Leftnews.org | News and Views from the Left

by Editors — last modified 2019-06-24T08:39:47-04:00
Contributors: Faiz Ahmed, JBB, Graham H. Cox, R. Dubois, JA Cox
The best of the political left-wing from around the web.

Egypt minister's alleged threat to critics sparks outrage | Al Jazeera English

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Jul 25, 2019 06:52 PM
"Mohamed Kamel, a member of the board of directors of the Egyptian Canadian Coalition for Democracy, told Radio-Canada on Tuesday that the remarks were "very dangerous and unacceptable". "It reminds us of the Jamal Khashoggi case," he said, referring to the dissident Saudi journalist who was murdered and dismembered last year at the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul."

Egyptian minister's laughing vow in Canada to 'slice up' anyone who criticizes her country | National Post

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Jul 25, 2019 06:50 PM
"Makram was near the end of a short speech to an Egyptian heritage dinner Sunday when she said in Arabic that anyone who criticized Egypt would be “sliced up,” accompanying the remark with a slashing motion across her throat. ... Egyptian ex-patriates cite evidence that critics of the Sisi government in Canada are already under watch, and note that a visiting Egyptian-Canadian businessman has been imprisoned in Cairo without charge for months."

The Meaning of Boris Johnson | Verso Blog

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Jul 24, 2019 09:00 AM
"Cameron was not able to overcome the fracturing of capital nor reverse the long-term decline of his party among the electorate ... [Theresa May's] ill-fated three years in the job proved even more short-termist than Cameron's time. ... This leads to the cul-de-sac represented by Boris Johnson. ... With the Brexit Party coming first in this year's EU elections, he knows that if the UK does not leave the EU by 31st October, it will be the ruination of his career and the likely death of the Conservative Party. For Johnson, this must be avoided at all costs, because a split right opens the possibility of the 1980s in reverse – a period of Labour hegemony while its parliamentary opposition is divided. The rhetoric may change, but the extreme short-termism is set to continue."

Farewell, Theresa May. Your best was far from good enough | The Guardian

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Jul 24, 2019 08:58 AM
"The media class, convinced that Labour under Jeremy Corbyn was destined to fail, were complicit in seeing attributes in May that did not exist. ... May could not navigate her way out of the Brexit mess. But Cameron created it. Calling a referendum, losing it and then fleeing the scene almost immediately. Her successor is likely to be worse too. Johnson is a better communicator; but chutzpah is not a strategy and pomposity is not a plan. ... His contribution, in this critical moment, is wordplay and a joke. ... But the EU will probably have the last laugh because the deal May came back with was in all likelihood the best deal a Tory could get. This was not the failure of an individual but of a party and a system. She was the best they could do and she did the best she could. This is the problem. This is why we need an election."

The Wheels Are Coming Off | Lobe Log

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Jul 22, 2019 11:04 AM
"We are not privy to the understandings that may have accompanied the informal U.S.-Israeli-Saudi-UAE alliance, but there is no evidence that any of the states hosting American bases in the Persian Gulf have any voice in Washington’s decision-making. Recent events have made it crystal clear that those host countries, especially the UAE and Qatar, will be regarded by Iran as accessories to U.S. military actions. The UAE has conspicuously separated itself from Washington and Saudi Arabia. The UAE announced that it does not have sufficient evidence to determine what party was responsible for the tanker bombings. More significantly, the UAE has now announced that it is withdrawing its forces from the civil war in Yemen (though not from its anti-terrorist operations against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula)."

Gulf crisis: story began with UK's seizure of Iranian-flagged ship in Gibraltar | The Guardian

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Jul 22, 2019 10:54 AM
"To the Iranian eye, the British action had nothing to do with an EU embargo, and everything to do with an desire to support the US squeeze on Iranian oil exports, the quickest route to bringing the Iranian economy to its knees. Some reports estimate that Iranian exports are down to 200,000 barrels a month. Britain’s efforts to extricate itself started to emerge at the weekend, when Jeremy Hunt, the foreign secretary, rang his Iranian opposite number, Javad Zarif, and said the ship could be released if there was an undertaking that the ship would no longer travel to Syria. ... Instead – to the frustration of the Iranians – at a briefing hearing on Friday morning, the Gibraltar court extended the detention of the Grace 1 for 30 days. The 2.1m barrels of oil remain in British hands. ... In the end, the British-flagged tanker was a sitting duck, and now the consequences are plain for all to see. Not just oil, but crew are now hostage, and diplomats can only ponder in retrospect whether the right judgments were made."

Ousted Honduran President Zelaya: The 2009 U.S.-Backed Coup Helped Cause Today’s Migrant Crisis | Democracy Now

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Jul 12, 2019 10:58 AM
"Ten years ago, John Negroponte, undersecretary of state, and President George W. Bush warned me and threatened me, when I was president of Honduras, saying that if had relations with Hugo Chávez, then I would have problems with the United States. Six months after that warning, I was removed from power and removed from this country. ... they made a mistake. And I’ll talk to you about the gangs, the maras, in just a moment, to your question. But if you think about the elite in the U.S. government, well, their view for this region is mistaken. They want to go back to the 1980s, which was marked by the Cold War, stigmatizing the opposition. They’ve created shock forces, psychological war, dirty war. Well, if they think that they’re going to be able to stop migration in this way, well, it’s only going to worsen."

Syriza’s defeat shows the left needs a plan to hold on to power, not just win it | The Guardian

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Jul 12, 2019 10:42 AM
"But there are three broader lessons that a left serious about the prospect of government might learn. First, only propose an agenda to take on powerful interests if you have a strategy to fight them and fully intend to pursue it. ... Second, there is a limit to how much any election can achieve under neoliberal globalisation – because no matter who you vote for, capital and its proxies always get in. ... Finally, and consequently, the left cannot limit itself to an electoral strategy alone. Many major social and political advances, from civil rights, workers’ rights, feminism and even democracy itself, started as social movements to distribute and democratise power."
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