Saturday, October 22, 2022

Homophobe and transphobe cult member Tulsi Gabbard

Nut case Tulsi Gabbard has gone full on trans-phobe:

“U.S. Selective Service guidance on military draft registration for transgender people proves that Biden Admin knows that trans 'men' aren’t really men, and trans 'women' aren’t really women,” Gabbard tweeted.
 

What are you really, Tulsi?  A fake as who pretended to be against the war and those who started them . . . up until you were on stage with Joe Biden.  You're a joke and a fake ass.  We made that call in 2019.  You fooled a lot of people.  The Jimmy Dores of the world still prop your unethical ass up.  The rest of us don't.  

You're disgusting.  Go back to your cult and Guru Chris.  No one with a brain takes you seriously.  We realize that you lied when you swore you were misunderstood because you were not homophobic.


In 1998, then-teenage Gabbard supported her father's successful campaign to amend the Constitution of Hawaii to give lawmakers the power to limit marriage to opposite-sex couples.[48][291] The "Alliance for Traditional Marriage" spent more than $100,000 opposing same-sex marriage.[48] In her campaign for the Hawaii legislature in 2002, when asked "What qualifies you to be a state representative?", Gabbard responded "Working with my father, Mike Gabbard, and others to pass a constitutional amendment to protect traditional marriage, I learned that real leaders are willing to make personal sacrifices for the common good. I will bring that attitude of public service to the legislature."[292] In 2019, CNN in a review of Gabbard's early career, said this showed "how closely she aligned herself with her father's mission at the time."[48]

In 2004, then-adult Gabbard led a protest outside the Hawaii House Judiciary Committee objecting to the committee's decision to hold a hearing on a bill to establish legal parity between same-sex couples in civil unions and married straight couples after voters had, in 1998, approved the constitutional amendment not to support gay marriage by a margin of more than 2-to-1.[293] In public testimony, she said: "To try to act as if there is a difference between 'civil unions' and same-sex marriage is dishonest, cowardly, and extremely disrespectful to the people of Hawaii who have already made overwhelmingly clear our position on this issue, … As Democrats, we should be representing the views of the people, not a small number of homosexual extremists."[294]

That same year, she asserted that existing harassment figures showed Hawaii's schools were "not rampant with anti-gay harassment" and opposed a planned study that asked students about their sexuality.[57]

In 2012, Gabbard apologized for her "anti-gay advocacy"[295] and said she would "fight for the repeal" of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).[296] In June 2013, she was an initial cosponsor of the legislation to repeal DOMA.[297]

Gabbard was a member of the House LGBT Equality Caucus.[298] She received ratings of 92%, 88%, 100%, and 84% for her four congressional terms for pro-LGBT legislation from the Human Rights Campaign, a group that advocates for LGBT rights.[299]

After launching her presidential campaign in 2019, she apologized again[295] and said that her views had been changed by her experience in the military "with LGBTQ service members, both here at home and while deployed".[6][300] After criticism from Democrats over her past anti-gay remarks, she was defended by conservative pundit Tucker Carlson, anti-establishment progressive journalist Glenn Greenwald, and openly gay representative Sean Patrick Maloney.[301][302]

On December 10, 2020, Gabbard and Republican U.S. Representative Markwayne Mullin introduced a bill titled the "Protect Women's Sports Act" that would seek to define Title IX protections on the basis of an individual's biological sex, making it a violation for institutions that receive federal funding to "permit a person whose biological sex at birth is male to participate in an athletic program or activity that is designated for women or girls." If passed, this bill would effectively ban many transgender athletes from participating in programs corresponding with their gender identity.[303][304][305] Gabbard received condemnation from LGBT organizations and activists after introducing the bill, including the Human Rights Campaign, saying: "Gabbard has lost all credibility as an ally."[306]

On April 4, 2022, Gabbard endorsed Florida's Parental Rights Bill which forbids discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in public school classrooms for kindergarten through third grade. Gabbard stated the bill "bans government and government schools from indoctrinating woke sexual values in our schools to a captive audience." She also suggested the bill should apply to all grades.[307][308]



You belong to a cult whose leader stands against progress, stands against humanity.  People need to look at your cult and how its destroyed your life.

