As one "War on Terror," draws to an end, so starts another. The upcoming withdrawal of British forces from Afghanistan should force our politicians to reflect, largely on the utter futility of combating societal and religious problems with bombs. Old habits die hard. Not having learnt that virtually every Western intrusion into the Middle East ends in disaster, parliament's acquiescence to David Cameron's demand that Britain join the fight against ISIS proves our foreign policy is created in a historical vacuum.
Islamic State's blood-thirstiness has been much commented on, as has its use of modern technology. Posting videos of a man issuing threats before killing a hostage ... this is the "new normal" for Islamic State comms, but somehow it's exercised a strange power over many western commentators and politicians.
Ayatollah Nimr represents the Shiite stand against Wahabbism, and the Islamic bow he uses to launch tirade after tirade against the regime only makes this conflict more cogent. His words, and fate empower the path for Shiite communities in the region and beyond. However this may not be the only role he assumes.
Upon leaving the meeting and re-entering the real world we were treated to a sub-standard packed lunch and a shuttle bus back to the train station. What is clear is that Carr and the rest of the board has bought into their own propaganda and a dystopian world-view in which strengthening tyrants is a way to bring peace and stability, and where the human consequences of war have nothing whatsoever to do with those who provide the weapons.
2014 looks set to be a year for landmark elections. India's having a really long one, Ukraine's looking at a fairly awkward one and Syria's going to have a predictable one. But come next month, all eyes will be on Egypt, as the country seeks closure to the Arab Spring in the form of its very own presidential elections.
This week, the WWE has been holding shows in the capital of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh. John Cena, Randy Orton and some 30 others have been performing across the three-day tour. This is the first time the franchise has held matches in the country since its Middle East debut in Egypt in 2012. Subsequent events were held in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates...