Author: George Grant

26 Jan 2012

Libya Torture Reports a Major Cause for Concern

The aid agency Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) has halted its work in detention centres in Misurata, citing torture of detainees by Libyan authorities as the reason why. According to MSF’s General Director, Christopher Stokes, “Patients were brought to us for medical care between interrogation sessions, so that they would be fit for further interrogation.” Reports … Continued

19 Jan 2012

Someone Give Cristina Kirchner a Copy of the UN Charter

As the 30th Anniversary of the 1982 conflict between Britain and Argentina approaches, the Falklands dispute is yet again making waves. There has been little respite in the increasingly bellicose huffing and puffing emitting from Buenos Aires in recent months, levelling accusations of colonialism at Britain on account of its retention of ‘Las Malvinas’, over … Continued

13 Jan 2012

At last. A story out of Afghanistan that’s music to the ears.

Amidst the seemingly endless conflict that continues to define Afghanistan, both in actuality and in the eyes of the world, it is encouraging to read a story once in a while that documents how some people, somewhere in the country, are actually just getting on with their lives. As Afghanistan continues its efforts to contain … Continued

05 Jan 2012

Pressure Builds on Iran as EU Targets Tehran’s Economic Jugular

The EU’s proposed embargo on Iranian oil exports represents a significant development in the effort to curb Tehran’s nuclear intentions. This is a high-risk strategy, but the right one. For years, European and other Western leaders have been applying economic sanctions on Iran in an hitherto forlorn effort to compel the regime to desist in … Continued

13 Dec 2011

The Bigger Question about Europe

For understandable reasons, the present debate about Europe’s future is intensely inward-looking. The larger question is what sort of power in the global arena Europe could, or should, be? Amidst all the recrimination over Britain’s decision to opt-out of the latest EU Treaty Change, there remains a bigger question that needs to be asked, namely what should Europe’s role … Continued

02 Dec 2011

Whoever wins, Egypt’s Christians look set to lose

Results from the first stage of Egypt’s Parliamentary elections are due this evening, and everyone’ is expecting the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), running as the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), to do very well. Given that the MB were the only serious and organised opposition force under former President Hosni Mubarak, this is hardly surprising. Should … Continued

01 Dec 2011

John Baron MP has got it wrong on Iran

John Baron MP has got it very wrong on Iran. Writing on ConservativeHome this morning, the Honourable Member for Basildon and Billericay not only questioned whether the Iranian regime is in fact developing a nuclear weapon as determinedly as everyone believes, but also defended its reasons for doing so. Extraordinary. And yet not. I vividly recall … Continued

22 Nov 2011

Try Saif Gaddafi Inside Libya

With the International Criminal Court (ICC) in Libya today to discuss the fate of Saif Gaddafi and Abdullah al-Senussi, there is much more at stake than merely whether these men should be tried in The Hague or in Libya. Without question, it is imperative that both men receive a fair trial, but for the ICC … Continued

22 Nov 2011

Saif Gaddafi should be put on trial in Libya

Today, prosecutors from the International Criminal Court (ICC) meet with Libya’s National Transitional Government (NTC), to discuss the fate of Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, son of late Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, along with Abdullah al-Senussi, his former intelligence chief. Both men are wanted by the court on charges of crimes against humanity, allegedly perpetrated against … Continued

02 Nov 2011

Between St Peter’s Rock and a Hard Place

St Paul’s Cathedral has been widely panned for its weak and divided response to the “Occupy London” protests, and it’s not hard to see why. Whether the Cathedral’s Chapter force the protesters to leave, or allow them to stay, their reputation will not emerged in any state other than badly damaged. To simply capitulate and … Continued

30 Oct 2011

The paucity of the “99 per cent”

  A week may be a long time in politics, but it is no time at all in protest. As the inhabitants of Parliament Square have demonstrated, even a decade is as nothing so long as you have a constantly morphing cause, a council with no balls, and a small but steady stream of acolytes. … Continued

26 Oct 2011

The Islamists are coming (?!)

The supposed ascendancy of Islamists in Tunisia and Libya in recent weeks has generated much hand-wringing in the West and cause for concern. In Tunisia, the Islamist party Ennahda triumphed over more left-wing secularists in elections this month, although they failed to win an outright majority. In Libya, meanwhile, comments over the weekend by the … Continued

22 Oct 2011

The End of a Delusion

The sight of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi blood-stained and bewildered, pulled around by a crowd in the final moments of his life is not a sight that will cause much pity. For more than four decades he had none for those Libyans whom he repressed and killed — anymore than he had for the victims on … Continued

19 Oct 2011

Pro-Israel? Time for a British media Fox hunt

A lot has been said in recent weeks about Liam Fox, and very little of it is true. It may well be, as Fox himself has said, that he “blurred the lines”. It may be that he made a serious error in not formalising Adam Werritty’s role. But he was also the subject of a … Continued

13 Oct 2011

A Western ‘Arab Spring’? Don’t get me started.

