Tag Archives: Rory O’Keeffe

War? Well, not really…

Last week (29 June) UK Prime Minister David Cameron spoke in Parliament for almost two hours about the killing of 38 people by a gunman in the Tunisian resort of Sousse. Before we look at what he said – or any of the related details – we should start with a couple of disclaimers. First of all, I am not Russell Brand: I do not believe that it’s hypocrisy to hold a brief silence to … Continue reading

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Too little: and how it can be better than too much

On Friday, the EU announced an agreement which had apparently taken ‘until the early hours’ to achieve: it would care for 60,000 people who had fled war, terror, poverty and unnecessary death. It’s hard to imagine how this could possibly have taken so long, for several reasons. First, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has asked that every state in the developed world should take 20,000 Syrian refugees (the UK has taken 187. … Continue reading

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Ramadan: communication, and ‘gifts’ from above

This week – on Thursday 18 June – Ramadan began across the Muslim world. Lasting either 29 or 30 days (based on the sightings of the crescent moon, which symbolises the start and end of the lunar month – this year Ramadan lasts 29 days, until 16 July), it is the holiest month of the Muslim year, and centres around the date on which Mohammed is said to have received the first revelation of the … Continue reading

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It’s called a ‘parliament’ because…

At the end of last week, a cartoon graphic appeared on social media sites of a handshake in front of the Libyan flag. Under the headline ‘Together for Peace in Libya’ the text reads ‘We will be highlighting in the next few days the importance of reaching a peaceful settlement in Libya as soon as possible, given the worsening security and economic conditions in the country. The aim is to explain the importance of the … Continue reading

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Update: Crisis Management: Shutting the Door on the Mediterranean

On Tuesday, I posted a piece in which I described the EU’s response to more than 1,300 people drowning in the Mediterranean as being similar to it ‘emerging from a cave, clutching a half-brick’. At that point, there were still two days before the EU was to announce its final decision. My expectations were low, and today those expectations have been entirely vindicated.

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Enemies of the State

While the world’s focus in the last two weeks has correctly been on the fates of people passing through Libya, within the state something sinister is beginning. Early last week, two embassies in Tripoli, the nation’s capital, were attacked with bombs and firearms. Bombing Embassies is nothing new in Libya: six months ago, for example, the diplomatic mission HQs of Egypt and the UAE were bombed in Tripoli (though the attacks took place while both … Continue reading

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Crisis Management: Shutting the Door on the Mediterranean

What the world needed was a subtle, considered approach to a complex and emotionally fraught situation. What the EU has brought to the table instead is a sledgehammer and a net. In the last eight days, 1,300 people have drowned in the Mediterranean, a situation correctly described as ‘Europe’s Shame’ by newspapers across the globe.

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Mare Nostrum: Our Sea, or, The Mediterranean and what it means

In the last week, 1,100 people have drowned in the Mediterranean. There are no circumstances under which that fact can be ‘massaged’ into acceptability. No situation in which one can rationalise away the mass drowning of human beings, perhaps by asking questions about who they were, and what they were doing on the boats that led them to their deaths.

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