A while ago, eagerly and secretly, a professor at Edinburgh University began a correspondence over email with a man he thought was a Russian spy. ‘Ivan’, as the spy eventually took signing himself, wanted to thank the professor, Paul McKeigue, for his sterling efforts on matters of mutual interest. Those efforts, Ivan assured the professor, were appreciated by the boys in his office in Moscow.Continue reading
Tag Archives: Syria Civil Defence
Undiplomatic Wrangling and Aid to Idlib
Just as the UN aid mission to the rebel- and Islamist-held enclave around Idlib province in northern Syria was about to collapse, the movement of aid was reapproved – now in a reduced form. Continue reading
Losing James Le Mesurier
Earlier this week, in Istanbul, the world lost one of our century’s few true humanitarians. The death of James Le Mesurier was unexpected, and its cause remains officially unconfirmed. But the sum of his too-short life, though difficult to measure, is very great. Continue reading
Is Evacuating Syria’s White Helmets Little More Than a Token Gesture?
Every so often governments undertake acts of unarguable good. These moments are rare, and they are frequently small, justifiable less in terms of their large-scale consequences than their own morality or merit. But governments must still be induced to act in this way. And good ought to be recognised when it is done. Continue reading