TOP OF THE POPS is a British TV show. It's sort of like AMERICAN BANDSTAND in this country -- only AMERICAN BANDSTAND ended. They take music a little more seriously in the UK. George Ezra is a favorite of mine and I'm highlighting two clips of him performing on TOP OF THE POPS.
Now just a comment or two on blogging. If I have time, I blog. If I don't have time, I don't blog.
I'm not C.I. She breaks her neck to post. Yesterday, she got four shots from doctors and she went to the dentist and had a root canal. She got home at two something and was going up to her room to nap because she was in pain but Ava dropped by because of an emergency and asked if C.I. could watch her daughter -- who wasn't feeling well. C.I. posted how much yesterday? Let me just copy and paste:
Ava's daughter ended up getting a fever and C.I. was taking care of that and still posting. She was poked and prodded all morning and got shots and was tired but she still posted.
She worries about people and is very considerate. I am not her. I love her. She's one of my best friends. I admire what she does and what she accomplishes. But I don't have that zeal or desire. So it is what it is at this site.
(By the way, before someone e-mails wondering why I didn't take care of Ava's daughter, it wouldn't happen. She was feeling bad -- because she was getting sick. Ava lives next to C.I. and, until the pandemic, Ava and C.I. were on the road every week from before Ava had a daughter. Ava's daughter considers C.I. family. She wouldn't have stayed with anyone else, not even Kat.)
"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Tuesday, November 30, 2021. Still no final voce count released in Iraq, still no one arrested for the assassination attempt or 'attempt' on Mustafa al-Kahdimi, don't call it progress.
Hassan Ali Ahmed (AL-MONITOR) emerges from the steno pool to type:
Iraqi national security adviser Qasim al-Araji appeared at a press conference on Nov. 29 to unveil the first report prepared by a special committee tasked with investigating a drone attack on Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi's residence earlier this month.
The committee, headed by Araji, was formed a day after the Nov. 7 drone attack to investigate and find the party behind the attack that was widely condemned by the international community.
The members of the committee consist of Army Chief of Staff Gen. Abdul Amir Yarallah, deputy commander of the Joint Operations Command Gen. Abdul Amir al-Shammari, head of the National Security Service Hamid al-Shatri, deputy of the intelligence service Majid al-Dulaimi and Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein.
The report revealed new details on the attack.
Araji disclosed that two explosive-laden drones packed with Composition C-4 targeted the prime minister's residence in the fortified Green Zone in Baghdad in the early hours of Nov. 7. Initially, the first drone aimed its explosives at the flat roof, only to be followed by the second drone immediately targeting the entry of the courtyard.
This style of attack was intended to strike Kadhimi with the second drone while he was fleeing the scene through the entry, the report noted.
Generally, the only ones who can tell you what was intended are the culprits themselves. What's Araji confessing to?
This garbage that AL-MONITOR has run is exactly why Iraqis have never bought into the notion that this was a real attack. Per AL-MONITOR, the investigating body can mind read but they can't figure out who pulled it off?
It's more garbage. That's all it is. It's not making the attack or 'attack' look real. Everyone's fully aware that this is the last day of November and that the alleged attack took place at the start of the month. They want high drama and yet the reality is that if an attempt was made on Mustafa's life, ther should have been arrests long ago. The fact that this didn't happen backs up the beliefs of many that the whole 'assault' was staged and staged to create sympathy for Mustafa.
Was the 'attack' real? I have no idea, I wasn't there. But I do understand people in Iraq rolling their eyes over this nonsense. Were the attack real, that would mean an assassination attempt took place. And yet approximately one month later no arrests?? If there was an assassination attempt, that's not the normal response.
The whole thing has felt suspicious from the start and it's now, as one Shi'ite noted on Arabic social media this morning, just looking desperate.
Where are those election results? Still not in. Can't count ballots, can't catch killers, what can Mustafa's government do?
The electoral Committee is handing complaints over to the judiciary. That's where it stands now.
Jeanine Antoinette Hennis-Plasschaert heads the United Nations' mission in Iraq. She's done a miserable job. Last week, she spoke to the UN Security Council and lied. SHe lied. The October 10th election -- that we still don't have a final tally on -- was free and fair.
She deserves the bad reputation has in Iraq. We've ignored a lot of her problems because, with that position, we largely cover what they 'testitfy' to while appearing before the United Nations. But, to recap some of her greatest hits, she oversees a staff who told a man 'just don't burn yourself in front of our mission.' He walks in and explains his problems and how the UN is not addressing them and that he's going to set himself ablaze. And the UN response -- her staff -- is fine, just don't do it in front of our building.
Then there was the man who was assassinated in public and Jeanine's refusal to meet with the mother. The mother had to protest and more before the press on this got so bad that Jeanine had to get off her lazy ass and meet with the mother.
