The Exile of Saad Hariri

When I heard that President Macron was ready to whisk Lebanon’s kidnapped prime minister to Paris with his family – victims of the gentlest hostage-taking in the history of Saudi Arabia – I couldn’t but recall what Saad Hariri said to me a few years after he first became Lebanon’s premier in 2009. I was sitting in …

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How the Saudi Plot to Topple the Lebanese Government Backfired

The Saudis may be holding the Lebanese Prime Minister hostage but their apparent plan to topple the Beirut government has gloriously backfired. Far from breaking up the cabinet and throwing Hezbollah’s ministers to the wolves, the Lebanese nation has suddenly woken up to what it’s like to be united – against the Saudis. The Lebanese …

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By Killing ISIS Fighters Instead of Bringing Them to Justice, We Become as Guilty as Our Enemies

A profoundly important, unprecedented and dangerous decision has been taken by European leaders in the past few days. It’s not made as explicit as it should be – because our leaders are always careful to erect a bodyguard of verbiage and lies to protect them if something goes wrong – but it’s perfectly clear that …

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Who Killed Russian Lieutenant General Valery Asapov in Syria?

The Russian air force arrived in Syria two years ago this week to save President Bashar al-Assad and his army. They succeeded. The Syrian army held out, albeit at the cost of (then) 56,000 of its soldiers. “We’re not going to have another Afghanistan here,” the Russians told everyone they met in Damascus. But of course, soon they would …

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Nikki Haley, Israel and Lebanon: When Ignorance is Not Bliss

Under a broiling hot midday sun on the south Lebanese-Israeli border this summer, an extraordinary and very angry meeting took place between two major generals: the 60-year-old Irish UN force commander in Lebanon and the 54-year-old deputy chief of staff of the Israeli army. Listening to them was the ambitious, pro-Israeli – but very inexperienced …

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Pig’s Blood Bullets: Trump’s Big Lie About the Philippines and US Massacre of Moro Muslims

I don’t know what the people of Barcelona think about Trump’s demented and repulsive tale of bullets and pig’s blood – but I know what Mark Twain would have said. He was the finest American political writer of his time – perhaps of all time – and he wrote with bitterness, sarcasm and disgust about the US …

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