Syria's Wars, Yemen's Wars, Trump's Wars, & Soviet Children's Books

Submitted by admin on Fri, 07/21/2017 - 15:49

 

Dear Friends,

News comes from Washington - actually from an off the cuff remark from US President Donald Trump - that the United States will no longer support the Syrian rebels. The fear, Trump says, is that they are - in one way or another - allied with some variant of al-Qaeda. There is, of course, some truth to that. But it is not true that the United States is actually going to cut off its intervention in Syria. That is a fundamental misreading of the Trump statement.

First, the United States will continue to back the Syrian Defense Forces in north-eastern Syria

How the East Was Read, or Hooligan Communism.

Submitted by Vijay Prashad on Mon, 07/17/2017 - 08:57
Back page of How the Revolution Triumphed (1930)

 

As I work on the LeftWord Books edition of How the East Was Read, on reading Soviet books and on being surrounded by Soviet letters, I encountered Alisa Poret's thirteen delightful pictures for the 1930 book - How the Revolution Triumphed (see the back page, above).

The book was intended for children who were born after the 1917 Revolution and who would not have felt the urgency of Red October. There is no author's name with the book, which you can read in full here. The main show are the images. The text was likely written by someone in the editorial department of the publishing house. Th

War and Books

Submitted by admin on Sat, 07/15/2017 - 13:09

 

Dear Friends,

Mosul has been liberated. That is the headline. But what will this liberation mean. The picture above, taken by an AFP photographer, shows the extent of the devastation of the city. 'Our city is in ruins', says Ayman who lives in the western part of Mosul.

There is little press coverage of the brutal aerial bombardment of the city by the US-led Coalition. Amnesty International accused the United States of war crimes, which it has denied. But the evidence is quite shocking. AirWars has released an important report on the scale of the attacks, and t

Unemployment, Social Contract, Modi in Israel

Submitted by admin on Fri, 07/07/2017 - 07:48
Antonio Berni

 

Dear Friends,

Traveling from one side of the Mediterranean Sea back to the other - from Spain to Morocco and back - provides a vivid appreciation of the way the histories of these countries are intertwined. Not merely during the time of the Nasrid sultans of Andalusia, but also during the Spanish occupation of Morocco and during the military coup led by Franco in 1936 that began in Spanish occupied Morocco and came northward to inaugurate the Spanish Civil War. Even so now, when unemployment racks both sides of the sea - from Barcelona to Fez. That is the heart of the story which I am shar

Refugees, Titans

Submitted by admin on Fri, 06/30/2017 - 15:47
Yasmine Hadni

 

Dear Friends,

The United Nations' refugee agency - UNHCR - has offered a stark number: that the world's refugees now number close to 66 million. That makes refugees the 21st largest country in the world. A study shows that by 2020, it is likely that the refugee population will be at 2 billion. This is not an alarmist figure. It is one that should be taken very seriously.

My report at Alternet this week is on the ongoing refugee crisis, with stories from the Sahara, but also on the failed project of dealing with refugees through the lens of 'security' and not 'humanity'. It quotes from the

The Final Administration

Submitted by admin on Fri, 06/23/2017 - 17:37
Sagrada Familia

 

Dear Friends,

The image above is from Gaudi's spectacular Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. Jesus says to Judas, 'you have also betrayed me'. But he turns a bit too far and looks at us - those who enter the church - rather than Judas. This is a sculpture of complicity as much as betrayal. It reminds us of the dangers of silence when dangerous noises threaten our world.

This week, at Alternet, I have an essay on the Trump administration as The Final Administration. The worry here is the great disregard by this government to two of the gravest threats to the planet's longevity - climate catastr

Dubai, Corbyn and the Third World Project

Submitted by admin on Thu, 06/15/2017 - 05:46
Painting by Abdalla al-Omari

 

Dear Friends,

The picture above is from a painting by Abdalla al-Omari that is showing in Dubai's Ayyam Gallery. Al-Omari's series portrays world leaders as refugees. These are strong visuals of our times. What is not there in the series are images of the Gulf Arab leaders and their silences. It would be impossible to portray Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, emir of Dubai and Vice President of the UAE, as a refugee. Al-Omari would go to prison for that.

During Ramadan, Dubai bustles. Even the art galleries have special hours. The mood of war and embargoes that has unraveled Syria and

The Time When Britain's Jeremy Corbyn Met India's Lakshmi Sehgal

Submitted by Vijay Prashad on Sat, 06/10/2017 - 09:25
Jeremy Corbyn, Mustafa Barghouti, Arundhati Roy and Lakshmi Sehgal

 

In 2004, British parliamentarian and outspoken anti-war campaigner Jeremy Corbyn was invited to the World Social Forum in Mumbai (India). The organisers invited Corbyn for his frank stance against the West's illegal war on Iraq.

On 15 February 2003, Corbyn gave a speech in Hyde Park at the podium of the Stop the War Coalition, with which he had been associated since its formation in 2001. Nearly two million people - Corbyn's natural constituency - marched that day in London against the impending war. Here, as a Member of Parliament from Islington North, Corbyn called for a vote on the war

Qatar, Saudi, Trump

Submitted by admin on Thu, 06/08/2017 - 07:44
Demonstration in Istanbul in solidarity with Qatar

 

Dear Friends,

In Turkey last night there was a demonstration in Istanbul in solidarity with Qatar. The Turkish parliament voted to hasten deployment of thousands of its troops to the emirate. Meanwhile, Iraqi forces have moved to the Saudi border. Iran has pledged to supply Qatar with food and water, while Qatar Airlines flights have diverted their routes through Iranian and Turkish air-space.

The Saudi-Emirati drive against Qatar is not new and nor should it come as a surprise. Nor should the Turkish push to protect its ally - both patrons of the Muslim Brotherhood.

At Alternet, I have a