Gwynne Dyer is an independent journalist whose articles are published in 45 countries. His new book is 'Growing Pains: The Future of Democracy (and Work)'.
'If they go, we'll all have to go. That's the reality of it," said a British source about President Joe Biden's announcement that the last American troops will be out of Afghanistan by Sept 11, the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. (What can possibly have possessed him to choose that date?)
The non-violent democratic resistance in Myanmar is living through terrible times, but statistics are on its side: most non-violent movements eventually win. But it’s hard to stay non-violent when you are up against a force as ruthless and brutal as the Tatmadaw.
'We're waiting on food goods like coconut milk and syrups, some spare parts for motors, we've got some fork lift trucks, some Amazon goods on there, all sorts," said Steve Parks of Seaport Freight Services in England, who is awaiting twenty of the 18,300 containers aboard the Ever Given. Which of those things cannot be sourced from somewhere closer than Asia?
In the early decades of the Cold War, this was the season when North Atlantic Treaty Organization (Nato) defence chiefs would announce their spending plans for the next year, and they would almost always "discover" some new threat from the Soviet Union to justify the money. In the United States, for example, the intelligence services traditionally found a Soviet armoured brigade hiding in Cuba every February or March.
The Syrian civil war is 10 years old this week, and it's time to stop it. At least half a million Syrians are dead, a quarter of the pre-war population are refugees abroad, and another quarter are refugees inside Syria. Thirty percent of the country's housing stock is destroyed or badly damaged -- and we have known who won the war for at least four years now.
It has been quite pleasant living on a planet where most of the great powers were not locked up into two hostile nuclear-armed alliances, but nothing lasts forever. Creeping shyly on to the stage via Zoom, the successor to Nato emerged into public view last Friday.
In an letter to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani last weekend, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken insisted that Mr Ghani agree to share power with the Taliban insurgents in a transitional government, to be followed at some point by some sort of election. Understandably, the Afghan leader views this as a shotgun marriage in which the Taliban will hold the shotgun.
If I were a world dictator, I would immediately place Brazil under total quarantine: nobody gets in, nobody comes out. And I would keep it isolated until they (a) arrest and jail President Jair Bolsonaro; (b) impose a strict countrywide lockdown for at least two months; and (c) vaccinate everybody in the country (all 213,584,556 of them). And then we'll see.