Terror blowback from Middle East wars continues

by Rashmee

Posted on June 4, 2017 / The Arab Weekly


Is there a link between a country’s foreign policy and the terrorist threat it faces? The United States hardly ever asks itself that search­ing question, probably for fear of the answers. The issue does come up in Britain occasion­ally before it is speedily fumi­gated from the national con­sciousness. This time though, the fateful connection between … Continue reading “Terror blowback from Middle East wars continues”

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If you’re Donald Trump, a missile attack on Syria is a good deal

by Rashmee

Posted on April 8, 2017


Donald Trump has said before (and God knows I believe him on this point) that he doesn’t “like [Bashar al-]Assad at all. But Assad is killing ISIS.” And now, in the 11th week of his presidency, Mr Trump launched 59 cruise missiles at an airbase near Homs, effectively destroying some of Mr Assad’s key assets. … Continue reading “If you’re Donald Trump, a missile attack on Syria is a good deal”

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The most hopeful truth ever: ‘We don’t live in a perfect world but in a perfectible one’

by Rashmee

Posted on December 14, 2016


Finally, something to which we all can cling. All the liberals weeping into their muesli. Happy Trump-supporters and Brexiteers angry at the caterwauling. The ranks of gaunt non-partisan people everywhere, bewildered and upset by the tide of active resentment sweeping social media, social discourse, family meals over Thanksgiving and soon, Christmas Day too. Here’s a … Continue reading “The most hopeful truth ever: ‘We don’t live in a perfect world but in a perfectible one’”

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Joseph Nye is right, less American ‘exemptionalism’ not more interventionism

by Rashmee

Posted on October 26, 2015


Joseph Nye has been warning against US “exceptionalism” turning into “exemptionalism,” which is to say few attempts by the US Congress to allow for meaningful and speedy international cooperation. He’s absolutely right. Rather than interventionism, America needs an anti-exemptionalism movement. What does exemptionalism do? Not a lot, says Professor Nye, and there lies the problem. … Continue reading “Joseph Nye is right, less American ‘exemptionalism’ not more interventionism”

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Iran deal: Now two rival petro-states run by mirror-image theocracies?

by Rashmee

Posted on April 4, 2015


What does the deal with Iran really mean? Over at Quartz, Bobby Ghosh says “the world can now look forward to two petro-states run by religious extremists with international ambitions for their sectarian agendas—and unlimited resources with which to pursue them.” For, Iran can now seek parity with Saudi Arabia. He goes a bit further and argues “that Iran … Continue reading “Iran deal: Now two rival petro-states run by mirror-image theocracies?”

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Is this the year North Korea’s Kim Jong Un finally meets another leader?

by Rashmee

Posted on January 19, 2015


“Is this the year that Kim Jong Un finally meets another leader?” asks The Washington Post. He’s not left North Korea in the three years since he’s been the ‘Great Successor’. Unlike his late father and grandfather, Kim Jong Il and Kim Il Sung, the 30-something Kim has not even visited China and Russia. But … Continue reading “Is this the year North Korea’s Kim Jong Un finally meets another leader?”

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American lameducks and koala bears: How will this keep the little uns safe?

by Rashmee

Posted on November 19, 2014


You have to wonder at the so-called “koala diplomacy” ostentatiously staged by Australia at the weekend’s G20 summit. The world’s media fell over itself to find new ways to describe the, in my view, rather tasteless event, at which top politicians cuddled the shy marsupials, whose numbers have dropped from10 million in the late 1700s … Continue reading “American lameducks and koala bears: How will this keep the little uns safe?”

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As he bows out, William Burns doesn’t address lessons of Herat

by Rashmee

Posted on October 26, 2014


In his wise reflections on 33 years in the diplomacy business, US Deputy Secretary of State William J Burns has spoken of the new “realities (which) pose some real challenges” for professional diplomats. He summed up some of the new realities as follows: “How can we add value in a world of instant and nearly … Continue reading “As he bows out, William Burns doesn’t address lessons of Herat”

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Battling Islamic State: Boots on the ground. How about brains in the air?

by Rashmee

Posted on October 3, 2014


Heard the one about Iraqi pilots mistakenly delivering food, water and ammunition Islamic State (IS) militants on a mission that was meant to supply their own side? It’s a droll but true story and a uniquely illustrative sidebar to the ‘boots on the ground’ (brains in the air?) issue. NBC News had Hakim Al-Zamili, a … Continue reading “Battling Islamic State: Boots on the ground. How about brains in the air?”

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Bombs, boots on ground won’t destroy Islamic State. Only the locals can

by Rashmee

Posted on October 2, 2014


The new Iraqi Prime Minister would probably agree with this, given his interview to Lyse Doucet, broadcast by the BBC on Wednesday. So here goes. It’s hard to see why anyone would pay even passing heed to former British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s insane prescription for “boots on the ground” to tackle Islamic State fighters. … Continue reading “Bombs, boots on ground won’t destroy Islamic State. Only the locals can”

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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.