Coronavirus and the prognosis for Afghanistan’s faux peace deal

by Rashmee

Posted on March 21, 2020


    Afghanistan is at a particularly unenviable moment as the coronavirus outbreak shuts down the planet. Its government is paralysed by a tense political power struggle, a supposed “peace deal” has been signed between the US and the Taliban and the coronavirus is affecting the promised withdrawal of US troops. Meanwhile, the impact of … Continue reading “Coronavirus and the prognosis for Afghanistan’s faux peace deal”

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Namaste, the #nohandshake hand gesture for the age of coronavirus

by Rashmee

Posted on March 14, 2020


“Nice to meet you, but how to greet you?” ran NPR’s headline in acknowledgement of this conundrum for the age of coronavirus. With hand hygiene in focus and the handshake taboo, how do you greet someone? A fist bump seems rather childish. The elbow bump a little too familiar. Perhaps the namaste, the joining of … Continue reading “Namaste, the #nohandshake hand gesture for the age of coronavirus”

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To be great, India and the US have to be good – part II

by Rashmee

Posted on March 7, 2020


  I’m returning to a subject that has long preoccupied me. Both India, country of my birth, and the US, my adoptive country, must be good to be great. It is not enough to remind the world that India produced Mahatma Gandhi and that the US has exemplified rule of law and the separation of … Continue reading “To be great, India and the US have to be good – part II”

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Sanders or not, the US Democratic Party is increasingly turned off by Netanyahu’s Israel

by Rashmee

Posted on March 6, 2020


Whatever happens with the two-man race that is now the Democratic presidential field, one thing is clear: the positions taken by Benjamin Netanyahu’s Israel are forcing a change in the strongly bipartisan nature of US-Israeli ties. Where once both the Republican and Democratic parties shared the exact same regard for Israel – so much so … Continue reading “Sanders or not, the US Democratic Party is increasingly turned off by Netanyahu’s Israel”

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With Donald Trump’s visit, US-India chemistry can no longer be dismissed as fiction

by Rashmee

Posted on February 25, 2020 / The National


There were bespoke broccoli samosas in Ahmedabad in western India; a watermelon carved with the faces of Donald Trump and Narendra Modi in Theni in southern India; sand art featuring Mr Trump and his wife Melania on Puri beach in eastern India and the “Trump collection” of specially designed gold and silver-plated tableware in Delhi … Continue reading “With Donald Trump’s visit, US-India chemistry can no longer be dismissed as fiction”

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Who’s afraid of Bernie Sanders?

by Rashmee

Posted on February 24, 2020


After Nevada, it’s time to get serious about Bernie Sanders’ Democratic Socialism. How does it differ from social democracy? And is Mr Sanders a menace to America? There are two possible answers. One, was delivered after the Nevada caucuses by Pete Buttigieg, Senator Sanders’ rival to be the Democratic Party’s nominee for president. Mr Sanders, … Continue reading “Who’s afraid of Bernie Sanders?”

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MAGA: Make America Go Away

by Rashmee

Posted on February 22, 2020


Henry Mance of the Financial Times has a new slogan (paywall) to fit MAGA: Make America Go Away (for a bit). It sounds amusing until one examines the serious subtext. Mr Mance starts out by saying something that is true for many of us I suspect: “I sometimes wonder if there is any moment when … Continue reading “MAGA: Make America Go Away”

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From un-diplomat to un-intelligence chief

by Rashmee

Posted on February 21, 2020


Fox News commentator and Trump groupie Richard Grenell arrived in Berlin as US envoy, “tweets blazing” in the memorable phrase of a Politico profile. In the years since, he never let the Germans forget that he was Donald Trump’s envoy and represented America First-ism. He pressed the case for Germany to turn right (and change … Continue reading “From un-diplomat to un-intelligence chief”

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French public life is becoming more ‘Americanized’ and British public life more French

by Rashmee

Posted on February 20, 2020


Everyone’s talking about the alleged “Americanization” of French public life, but almost no one is mentioning the almost parallel Gallicization of British public life. Let me explain. Just days ago, for the first time in France’s modern history, a politician resigned because his sex life was publicly exposed. Benjamin Griveaux, one of President Emmanuel Macron’s … Continue reading “French public life is becoming more ‘Americanized’ and British public life more French”

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Trump and the lucky man syndrome

by Rashmee

Posted on February 19, 2020


Everyone’s marvelling at Donald J Trump. He may dissemble, lie, cheat, bully, blunder, but he has the damndest luck. Imagine, he was serially bankrupt but can now claim to have led the sound management of the world’s largest economy. He’s a serial philanderer who can now claim to speak about God and the values so … Continue reading “Trump and the lucky man syndrome”

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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