With the latest terrorist tragedy in Tunisia however, ordinary Brits are looking at their holiday itineraries and realising that totally "safe" destinations are becoming increasingly scarce. So I thought I might use my vast experience in these things to help out. I'll go through some options and have a look at a couple of places that you might be considering for your next break. I'll be like the Foreign Office but... better.
Ancient Greece was not only the birthplace of democracy, but also a deathbed of reason when a jury of 500 citizens condemned Socrates to die by hemlock poisoning for his impious attitude toward the order of the day. Defiant to the end, the philosopher voluntarily drank the poison himself in a suicidal display of dignity. This weekend, Greek voters will decide in a referendum whether they will be force-fed more painful austerity, imposed by the jury of other European democracies, or, like Socrates, administer their own poison in a "no" vote that will likely push Greece out of the eurozone. Tragedy, too, such as we are witnessing today, had its origins in early Greek drama. Nobel Laureate Joe Stiglitz and Martin Guzman argue that Greece will be better off administering the poison by its own hand. As they point out by examining the Argentine default in 2001, there is "life after debt and default." Manolis Glezos, the elderly firebrand of Syriza, writes from Athens that, in a democracy, "the people are the measure" of their fate. (continued)
Liberation movements want a place at the table. The Islamic State, on the other hand, wants to destroy the table. The Islamic State isn't simply an insurgency. Though it certainly aspires to overthrow the current regimes in Damascus and Baghdad, it doesn't have any particular attachment to this territory. It maintains a warm spot for the holy sites in Saudi Arabia. Otherwise, it doesn't care about national boundaries.
There is a HUGE piece missing in making it possible for these women and men to save as many lives and support the rebuilding of as many families and communities as possible. That missing piece is education.
Arab media face major hardships with journalists on the receiving end of gross violations at the hands of authorities, armed groups, militias and others.
While many facts surrounding the Imam Sadiq Mosque attack remain unknown to the public, there is much to say about the context in which Daesh targeted Kuwait and the challenges that Kuwaiti officials face in terms of thwarting future Wahhabi terrorist attacks.
The world today is a supremely dangerous place for the United States and it's friends. And it's likely to get worse before it gets worse. But to end as I began: the United States has much to celebrate on the domestic front.
President Obama made history when he removed Cuba from the list of countries that are sponsors of terrorism, but not for the reason one might think. The list really has more to do with domestic politics and foreign policy objectives that have had little to do with terrorism.
In the Golan Heights, an Isreali hospital 30 kilometers from the Syrian border treats wounded Syrians from the bloody civil war happening there. Some of them children.
When I think about Syria, I'm overcome with emotion remembering the countless stories of children affected by the country's ongoing conflict. It is truly a tragedy.
It's complicated, and we face a huge challenge to attract greater funds for schooling and teaching in conflict. But that shouldn't scare us off. The needs are huge, and we must use that as inspiration, rather than as a barrier, to our ambitions. Education cannot wait in times of an emergency. We have no time to lose.
It is gratifying that Christian media have taken more and more space in the media flow but I would like to see more, those who work in the so-called mainstream media or the public service, to come out of the closet and "admit" that they are Christians.
Turkey is headed in a dangerous direction, toward a corrupt, authoritarian state. The country needs an Arab Spring of sorts, but within the democratic process. An electoral revolution, not a street putsch. The use of the rule of law to end an illiberal government. The ballot box must make political power accountable.
A flood of desperate refugees from across the Mediterranean and the related surge of indignant fringe parties, including now from iconic, self-satisfied Denmark, are battering the discredited political establishment in Europe. Writing from London, Mark Leonard argues that the contest in Europe today is not between right and left; it is a revolt of the left behind masses against the "cosmopolitan" and "metrosexual" elites. Martin Schulz, the president of the European Parliament, says in an interview that what Europe needs is "pragmatic solutions, not big debates" when resolving the Greek financial crisis. (continued)
This is not mere ancient history. It is playing out today, and not just in the consequences of British (or French, or German, or American) imperial misadventures. It informs our Western portrayal of the "East" and our understanding of its peoples. We still see ourselves as the civilized world, the bearers of universal values. And we still portray the "East" as less civilized, more prone to violence, less respectful of human life and liberty.
Many of our post-apocalyptic stories -- Mad Max, The Road, World War Z -- feature desperate people on the move in a friendless and resource-poor environment. That's "reality" at the Cineplex. Unfortunately, it looks a lot like the reality of a refugee.