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EASTERN GHOUTA/BEIRUT – Abu Kamal’s farm in the Eastern Ghouta suburbs of Damascus used to house rows of tomatoes, potatoes and cucumbers. But now the 50-year-old farmer tends exclusively to rows of sacks, hung from his ceiling, where he grows mushrooms. (More…)

The first thing worth noting about Fire and Fury, Michael Wolff’s recently released airing of the Trump Administration’s dirty laundry, is that there is very little in it that was not either generally known or strongly suspected. (More…)

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been notably quiet on the protests in Iran. It has been left to Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry to define the party’s stance on Iran and so far the signs have been disappointing. (More…)

Fascism is unique. There has never been anything quite like it, and there is not actually anything like it. It is an explosive movement, and other explosive movements have been both innovating and subversive, whereas Fascism is preservative.  (More…)

Bassel, a photojournalist from Homs, has documented what he calls the “intentional destruction” of his city, the third largest in Syria, over two years of siege and battles. He says he has noticed a pattern: Certain buildings with no military value have been targeted. (More…)

I often wonder if Toby Young really exists. I mean he could be real, or he could be a piece of advanced satire. It’s hard to say these days. It may be plausible that he does exist, but somehow it’s hard to believe. (More…)

Right now, the American media is dominated by discussion of Michael Wolff’s forthcoming book Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House. Towards the end of the incendiary excerpt published in New York Magazine, Katie Walsh, Deputy Chief Staff until March, 2017, is quoted saying that working with the president was “‘like trying to figure out what a child wants.’” (More…)

It should come as no surprise as a secularist, atheist and a communist that I am opposed to the religious theocracy that currently governs Iran. The governing theocrats hijacked the popular revolution of 1979 led by communists, workers and students. (More…)

In an environment of pervasive media coverage of violent crime perpetrated by immigrants (despite a significant statistical decrease in crime from 2007 to 2008), the Northern League (LN) has made political hay out of initiatives to bolster security, including its controversial initiative to found and promote volunteer neighborhood security patrols. (More…)

As world powers push ahead with diplomatic attempts to end the war in Syria, any potential political settlements must address the key component of power distribution, according to Imad Salamey, associate professor of political science at the Lebanese American University in Beirut. (More…)

One hears a lot of talk these days about the existential threat to Republican Party posed by Donald Trump, Steve Bannon, Roy Moore and a host of other figures who, in another political season, would have been considered well beyond the lunatic fringe. But claims about the imminent demise of the Republicans are, to say the least, overblown. (More…)

When I walked into the Giant Sand show on Boxing Day, midway into the band’s first number, I was taken aback. Howe Gelb, the group’s sole permanent member, is a man of many moods, with performances that vary accordingly. But this time he seemed more interested in playing guitar than in playing himself. The music was still languid, but ferociously so. (More…)