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
The central justification for US President Donald Trump’s demand that the United States evacuates its military presence from Syria is that the Islamic State (ISIS) has been defeated. Superficially, and compared to what came before, this argument may not initially appear outlandish. Continue reading
Free elections are not purely functional affairs, where people vote to choose their government. They are demonstrations of the faith states place in their citizens, faith which forms the basis of political power, and for the granting of influence – no matter how small – to the individual. Continue reading
When the Islamic State group swept through Iraq and Syria, and the scale of its barbarism became apparent, the terror group became the most discussed story in the world. Continue reading
Donald Trump tweeted something strange last week. In itself, that’s nothing unusual. The President certainly has form when it comes to outlandish and whacky pronouncements.
But amid his calling the Mueller investigation ‘a rigged witch hunt’ and attacking his former lawyer Michael Cohen, Trump said something else. He revealed he had instructed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo ‘to closely study the South Africa land and farm seizures and expropriations and the large scale killing of farmers’. Continue reading
Review – 21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari
The success of Yuval Noah Harari’s first book, Sapiens, a sweeping assessment of human history, was so great that its author has been granted a status far beyond that normally afforded to professors of global history. Continue reading