Tag Archives: US

The sabotage of Geneva II

If you want to achieve a negotiated end to violent conflict, all the parties have to first agree to talk. Seen in that light, rescinding the invitation to Iran to attend the Geneva II conference on Syria is very bad news. Continue reading

The state of the world

Today is publication day for the new edition of The State of the World Atlas. It presents information about the world – economics, politics, conflict, health, environment and demography – in a variety of forms, primarily in maps and other visuals, also in text. If you will excuse me, I want to introduce it to you. Continue reading

Libya: the (next) moment of decision is approaching

When intervention in Libya was being discussed in Britain a few months back, the key ethical argument was the dual claim of the urgency of doing something and impossibility of standing by and doing nothing. After the first 2-3 weeks, it became clear even to passionate advocates of intervention that the issue was more complicated than that. Continue reading

Egypt and the outside powers

Now it is clear that Hosni Mubarak’s three decade presidency of Egypt cannot survive much longer, outside powers are visibly positioning themselves for the next phase. Hubristic temptations are clear but not everybody’s falling for them. Continue reading

Egypt: outside powers and their calamitous Algerian error

Sentences that start, “History teaches us that…” usually contain bad history and worse logic. Nonetheless, Egypt makes me think with foreboding of Algeria. Continue reading

Haiti and beyond: preparing for the next disaster

One part of the tragedy in Haiti is how unprepared the country was to deal with the earthquake on 12 January. Yet the risk is well established. And Haiti is equally vulnerable to the equally visible risk of hurricanes. Haiti is not alone in this lack of readiness and the problems about getting help to the survivors make an urgent case for a new humanitarian business model that emphasises preparation instead of depending entirely on emergency aid flown in after the disaster hits. Continue reading

Obama in power (12): more on that prize

It wasn’t Obama’s fault. He didn’t pick him and so far as we know there was no lobbying though that is common behaviour by would-be laureates and their friends.  Once the prize was announced he would have been churlish to turn it down. His dignified acceptance and remarks about the other worthy nominees struck the right note. But… Continue reading