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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Europe should pay attention to Spain’s un-European harshness towards the Catalans

by Rashmee

Posted on October 21, 2019


Now that Catalonia’s president, Quim Torra, has called for a dialogue with the Spanish government, it’s time to state some basic truths: Spain has been behaving in an un-European way towards the Catalans, with the Spanish Supreme Court handing down draconian sentences for non-violent political offenses the European Commission hasn’t dared (or cared) to say … Continue reading “Europe should pay attention to Spain’s un-European harshness towards the Catalans”

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The Trump effect was underway long before Trump. But now, it is empowered

by Rashmee

Posted on October 4, 2019


Israel, India, Britain…The grim rollcall of countries where long-standing norms of political behaviour are increasingly disregarded, and where elected leaders attack the tools that keep democracy vibrant and true. Stanford political scientist Larry Diamond has described some of these tools as follows: judicial independence, a free media, a deeply engaged civil society, universities, the civil service, … Continue reading “The Trump effect was underway long before Trump. But now, it is empowered”

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Turkey’s state of permanent crisis serves Erdogan

by Rashmee

Posted on January 20, 2019 / The Arab Weekly


Nearly three years after the failed coup that triggered a massive crackdown in Turkey, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government is still hunting down those it deems dangerous to the country. Just days ago, there were 192 arrests across Turkey, adding to the numbers imprisoned, sacked or suspended from their jobs. An estimated 77,000 people … Continue reading “Turkey’s state of permanent crisis serves Erdogan”

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Ever noticed how democracy is described as if it equals justice and virtue?

by Rashmee

Posted on September 22, 2018


  The other day a prominent columnist for an American newspaper bewailed “our current democratic travails” and urged that we “be stubborn about the sacredness of truth.” By travails, he meant the usual: ** “illiberal democracy” in Poland and Hungary. ** America’s Louis IV or the I-am-the-state presidency of Donald Trump. ** Bigots winning elections … Continue reading “Ever noticed how democracy is described as if it equals justice and virtue?”

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Europe in the #Alternative #2017 of the space-time continuum

by Rashmee

Posted on December 28, 2017


Every year-ender ends on an uncertain note. The space-time continuum demands nothing less. Pay attention to the tone of all those web listicles, newspaper box items, editorials and year-ender features. They’re not definitive. How can they be? How can you measure events in a finite amount of time when time is not finite for all … Continue reading “Europe in the #Alternative #2017 of the space-time continuum”

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Aung San Suu Kyi’s darkening image: From icon to ‘fake news’ ideologue

by Rashmee

Posted on September 6, 2017


Till Wednesday (September 6), Myanman’s de-facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi had said nothing about her country’s latest Rohingya crisis. If only she hadn’t broken her silence. In denouncing “fake news” about the Rohingyas’ persecution, she has become anti-heroine extraordinaire. She has gone from a globally admired beacon of resistance to injustice to an advocate … Continue reading “Aung San Suu Kyi’s darkening image: From icon to ‘fake news’ ideologue”

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Here’s the country Donald Trump, defender of ‘western’ values, urges us to admire

by Rashmee

Posted on July 10, 2017


Poland. “Tough,” Mr Trump called it in Warsaw on Thursday, July 6. Poles, he said, “never forgot who they were.” True. Except for the Polish government’s amnesia about past anti-Semitism, perhaps? And the Polish government’s plans for the country, some of which seem rather un-western (and certainly un-European Union). I mean the Polish government’s approach to … Continue reading “Here’s the country Donald Trump, defender of ‘western’ values, urges us to admire”

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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