War on Terror

Algiers Diary, Wars of Destruction and Communist Histories

Submitted by admin on Wed, 01/04/2017 - 23:43

Algiers Diary

 

Dear Friends,

Above, a picture from the Casbah of Algiers, with children running playfully down some steps, chasing each other. They are a long way away from the French colonial period and from the 'Black Decade' of the 1990s, and yet around them linger not only the signs of those periods but also their structural residues.

In Frontline this week I have a diary on my wanderings through Algiers and my wonderings about Algerian history. The key moment that focused my thoughts was a chance encounter with a young boy named Akram. I asked him a benign question, which could not remain at the l

Colombia, Afghanistan

Submitted by admin on Wed, 10/05/2016 - 22:25
Street art in Bogota
Street art in Bogota

 

Dear Friends,

The referendum in Colombia on the peace deal failed by a very narrow margin. My report - derivative of the mood in the country - appeared yesterday in The Hindu. The takeaway is in the last paragraph,

  • Gloom prevails across the country. If the vote had gone the other way, Colombia might have shown the world that even intractable civil wars can come to an end. It would have been a message to Syria and to the Congo, a message of the power of negotiation towards a new civic compact. But this did not come to pass. Even as President Santos and the FARC leadersh

Aerial Bombardment

Submitted by admin on Fri, 08/12/2016 - 10:51

Dresden (Germany) 1945

 

Dear Friends,

In Afghanistan the Taliban makes major gains, while in Yemen the talks with the Saudis have broken down. Roads to peace are blocked.

In Alternet this week I have an essay on the great futility of aerial bombardment. The last paragraph runs,

  • The monstrous anger of the guns continues. Space for a peace process desiccates. The Saudi-Yemen discussions fell apart on Sunday, while the Syrian peace process lifts few hopes. There is no real conversation towards peace in Afghanistan or Libya. Hope in aerial bombardment as the prophylactic for peace is absurd. It has given us instab