Author Archives: Linda S. Heard

Britain’s endless lockdowns are taking a terrible toll

The problem is that most Britishers are no longer in the mood to be compliant

John, a British friend of mine whom I met in Dubai some 30 years ago, retired to the UK where he rebuilt his life in South Wales. He has always lived alone and enjoys his own company while regularly socialising with friends and travelling around the world to catch-up with others Continue reading

Egypt has struck the right balance on COVID-19

Egyptian government deserves praise for delivering stability and growth over the years

There is hardly a nation on earth that hasn’t been negatively impacted by the lethal, highly-contagious virus that has swept over our planet killing the most vulnerable, stealing jobs and hurling families into poverty. Egypt hasn’t escaped the pandemic’s tentacles but so far it has weathered the storm with remarkable success when compared to developed nations such as the UK, France, Belgium, Spain and the United States of America that alone accounts for almost a quarter of global cases. Continue reading

The flaws in US-style democracy are surfacing

There has been method in Trump’s madness. His priority has been preservation of the economy

The United States is experiencing what is arguably its most chaotic year in living history. The administration has to contend with a pandemic that has robbed the lives of more than 212,000 of its citizens and is spreading uncontrolled. Continue reading

Why Turkey stirs the pot in troubled zones

As long as Trump stays in White House, Erdogan feels he will get away with misadventures

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is no peacemaker. He looks for regional vulnerabilities in the form of feuding entities and instead of behaving like a statesman offering mediation he escalates the violence by picking a side. Continue reading

Palestinians need to smash the status quo

A new leadership must go beyond old hatreds to aim for peace and dignity for all

It is a tragedy of epic proportions that after decades of struggle for their rights the hopes of Palestinians are being systematically dashed. There is no Palestinian state on the horizon and realities on the ground are no longer conducive to what remains the official policy of just about every member of the United Nations. Donald Trump’s pro-Israel bias has ridden roughshod over the few cards that were left in the Palestinian Authority’s hands. Continue reading

Public docility gives Boris Johnson a free pass

The manner with which British government is treating Brexit is cavalier

Forgive me for using a broad brush but I cannot help but conclude that Britons may moan about government policies but are ultimately accepting. We are stereotypically known for our stiff upper lips and ability to weather all storms with our calm demeanours, unlike those emotional Latin types poised to revolt en masse over the price of spaghetti. Continue reading

Afghanistan peace talks illuminate America’s failure

It might also result in the Taliban taking the nation all the way back to square one

US President Donald Trump is no foreign policy strategist. His plan to bring US troops home from Afghanistan was one of his most popular pre-election pledges in 2016 and now he is rushing to fulfil it whatever the consequences to boost his flagging campaign which is why his administration is brokering negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban. Continue reading

Is Russia being framed for Navalny poisoning?

Accusations may be premature as there are others eager to freeze Russia's ties with West

The world is convinced that a political rival of the Russian president was deliberately poisoned by the state, which Moscow vehemently denies. Continue reading

Too soon to celebrate Libya’s good news

Libyans are experiencing a sense of hope for a better tomorrow but doubts persist

An oil-rich country torn apart by a Western military intervention, divided along ideological lines and coveted by foreign jackals seeking a part of the action is finally embracing a unifying path, the path to peaceful engagement … or so it seems. Continue reading

Enmity will never produce a Palestinian state

The threat of annexation has now been averted by UAE’s peace treaty with Israel

The Palestinians have endured unending loss, humiliation and hardship throughout generations. No peoples on earth have been treated so unfairly for so many decades, not only at the hands of the occupying power but also by Western powers and the United Nations that has merely supported Palestinian rights on paper. Continue reading

Why a joint Arab force is urgently needed

It is beyond time that Arab governments learned to trust one another

‘The Arab World’ is an obsolete construct. The MENA region is torn by fractures and disagreements permitting malevolent foreign entities to exert influence and power. Never has the time been so auspicious for Arab states with a similar world view to unify so as to create an Arab Army on the lines of NATO. Continue reading

How would Joe Biden’s America differ from Trump’s?

He would change course on every aspect of the Trump presidency with some exceptions

Polls and pundits cannot be trusted when it comes to predicting the winner of a US presidential ballot. In early November 2016, pollsters and so-called expert election analysts were left with egg on their faces. Continue reading

Britain leaps from the EU pan into the US fire

The promised mega trade deal with America comes with a high price tag

Most Britons love to moan and groan about their country’s unstable weather, unreliable trains, high taxes and the underfunded NHS not to mention ‘the idiots’ in government, but when the chips are down, they invariably morph into fierce patriots. Continue reading

Ethiopia’s stubborn stance is perplexing

Egypt has shown patience and flexibility, now it’s beyond time for Ahmad to do the same

In spite of nine years of negotiations since Ethiopia took advantage of the chaotic Arab Spring to begin construction of the $4.6 billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the Blue Nile the concerned parties—Cairo, Khartoum and Addis Ababa—are still far from reaching an agreement on various technical and legal issues. Time is now of the essence to agree a solution to avoid possible all out military conflict. Continue reading

Alienating China damages Britain’s interests

Boris is optimistic about signing trade deals with EU and the US at favourable terms

It appears that the British prime minister is failing to grasp the big picture. Boris Johnson seems unaware that his country is no longer a big power or that its global influence has waned since the UK-Sino declaration on the future status of Hong Kong was signed in 1984 by the ‘Iron Lady’ Margaret Thatcher. Continue reading

How Johnson compromises Britain’s economic health

British PM should seek an extension of the deadline to conclude the shape of UK-EU ties

Under Boris Johnson’s leadership Britain has again been dubbed ‘The sick man of Europe’ due to his mismanagement of Covid-19, a failure of judgement that has propelled his nation to the top of Europe’s fatality charts. Continue reading

