The headline reads "Iraqi cleric pushes for elections, new social contract, in support of prime minister" and those who don't follow Iraq closely probably assume Ali Mamouri is writing, at ARAB WEEKLY, about Moqtada al-Sadr; however, Moqtada's influence has been on the wane since he stabbed the protesters in the back last spring.
It's really amazing how the western press -- Big and Small -- have worked overtime to write about Moqtada's upset in fortune. By April, the protesters were mocking him in public and he's never really recovered. He's got his cult, still. He'll probably always have his cult. But, over eight long years, he had built beyond that, reached beyond that and had gathered up real power only to throw it all away.
He could rebuild. Anything can happen. But he's at his weakest and so many don't want to tell you about it. The 'left' media in the US -- I mean the beggars like Amy Goodman -- don't want to tell you because they don't support the protesters. Among the 'crimes' the protesters committed? When the US killed a thug in January, it didn't destroy the protesters. They were aware that he'd killed protesters, that he had ordered the targeting of young Iraqi men suspected of being gay. They were aware of his violent homophobia, of his hatred for Sunnis, etc. And that's a crime to the Goodman's who glorify the Iranian government. Now I've got nothing against the people of Iran and am sure that they are as nice as people everywhere else. But I don't worship any government. So when an agent of government who was a brutal homephobe is killed? I don't have a fit on Twitter.
Sidebar: The shoe thrower is a homophobe and a sadist who beats women. Why am I covering that up -- asks an e-mail. I'm not. We never glorified the shoe thrower here. I think it's hilarious that he threw a show at Bully Boy Bush. Two, I think. But I never worshipped the man. You do know he ran for Parliament, right? We didn't cover him. He wasn't anyone worth covering. Recently, on Twitter, his homophobia and his beating of women was raised. We had other things to cover at the time and it wasn't like we needed to 'correct the record' since, again, we never presented as an amazing person. He did something, throwing the shoe, that represented the anger so many Iraqis rightly felt.
So back in January, I thought maybe some of the people didn't realize he was a homophobe or how he had terrorized the Iraqi people. But they didn't care even when they found out.
We knew, community members and even semi-serious drive-by followers of this site, because he wasn't a new character to us. And we'd covered the homophobic attacks -- carried out by Shi'ites connected to the Iraqi government of Nouri al-Maliki -- back when they started. In fact, we were the first in the US to cover it. In fact, I was so thrilled one day when I picked up a paper in a New England city we were speaking to colleges at and I found an article on this. I excitedly read it to Ava, Kat and Wally. And on the fourth paragraph, I went from, "What an amazing report!" to "This sounds familiar." That's because what I was reading was familiar. They grabbed four paragraphs from a piece I wrote at this site -- four paragraphs word for word and -- strangely enough -- punctuation for punctuation. I do love the double dash, don't I? I don't think Katharine Hepburn loved it as much as I do.
So we knew it all along, we didn't have to play catch up after the terrorist was killed and try to figure out who he was.
And we don't have to play catch up with Moqtada. Others apparently do and will be confused by the article at AL-MONITOR not being about Moqtada. It's about Ammar al-Hakim:
In order to find a way out of the long-standing political crisis, Iraq is going through an early election process that could reshape the Iraqi political scene.
However, the parliament failed Oct. 14 in its attempt to pass a new electoral law for elections to be held next year. Also, the federal court in charge of overseeing the elections and the electoral commission that would manage the elections have not been finalized yet.
This is while the protesters are calling for a new wave of demonstrations to begin Oct. 25.
And there are other disputes in Iraq that are sharper and broader than the elections issue. There are militias acting against the state, and the United States is threatening to close its embassy in Baghdad, something that would shake the entire political system in the country. Also, the economic crisis is growing worse and worse.
Amid these circumstances, the head of the Hikma (Wisdom) movement, Ammar al-Hakim, is calling for a new social contract in Iraq to form a new political system responding to the Iraqi people's demands, which have greatly changed since the current system was put into place following the 2003 invasion.