Monthly Archives: December 2015

Libya and Syria, and the definition of ‘agreement’

When is a political agreement not a political agreement? When it is neither political, nor an agreement. As jokes go, it may not be the best you’ll hear in the next few days (though in the UK, at least, the standards of Christmas cracker gags vary wildly enough that it might), but despite many representations to the contrary, it’s a pretty accurate description of Libya’s last eight days.

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The birth of a Spring: five years on, has the Arab Spring succeeded?

Five years ago today, on 18 December 2010, an uprising in Tunisia began, marking the ‘official’ first moments of what became known as the Arab Spring. In fact, the street protests were in themselves a response to the self-immolation of 26 year-old Tunisian Tarek el Tayeb Mohamed Bouazizi, itself caused by unjustifiable mistreatment by police and insufferable economic and social hardship which were, in turn, caused by a range of things including – but not … Continue reading

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Home and Away: the international community and progress in Libya

While the UK’s attention has been understandably focused on Syria in recent weeks, life – good and bad – continues elsewhere. And recent political and military developments regarding Libya have exemplified both the good and the bad at national and international level.

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Eternal warfare: the Syrian campaign nobody wants

To be honest, I’m not really entirely sure why I am writing this. It’s not to insult/castigate/howl at our political class. Though it’s tempting, and I engaged in a bit of it last night when the Commons vote on Syria was announced, it would do little good, now.

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The impulse to act: Syria, and the case against bombing IS

              On  Wednesday 2nd  December Parliament will vote on whether to extend its bombing campaign in the Middle East from Iraq to Syria. It’s an extraordinarily bad idea.

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