January 28, 2020

Let’s cut to the chase – there is no question, no doubt, that the government of Myanmar and the army which controls it have committed the most vile atrocities against the Rohingya people, a Muslim minority that lives in the West of the Buddhist-dominated country.

The International Court of Justice (the World Court) which ruled last week against the M...

January 14, 2020

The struggle for the Donbass region in the eastern and southern Ukraine goes on, seemingly never endingly. It’s now six years since dissident militias threw off the yoke of the central government in Kiev and declared their de-facto independence. They were supported by Russian troops which at first president Vladimir Putin denied and then later admit...

January 7, 2020

In the Chinese government's eyes it has three rebellious parts of China on its plate – Tibet, Hong Kong and Taiwan. In Tibet, protestors from time to time have clashed with police and soldiers. In Hong Kong, the reform and freedom demonstrations are now in their eighth month. In Taiwan, society has constructed a form of democracy anathema to Beijing...

December 31, 2019

In Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Hound of the Baskervilles”, Sherlock Holmes lectures Watson on the unlikely subject of free trade.

Holmes: “Capital article this on free trade. Permit me to read you an extract from The Times: ‘You may be cajoled into imagining that your own special trade or your own industry will be encouraged by a protective tariff,...

December 24, 2019

When it comes to war the world does move on for the better. Right now there are no interstate wars. The longest running civil war of our era, in the Sudan, is over. The second longest, in Afghanistan and Syria, are winding down. Only one country in the world actually threatens the use of nuclear weapons- North Korea- but its arsenal and its credibil...

December 17, 2019

Israeli politics gets messier and messier. Now there is to be yet another election, hard on the heels of the last one which, in turn, was hard on the heels of the one before.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appears to have two major aims in life. The first is to remain prime minister for as long as he feels like it. (He is already Israel’s longest...

December 10, 2019

The Europeans have not done well in countering President Donald Trump’s onslaught on Iran. When Trump unilaterally decided that the US should withdraw from the 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal, which committed Iran to winding down its nuclear research in return for the West, Russia and China (the latter two were also part of the deal) lifting sanctions which...

December 3, 2019

It goes back to the French revolution of 1789. At the Revolutionary Convention the most radical of the insurgents decided to seat themselves on the left side. “Why not on the other side, the right side, the place of rectitude, where law and the higher rights resided, when man’s best hand could be raised in righteous honour?” wrote Melvin Lasky in wh...

November 26, 2019

It’s unbelievable that 102 years have passed since the Balfour Declaration when the British colonial government decided to give the Jews their own homeland- but also promised that “it be done without infringing on the civil and religious rights of the existing non-Jewish population”. Now, this month, the Trump Administration has announced that the J...

November 19, 2019

Of all the present foes of America it is Iran which has consistently been over time the number one.  Since its Islamic Revolution in 1979 that overthrew the secular-minded Shah and supplanted him with a militant, sometimes warlike, Islamic theocracy, it has been America’s Great Satan. (But for Europe rather less so, although no country has broken ra...

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