Saturday, June 21, 2014

And this weekend's reads (mostly Iraq, but not just)

Iraq, Syria, etc

ottawacitizen.com - It’s quite the contrast: ritual beheadings and jihadist firing squads erupting all across Iraq at the same time that millions of voters in Afghanistan were calmly defying Taliban suicide-bomb threats and queueing for a second-round runoff vote to replace that ill-tempered old nabob, Hamid Karzai....

kyleorton1991.wordpress.com - I like Twitter; it has helped me avoid wading through the news on what passes for British politics in order to find the interesting stuff—you follow the right people, and the news comes to you. But following last week’s meltdown in Iraq that powerful faction of deranged people who use the platform made themselves felt. Some were antisemitic but there was also all-purpose crackpottedness that included calling for my arrest for supporting terrorism. Among this garbage there was a serious point: the anti-war forces were feeling a moment of vindication. Now that the immediate crisis has passed, and, contrary to some extremely alarming reports a week ago, it does not look as if Baghdad will fall imminently, it seems like a good moment to revisit some of the questions that have dogged us since American-led troops crossed into Iraq in March 2003 to finally take the march into Baghdad they should have taken in 1991....

dianadarke.com - As submitted to The Tablet, published 21 June 2014 “Abigail Frymann tries hard to present both sides of the narrative in her feature interview (“The rebels want my head”, 7 June) with Mother Agnes ...

Shared by James Bloodworth
leftfootforward.org - The scale of the tragedy requires a much greater response than the callous and disinterested one shown by the government With the unfolding drama in Iraq climbing to the top of the news agenda, the...

Some articles on ISIS’s Ba’athist allies:

Uneasy Alliance Gives Insurgents an Edge in Iraq –
ISIS’s Secret Allies

Below the fold: Russia, the far right, British politics, the white working class, and more….


Russia

Shared by Katie Fisher
interpretermag.com RT, also known as Russia Today (that’s not entirely accurate anymore, but it’s a long story), is the English-language Russian media Goliath which has a lot to boast about. A 2012 Pew Research poll found that RT had the most Youtube videos of any news agency on the planet. The Kremlin-operated agency is now available to more than 86 million cable subscribers in the United States alone, and boasts over 1 million Facebook “likes,” adding to its more than one billion Youtube channel views and more than one million Youtube subscribers. While it’s easy to dismiss the channel as a propaganda outlet (it is) with no real credibility, the fact is that it appeals to wide segments of the populace spanning both the East and the West. In countries with democratic systems that are already bitterly divided over politics and policy, influencing just a small part of the populace could be enough to tip the scales and change the course of geopolitics....

The far right

soupyone.wordpress.com - Most literate adults (or at least those with access to the Internet) would probably know to avoid the opinions of David Duke. Duke, ex-Grand Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, convicted fraudster...

anotherangryvoice.blogspot.com - In this article I am going to explain twelve things you should know about the extreme-right hate group called Britain First....

Film, literature and the revenge of history

sadredearth.com - At the Los Angeles Film Festival I caught Rory Kennedy’s powerful and moving Last Days in Vietnam. If you think you are familiar with the story of the botched and frantic – and heroic – American...

klima
maxdunbar.wordpress.com - This place’ll be a paradise tomorrow. And in every department there’ll be a supervisor with a sub-machine gun. There’s a famous saying upon revolution, the origin of which I forget, that goes somet...

Class, history and British politics

fatmanonakeyboard.blogspot.com - Owen Jones takes on David Cameron's assertion that Magna Carta is a good thing, by trotting out his own list of good things. It is hard to read either without cringing. One historical myth is replaced...

fatmanonakeyboard.blogspot.com - The white working class - this is the latest object of political fascination. And so the cry goes up from the left to listen to them on immigration, to reach out to UKIP voters, to prove that you ...




More here. Including:

Last week (Putin, Ukraine, Israel/Palestine, etc)

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