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commonwealth of nations flag Global conflict 

Commonwealth v UN and a bankrupt culture of impunity

This week, 53 Commonwealth heads of government are meeting in London for their biennial conference. Cue attacks on the Commonwealth as a useless relic of discredited imperialism and supine monarchism. The Commonwealth is attractive to countries that are not aggressive but value freedom and security. The UN is morally bankrupt. It is not fit for purpose. It never will be while it treats human rights abusers as legitimate members and allows them to operate with impunity. What we need instead is a United Democratic Nations which treats dictators as pariahs….

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putin-and-assad-weekend Global conflict 

The weekend bombing of the Syrian chemical facilities

So what did the weekend bombing of three chemical weapons facilities inside Syria achieve? Well, if what we are being told is true, it knocked out three Syrian chemical weapons facilities. That’s good. This may have set back, maybe seriously, Syria’s capacity to use chemical weapons.That’s good, maybe very good. So is that good enough? No way. Let’s ask a different question. What was the strategic aim of the weekend’s bombing raid? According to our three motivated musketeers, Trump, Macron and May, it was to deliver the message that the…

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Russia President Putin and Queen, 2003 Global conflict 

Britain must wean itself off Russia’s dirty money

Vladimir Putin has been elected president of Russia for a fourth term amid gloating claims that his turnout was boosted by Britain’s furious reaction to the poisoning in Salisbury of Sergei and Yulia Skripal. The 2006 murder in London by radioactive polonium poisoning of the former spy Alexander Litvinenko has been followed by a string of deaths in Britain of Putin’s enemies, for which the stock explanation of natural causes strains credulity. Now Britain is shocked — shocked! — that a military-grade nerve agent produced only by Russia has been…

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Kremlin west Global conflict 

West pays the price for its decades of folly

What’s that deafening noise of squawking and screeching and flapping that we can now hear all around us? Why, it’s the West’s chickens finally coming home to roost. In Britain, a retired Russian spy and his daughter, Sergei and Yulia Skripal, remain critically ill in hospital after being poisoned earlier this month in the quiet cathedral city of Salisbury by a rare, military- grade and deadly nerve agent. Skripal was a double agent who had worked for British intelligence. The poison used against him reportedly could only have been produced…

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peace in our time Global conflict 

War, North Korea and the art of the deal

One of the many wonders of progressive folk is their, ah, flexibility. It’s an article of faith for the modern progressive that war must be avoided at all costs. War is uncivilised, barbaric, a throwback to a brutal past and never solves anything (yes yes, I know, presumably Nazi Germany wasn’t solved either…). Instead of war we must substitute conflict resolution, negotiation, soft power. That’s why the supremely civilised EU and the even more supremely civilised UK have downgraded their military capacity. So should an enemy (let’s pick as an…

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chamberlain-rolls-the-world-towards-peace-punch-1938 Global conflict 

The west’s darkest hour

There have been extraordinary scenes in cinemas throughout the United Kingdom. People have leapt to their feet in standing ovations, and grown men have been weeping. The source of the emotion? The wartime speeches of Winston Churchill in the movie “The Darkest Hour.” It’s not just because of Gary Oldman’s tremendous performance as the former prime minister. The movie has touched something very deep in the British psyche: the call to summon all one’s courage and resolution to defend their nation. Showing how the nation’s previous prime minister, Neville Chamberlain,…

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Iran Global conflict 

The Iranian uprising and Europe’s shameful silence

The Iranian uprising and Europe’s silence In all the years of anxiety over what to do about the greatest sponsor of global terrorism, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the hope has been that the Iranian people would overthrow the brutal theocracy that has subjugated them. The past week has seen the most significant popular uprising in Iran since the regime took power in 1979. Mass demonstrations erupted in an unprecedented spread across the country. At least 22 demonstrators have been killed and more than 1000 arrested. Now the head of…

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iran-protests-december-30-2017 Global conflict 

The Iranian uprising

What’s happening in Iran is of the greatest significance. Thousands of anti-regime demonstrators have taken to the streets now for four days in protest. Reports suggest that at least twelve people have been killed by government troops. It is hard to over-estimate the courage of those demonstrators. The scale and scope of these demonstrations across Iran is unprecedented: estimates suggest they have been occurring in at least 30 cities, including some places long deemed to be the regime’s power base. With President Hassan Rouhani acknowledging economic “grievances”, a “lack of…

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un-general-assembly Global conflict 

The UN theatre of hatred

Many people are understandably baffled by the recent UN vote condemning President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Since such a vote has zero practical effect, they ask, what was the point of it? Well indeed. As the American ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said in her barnstorming response, America will still be moving its embassy to Jerusalem regardless of the UN’s opinion. The resolution didn’t need to have any practical import. It was merely part of the UN’s theatre of hatred, the malevolent campaign it has waged…

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grand-mufti-saudi-arabia-abdul-aziz-al-sheikh Global conflict 

Is this too good to be true?

According to the Turkish Anadolu news agency, reported here, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Abdul Aziz al Sheikh, has issued a quite remarkable religious ruling. Answering a question on TV about the Palestinian Arab riots over Temple Mount last July, he didn’t merely denounce Hamas as a “terror organisation”. Much more significantly he actually issued a fatwa, or religious ruling, forbidding war against the Jews; and he said that fighting against Israel was inappropriate. How can this be anything other than highly significant? Sheikh Abdul Aziz is not exactly a…

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