Middle East update: October 9 2017

  SYRIA ISIS announced Monday that it had captured a dozen villages from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham east of Hama. The Syrian army just drove these same fighters out of a different pocket east of Hama, which means they must have opted to retreat north toward HTS territory instead of east toward the shrinking bit of… Continue reading Middle East update: October 9 2017

Middle East update: August 5-7 2017

SYRIA Bashar al-Assad’s military is on the offensive again, on two fronts. In Homs province, they were able to capture the town of Sukhna from ISIS on Sunday, which should be the last serious ISIS obstacle between Assad’s forces and besieged Deir Ezzor. Meanwhile, Assad’s air force has been bombing the Damascus suburb of Ein… Continue reading Middle East update: August 5-7 2017

How many people do you need to kill to host a World Cup?

If the rulers of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, or the UAE actually cared about the safety of migrant workers in the Persian Gulf, this would have been a pretty good rationale for withdrawing their ambassadors from Qatar: A report from the International Trade Union Confederation says 1,200 migrant workers from India and Nepal have died in… Continue reading How many people do you need to kill to host a World Cup?

It’s perfectly normal to have a few hundred migrant workers drop dead every year

I’ve written briefly about Qatar’s kind of horrific system of indentured servitude before, but they’ve been under increased scrutiny for their labor practices of late. Qatar imports almost all of its labor force, and that’s understandable; with only about 300,000 or so Qatari citizens they are kind of forced to bring labor in from the… Continue reading It’s perfectly normal to have a few hundred migrant workers drop dead every year