Gaddafi, gold, Gaza
In this week’s podcast: Is the conflict in Libya finally coming to an end? The world’s new craze for gold; and, Gaza, renewed violence dashes hopes for ceasefire. Read more
Watching Oana Lungescu on the BBC’s Newsnight last night, I was grimly amused by a slip of the tongue from NATO’s spokesperson. Colonel Gaddafi, she proclaimed, was now “part of Libya’s blood-spattered future, I mean past.”
An unfortunate slip, which I will forebear from calling “Freudian”. Still, it does raise the question – is Nato close to saying “mission accomplished” in Libya; or is western involvement only just beginning? Read more
It was six months ago to this day that Muammer Gaddafi delivered his defiant rant against a popular rebellion, vowing to hunt down his opponents in every corner, inch by inch and, famously, “zenga (alleyway) by zenga.”
So hysterical was his outburst that it inspired a “zenga zenga” auto-tune that became all the rage in the liberated east of Libya, even though it was produced by an Israeli artist.
In the end, however, it was the fractious, rag-tag army of revolutionaries he had promised to pursue who swept, from zenga to zenga, into the leader’s stronghold of Tripoli, in a lightening journey that is drawing the curtain on his 42 year rule. Read more
Norway, Gaddafi, and high speed trains in China
In this week’s podcast: Terror in Norway: a lone attack or a signal that the far right is rising? Libya – what next for Gaddafi? And, China’s ambitions for high speed rail are dealt a blow. Read more
The idea that Colonel Gaddafi might go into “internal exile” in Libya sounds bizarre and unworkable. But I’m afraid it really is doing the rounds. And I gather it has actually been offered to Gaddafi as an option, by intermediaries, although so far he shows little sign of biting. Read more
In this week’s podcast: the essential relationship between the US and the UK; Spain on the edge of a sovereign debt crisis; stalemate in Libya – what next for the Arab spring; and, we look to the future for Japan’s energy policy post Fukushima Read more
In this week’s podcast: The threat to Yemen’s president; refugees and the Libyan crisis; and, shutting down the government in Washington Read more
The British military are in action in the skies above Libya. But today has also brought a couple of unwelcome examples of post-imperial overstretch.
First, came the story that the Ministry of Defence are trying to sell the Ark Royal, Britain’s aircraft carrier, using an online auction. Selling an unwanted parrot on E-Bay is one thing – but flogging off old warships on the internet seems a trifle undignified. Also, possibly, unwise – given that the coalition government seems to have developed a taste for conflict. The building of new aircraft carriers has been commissioned. But the next one will not come into service until 2020, which seems rather a long time, given the pace of current events. Read more
The war in Libya is about a lot more than Muammer Gaddafi. Its outcome will reverberate around the Middle East and will affect international politics for decades. A vital principle is at stake. Read more
As the Libyan rebels race along the coast towards Tripoli, foreign ministers from 35 nations are gathering in London to discuss what to do next. At least, I think that’s what they are doing. Talking to participants in the London conference, it isn’t entirely clear what the agenda is. Formally, they are establishing a “contact group” of 35 nations that can monitor and discuss the Libyan conflict. Informally, it seems to me there are several other goals. Read more