futures of the societies in which they live. Continue reading
Just days ago, Donald Trump announced that the US Treasury would designate the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which comprises the defenders of the Iranian revolution, a terrorist organisation. Continue reading
America’s allies in Syria cannot count on their friends. That’s the message sent by the White House.
It emerged last week that the United States will shutter a CIA programme to equip vetted rebel groups. These groups were America’s allies and assets on the ground in Syria. Continue reading
The story of Emma Sky, newly told in her memoir The Unravelling: High Hopes and Missed Opportunities in Iraq, is a fascinating one. An opponent of the war in Iraq – someone, in fact, who had proposed serving as a human shield in the first Gulf War – does not generally end up in effect administering a province, as Sky found herself doing very soon after her arrival in the country in 2003. But this is what she did. And more than that, she spent much of the following seven years in Iraq, working closely with the very American military she and many like-minded individuals opposed so vigorously before the war began. Continue reading
The situation in Syria could hardly get more desperate. But now, thanks to the actions of two powers intent on establishing their dominance within other nations, the conflict has become even more than an unsolved humanitarian disaster or a source of geopolitical challenge. Now the war could represent the coming together of two great foes of freedom and democracy; and this is almost entirely due to the free hand the Obama Administration has given to Iran and Russia. Continue reading
Do you know the old stories told about Vienna in the summertime? Imperial capital to a polyglot dual monarchy, the city served as a meeting place of societies, languages and nation-states. A cultural epicentre, Vienna saw streams of the most elegant, artistic, intellectual people populate its grand palaces and ballrooms. Its waltzes are justly renowned. It was a place of meetings, of cultural exchange; a place of nobility, both in birth and intent. According to this telling, the civilisation it apparently embodied could never bow to the harshness and cruelty of human nature; it had simply progressed too far and achieved too much to stop. Continue reading