Friday, July 21, 2023

Nut case RFK Junior and mental patient Naomi Wolf

 So Robert F. Kennedy Jr. appeared before Congress.  And he was an embarrassment as expected.  AP reports:

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. defended himself Thursday against accusations that he traffics in racist and hateful online conspiracy theories, testifying at a House hearing on government censorship despite requests from outside groups to disinvite the Democratic presidential candidate after his recent antisemitic remarks.

The Republican-led Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government is amplifying GOP claims that conservatives and others are being unfairly targeted by technology companies that routinely work with the government to try to stem the spread of disinformation online.

Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH) is giving conspiracy theorist and Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. the floor — and the cameras — and in Thursday’s hearing by the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, he chose to push one of Kennedy’s false theories: that Hall of Fame baseball legend Hank Aaron’s death is directly connected to receiving the Covid-19 vaccine in 2021.

Kennedy posted a tweet about Aaron following his death in January 2021 that is still available, and it was flagged as misinformation. (Kennedy was banned from Instagram a month later for his repeated false claims about the COVID vaccine.) But Jordan claimed that it was the White House, days after President Joe Biden took office, that tried to censor Kennedy:

Misinformation is when you don’t have the facts right. You’re saying things that aren’t true. But when you look at Mr. Kennedy’s tweet, there was nothing in there that was factually inaccurate. Hank Aaron, real person, great American, passed away after he got the vaccine. Pointing out, just pointing out facts, and yet the White House on the third day, actually 1:04 AM on January 23, 2021, 37 hours into the administration, they were trying to censor Mr. Kennedy. I find that interesting. The irony here at trying to censor the guy who’s actually their Democrat primary opponent. Go figure.

But the claim isn’t true. It’s been disproven over and over again. Hank Aaron died of natural causes at the age of 86. But Jordan and his GOP colleagues maintain that the Biden White House tried to get Twitter, a private company, to suppress free speech by conservatives. Representative Jamie Raskin (D-MD) said of the GOP claim: “Silly does not even begin to capture this obsession.”

Junior is a huge embarrassment to himself and others.  Meanwhile, nutcase and academic fraud Naomi Wolf Tweeted:

This Jewess Says RFK Jr is Right, by

You are the same "Jewess" that praised Moms For Liberty for quoting Hitler so how about you take your crazy somewhere else?  And can Oxford not withdraw her doctorate since her thesis is wrong and retracted?  That shoddy scholarship and Oxford should have addressed it already.  It is a shame that a commercial publishing house has stronger standards than an institution of higher learning.

In other words, Ms. Wolf, kiss my "Jewess" ass.

This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for today:

Thursday, July 20, 2023.  Noted transphboe Jonathan Turley just makes s**t up and publishes it these days (that's what happens when bigotry seizes the brain) and he's also struggling with the English language and numbers, thief Shelby White has enough money to keep her out of prison so it's incumbent upon society to make it clear to her that she's fooled on one, a right-wing outlet thinks -- like Turley -- that they can say something's true when it's not (and when you're lying about Barbie, I mean how low an disgusting are you), and much more.

Hefty, hefty, hefty.  I'm so sick of garbage.  Let's deal with garbage at the top.

First off, Jonathan Turley of The Federalist Society -- or are we still trying to pretend that connection does not exist?  He's not a liberal but he plays one to the media.

And the media let's him get away with it as he dumbs us all down.

Jonathan the transphobe has his crotchless panties in a wad -- which means he feels some conservative has yet again been victimized.  Who this time?  Human troll Jason Aldean.  Is there a requirement that male singers who are fat and ugly have to go into country music?  Someone needs to ask the obvious.

So Jonny Turley Tweets:  "Country music singer Jason Aldean's hit single 'Try That In A Small Town' secured two distinctions this week.  It hit number on the country charts and was pulled by the Country Music Television (CMT)."

Are you brain dead, Turley? 

There is no "the Country Music Television."  What language are you trying to speak because it's not English.   The year is 2023 and the channel is CMT.  At their website you will find what they've dubbed popular articles such as "Where can I watch CMT programming?" and "How do I gt back to CMT?"  Not one of the titles includes "Call us the Country Music Television."

