Democracy doesn’t have to be Western-style, nor the development template

by Rashmee

Posted on September 19, 2020


Veteran foreign policywallah Kishore Mahbubani once wrote a piece for The New York Times titled ‘How Strongmen Co-opted Democracy’. He should know. Mr Mahbubani was, from 2004 to 2017, dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (National University of Singapore). His country knows all about strongmen. That’s not to be snarky, just … Continue reading “Democracy doesn’t have to be Western-style, nor the development template”

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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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There is reason to pay attention to the Belarus election – but perhaps not the one you think

by Rashmee

Posted on August 9, 2020


Until recently, I, like everyone else, paid little attention to elections in Belarus. What did they matter when the result was already known and Alexander Lukashenko would continue in power, as he has for 26 years? The sense that Mr Lukashenko faced little or no serious challenge ahead of elections today (August 9) was reinforced … Continue reading “There is reason to pay attention to the Belarus election – but perhaps not the one you think”

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Inside draft-dodger Trump may be a wannabe general struggling to get out

by Rashmee

Posted on November 2, 2017


If Donald Trump were in almost any other country but America, a year into his presidency he would have been wearing a (fake) military uniform complete with fake medals. The direction he wants to take the US is becoming clearer by the day. No one arrested on American soil has ever been sent to Guantánamo … Continue reading “Inside draft-dodger Trump may be a wannabe general struggling to get out”

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Why Liberia’s election may provide hope for strongmen everywhere, including the US

by Rashmee

Posted on October 7, 2017


On October 10, Liberia goes to the polls and those who shrug must not stop reading at least until after the next sentence. It holds clues to the likely political prospects of Donald Trump. There, I said it. It sounds pretty startling but it’s not really. Irrational affection for politicians, no matter what they do, … Continue reading “Why Liberia’s election may provide hope for strongmen everywhere, including the US”

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Donald Trump’s America wants to make war on peace

by Rashmee

Posted on March 5, 2017 / The Arab Weekly


You don’t have to look at Donald Trump very long to realise that he could be a strong man. At 1.88 metres, he is taller than most men. At at least 107 kilograms, he weighs more than many people. At 70, he gives no sign of being infirm, beset by knees that buckle or the … Continue reading “Donald Trump’s America wants to make war on peace”

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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