Author Archives: Linda S. Heard

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

Where the homeless are ignored and vilified

Sincere advocates are rarely given the opportunity to carry through on their promises

Imagine being obliged to sleep shivering on the street or under canvas in the dead of winter. For most of us curled-up and cosy under our duvets with the TV remote at the ready such a dreadful scenario is so alien that it rarely crosses our minds. Continue reading

Labour’s Achilles’ heel is its leader

Corbyn comes with baggage based on his previous associations with officials of Iran and Hamas

As Britain gears up for what is arguably the most important general election, one poised to decide the nation’s future for generations to come, voter enthusiasm is at an all-time low. Continue reading

Why economic sanctions don’t deliver results

They are weapons breeding misery, hatred and starvation in some poorest populations

The nuclear deal with Iran initiated by US President Barack Obama, sealed after seven years of negotiations, was certainly flawed. It was the worst deal ever negotiated pronounced President Donald Trump who had a point because it served to embolden, enrich and legitimise the Iranian regime for very little in return. Continue reading

NATO faces an unprecedented challenge

A cautious stance by the Transatlantic alliance is probably wise

During an interview published in the Economist France’s President Emmanuel Macron accused the White House of inflicting “brain death” on the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and accused the US of “turning its back on us” citing America’s withdrawal of troops from northern Syria to pave the way for a Turkish incursion without consultation with allies. Continue reading

Ethiopia must show flexibility on Egypt’s Nile share

Cairo fears Grand Renaissance Dam will negatively impact its share of lifeblood—water

Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam (GERD) has been a bone of contention between Cairo and Addis Ababa since 2011 when construction began without consultations or environmental and impact studies. Continue reading

Arab land is not America’s to gift

US president Trump cannot hand over a sovereign territory to a third entity

The idea that one individual can unilaterally decide the fate of a population 10,000km away on a whim and, worse, surrender even an inch of a state’s sovereign territory to a third entity is illegal, immoral and downright dangerous. Continue reading

Global condemnation fails to halt Turkish invasion

NATO’s defence pact and US backing bolsters Ankara bid to destroy the Syrian Kurds

Hundreds of thousands of Kurds, Syriac Christians and Arabs are fleeing Turkey’s bombs and ground forces that include hardcore Islamist ‘rebels.’ Continue reading

Hong Kong sleepwalks into self-destruct mode

Since emergency law has been imposed, prognosis for a peaceful resolution has dimmed

It is a facet of human nature to gravitate towards the underdogs of this world and when covering mass anti-government uprisings, wherever they take place, the media and human rights groups tend to reflect that sentiment. Continue reading

Why Palestinians are not watching Israeli polls

Whoever wins will work to crush all remnants of Palestinian hopes for independent state

Today, Israelis will cast their ballots for the second time in five months due to the inability of the incumbent, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to form a coalition following elections in April. A high turnout looks unlikely when many voters complain of election-fatigue and the two front-running parties sing from a similar dirge-like song book. Continue reading

Fix Syria to solve refugee problem

In Europe, refugees and asylum seekers are being blamed for the rise of far-right parties

It’s a crying shame that ‘refugee’ and ‘migrant’ have almost become dirty words from one side of the Atlantic to the other. Desperate families fleeing conflicts, violence or abject poverty have been dehumanised, turned into scapegoats and in some cases locked-up, treated worse than cattle. Continue reading