Today, faced with gloomy possibilities in Iraq that include the imminent disintegration of the Iraqi state... the Obama administration is once again considering air strikes as a policy option. And as Iraqi cities once again loom in the Imperium's bomb-sights, it's instructive to cast our eyes back on this less-than-glorious relationship between the United States, bombs and Iraq.
In an era of dreary politicians, the silver-tongued Blair continues to beguile us. He is the Cristiano Ronaldo of politics: slick, skilful, über-confident and astonishingly arrogant... Is he mad or bad? Deluded or dishonest? It no longer matters. Blair's reputation lies in tatters. More than half of Brits believe their former prime minister was wrong to invade Iraq; one in five tell YouGov they think he should be tried as a war criminal. Blair can try to pretend he lives a normal life but when he goes to a book signing, people pelt him with eggs
Fact: Most people will simply never get anything out of networking. BUT help is at hand. Although it can take a while to become a master at networking, it only takes a few quick corrections to stop repelling people from you. Here are four of the main reasons people fail miserably at this crucial game.
The summer break, especially for university students, is a time to travel and to tick off a few things on your bucket list. Obviously though, as students, our budgets are tight and often in-disposable so an affordable holiday to Zante is usually the only obtainable option. But there is no harm in dreaming of many possibilities right?...
Six out of the world's ten fastest growing economies in the world are in Africa, but their potential will not be realised without long-term improvements to education, health and the opportunity for women to give birth in environments free from violence. The further prize is increased productivity and economic growth.
Here is a plea - not just from me - but from my generation of young Afghans. The soldiers you have lost did not die in vain - the money you have spent has not been wasted - PLEASE - don't throw away what you have achieved. We are going to need your help for a few more years yet. It won't be forever - but it will be longer than two and a half years.
We are still fighting for the rights of children to have a free and quality education. It is now over two full months ago that more than 200 girls were abducted from a school in Chibok, northern Nigeria by the Islamist militant group, Boko Haram. This terrible situation is the worst nightmare any parent can experience.
Refugees consistently face some of the toughest choices imaginable - whether to stay where they are and face rape, torture or death or leave behind their family, everything they have and know to embark on a dangerous - all too often fatal - flight into the unknown. Here's where I'm supposed to say: 'Imagine if it were you, facing such a choice. Imagine if it were your mother or brother". But you don't need to be patronised. We're all more than capable of empathy. Yet we continue to treat refugees with ignorance and even contempt. Why does our collective empathy so often fail to manifest in our treatment of such a vulnerable group?
Due to ineptitude, corruption and indiscriminate violence, the military is one of the causes of the insurgency, which now forms a strategic part of an arc of jihadism that stretches from Algeria to Somalia. Giving funds and resources to the Nigerian armed forces risks exacerbating the problem. Boko Haram thrives on the endemic corruption that has characterised post-independence Nigeria.
What folly. What crass, indescribable, unbelievable folly it was to invade Iraq in 2003. I wonder what George Bush, Donald Rumsfeld and Tony Blair think now as they read of the latest disasters to befall that wretched land. Do they still say that Iraq is better off than it was under Saddam Hussein? Do they? Really?
The truth is that sexual violence - in warfare and otherwise - is still a choice someone has made. And at the moment it is a choice that will likely never see any form of redress or retribution. By teaching women who have been raped about their rights, supporting them to prosecute rapists and getting them vital medical support, we are not only helping survivors get the justice they deserve and crave, we are making a statement.
For too long violence against women has been viewed as 'a women's issue'- and when it comes to politics, the issue is usually given to the 'gender ministry' or tagged onto the role of a female minister whatever her official portfolio might be. Whilst working at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), I remember how civil servants were scurrying around trying to find a woman (Lynne Featherstone as it turned out) to be the government's champion on violence against women and girls globally. But at the time she was a Home Office Minister. Why weren't we asking the male foreign secretary to be the champion? The person who has the ability to discuss these issues at the highest levels with their male counterparts?
Everyone is up in arms except for the Cariocas. Because if the World Cup were the Hunger Games, Rio is the pre-selected surviving Tribute. Brazil can almost afford to mess up this week because it's guaranteed a lifeline to wipe the slate clean in Rio in 2016. No one is complaining about what's happening in Rio.
UNICEF is providing humanitarian assistance to millions of conflict-affected children and families in Syria, including through support for safe drinking water and to the on-going polio campaign. It is essential that life-saving assistance reaches all those affected by the conflict, particularly children and women, no matter where they are in the country.
During my years in Bosnia, both during the war and afterwards I heard and saw evidence of horrific stories of mass rape and sexual violence committed during the war. Thousands of women and children suffered terrible abuse and the physical and mental scars could stay with survivors for the rest of their lives. Years later, sexual violence still remains entrenched in conflict zones around the world and children are often the most vulnerable. Children suffering in conflicts are growing up in a world where they face the daily threat of rape and abuse and sexual violence is considered the 'norm'.