What an idiot. 

Second, idiot, it did not "hit number one on the country charts."  CASHBOX is no more.  BILLBOARD is the only game in town in the US.  The song has thus far made it to number 35 on BILLBOARD's hot country songs.  That chart is based on airplay, streams and sales.  BILLBOARD's country airplay chart is based solely on airplay on country music  stations -- and only coutnry music stations.  On that chart, the song has made it to number 24.

We already know you can't handle the English language but apparently numbers are also confusing to you.   Neither 35 nor 24 are number one.   And don't come up with, "It's number 19 on the bubbling under chart!"  Yes, bubbling under . . . the hot 100.  Which means it's number 119.  Get it?

You really need to STFU.  Weren't we just talking about this?  About how you never know what you're talking about when you try to wade in on some pop culture issue.

Number one?  That's a basic fact you f**king idiot.  I can't believe George Washington University continues to employ such an incompetent fool.

If country music used to pride itself on being about “three chords and the truth,” the increasingly belligerent superstar Jason Aldean has a different idea of what the genre should represent: two chords and a beating, or maybe a shotgun blast.

Aldean’s “Try That in a Small Town” is close to being the most cynical song ever written about the implicit moral superiority of having a limited number of neighbors, which is saying something, given how many attempts to write the Great American Small Town Anthem are generated in a single year. At least most of the others at least put up the appearance of celebrating local pride, not prejudice. But for Aldean, it’s about how tiny burgs are under the imminent threat of attack from lawless urban marauders who will have to be kept at bay by any means necessary — meaning, pretty explicitly, vigilantism.

You can just see Aldean speaking up at a town council meeting to keep the interlopers out: First, the outsiders visit your charming off-the-interstate vintage stores, then they’ll be back with their BLM protests and Molotov cocktails. Ban antique shops now, before it’s too late.

“Try That in a Small Town” was risible enough as a single, but in case anything about its lunkheaded songwriting felt like it was left as subtext and not made explicit, Aldean has released a music video for the rising hit. It, too, is in the business of handing out black eyes… to country music, that is, much more than any imagined invaders.

The setting, outside the Maury County Courthouse in Columbia, Tennessee, has proven upsetting for some who know or learn the history of the building. It’s where, in 1927, a white lynch mob dragged a young man named Henry Choate through the streets behind a car before finally hanging him from a second-story courthouse window. Let’s give Aldean and video director Shaun Silva the benefit of the doubt and assume they had not indulged in a history lesson when they decided the same frontage where a Black man was murdered in front of a crowd would be a good place to alternate projected footage of protesters being put down with a draped American flag. (Hard to blame anyone for thinking that this history did show up in Aldean’s or the filmmakers’ web search on the location, but imagining that they knew that and proceeded anyway, as a known dog whistle, is… just tough to contemplate.)

Do you get it now, you piece of garbage?

It's past time that the country got it: Jonathan Turley is a member of the fright-wing.  He's been helping  build test cases to destroy the rights and liberties of American citizens.  Then he writes about these cases while failing to disclose the advice he's offered, the moves he's encouraged.  

So now he's attacking CMT and trying to encourage a boycott against it with his Tweets (there are two, we only quoted one) while screaming 'Free speech!' about Aldean.  Aldean is a transphobe like Turley.  But he's made a disgusting video -- 

Let's stop right there.

Jason Aldean is a little nothing.  I knew he was.  He just gives off that vibe of lying fake ass.

I've had more songs stolen then he's written.

It's not his song.  Real artists -- pay attention micro Jason -- write their own damn songs.  He's had 39 singles (not counting featured artist) and he didn't write one of them -- or, for that matter -- co-write.  He's all product.  He's hollow and fake. He didn't direct the video, he didn't write the song.  He's product that stands where he's told and does what he's told. He's not an artist and he never will be.  As Cass Elliot long ago said about garbage like Aldean, "They have the money, but we'll have the legacy."

Oh, my goodness.  He doesn't even play guitar on his albums.  They let him play on a few tracks, not lead guitar.  Oh, my goodness.  He is such a fake.  

He's not a musical artist.  He's pure product, fake ass. Candy.  A little sweet.  No substance.  No integrity.  

Before we move on -- his 2021 album only sold 19,000 copies.  His 2022 album only sold 13,000 copies. 

So anyway, he didn't write the song and that may explain why he doesn't understand what he's singing.  He didn't direct the video which may explain why he doesn't understand what the video's promoting.  He's a candy ass, a little piece of sugar, product, no depth, no reality.  

His song and video are offensive.  Sheryl Crow has rightly called it out.  That would be Sheryl Crow who has written or co-written over 20 of her own hit singles.  That would be Sheryl Crow who wrote a song so good that Prince covered it.  

See that's what real musical artists do, they write their own material -- been true since the Beatles.  They're the ones who sent the sugar candy acts packing -- the 'boy' singers and the 'girl' singers.  Real musical artists like Carly Simon, Valerie Simpson, Joni Mitchell, Stevie Wonder,  Janet Jackson, Tracy Chapman, Nanci Griffith, Smokey Robinson, Maxwell, Stevie Nicks, Jackson Browne, Carole King, Lauryn Hill, Sting, Mary J. Blige, Jodi Watley, Dolly Parton, Brenda Russell, Chrissie Hynde, Neil Young, Anita Baker, Bob Dylan, Sade, Debbie Harry, D'Angelo, Chase Rice, Lionel Richie, Brian Wilson, George Ezra, Usher, Tori Amos, Van Hunt, Willie Nelson, Janelle Monae, Van Morrison, Billy Joel, etc write their own material.  Diana Ross is an artist with real singing talent and she could get away with not writing her own material but even she's been writing songs since 1981.  And she co-wrote nine of the 13 songs on her latest album, the Grammy nominated THANK YOU, which also features "Count On Me," written by Rhonda Ross -- the daughter of Diana and Berry Gordy.  Let's include "Count On Me" here.  

Great job, Rhonda.  But little flabby Jason Aldean can't write a song.  Good thing other people can write for him.  He's product or, as he would have been called back in the day, plastic.  He's little Mister Connie Francis.  Go try to impress someone else, boy singer, your kind is a dime a dozen.

Jonathan Turley frets over Jason Aldean who must be the Fabian of his heart or at least the Rick Astley.  Remember kids, when you're not an artist and can't write your own songs, you hire others to write them for you.  

CMT has pulled (at least for now) a video.  It is not the end of the world.  Videos have been pulled for far less and The Bill of Rights does not include: "All of your videos shall be and will be played on MTV, CMT and BET in perpetuity." 

Let's also remember this video.

I love that video, I love that song, I love Cher, I've known her for years.  Decades, actually.  And you know what?  MTV would only air that video after midnight.  Yes, it's mild today but apparently it was just too much at the time.  You know what else?  Unlike candy ass Jason Aldean, Cher never whined publicly about it.  Not once.  Again, there are artists and then there is product.

Previous coverage in this community of the idiot product Jason Aldean includes:


And Ann's:

Staying with garbage,  I'm not a Matt Gaetz fan.  He and his wife went to the BARBIE movie. 

Apparently, I've now got to buy a ticket.  Don't have to see it and won't.  Team Jennifer Jason Leigh here.  But I will buy the ticket to show support at a time when books and films are under attack by crazy bigots.  In the article noting Matt seeing the film -- and the marital discord the film has apparently created -- this shows up:

Movieguide, a nonprofit Christian movie review website, has warned readers not to watch the film, as it "forgets its core audience of families and children while catering to nostalgic adults and pushing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender character stories." The website issues family-friendly movie ratings based on various content concerns, including language, violence, and sex.

“Millions of families would have turned out to the theaters and purchased tickets, but instead, Mattel chose to cater to a small percentage of the population who has proven over and over to abandon the box office," one of its many articles dedicated to the film reads. "Movieguide’s 40 years of research indicate this just isn’t true, and Mattel has made a grievous mistake.”

