Punishing migrants is a sure way towards greater unrest

My weekly Guardian column: Surely bombing yet another Muslim country is a mistake. But that’s exactly what Italian foreign minister Paolo Gentiloni has called for – attacks on Islamic State (Isis) positions in Libya to stem the flow of refugees streaming into Europe. Calls for tough action, like Gentiloni’s, are growing in response to refugees…

How Western-backed Saudi fundamentalism is causing chaos

One of the great unspoken truths of the 21st century. After this week’s shocking terrorist acts in Russia, it’s possible (though impossible to know) that Saudi Arabia may be behind the carnage (they threatened as much a few months ago). The venerable Patrick Cockburn, writing in the UK Independent, on the ominous signs of sectarian…

Untangling the murky energy war between US and China

Far too often the media covers conflicts in terms of good guys and bad guys, ignoring the never-ending power dynamics over energy and oil. Fascinating piece by Pepe Escobar in Asia Times that describes who really runs the world: Beijing has clearly interpreted the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s “liberation” of Libya – now reverted into…

Why Prism is important; we’re watching the watchers

My following article appears in today’s Guardian Australia: Politicians and journalists ignore public opinion at their peril. Less than two weeks after the explosive revelations by former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden on the creation of a privatised,… American surveillance apparatus, a TIME poll finds a majority of… Americans support the leak, and… Snowden receives a…

Public ignorance over Iraq carnage largely due to media blindness

When countless journalists refuse to take responsibility for accurately reporting on the reality of wars in Iraq, Syria or Libya, it’s unsurprising that the effect on civilians can be so easy ignored. Medialens explains: Last month, a… ComRes poll… supported by Media Lens interviewed 2,021 British adults, asking: ‘How many Iraqis, both combatants and civilians, do you…