Remember Obama’s ‘red line’ for Syria’s Assad? Trump’s ‘fire’ for Kim sounds similar

by Rashmee

Posted on August 14, 2017


Donald Trump should at least remember his own words (as highly quotable and the “greatest” wisdom the world might produce). Some years ago, he ridiculed Barack Obama for allowing Syria to cross a “red line” drawn by the US president on chemical-weapons use. Now, Mr Trump is promising fire-and-brimstone to Kim Jong Un, but can … Continue reading “Remember Obama’s ‘red line’ for Syria’s Assad? Trump’s ‘fire’ for Kim sounds similar”

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Are President Trump’s people serious about the Twitter offensive in the Korean theatre?

by Rashmee

Posted on August 11, 2017


One does not have to be a stuffy foreign policywallah to find the Trump administration’s attitude to horrific potential wars and nuclear issues decidedly casual. Consider the following remarks from Sebastian Gorka, the tough-talking, Islamophobic, white nationalist foreign policy advisor to the US president, when asked about Sino-American relations. How can the US persuading China … Continue reading “Are President Trump’s people serious about the Twitter offensive in the Korean theatre?”

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Trump’s 1999 interview on North Korea is horrifying in its ignorant self-confidence

by Rashmee

Posted on August 10, 2017


If you want to assess just how muddled Donald Trump’s thinking on North Korea is, google “Tim Russert interview 1999”. Mr Trump, then just a private citizen, pompously and cheerfully talks about a pre-emptive strike against North Korea, denounces America’s “soft” representatives such as Jimmy Carter. He asserts that “they (the North Koreans presumably) are … Continue reading “Trump’s 1999 interview on North Korea is horrifying in its ignorant self-confidence”

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Asean at 50. A club that agreed it’s better to be dull and to be together

by Rashmee

Posted on August 5, 2017


As the Association of South-East Asian Nations marks its 50th birthday with sober celebrations , it’s worth asking how it remained a club when many others have fallen out amongst themselves. The Gulf Cooperation Council, for instance. And the South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation. The Maghreb Union, from way back. Trade blocs that once … Continue reading “Asean at 50. A club that agreed it’s better to be dull and to be together”

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The Chinese aren’t coming to Tunisia. They’re already here

by Rashmee

Posted on July 22, 2017


Please note Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao’s bracing words to Tunisian Foreign Minister Khemaies Jhinaoui on July 20, 2017. China will strengthen cooperation with Tunisia under the One Belt, One Road Initiative, Mr Li said as he met the Tunisian minister in Beijing. Pretty anodyne, you might think. It’s what government types say to each … Continue reading “The Chinese aren’t coming to Tunisia. They’re already here”

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Why economic analysts like authoritarian democrats like Narendra Modi

by Rashmee

Posted on June 20, 2017


Noah Smith, an an assistant professor of finance at Stony Brook University, recently offered an interesting answer to a puzzling question. Why did analysts and the economics press have such high expectations for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi? Why did everyone seem to think he would manage to execute massive economic reform? Mr Smith suggested … Continue reading “Why economic analysts like authoritarian democrats like Narendra Modi”

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How #Qatar crisis is linked to Singapore & other small countries US said it would protect

by Rashmee

Posted on June 16, 2017


Whatever your political sympathies about Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf states, consider this economist’s view of the Qatar crisis. On Bloomberg View, Tyler Cowen, economics professor at George Mason University, goes to the heart of the problem created by the crisis. He looks at it through the lens of economics. The crisis, credit for … Continue reading “How #Qatar crisis is linked to Singapore & other small countries US said it would protect”

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America First doesn’t mean Trump gets an alternate planet sans effects of #climate change

by Rashmee

Posted on June 3, 2017


The squabbling over who gains and loses from Trump #Paris climate deal exit is unedifying and unenlightening. Someone very clever argues that as the world presses on, the biggest loser in President Trump’s decision to exit the #Paris climate change agreement will be America. Another says that poor countries, which were relying on American money … Continue reading “America First doesn’t mean Trump gets an alternate planet sans effects of #climate change”

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Trump has already cut loose from Paris agreement. It doesn’t matter if he withdraws or not

by Rashmee

Posted on May 30, 2017


Whatever Donald Trump decides on the Paris climate change agreement, there are limits to presidential power. Even so powerful a man as America’s commander-in-chief cannot just yank his whole country out of a decades-old way of thinking about the planet. Big business supports climate change initiatives. So does the US military. Even Mr Trump’s own … Continue reading “Trump has already cut loose from Paris agreement. It doesn’t matter if he withdraws or not”

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Part II – What’s got a jazzy label and is confusing? The new politics of our age

by Rashmee

Posted on May 23, 2017


Here’s the second lot of new political labels, properly parsed. (Click here for Part I on the first five labels.) ** Losers vs Winners Those who don’t think globalisation is good for them and those who do. That said, most of the people who want to pull up the drawbridge (leave trade blocs and shut off … Continue reading “Part II – What’s got a jazzy label and is confusing? The new politics of our age”

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Rashmee has lived and worked in eight countries in the past decade. She spent much of 2015 in the UAE and currently divides her time between the UK and Tunisia. Before that, she was in Haiti, the US, Afghanistan and India.