Qassem Soleimani Dead in Iraq

03/01/2019

Update: It has indeed been confirmed as a US strike.

Baghdad airport was hit with an airstrike earlier today, with numerous sources quoting Iraqi state TV that Qassem Soleimani, commander of the IRGC Quds Force, and others were killed. So far there has been no clarification about who ordered and carried out the strikes, but it’s the latest in a string of growing tensions in the region between Iran, Israel, and the US.

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My 2019 Reading List

31/12/2019

Admittedly, I thought I had read more books than the ones on this list, but alas it is much smaller than anticipated when I compiled it. I wasn’t expecting anything huge, and 16 books is still a reasonable feat, in my view, but I can’t help but feel a tinge of disappointment that I didn’t get through more. I would, however, suggest that finishing university and keeping up with news events and analysis probably makes up for that. Nevertheless, these are the books I read this past year, with a few thoughts looking back on them and links to piece that refer to them.

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Trump Impeachment Does What Exactly?

19/12/2019

Donald Trump, at long last has been impeached, with the Democrat-controlled House predictably voting it through, despite a few that crossed the aisle to join every Republican in opposition. But if you’re like me – not a US citizen who views that violent and oppressive nation’s institutions with utter contempt and confusion – then you might be wondering what this will even achieve. Based on any worthwhile metric, pretty much nothing.

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Rethinking the Definition of Radical

11/12/2019

Whenever the word radical is used in any context, it almost always has a relatively negative overtone. The word, like many in political discourse, arguably has no legitimate definition anymore. Synonymous with disorder, dramatic change, intense, etc. we allocate it to people and events that don’t fit the current norm. I contend that it should be the opposite, and that what we have considered the “norm” throughout time is what’s really been radical.

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Rethinking Camelot: A Reflection

02/12/2019

Interpretation of Historical Fact

Camelot is the myth that surrounds John F. Kennedy, the hero of the American people during a Presidency cut too short by a malicious assassination that changed America’s and the world’s future forever, specifically in relation to Vietnam and the Cold War. This myth, still peddled by many today, perhaps more so given the growing years between us and the events that took place, is nothing more than that – a collation of numerous accounts that all rely on a complete dismissal of fact.

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What School History Doesn’t Teach: The Vietnam War

29/11/2019

I never took modern history in high school, but from what we were taught in the junior years and from what friends who did take that subject told me, what we learned was an extremely watered down and pretty much propagandistically pro-West depiction. I can’t speak for the US education system, but I can only assume that US exceptionalism is a fundamental part of any history taught in school. There are a few examples one could use, but the Vietnam War is probably the most damning.

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UK Election: Vote Labour

23/11/2019

The Labour Party, under Jeremy Corbyn, could have a real chance to defeat the Conservatives. I don’t know all that much about UK politics, so I don’t know what third parties or alternatives there may be, but Corbyn’s Labour Party, whether you love the man or not, is undeniably better than giving the Conservatives under Boris Johnson another term to screw up the UK and Brexit negotiations.

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In Defence of Reforms

17/11/2019

I have slowly been reading through Alexander Berkman’s The ABC of Anarchism and it’s been quite interesting thus far. Reading the chapter on the reformer and politician, however, I come across one of the few disagreements with his ideas. It’s a relatively small point, but he condemns the reformer for essentially not being radical enough, suggesting that only major movements or revolution could make the necessary changes. I do agree, to an extent, but reforms shouldn’t be so easily dismissed.

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Social Media as A Political Tool

About a month ago I had a take home exam/essay for my Political Communication unit at university. Now that I have gotten the marks back for them – I can happily say I got 100% for it all, as the guy that ran the unit was really impressed and even praised the fact I challenged some of the concepts and ideas – I thought I would post them all here in a string of short pieces without fear of TurnItIn flagging me for plagiarising my own content. I’ll quote the questions we were given and then have what I wrote underneath – there will be six in total. This final piece was a short essay response relating to social media in politics. The few references used in all pieces will also be underneath.
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Trump Rules in Communication

About a month ago I had a take home exam/essay for my Political Communication unit at university. Now that I have gotten the marks back for them – I can happily say I got 100% for it all, as the guy that ran the unit was really impressed and even praised the fact I challenged some of the concepts and ideas – I thought I would post them all here in a string of short pieces without fear of TurnItIn flagging me for plagiarising my own content. I’ll quote the questions we were given and then have what I wrote underneath – there will be six in total. Here I discuss why I think Donald Trump is one of the most (scarily) spectacular communicators in the current political sphere.

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