Leftnews.org | News and Views from the Left

by Editors — last modified 2017-12-11T18:41:35-05:00
Contributors: Faiz Ahmed, JBB, Graham H. Cox, R. Dubois, JA Cox
The best of the political left-wing from around the web.

Why Israel Is Giving Syrians Free Spaghetti (And Health Care) | Politico

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Oct 28, 2017 03:14 PM
"Since the Good Neighbor policy’s creation in June 2016 [sic], the IDF has deepened and expanded its outreach to the Syrian side: According to official figures, more than 200 humanitarian operations have been conducted, 44 in the past month alone. On any given night, the IDF is active on multiple points on the Syrian frontier, interacting with locals on the other side. More recently, this has also come to include the establishment of a medical clinic beyond the heavily fortified border fence, in territory that while still legally (de facto) Israel, is for all practical purposes inside Syria. The IDF, however, doesn’t operate the clinic; it only guarantees its security from afar. Rather, a little-known U.S. humanitarian NGO sent in volunteers to build and staff the place."

The Harmful Effects of Antifa | Counter Punch

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Oct 25, 2017 10:54 PM
"All those who are sincerely on the left, who are in favor of greater social and economic equality for all, who oppose the endless aggressive foreign wars and the resulting militarization of the American police and the American mentality, must realize that, since the Clintonian takeover of the Democratic Party, the ruling oligarchic establishment disguises itself as “the left”, uses “left” arguments to justify itself, and largely succeeds in manipulating genuine leftists for its own purposes. This has caused such confusion that it is quite unclear what “left” means any more. ... Antifa contributes to this confusion by giving precedence to the suppression of “bad” ideas rather than to the development of good ones through uninhibited debate. ... Antifa rhetoric specializes in non sequitur. If you agree with some conservative or libertarian that it was wrong to destroy Libya, then you are not only guilty of association with a pre-fascist, you are a supporter of dictators and thus probably a fascist yourself. This has been happening in France for years and it’s just getting started in the United States. ... Whatever they think they are doing, whatever they claim to be doing, the one thing they really are doing is to tie the left into such sectarian intolerance that any broad inclusive single-issue anti-war movement becomes impossible."

NSA Document Says Saudi Prince Directly Ordered Coordinated Attack By Syrian Rebels On Damascus | The Intercept

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Oct 25, 2017 11:07 AM
"The March 2013 attacks in Damascus provide a concrete example of the role that foreign powers played in the day-to-day reality of the conflict. A number of videos posted by Syrian opposition media on the day of the attacks purport to show rebel fighters firing rockets at the same sites mentioned in the U.S. document. Local media reports from that day described an attack in which rockets struck within the areas of the presidential palace, a local government security branch, and the airport. ... The Free Syrian Army factions in the videos of the March 2013 attacks appear to have belonged to Saudi- and Jordanian-supported Southern Front, as well as the Ahfad al-Rasul (“Grandsons of the Prophet”) Brigades. The group’s name offers a poignant example of the sort of confusion that reigned over rebel forces: The moniker Ahfad al-Rasul appears to have been used by different groups, with different ideological leanings, at different times in the conflict."

Clinton campaign, DNC paid for research that led to Russia dossier | The Washington Post

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Oct 25, 2017 11:01 AM
"The Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee helped fund research that resulted in a now-famous dossier containing allegations about President Trump’s connections to Russia and possible coordination between his campaign and the Kremlin, people familiar with the matter said. ... In early January, then-FBI Director James B. Comey presented a two-page summary of Steele’s dossier to President Barack Obama and President-elect Trump. In May, Trump fired Comey, which led to the appointment of Robert S. Mueller III as special counsel investigating the Trump-Russia matter."

Saudi Arabia wants to return to ‘moderate Islam.’ Skeptics say it’s a marketing ploy. | The Washington Post

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Oct 25, 2017 10:55 AM
"In a subsequent interview with the Guardian, he unexpectedly blamed Saudi Arabia’s arch enemy Shiite Iran for the kingdom's turn toward Wahhabism, an ultraconservative branch of Islam, which is being promoted by Riyadh both domestically and abroad. “What happened in the last 30 years is not Saudi Arabia. What happened in the region in the last 30 years is not the Middle East. After the Iranian revolution in 1979, people wanted to copy this model in different countries — one of them is Saudi Arabia. We didn’t know how to deal with it. And the problem spread all over the world. Now is the time to get rid of it,” said bin Salman, speaking to the Guardian."

Ontario college strike spotlights 'new norm' of precarious labour in academia - Canada - CBC News

by Graham H. Cox — last modified Oct 23, 2017 10:16 AM
"A strike by Ontario's college teachers is shedding light on a trend in higher education that some say is "shrouded in secrecy" and needs public attention. Precarious work is a trend in the labour market in Canada in general, but it's not necessarily associated with the ivory towers of the country's post-secondary institutions. Universities and colleges, however, are increasingly putting faculty on short-term contracts instead of hiring them for full-time, permanent jobs."
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