War and more war in Iraq has still not produced democracy or peace.
Apparently government officials are hooked on war.
Danny Haiphong (BLACK AGENDA REPORT) explains:
However, Russia is no socialist paradise. Capitalism remains the dominant system in Russia despite the very real progress that has been made under Putin. But the US ruling class’ addiction to Russiagate is not the product of some concern for “democracy” or the condition of workers in Russia. Russiagate is the ideological bedrock of US imperialist aggression toward Russia. Putin has become the scapegoat that masks the insidious interests of US finance capital and the Deep State. These forces desperately want to intimidate Russian leaders into reviving the wholesale theft of the country that took place from 1991-2000.
Yes, the finger prints of the U.S. government can usually be found at any crime scene. That is true of Russia, it is certainly true of Iraq.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
People forget that the rate of tragic deaths in Iraq under Saddam was way higher than post war. They also forget that the biggest participation free elections ever in the country took place in 2007.
People forget about national elections in Iraq in 2007?
Maybe because they didn't take place. Parliamentary elections were at the end of 2005. Provincial (or governorate) elections took place in January 2005. Is he talking about either of those? Iraq didn't have elections in 2007.
Guess he forgot that.
He also seems to have forgotten that Saddam Hussein has been labeled a War Criminal and that the Americans, the British, the Australians, et al, didn't go in promising 'we'll make it a little better,' they went in promising freedom.
He seems to forget a great deal -- and to remember even less.
On elections, let's go first to the KRG where parliamentary elections are supposed to take place in September. This has been the plan. But the US government isn't pleased so they once again insert Brett McGurk into the process. He's been promising and more to try to stop these elections.
Remember in the spring of 2012? Nouri al-Maliki refused to honor his promises in The Erbil Agreement (the 2010 agreement that the US negotiated to give Nouri a second term after the Iraqi voters said no). He refused to form a power-sharing government (among other things). As a result, the politicians spoke out. Then they began a Constitutional effort to oust him. This was Kurd Massoud Barzani, Shi'ite Ayad Allawi, Sunni Osama al-Nujaifi . . .. It even included Shi'ite cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr.
Moqtada repeatedly said that they would drop the effort if Nouri would implement his side of the contract (The Erbil Agreement). Nouri refused. So they went forward. The Constitution required that after the appropriate number of signatures were collected, the petition was turned over to the President of Iraq who had the purely ceremonial act of introducing it into Parliament. The president was Jalal Talabani. Under pressure from the US and offered bribes, Jalal refused to introduce the petition. He then announced he needed emergency surgery and had to leave immediately for Germany. (He had elective knee surgery. Karma would bite him in his fat ass as the year closed out and he actually had a stroke and had to be taken to Germany.)
Where there's a dollar tossed, there's a Talabani.
Brett McGurk may not know much but he knows his way around a whore or two.
Which is how he got the Qubad Talabani to insist that the vote must be postponed.
Baxtiyar Goran (KURDISTAN 24) reports:
Maybe the PUK wouldn't do so poorly in the elections if one of the Talabanis had a spine?
As it is, they've destroyed the party.
And they lied to the entire country.
In 2012, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani suffered a stroke. The incident took place late on December 17, 2012 (see the December 18th snapshot) and resulted in Jalal being admitted to Baghdad's Medical Center Hospital. Thursday, December 20, 2012, he was moved to Germany. He remained there for a year and a half. He was incapacitated. But the Talabani family lied to everyone so that, as the Iraqi Constitution requires, Jalal wouldn't be removed from office.
They lied to the country. They deceived the Iraqi people. They propped him up and posed him for pictures -- leading Arabic media to mock it as WEEKEND AT BERNIE'S -- but they couldn't offer video because he couldn't speak.
He never spoke in public again. Not even when he returned to Iraq 18 months after his stroke.
And yet a Talabani thinks they have a place to speak for the government today?
Iraq needed a president. Yes, it's a ceremonial post. But Iraq was in a very difficult position and it needed a president. It's president was in a German sick bed and unable to speak or move. Had the Iraqi people known that, they would have followed the Constitution and stripped him of his post.
This huge lie will not vanish.
Nor will the fact that Qubad is married to an American woman who, up until the marriage, worked for the US State Dept (far more controversial in Iraq is the fact that Sherri Kraham is Jewish). Qubad already had the mark against him that he grew up in Europe, not the KRG, then he goes off and marries a foreigner and he's seen as even less representative of the Kurds.
Naturally, that's the one Brett would go after.
Will the KRG postpone their elections? Hopefully not. And the US government has done nothing for them. It even attacked them for the non-binding referendum they held last September.
Hayder al-Abadi was a wee little man
And a wee little man was he
He climbed up on the empire's coat tails
Cause his soul he wanted to sell
Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Tiny Hayder's Plea" went up last night.
US puppet Hayder is in trouble -- as Tamer El-Ghobashy and Mustafa Salim's (WASHINGTON POST) reporting has made clear.
Then-US President Barack Obama installed him as prime minister in 2014. He came into office with a lot of promises -- including that he'd end corruption. Four years later, he's got nothing to show for it.
He announced last December that he'd defeated ISIS but ISIS has refused to play along with that claim.