They might also ponder your obsession with children and wonder why you, twice married, have no children?  

You sure are interested in them for some reason.  Strange, it strikes me as strange.

 

"Iraq snapshot' (THE COMMON ILLS):

Friday, October 21, 2022.  Litigious is not the same as truthful, the government of Turkey insists it would never, ever use chemical weapons in Iraq, the persecution of Julian Assange continues, BROS is out on streaming platforms in North America, and much more.



I saw a little lawyer on the tube
He said "It's so easy now anyone can sue"
"Let me show you how your petty aggravations can profit you!"
Call for the three great stimulants
Of the exhausted ones
Artifice brutality and innocence
Artifice and innocence

Oh and deep in the night
Appetites find us
Release us and blind us
Deep in the night
While madmen sit up building bombs
And making laws and bars
They're gonna slam free choice behind us
-- "The Three Great Stimulants," written by Joni Mitchell, first appears on her DOG EAT DOG


They have made it so easy and, yes, anyone can sue.  Even if they can't win.  The "they" includes idiots in the press.  For example, before you applaud a family of a dead person for pondering a lawsuit, you might want explain case law and how you can't defame the dead.

But, hey, facts, right?  What do they matter?

Anthony Rapp found out yesterday just how much they matter (see Marcia's "The jury didn't believe Anthony Rapp either" and Mike's "THE GOLDBERGS, Kevin Spacey is cleared by jury").  Funny how the malicious press is involved in that one too, right?

Turns out, you can't come forward with a story and get the jury to believe you when they find out that the 'reporter' who you shopped you tale to couldn't confirm your basic details so he advised you to avoid specifics.  

Turns out the unpopular press is even more unpopular with juries when they run a one-sided story that they know they can't verify. 

Turns out witnesses do matter especially when they contradict your claims.  

Turns out your bitterness over your failed life and career aren't seen as noble by a jury of your peers.

Maybe it's not a good idea to look like a greedy whore by suing for forty million dollars?

And to the 'resistance,' maybe take a lesson and learn not to pin your hopes on nut jobs.

For example, a woman suing for defamation for being called a liar and being said to be "not my type" by Donald Trump?  If she's crazy enough to sue someone for saying that she's not their type, she's probably not going to deliver you what you need to jizz all over one another as you high five and scream "F**k MAGA!"  And maybe the first clue there was when she went on CNN and told Anderson Cooper that rape was "sexy."
 

In the world of reality, Julian Assange remains persecuted by US President Joe Biden and a host of people who should be supporting him stay silent or heap scorn on him.


Julian's 'crime' was revealing the realities of Iraq -- Chelsea Manning was a whistle-blower who leaked the information to Julian.  WIKILEAKS then published the Iraq War Logs.  And many outlets used the publication to publish reports of their own.  For example, THE GUARDIAN published many articles based on The Iraq War Logs.  Jonathan Steele, David Leigh and Nick Davies offered, on October 22, 2012:



A grim picture of the US and Britain's legacy in Iraq has been revealed in a massive leak of American military documents that detail torture, summary executions and war crimes.
Almost 400,000 secret US army field reports have been passed to the Guardian and a number of other international media organisations via the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks.

The electronic archive is believed to emanate from the same dissident US army intelligence analyst who earlier this year is alleged to have leaked a smaller tranche of 90,000 logs chronicling bloody encounters and civilian killings in the Afghan war.
The new logs detail how:
US authorities failed to investigate hundreds of reports of abuse, torture, rape and even murder by Iraqi police and soldiers whose conduct appears to be systematic and normally unpunished.

A US helicopter gunship involved in a notorious Baghdad incident had previously killed Iraqi insurgents after they tried to surrender.
More than 15,000 civilians died in previously unknown incidents. US and UK officials have insisted that no official record of civilian casualties exists but the logs record 66,081 non-combatant deaths out of a total of 109,000 fatalities.

The numerous reports of detainee abuse, often supported by medical evidence, describe prisoners shackled, blindfolded and hung by wrists or ankles, and subjected to whipping, punching, kicking or electric shocks. Six reports end with a detainee's apparent death. 



