Newsletter – September 2013

Welcome to The Global Dispatches
This month we have a fascinating history of the Cossacks by Vlad Chorazy; Alessandra Quattrocchi follows the project to take Handel to Bhutan with a performance of Acis and Galatea; Fred Lawson, author of Global Security Watch—Syria (2013) and Why Syria Goes to War (1996) on what awaits the US if they were to invade Syria; Lev Myshkin reviews Eduardo Galeano's 'Children of the Days'; En Liang Khong takes a look at what lies behind the high level trial of Bo Xilai in China; Irene Dogmatic takes us on a ride through the Chitwan National Park in Nepal; Daniel Wagner and Giorgio Cafiero take a look at Germany’s arms trade with the Middle East; Stijn Claessens, Lev Ratnovski (from the IMF) answer the question ‘what is shadow banking?’ and Gigi Ibrahim examines the militarization of the media in Egypt.

Handel in Bhutan
By Alessandra Quattrocchi

In October, Handel’s opera; "Acis and Galatea" will be performed in the Bhutanese capital Thimphu - an ambitious and utopian project that will see combined the genius of Handel with traditional Bhutanese dance and music. The conductor Aaron Carpené assures us; "It promises to be an exciting and mysterious adventure into the world of Baroque opera".

The Cossacks: a sabre on the wall
By Vlad Chorazy

A history of the Cossacks from earliest times as they bartered for their social freedoms in exchange for military service, contributing to the expansion of the small Tsardom of Muscovy into a vast Russian Empire. Cossacks fiercely defended their independence for centuries in a period of serfdom.

What Awaits the U.S. in Syria
By Fred H. Lawson

Military intervention in Syria would have no unambiguous allies on the ground and no well-defined territories to secure but if it did manage to destabilize the Ba'thi regime, who knows what additional horrors might be inflicted upon vulnerable communities all across Syria?

Children of the Days
By Allston Mitchell

Like a medieval Book of Days, each page of Eduardo Galeano's "Children of the Days" tells an illuminating story inspired by that day of the year, resurrecting the heroes and heroines who have fallen off the historical map but whose lives remind us of our darkest hours and sweetest victories.

Wild ghosts: Bo Xilai on trial
By En Liang Khong

The trial of the disgraced Chinese politician is hurtling towards its predictable conclusion. But a spectre still haunts the Party, and all those at play in China’s political life. It is the spectre of the Cultural Revolution.

Tiger, tiger … nowhere in sight
By Irene Dogmatic

The Chitwan National Park in Nepal is famous for its Royal Bengal tigers and one-horned rhinoceros, but the wonderful creature we got to know – and love - best was the elephant. The Bengal tiger, however, remained elusive.

Germany’s Arms Sales and the Middle East
By Daniel Wagner - Giorgio Cafiero

A combination of domestic factors and recent geopolitical developments in the Arab world have prompted Germany to become a major arms supplier for the Gulf Cooperation Council states,

What is Shadow Banking?
By Stijn Claessens, Lev Ratnovski

There is much confusion about what shadow banking is and why it might create systemic risks. Shadow banking is ‘all financial activities, except traditional banking, which require a private or public backstop to operate’.

A militarized media in Egypt: a dirty war making many of us blind
By Gigi Ibrahim

The people will soon see the “true colours” of SCAF – or will they? It depends where they get their information from.

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