Is Europe toughening up at last?

by Rashmee

Posted on August 1, 2020


In nearly 70 years of Europe’s union, member states have learnt a valuable lesson – they have free will, access to pooled funds and the ability to stare down unwelcome directives and regulations from the bloc’s executive authority, the European Commission. Now, not so much. On July 29, the European Union actually announced that it … Continue reading “Is Europe toughening up at last?”

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Nato is not threatened by Macron’s call for strategic clarity but by the values gap with Turkey

by Rashmee

Posted on January 20, 2020


I’m with Peter Ricketts on NATO. The man who served as the UK’s permanent representative  to the defense alliance from 2003 to 06, has said (paywall) that Emmanuel Macron’s doubts deserve a sensible and measured response. That is entirely true. Instead of rebukes from Donald Trump and Angela Merkel, Mr Macron’s attempt to force attention … Continue reading “Nato is not threatened by Macron’s call for strategic clarity but by the values gap with Turkey”

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Amid preparations for Nato’s 70th anniversary summit, no one seems sure about where Europe should be heading

by Rashmee

Posted on November 26, 2019 / The National


Tomorrow, European officials will vote to confirm the new European Commission. If all goes well, the executive arm of the European bloc will begin its five-year term by the end of the week, just a few days before Nato’s 70th anniversary summit in London. The sequence of events throws into relief three key policy challenges … Continue reading “Amid preparations for Nato’s 70th anniversary summit, no one seems sure about where Europe should be heading”

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An ‘international’ tribunal for ISIS fighters?

by Rashmee

Posted on May 26, 2019 / The Arab Weekly


Today, Nuremberg could be a style, if not the template, for establishing a proper trial process for 21st-century crimes against humanity. Sweden has begun moves to establish an international tribunal to try Islamic State (ISIS) fighters for crimes they are suspected of having committed in Iraq and Syria. The moves, however, have been limited to … Continue reading “An ‘international’ tribunal for ISIS fighters?”

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Pro-Brexit or against it? Here’s why it doesn’t really matter to the world

by Rashmee

Posted on January 14, 2019


The late economist John Kenneth Galbraith was unstuffy enough to have poked fun at his tribe. Economics, he said, is extremely useful as a form of employment for economists. True, but economists do sometimes earn their keep too. Consider Simon Johnson’s clarity on Brexit. Mr Johnson is a former chief economist of the IMF, a … Continue reading “Pro-Brexit or against it? Here’s why it doesn’t really matter to the world”

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Hungary’s Orban says he wants ‘protect Europe’. Which one?

by Rashmee

Posted on July 14, 2018


  It was striking that Hungary’s prime minister Viktor Orban declared that his country took as a duty the need to “protect Europe”. Mr Orban said this after he met German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on July 5. As for Mrs Merkel, she didn’t say anything like that. Instead, she spoke about Europe’s obligation … Continue reading “Hungary’s Orban says he wants ‘protect Europe’. Which one?”

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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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Migration is not at a peak - hysteria is

by Rashmee

Posted on June 27, 2018 / The National


If we had little data and nothing more than political discussions in western capitals to go by, it would seem as if the whole world was on the move and all were headed for rich countries. The transatlantic conversation is unblinkingly focused on migration. Europe seems unable to consider anything else right now but Thursday’s … Continue reading “Migration is not at a peak - hysteria is”

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How I was drawn into the strangest debate of them all. That #India-is-not-a-sub-continent

by Rashmee

Posted on August 26, 2017


“Dear Rashmee Lall,” the email began, omitting part of my surname. “I admire your work and your dedication to it a lot.” But please stop describing South Asia as a sub-continent. It’s “divisive, colonial and ‘funny’.” Or words to that effect. Basically, my correspondent saw it as a sign of intense disloyalty and buried colonial … Continue reading “How I was drawn into the strangest debate of them all. That #India-is-not-a-sub-continent”

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Shameful amounts of energy, emotion expended on modest garment, modest ruling

by Rashmee

Posted on March 15, 2017


A shameful amount of time, energy and emotion has been spent on a garment that is meant to be about modesty. The headscarf. It is worn by some Muslim women, and by the following others too, who are listed and pictured below: 1 and 2. Hindu villagers in India. The one wearing red is in … Continue reading “Shameful amounts of energy, emotion expended on modest garment, modest ruling”

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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