May 12th, Iraq held national elections. Ahead of the elections, there had been big hopes -- these hopes included a large turnout. Ali Jawad (ANADOLU AGENCY) noted, "A total of 24 million Iraqis are eligible to cast their ballots to elect members of parliament, who will in turn elect the Iraqi president and prime minister." RUDAW added, "Around 7,000 candidates have registered to stand in the May 12 poll, with 329 parliamentary seats up for grabs." AFP explained that the nearly 7,000 candidates includes 2014 women. THE SIASAT DAILY added, of the nearly 7,000 candidates, "According to the electoral commission, only 20 percent of the candidates are newcomers." Ali Abdul-Hassan and Sinan Salaheddin (AP) reported, "Iraqi women account for 57 percent of Iraq’s population of over 37 million, according to the U.N. Development Program, and despite government efforts to address gender inequality, the situation for Iraqi women has declined steadily since 2003. According to the UNDP, one in every 10 Iraqi households is headed by a widow. In recent years, Iraqi women suffered further economic, social and political marginalization due to decades of wars, conflict, violence and sanctions."
The other big hope? For the US government, the biggest hope was that Hayder al-Abadi's bloc would come in first so that he would have a second term as prime minister. It was not to be. Mustapha Karkouti (GULF NEWS) identifies the key issues as follows, "Like in previous elections, the main concerns of ordinary Iraqis continue to be the lack of security and the rampant corruption."
As we noted the day of the election:
Corruption is a key issue and it was not a topic explored by candidates outside of Moqtada al-Sadr's coalition. Empty lip service was offered. Hayder al-Abadi, current prime minister, had been offering empty lip service for four years. He did nothing. Iraqis were supposed to think that, for example, Hayder's focus on ISIS in Mosul mattered. All life was supposed to stop because of Mosul? All expectations were to be ignored because of Mosul?
Arabic social media today and yesterday was full of comments about the lack of improvement in services. It noted how the elections had not mattered before and, yes, how in 2010 the US government overturned the elections because they didn't like the outcome.
So it was probably only surprising to the US government and their press hacks that Hayder wouldn't come in first. But that was after the votes were counted. On the day of the election, the big news was how so few were turning out to vote. NPR reported, "With more than 90 percent of the votes in, Iraq's election commission announced voter turnout of 44.5 percent. The figure is down sharply from 60 percent of eligible voters who cast their ballots in the last elections in 2014." AP pointed out the obvious, "No election since 2003 saw turnout below 60 percent." AFP broke it down even more clearly "More than half of the nearly 24.5 million voters did not show up at the ballot box in the parliamentary election, the highest abstention rate since the first multiparty elections in 2005 [. . .]."
Repeatedly in the months ahead of the election, the western press assured us Hayder would win re-election, he would lead, he was a shoe-in, he was . . .
He didn't come in first. He didn't come in second. He came in third.
The sitting prime minister came in third.
That's a huge rejection.
And protests have been taking place since the start of last month because Iraqis are tired of the corruption, tired of the lack of jobs, tired of not having electricity or potable water.
Hayder's tried some for-show measures to end the protests. They've not been successful. He's tried using the military to intimidate and attack the protesters (and at least 14 protesters have been killed).
Hayder is a failure.
The US government wants their puppet to stay in place. The Iraqi people do not want that.
In 2010, the US government went around the Iraqi people to give Nouri al-Maliki a second term. Will they do that this year with Hayder? It's really important to grasp that it is Nouri's second term that allowed the Islamic State to take hold in Iraq.
In other violence, Belkis Wille (Human Rights Watch) notes:
The horrific case of an Iraqi woman apparently murdered at home should prompt Iraq’s new parliament, once formed, to finally pass a draft domestic violence law which has been pending since 2015.
According to Iraqi media and BBC Arabic, one day last week a bridegroom returned his bride to her parents the day after their wedding, complaining that she was not a virgin. Media reports claim that upon hearing the accusation, a family member beat her to death. Media reports say that police have arrested a male relative.
While the man will likely now face trial for murder, it is possible that he may benefit from a reduced sentence under a provision in Iraq’s penal code allowing for shorter sentences for violent acts – including murder – for so-called “honorable motives.” But there is no “honor” in such brutal and needless killing. Moreover, the murdered bride would be just one of hundreds of women and children who suffer violence at the hands of their families in Iraq each year.
If passed, Iraq’s new domestic violence law would oblige the government to protect domestic violence survivors, including with restraining orders and penalties for breaching them, and the creation of a cross-ministerial committee to combat domestic violence. It would also require the government to provide shelters so women at risk of violence have a safe place to go if they are forced to flee their home.
The draft law is not perfect. It contains several flaws, including a preference for families to address violence through “reconciliation committees” rather than prosecution, and could be improved. Iraqi authorities should also set clear penalties for the crime of domestic violence, and close the loophole that lets abusers receive reduced punishments for so-called “honor” crimes, both not addressed in the draft law.
If improved, this draft law is the best chance Iraq’s new parliament has to tackle the scourge of violence in the home, fulfill its international legal obligations on domestic violence, and save the lives of countless Iraqi women and children.
Lastly, in the US, Peter Van Buren has been banned from Twitter for the crime of free speech.
Peter Van Buren: Twitter Suspends Me Forever ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace…
Scott Horton, Peter Van Buren, and Dan McAdams have been suspended from Twitter. If you go to their accounts, you will see their old tweets, but they are prohibited from making new tweets. They were reported by @KatzOnEarth for criticizing his posts. Please complain to Twitter. pic.twitter.com/kaWAqasLKQ
The following community sites -- plus Jody Watley, BLACK AGENDA REPORT and PACIFICA EVENING NEWS -- updated: