Isaiah's latest THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Take A Moment To Enjoy THE PEW." In a right-wing equivalent of THE VIEW, three crazies roundtable. Tulsi Gabbard offers up, "Joe Biden is a dictator. That is an objective truth! I know dictators, I brunched with Assad!" Marjorie Taylor Green responds, "Mmm. Some days, I wish every day was January 6." Lauren Boebert explains, "Marjorie's been feeling a little off since she violated the bible and ended her marriae." To which Marjorie replies, "What can I say? I miss that dick smell." Isaiah archives
his comics at THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS.
And the people continue to suffer. A government that brings in billions each month and it refuses to take care of its citizens. Instead, the money ends up in the hands of corrupt politicians.
The political stalemate may be broken. It may not be. This week, Iraq got a president and a prime minister-designate. There are rules by which a prime minister-designate moves to prime minister. Those rules have never been followed. (A designate forms a full Cabinet, not a partial one. No one's ever done that. Even the two who declared that, unlike those prior prime ministers, they would form a full Cabinet, didn't.)
So the political stalemate may be broken. But, in Iraq, it's always better to wait and see.
Or else, like the Obama administration in 2010, you might get chastised by the editorial board of THE GUARDIAN.
As noted in Friday's snapshot, Abdul Latif Rashidf is the new president, Mohammed Shia Al Sudani is the prime minister-designate. US State Dept spokesperson Ned Price issued the following:
Today, after more than a year of government formation negotiations,
the United States welcomes the Iraqi Council of Representatives’
election of Abdul Latif Rashid as the President of Iraq. President
Rashid named Mohammed Shia al-Sudani as the Prime Minister-designate. As
Iraq’s political leaders form a new government, we encourage them to
bear in mind the will of the Iraqi people, who voted for a government
responsive to their needs. The United States urges all parties to
refrain from violence and to resolve differences amicably and peacefully
through the political process.
The United States reiterates its commitment to partnering with the
people and government of Iraq to advance our many shared priorities. We
look forward to continuing the strong cooperation between our countries.
Last year, Iraqis took to the polls in renewed hopes of charting a new
path to a prosperous, stable and secure future for their country. It was
a hard-fought opportunity by an exhausted, wary Iraqi public left with
little recourse but to take to the streets in a bid to apply pressure on
a gilded political elite in Baghdad. Tragically, at the peak of the
nationwide protests, several hundreds of young Iraqis would lose their
lives, with thousands more injured. Worse yet, like other troubled
post-conflict transitions in the Arab world, this hard-earned
reaffirmation of democracy was quickly followed by divisive politics,
generating bitter public disillusion and worrying signs of a return to
armed conflict as the clock ticked on.
The protracted political crisis has already fueled so much instability
and acrimony at levels not seen since the U.S.-led invasion nearly two
decades ago. A striking testament of Iraq's troubled year-long
post-election phase was the barrage of rockets that rained down in the
Green Zone in a bid to prevent lawmakers from heading into parliament to
finally select a new president. The attack wounded at least 10,
including four civilians, an all-too familiar consequence of the
perpetual cycles of violence sparked by prolonged inaction, sectarianism
Similarly, endemic corruption, rampant unemployment and decaying
infrastructure have also contributed to the decimation of Iraqi lives
and livelihoods. Unfortunately, despite the relentless efforts
undertaken in the past weeks and months for Iraqi politicians to engage,
cooperate and commit to a credible path towards much-needed political
stability, Baghdad never managed to achieve a single milestone or
critical success. Granted, highly contested polls in post-civil war
contexts often lead to a prolonged interim period between when results
are announced and eventual government formation, or in Iraq's case,
achieving a quorum in its parliament (The Council of Representatives) to
elect a new president.
However, a year after the last general election, Iraqi politics became
paralyzed by endless squabbling, needless brinksmanship, increased
insecurity and escalating violence engulfing the country in chronic
instability that Barham Salih's caretaker administration was severely
ill-equipped to handle. It was no surprise that the two-decades-long
chaos in Baghdad's corridors of power began fueling a nostalgia for the
pre-2003 era given the corruption, nepotism, escalating sectarian
violence and a shrinking economy despite record windfalls from crude
Can Iraq move forward now? THE NATIONAL notes, "The Iraqi political bloc led by influential Shiite cleric Moqtada Al Sadr said on Saturday that it would not join a new government being formed by prime minister-designate Mohammed Shia Al Sudani." Poor Moqtada. A failure, a public failure. Exposed as worthless yet again. He'll never be his father. He'll never be an ayatollah. He's just a leader of a small cult of personality and he blew any shot he had at being a kingmaker. He failed repeatedly at forming a government for months and months following the October 10, 2021 elections. Now he doesn't even have anyone in the Parliament. PRESS TV reminds, "In June, all 73 legislators of the bloc quit their seats in a move seen
as an attempt to pressure political rivals into fast-tracking the
formation of a government." Moqtada that stunt would help him. It didn't. And efforts to go to court and overturn the resignations didn't work out either.
A government is forming without Moqtada. He's just a fat failure. He's lucky his father can't see how things turned out though, to hear insiders talk, his father never had a lot of respect for Moqtada to begin with.
Speaking to The New Arab’s sister site, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed,
activists said that the planned demonstrations "will be some of the
biggest," and it is because of this that militias have intensified their
crackdown, particularly in the Shia-majority provinces of Babil, Najaf,
Dhi Qar and Basra in southern Iraq.
Thousands of Iraqis headed to the capital Baghdad earlier this month to mark the 2019 uprising, clashing with security forces.
Activist and journalist Muntazar al-Zaidi, famed for throwing his shoes at former US president George W. Bush in 2008, told The New Arab that prominent activists from the protest movement were in real danger.
"We are in danger. Everyone who was an
activist and was opposed to the former government or new government, are
in danger of being arrested or even assassinated, because the security
agencies are in service of the current establishment," he said.
Laying out a list of objectives, Al-Zaidi told The New Arab that Iraqis against the current ruling elite were determined to continue their movement which began in 2019.
Isaiah's latest THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "House Reject, House Mess and House Dunce." US House Reject Tulsi Gabbard declares, "I hate trans women. I hate Democratic Party women. I hate women." US House Mess Marjorie Taylor Greene gushes, "I like her spunk." US House Dunce Lauren Boebert replied, "Me too Marjorie. I hope she's not too smart for us. I like a girl who lets the crazy run free." Isaiah archives his comics at THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS.
It took a year and three days after the election, but Ira finally announced a new president yesterday. The moment was not without drama. ALJAZEERA reports, "Rashid replaced fellow Iraqi Kurd Barham Saleh
as head of state after the two-round vote in parliament on Thursday,
winning more than 160 votes against 99 for Saleh, an assembly official
said. Saleh reportedly walked out of the parliament building as the
votes were tallied." Saleh finally leaves. He wasn't content to be president of Iraq, he tried to ignore the Constitution during his tenure and elevate the position of president to that of prime minister. A complicit foreign media helped him out -- in part to make it appear Iraq was more stable than it actually was.
Saleh's hissy fit might make some believe that Abdul is from a different political party. Nope. PUK. They performed dismally in the 2021 elections -- a pattern they've had since the party lied to the Kurds about the health of Jalal Talabani but they got to hold on to the presidency.
War turned Iraq into a land of widows and orphans. The median age in Iraq is 21-years-old. But the leadership never reflects the country which is how 78-year-old Abdul is now president.
You'd think that would bother them after Jalal. 78 is how old Jalal was when he had his stroke and the Talabani's began deceiving Iraq.
As 2012 drew to a close, Jalal, then president of Iraq, had a stroke. The incident took place late on December
17, 2012 (see the December 18, 2012 snapshot) and resulted in Jalal being admitted to Baghdad's Medical Center Hospital. Thursday, December 20th,
he was moved to Germany. He remained in Germany for over a year and a half. The Talabani family refused to allow people to visit him in while he was in the hospital for that entire time -- including Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi.
When the first wave of rumors that Talabani had either died or was permanently incapacitated, took hold in May of 2013, Jalal was posed for a series of photos that appear to indicate his body was present but that was all.
The photos were compared to the film Weekend At Bernie's in
Arabic social media. (In the 1989 film, Andrew McCarthy and Jonathan
Silverman play two men who drag the corpse of their boss, Bernie, around
and pretend he's alive.)
When Jalal left Iraq the Talabani family was down playing
his condition. They were falling back on the 'knee surgery' nonsense.
In May of 2012, Jalal stabbed many Iraqi political
leaders in the back and outraged many in the KRG by refusing to allow
the no-confidence motion to be passed on. As a result of the outrage
directed at him, Jalal retreated to Germany where he remained for
months. He needed to have, his flunkies and family insisted, immediate
surgery to take care of a life threatening condition. This lie was
repeated for weeks and weeks. Jalal had knee surgery.
Karama bit him in his fat ass. Jalal snuck back into Iraq July 19, 2014. He couldn't speak, he couldn't move his own body. He wasn't fit to be president and his family lied to the Iraqi people. That destroyed confidence and its why the PUK continues to suffer each election.
Well suffer in that the voters don't want them. The system is so corrupt that they continue to hold onto power.
Here's fat ass Jalal with Abdul.
Former president of Iraq Jalal Talbani with the new president Abdul Latif Rashid.