Now there's all the issues regarding Israel that would take multiple snapshots to cover but we'll just note that she's seen as a supplicant to the government of Israel and not a represetnative of Iraq.
With that baggage and so much more, she shows up to the UN Security Council and lies that these were free and fair elections.
When you disenfranchise, they aren't free elections. And many groups were disenfranchised but let's just note the most obvious one. A week before the election, on Mustafa's orders, the electoral commssion announced that a segment of the militias -- those publicly opposed to Mustafa -- would not be allowed to vote the Friday before the election. They couldn't vote on Sunday. They were being deployed around the country to protect polling stations. That was the entire reason for the early vote. And most of the security forces got to early vote. But not all.
That is discrimination and that is disenfranchisement. In addition, Layal Shakir (RUDAW) notes, "Qais al-Khazali, secretary-general of Asaib Ahl al-Haq, one of the pro-Iranian PMF militias, met with the head of the United Nations mission in Iraq earlier this month and said he presented her with evidence of electoral fraud."
Jeanine's a liar. She's not an honest broker.
Back to the assassination attempt or 'attempt,' ALJAZEERA reports:
Qais al-Khazali, leader of the Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq, an Iran-backed armed group under the Popular Mobilization Forces umbrella, had long denounced the blame as well as the election results.
In a televised speech on Sunday, al-Khazali said the investigation committee must “provide tangible and real evidence” instead of “allegations from the media and Facebook”.
Telegram channels affiliated with pro-Iran armed groups charged ahead with their campaign against al-Kadhimi, spreading unsubstantiated claims that the prime minister staged the attack to blame it on the armed groups.
Well when you fail to do the most rudimentary of forensics on the alleged crime scene, apparently all you have for 'evidence' is social media.
In other news, the PUK did poorly in the election. Hiro Talabani is upping her game after the election and has begun deploying her son Bafel to make public statements calling out 'the government' for the way protesters in Sulaymaniyah are being treated. Dilan Sirwan (RUDAW) reports:
The head of Sulaimani’s ruling party on Tuesday apologized to students
for a violent crackdown on last week’s protests, two days day after he
met with a group of students.
“I am deeply saddened by the unjust violence that has been executed against a number of students. I sincerely ask for pardon from my sons, daughters, sisters, and brothers who walk towards a glimmering future with hope,” read the statement from Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) co-chair Bafel Talabani on Tuesday.
He pledged to make “immense changes” and “resolve the shortcomings,” adding that they “will work closer with the youth and students.”
Student protests began a week ago at the University of Sulaimani and were met with a crackdown as police used electric batons to disperse the crowd. But the protests continued, growing in size every day and spreading to other cities and towns across the Kurdistan Region over the week and security forces used tear gas and water cannons to quell the demonstrations. There were also reports that forces used live ammunition.
We'll wind down with this from Black Alliance for Peace:
Black Alliance for Peace Statement on Venezuelan Elections
The news out of Venezuela related to the elections is that there is no news. All attempts to attack and delegitimize the process failed and the people of that beleaguered nation once again chose independence and dignity over surrendering to the imperialist gangsterism of the United States and their white supremacist, European colonial allies.
For the first time in four years elements of the political opposition participated in elections that saw nearly 70,000 candidates representing 37 national political parties and 43 regional organizations for 23 governors, 335 mayors, 253 lawmakers, and 2,471 councilors.
Demonstrating once again that it is committed to open, fair, and clean elections, the Consejo National Electoral (CNE), the governmental body responsible for organizing elections in the country, issued credentials to over 300 international observers from 55 countries and institutions such as the European Union (EU), the United Nations (UN), and the Carter Center.
The “Great Patriotic Pole” (GPP), a coalition of parties and social movements organized by the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), won overwhelmingly including 20 out of 23 key governorships in the sub-national election.
According to BAP National Organizer Ajamu Baraka, “The support of the Venezuelan people for their process demonstrates once again, like what we just saw in the Nicaraguan elections and the failed revolt in Cuba on the 15th, that the white supremacists do not understand that when a people have tasted freedom, reconnected with their pre-colonial cultural traditions of knowledge production and independence, they become immune to the political, ideological and material attempts to drive them back into subordination.”
The elections in Venezuela and Nicaragua, the abandonment of reactionary forces in Cuba by the Cuban people, and the solidarity from progressive forces globally in support of the struggles for national liberation and self-determination in the Americas, represent the upsurge of popular opposition and the growing weakness and fragility of U.S. and European imperialism.
They all forcefully affirm that the colonial realities are being reversed. It is a victory for all oppressed, colonized, and working-class peoples when a people, working to build a new society for themselves freed from the dehumanizing effects of the colonial/capitalist system, are able to withstand the systematic assaults on their democratic process and national sovereignty. BAP stands firmly with all of these attempts and proudly salutes the people of Venezuela.
No compromise, no retreat!
The following sites updated: