Diplomacy, to pervert Carl von Clausewitz’s most famous epigram, is the continuation of war by other means. Its practitioners can use diplomacy to support allies or publicly rebuke adversaries. In the post-Cold War era, the severing of diplomatic relations has often served as a substitute for conflict. Continue reading
Emmanuel Macron, leader of France’s En Marche! and candidate for the country’s presidency, seems too good to be true. Intelligent, impeccably educated, charismatic, he is very different to François Fillon, who is officially ‘embattled’ – and certainly looks jaded – after the emergence of a financial scandal regarding the unorthodox (and state subsidised) employment of his wife.
And Macron is nothing at all like the far-right leader of the Front National, Marine Le Pen. Continue reading
After the British electorate voted to leave the European Union last June, things began to change rapidly. The prime minister speedily resigned and was replaced. His successor brought in a host of ministers – some new people and some rather old ones – to take account of this dramatic shift in public opinion. Those who had been on the fringes of the governing Conservative party – for example David Davis, an archetypal antique face – are now in the cabinet. Continue reading
Richard Silverstein, a blogger, has written a hit piece. This description, which may seem at first intemperate, is entirely merited. The article Silverstein wrote, which was published on a fringe website, The Unz Review, a week ago, has little in the way of a narrative thread. Its genesis can be attributed, one can safely assume, to Silverstein’s hatred of one man: Michael Weiss, a writer and journalist, co-author of ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror, and an editor at The Daily Beast. Weiss is seen to represent something Silverstein hates – a slightly intangible collection of leftist, Zionist, ‘neoconservative’ (of which more later) and other positions, including, apparently, Weiss’ pledged support for ‘socialize[d] healthcare’. Continue reading
There is said to be something which binds together instances of conflict and strife throughout the human experience. Maybe it is the suffering such things cause, which is a pain all societies experience and which is never entirely distinct from previous iterations; perhaps it is the required impulses of savagery – temporary though they may be – which are necessary in war; possibly this includes the fact that war shapes and forges societies, even if it does not affect their borders, simply by the force of its trauma and the fact of its happening at all. Continue reading
I like Michael Gove a lot – in fact, I think he’s one of the best Conservative ministers we have and are likely to enjoy for some time to come; but I’m a little saddened by his wanting Britain to leave the European Union. Not, I think, necessarily because this requires him to team up with two of the most unpleasant political figures in the country – the dual horrors of Nigel Farage and George Galloway, who represent living proof that extremists of Left and Right eventually come to resemble each other – but because in many ways it makes the case for remaining a little less attractive. Continue reading
Things are done quite differently today. When populations are starved, held captive against their will, there are certain actions which can be put into place. It is very likely that there will be a camera present, for example, with which to document the atrocities in real time. It is likely that those affected, or those assigned to help them or to protect them, will have access to the sort of technology which allows for the dissemination of images, video footage, and personal testimony of the horrors sadly unfolding. Continue reading