In an address to Australia’s National Press Club in Canberra yesterday, Jennifer Robinson, one of Julian Assange’s lawyers, provided a powerful and unanswerable indictment of the protracted political persecution of her client.

Robinson’s speech, which was broadcast live on the state-funded Australian Broadcasting Corporation, contained a sharp warning on Assange’s plight and the implications of the US attempt to prosecute him. 

Assange, she said, would not survive years’ more incarceration and “persecution by process.” And if he were extradited from Britain to the US and hauled before a kangaroo court for publishing true information, it would be a dagger blow to freedom of the press and democratic rights.

The address was a rare breach in a wall of silence on the Assange case in Australia. His various court dates have been given cursory coverage, but there has scarcely been any television programming or substantive reporting on the persecution of an Australian citizen and journalist.

Robinson noted that many were shocked at Assange’s appearance when he was dragged from Ecuador’s London embassy by the British police in 2019. She said that she was not, because “for seven years I had seen his health decline.”

Similarly, some were surprised when the US unveiled an indictment of Assange, and an extradition request, as soon as he was arrested. Robinson noted, however, that this was what Assange, WikiLeaks and its defenders, including herself, had been warning of for years.

“For the past three and a half years Assange has been in a maximum security prison” dubbed “Britain’s Guantanamo Bay,” Robinson noted, where his health had further declined. At a court hearing last October, she recalled that while prosecutors for the US extradition were deriding medical evidence of Assange’s deteriorating condition, viewers of the proceeding watched him slump with his head in his hands. It was later confirmed that Assange was, at that moment or just before, suffering a minor stroke, which is often a prelude to a major stroke.

“Julian’s wife Stella anxiously waits for the phone call she dreads,” Robinson said. “He is suffering profoundly in prison and she does not know if he will survive it.”

Robinson provided a brief pr├ęcis of where Assange’s extradition case is up to. She explained that he had won in the first British hearings, with a District Court ruling early last year that extradition would be “oppressive” because of the conditions in which Assange would be held in the US prison system. He would be placed under “Special Administrative Measures (SAMs),” a draconian regime of complete isolation described by rights’ groups as the “darkest corner” of US penitentiaries. 



Assange remains in Belmarsh prison as he fights a US attempt to extradite him to face charges in connection with the publication of hundreds of thousands of leaked documents about the Afghanistan and Iraq wars as well as diplomatic cables.

Last week the attorney general, Mark Dreyfus, reiterated his view that the case against the Australian citizen had “gone on long enough” but cited private talks with the Biden administration as a reason for not commenting further.

Robinson, who has met several times with Dreyfus, said it was “encouraging” that the Albanese government was maintaining the position that it had adopted in opposition: that the case had dragged on too long and “enough is enough”.


Turning to Iraq, I24 notes:

Turkey on Thursday rejected allegations that the Turkish Armed Forces used chemical weapons against Kurdish militants in northern Iraq.

Media close to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant group – which is considered a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States, and the European Union, among others – published videos this week showing chemical weapons being used by Turkey’s army against them.


International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), which represents thousands of doctors and campaigns to prevent armed violence, said it found indirect evidence of possible violations during a September mission to northern Iraq.
“The chemical weapons lie is a futile attempt by those who try to whitewash and airbrush terrorism. Our fight against terrorism will continue with resolve and determination,” presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said on Twitter.


Last July, the government of Turkey attacked a resort in northern Iraq killing 2 children and 7 adults with an additional 33 people left injured.  It's not that hard to picture them also using chemical weapons.

 

Iraq hit two anniversaries this month. Three years ago in October, Iraqis rose up to protest the failure of the Iraqi government and political class in delivering basic services, providing jobs, fighting corruption and more. One of the outcomes of those protests was early elections, which were held on October 10, 2021, but have yet to yield a government. The last year witnessed crippling political gridlock, as the winner of the 2021 national parliamentary elections, Moqtada al-Sadr, eventually withdrew from the political process after failing to form a government.

Last week, Iraq’s parliament elected Abdul Latif Rashid as president, and he then named Mohammed Shia al-Sudani as prime minister-designate. Al-Sudani, who now is tasked with forming a government, is the nominee of the Coordination Framework, al-Sadr’s chief rival. Amid a year of political turmoil and three years after the protests erupted, Iraqis’ grievances remain largely unaddressed.

USIP’s Sarhang Hamasaeed discusses how we got here, what comes next in the government formation process and where Iraq’s protest movement stands three years on. 

Iraq held national parliamentary elections on October 10, 2021, but struggled with forming a government for a year. The election resulted in two broad coalitions that led to a state of gridlock over the forming of a government amid controversial litigation in the Federal Supreme Court, drone attacks on Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi's house, armed attacks on the offices and residence of various political actors, violence in Baghdad’s “Green Zone” and external pressure, particularly from Iran. Al-Sadr, whose bloc won the largest number of seats (73), sought to form a majoritarian government with Sunni Arabs, led by parliament Speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi and Khamis al-Khanjar, and the Kurdistan Democratic Party, led by Massoud Barzani. The Coordination Framework — considered to be Iran-backed — which includes the State of Law alliance of former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, the Fatah Coalition and others, succeeded in blocking al-Sadr.

Over a year later on October 13, Iraq’s parliament voted Abdul Latif Rashid as the new president, who in turn designated Coordination Framework nominee Mohammed Shia al-Sudani as prime minister. Nine rockets hit the vicinity of the parliament and other parts of Baghdad as the voting occurred, but it did not stop the process. With 30 days to form a government and win a vote of confidence from the parliament, al-Sudani is negotiating with other political parties to form his government and projects confidence in his actions and messages. He has also welcomed the Sadrists’ participation in the government, but that’s unlikely to happen.

This breakthrough was made possible because al-Sadr gave up all his bloc’s parliamentary seats and his attempt of applying public pressure through the street — occupying the parliament building and judiciary headquarters — backfired. The Coordination Framework replaced al-Sadr’s MPs with their own, nominated al-Sudani to become prime minister, and reached agreement with Kurdish and Sunni Arab allies of al-Sadr — whom al-Sadr has freed from commitments they made to him — to support their candidate.

The Coordination Framework, which now holds the highest number of Shia seats in the parliament, has come together with most Kurdish and Sunni MPs under a new coalition called the State Administration Coalition (Itilaf Idarat al-Dawla). They have sufficient votes and seem to have established enough foundation for a government to finally form. Regional and international interlocutors, including the United States and European allies, have welcomed the government formation process moving forward. However, there continues to be apprehension about what al-Sadr might do next: Will he challenge the formation of the cabinet? Will he wait until a government is formed and then challenge it? Or will he move on and focus on the next elections?


In Iraq, the political stalemate has not ended.  With the naming of a prime minister-designate, it should be ending shortly.  But a prime minister-designate is not a prime minister.

That's not "What if he can't put together a full Cabinet!"  Despite that being in the Constitution, that measure has never been enforced and no one's ever met it.  But it is stating a prime minister-designate is not yet a prime minister.

 

 








A story we've noted earlier this week is a discovery in northern Iraq.  Hyder Abbasi and Khalid Razak (NBC NEWS) report;

Ancient rock carvings that are believed to be more than 2,700 years old have been unearthed by a team of archaeologists in Iraq's northern city of Mosul.

The marble slabs were found during restoration work on the Mashki Gate, an ancient monument that was partially destroyed by Islamic State militants when they captured the city in 2016.

The relief carvings show scenes of war from the rule of Assyrian kings, in the ancient city of Nineveh, the Iraqi State Board of Antiquities and Heritage said in a statement Wednesday.



And here's a video report.



In north America, you can stream the comedy classic BROS.



BROS is still in the theater (as of Wednesday, it's got $11 million in ticket sales in North America).  (Thursday's numbers are not out yet.)  AMAZON and YOUTUBE TV are just two of the platforms you can stream it on -- rental or purchase.  










BROS is a great film.  It's on my top ten.  Of the year?  No.  I think it's the best film of 2022.  It's on my top ten of all time favorites.  





The following sites updated:






Thursday, October 20, 2022

Term limits

Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS  "Take A Moment To Enjoy The PEW" went up Saturday and "Enjoy THE PEW" went up Sunday. 


the pew


pew2


As I said before, we need term limits.  People do not need to be in Congress or on the Supreme Court for a lifetime.   Justice Stephen Bryer served on the Supreme Court from 1994 until this year.  He shared his thought on term limits for the Supreme Court:





During the hour-long talk, Breyer also argued against the jurisprudence of originalism that some of his conservative former colleagues practice, which interprets legal texts based on the original public meaning they would have had at the time they were written. He also affirmed his support for imposing term limits on Supreme Court Justices, which progressives have called for in recent years in an effort to reform the bench.

“It would have to be a very long term… 20 years, something like that,” he said. “You don’t want someone in that job to be thinking about what is my next job.”

Democrats have introduced bills in the House and the Senate that would impose term limits on Justices, but they have not advanced. In 2021, President Joe Biden established a commission of legal experts to provide analysis of several reform efforts, including imposing term limits as well as expanding the number of seats on the bench, but the panel ultimately did not take a position on either issue.


Okay, 20 years?  What do you think about that?  Too long, too little?

I would actually prefer something shorter but I would gladly take a 20 year term limit on Supreme Court Justices.  Would you?

If so, we need to get on it.  Most likely, any legislation Congress passed would insist upon starting that limit with new appointees.  They wouldn't make it retroactive.  (I'd be thrilled if they would.)  So let's get on it before it's time to appoint another member.

20 years?  Again, I would like something shorter, but I can live with 20.  


I'd also like to see some legislation about fitness.  RBG wasn't fit.  She died on the bench and she wasn't even going out the last year of her life.  She should have stepped down. (She should have done it when Barack Obama asked her to.)  She had cancer and she screwed the system up by refusing to step down.  I have nothing but contempt for her.  She is among those to blame for the death of ROE. 




"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):


Thursday, October 20, 2022.  Climate change continues to impact Iraq and a year's been wasted without a government.




The Iraqi artist, Basem Mahdi, wrote two square kilometer ‘save the marshes’ sentence in an attempt to shed light on the drought hitting the marshlands in southern Iraq.
Mahdi wrote the two square kilometer sentence in the marshlands of Al-Chibayish District in Dhi Qar governorate in southern Iraq.
The Al-Chibayish marshes is one of the most famous marshes in Iraq which suffers from a great drought due to the lack of water flow.





Iraq is battling several years of drought, the governments of both Iran and Turkey are blocking the flow of the two big rivers running through Iraq (the Tigris and the Eurphates), everyone is expected to be effected by climate change; however, Iraq has been named the fifth most vulnerable country in the world.  Dust storms are increasing in frequency and in force.  Speaking to the United Nations at the start of the month, the US Deputy Rep to the UN, Ambassador Richard Mills, noted that climate change was one of the challenges Iraq is facing, "Complicated challenges face the next government – including passing a budget, developing oil and gas legislation that is acceptable to the Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government, improving the provision of electricity, combatting climate change, promoting private sector development and job growth, and increasing women’s participation in the workforce."  Also this month, the International Organization for Migration pointed out, "Displaced families are likely to be among the most vulnerable to climatic and environmental changes that can impact livelihoods, food security and social cohesion. Sustainable return and rein-tegration can be determined by many factors but the role of climatic change and environmental degradation in return dynamics is insufficiently understood."

Susan Schulman (DAILY MAVERICK) reports:


Ninety-one percent of Iraq’s water originates in Turkey, Iran and Syria, leaving the country at the mercy of those controlling the taps upstream. Accompanied by a translator and fixer, I set out, travelling northwards from the very south, across the country, to explore the impact of these combined forces on those most directly affected – and what that might forebode.    

Poisonous snakes emerge from fields and slither into homes in Iraq, threatening people and claiming lives. In neighbouring Iran, crocodiles previously known for their “blissful” nature are attacking the same people with whom they have peacefully existed for as long as anyone can remember.  

Almost 120,000 people were sickened and admitted to hospital by contaminated water in Basra, Iraq. Large protests over water and electricity claimed 23 lives. Water protests roiled Iraq’s Kurdistan in August 2021.

[. . .]

Iraq is one of the world’s most water-stressed countries, ranked fifth in vulnerability to water and food availability and extreme temperatures in the UN Environment Programmes 2019 Global Environmental Outlook report. 

Temperatures have risen by at least 0.7℃ over the past century; extreme heat events are occurring more frequently. The World Bank estimates temperatures will rise 2℃ by 2050 while the average annual rainfall will decrease by 9%. 

President Barham Salih, in a recent piece in the Financial Times, noted that desertification affects 39% of Iraq and “increased salinisation threatens agriculture on 54% of our land”.  

Unicef reported in August 2021 that 60% of children in Iraq lack access to clean water, while half of schools have no water at all. With Iraq’s population of 40 million expected to double by 2050, demographic growth will exponentially worsen the situation. 

Meanwhile, dams in neighbouring Turkey and Iran choke Iraq’s famed rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates, in the heart of what was once known as the Fertile Crescent.  


Iraq's government needs to be taking immediate action.  Instead, it's done nothing for a year because it  couldn't even form a government following the October 11, 2021 elections.  Last week, they finally got a president and a prime minister-designate.  Iraq didn't have that year to throw away.  AFP-JIJI report today:


It was the river that is said to have watered the biblical Garden of Eden and helped give birth to civilization itself.

But today the Tigris is dying.

Human activity and climate change have choked its once-mighty flow through Iraq, where — with its twin river the Euphrates — it made Mesopotamia a cradle of civilization thousands of years ago.

Iraq may be oil-rich but the country is plagued by poverty after decades of war and by droughts and desertification.

Battered by one natural disaster after another, it is one of the five countries most exposed to climate change, according to the U.N.



Pollution caused by oil production in Iraq is the leading cause of increased rates of cancer in parts of the country; its environment minister has acknowledged.
Minister Jassem al-Falahi has acknowledged that pollution from oil production is the main reason for increases in local cancer rates.
After a BBC Arab research on oil pollution in the vicinity of Basra, which has resulted in an upsurge in leukemia cases in areas closest to the region's oil resources, Jassem Al-Falahi revealed the statement.
The information was disclosed despite Prime Minister Mustafa Al-order Kadhimi's prohibiting public workers in Iraq from discussing health issues associated with the oil sector.
Al-Falahi claimed that the Ministry of Oil prohibited personnel from the Ministry of the Environment from keeping track of pollution levels at the Rumaila oil field, the biggest in the nation and the location of the majority of waste gas flare-ups.
His remarks followed a BBC Arabic research that found populations around oil sites near Basra have a higher risk of leukemia than the general population.
Gas flaring, the wasteful burning of gas created during oil drilling, is suspected to be to blame in these towns. Pollutants like benzene linked to cancer are produced during flare-ups.



Monday, The United Nations world food Program and the Food and Agriculture Ogranization of the UN issued the following statement:


17   October 2022 - The world is at risk of yet another year of record hunger as the global food crisis continues to drive yet more people into worsening levels of acute food insecurity, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) warn. On World Food Day (16 October), the two agencies call for urgent action to address the root causes of today’s crisis as the world continues to face challenges without borders, including Iraq.

Iraq, known commonly as the “Land of Two Rivers” has been experiencing increased drought for the past two years, brought about by the rising temperatures, reduced rainfall which is the lowest in 40 years in addition to reduced water flows in Tigris and the Euphrates rivers. This led to degradation of arable land, increased water, and soil salinity, which all contribute to serious loss of livelihoods and an increased pressure on the state national budget, which imports cereals to ensure enough food, is available to the population.

“Iraq remains one of the most affected countries globally by the adverse effects of climate change. Unless mitigation and adaptation are implemented, the future may not be promising for the small holder farmers and vulnerable groups in Iraq,” said WFP Iraq Representative, Mr. Ally Raza Qureshi. “We at WFP believe that food is the path towards peace and as such, serious action must be taken immediately by the Government of Iraq and the International community to adopt climate smart food systems and long-term resilience building in order to ensure that Iraq and its people are able to navigate these testing times.”

“This year slogan for the World Food Day Leave no one behind. Better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life, underlines the need for concerted action to ensure that everyone has access to adequate, healthy, and affordable food while maximizing environmental sustainability in particular in Iraq where climate change is disproportionally affecting the rural poor, their agricultural yields and productivity” said FAO Representative in Iraq, Dr Salah ElHajjHassan. “Each of us has a role to play in transforming food systems for the benefit of people and the planet; FAO is committed to empower the most vulnerable in Iraq, including women and youth, through the transformation to more efficient, inclusive, sustainable, and resilient agrifood systems. We need to act in global solidarity to ensure that no one is left behind and become climate advocates by wasting less, eating nutritious food, in particular seasonal and locally produced foods and caring for natural resources like soil and water”.

In 2021, Iraq developed a plan to increase the efficiency, inclusiveness, resilience, and inclusivity of its agri-food systems as part of the Food Systems Summit. This was done to ensure that everyone everywhere has access to enough affordable, safe, and nutritious food to lead active and healthy lives.

Twenty percent of the Iraq’s workforce are engaged in the agricultural sector, which is the second largest contributor to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) after the oil sector, accounting for 5 percent of the total GDP. Thus, agriculture development is critical to allow Iraq to achieve their vision of a more diversified economy, in addition to generating employment and boosting private sector engagement. In this regard, urgent work must be undertaken on the levels of investing in research and development in an effort to make farming more technologically advanced and capable of handling adverse climate conditions and financially viable in the country, in addition to Agri-business and value chain development to increase profit margins and encourage farmers not to abandon their lands, which is not merely a detriment to their incomes, but also drives up local food costs and shortages, affecting entire communities. It is also paramount to discuss the issue of food waste, which decreases the availability of food intended for human consumption. This has consequences for the environment, natural resources, and the overall economy.

FAO and WFP together with the Government, private sector, academia, civil society will continue working together to prioritize food security, to increase local food production and to strengthen the resilience of the most vulnerable households. Immediate joint action is key to ensuring sustainable food and nutrition security while leaving no one behind.

 

Dr. Salah ElHajjHassan, FAO Representative, Iraq

Ally Raza Qureshi, WFP Representative, Iraq


Again, Iraq did not have a year to waste on this issue (nor does any other country have a year to waste).  The editorial board of THE NATIONAL notes:

For decades, Iraq has had to contend with all manner of challenges, sometimes catastrophes, that would hurt even the most resilient countries. The past 20 years have been particularly troubling.

The country is fast becoming one of the most environmentally stressed nations on the planet due to climate change but also to government negligence and incompetence. The results have ranged from failed harvests to cholera outbreaks, as desperation to access dwindling water supplies forces people to tap into contaminated wells.

The economy of one of the Arab world’s richest countries is crippled, devastating particularly for its disproportionately young population who, out of a lack of opportunity, are pushed into dangerous trips overseas. Iraqis constitute one of the biggest groups who migrate to Western Europe illegally.

This and other failures have fuelled political anger and driven many to the streets, even, as was recently the case, into the most important halls of power. Only last August protesters stormed the country's parliament.

Last week, Abdul-Latif Rashid became Iraq's latest president and he named Mohammad Shia al-Sudani prime minister-designate putting Mohammad into the 30 day period, per the Constitution, he has to form a government.  Alina Romanowski is the US Ambassador to Iraq.  This week, she's met with the President Rashid and with Speaker of Parliament Mohammed al-Halboosi.





Whether that will have any impact on the formation of a new government remains to be seen.  


ALARSHARQ notes she's also met with the prime minister-designate:

The sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that Romanowski has emphasized during her meeting with Al-Sudani the necessity to form a government that “contributes to restoring security and political stability in the country,” noting that it was essential to “benefit from the experience of previous governments, because failure this time will have serious repercussions on Iraq.”


Iraqi leaders tried to reassure the US ambassador in Baghdad that the new government would maintain its strategic relations with Washington, as reported by an official in Al-Fateh Alliance.


Al-Sudani also told the German ambassador to Iraq, Martin Jaeger, that his prospective government would seek to “build balanced relations with its regional and international surroundings.”


Let's wind down with this from MS. MAGAZINE:


The following sites updated: