Author: newpolitics

The Baqee Protest: A Way to Shock the Prince and His Billionaire Admirers

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Saudi prince Salman dazzled Wall Street and the glitterati in his three-week U.S. tour this past March. The captains of finance (Stephen Schwartzman, Peter Thiel), tech (Gates, Bezos), politics (Trump, Clinton), and Hollywood (Disney’s Bob Iger, director James Cameron, Morgan Freeman) all met with him. “60 Minutes” did a fawning piece, as did NPR and the Atlantic. The New York Times printed two rapturous articles by Thomas Friedman. Finally, they had a marketable Saudi royal. Mohammad bin Salman was not the usual doddering nonagenarian, but a vigorous take-charge guy, who … get this… is going to let women drive!

The roots of Venezuela’s crisis and the lessons for the left

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Collapsing wages, food shortages, and rampant inflation have led to growing hunger and desperation in Venezuela. Recent videos illustrate just how desperate the situation has become, as hungry people chase down livestock in the fields to butcher it for its meat, or skin dogs and cats on the streets of Caracas. Violent food-related protests have erupted in various cities around the country, and the looting of grocery stores is becoming more and more widespread. Meanwhile, thousands of Venezuelans are flooding across the borders into neighboring countries.

“60 Minutes” Airs Dreadful Segment on Prince Salman

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Hopefully this piece will be a bit of help to those demonstrating against Prince Salman’s #TrillionaireTour of the U.S.  (Aramco, the kingdom/Saudi family-owned oil company is valued at $2 trillion.)  Another piece I wrote about Saudi Arabia and the colleges that take Saudi elite money is at The Nation.

The problem with leftist myths about Syria

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Why are voices on the left still justifying the Syrian regime's indiscriminate bombardment of Eastern Ghouta?

As the death toll in the Damascus' suburb of Eastern Ghouta reached nearly 700 in two weeks and continues to rise, many so-called progressive voices continue to justify the carnage.

Russiagate or Deep State? What Some Progressives Get Wrong on Russia

The bizarre denialism of some on the left and right about Russiagate doesn't bode well for the future of American politics

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When it comes to the Russiagate scandal, progressives usually take one of two positions.

They either dismiss the scandal as a lot of hooey, a “nothingburger,” just a way for warmongers and the “Deep State” to revive a cold war between Washington and Moscow. Or they treat the scandal as just a means to an end, a way to cast doubt on the 2016 presidential election, implicate the administration in a variety of crimes, and ultimately impeach the president.

A Litmus Test for Detecting Syria Trolls

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The situation in Syria is incredibly complex, so it’s not surprising that there are conflicting interpretations of different pieces of information. But, sometimes, a claim is so clearly without merit, so obviously ludicrous, that those who promote it mark themselves, at best, as individuals wholly uninterested in examining evidence when a dubious claim conforms to their preconceived notions, or, at worst, as scoundrels.

The War is Far from Being Over in Syria

Syrian Corner talks with Gilbert Achcar about recent developments in the Syrian conflict

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Gilbert Achcar is Professor of Development Studies at SOAS, University of London, as well as a well-known author focusing on the Middle East and the Arab World. He met with Syrian Corner during Syria Awareness Week 2018. Achcar posits that the Syrian conflict is far from over and that for Bashar al-Assad to establish a new political framework, an accord between the US and Russia is necessary. Achcar says the role of Iran in a future Syria is one of the key issues at stake, and discusses the Turkish war against the PYD, the regional role of Saudi Arabia, the international peace conferences for Syria, the recent demonstrations in Iran, and the new US foreign policy for the Middle East in the interview below.

Fossil Fuels and Toxic Landscapes – Issue Launch and Panel

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The House Resolution on Yemen is a Stinker

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Congress was given a chance to stand up for basic humanity and the Constitution, but instead chose to lay an egg, a rotten one at that. It rejected a chance to use the War Powers Act to halt U.S. collaboration with Saudi Arabia’s ruthless war and siege tactics in Yemen. Instead it passed a resolution that could have been written by the Saudi kingdom’s lawyers and publicists.

Wholly Dedicated to Socialism From Below

THE DEATH of Joanne Landy earlier this month is a profound loss to the socialist and internationalist movements.

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Joanne Landy, 1941-2017

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Polish Video Tribute to Joanne Landy

This video in honor of Joanne Landy was made at the request of Piotr Niemczyk, an activist in the 1980’s in the Polish independent peace group “Freedom and Peace.” It was shown at an event in New York City on June 1, 2017, honoring Joanne Landy.

 

No to Assad’s Brutality, No to Isis, No to U.S. and Russian Bombing and Military Forces in Syria, For a Revival of the Arab Spring

ImageWe are horrified by the relentless, cruel attacks of the Assad regime, aided by Moscow and Tehran, on the Syrian people. For sheer brutality the butchers in Damascus have few equals in the world today. But we also wholeheartedly condemn U.S. bombing and military forces in Syria, which will kill innocent people and contribute nothing towards a just solution to the Syrian conflict, while at the same time serving to deepen the reactionary U.S. military presence in the Middle East and reinforce Assad’s rhetorical claim that he is defending the Syrian people against Western imperialism, hollow though that claim may be.

I See America Marching Again

[Spanish/French]

I see America marching again,
As we have marched so often.

Russia and the Left

[Note: This article is forthcoming in the Winter 2017 issue of New Politics.]

What explains the enthusiasm in certain quarters of the left for Vladimir Putin and Russia? Why do some cheer on Russian bombing in Syria, dismissing out of hand the evidence from Physicians for Human Rights, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch1 that they are criminally targeting hospitals? Why do some try to justify Russia’s takeover of Crimea or its blatant intervention in Ukraine?

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Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall…

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Trump is President. To avoid repeating the causes of Trump winning requires knowing what the causes were.

Statement on My Satirical Christmas Tweet

On Christmas Eve, I sent a satirical tweet about an imaginary concept, 'white genocide.' For those who haven't bothered to do their research, “white genocide” is an idea invented by white supremacists and used to denounce everything from interracial relationships to multicultural policies (and most recently, against a tweet by State Farm Insurance). It is a figment of the racist imagination, it should be mocked, and I'm glad to have mocked it.

Standing Rock: Victory Celebrated, Struggle to Continue

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Victory….for now

Should We Be Surprised “Anti-War” Gabbard Auditions for Trump?

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After tens of thousands of young people rushed to the streets to denounce Trump’s election, “Sanderista” Tulsi Gabbard’s made different kind of headlines. She answered Donald Trump’s call and went to a vetting meeting. Yes, after the election all the Democrat pols gave the usual clichés about cooperation with Trump on certain matters, as if Trump were just some other Republican. That’s bad enough, but this was something more. Gabbard was actually looking to join the Trump Administration. She denies it. She ludicrously claims this was just a meeting to talk about Syria and the need for peace. As if “peace” was uppermost in Trump’s mind now. As if he wasn’t spending all his time visiting Alt-Right sewers and billionaire clubs to staff his cabinet.

On the Death of Fidel Castro – View of a Socialist Cuban Living Abroad

A refreshing, unconventional view, with none of the usual leftist idolizing of Castro. We talk about Fidel's popularity in Cuba among the older generation, his success in standing for Cubans against U.S. designs, the dictatorial power he seized and some of the huge moves he made in Africa, some good, some awful (Eritrea, Syria, Ortega's Nicaragua today).

Reflections on the Election

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Post-election left analyses have accurately identified many of the immediate causes for our current debacle. Voter suppression, the Electoral College, the Democratic Party, the Clinton campaign, Hillary Clinton, labor leaders, hacked emails, FBI chief James Comey, Democratic primary voters who voted for Clinton, minority voters who didn’t turn out in sufficient numbers — the list goes on. And all of these deserve blame. But I’ve seen very little self-reflection from the left. There have been some vigorous defenses of left actions, but little self-criticism and little to suggest that the same mistakes won't be repeated again.

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