Sorry you hagged out piece of trash, MOVIE GUIDE (FOR BIGOTS AND IDIOTS), but you don't know Barbie's core audience.  

Not every boy who played with Barbie was gay but a lot of them were and, yes, a lot of boys played with Barbie growing up and continue to.  

When Betty transferred to California for her company, she and her kids moved in here.  Though her daughter is now in college, she wasn't back then and we played Barbies constantly.  I had Barbie toys from when my daughter was little.  We worked a whole room over, Betty's daughter and I, so that it was Barbie Village (as she called it).  That was the toys that were my daughters and the toys that Betty's daughter and I shopped for.  And I never need an excuse to shop for Barbie toys -- dolls, dresses, cars, houses.  If anyone I know mentions that their child is into Barbie, I immediately ask what they have and start suggesting things to purchase. The 1970s Barbie Dream House, for example, is the best.  It's sturdy and no paper backdrops.  You can split it into two halves while you're playing, just great.  If someone tells me their child is into Barbie, I immediately start hard selling that item.  And if they're doubtful, I'll get on eBay myself and buy it.  And I can drop to the floor and play Barbies with kids for hours.  As someone who is forever buying Barbie things for the kids of people I know, and hunting down things that are really hard to find (Trina wanted Tuesday Taylor's Penthouse Apartment for one of her grandchildren and locating one of those in good condition was a real joy), I know a great deal about people who collect or have collected Barbie items.

Women?  Yes.  And some are straight and some are lesbian -- I'm sure some are bi.  Drag queens?  Yes.  Gay men.  Yes. Transgender people?  Yes.

MOVIE GUIDE is a bigot with no brains at all.  They have no idea who plays with dolls and who doesn't.  Barbie, the toy and the company, know their audience is much more than prigs like MOVIE GUIDE families.  I know those prigs.  You meet these women and you say, "Which Ken did you have growing up?"
And they say, with their pale faces with sallow skin due to their dead and sad lives, "My mother wouldn't let us have a boy doll."

Yeah, I can see that, your life's pathetic.  

And those are the MOVIE GUIDE people.  

They buy their poor daughter a Barbie or two over a three year period, cut some holes in a sock and call it a 'dress' for the doll.  Those are not the people that have made Barbie the huge toy and huge money maker.  It's the people who love the doll that have made it so big.  Again, that's straight women, that's lesbians, that's drag queens, that's gay men, straight men, transgender persons and  non-binary as well.    I've come across them repeatedly.  And the only thing more fun than playing Barbie is talking Barbie with others who love the doll.  

So I'll buy a ticket.  If I hear it's good, I'll even go see it.  

Still on garbage, Shelby White.  We last noted that trash June 4th:

Meanwhile, back in April, Adel Fakhir (ALJAZEERA) wondered whee Iraq's antiquities were?  A few more of them have returned home.  May 19th, the Manhattan District Attorney's office announced:

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg, Jr., announced today the return of two ancient stone antiquities, a Mesopotamian limestone elephant and a Sumerian alabaster bull, to the people of Iraq. Collectively valued at $275,000, these artifacts were looted from the ancient city of Uruk, now known as Warka, one of the oldest civilizations in human history.

The figures were stolen from Iraq during the Gulf War and smuggled into New York in the late 1990s. The alabaster bull was seized from the private collection of Shelby White and the limestone elephant from a storage unit that belonged to the convicted trafficker Robin Symes, where it had been hidden since at least 1999. The items were returned during a repatriation ceremony attended by Thomas Acocella, Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge of Homeland Security Investigations New York and Dhafer Abdulrazaq Jalil, Counselor at the Embassy of the Government of the Republic of Iraq in Washington D.C.

“Once again, we see historic and priceless antiquities hidden from the public and sitting in the possession of traffickers and looters. We will not allow New Yok City to be a safe harbor for stolen cultural artifacts,” said District Attorney Bragg.

