On the importance of hearing critical views in our time

I was pleased to be asked to sign the following statement in support of free speech and against blacklisting for “unpopular” views on Syria (though it’s equally relevant for Palestine, the “war on terror” etc). I sign alongside Noam Chomsky, Glenn Greenwald, Reza Aslan and many others: The cancellation of a lecture by journalist Rania…

How drugs have always perverted human wars

My Guardian book review appears this weekend: In October 2015 a Saudi prince was arrested at Beirut international airport accused of trying to smuggle… nearly two tonnes… of the… amphetamine drug Captagon… through the country. Two months later, Lebanese officials claimed to have confiscated 12 million Captagon pills heading to the Gulf. The synthetic drug, invented in 1961, has…

Too little to celebrate in South Sudan

My article in Le Monde Diplomatique English: The UN Security Council recently imposed new sanctions on South Sudan including travel bans on six South Sudanese citizens. Samantha Power, US ambassador to the UN, praised the move saying: “The Security Council took strong action in support of a peaceful end to the conflict in South Sudan…

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…