Shattered over #RBG but the most tragic fact of all may be her refusal to step aside years ago

by Rashmee

Posted on September 20, 2020


So US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg left a last instruction, dictated to her granddaughter. It said, “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.” That’s a pious but improbable hope and #RBG, as the judge is called, must have known it as she went … Continue reading “Shattered over #RBG but the most tragic fact of all may be her refusal to step aside years ago”

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It’s a mental shortcut that puts Trump 2020 in the same triumphant place as 2016

by Rashmee

Posted on September 8, 2020


Will Donald Trump win re-election? The truth is no one knows and anyone who says they do is deluded, delusional or just too darn sure they’re always right. But we owe it to David Leonhardt of The New York Times to remind us why everyone seems to hope – or fear – that Mr Trump … Continue reading “It’s a mental shortcut that puts Trump 2020 in the same triumphant place as 2016”

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Yes, Donald Trump is the commander-in-chief – but of ‘citizen soldiers’

by Rashmee

Posted on September 1, 2020


President Trump’s fellow Republican, Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, has been on the airwaves to champion “citizen soldiers”. Presumably the senator meant people like 17-year-old Trump-supporter Kyle Rittenhouse, who crossed state lines from Illinois into Wisconisn with an assault rifle, which he used to shoot dead two anti-racism protesters in Kenosha last week. The senator … Continue reading “Yes, Donald Trump is the commander-in-chief – but of ‘citizen soldiers’”

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How to read the ‘Arab street’ as America pushes rapprochement with Israel

by Rashmee

Posted on August 28, 2020


This week, Donald Trump’s official and unofficial secretaries of state – Mike Pompeo and Jared Kushner – fanned out across the Middle East and North Africa to push Arab-Israeli rapprochement in the aftermath of the August 13 Israel-UAE deal. The US-sponsored deal between Israel and the UAE was only the third such accord Israel has struck with … Continue reading “How to read the ‘Arab street’ as America pushes rapprochement with Israel”

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Trump has said nothing about Jacob Blake & his family’s pain. That tells us all we need to know

by Rashmee

Posted on August 26, 2020


Today (Wednesday, Aug. 26) the international news media is making much of US First Lady Melania Trump’s emollient speech to the Trump convention. The BBC reported that Mrs Trump “made a plea for racial unity”. “Like all of you, I have reflected on the racial unrest in our country,” she said, “Stop the violence and … Continue reading “Trump has said nothing about Jacob Blake & his family’s pain. That tells us all we need to know”

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Trump’s 2020 convention is surely the one Lukashenko would’ve had in Belarus

by Rashmee

Posted on August 24, 2020


Depend upon it, if Alexander Lukashenko had been minded to stage a re-election convention instead of just going ahead and winning by a landslide, the Belarusian strongman would have modelled it on Donald Trump’s 2020 event. Out of habit or perhaps for propriety’s sake (or may be out of fear of legal challenge by the … Continue reading “Trump’s 2020 convention is surely the one Lukashenko would’ve had in Belarus”

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What to make of Mike Pompeo’s ‘crusade’ against China

by Rashmee

Posted on August 16, 2020


Jeffrey Sachs’ contextualisation of America’s “crusade” against China is worth reading, what with Mike Pompeo, Donald Trump’s secretary of state, recently touring the world to push his aggressive agenda. On August 11, Mr Pompeo took off for Europe – Prague, Pilsen, Ljubljana, Vienna and Warsaw. He finished the tour at the weekend. In the Slovenian … Continue reading “What to make of Mike Pompeo’s ‘crusade’ against China”

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Is Dr Fauci a savvy enough public servant?

by Rashmee

Posted on July 30, 2020


When I heard America’s top doctor, Anthony Fauci, pleading with the US president (starts at 14:08) to drop the “political bickering” from the fight against the virus, I remembered a recent piece titled “the savvy civil servant”. The article, by Peter Constantinou of York University, makes a very basic point: Even though public servants are … Continue reading “Is Dr Fauci a savvy enough public servant?”

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Trump and Putin are caricatures from 19th century Russian literature

by Rashmee

Posted on July 27, 2020


  Nina L. Khrushcheva says Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin are literary caricatures and just as absurd as a multitude of characters famous from American and Russian political satire. She should know. Not only is Ms Khrushcheva a PhD in Comparative Literature, she is the granddaughter of former Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev. Anyway, she offers a … Continue reading “Trump and Putin are caricatures from 19th century Russian literature”

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The case for good competition

by Rashmee

Posted on July 25, 2020


Last weekend, Tony Blinken, former diplomat and current foreign policy adviser to Joe Biden, made the case for good competition. The US, he said, needs to be engaged in a revivifying competition with China. It needs to be “a race to the top, not a race to the bottom”. That race, he predicted, would be won … Continue reading “The case for good competition”

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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