“I’m grateful for the work by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office for its efforts to repatriate these precious, historic antiquities to Iraq,” said Dr. Salwan Sinjari, Iraqi Chargé d’Affairs to the United States. “These pieces belong to Iraq—and belong in Iraq—and now they will help the Iraqi people better understand and appreciate our own history and culture with this connection to the past. This is another example of the longstanding cooperation, friendship, and partnership between Iraq and United States.”

“It is a great privilege and honor to return to the people of Iraq these two rare and ancient artifacts that reflect their nation’s rich history and heritage,” said HSI New York Special Agent in Charge Ivan J. Arvelo. “Investigating the theft of cultural property, and illicit international trade of art and antiquities, is a unique part of our mission at Homeland Security Investigations, and every repatriation brings us closer to our goal to remove the incentive of those who pilfer a nation’s cultural history for profit.

The Sumerian bull was originally given as a religious offering to the goddess Inanna at her temple at Uruk. This statuette was probably left together with or in substitution for the living sacrificial animals that it represents. Although elephants were known to have existed in Mesopotamia and have appeared in excavations dating to the 4th millennium, they were rarely represented in art, making this limestone figure one of the very few examples to have survived to the modern day.

During District Attorney Bragg’s tenure, the ATU has recovered over 800 antiquities stolen from 24 countries and valued at nearly $160 million. Since its creation, the ATU has recovered nearly 4,500 antiquities stolen from 29 countries and valued at more than $375 million. Under District Attorney Bragg, the ATU has also repatriated more than 950 antiquities stolen from 19 countries and valued at more than $165 million. Since its creation, the ATU has returned more than 2,450 antiquities to 24 countries and valued at more than $230 million.

Assistant District Attorney Matthew Bogdanos, Chief of the Antiquities Trafficking Unit and Senior Trial Counsel, supervised the investigation, which was conducted by Assistant District Attorneys Taylor Holland and Christine DiDomenico; Supervising Investigative Analyst Apsara Iyer, Investigative Analysts Daniel Healey and Hilary Chasse; and Special Agents Robert Mancene, John Paul Labbat, and Robert Fromkin of Homeland Security Investigations. The District Attorney’s Office would like to thank Shelby White for her assistance and cooperation with our investigation.


Let's put a spotlight on one of the crooks.  Torey Akers (THE ART NEWSPAPER) notes:

Authorities seized the bull figurine from Shelby White, the investor, art collector and board member of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The expansive collection she accrued with her late husband, Leon Levy, has come under scrutiny for including many artefacts with uncertain provenance. The district attorney's investigation into the collection has already resulted in the seizure of 89 stolen antiquities valued at over $69m and originating from ten different countries. White cooperated with investigators, according to the district attorney's announcement.

Shelby White is not a poor widow.  She's 84 years old and sitting on millions.  She's used that money to try to buy herself a life in the last two decades. That money bought her a seat on a government committee that was supposed to be figuring out the illegal artifact trade and how to stop it.  Yes, Bill Clinton put the fox in the henhouse.  This latest revelation is not a shock.  She and her dead husband profited from looting and illegal trade.   Sarah Cascone (ART NET) notes:

One, a Sumerian alabaster bull, belonged to philanthropist Shelby White, a member of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s board of trustees. It joins a significant number of other objects from her collection that the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office has seized in the past two years.

[. . .]

Works from the couple’s holdings were among a group of Greek antiquities restituted in March. And earlier this month, the DA returned two seventh-century stone carvings to China that belonged to White and were on loan to the Met—part of a growing cache of antiquities either in the museum’s collection, or on view at the institution, that have been seized and/or repatriated due to looting in recent months. Reports suggest there is more where that came from. 