That's right. They were brother-in-laws. Shanaz Ibrahim Ahmed has held many jobs -- currently she's the Executor at the Political Bureau of Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). She and Abdul have three children sons Azos (1982) and Zagros (1988) and daughter Sara (1987). Shanaz and Hero are the daughters of Ibrahim Ahmed -- a Kurdish novelist who rose to be the Secretary General of the KDP in 1953 -- in other words, the same faces, the same family and why Iraqis feel betrayed over and over by the entrenched corruption in the system.
Ahmed has named Mohammed Shia Al Sudani as prime minister-designate.
Mr Al Sudani, who was nominated for the post by the Iran-backed Co-ordination Framework, has 30 days to submit his Cabinet line-up to Iraq's Parliament for approval.
[. . .]
In his first statement, Mr Al Sudani thanked those who supported him and promised to submit his cabinet “as soon as possible”.
also promised to form a “strong government" that was able to "build the
country, to serve the citizens, to preserve security and stability and
build balanced international relations”.
Al Sudani started his political career as a member of the Shiite Dawa
Party and then ran for election with the State of Law Coalition led by
former prime minister Nouri Al Maliki. He has won three terms in
parliament since 2014.
That's right, Nouri al-Maliki. Former prime minister, forever thug and, you know this is biting Motada al-Sadr's ass, "kingmaker."
That's Nouri, not his bitter rival Moqtada.
It was a year ago that a whorish western press was hailing sociopath and cult leader Moqtada as a "kingmaker." He isn't. He wasn't. As Aretha and Whitney sang, "It ain't never gonna be."
There's a thirty day period that Iraq's now in the midst of. Per the Constitution, the prime minister-designate must form a complete cabinet -- nominees that the Parliament then votes to confirm. Failure to do so means someone else gets named prime minister-designate.
That's what is supposed to happen.
But it's not how it's ever gone. Instead, the person can name an incomplete cabinet and still move to prime minister.
So, per past history, this will probably be the prime minister.
In other news, US President Joe Biden continues his ongoing persecution of Julian Assange. Julian's 'crime' was revealing the
realities of Iraq -- Chelsea Manning was a whistle-blower who leaked the
information to Julian. WIKILEAKS then published the Iraq War Logs.
And many outlets used the publication to publish reports of their own.
For example, THE GUARDIAN published many articles based on The Iraq War
Logs. Jonathan Steele, David Leigh and Nick Davies offered, on October 22, 2012:
A grim picture of the US and Britain's legacy in Iraq has been revealed in a massive leak of American military documents that detail torture, summary executions and war crimes. Almost 400,000 secret US army field reports have been passed to the
Guardian and a number of other international media organisations via the
whistleblowing website WikiLeaks.
The electronic archive is believed to emanate from the same dissident
US army intelligence analyst who earlier this year is alleged to have
leaked a smaller tranche of 90,000 logs chronicling bloody encounters
and civilian killings in the Afghan war. The new logs detail how: •
US authorities failed to investigate hundreds of reports of abuse,
torture, rape and even murder by Iraqi police and soldiers whose conduct
appears to be systematic and normally unpunished.
• A US helicopter gunship involved in a
notorious Baghdad incident had previously killed Iraqi insurgents after
they tried to surrender. • More than 15,000 civilians died in
previously unknown incidents. US and UK officials have insisted that no
official record of civilian casualties exists but the logs record 66,081
non-combatant deaths out of a total of 109,000 fatalities.
The numerous reports of detainee abuse, often supported by medical
evidence, describe prisoners shackled, blindfolded and hung by wrists or
ankles, and subjected to whipping, punching, kicking or electric
shocks. Six reports end with a detainee's apparent death.
And closer to my own work as a writer and editor, journalists and
their sources are being targeted by governments, especially our own, for
revealing inconvenient, embarrassing and criminal acts by those very
same institutions. This censorious enterprise is entirely bipartisan.
Obama prosecuted more whistleblowers than Bush or Trump. At this very
moment, Julian Assange is confined in a bleak cell in Belmarsh Prison
(now stricken with Covid) awaiting extradition to the US on charges that
could lock him away in a super-max for the rest of his life. His crime?
Disclosing documents leaked to him by Chelsea Manning and others
revealing atrocities committed by US forces in Iraq.
If the Biden Justice succeeds in prosecuting and convicting Assange,
all kinds of prosecutorial authorities will be emboldened to come after
any of the rest of us who excavate and publish stories about official
corruption and villainy or film cops films as they beat the crap black
kids. As writers and readers, we must resist these moves to criminalize
journalism and to enforce a suffocating stupidity upon the population.
The inconvenient truths about our own nation’s past–including the
very recent past–are the truths it is the most urgent to hear, to learn
from and work to rectify.
Thanks to the Before Columbus Foundation and the San Francisco Public Library for being at the forefront of this struggle and for honoring our work at CounterPunch.
