Author Archives: Rory O'Keeffe

Cameron’s Folly: Libya, and the importance of looking forward

  (image shows Cameron and Sarkozy on their ‘victory’ visit to Libya, 15 September 2011, and the Sirte they created, at around the same time)   ‘Your friends in Britain and France will stand with you as you build your country and build your democracy for the future.’ David Cameron, address to the Libyan people, 15 September 2011. ‘(the UK government had) no proper idea what was going to happen, no proper understanding of Libya … Continue reading

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NATO, Libya and when ‘support’ is nothing of the sort…

On 8 July, as part of their international conference in Warsaw, NATO leaders are set to agree a ‘support mission’ for Libya and the Mediterranean. Parts of what is proposed – including, in the words of NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow ‘supporting Libya in building its defence institutions…’ – are not, on the face of it, either negative or especially controversial (though even this proposal is weighed down with a litany of previous fault … Continue reading

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The 10,000: the bitter result of our failure on refugees

It was sadly under-reported in UK media, but on 7 June 2016, the world reached an horrific milestone: 10,000 men, women and children have died in the Mediterranean sea since the start of the international refugee crisis. In short, we have succeeded in turning a shared holiday resort – used by Europeans, Africans and people from the Middle East alike – into a mass grave. The generally agreed date at which the international refugee crisis … Continue reading

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‘Africa’s Pinochet’, Ronald Reagan and death at sea: Chad and Libya, past and present

It is 19 June 1987. In the White House, the leader of the free world, Ronald Reagan, turns, smiling, toward his guest. Hissene Habre, dictator of Chad, dressed in traditional Tebu costume and leaning back in his chair, returns the leader of the free world’s grin. Reagan is not unusual: every politician has a photo – most more than one – which can be used to damn them. But on Monday (30 May 2016), almost … Continue reading

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