This site hosts my personal writing, blogs, tweets, TED talk and other media appearances discussing political and international issues, and alternatives to the current status quo. I am a former British diplomat who worked on issues like the Arab-Israel dispute, Afghanistan, terrorism and Iraq. I resigned in 2004, after giving secret evidence about how the British government had exaggerated the case for invading Iraq and ignored available alternatives to war. I now run the world's first non-profit diplomatic advisory group, Independent Diplomat. >>
The conundrum remains. When a vicious government assaults its own population in Syria, what can the rest of the world do?
In the US, there is mounting debate about whether to intervene. This week, US Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain argued forcefully for US military involvement. Last year, it's reported that Hillary Clinton and General David Petraeus, when he was head of the CIA, advocated sending weapons. The White House apparently resisted.
The new Obama administration is ramping up...more
Just for the record, and perhaps it keeps needing to be said for the record, here is a short interview I did today, March 15th, on the war, the alternatives and the lies. I am sick to death of saying it, but the liars keep hoping that if they lie often enough they will be believed.
02.27.13 |My dear friend and Catalan speaker Jan Hartman has translated the review of "The Leaderless Revolution" that was published on Catalanweb a few days ago. I am naturally biassed but I found it an extraordinary discussion of the application of anarchist ideas to Catalonia's independence struggle. It is also of course striking because Catalonia is one of the only places ever to experience anarchist self-government in practice.
Carne Ross is, without a doubt, a peculiar...more
02.26.13 |With the ten year anniversary of the war, I wanted to tell the story of the evidence I gave to the first official inquiry into the war, an event that led to my resignation from the British foreign servce.
The Butler Inquiry, as it was known, in 2004 invited testimonies from officials who had worked on Iraq before the 2003 invasion. I had been the UK's Iraq expert at the UN Security Council from 1998 to 2002, where I had negotiated resolutions on issues like sanctions and weapons...more
02.25.13 |The book (and indeed its author) is much inspired by, and cites, Spanish repubicanism and the "Spanish revolution" when anarchism flowered in worker-run farms and businesses (and was snuffed out by fascism, of course). Here's the link to the review.more
02.18.13 |The Oslo Forum is an unusual gathering of high-level political mediators, organized by the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue. They have gathered a book of essays on mediation, by authors including Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt and Norwegian foreign minister, Espen Barth Eide. I was very honoured to be invited to contribute. My essay tries to specify exactly what kind of conditions are necessary for successful mediation, in particular what kinds of access, to both...more
An interesting video about Semco, an innovative worker-led company in Brazil. Very much the sort of thing that The Leaderless Revolution talks about as a new form of the company, the basic unit of the economy.more
My book, Independent Diplomat: Dispatches from an Unaccountable Elite, offers a critique of contemporary diplomacy drawn from my own experience as a diplomat. In analysing the many deficits of the current system - and how that system produces bad decisions - it also offers a vision of what can be put right. You can see more here: >>