North American Book Launches: First Stop Toronto

Here’s the flyer for the first of a series of events scheduled in January to launch my new book in North America: pending release by U.S. customs, the N. American edition will shortly be available throughout the continent via Oxford University Press (OUP). Ben McNally’s Bookstore, Toronto, 12 January, 6-8pm. All welcome!

Paris’s Bataclan Generation: “This is our struggle, not yours”

Here’s a really stimulating piece examining French youth attitudes in the aftermath of the November terror attacks on Paris – attacks that as author, novelist and long-time Parisian resident Lucy Wadham points out, essentially involved young French people of one background and disposition – immigrant, radicalised Islamist – targeting French youth of another milieu and persuasion – multi-cultural, adherents of classical French republican ideas candidly expressed through the inclusive prism of the république contemporaine. (Unlike President Hollande’s dominant soixante-huitarde political class who are, Wadham argues, fundamentally out of touch with the implications of contemporary economic and political developments for the… More

Why people move: understanding drivers and trends of migration to Europe

A dinghy overcrowded with Syrian refugees drifting in the Aegean Sea at sunrise after its motor broke down off the Greek island of Kos. Photo: Yannis Behrakis This just in. Some essential Christmas reading: Why people move: understanding the drivers and trends of migration to Europe December 2015. Clare Cummings, Julia Pacitto, Deletta Lauro and Marta Foresti look at why it is time for an effective and durable policy response to the current ‘migration crisis’ in Europe. Such a response, however, requires a better and broader understanding of what drives people to migrate in the first place. There is much… More

Sein und Zeit

A thought prompted by a recent tweet I enountered. Imagine if the English-language title of Heidegger’s masterpiece really HAD been ‘Being On Time’. Would that mean that those of use who generally aren’t would have read said work by now . . . . ? Stuff on the real thing here:

Meanwhile in Baghdad , , ,

Just now I find myself  @ the Racheed Hotel, located inside Baghdad’s so-called ‘Green Zone’. An Iranian fighter pilot’s devestating early 1980s suicide crash into the building: pre- 2003 US invasion, George W. Bush’s face as a stomping ground for hotel visitor’s shoes. All in all, there’s quite a history to the place . . . .  

Bombing Isis is not enough – we’ll need to talk to them too

Here’s a useful think piece from Jonathan Powell arguing strongly that Western governments need both to understand and accept that sooner or later, dialogue with ISIS will become necessary. And that given that fact, they might as well start to outline a strategy for talking to Deash – not simply demonising and bombing them. Powell’s argument here builds on the thesis of his new book Talking To Terrorists: How To End Armed Conflicts and beyond that, his own centre-stage involvement in the Blair government’s secret talks, and eventually open negotiations with, the IRA and other parties aimed at achieving a… More

‘RAF to look for any unbombed bits of Syria’

I was going to post this piece of Daily Mash political satire 2 days ago. And now it seems even more appropriate. DAVID Cameron has called on Britain to flatten the last remaining bumpy bits of Syria. Making his case for British airstrikes against ISIS, the prime minister told the House of Commons there was an outside lavatory 15 miles from Aleppo that still has its roof attached. He added: “It stands there, being a toilet, brazenly defying our values. If not now, when?” The prime minster then listed seven other small buildings across Syria that remain structurally sound, including… More

‘Raqqa is being Slaughtered Silently’

From a BBC news report this morning: ‘Raqqa is being Slaughtered Silently’ says a citizen journalist group in the IS stronghold The group said on Twitter that it opposed UK bombing raids. “We are against the UK strikes on Raqqa. All the world is bombing Raqqa and the UK will not make any change in the situation. If the UK wants to help people then it should accept Syrian refugees and not close the border. “Just bombing IS in Raqqa from the sky will not defeat IS, but it will make people suffer more. IS will use the UK strikes… More