Libya plagued by malevolent outside parties

Cairo Declaration may not go down well with Turkish designs on Tripoli

Since Western powers leapt into the fray to remove the long-standing Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, the oil-rich country, once the wealthiest in Africa, has been embroiled in conflicts. Continue reading

Denial and selfishness fuel the spread of COVID-19

Deniers are hampering efforts to manage the scourge that could erupt into a second wave

A virulent virus has wrapped its tentacles around the planet with fatal consequences for hundreds of thousands and unless and until there is a vaccine or the majority of the world’s population has developed immunity, it will not be defeated. Until such time people everywhere have been ordered or advised to follow certain rules for their own protection designed to slow the spread. There is no mystery in the above realities which anyone with a modicum of common sense would judge indisputable. Unfortunately, in some countries plain old-fashioned common sense is at a premium. Continue reading

Britons’ trust in Boris is wavering

Johnson’s decisions on lockdowns have been untimely and counterproductive

Britain’s prime minister, Boris Johnson, is gifted with a likeability quotient that’s off the charts. He is witty, eccentric with a mind as sharp as a diamond-cutter, yet charmingly self-effacing. Continue reading

COVID-19: Natural world could be the winner in this war

Most of us must steel ourselves for more of the same in the months or years to come

Stuck inside my home in Egypt in between railing at the sun’s rays for bathing my neighbour’s terrace while skirting the edge of my balcony, my mind keeps wandering back to my early childhood in Wales where I lived with my parents in a whitewashed two-up, two-down cottage. Continue reading

Netanyahu’s annexation thrust must be thwarted

UN member states must ensure retaliatory steps on Israel if their concerns are not met

How much longer will global leaderships permit Israel and the United States together with its sycophant across the pond to ride roughshod over international law and basic human decency? Continue reading

COVID-19: When to restart the economy?

Global leaderships are being tested by an unseen enemy. Decisions affecting the lives and livelihoods of millions are being made based on flimsy expert projections as to the behaviour of a virus that so far remains unknowable. Continue reading

Herd immunity or lockdown: Which works better against coronavirus

Cases of re-infections cast doubts on the prospects of a viable vaccine

The Swedish government has gone out on a limb with its implementation of a strategy known as ‘herd immunity’ to beat back the most aggressive pandemic since the 1918 Spanish flu that killed over 50 million worldwide. Continue reading

COVID-19: Britain stares at economic abyss

Amid crippling pandemic, UK faces a looming deadline to chart a common future with the EU

Britons of all camps were desperate for the divisive three-year-long Brexit saga to end. Continue reading

Why COVID-19 is not the ‘Great Leveller’

The poor are at the mercy of authorities that may or may not have treatment resources

I frequently hear news anchors refer to this current planetary scourge as “a great leveller” that does not discriminate in terms of social status and is not deterred by borders. While I can understand the reasoning behind that conclusion it is open to challenge. Continue reading

COVID-19 crisis: Any further delay is dangerous

The US and the UK could learn from the decisive leadership shown by China

Why has China succeeded in getting a handle on the coronavirus while one of the world’s richest countries—the United States—now holds the dubious number one ranking with respect to total cases and new cases? Continue reading

Coronavirus: Humans must learn from this global shock

This assault on our way of life is a wake-up call for everyone in the world

In a world where fear of the unknown hangs over the collective consciousness of entire populations the best and the worst of human nature is on display. In Britain small stores engaged in price gouging are being named and shamed on social media — one shop was selling single toilet rolls £10 — while the ‘I’m all right Jack’ brigade are stripping supermarket shelves bare without thought for the needs of the elderly or parents with newborns. Continue reading

Why coronavirus drives some people bonkers

Logically it is hard to tell how many people are suffering from the virus worldwide

I’m beginning to feel as if I’ve woken up in an alternative universe. It’s hard to fathom that a bowl of bat soup consumed in a Chinese market could result in millions of humans being forcibly quarantined en masse at pain of arrest or that family pets, wrongly suspected of being virus carriers, being thrown out of windows to their death. Continue reading

Suspicions cloud Trump’s Middle East ‘peace plan’

Deal expected to favour Israel and could pave way for annexation of more Palestinian land

Details of the US president’s much-touted ‘Deal of the Century’ are scheduled to be announced at the White House today to coincide with visits by Israeli political rivals Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz, leader of the Blue and White centrist alliance. Continue reading

Iraq must free itself from self-serving foreign hands

It needs an inspirational leader and a constitution that does not pander to sectarianism

Divided loyalties, competing ideologies, sectarian rivalries and foreign interference combine to tear Iraq apart. This once powerful Arab state that stood as a buffer against Iranian expansionism is in urgent need of a unifier, a strong and charismatic figure who can bring together Iraqis of all faiths and sects under one flag. Continue reading

Post-Brexit Britain will be under Trump’s thumb

US president likely to deliver on his pledge to place UK at the front of the deal queue

In just two weeks, Britain will officially be out of the European Union although during the 11-month transition period the country remains obliged to comply with EU rules and regulations. For roughly half the population January 1, 2021 will be a day to celebrate freedom from EU diktats and to welcome an era of unlimited possibilities. Continue reading

Sanctions are America’s go-to global weapon

An undersea pipeline to transport Russian natural gas to Germany is the latest target

Nowadays the US wields the threat of sanctions or crippling tariffs over the heads of trusted allies that rail against toeing Washington’s line — a far cry from the message of ‘America First’ candidate Donald Trump who had no desire to interfere in the affairs of other nations. Conversely President Trump has emerged as the Free World’s Punisher-in-Chief. Continue reading