Iran’s Qasem Soleimani matters in death as much as in life

by Rashmee

Posted on January 3, 2020 / Quartz


The US Department of Defense announced today that an American airstrike in Baghdad killed Qasem Soleimani, head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force. This triggered a spike in oil and gold prices, and set World War III trending on Twitter. Who was Soleimani? And why does he matter? There are competing perspectives, with sharply differing points of view. The US … Continue reading “Iran’s Qasem Soleimani matters in death as much as in life”

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The Arab view of Iran doesn’t help it manage reality or change anything for the better

by Rashmee

Posted on February 12, 2019


There’s much merit in this rather frank view of the Arab world’s relationship with Iran. Hussein Ibish on Bloomberg Opinion notes that the Arab world blames Iran and its 40-year-old revolution for all its problems, but it would be a mess with or without Tehran’s help, True enough. Consider the way the Arab world is behaving … Continue reading “The Arab view of Iran doesn’t help it manage reality or change anything for the better”

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Art of the bad deal: Talking to the Taliban & leaving Afghan government in the lurch

by Rashmee

Posted on January 31, 2019


Part of the time I was in Afghanistan – living and working on the US Embassy compound for a year – Ryan Crocker was ambassador. Although ambassadors normally expect – and receive – ostentatious, even if faux reverence from those over whom they have authority, Mr Crocker was the sort of person one would regard … Continue reading “Art of the bad deal: Talking to the Taliban & leaving Afghan government in the lurch”

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Blowback from actions for and by Israel is being felt in Africa

by Rashmee

Posted on January 28, 2019


The blowback from actions of and for Israel is tragically to be seen in parts of Africa. On January 20, Chadian nationals serving as UN peacekeepers in Mali were killed by Al Qaeda. A branch of Al Qaeda claimed the attack and said it was in response to Chad’s resumption of diplomatic relations with Israel. And … Continue reading “Blowback from actions for and by Israel is being felt in Africa”

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It’s not as easy as with Al Qaeda to cut off Isil’s funding. Here’s why

by Rashmee

Posted on December 19, 2015


Thursday’s summit on cutting off Isil’s funding, chaired by US treasury secretary Jack Lew, was unable to find reasonable solutions to the following basic problems: ** Unlike Al Qaeda, Isil is not dependent on money from beyond the borders of its so-called “state”. International anti-terrorist financing legislation consequently doesn’t mean that much ** A “state” … Continue reading “It’s not as easy as with Al Qaeda to cut off Isil’s funding. Here’s why”

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So jihad is about poetry and isn’t about principles confined to Muslims?

by Rashmee

Posted on November 14, 2015


This, the morning after the Paris carnage, may seem like a dreadful time to be talking about jihad. The whole concept sounds so murderous! But it isn’t really, not in its proper form. In her eponymous new book contextualizing 21st century jihad, Elisabeth Kendall explains that it is not quite what self-proclaimed jihadists and the … Continue reading “So jihad is about poetry and isn’t about principles confined to Muslims?”

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An ISIL plane bomb means it’s prepared to be seen as it is: a terrorist group

by Rashmee

Posted on November 7, 2015


Contrary to what everyone may say or fear, hears what an ISIL bomb on a Russian plane actually means: ** That this brutal extremist group is dropping its pretensions to being and founding a “state” for the world’s most pious believers ** That it is doing – on the world stage – what it has … Continue reading “An ISIL plane bomb means it’s prepared to be seen as it is: a terrorist group”

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