Has there ever been a campaign so dead on arrival?
Doesn't get much worse than that. It can't get much worse than that.
Time to tax the billionaires and, honestly, if it taxes them out of existence, I won't shed a tear.
"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
security forces shot dead at least 22 protesters who had gathered on a bridge early Thursday, a local medical official said. He described the scene at Nassriya’s main hospital as “tragic” as women wailed over the bodies of dead family members #iraqprotests
Is there a tipping point where the violence becomes intolerable? If so, it seems Iraq has not yet reached it. Violence Rises in Iraq’s South Amid Crackdowns on Protests and Press
Today? BBC NEWS reports:
Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi is to submit his resignation, his office says, after more than 40 people were killed on the bloodiest day since anti-government protests began.Mr Abdul Mahdi's decision comes after Iraq's top Shia Muslim cleric condemned the use of force against protesters and called for a new government.
Nearly 400 people have been killed in protests since the start of October.
Wait! He was already going to resign, remember?
Actually, no. As we pointed out in real time, weeks ago, he said no such thing. Iraqi President Barham Saleh announced that Adel would resign. And then nothing happened. He didn't step down and the protests intensified.
The Iraqi people have lived on broken promises and were not about to believe Mahdi was stepping down when he was making no effort to do so and when he'd made no statement that he would be stepping down.
Samya Kullab and Murtada Faraj (AP) note that Mahdi declared that Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani's Friday sermon had led to his decision and that, "I will submit to parliament an official memorandum resigning from the current prime ministry so that the parliament can review its choices." Remember that journalist Mustafa Habib Tweeted about Sistani's importance yesterday.
On the Friday sermon, Mustafa notes this morning:
The parliament should put,as soon as,new election law, & new election commission, acceptable by the people, in preparation for free & fair elections which its results truly reflect the will of Iraqis. Dodging in this will cost the country high price & everyone will regret it. (2)
We strongly reject the killing of demonstrators, the peaceful protesters must cooperate together to expel the saboteurs and not allow them to exploit peaceful demonstrations to destroy public and private property. (3)
The enemies and their tools are plan to achieve their malicious purposes of spreading chaos and devastation and taking the country into internal fighting, and then to return the country to the dictatorship, everyone must cooperate to prevent that. (4)
For the first time in his speeches since the protests began, Sistani ignored to give any talk to the government, but this time he spoke to parliament. A clear message from Sistani that he no longer accept this government. that is why he asked the parliament to change it.
No calls to bring justice to the murdered protesters. There's an important message behind his consistent refusal to seek justice for them, and it's indicative of the same mentality and trajectory that got us here.
The sermon basically calls for a replacement of government.
This is a victory for the protesters. Hopefully, more victories will follow but there's no denying that this is an effect brought about by the ongoing protests.
The victory should not distract from the reality that government corruption involves more than just a prime minister or that protests have been taking place outside of Baghdad.
The commander will fly back to Baghdad tomorrow after overseeing what is considered to be a massacre in Nasriyah, Jameel Al Shimary’s military helicopter arrived and is ready to take off in few hours #Iraq
Much continues throughout the country but, again, Mahdi stepping down is a victory and one that the protesters can claim proudly as their victory.
What happens next? AFP's Maya Gebeily explains.
#Iraq's constitution doesn't include a provision on PM resigning, so AAM has essentially initiated process for no-confidence vote. If it passes, cabinet has 30 days as caretakers, and president names new PM as if elex just happened. Unresolved, though, is who is largest bloc
Mahdi has announced his resignation (hopefully, he will follow through). His is not the only official head rolling.
Mustafa Habib (NIQASH) notes the ongoing protests have already had impact:
In particular, attitudes towards Iraqi women are changing. In a country where tribal traditions still hold much – and in some cases, the most – sway, females are subject to customs like arranged marriages and the dowry system, and are expected to behave in a traditionally modest way. In conservative areas, women often may not leave the family home without a chaperone and the man of any house is always in charge.
The fact that increasing numbers of local women, many of them students at schools and universities, are independently taking part in the anti-government demonstrations is impacting these attitudes.
