Thought for the day

"The supreme trick of mass insanity is that it persuades you that the only abnormal person is the one who refuses to join in the madness of others, the one who tries vainly to resist. We will never understand totalitarianism if we do not understand that people rarely have the strength to be uncommon." -- Eugene Ionesco

The head of Iraq’s Asaeb Ahl al-Haq resistance group, Qais al-Khazali, announced on 23 September that the Coordination Framework (CF) agreed to hold early elections in show of good faith to the movement led by cleric Moutada al-Sadr, a prominent rival of the CF.

“For the return of the Sadrist bloc’s deputies, there is no solution without early elections,” Khazali said, noting that “the CF is ready to respond to all the Sadrist movement logical demands and does not want to exclude the latter.”

Tags

“The government doesn’t care, they are useless, and political parties are fighting for power for themselves,” said Nada, aged 27, over a coffee in Baghdad’s Karrada district, reflecting on the past few tumultuous weeks – and years – of Iraq’s political crisis. “We have nothing to lose any more,” she added, referring to youth-led demonstrations. “We need to be braver … we need to wake up, no one speaks for us anyway.”

Tags
Israel offers cyber aid to Albania, which severed Iran ties over hacking claim MikeRivero Wed, 09/14/2022 - 09:18

Israel offered cyber defense assistance to Albania on Monday, days after the Balkan state severed its diplomatic ties with Iran, citing accusations that the Islamic Republic carried out cyberattacks against the country in July.

Deputy Foreign Minister Idan Roll met with Albanian Foreign Minister Olta Xhacka on the sidelines of the Conference on Shaping Feminist Foreign Policy in Berlin, where he “offered to share our knowledge and experience in cyber defense” and “expressed Israel’s appreciation” for Tirana’s decision to kick out Iran’s diplomats, he said in a tweet.

Tony Blair, War Criminal Who Has Escaped Justice MikeRivero Tue, 09/06/2022 - 07:51

The phrase ‘elected dictatorship’ was coined by Lord Hailsham, a respected Tory Lord Chancellor, to mean that, once elected, a British government could do more or less as it pleased.

But Hailsham can surely have had no idea of how far Tony Blair would go.

The first question we should ask ourselves is how this man was able, in the world’s oldest and most revered parliamentary democracy, to override the constitutional checks and balances about which we were taught at school, and do virtually what he wanted.

Tony Blair says world is better as a result of Iraq War MikeRivero Tue, 09/06/2022 - 07:50

Tony Blair says the world would be "in a worse position" had he not taken the decision to invade Iraq.

The former PM said despite the "terrible consequences", removing Saddam Hussein "moved with the grain" of what was to come in the region.

He also said it would be "far better" if he had challenged intelligence on Iraq's weapons in the run-up to war.

The official inquiry into the 2003 war was strongly critical of Mr Blair's government and UK military chiefs.

The New York Times reported this morning that the pandemic reversed 20 years of progress in reading and math among elementary school students in the United States. Commentators emphasized the dire effect this would have on life prospects for these children and, by implication, the American economy at an especially challenging moment in its history. 

Tags

Angered by a months-long political crisis, thousands of Iraqis have taken to the streets of the capital, Baghdad, days after deadly clashes between rival Shia groups sparked fears of widespread unrest.

The non-partisan protesters streamed into western Baghdad’s Al-Nusoor Square on Friday, brandishing banners and Iraqi flags to demand a complete political overhaul.

Tags

Shiite militias in Basra, Iraq, opened fire on each other early Thursday morning in what the Kurdish news outlet Rudaw described as “heavy confrontations,” just days after Shiite followers of anti-Iranian cleric Muqtada al-Sadr stormed the capital, Baghdad, prompting riots that left at least 30 people dead.

Tags

Violent protests in Iraq earlier this week were met with international concern about the stability in the region, or lack thereof. Rumors of Embassy evacuations and differing numbers of fatalities have regional partners closing borders and international partners wondering what this might mean for gas prices and the possibility of another war erupting on the planet.

To be fair, Iraq hasn’t been stable since the toppling of Saddam Hussein. But this recent public violence, coupled with questions over the alleged stability in the region, has the world paying attention again.

Tags