Posts Tagged

National Security

As the Arab Spring continues to reverberate through the countries of the Islamic Middle East, attention has now turned to the impoverished Arabian Peninsula state of Yemen.  There the popular rising against President Ali Abdallah Saleh’s regime that began last February, inspired by events in Tunisia and Egypt, is now rapidly descending into a bloody civil war.   In a country where every second person owns a gun, the escalation of violence has been gradual but deadly.  Hundreds have been killed during September in heavy fighting on the streets of the capital Sana’a, as forces loyal to the government have sought to violently suppress street protests.  In response, army units that have defected are protecting the protestors.  As these well-armed military formations …

In the past couple of days, Germany and Canada have joined the group of countries that have declared that they consider the National Transitional Council (NTC) in to be the “legitimate representative” of the Libyan people. But what exactly does this mean? According to the BBC, the group of countries extending this recognition includes France, the UK, Italy, Spain, Germany, the UAE, Qatar, Jordan, Gambia, Senegal and Australia. Russia and the United States have had meetings with the NTC and have also made similar declarations about the illegitimacy of the Gaddafi regime and about the legitimacy of the NTC (see previous post by Stefan Talmon on the US position in March). What are the legal implications, if any, of these …

Tony Blair A Journey: My Political Life Knopf, 2010 720 Pages £35.00 ISBN 978-0307269836 “This shows what it’s like being Prime Minister. That’s exactly what the readers want to know. How does it feel to run a country? How does it feel to be so cut off? How does it feel to be so hated?” –  ”The Ghost” This is the obvious checklist for a political memoir, a genre which still manages to be notoriously boring. Tony Blair’s A Journey, though, purposefully evokes a sense of unceasing contingency about the life of the 51st British prime minister. His thematically organized memoir is a folksy, well-paced, and at times cinematic rendering of a decade in office begun in exhilaration and finished …