Syria, Iran, unicorns and rainbows: The Trump-Putin tryst

by Rashmee

Posted on July 15, 2018 / The Arab Weekly


US President Donald Trump may not think it worthwhile to consult Dennis Ross on Russia in the Middle East but the veteran US diplomat’s reading of the situation as it pertains today is spot on. The United States has not wanted to be part of a solution in Syria and it is not, Ross recently … Continue reading “Syria, Iran, unicorns and rainbows: The Trump-Putin tryst”

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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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Trump wants US to go into security business, but it’s had poor record of winning wars

by Rashmee

Posted on July 12, 2018


The other day, Bloomberg columnist Leonid Bershidsky suggested US President Donald Trump wanted to hawk security services around the world in exchange for “trade preferences and other US-friendly economic outcomes on a major scale.” But, that would be a bad business to be in, Mr Bershidsky argued, because other countries such as China and Russia could … Continue reading “Trump wants US to go into security business, but it’s had poor record of winning wars”

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Who’s listening to Dennis Ross? But is he worth hearing out, at least on Syria?

by Rashmee

Posted on July 9, 2018


Donald Trump may not think it worthwhile to consult Dennis Ross on Russia in the Middle East, but the veteran diplomat’s reading of the situation as it obtains today is spot-on. The US has neither wanted to be part of a solution in Syria – and it is not, says Mr Ross. True. Russia runs … Continue reading “Who’s listening to Dennis Ross? But is he worth hearing out, at least on Syria?”

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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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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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British choreography should have risen beyond the symbolic gesture

by Rashmee

Posted on June 29, 2018 / The Arab Weekly


When Prince William became the first member of the British royal family to officially visit the Palestinian Territories, some said it was fine so far as it went, but the gesture came seven decades too late. It was a reference to Britain’s perceived irrelevance in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, 71 years after the British Mandate in … Continue reading “British choreography should have risen beyond the symbolic gesture”

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What to make of a migrant who doesn’t learn her new country’s language properly?

by Rashmee

Posted on June 25, 2018


Here’s a woman who came into a western country, worked, got naturalized, married, bore a child, and 22 years later, still speaks halting English, with a strong foreign accent. What’s her name? Magda? Maha? Mina? Mehbooba? Marium? Madeeha? Mallika? Actually, it’s Melania. Mrs Trump. The US First Lady. Had a Magda, Maha, Mina, Mehbooba, Marium … Continue reading “What to make of a migrant who doesn’t learn her new country’s language properly?”

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‘Countries wanting to tackle migration should follow Switzerland’s lead and boost local economies rather than punish individuals’

by Rashmee

Posted on June 23, 2018 / The Independent


The European Union  desperately wants to agree on a plan to curb the influx of migrants, possibly by creating vast holding camps in Africa. Donald Trump’s America wants to frighten off migrants from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador by locking them up and taking away their children. Neither will work but here’s a canny immigration control strategy that might. … Continue reading “‘Countries wanting to tackle migration should follow Switzerland’s lead and boost local economies rather than punish individuals’”

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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