Martin Woollacott

The war on coherence

Two months after the Caucasus conflict broke out, some sober lessons are emerging for all sides.

West just can’t leave Middle East

Why are we in the Middle East? This is the real question that the Madrid bombs pose for Europe and the United States, and for the nations of that region themselves. The struggle in which we are all caught up is, ultimately, neither about Iraq nor about terrorism narrowly defined.

A poor agency of change

There is a dispiriting resemblance between recent news about former Yugoslavia and news about Iraq, the two places that bracket the modern era of intervention. Several factors suggest the necessity not only for reform, but for a new modesty in the West's approach to intervention.

How Europeans see Israel

Ever since its foundation, Israel has been troubled by the thought that it might have as much to fear from supposed friends as from avowed enemies. That is one reason why Israelis are often anxious monitors of public opinion in North America and Europe.

We should welcome signs of a shrinking population

What is regarded as good news and bad news is a changeable thing. Thirty years ago, when anxiety about rising population and diminished resources was fresher than it is today, figures showing a flattening out of population growth in many countries, including our own, would have been seen as a boon.

America helped ruin Liberia. Now it must help repair it

The world cannot just watch as west Africa falls apart, the US secretary of state, Colin Powell, said last week.

Buddha versus Honda

Asked what he desired most now that he had his new apartment, the young Chinese businessman slowly and fervently breathed the word ''Honda'''. China is battling against the tide of mass-consumption.

A doctrine tailored for Iraq

It is unlikely, argues Martin Woollacott, that Bush's military pre-emptive doctrine will be acceptable in other situations.

Don’t blame religion for ‘holy’ killings

It has always been true that many things done in the name of God would be abhorrent to a benign deity. But this seems like an especially bad period for the abuse of religion. Religion continues to be a vehicle for political expression and change, whether peaceful or violent.

Bush stonewalls on Iraq

President George W Bush this week described speculation about an impending attack on Iraq as ''a frenzy'', stressing he was a ''patient man'' and would consult with United States allies before any possible action.

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