Leftnews.org | News and Views from the Left

by Editors — last modified 2018-05-01T13:01:25-04:00
Contributors: Faiz Ahmed, JBB, Graham H. Cox, R. Dubois, JA Cox
The best of the political left-wing from around the web.

What Iraq’s election results mean for U.S. policy there | Brookings

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified May 20, 2018 09:04 AM
"Muqtada al-Sadr is also known for his Iraqi nationalism and anti-Iran credentials, resisting Iran’s influence like his father did in the 1990s. But he is also staunchly anti-American. His movement gave rise to many of the Shiite militia groups that committed atrocities against Americans and that today dominate Iraq—as well as the frontlines of the war in Syria, where they have fought U.S. forces. These groups have been pivotal to securing the Assad regime’s survival as well as enhancing Iran’s influence in the region. ... While al-Sadr’s victory complicates things for Iran, the strong showing from [other Shi'a militia's] means that leaders in Tehran will not be losing any sleep."

The dangers of Iraq’s oil law | The Financial Times

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified May 20, 2018 08:47 AM
"A petroleum law was passed this year that will transform the largely successful relationship between the government and operating companies. This creates a single entity with sole responsibility for all aspects of the development of the oil and gas sector across Iraq."

Canadian physician Tarek Loubani shot in Gaza Strip while providing medical care | CTV

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified May 15, 2018 06:37 PM
"In a blog post published on Monday, Dr. Tarek Loubani described how he was shot in the leg while he was attending wounded Palestinians in Gaza. The London, Ont.-based physician said he was shot towards the end of the morning on Monday while he was standing with a group of other medical professionals away from the main protest area, but in view of three Israeli sniper outposts. Dr. Loubani said that he was wearing “full hospital greens” as he stood talking with a colleague. ... Dr. Loubani made headlines in 2013 when he and another Canadian were arrested and held for several months in Egypt during the violent uprising against former Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi. At the time, Dr. Loubani said they were only passing through Egypt on their way to Gaza, where he has embarked on numerous humanitarian missions."

Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr takes early lead in Iraq election | PBS

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified May 14, 2018 11:04 AM
"Al-Sadr is a strong Iraqi nationalist — he is critical of any outside influence in the country — and campaigned on a platform that criticized Iraq’s current political leadership as deeply corrupt. He rose to prominence in Iraq after the 2003 U.S.-led overthrow of Saddam Hussein when he commanded a militia that fought American troops. He also commanded paramilitary forces in the war against IS. Al-Sadr did not run for a seat in parliament and therefore cannot become prime minister. However, if his alliance wins the most seats, a member of his bloc will be tasked with forming a majority government and will appoint the country’s next prime minister. Despite not holding an official office, al-Sadr exercises strong organizational control over his followers. ... al-Sadr campaigned on a cross-sectarian platform of fighting corruption and investing in services and struck a surprising alliance with the Communist Party in the capital."
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