Iraq

US coalition moves on Raqqa

Author: 

Simon Nelson

After several months of deadlock, the US-led operation with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to take Raqqa has begun. Lama Fakih the Middle East director at Human Rights rightly points out, “The battle for Raqqa is not just about defeating ISIS, but also about protecting and assisting the civilians who have suffered under ISIS rule for three and a half years.”

Raqqa is the Caliphate’s capital, and the destruction of Daesh there would be highly symbolic. As in Mosul, the defeat of Daesh should be welcomed. However it there are real and serious misgivings about the forces that will undertake the operation. We should have no faith in the combination of militias and the US to respect the interests of the civilian population.

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Saudi Arabia tries to push Qatar into line

Author: 

Dan Katz

A simmering conflict between the Gulf State of Qatar and its larger neighbour, Saudi Arabia, has abruptly flared into an open, serious stand-off.

Beginning on 5 June, a Saudi-led grouping of states including Egypt, Bahrain and UAE broke off diplomatic relations, and implemented travel and trade bans against Qatar. Qatar has said it will not retaliate.Saudi Arabia has closed Qatar’s only land border and ordered its citizens to leave Qatar.

The Saudis seem to believe that Qatar is also aiding or sheltering Saudi oppositionists.In fact both the contending states — Qatar and Saudi Arabia — have funded extremist Sunni militias in the Syrian civil war and elsewhere. The Saudis have also provided billions of dollars to fund fundamentalist, Wahhabi-aligned mosques across the world which have been an ideological breeding ground for jihadist groups. And much funding for Daesh (IS) and al-Qaeda comes from individuals in Saudi Arabia — something the Saudis have failed to prevent.

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Is Corbyn right on terrorism?

Author: 

Clive Bradley

“Jeremy Corbyn has said that terror attacks in Britain are our own fault,” claimed Theresa May on Friday. “I want to make something clear… there can never be an excuse for terrorism, there can be no excuse for what happened in Manchester.”

To explain the growth of Islamism in Europe, one needs to look at more than “Western policy”, but, as part of a wider, nuanced explanation, foreign policy plays its part.

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The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Manning finally free

Author: 

Simon Nelson

Chelsea Manning was released from Fort Leavenworth, the maximum security prison on 18 May, after seven years of harassment, brutality and enforced solitary confinement.

Manning was sentenced in August 2013 for leaking classified wire cables and military records to WikiLeaks. At the time she was a military intelligence analyst and for slightly bizarre reasons will remain classified as a member of the military for a period after her release.

Chelsea Manning’s crime was only to expose the inner workings of US imperialism where, through both its diplomatic relations and areas of its military manoeuvres, civilian life is treated purely as “collateral damage”.

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Against supporting "progressive imperialism" in Iraq

Author: 

Sean Matgamna

Contents [Note 1]

Ex-Marxist Blairites and “Reactionary Anti-Imperialists”

Their case for backing Blair

Support for lesser evils?

Not a penny for this system!

Progressive Imperial Democrats?

Was it the bourgeoisie that won “bourgeois democracy”?

The Russian experience

No imperialism?

Capitulators of today and yesterday

Mañana Third Campists

Conclusions

Edited and reworked version of articles which first appeared in Solidarity 3/63 to 3/65, 2 December 2004 to 20 January 2005, in response to polemics in favour of critical support for the USA in Iraq

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Syria: the return of US “world policing”

Author: 

Simon Nelson

During the US election Trump’s advice to Obama was, “do not attack Syria... if you do many very bad things will happen and from that fight the US gets nothing.” Therefore Trump was not heeding his own advice when he gave the go-ahead for 59 missiles to be fired at an Assad military airfield on 6 April.

Trump has not yet shown an interest in escalating US involvement in Syria, but a US military build-up on the Korean peninsula suggest that general military combativeness may escalate.

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Mosul casualties

Author: 

Gerry Bates

The recent deaths of more than 150 civilians in airstrikes in Mosul was the result of US military action.

The US has accepted responsibility but has not confirmed there were civilian casualties. Amnesty International reports a significant rise in civilian casualties since eastern Mosul was taken by the Iraqi army.

There has been a significant rise in civilian casualties since eastern Mosul was taken by the Iraqi army.

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Civilians caught in Mosul crossfire

Author: 

Simon Nelson

The Iraqi Government has been attempting to recapture Mosul since October last year. By the start of March 206,000 people had been displaced from Mosul, but 5,000 Daesh fighters remain. Many camps set up by aid agencies are almost full and will be unable to cope with higher numbers.

Mosul is a diverse city with a Sunni majority. Its recapture by the Shia-dominated Iraqi state will have to be heavily monitored.

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