Image from Foreign Affairs, July/August 2021 Issue.

(1)A Line of trees to break the wind

(2)And beyond them other

(3)Lines of trees

(4)And beyond them other

(5)Lines of trees

(6)And now the sea and the lines made by the waves

(7)And now the sea and the lines made by the waves

Lin Heng-t’ai. Modern Taiwanese poet known for his expressions of unique Taiwanese culture & identity. (NB.:The numbers at the beginning of each are for reference only).

The rapid economic growth of China over the past four decades has long led to the belief (in the West) that at some point it will attempt to reassert its…

His Danish team-mates put their own feelings & worries aside to shield their friend & colleague, Christian Eriksen, from the intrusive gaze of the media and the crowd.

Honour and greatness are two words that should signify the two of the loftier ideals in the achievements of men. Honour though, along with what it brings in baggage, is a word that seems to have gone out of fashion. To call anyone honourable, let alone a professional sportsperson, these days almost consigns them to a bygone age; it is not something sportspeople strive to be known for any longer. And yet it should be!

Yesterday, as Denmark took on Finland at the Covid-delayed 2020 European Champs, the Danish star, Christian Eriksen collapsed on the field and needed immediate and…

Egan Bernal rolls the dice & takes a huge win on Monday’s shortened stage in the Dolomites, riding into Cortina alone & strengthening his hold on the Maglia Rosa!

After his sensational Tour de France win in 2019 I couldn’t imagine anyone else getting close to Egan Bernal, the diminutive Colombian climber, for the next few years, such was the depth and manner of his victory.

He was young, only 22 at the time, and he surely had the cycling world at his feet!

Or so I thought. And I’m sure I wasn’t alone in that.

But then in 2020 it all fell apart. He was outpaced, out ridden and, in the end, dropped out, as another sensation, 21 year old Slovenian Tadej Pogacar trampled his countryman, Primoz Roglic…

Buddhist monks join pro-democracy protests in Myanmar which have been systematically and violently put down by the illegal military junta.

Democracy in Peril?

I don’t think I’m giving anything away if I say that Anne Applebaum, in the final pages of ‘Twilight of Democracy’ (1) suggests that the future of democracy could go either way; it could go well, or it could go badly wrong!

Democracy has always been a fragile entity; open to misuse, exploitation by bad or extremist actors, and most of all perhaps by failure, a basic inability to live up to its own ideals.

Since Donald Trump got elected in 2016 there has been much talk about how democracies everywhere are weakening or backsliding. Freedom House have confirmed this…

Rescuers carry Suzy Eshkuntana, 6 years old, as they pull her from the rubble of a building at the site of Israeli air strikes, in Gaza City, May 16th 2021. Picture from REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

‘…there is and always will be only one state between the river and the sea and (they, the Israelis & Palestinians, should) focus their efforts on making that state a viable home for all of the territory’s inhabitants, Jews and Arabs alike.’

This slightly edited quote above is from a 2019 Foreign Affairs article by Yousef Munayyar in which he suggests that a one state solution for Palestine and Israel is now the only viable or even possible option moving forward.

Since that was written much has happened in the region. So, in the midst of yet another flare-up of…

Gaza rockets fired towards Israel met with by the iron dome defence. From Haaretz.

The horrors and bloodshed occurring yet again in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank between the Israelis and the Palestinians have not lost any of their shock value. Time after time we have witnessed this multi-generational struggle tip over into conflict with deaths on both sides, but invariably and perhaps predictably, the brunt always being borne by Palestinian civilians.

Ilan Pappe, the Israeli historian and long time critic of his countries policies towards the Palestinians, says that since the turn of the century successive governments have made no attempt to hide ‘their racist ideology’ vis a vis their treatment and…

US troops on guard in Helmand Province. From the Washington Post.

In his Pulitzer Prize winning book The Looming Tower (1) Lawrence Wright tells how a crucial miscalculation by US commanders not to reinforce ground forces in November 2001 as they launched the first thunderous attacks on Tora Bora, Osama bin Laden’s fortified cave in the Afghan White Mountains, allowed bin Laden and a vital part of his entourage to escape across the border and into hiding in the Tribal Regions of Pakistan.

This miscalculation, though not foreseen at the time, cost the US and it’s NATO allies dear. It’s not just the money; though President Biden didn’t shy away on…

Peter Winn-Brown

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