Of course, this isn’t necessarily easy. Often a young woman’s parents may be against her engaging in such politicalized behaviour. “There’s a lot of pressure,” confirms Hawraa Mohammed, a student at Basra university. “But luckily we can often hide our faces behind the masks the protesters use to protect from tear gas, to hide our identity. That’s helped us hide our faces, which means our families and relatives don’t know that it’s us,” she explained to NIQASH.
Mohammed says her father actually found out she had been protesting because the universities declared a general strike, but she didn’t come home from classes. “When I got back, he didn’t speak to me angrily though,” she recalls. “He was quiet and he wasn’t even against my protesting. He was just afraid that I might get hurt.”
In Baghdad, a more open metropolis compared to many of Iraq’s more conservative towns, hundreds of local women have joined in the country’s largest, flagship protest. They do things like helping with protesters who have been wounded, they paint murals, serve food and call out slogans.
What’s particularly interesting is the level of sexual harassment these women are facing – that is, none (or hardly any). There has not been one case of grievous harassment recorded as yet. In fact, many of the young men present are careful not to allow any behaviour of this kind because they want to make sure that the image of the protests remains positive. There are already posts on Iraqi social media being circulated by anonymous users that suggest that there are orgies taking place in Tahrir Square, the site of the demonstration in Baghdad. Most people do not believe a word of these scurrilous rumours though.
We'll again note Ghaith Abdul-Ahad (GUARDIAN):
The anger towards the militias and political parties, activists say, began with the defeat of Isis, when young men returned from the frontlines to find that their commanders had turned into warlords, accumulating wealth and business contracts.
“So many politicians and officials come from here, and yet this a very poor town in a very poor province,” says Mohamed, a human rights activist and a vocal anti-corruption campaigner. “During the elections the politicians give people blankets and a few phone cards, hire a few men to the police, pave a road … that’s how they win votes. After 16 years of Shia rule, the Shia kids are now saying that things were better under Saddam.”
“Who are the Hashed?” asks a school director in al-Shatrah, referring to the paramilitary group established in 2014 from disparate armed groups and volunteers to fight against Isis. He answers himself: “Our children were the Hashed. These politicians and commanders climbed on their back to achieve their goals.”
In the US, the race for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination continues. Tiny Pete?
Pete Buttigieg is a Harvard educated CIA agent who raises money from billionaires like Zuckerberg & goes to Iowa & preaches to poor people that free college is a giveaway to the rich so they shouldn’t want a better world for their kids. Pete Buttigieg is a lying motherf**ker.
Pete has a problem that's not going away -- racism doesn't just vanish.
Pete Buttigieg's climate advisor has accepted millions of dollars from Big Oil and advocated for "clean coal" and corporate polluters. @PeteButtigieg cannot claim to care about climate change if he's taking advice from a fossil fuel stooge.
Tiny Pete. One candidate, so many problems.
Pete Buttigieg says being gay helps him relate to the black struggle. As a queer white person: Pete, shut the f**k up and stop making us look bad.
I don't know who needs to hear this right now, but Pete Buttigieg is not qualified to be president, so I don't care about the endless takes about him. He should drop out and run for something that's more his speed.
Pete Buttigieg Panned for Ad Attacking Free College twib.in/l/Kx46e57zKq67
Pete Buttigieg has no core values beyond his own self interest. That's it. That's the tweet.
Me and My Mom and Grandma talked about Mr. Zero percent black support Mayo Pete Buttigieg and they don't believe what he is selling either and we discussed his racist comments towards black people etc. and my mom still can't believe how he is gaining in the polls.
Pete Buttigieg’s $2 trillion dollar climate change plan has $0 funding. Pete Buttigieg’s $2 trillion dollar climate change plan has $0 funding. Pete Buttigieg’s $2 trillion dollar climate change plan has $0 funding.
For the first time, majority public opinion is in favor of making healthcare and public higher education free by taxing obscene wealth. Pete Buttigieg is running to stop that from happening to protect the rich.
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