Category Archives: World Affairs

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Israel But Were Afraid To Ask

After a summer break, another episode of International Edition with Levy and Counsell is up at [iTunes link to follow.] Here’s the Ricochet blurb: TV news shows often only turn up in distant countries when the shooting starts. This approach can scare off, or simply puzzle, intelligent and curious viewers who would prefer more backstory […]

International Edition with Levy and Counsell Episode 12: Michael J Totten

This week, Judith Levy and I interviewed independent international correspondent Michael J. Totten. Michael Totten, who has reported extensively from the Middle East, the Balkans, and the Caucasus. Sohrab Ahmari of Commentary wrote of Michael that he "practices journalism in the tradition of Orwell: morally imaginative, partisan in the best sense of the word, and delivered in […]

Sexing down

Here’s an extraordinary thing: a documented cover-up by a US administration—not one imagined by conspiracy theorists: There's new evidence, obtained by ABC, that the Obama administration did deliberately purge references to "terrorism" from accounts of the attack on the Benghazi diplomatic mission, which killed four people including the US ambassador to Libya. Conservatives have long […]

Levy & Counsell podcast 4: National Manners, International Diplomacy, and Statehood at the United Nations

Over at, our producer Scott named this podcast The Politics of Petulance after an article of the same name by David Horovitz in the Times Of Israel that Judith and I mention towards the end of our discussion. There are a few other sources I’d like to give credit to: Yau-Man Chan at Skepticblog writing about the curious cult of […]

The Levy & Counsell Podcast, episode 3: special guest Claire Berlinski

This is the first edition of the podcast that’s freely available gratis to people who don’t subscribe to Ricochet so fill yer boots. Judith and I just wound Claire up and let her run, though I did press her to come up with some hard, pragmatic reasons for the West (the US) to intervene in […]

Levy & Counsell podcast 2: Special Edition

Judith and I discuss current events in Israel for The sound is better all round this time, though it’s clear I’m going to have to work on being a bit slicker. It’s possibly a good thing that I talk slowly out of a fear of saying something stupid. To quote one of our listners […]

Talking Of Bathos…

The front page of the BBC News Website is currently decorated by the headline: JUDE LAW CALLS FOR WORLD CEASEFIRE Like this:Like Loading…

Can We Talk About Something Else Now?

Islam isn’t a race. Martin Amis isn’t a racist. This video is fun: [via The Ambrosini Critique] Like this:Like Loading…

Oxfam Report Supports UK Humanitarian Intervention

This is a surprise: The UK must not shy away from trying to resolve international crises despite the “terrible misadventure” in Iraq, a report from charity Oxfam argues. Like this:Like Loading…

In With A Bullet

In the latest edition of your super soaraway Foreign Policy there is, shockingly, a year’s-end top ten. Those crazy dudes at FP—bringing you close-up views of the hottest international relations—have collected the most significant “Stories You Missed in 2006″ and they are grimly interesting, including for example India helping Iran to build the bomb and […]

The History Of The Future Past

Look at these fascinating slides of a 1959 lecture made about plans for the moon landings. Like this:Like Loading…

Tilting At Bots

I suspect that quite a few people have, like me, recently had someone going by the name of “cell-phone-accessory” drop by and leave a comment on their blogs. The comment is a rambling rant about terrorism. Its content is similar to that of an Independent opinion piece, though the spelling and grammar are poorer. Gloria […]

The Satisfying Sound Of Leather Hitting Trouser

As you’d expect from an embittered wannabe academic like me, I enjoy immensely reading reviews in which genuine scholars demolish the latest fashionable nonsense published by trend-chasing academic presses. Here Ben Goldacre casually and rightly puts the boot into an absurd attack on evidence-based medicine—it’s “fascist” apparently. Here Shalom Lappin does a grand and rigorous […]

Admirable; Futile

Like a man trying to teach calculus to a hamster, Anthony “Black Triangle” Cox attempts to apply logic to the content of a front page of The Independent. For some reason I am reminded of Norm’s continuing struggles with The Guardian. Like this:Like Loading…

The Future Of Darfur And The Future Of The Left

Because of a couple of gremlins over at the Euston Manifesto site we’ve accidentally been turning people away from applying for tickets to our meeting next Tuesday evening in London. It’s free and there will be three speakers on the subject: “Darfur: An Urgent Case for Humanitarian Intervention”. Follow the link to email us for […]

Stop The War(monger Bush And His Poodle Blair)

As you know I’ve been busy, so I’ve only just noticed via Jo Salmon that someone has found an honest STWC/CND flyer. Like this:Like Loading…

Bush And Blair Burn Up The Mic [Uncut]

Via Normblog I read the Times‘ transcript of an accidentally broadcast conversation between George W. Bush and Tony Blair at the G8 summit. By downloading the original recording and processing it with various digital sound programs I have been able to reconstruct the inaudible parts of the exchange. Here I present the full transcript, with […]

By The Way

Thank you to Pete in the comments and to everyone else who’s been sending kind wishes. It’s good to be alive on days like these. I hope eventually everyone will be just as free to say in public how they think we should live in the world we share. It’s a precious gift and one […]

A Lesson In The Importance Of Sentence Construction

Via Instapundit I came upon this unfortunate opening to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram report on the release of Abdul Rahaman: KABUL, Afghanistan—An Afghan court on Sunday dismissed a case against a man who converted from Islam to Christianity because of a lack of evidence and he will be released soon, officials said. Let’s hope the […]

A Top Post By A Top Bloke

For a while I wondered if she was a parody, so broken and infantile and hackneyed were her arguments. Now I only ever read her when someone writes about her. Madeleine Bunting‘s intellectual and moral development has been so corrupted by the ideological diseases of our time that she is hardly qualified to read out […]

Sky-Fairies Continue To Advise Leaders Of Free World

When I was about nine years old I told a bunch of advancing micro-racists that I wasn’t scared of them because “Jesus was on my side”. That the Son of God was shamefully absent throughout my subsequent twatting should have been a lesson to me then, but it was a few more years before I […]

Fatuous Bint

Regular readers here know that I had little time for the argument that “we” had to invade Iraq because Saddam Hussein had a strategic arsenal trained on Hoxton hidden under his various country homes. It’s been said that I’ve been quite rude about people who signed up too confidently for certain types of WMD-related bollocks, […]

Breakdown Of Diplomacy

While I’m on the subject, during much of my youth, lazy, stupid, ungrateful, talentless, illiterate, violent, and very very ugly white people would daily tell me to fuck off “back home”. They were wrong to do so. They would, however, be right to tell the sorts of lazy, stupid, etc brown people who wave banners […]

Ignoring A Stamping Child

I don’t agree with a lot of what she says, but I think Mary Madigan at Exit Zero has a very interesting angle on Iran: What should we do about Iran? We should do nothing. Seriously. When a belligerent little foaming-at-the-mouth nation shouts about nukes, they expect us to pay attention to them. This encourages […]

And Next Year’s Nobel Peace Prize Goes To…

Some misquotes are more serious than others. [thanks to Claire] Like this:Like Loading…

Fobbing Off The Punters

Eh! Eh! Calm down! Yes, I parenthetically threatened to kick Harold Pinter’s hospital bed for his drivelling on about the US foreign policy, but I have a lot to do right now. If I do put the boot in it won’t be before the weekend because I need a nice unbroken slot of time to […]

I’m Condi. Fly Me.

Hi! Welcome to the CIA Airlines check-in desk. Could I ask you to itemize your hand luggage as you place it on the belt, sir? Er, one holdall of shoes, running gear, and toiletries; one suitcase of casual clothes; one suit carrier containing three identical black suits and ties with matching Ray-Bans; one attaché case […]

Final Revisions

Yesterday’s serious press carried near-full-page advertisements for Channel 4’s new substation “More4“‘s screening of Downfall, Oliver Hirschbiegel’s acclaimed cinematic imagining of the last moments of former German head of state Adolf Hitler. These advertisements read: “It’s a happy ending. He dies.” But just how happy an ending was it for the once-proud nation that was […]

Top Ten Discontinued Dulux Paint Colours

Burnt Hummer Institutional Magnolia Sambo Warm Placenta Haliborange Coldplay Yellow Kilroy Autumn Phlegm Coelacanth Brown Conrad Black [Despite / because of my being born into a country in the midst of the Biafran War, a conflict in which one weapon was starvation, it was normal in the house I grew up in for us to […]

That Angela Merkel Speech In Voll

Guten Morgen, meine Damen und Herren, Herr Prime Minister, Frau Blair, Herr Straw, Brenda, und so weiter. Vielen Dank fur den Freiheit, ihre grossen Europaischen subsidiese zum Integraztion wir lumpen Ossis, und den neuen Robbie Williams Album—mit his dimplich Grin, er ist viel sexyer als David Hasselhof. Wir, die Britischen and die Deutschen, sind sinze […]

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