Hungary’s Orban says he wants ‘protect Europe’. Which one?

by Rashmee

Posted on July 14, 2018


  It was striking that Hungary’s prime minister Viktor Orban declared that his country took as a duty the need to “protect Europe”. Mr Orban said this after he met German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on July 5. As for Mrs Merkel, she didn’t say anything like that. Instead, she spoke about Europe’s obligation … Continue reading “Hungary’s Orban says he wants ‘protect Europe’. Which one?”

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What South Korea’s reaction to Yemeni refugees really tells us

by Rashmee

Posted on July 13, 2018 / The Arab Weekly


It has taken less than a thousand refugees fleeing Yemen’s grinding three-year-old war for prosperous, seemingly globalised South Korea to revert to fiercely xenophobic notions of a country built upon “ethnic homogeneity” and “pure blood.” South Korea’s newly visible animus to Muslims and Arabs comes at an interesting point in the global conversation about uninvited … Continue reading “What South Korea’s reaction to Yemeni refugees really tells us”

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God save Britain if Boris Johnson symbolises principled Brexit-ism

by Rashmee

Posted on July 10, 2018


  The tragedy of our times is that Boris Johnson is seen as a principled leader of Brexiteers. Boris Johnson! A principled Brexiteer! Mr Johnson, it must be recalled, could’ve gone either way on the June 2016 EU referendum – he had written two signed newspaper columns, at a strategic point of the campaign. The … Continue reading “God save Britain if Boris Johnson symbolises principled Brexit-ism”

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Why Europe seeks an ‘Australian solution’ to the migrant issue

by Rashmee

Posted on July 8, 2018 / The Arab Weekly


When European leaders talk of establishing “disembarkation platforms” for migrants in the Middle East and Africa, they are hoping to find an “Australian solution” to a hot-button issue. Here’s why. Australia’s policies towards unwanted migrants are tough, deeply controversial — and they have worked. Australia has all but become a no-go area for the uninvited. Even people … Continue reading “Why Europe seeks an ‘Australian solution’ to the migrant issue”

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Tis well to remember: The long shadow cast by France on Syria

by Rashmee

Posted on July 6, 2018


To many people, Syria spells no more than a long-running civil war, a dangerously internationalising multi-sided skirmish and the tiresome but troubling threat of ever more refugees. But British Arabist Diana Darke’s book, ‘The Merchant of Syria: A History of Survival’, is worth reading if only to re-focus on a few key points about Syria. … Continue reading “Tis well to remember: The long shadow cast by France on Syria”

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Le Sombre Fourth of July

by Rashmee

Posted on July 5, 2018


In Tunis, America’s 242nd birthday was seemingly as it always is. KFC and beer, bunting, and fairy lights on trees at the US Embassy. But there was a feverish gaiety about it all, a spreading sense that the world is changing faster than anyone could have imagined, and there is much to worry about. Everyone … Continue reading “Le Sombre Fourth of July”

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Trump of all people should know that corporate patriotism is neither natural nor desirable

by Rashmee

Posted on July 4, 2018 / The National


US President Donald Trump is not the first politician to fulminate about the need for corporate loyalty to country above all else. Mr Trump’s threats and imprecations against the American Midwest’s legendary motorcycle manufacturer Harley–Davidson for daring to send some of its production overseas, echoed the milder frustration about big business once expressed by his … Continue reading “Trump of all people should know that corporate patriotism is neither natural nor desirable”

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Mr Trump may be America’s Ambien

by Rashmee

Posted on July 3, 2018


Donald Trump is really, really good for world trade, just not for that with the United States. Consider the following developments in the past two weeks: June 14: Canada’s government asks parliament to ratify the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, the revised version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership from which Trump’s America’s pulled out … Continue reading “Mr Trump may be America’s Ambien”

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Is Tripoli the place to watch re. Europe’s ‘disembarkation platforms’?

by Rashmee

Posted on July 2, 2018


Anyone who believed the guff that came out of Brussels on Friday morning probably regards the tooth fairy as a serious force in world affairs. The European Union summit of June 28-29 agreed a massive fudge in place of a plan that could be reasonably implemented. That’s not because EU leaders are incompetent and didn’t … Continue reading “Is Tripoli the place to watch re. Europe’s ‘disembarkation platforms’?”

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That other European Union

by Rashmee

Posted on July 1, 2018 / The Arab Weekly


In person, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto is entirely believable when he insists that Europe has a problem. Unfortunately, Szijjarto scores an own goal. He convinces listeners that Europe’s problem has less to do with uninvited migrants than with the four-member Visegrad Group of central European countries, of which Hungary is a part. This had … Continue reading “That other European Union”

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Rashmee has lived and worked in several countries in the past decade, including Afghanistan, India, Haiti, Tunisia, the UAE, UK and US