That's from his October 9th speech accepting the Before Columbus Foundation's Anti-Censorship award. Also noting Julian is Will Lehman who is running to be the next president of the United Auto Workers:
I am writing to you today, however, on another matter that is critical to the interests of all workers, in the US and throughout the world. That is the case of Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks. Assange is currently imprisoned in the United Kingdom and faces extradition to the US, where he would be prosecuted under the Espionage Act. He could receive a 175-year sentence or even be executed.
Assange is being persecuted for one reason and one reason alone: He revealed the truth about the actions of the American government abroad, the same government that represents the corporations that exploit us here in the United States.
One of the most significant initial exposures by WikiLeaks was a video, released in 2010, depicting the US Army killing unarmed civilians and journalists in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad. The footage was filmed three years earlier, in 2007, in the early years of the US occupation of Iraq. I urge all of you to watch this video, which is titled “Collateral Murder.”
The video was followed by the release of the Iraq and Afghan war logs in 2010 and the Guantanamo files in 2011. These documents, which were made available to the public thanks to the heroic actions of whistleblower Chelsea Manning, exposed a lie that is central to the propaganda of the US government, Democrat and Republican alike: that the wars abroad are about defending democracy.
For this reason, Assange has been subjected to more than a decade of vicious and uninterrupted persecution. He is currently in London’s Belmarsh maximum-security prison, where he recently contracted COVID-19. The UK High Court ruled late last year that he could be extradited to the US, even though the trial itself revealed that the CIA had plotted to kidnap and murder him.
Beyond his personal fate, there are two critical issues for workers in the defense of Assange.
First, the persecution of Assange is an attack on basic democratic rights, including the First Amendment right to free speech and a free press. Assange is guilty of telling us the truth, of exposing lies that the government does not want exposed.
The corporations and the wealthy in this country depend on a bought-and-paid-for media, which parrots whatever the government tells them. We experience this every day, when workers are denounced in the media for our efforts to secure a decent wage and a future for ourselves and our families. If an individual can be jailed and prosecuted for revealing true information, it sets a dangerous precedent that will be used against any worker who speaks out and opposes the demands of the corporations, aided and abetted by the union apparatus.
Second, Assange has helped to expose the reality of American militarism. How much money has been spent and how many lives lost, including of US soldiers, to wage endless war abroad? And for what? They throw around words like “democracy” and “freedom” to convince workers that these wars are worth the cost, but the reality is that they are about securing the domination of American corporations over the entire globe. More than 1 million Iraqis and Afghans have died to achieve this end.
The consequences of these wars are felt by all of us. More than $1 trillion is expended on the US military every year, while they claim that no money is available to provide decent living conditions for workers. One veteran kills him or herself every 80 minutes in the US, the consequence of post-traumatic stress disorder from what they saw and experienced at war. As soon as their bodies are no longer useful to the ruling class, veterans are essentially discarded by the government.
Now, the Biden administration is escalating a conflict with Russia that Biden himself said last week could lead to “Armageddon”—that is, the annihilation of the entire planet in nuclear war. And what is this all about? The government of Vladimir Putin represents the oligarchs in Russia, and the invasion of Ukraine must be opposed by all workers. However, this invasion was a response to the expansion of the US-led NATO military alliance up to Russia’s borders and the massive armament of Ukraine by the US.
Everything that the media tells us about this war is a lie. It is not a war about “democracy.” Ukraine’s government is comprised of neo-Nazis who praise people who helped carry out the Holocaust during World War Two. The oligarchs who run Ukraine recently passed a labor law eliminating the right of millions of workers to collectively bargain. You won’t hear that on the nightly news.
The same military-industrial complex that provoked the war in Iraq is escalating war against Russia today, but on an even larger and more dangerous scale. The US banks and corporations are fighting to control Eastern Europe at the expense of their Russian rivals. The US ruling elite is prepared to make the working class suffer greatly, and even sacrifice millions of lives, to expand the domination of American corporations.
Workers in the US and throughout the world have no interest in the war. We have the same interests as workers in Russia, Ukraine and in every country. We are exploited by the same corporations. We confront the same problems. We will suffer the same consequences if the catastrophe of nuclear war is not prevented.
Workers should know that the labor movement has a long and proud tradition of defending democratic rights, as these rights are critical for all workers. It should also be recalled that the UAW withdrew from the AFL-CIO in 1968 in opposition to the Vietnam War. The fact that the trade unions no longer even raise these critical issues is part of the same process that has led to their domination by a privileged apparatus that serves the interests of the companies.
For these reasons, it is critical that all workers take a stand in defense of Julian Assange. It will not be through appeals to the ruling elite and their politicians that his freedom will be secured, but only through our intervention. We must connect the fight to defend our interests with the defense of Assange, the defense of democratic rights, and opposition to war.