Bob from Brockley makes a welcome return to more regular blogging, and provides an excellent service to serious leftists, with his periodic digest of stuff worth reading that the rest of us may not be aware of:
So at the start of 2018 I said I’d do regular (weekly or fortnightly) roundups of essential reading, but it kind of fizzled out after a good start. Here’s another go. It’s a bit big, as it has about a month’s worth of links.
Fascist internationalism: Josephine Huetlin on the global far right’s love affair with Assad. Jason Wilson on the alt-right anti-war movement.
American fascism: Spencer Sunshine, on its 23rd anniversary, on how the far right changed after the Oklahoma City bombing. Also by Spencer: a case study of a neo-Nazi, Jake Laskey of the American Front, and Is the alt-right on its last legs? By Michael Lyons: Insurgent supremacists – on the morphing of the far right. Jason Wilson on far right attacks on the Parkland students.
Democrats and Veterans: Otto English on the tinpot comedy Mosleyites standing in the UK elections (including in Lewisham).
Race and UK politricks: the Windrush Generation and Labour antisemitism
Peter R screens the four Labour parliamentary speeches that made my spine tingle this week: David Lammy on the Windrush injustice and John Mann, Luciana Berger and Ruth Smeeth’s personal testimonies of antisemitic abuse.
Hostile Environment: Gary Younge on Theresa May’s Windrush stupidity.
Rivers of Blood at 50: Peter R on Enoch’s sour legacy.
Rob Marchant argues the current situation in Labour is unsustainable. Peter R on why opposition to “heritage antisemitism” is not enough today. Kellie on why faith in one’s own virtue is dangerous. Citizen Sane on the Rothschilds. One short and one long piece by Richard Seymour that I agree with a surprisingly large part of.
On the sad death of Labour internationalism: SyriaUK argue that Labour has lost touch with Robin Cook’s legacy.
Syria: after the Douma massacre
What happened in Douma and its aftermath? Bellingcat: An open source survey of what we know about the attacks. CBS: “Inside Douma: report from the site of the attack“. Guardian: “Syrian medics ‘subjected to extreme intimidation’ after Douma attack” – pro-regime testimony from Ghouta doctors should be treated as under duress.
What’s going on in general? The brilliant international journalist Emma Beals has a good post on what’s going on in Syria. This is a good interview by Aileen Beaton with Robin Yassin-Kassab.
Resistance and liberation in Syria: Razan Zaitouneh’s “Women in The Syrian Revolution”; Women Now for Development and their achievements in free Ghouta; Hind Majaly, a revolutionary woman from Daraa; Resistance in Harasta; Revolutionary women and civil resistance.
War crimes: Mehdi Hasan on superb form in an important article on why it wouldn’t actually matter if Assad was guilty of using chemical weapons in Ghouta.
Fisking Douma: The Times summarises Robert Fisk versus informed commentary. The great Terry Glavin has a superb column on why people want to believe Fisk, issues Sonali Kolhatkar also looks at here. Louis Proyect demolishes Fisk on Douma. More Fisk links via Robin Y-K, or via this unrolled thread.
Armed and civil rebellion, Class and Islam – sophisticated analysis by Michael Karadjis. Kyle Orton on external actors in Syria. From February: Bill Weinberg on the difficult politics of Kurdish and Syrian solidarity in the wake of Afrin. And if you don’t have Robin Y-K and Leila Al-Shami’s Burning Country then buy the new edition.
Alex Reid Ross on how a shared love affair with Assad brings the far right and the alt-left together. Charles Davis on how Max Blumenthal and some pro-Russia trolls forced the SPLC to censor an anti-fascist account of red-brown convergence. Al-Hamra documents Max Blumenthal’s Damascene conversion from Assad opponent to Assad apologist.
Disinformation and conspiracy
The Times exposes the UK professors (wrongly called “top”) promoting Assadist lies (via Louis P). Chris York on the UK academics fueling conspiracy theories. More on this group from Brian Whitaker, who has been tracking them for some time on his brilliant blog. Here’s a Syrian refugee, Mohammad Ali, on un-friending defenders of Islamophobic conspiracy theorists.
BBC Trending on some of Moscow’s disinfo agents, including Vanessa Beeley and Sarah Abdallah. Brian Whitaker delves in to Abdoullah’s Hezbollah connections.
This is a bit meta, but Russia is now providing fake news about fake news. The anatomy of a Russian chemical weapons lie. How an obscure California pro-Trump website helped Russian disinformation in Douma. France24 on the fake images of Syria circulating on the internet. Snopes debunks the Douma conspiracy trolls. From back in February, Whitaker again on manufacturing doubt, and how Newsweek helped circulate chemical weapons disinfo.