The Greek island of Lesbos has been a transit point for hundreds of thousands of refugees and asylum seekers. Moria refugee camp is a former detention centre with capacity for less than 3,000 people. Caoimhe Butterly meets some of the families caught up in the chaos and despair.
We are confronted by a US presidential second-term election cycle. We all must contend too with various interests. Do we have in play a version of ‘operation boot’? The 1952 US/UK regime-change operation in Iran. And do people regionally also view the late, recently murdered Major General Qasem Soleimani as an Iranian Che Quevara? Would Iran’s supreme Ayatollah be viewed as an Iranian Fidel Castro? How annoying for a rightist US administration: a Cuba in the Middle East. How much more death and devastation will flow out of our fossil-fuel dependency and the military powers of the main players, the chief one being the US?
President Michael D Higgins was right when he criticised the Turkish military intervention in Syria: “I am appalled by any possibility of coercion or forced returns of refugees and underline, in the strongest terms, that any attempt at demographic change is not acceptable.”
The decision to toss our head of state into the boiling political pot of the Middle East might or might not have been a piece in its campaign to win a 12-month seat on the United Nations Security Council. Look, here’s our man at the UN shaking hands with Iran’s Hassan Rouhani, and there he is enjoying a bilateral chat with Lebanon’s president!
He has led Israel for 13 years, but his desperation to be re-elected was not just about continuing his project of hardcore religious nationalism, but about securing immunity from indictment on charges of fraud. It remains to be seen whether the prime minister really will be politically sidelined, writes Shlomo Ben-Ami