Oggy Boytchev - journalist and TV producer. Ex-BBC.
Author of 'Simpson & I: Between Two Worlds'
Oggy made a dramatic escape from behind the Iron Curtain in Bulgaria in January 1986. A few months later he joined the BBC World Service in London as a newsreader for the Bulgarian Section, before moving into mainstream journalism. In a BBC career spanning a quarter of a century he has covered the majority of international conflicts since the late eighties. Latterly, he became John Simpson's producer and accompanied him on dangerous undercover assignments around the world. He has produced television news reports and documentaries from more than forty countries and the world's major war zones.
This entity speaks a robotic language, it is well versed in parliamentary procedure and his or her head is full of weird terminology, rules and regulations. Career politicians beware, Amelia is ready to take your job! She can give straight answers to straight questions. So, what is there for you to do?
Contrary to the desires and interests of regional governments, arming and helping the Kurds to fight ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and Levant) in Kobane may be the trigger for the birth of a new nation - Kurdistan. No country in the region wants that but this will be one of the unintended consequences of the break up of Syria and the emergence of ISIL.
Karl Marx once famously said: 'History repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.' I wonder if China's second Tiananmen moment would be a tragedy, too. Because I do believe that what's happening in Hong Kong at the moment bears all the hallmarks of a Greek tragedy.
Air strikes alone won't defeat ISIL. The organisation is clearly goading the West into direct confrontation. Once we get the first pictures of Muslim women and children killed by US missiles, no matter how isolated these incidents would be, that would up the ante in ISIL's propaganda war. This is when allies like Saudi Arabia and Qatar will get cold feet.
On Friday morning, no matter how Scotland votes, the United Kingdom will never be the same again. Not because we might find ourselves at the beginning of a messy and painful divorce bearing in mind the chippiness of the SNP (Scottish National Party) and its leader, Alex Salmond.
'Dear comrade Putin,' says a woman who has lost a leg by a shrapnel during shelling near her home town in eastern Ukraine, 'we're told that fighters and weapons are coming across from Russia. Take pity on us because we're choking from grief and in blood. Please take back your men.'
The brutal Assad regime, under father Hafez and son Bashar, has perpetrated some appalling atrocities and we can't be proud of cooperating with it, but it is the only force in the region capable of defeating ISIL.
The reality is that the footage we, war journalists, capture in the field isn't always 'striking' or insightful. In many cases we are forced to stand a good way from the frontline for our own safety, or if we are on the frontline, we can't stay there for long... unmanned remote control drones fitted with high definition gyroscopic cameras will change the role of the war reporter.
13/08/2014 17:14 BST
SUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements.