+ I remember when the Democrats attributed their losses in the 2000 elections to a “framing” issue and they hired George Lakoff to try and fix it using “conceptual metaphor theory.” Now they’re blaming their collapsing poll numbers on bad “messaging.” Wouldn’t it have been easier to have just followed through on the $600 checks Biden promised, for starters?
"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Thursday, April 14, 2022. Joe Bdien cries 'genocide' -- maybe he's looking at his polling numbers?/.
This morning, Andre Damon (WSWS) reports:
On Tuesday, US President Joe Biden claimed that Russia was committing genocide in Ukraine. In a subsequent statement to reporters in Iowa, he added, “I called it genocide because it’s become clearer and clearer that Putin is just trying to wipe out even the idea of being Ukrainian.”
Biden’s accusation that Russia is engaging in genocide is aimed at poisoning public opinion and galvanizing popular hatred of Russia. It was a transparent pretext for the White House’s announcement, just one day later, that the United States would send attack helicopters and hundreds of armored vehicles to Ukraine in the largest escalation of US military involvement in the war to date.
The weapons being shipped to Ukraine include 300 “kamikaze drones” known as “Switchblades,” 300 armored vehicles, and 11 Mi-17 helicopters, as well as land mines, radars, thousands of anti-tank weapons and nuclear protective equipment.
Announcing the action, the Pentagon declared, “The United States has now committed more than $3.2 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since the beginning of the Biden Administration.” This includes $2.6 billion within the past six weeks.
On Wednesday, White House press spokesperson Jen Psaki was asked, “Is it the US policy that genocide has been committed in Ukraine, or was that the president’s personal beliefs?” To this Psaki replied, “Our objective now is evidenced by the enormous package of military assistance that we put out today.”
This exchange is revealing precisely because it stands reality so neatly on its head. In the statements of the White House, the unprecedented funneling of arms to Ukraine is a testament to how strongly the US believes Russia is committing “genocide.”
Joe Biden 'cares' -- we're supposed to beleive. Because there's a genocide taking place that he' never said 'Boo!' about. We'll get 8back to t8hat later n the snapshot.
He's looking for a reason to make the massive spedning that's going on right now look justified. It's not going to. As someone said in ZOON yesterday, "He's Diamond Joe Biden and he's spending all this money to impress the neighborhood while, at home, his own kids are starving."
Well, now we know how Hunter Biden ended up believeing it was okay to be a Dead Beat Dad -- the fruit didn't fall far from that rotten tree.
On Hunter, Jonathan Turley notes
There was nothing subtle about the alleged influence-peddling effort of Hunter Biden or his uncle James. In Washington, influence peddling is a virtual cottage industry. However, there was a little sophistication in these e-mails to hide the corruption. The Hunter dealings were more like influence peddling by eBay in terms of the raw pitches and open admissions.
On May 1, 2017, Hunter Biden recognized how his work with CEFC at a minimum could trigger FARA and acknowledged that his uncle was also aware of the danger:
“No matter what it will need to be a US company at some level in order for us to make bids on federal and state funded projects. Also We [sic] don’t want to have to register as foreign agents under the FCPA which is much more expansive than people who should know choose not to know. James has very particular opinions about this so I would ask him about the foreign entity.”
The e-mail is a prosecutor’s dream. FARA violations, like tax violations, can be viewed as cut-and-dried charges for jurors. In this case, the potential defendant not only incriminated himself under the law, but his associates and family, as well.
That is why, if the Justice Department applies the same standard applied to figures like Manafort, Biden would likely be indicted.
The question is whether the same standard will apply. I have long criticized the sweeping language of FARA. However, the Justice Department has shifted from prior administrative enforcement to criminal prosecutions. The Justice Department in recent years has convicted various individuals for engaging in public relations and lobbying efforts for foreign countries, including China and Ukraine.
A sudden shift away from such criminal enforcement would raise questions of favored treatment — and magnify the concern over Attorney General Merrick Garland refusing to appoint a special counsel in the scandal.
In The Washington Post, the Manafort and other FARA cases were heralded as essential to protecting democracy. A columnist concluded, “FARA can be a powerful tool for detecting those foreign instruments. We should use it. No matter whom it ensnares.”
It has now ensnared the son of President Biden. The question is whether the Justice Department and the media still have the same appetite for FARA prosecutions.
Despite rumors for the last five days, Nouri al-Maliki has not been put forward as a nominee for prime minister by the Coordinating Framework -- the body tht's trying to put together support now that Moqtada al-Sadr' repeat failures at forming a government have led Moqtada to step away (for 40 days). They appear to be struggling the same way that Moqtada did though their efforts are still young. Moqtada has failed three times so far -- three times a vote was scheduled for Parlaiemtn, three times it failed to take place because not enough MPs shoed due to the fact that Moqtada can't garner enough support.
This, please remember, is the man that the western press hailed as a king maker.
The Coordinating Framework is said to be favoring Mustafa al-Kahdimi for the post.
Why did they even have elections?
Yeah, Moqtada wants his own cousing to be prime minister -- an underling with no national presecnec.
Bu tthe Iraqi people are deeply unhappy with their government.
And yet thanks to Moqtada, the Speaker of Parliament will be the same person.
The Coordinatign Framework wants Barham Saleh to8 remain as Iraqi president and now they're flirting wit8h Mustafa?
Why wasted the time and the money on elections if nothing is going to change.
There's also the fact that Mustafa -- a failure and a liar 8-- o8nce declared he would serve only one term.
October 10th the elections took place and still the Parliament can't elect a president and, without a president, no one can be named prime minister designate. (Once named prime minister designate, the person has 30 days to form a Cabinet. If they do so, they are supposed to then become prime minister. That rule's been fudged repeatedly over the years.)
After Parliament failed several times this year to elect a new president, Iraq has entered a constitutional vacuum.
These events led to the end of the constitutional deadline set by the Federal Supreme Court on 6 April.
This required the court to resort to legal jurisprudence and issue a decision to continue the term of current President Barham Salih until a new president is elected.
Since its first session on 9 February, Parliament has been unable to elect a president from 40 candidates led by the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) candidate, the current president, Barham Salih, and the Kurdistan Democratic Party's candidate, Rebar Ahmed.
Iraq’s President Barham Salih on Saturday said that the current political deadlock in the country would have dangerous repercussions, and called for the process of forming a new government to be speeded up.
Nearly six months have passed since Iraq held parliamentary elections, yet the country still has no government, due to wrangling over who will take the roles of president, prime minister and important posts in the Cabinet.
The parties have been unable to agree on a candidate for president, a problem that may also extend to the position of prime minister.
Scenario 1: The two sides reach an agreement to form a consensual government together and share the government based on a credit point system, which was common after 2003. Accordingly, each party will get a share in the government based on the number of seats they won in the elections. This is unlikely to happen this time due to Sadr's demands to form a majority government, rejecting any proposal to reach an agreement with the Coordination Framework. He has tried several times to break up the Coordination Framework and convince some of its groups (Fatah, led by Hadi al-Amiri, or State of Law, led by Nouri al-Maliki) to join him separately. However, the Coordination Framework appears solid, rejecting any offer that does not include all of them in the new government. On the other side, Sadr is facing great pressure from his social base as he had promised them since the beginning of his electoral campaign to form a majority government with the Sadrist prime minister. Sadr has nominated his cousin, Jafar al-Sadr, the son of prominent political cleric Muhammad Baqer al-Sadr, for the prime minister position. Now it is difficult to withdraw from this promise, as it would lead him to great losses in the next elections.
Scenario 2: A Sadr-Halbusi-Barzani coalition obtains the remaining required numbers to select a president and go ahead with forming a government. They have already gone through negotiations with possible allies like the PUK and independent members. But it seems difficult to achieve this goal, especially after they failed to do so three times.
Scenario 3: The current government continues indefinitely as a caretaker government, and another early election is held sometime in 2023. This is likely, due to the fact that the constitutional deadline for forming the government has already passed and the political parties have failed to form a government. Meanwhile, the two axes will compete in dominating parliament and expanding their influence in state institutions. They will also work on changing the electoral law to their benefit for the next elections, which will create another source of conflict between them.
In such circumstances, it seems the political deadlock is likely to remain for a long time and the conflict between the two sides is unlikely to be resolved, which means any newly formed government, if such occurred, would be weak and subject to collapse soon.
We'll note this statement from KRG President Nechirvan Barzani:
Today, we pay tribute to the memory of more than 182.000 innocent civilians who were killed in 1988 in one of the most heinous crimes of human history, perpetrated by the former Iraqi regime in Kurdistan.
The genocidal Anfal campaign, which was carried out in 8 stages across the Kurdistan Region, will remain one of history’s greatest infamies. It is the responsibility of all and everyone to prevent the repeat of such vicious mass crimes anywhere in the world.
As the Kurdistan Region currently moves through a critical period, the best way to honor the victims of Anfal and all the martyrs of Kurdistan is tolerance, common purpose and unity among all parties and communities in Kurdistan to ensure and preserve the constitutional rights of the Kurdistan Region and its political and federal status.
In view of the fact that the Supreme Iraqi Criminal Tribunal recognized the Anfal as genocide and war crime against humanity, we urge Iraq’s federal government to live up to its legal, ethical and human responsibility, to restitute the victims of Anfal and their families and to alleviate their sufferings and sorrows.
The Kurdistan Region will do its utmost to better serve and support the families of the Anfal victims, and will continue its efforts to reconstruct the areas ravaged by the campaign. We will spare no efforts to return the remains of all the martyrs, and will continue to work for an international recognition of the Anfal campaign.
Tribute to the memory of the martyrs.
The President of the Kurdistan Region
And we'll note this Tweet:
There's an ongoing genocide with Turkey attacking Kurdistan. Joe Biden won't say a word about that, will he.