By launching a broad military campaign against Ukraine today, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has also launched a strong assault against the norms of the sovereignty-based “world order” that has been in place since 1945– or even, one might say, since the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648. Of course, the post-1945 order has been majorly contravened … Continue reading Where to now, the “world order”?
(This is Part 4 in my series “Covid chronicles.” Click here for the earlier parts. Note that on that portal-page the blog-posts are presented in reverse-chronological order. The image above is Wuhan, February 2020, by Yihya Alali.) The coronavirus has affected just about every country in the world, though it has affected them all very … Continue reading Covid crisis brings new global influence for China?
The United Nations’ Special Envoy for Syria, Geir Pedersen, recently expressed confidence that the Syrian Constitutional Committee (SCC), a key gathering of representatives of the country’s government, opposition, and civil society, can convene as planned in Geneva, October 30. If this does occur-even with, perhaps a slippage of a few days-it could mark the beginning … Continue reading Can the Turkey-Russia Agreement Help Syrians End Their Civil War?
It is a time of great uncertainty in international affairs. U.S. troops are deploying to Saudi Arabia for the first time in 16 years, presaging an increasingly probable showdown with Iran. The Anglosphere is likely to soon see a second, intensely nationalistic and straw-maned populist rise to the seat of government. The U.S. president has … Continue reading Reviving Westphalia
Last month, a network of UK-based academics challenged allegations-which the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) officially corroborated on March 1-that the Syrian government used chemical weapons against civilians in the outer Damascus suburb of Douma in April 2018. The challenge came in the form of a 15-page assessment, apparently prepared by a … Continue reading Did Assad Really Use Chemical Weapons in Douma?
Berkeley, CA, February 26 — How weird is it that Palestinians, Israelis, and the rest of the world have been agog for months, awaiting the launch of a new “peace process” from a young, seldom successful real-estate developer named Jared Kushner? There are many different levels at which this is weird. First, it’s very strange that, though … Continue reading The curious case of US domination of Palestine-Israel peacemaking