I'm sure there are many more items to be found in 'their' collection.  WIKIPEDIA notes:

The Levy-White collection has been scrutinised for looted objects: in a 2000 article, archaeologists David Gill and Christopher Chippindale stated that 93 percent of the works at the exhibition Glories of the Past: Ancient Art from the Shelby White and Leon Levy Collection had no known provenance.[15]

Upon search warrants issued by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office on 28 June, 2021, and April 27, 2022, objects were seized from White's Manhattan home and were returned to Turkey and Italy, these objets constituting "evidence of criminal possession of stolen property in the first, second, third, and fourth degrees, as well as of a conspiracy to commit those crimes"[16]

The Office of Manhattan District Attorney General seized 89 stolen antiquities, valued at $69 million and originating from 10 different countries, and returned some of them to Turkey[17] and Yemen.[18]

In May 2023, Chinese antiquities loaned to the Metropolitan Museum of Art by Shelby White were seized and returned to the Chinese Consulate.[19]


Now that we're all on the same page, the dumpster fire is back in the news.  Divya Kishore (MEAWW) reports:

A prominent trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met) has come under fire after cops recovered numerous stolen artifacts from her house. According to reports, the confiscated items are worth $69 million and were collected by Shelby White and her late husband Leon Levy over several years.

89 artifacts have reportedly been removed from White's possession by the Manhattan District Attorney's Office Special Antiquities Trafficking Unit in the last two years. An April statement by Manhattan DA Alvin L Bragg, Jr said, "Our investigation into the collector Shelby White has allowed dozens of antiquities that were ripped from their countries of origin to finally return home."

Following the shocking revelation, The New York Post reported that the 85-year-old woman's attorney Peter Chavkin has asserted that his client bought artifacts "in good faith, at public auction and from dealers they believed to be reputable." Philippe de Montebello, the Met's former director, defended Shelby by saying she "is a scholar who bought antiquities in good faith out of a real love and knowledge of the art."

[. . .]

However, there were many who were not convinced by White's apparent innocence as Elizabeth Marlowe, the director of the museum studies program at Colgate University, reportedly said, "There is no way that someone at her level of the market and her depth of collecting and her prominence at the Met - there is no way someone at that level did not know they should be asking for things like export licenses."

Patty Gerstenblith, an expert on cultural heritage issues and a professor at DePaul University College of Law, added, "Her collecting practices do not fit the model of how a museum should be pursuing knowledge and preserving the historical record. I don't think the good works, the support of archaeological work, outweigh the harm that she caused."

She's a thief and she needs to be called out every day of however many years she has left on this earth.  Crooks like her don't go to prison, so public scorn's all we can mete out. 

Meanwhile in Baghdad, their local chapter of Moms For Liberty has been very active.  Ali Jabar and Abby Sewell (AP) report:

Protesters angered by the planned burning of a copy of the Quran stormed the Swedish Embassy in Baghdad early Thursday, breaking into the compound and lighting a small fire and setting off a diplomatic furor.

Online videos showed demonstrators at the diplomatic post waving flags and signs showing the influential Iraqi Shiite cleric and political leader Muqtada al-Sadr ahead of a planned burning of the Islamic holy book Thursday in Stockholm by an Iraqi asylum-seeker who burned a copy of the Quran in a previous demonstration last month.

Following the incident, the Swedish Embassy announced it had closed to visitors without specifying when it would reopen. Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani convened a meeting with security officials and said in a statement afterwards that Iraqi authorities will prosecute those responsible for the arson as well referring “negligent security officials” for investigation.

No word yet on whether other Moms For Liberty like 'Dr' Naomi Wolf and Tulsi Gabbard would be rushing to Iraq to assist mother Moqtada in the mission.   AFP notes:

 "What has happened is completely unacceptable and the government condemns these attacks in the strongest terms. Iraqi authorities have an unequivocal obligation to protect diplomatic missions and personnel under the Vienna Convention," Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom said in a statement, adding that Iraq's charge d'affaires would be summoned to the foreign ministry.

REUTERS offers this quote:

“It is clear that the Iraqi authorities have seriously failed in their responsibility to protect diplomatic missions and personnel,” Billstrom said in a statement. 

Dropping back to Tuesday's snapshot:

Cardinal Louis Sako, patriarch of the Chaldean Catholic Church, announced Saturday that he is withdrawing from his seat in Baghdad after Iraqi President Abdul Rashid revoked a decree recognizing him as head of the Christian Church in Iraq.

Sako said he will be taking up residence in a monastery in Kurdistan, an autonomous region of Iraq, where he will continue to lead the Chaldean Church.  

