Monthly Archives: March 2016

Istanbul and Brussels; IS and Us

On Saturday night, my partner and I were out in Izmir. As Turkey’s third largest city – a bustling port with a deserved reputation for political, artistic and intellectual activity, with three universities and a population of four million people – Izmir is generally a lively night out. But on Saturday, we walked through almost deserted streets, past bars which were largely without customers, and many more which had closed early or not opened at … Continue reading

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Libya, the international community and the risk of spiralling chaos

On Saturday night, the body charged with delivering a new Libyan government announced it had ‘a green light’ for the government to start work, and that it intended to take power in Libya. There were only two problems. First, it made the announcement from Tunisia, where it sits because Libya’s two powerless and illegitimate governments, backed by heavily-armed and ruthless illegal militias, remain in Libya itself. Second, it actually had nothing like a ‘green light’ … Continue reading

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March into madness – European chaos, and a tentative Syrian ceasefire

February 29 2016 was not the greatest day in European history. Fewer than two months into the new year, and just six months since the last time a European government’s police fired on unarmed men, women and children at its border, desperate people fleeing violence and terror had, once again, cast the world’s richest political bloc into political, legal and practical chaos. In its West, police fired teargas at refugees at the Jungle camp, near … Continue reading

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