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Ed Webb
  • Tunisia’s social fabric is different from that of most Arab countries: it has a sizable middle class and strong civil society. (Civil society in Tunisia — unlike in other Arab countries, including Lebanon and Palestine — is not confined to Western-funded NGOs, but includes progressive labor unions and civic associations like the Tunisian Association of Constitutional Law, which Saied  headed before assuming the presidency). 
  • By July 2021, Saied had suspended parliament in the wake of anti-government demonstrations.  He was fed up and wanted to rule by decree.  He was gradual in his extra-constitutional coup because he wanted to examine foreign reactions.  Naturally, Gulf regimes (which had not been pleased with his firm stance against normalization with Israel) quickly expressed support and sympathy because he was undermining the power of Islamists, who they view (outside of Qatar) as their mortal enemy, second only to Iran. 

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Ed Webb
  • Aesthetic choices have long shaped how American audiences see the world. Historically speaking, the West’s visual vocabulary tends to champion a fascination “with abjection and violence” in foreign subjects, whether that be the sinister depictions of Japanese people in World War II propaganda, Native American mascots in sports, or distressed communities in Africa and the Middle East.
  • Using repetitive, stereotyped tropes to signify that China is exotic, authorientalism visually links these tropes to abuses of government power, thereby promoting the view that authoritarianism is part of the essential character of Chinese-ness. It conflates the culture and the government, and reinforces the state’s own frequent claims that authoritarianism is innate to Chinese history or society.

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Ed Webb
  • Although it is true that Senator Joe Manchin (and, for all we know some other Dem senators) slipped some goodies into the bill for Big Carbon, those are small potatoes compared to the massive sums devoted to climate change amelioration. And, those funds come on top of billions that were in last fall’s Infrastructure Act for setting up charging stations around the country for electric vehicles, supplying schools with electric buses, and emissions reductions at ports and airports.
  • American energy is no longer a level playing field. It is starkly tilted against fossil fuels, both because of price structures and because of state government policy in big important states like California and New York.

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Ed Webb
  • Turkey’s fourth drilling ship set sail today as the country continues to pursue its offshore energy exploration. 

      

    The Abdulhamid Han will conduct a two-month mission in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. The ship is considered the strongest of the country’s fleet, the official Anadolu Agency reported

  • Turkey sent a drilling ship to parts of the Mediterranean Sea claimed by Greece in 2018 and began conducting exploration in maritime territory claimed by Cyprus in 2019. Turkey halted the activities ahead of dialogue with Greece that began in early 2021. 

      

    Turkey's dialogue with Greece ended in May of this year, and now tensions are on the rise again. Leaders of both states exchanged subtle threats in June. 

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Ed Webb
  • Birmingham grew on the back of slavery and colonialism – and, indeed, the city’s gunmakers and chain-makers were the main suppliers of slavers and imperialists.

     

    One day there may perhaps be a Bristol-like reckoning of this, or perhaps not.

     

    The city is also the home of those remarkable political creeds “liberal imperialism” and “liberal unionism” – which meant elevated rights for those fortunate enough to be on this island, and no rights if you were under this island’s power.

     

    Now forgotten, those political ideas put Birmingham – and the house of Chamberlain in particular – at the heart of British politics for sixty years from c. 1880 to 1940.

     

    And you can perhaps trace back British exceptionalism to the “liberal imperialism” and “liberal unionism” of Joseph Chamberlain and his supporters.

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