In a statement issued July 15, Sako called the president’s action — which calls into question his ability to control Church assets in the country — “unprecedented” and “unfair.”

“It is unfortunate that we in Iraq live in the midst of a wide network of self-interest, narrow factionalism, and hypocrisy that has produced an unprecedented political, national, and moral chaos, which is rooted by now more and more,” Sako wrote. “Therefore, I have decided to withdraw from the patriarchal headquarters in Baghdad.”

What's going on?  A number of things, actually.  AFP noted a few days ago a political conflict:

Cardinal Louis Sako, patriarch of the Chaldean Catholic Church, announced Saturday that he is withdrawing from his seat in Baghdad after Iraqi President Abdul Rashid revoked a decree recognizing him as head of the Christian Church in Iraq.

Sako said he will be taking up residence in a monastery in Kurdistan, an autonomous region of Iraq, where he will continue to lead the Chaldean Church.  

In a statement issued July 15, Sako called the president’s action — which calls into question his ability to control Church assets in the country — “unprecedented” and “unfair.”

“It is unfortunate that we in Iraq live in the midst of a wide network of self-interest, narrow factionalism, and hypocrisy that has produced an unprecedented political, national, and moral chaos, which is rooted by now more and more,” Sako wrote. “Therefore, I have decided to withdraw from the patriarchal headquarters in Baghdad."

 [. . .]

Now comes Abdul to further disgrace the Talabani family and the PUK.  FARS MEDIA CORPORATION notes:

A source at Asianews points out that the whole affair turns on this point: “Someone wants to take control over the assets and properties held by Christians and the Church.” President Abdul Latif Rashid has intervened in recent days with the intention of “clarifying” his decision.

His office issues a statement saying: “Withdrawing  the republican decree does not prejudice the religious or legal status of Cardinal Louis Sako, as he is appointed by the Apostolic See.” According to the Kurdish Muslim leader, “the abolition of the Presidential Decree is intended to correct the situation,” while the patriarch continues to enjoy “the respect and appreciation of the presidency of the Republic as Patriarch of the Chaldean Church in Iraq and the world.”

“However, the president’s decision strips the Chaldean leader – the Patriarch – of the right to administer church assets, which are the target of Ryan 'the Chaldean' and his Babylonian Brigades. ‘It’s no coincidence that the president’s decision came a few days after he met with Ryan,’” a source told AsiaNews.

“For over 100 years, the patriarch, after his papal appointment, had his office recognized by decree by the king and then the president, upholding his status as head of the Church and custodian of its properties.” With the withdrawal of the decree, the primate “will likely lose control over the [Church’s] assets and properties,” the source concludes, but Cardinal Sako “is determined to fight and is already studying ways to appeal in court so that law prevails and justice is done.”

The controversy surrounding the withdrawal of the presidential decree is the latest chapter in a series of attacks that have affected the most respected figure of the Chaldean Church in Iraq, to the point that in recent weeks there has arisen a backlash among Christians in response to the “lies”: an attack against the patriarch and the leadership of the Church by the leader of the Babylonian Movement, Rayan.otes:

Mina Aldroubi (THE NATIONAL) updates the ongoing story:

The US ambassador to Iraq will be summoned by Baghdad over remarks made by a US official about the removal of the head of the Christian Church in Iraq, the government said on Thursday.

Ambassador Alina Romanowski is to be called in after State Department spokesman Matthew Miller described the treatment of Cardinal Louis Sako as harassment.

He said he was troubled by Iraq’s President Abdul Latif Rashid's decision to revoke a decree recognising the patriarch of the Chaldean Catholic Church, as head of the country's Christian Church.

“I will say we are disturbed by the harassment of Cardinal Sako ... and troubled by the news that he has left Baghdad,” Mr Miller said on Tuesday.

“We look forward to his safe return. The Iraqi Christian community is a vital part of Iraq’s identity and a central part of Iraq’s history of diversity and tolerance.”

Mr Rashid's office said the president was "disappointed by accusations levelled against the Iraqi government" by Mr Miller and would summon the ambassador.

 The following sites updated: