Leftnews.org | News and Views from the Left

by Editors — last modified 2016-02-04T13:54:47-04:00
Contributors: Faiz Ahmed, JBB, Graham H. Cox, R. Dubois, JA Cox

Into the Green Zone: Iraq’s Disintegrating Political System

by JBB — last modified May 02, 2016 05:34 PM
by Patrick Cockburn | CounterPunch | The storming of the parliament building in Baghdad by protesters chanting the name of populist Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr is a sign that the political system built up since the US invasion in 2003 is disintegrating. The Iraqi security forces stood back and did nothing as the protesters burst into the Green Zone, graphically illustrating the weakness of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and of state institutions generally.

The Saudi Lobbying Complex Adds a New Member: GOP Super PAC Chair Norm Coleman | The Nation

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified May 02, 2016 02:05 PM
"Further questions are also being raised about how Saudi involvement in the Syrian civil war has directly and indirectly assisted the rise of ISIS and other radical groups in Syria. A report this month filed by Conflict Armament Research, a London-based think tank, found that “M79 90 mm anti-tank rockets captured from IS forces in Syria are identical to M79 rockets transferred by Saudi Arabia to forces operating under the ‘Free Syrian Army’ umbrella in 2013.” A recent report from Agence France-Presse claimed that some Syrian rebel groups had recently signed a “non-aggression” pact with ISIS. The White House has strenuously denied such a pact exists. ... Numerous media reports and social media postings have linked individuals based in Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia with efforts to raise money for ISIS."

Fidel Castro: The Cuban People Will Overcome | Monthly Review Zine

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified May 01, 2016 10:37 AM
"Without a tutor to help me in the study of Marxism-Leninism, I was no more than a theorist and, of course, had total confidence in the Soviet Union. Lenin's work [was] violated after 70 years of Revolution. What a history lesson! ... but the ideas of the Cuban communists will remain, as proof that, on this planet, if we work with fervor and dignity we can produce the material and cultural wealth that human beings need, and we must fight relentlessly to obtain it. To our brothers in Latin America and the world we must convey that the Cuban people will overcome."

Today Is Our Day | Jacobin

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified May 01, 2016 10:22 AM
"[Although] the right to the eight-hour day [may] have been dismantled by the anti-labor neoliberal consensus ... May Day still looms as a lasting legacy of the international movement for working-class liberation. ... Just ten years ago, in 2006, immigrant workers across the country stood up to restrictive immigration laws and abusive labor practices, organizing a massive movement of undocumented laborers that culminated in the so-called Great American Boycott (El Gran Paro Estadounidense). ... Ever since, May Day has been recognized as a day of solidarity with undocumented immigrants — a fitting reminder of May Day’s origins in a movement that saw native-born and immigrant workers standing together to defend their common interests."

U.S. Offers Record Aid Deal for Israel | The New York Times

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Apr 29, 2016 04:51 PM
"President Obama has proposed granting Israel the largest package of military aid ever provided by the United States to another nation ... American officials have balked as their Israeli counterparts insisted on more generous terms for a new 10-year military aid package that could top $40 billion. ... Israeli officials strongly deny that they are holding out for a sweeter agreement under a new president. ... Mr. Netanyahu refused to negotiate with Mr. Obama over the terms of a package to replace the roughly $3-billion-a-year military aid deal that expires in 2018. ... Israel has been the largest cumulative recipient of American foreign aid since World War II."

US Presidential Election: Beyond Lesser Evilism | Counter Punch

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Apr 29, 2016 11:38 AM
"More numerous than ever before, the working class can influence, shape, and ultimately lead the world economy if it takes on the challenge (a) in the context of broader coalitions and alliances with other social groups that also struggle for equity, environmental protection, and human rights; and (b) on an international level."
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