War is good for… American business

by Rashmee

Posted on January 9, 2020


  If you’ve ever wondered why the US continues to talk the language of war while claiming to want peace, here may be one answer. Axios’ Felix Salmon has a quick take on the bonus effect that decades of war have had on the US economy. He starts by urging us to look beyond the … Continue reading “War is good for… American business”

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Did you know? The #Syria that’s not in the news

by Rashmee

Posted on November 14, 2019


For a short time, Syria had faded somewhat from the news agenda. That was either a blessing or a curse, depending on how you see it. But now it’s back and it’s time to consider a few interesting points about Syria from British Arabist Diana Darke’s book, ‘The Merchant of Syria: A History of Survival’. … Continue reading “Did you know? The #Syria that’s not in the news”

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Time for refugees to return now that the Syrian war is winding down?

by Rashmee

Posted on June 7, 2018


On May 3, 2018 Bashar Al Assad’s government regained control of a key highway, the M5 linking Aleppo to the capital Damascus through Homs. It was the first time in years that the regime was in charge of that highway. It signified a great deal about the changed course of the war. After seven years, … Continue reading “Time for refugees to return now that the Syrian war is winding down?”

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Another lens to view Syria: its merchants

by Rashmee

Posted on April 29, 2018 / The Arab Weekly


Towards the end of her book “The Merchant of Syria: A History of Survival,” British Arabist Diana Darke quotes a Syrian proverb. “All roads lead to the mill” it goes, a reference to the Syrian people’s indomitable instinct for survival through commerce over hundreds of years. It may seem like an uncomfortably Panglossian sentiment when … Continue reading “Another lens to view Syria: its merchants”

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A ‘snowflake’ strategy for Syria

by Rashmee

Posted on April 22, 2018 / The Arab Weekly


Since the April 14 strikes on Syria by the United States, United Kingdom and France, it’s clear the West has been pursuing what can only be called a “snowflake” strategy. “Snowflake,” in this instance, is a derogatory term for emotionally vulnerable young millennials who are quick to take offence and are unable to cope with … Continue reading “A ‘snowflake’ strategy for Syria”

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Why warmongers must have skin in the game

by Rashmee

Posted on February 25, 2018 / The Arab Weekly


Would the conflicts in the Middle East suddenly grind to a halt if 21st-century political leaders had to ride into battle like the kings and emperors of yore? “Yes,” says Nassim Nicholas Taleb, the Lebanon-born-and-bred American writer who has a history of thinking the unthinkable. If politicians had skin in the game, they would make … Continue reading “Why warmongers must have skin in the game”

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In Turkey, an ominous question: Can war ever be good for public health?

by Rashmee

Posted on February 4, 2018 / The Arab Weekly


Can war ever be good for public health? It’s a ludicrous question when the horrendous consequences of the long-running, many-sided Syrian conflict are plain to see on television screens and social media. Dozens are dead as a result of Turkey’s military offensive against the Kurds in Afrin; many were killed by suspected Russian warplanes that … Continue reading “In Turkey, an ominous question: Can war ever be good for public health?”

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The fight over America’s forever wars

by Rashmee

Posted on November 19, 2017 / The Arab Weekly


Something extraordinary has happened in the capital of the world’s most powerful country: For the first time in more than 40 years, legisla­tors in the United States formally questioned the American president’s unchallenged authority to launch a nuclear strike. This is undoubtedly a reaction to the perceived unpredictability and rash temperament of the current inhabitant … Continue reading “The fight over America’s forever wars”

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A row of Gazebos on US Embassy Kabul compound. Camoflage uniforms that are anything but

by Rashmee

Posted on June 22, 2017


Anyone – American or not – who has considered the US war in Afghanistan would have the vague suspicion that it’s a profligate affair. And if, like me, you’ve actually seen some of the operation close up – ie from the US Embassy in Kabul – you know that it’s immoderate. I still remember walking … Continue reading “A row of Gazebos on US Embassy Kabul compound. Camoflage uniforms that are anything but”

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Hard to believe now, but Yemen once had a golden age of legendary achievement

by Rashmee

Posted on February 17, 2017


Next month, it will be two years since the Saudis started to bomb Yemen. Will the ‘war’, if this largely one-sided punishment of civilians can be strictly called a ‘war’, continue into a third year? I was next door (figuratively speaking) to the ‘war’ when it began. A great show was made of the bravery … Continue reading “Hard to believe now, but Yemen once had a golden age of legendary achievement”

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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