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


“ 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 flawed liberal response to Trump’s slogans


“ Establishment liberals have two competing myths that once seemed incontestable: ‘America is great’ (which morphed into the slogan ‘America is already great’ in response to Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’), and ‘America is a force for good in the world’ (…) Thirty years of stagnating wages, crumbling infrastructure, deindustrializing cities, and rising inequality — combined with promises that the rising tide would lift all boats — had tainted the narrative of American exceptionalism for these voters. The final straw came in 2008 when the housing market collapsed and the government bailed out the banks. The catastrophic wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as the muddled intervention in Syria undermined the myth that the United States is a force of good in the world. Few outside the Washington bubble believe that lofty ideals — rather than economic and geopolitical interests — drive the ongoing incursions in the Middle East ”

Rune Møller Stahl & Bue Rübner Hansen, ‘Donald’s Myths, Jacobin Magazine

On Trump’s enigmatic apparent change of heart in Syria


“ Trump consulted neither his Nato allies, the US Congress, nor the UN. Even without the UN, a strike to prevent an imminent repeat of the attack could have been lawful on humanitarian grounds – but Trump did not seek that justification. The strike was framed as a punitive gesture, for the US’s self-defence. The outcome is dangerously unclear. Having five days earlier signalled to Assad that the US was no longer seeking to remove him, the US is now calling for regime change. McMaster admitted to reporters that the attack was ‘not meant to reduce Assad’s capability to murder his own people’, and that he expected the Syrian dictator’s fate to be decided in a ceasefire process leading to elections ”

Paul Mason, ‘Could Britain ever fight a just war in Syria alongside Trump’, The Guardian

On Trump’s terrifying intervention in Syria


“ However you think of the merits of western intervention in Syria, the idea of Trump directing it is, frankly, terrifying. And even though you may despise the current murky detente, so is the idea of this chaotic, underqualified White House being at loggerheads with Russia ”

David Shariatmadari, ‘Trump’s change of heart in Syria isn’t reassuring, it’s profoundly disturbing’, The Guardian

On Kurdish Syria’s advanced democratic principles


“ Rojava hopes to remain an autonomous region in a preserved Syrian state. There, citizens would enjoy equal rights, regardless of ethnicity, gender, or religion. The economy would be organized to serve the whole community with an emphasis on cooperative ventures. An intricate network of elected councils would hold political power. In this way, the movement claims it is building ‘democracy without the state’, since its structure would supposedly eliminate the kind of coercion that gives most states their power. This model, following the party’s leader Abdullah Öcalan’s ideology, is called a confederal democracy ”

Alex De Jong, ‘The Rojava Project’, Jacobin Magazine


On the shattering effects of the Syrian War


“ The conflict has taken a devastating toll on the mental health of Syria’s children. More than 70% of Syrian children interviewed by ‘Save the Children’ showed symptoms of toxic stress or post-traumatic stress disorder, with symptoms including bed-wetting, loss of speech, aggression and substance abuse. The same report said that 59% of adults knew children and adolescents who had been recruited into the conflict ”

Kate Hodal, ‘Syrian children pushed to the brink after worst atrocities since war began’, The Guardian

On the full extent of needed resolutions for refugees


” The inspired and inspiring opposition to the Trump government’s anti-refugee measures is a crucial opportunity to resurrect and revamp the moribund antiwar movement. Borders should be open. But the violence also has to end so that the right of refugees to return to their homes – in Palestine or Syria or Yemen or anywhere else – can be demanded. And it is imperative that we stop more people from being made refugees in the first place ”

Greg Shupak, ‘Resurrecting the Antiwar Movement’, Jacobin Magazine