Leftnews.org | News and Views from the Left

by Editors — last modified 2017-07-05T10:43:19-04:00
Contributors: Faiz Ahmed, JBB, Graham H. Cox, R. Dubois, JA Cox
The best of the political left-wing from around the web.

Former Quebec neo-Nazi speaks out about how he learned to hate minorities | CBC

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Aug 27, 2017 10:22 AM
"And you remember the Maple Spring, when Quebec students took over the streets in opposition to the government. I was completely in favor of abolition of tuition. But my comrades in the Nazi movement, in the ultra-nationalist movement, they were against the students. And some of them even said that … you know, they were in the army, and they said if we're deployed I'm going to be happy to shoot at the students. ... Everybody remembers the words of "money and the ethnic vote." [Quebec Premier Jacques Parizeau blamed the loss of the 1995 referendum on "money and the ethnic vote."] I took it personally when I was a kid, and it just brought me to believe, at some point, that some rich people were actually involved in forcing the government to allow massive immigration to dilute Quebec culture. I believed that."

Boris Johnson says UK was 'over-optimistic' about Libya | BBC

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Aug 25, 2017 09:06 AM
"[H]e told the Today programme it was "misleading" to think of Libya as divided into two parties, adding that it is much more divided than that. Though it is six years since the removal of Col Gaddafi, he said: "There's been a complete breakdown of government authority - Libya is not in a state of civil war - it would be more accurate to describe it as in a state of anarchy. ... Shortly after Col Gaddafi was overthrown in 2011, thousands of Libyans turned out to cheer former Prime Minister David Cameron and then-French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Benghazi - hailing the pair as heroes for their support."

Syria war: Meeting Syria's generals in the desert | BBC

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Aug 25, 2017 09:02 AM
"Recent battlefield successes on key fronts against Syrian rebel groups have freed up some of their forces, and those of their friends, to enable this determined push across eastern Syria. Local ceasefires, backed by Moscow's political and military muscle, have brought relative quiet to some remaining rebel enclaves. But every officer we spoke to was adamant that the north-west province of Idlib, the biggest opposition stronghold, would be their next target after the IS caliphate collapses. The territorial defeat of IS may now be only a matter of months."

Israel Wants Seat at Table as Powers Seek End to Syria War | Bloomberg

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Aug 23, 2017 01:47 PM
"Complicated alliances in the Syrian war make Netanyahu’s mission a tough one. Israel could escalate the pinpoint strikes against Iran and Hezbollah it has already carried out during the war if it isn’t satisfied that Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump are taking its security concerns into account. Moshe Ya’alon, who served as Israel’s defense minister during part of the war, said Israel may be forced to act militarily if Iran isn’t expelled."

What the West Got Wrong in Syria | Foreign Policy

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Aug 23, 2017 01:37 PM
"Academics, journalists, and policymakers who predicted that there was a realistic chance for the Assad regime to survive for a longer time, or called the moral legitimacy of the allegedly “peaceful” opposition into question, ran the risk of being accused of being pro-Assad — or even of being against democracy. Ideological arguments sometimes prevailed over realistic ones. Even the United Nations and its special envoys for Syria were from time to time accused of being partial to Assad after the slightest move that could potentially be interpreted as not opposing his interests. ... The Syrian opposition continued to be described as peaceful and democratic, even long after more radical forces, including Islamists and jihadis, had hijacked its platform and the Syrian war was already well underway. Subsequently, the concept of peaceful opposition became more of a myth than the reality it was in the beginning. But the rhetoric of Western politicians did not change ... was there any guarantee that arms provided to others would not end up in the hands of Islamists and jihadis? And were the arms really intended to help topple the Assad regime? Or was providing arms mainly intended to help the opposition in defending itself? Or mainly to fight the Islamic State, the Nusra Front, and other jihadi organizations? Was it a humanitarian gesture? No clear U.S. or EU strategy was visible, except that defeating the Islamic State became the priority. Meanwhile, more radical Islamic groups had become stronger than the relatively moderate Free Syrian Army (FSA). Countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar focused their support also on Islamist armed organizations like Ahrar al-Sham and Jaysh al-Islam."

White Liberals Still Don’t Understand White Supremacy | Harper's Baza'ar

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Aug 23, 2017 12:59 PM
"Racism doesn’t always look like the KKK marching hoodless in broad daylight. Racism also looks like white liberals getting angry at people of color who ask them to confront how they benefit from white supremacy and white privilege. It looks like white women telling me that I am being divisive by asking for an honest conversation about race and racism within feminist circles. It looks like tone-policing, emotional labor, objectification, fetishization, the white-savior complex, staying silent when you hear overt racism, saying nothing about working in a mostly white to all-white office, ignoring gentrification and the school-to-prison pipeline, loving The Help but hating Girls Trip."
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