The positively Abrahamic game of Chess

[ by Charles Cameron — interfaith rivalry on the checkered board ] . Many of you will be familiar with the Christian and Muslim playing chess in this illustration from El Libro de los Juegos or Book of Games of Alfonso X of Castile: "Book of games" by Alfonso X "The Wise".King of Castile and […] Read more »

The Blend of High Impact and Low Preparation Means Everyone in Europe is a Potential Target

And my second post for the day, this time for an Observer article I wrote for the weekend’s paper in the wake of the near-miss terrorist incident in France on Friday. The piece oddly only appears in the iPad edition and the hardcopy, but here is the text below and a screenshot from the iPad. […] Read more »

No man’s land, one man’s real estate, everyone’s dream?

[ by Charles Cameron — borders and distinctions from Trump to Revelation, plus one ] . Donald Trump‘s “three core principles of real immigration reform”: 1. A nation without borders is not a nation. ** G Spencer-Brown wrote of his book. Laws of Form, “The theme of this book is that a universe comes into […] Read more »

When one life sprouts inside another

[ by Charles Cameron — some ugly comparisons, you have been warned — but it is only the exaggerated ugliness that drives my point home ] . The first DoubleQuote of three I’m posting here shows two views of sacred sites taken over by conquering religions. You may have seen this DoubleQuote before — the […] Read more »

Jonathan Powell’s Terrorists at the Table – Book Review Essay

Powell’s latest book Terrorists at the Table: Why Negotiating is The Only Way to Peace to be released in the US June 30, 2015, tells the Northern Ireland story from the position of one of the major negotiators. But he does much more. He uses it as a vehicle, an example of lessons learned (and too often forgotten), to argue that there are times when governments need to talk with an opposition that uses violence to fight for its goals because, he argues, violence is not an end in itself but a means to an end and that end is foremost political and access to the state’s scarce resources. Read more »

Gastrodiplomacy – “Reaching Hearts and Minds through Stomachs”

While the use of food as a diplomatic tool may seem ridiculous or silly to some, it is certainly not without its merits. If you’re a country like Peru, gastrodiplomacy is specialty tool used to accomplish very specific goals such as increasing tourism. Read more »