You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone. A true saying, but one all too often forgotten. There is no doubt that many good people across the Western world are going through hard times at present. A mixture of massive government over-spending during the boom years of the past decade-and-a-half combined with a culture … Continued

06 Oct 2011

Spirit of the Nation

“That’s the spirit!” he exclaims. “If nothing else works, a total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face will see us through”. So concludes General Melchett, in a memorable rejoinder to Lieutenant George’s refusal to believe that, having crashed behind German lines, Captain Blackadder is almost certainly dead. Many, doubtless, will see much the … Continued

29 Sep 2011

Unwatchable

It isn’t often that I support shock-tactics for the purpose of raising awareness about serious issues. Unwatchable, a highly graphic short film that seeks to highlight the shocking prevalence of rape as a weapon of war in the DR Congo, is a notable exception to that rule. In just over six minutes, the film charts, in … Continued

27 Sep 2011

Wielding Britannia’s dented shield

In the business world they call it the “affirming evidence bias”; the tendency to pick-and-choose pieces of evidence that reaffirm a pre-existing point of view. It would not only be hypocritical, but downright untrue, to pretend that I myself am not infected with this dangerous malaise. To a greater or lesser extent we all are, … Continued

23 Sep 2011

Stick that in your UN resolution and smoke it

For a man who entered office showing all the signs of a confirmed isolationist (at least insofar as questions of state sovereignty and human rights are concerned), David Cameron has made a remarkable turn. He is not alone. It is becoming something of a trait amongst contemporary British and American leaders to enter office promising to … Continued

30 Aug 2011

Still mad, still bad, still murderously dangerous to know

Anyone harbouring doubts about the sheer ghastliness of the Gaddafi regime should have had a rude awakening in the last 48 hours. Reports are now emerging of the true scale of the horrors inflicted on Tripoleans by the Gaddafi regime in its last throws, a reminder that even with political power now lost, this regime … Continued

25 Aug 2011

Special Forces in Libya: A Breach of UNSCR 1973?

An interesting report in today’s Daily Telegraph regarding the presence of foreign Special Forces in Libya who, it is claimed, “played a key role in coordinating the fall of Tripoli”. Already, the revelation of their presence – which should come as absolutely no surprise – is causing unease, not least with regards to the question of whether … Continued

25 Aug 2011

NATO has proved the doubters wrong

NATO has protected Libya’s citizens effectively and can be rightly proud of its actions, writes George Grant. They said that airpower alone would never prove sufficient to dislodge Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi without the presence of international troops on the ground. Events over the past 48 hours have proven that analysis to be patently false. Disclosures … Continued

25 Aug 2011

Special Forces in Libya: A Breach of UNSCR 1973?

An interesting report in today’s Daily Telegraph regarding the presence of foreign Special Forces in Libya who, it is claimed, “played a key role in coordinating the fall of Tripoli”. Already, the revelation of their presence – which should come as absolutely no surprise – is causing unease, not least with regards to the question of whether … Continued

21 Aug 2011

Preparing for Post-Gadhafi Libya

Moammar Gadhafi is surrounded in Tripoli. Over the weekend, rebel forces secured the town of Zawiyah, a strategically vital staging post 30 miles west of Tripoli, on the coastal road connecting the Libyan capital with Tunisia. Last Monday, the rebels took Garyan, which controls the highway leading south to Algeria. To the east lies Misrata, … Continued

05 Aug 2011

Time Could be Running Out in Libya

Reports of increasing sectarianism amongst the ranks of the Libyan opposition, set against the backdrop of a regime in Tripoli that refuses to let go, could spell real trouble for the future of the revolution in Libya. As aReuters analysis puts it, “the rebels” is a handy phrase, but in reality there are now as many … Continued

29 Jul 2011

A Dangerous Move, but the Right One

The British Government’s decision to recognise the Libyan Transitional National Council (TNC) as the legitimate government of Libya has drawn praise, surprise and condemnation in unequal measure. As the critics rightly point out, the TNC has no more democratic legitimacy than the Libyan regime in terms of elections won, though as Our Man in Benghazi, … Continued

HJS



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