Political Journeys: The openDemocracy Essays

By Fred Halliday

"Whatever the topics . . . Halliday's wisdom, mind's eye, and highbrow independence light up them all."—Francis Wheen

"Fred Halliday's Political Journeys variety over extensive highbrow and political landscapes, with very good insights, soaking up narratives, lucid writing, and refined humour."—Sami Zubeida

Fred Halliday regularly mixed the large sweep of recent heritage, its currents and ideas, with a profound wisdom of contemporary revolutions, the center East, and nationwide routine. This number of columns written for openDemocracy among 2004 and 2009 is evidence of a refined worldview that maintains to generate questions: what's the relation among faith, nationalism, and development? Is a brand new overseas order attainable? whilst is intervention a strength for progress?

From the massive headline subject matters just like the Iraq struggle or the Danish cartoons, to the unforeseen comparisons of Tibet and Palestine, or Afghanistan and the Falklands, Halliday is a perennially fantastic and enlightened consultant to the key problems with foreign politics.

Fred Halliday (1946–2010) was once a number one authority on superpower kin, the center East, and diplomacy concept. He was once professor emeritus of diplomacy on the London institution of Economics from 1985 to 2008 and a learn professor on the Barcelona Institute for overseas Studies.

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An eight-year civil battle undefined, prior to the royalist counter-revolution used to be contained by way of the Yemeni and Egyptian republicans. it truly is traditional, now not least in Egypt, to claim that this used to be Egypt’s Vietnam; that Nasser misplaced the conflict in Yemen: yet this isn't precise. The republic that Gamal Abdel Nasser despatched troops to guard survived, or even whilst the Egyptian troops left after the Israeli victory in June 1967 the royalists, aided at the moment through British mercenaries, didn't catch the capital, Sana’a. In a dramatic seventy-day siege within the final weeks of 1967 a well-liked resistance move, composed of an array of tribal and Marxist-Leninist militias vigorously and courageously subsidized via a continual Soviet airlift of hands, driven again the royalists, who have been later (in 1970) compelled to signal a compromise peace contract with the republicans. This siege had a curious witness. decades later I met Vladimir Chubin, the most Soviet linkman with the African nationwide Congress (ANC) in South Africa; a detailed comrade of Joe Slovo, Chris Hani and the remainder of the ANC, and the South African Communist occasion (SACP) management; and anyone who was once deeply concerned either within the guerrilla struggle opposed to apartheid and within the struggle in Angola. I requested him which of all of the conflicts he had noticeable in southern Africa had left the inner most mark. His answer used to be ‘none of them’. As a tender Soviet distinctive forces officer, he had flown into Sana’a at evening and on a makeshift runway within the first army provide airplane in December 1967. In all he had noticeable in Africa, he had 172 never noticeable the similar of the battling spirit and armed forces ability displayed by way of the preferred militias throughout the Sana’a siege. The radicalism of the overdue Nineteen Sixties used to be quickly contained and beaten via the extra conservative Yemeni military, and in 1982 the final parts of the socialist resistance move in North Yemen negotiated a peace cost with the govt. Yemen used to be then governed through President Ali Abdullah Saleh, a a bit flamboyant and uncultivated artillery officer who had come to energy in a coup in 1978 after the assassination (by palms by no means publicly pointed out) of his predecessors. on the time few observers gave Ali Abdullah a lot probability of closing in his place, yet he held onto strength together with his personal astute experience of politics and well timed support from the Saudis, the CIA and, be it famous, the Soviet Union. this day ‘Abu Ahmad’ as he's identified, has been in strength for twenty-nine years. (His son Ahmad is being groomed to be triumphant him; as a part of this programme, he used to be despatched for a time to the British army academy at Sandhurst. ) a few political switch has undefined, yet finally all significant judgements, and masses of the country profit, are linked to the president. On one social gathering, whilst a multi-party procedure or ‘pluralism’ was once brought into Yemen, I requested an legit I knew why this had happened. ‘Why did we introduce pluralism? as the president informed us to take action! ’ The smaller southern a part of Yemen used to be, with its capital in Aden, a British colony from 1839 to independence in 1967.

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