Elections are like London buses: You wait impatiently for one to turn up and then a whole fleet arrives at once. This year we have already seen Egypt’s latest presidential election, and in May we’ll have parliamentary elections in Iraq and Lebanon.
April 04, 2018
Just over 100 years ago, the great Anglo-Polish novelist Joseph Conrad published “The Secret Agent.” The story’s central character is a man called Verloc, who is in the pay of a foreign power represented by a diplomat named Vladimir, who presses him to commit an act of violent provocation against
March 22, 2018
The UN Security Council last month adopted Resolution 2401 calling for an immediate ceasefire, the protection of civilians and unrestricted humanitarian access across the whole of Syria.
March 06, 2018
Signs of the times; you know things are changing when you find Saleh Al-Hamwi, a founder of Jabhat Al-Nusra now reportedly affiliated with Ahrar Al-Sham, tweeting his welcome for recent Israeli military action in Syria and urging them to do more to combat Iranian influence there.
February 17, 2018
I wrote about the situation in Myanmar’s Rakhine State last August, after the murderous attack on a police post by self-proclaimed Rohingya militants and the massive and often brutal military response.
January 30, 2018
In what is perhaps his greatest tragedy, King Lear, William Shakespeare depicted a king who surrendered power without really meaning it or thinking through the consequences.
January 23, 2018
The once wildly popular German author Karl May, a favorite of Einstein and Hitler, wrote stories of the Old American West — which he had never visited.
November 14, 2017
I recall 15 years ago, as British Ambassador in Rangoon, a lengthy and winding river journey to the ancient capital of the Buddhist Rakhine Kingdom in Myanmar, at Mrauk U. It was magnificent, a testimony to the power and wealth of one of the most distinctive polities of early modern Myanmar.
August 26, 2017