A Brief History of Sanctions

Yesterday the combined forces of Russia and China vetoed the already weakened UN Security Council Resolution which would have put in place the legal permission for sanctions against Syria.  The fallout to this has been immediate and (considering the usual diplomatic guff about “not necessarily to our advantage”) shockingly blunt.  Alain Juppé in particular, speaking yesterday, insisted that France was still going to implement sanctions, and a number of other Western nations have expressed similar intentions.  As a curious side note, Turkey’s move to ditch a hostile Europe and once again take charge of its role in the Arab world, … Continue reading A Brief History of Sanctions

The Graveyard of Empires

A few days ago I read a very surprising article by Robert Fisk, usually a journalist I admire and respect (as much for his political analysis as for his references to Tony Blair as ‘Lord Blair of Esfahan’), which essentially called for intervention in Syria. Thankfully, the Western appetite for yet another Middle Eastern military excursion seems to have been whetted for quite a considerable time – Hague et al. are, with a shocking self-awareness, saying that there is a limited amount they can do – with no thanks to our steadfast refusal to look at the lessons of history.  … Continue reading The Graveyard of Empires