In Depth

Instant Opinion: Nazi salute the ‘deepest betrayal’ of America

Your guide to the best columns and commentary on Friday 23 August

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The Week’s daily round-up highlights the five best opinion pieces from across the British and international media, with excerpts from each.

1. David Vigilante in CNN

on the rise of hate crimes among youths in the US

What makes a Nazi salute the deepest betrayal of America

“They must learn that there are no good people among those who venerate Nazis or who ape their gestures and rituals with admiration. People who do that have made a choice. They have chosen the path of betrayal and disloyalty. Their whiteness will not save them. Indeed, their willingness to associate with a culture that had hate and murder at its core excludes them from the community of loyal Americans who so vastly outnumber them. To admire Nazism is to be a racist. To admire Nazism is to betray your country. And to admire Nazism is to torture the souls of those Americans who paid the ultimate price to save our democracy from the Nazis. That is how we all must see anyone who venerates Nazis.”

2. Elaine Brum in The Guardian

on people turning a blind eye to deforestation

In Bolsonaro’s burning Brazilian Amazon, all our futures are being consumed

“In the big cities of Brazil and the rest of the world, we are distanced from the deaths in which our small daily acts are accomplices. We have the privilege of not being forced to question the origin of the clothes we wear or the food we eat. But in the Amazon, if you eat beef, you know for sure it is beef from deforestation. If you buy wood, you know there is (almost) no truly legal lumber in Brazil. If you purchase a table or a wardrobe, you look at the furniture and think about how it was most likely made with wood torn off indigenous land or from an extractive reserve. In the Amazon, in the centre of the world, our relationship with the death of the forest and forest peoples, as well as with the death of family farmers, is direct. It is inescapable.”

3. Edward Luce in the Financial Times

on the US president’s dwindling popularity at home and abroad

The next stop on Donald Trump’s end-of-diplomacy tour

“Mr Trump badly needs a foreign policy win. The obvious one would be China. Most of Europe shares Mr Trump’s fear of an emerging behemoth that does not play by the rules. Unfortunately for US allies, Mr Trump’s remedy is to go it alone. Europe wants to handle China with a rules-based approach. The mere utterance of such words causes Mr Trump to lose his cool. If he can make it through a French weekend without accelerating the demise of the west — offering to buy a chunk of Europe, for example — that would be a victory of sorts. But the chances of that happening are slim.”

4. Trevor Phillips in The Times

on the alleged differences between cricket and football

Never stop protesting about racism in sport

“There may be something about the fact that the minority players in cricket tend to be of Asian heritage, while those in professional football are Caribbean or African in background; but I find it hard to imagine that racists make a profound distinction. My guess is that the difference between cricket and football illuminates a far more profound divide. On one side lies the England of quiet villages and small shire towns, of cathedral cities, where cricket has been part of the landscape for centuries; and on the other, there is the nation of urban centres and their periphery of failing former factory estates — the so-called “left-behinds” for whom the football club is all that is left of local pride.”

5. Ameenah Sawwan in Al Jazeera

on Bashar al-Assad’s ongoing war crimes

I survived the 2013 chemical attack on Ghouta

“That day a total of 1,127 people were killed in the attacks on Ghouta, an unimaginable war crime. People had gone to sleep the night before and never woken up. My family and I survived, but death continued to rain from the sky. Eight days later my brother, his wife and their son Ahmad were killed by a mortar shell. This week, we commemorate the sixth anniversary of the massacre; we mourn the dead and remember their families who still await justice. The attack on Ghouta was not the first and it was not the last. Despite the outrage and the mock chemical disarmament under the supervision of its ally, Russia, the regime continued to use chemical weapons against its own people with impunity.”

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