Regions

Blake

Never Belonging: George Blake’s Spy Exploits

Filling the espionage ranks with legions of the non-belonging comes with its share of risk.  The process is counter-intuitive, putting stock in skill and aptitude above the potential compromise of loyalty and divergence.  Eventually, such a recruit might find a set of closely guarded principles. The son of a Sephardic […]

Pompeo and Trump

US Cyber Spy Scandal: Why Did Pompeo Blame Russia But Trump China?

The contradictory claims from Secretary of State Pompeo and President Trump blaming Russia and China respectively for carrying out what’s been described by many as one of the most intrusive cyber espionage operations against America in history are confusing for most observers but can be better understood if they accept that Pompeo might have some ulterior political motives for pushing his version of events.

Trump Issues 15 Pardons

Trump’s Pardons For The Festive Season

A flurry of them has been expected, and just prior to Christmas, US President Donald Trump waved his wand of pardon with vigour.  On December 22, the president issued fifteen pardons and five commutations.  The choices so far have been, to put it mildly, problematic. The power to pardon can […]

Arab spring Tunisia

The 10th Anniversary Of The Arab Spring

18 December 2010 is considered to be the starting point of the riots, unrest and uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa collectively referred to as the Arab Spring. The day before, a young fruit seller by the name of Mohamed Bouazizi set himself alight in the Tunisian town […]

A protestor holding the Lebanese flag walks near burning barricades during a protest over economic hardship and lack of a new government in Beirut

Who Is Destroying Lebanon And Why?

Within a few months, Lebanon, often misrepresented as “the only Arab democratic state” or even as the “Switzerland of the Middle East,” has collapsed. Successively, popular demonstrations against the political class (October 2019), a banking crisis (November 2019), a health crisis (July 2020), an explosion at the port of Beirut […]

Cancelling Christmas

Yuletide Lockdowns And Cancelling Christmas

The mind changer in Downing Street has struck again.  With UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the helm, changes of direction are compulsive, natural and sudden. The U-Turn has become the prosaic expectation.  “Too often it looks like this government licks its finger and sticks it in the air to […]

Displaced children in Afghanistan

US Drawdown Spurs Afghan Peace Talks

Prospects for the resumption of the Afghan peace talks at Doha on January 5 look bright despite the recent spike in violence involving the Taliban, Afghan government forces and the US Air Force, which have caused large scale  civilian casualties. A groundswell of opinion has formed about the critical need […]