On how Iran’s intervention in Syria helps the Islamic State

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“ Analyst Michael Horowitz also wrote another interesting thing: that Iran’s launch of missiles demonstrates how the attacks in Tehran have achieved one of ISIS’ goals, namely to strengthen the most radical and interventionist wing of the Iranian regime. The more Iran intervenes in Syria and Iraq, the more it feeds into the sectarian violence between Shiites and Sunni, and the more the Islamic State has the opportunity to find spaces in which to settle and develop ”

Translated from Italian.

Elena Zacchetti, ‘Two new things have happened in Syria, explained’, Il Post

 

On the causes of Qatar’s isolation

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“ The problem of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and all the others is precisely this: that by pursuing its national goals, Qatar has disturbed their plans. More than indirect support to terrorist groups […] Qatar has been isolated for supporting movements that threaten the stability of Sunni regimes and monarchies, such as Muslim Brotherhood or Shiite minorities, And for keeping in touch with the worst enemy of the Saudi-led front, that is, Iran. These are all things that should be remembered when we ask: does Qatar really support terrorism? ”

Translated from Italian.

Elena Zacchetti, ‘Does Qatar really support terrorism?’, Il Post

The joy of a champion

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NBA Finals

Kevin Durant with his mother Wanda at the end of Game 5 of the NBA finals. Durant is very close to his mother, who is always present at his son’s games and who defended him from criticism after moving to Golden State. NBA enthusiasts still remember the very moving talk, and mostly addressed to her mother, which Durant did in 2014 after the MVP award of the regular season.

On the huge ‘Car Wash’ corruption investigation

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“ Brazil certainly needed to tackle corruption, which has exacerbated inequality and held back economic growth. But was Operation Car Wash worth the pain? It helped to lever the Workers’ Party out of office, and ushered in an administration that appears just as tainted, but far less willing to promote transparency and judicial independence. So many allegations are now stacked up against Temer and his allies that he will struggle to hold on to his presidency until the end of his term in 2018. Petrobras – the national champion of the Lula era – has been brought to its knees, with foreign companies allowed to control production from the new oil fields. Major companies and mainstream politicians have been utterly discredited. Voters struggle to find anyone to believe in. It is not just the establishment that is reeling, but the entire republic. In the long term, many still hope Car Wash will ultimately make Brazil a fairer, more efficient nation, run by cleaner, law-abiding politicians. But there is also a risk that the operation will shake the country’s fragile democracy to the ground and clear the way for a rightwing evangelical theocracy or a return to rule by dictators ”

The Guardian, ‘Is this the biggest corruption scandal in history?’, The Guardian

On May’s response to terrorism

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“ The blowback theory, which blames Islamist terrorism directly on western expeditionary warfare, is both facile and irrelevant in this case. By bombing Libya we did not enrage or radicalise young Muslims such as Abedi: we simply gave them space to operate in (…) But it is the job of a government to do more than decry things. It has to deal with the mess created. And to do that, it has to ask a question May never bothered with: are cuts to the police and defence budgets sustainable in the context of the increased terror threat? May’s response, to the rooms full of police federation reps who did raise it, year after year, was to reject the premise of the question. Now, with the terror threat at critical, she has had to deploy troops to guard key installations ”

Paul Mason, ‘The Libya fallout shows how Theresa May has failed on terror’, The Guardian

On the link between terrorism and attempts to suppress ‘militant Islam’

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“ Whenever Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and David Cameron struggled to explain why British blood and finance had to go on toppling regimes in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, they were explicit: it was to prevent terrorism in the streets of Britain. The reason was given over and over again: to suppress militant Islam. When that policy clearly leads to an increase in Islamist terrorism, we are entitled to agree with Corbyn that it has simply failed. Regimes were indeed toppled. Tens of thousands died, many of them civilians every bit as innocent as Manchester’s victims. Terrorism has not stopped ”

Simon Jenkins, ‘Corbyn is right: of course Manchester was linked to British foreign policy’, The Guardian