BULLY BOY PRESS & CEDRIC'S BIG MIX -- THE KOOL-AID TABLE
WHEN FADED CELEBRITY IN CHIEF NEEDED A LITTLE PICK ME UP LAST MONTH, HE JAUNTED OFF TO BELGIUM FOR 24 HOURS, HOPING TO IMPRESS FOREIGN MEDIA AND GARNER SOME LOVE.
WHILE THERE HE MADE HIS 'I LOVE WAR ON IRAQ' SPEECH AND HE ALSO SPENT $3 MILLION DOLLARS -- U.S. TAX PAYER DOLLARS.
REACHED FOR COMMENT BY THESE REPORTERS, BARRY O INSISTED HE HAD EVERY RIGHT TO SPEND THE MONEY, "IT'S MINE! ALL OF IT! I'M GOING TO SPEND EVERY PENNY BEFORE THEY PUT ME OUT OF THIS HOUSE! IT'S ALL MINE! MINE!"
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
Iraq is supposed to hold parliamentary elections April 30th. The outcome is supposed to determine who the prime minister is. Supposed to? Following the December 2005 parliamentary elections, the US government imposed Nouri al-Maliki on Iraq as prime minister. Following the March 2010 parliamentary elections, the US government imposed Nouri al-Maliki on Iraq as prime minister. Kurdistan Tribune's Kamal Chomani tells Joel Wing (Musings on Iraq), "What makes the elections more interesting is that all political parties, including Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds, are unanimously trying to put an end to PM Maliki's authoritarian wishes, but it is very much clear that Maliki will win. The whole elections will be about Maliki. The elections are like a referendum on Maliki as in Turkey it was on Erdogan."
But the elections in 2010, the ones Nouri's State of Law lost to Ayad Allawi's Iraqiya? Those were a referendum as well even if US President Barack Obama chose to spit on the Iraqi voters by installing Nouri (via The Erbil Agreement) for a second term he didn't win. As Jason Ditz (Antiwar.com) noted last month, "Which is to say the US forced a puppet government into power before it left, despite Prime Minister Maliki losing the last election, and put in place an election system so crooked that even the Maliki-appointed election commission resigned en masse yesterday rather than take part in April’s planned vote."
Will the pattern of the US government insisting Nouri be prime minister repeat or will Iraqis finally be able to determine for themselves who they want as a leader?
That may be the biggest news to come out of the election.
In 2010, Nouri decided he was too good to run with his political party (Dawa) so he created his own coalition: State of Law.
Being stupid and physically ugly doesn't make you an automatic member of State of Law, but it doesn't hurt. Reidar Visser (Gulf Analysis) offered yesterday that State of Law was witnessing a number of defections and he identifies two as being the most potentially damaging:
Firstly there is list 228, headed by Izzat Shahbandar as candidate no. 1 in Baghdad. It is also running in Wasit, Basra, Dhi Qar and Karbala. The list also includes former Iraqiyya member Abd al-Khadar Tahir, reflecting perhaps the fact that Shahbandar was formerly one of the Maliki aides considered most sympathetic to the idea of cooperating with Sunnis and secularists. Judging from the make-up of his list, though, the successes in this respect north of Baghdad remain limited, even after the split from Maliki.
Second there is list 211, associated with Sami al-Askari. It will run in most Shiite-majority governorates as well as in Diyala. Another leading figure on the list is Najaf governor Adnan al-Zurfi. Given the connection to Najaf, the list has links to Shiite religious circles in Iraq’s holy cities. At the same time these are politicians with a record of dialogue with the Americans and the West, perhaps more so than some of the more Iran-sympathetic circles within State of Law.
As the date looms, many interesting developments occur. Sunday's developments revolved around cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr. For example, All Iraq News reported:
The head of the Supreme Iraqi Islamic Council, Ammar al-Hakim, and the head of Sadr Trend, Muqtada al-Sadr, discussed the political situation and the next elections.
A statement received by All Iraq News Agency cited "Hakim met Sadr in Najaf province on last Saturday night."
"Hakim confirmed the necessity of adopting national unified stances and to consolidate dialogue among the political sides," the statement added.
Moqtada and al-Hakim have been close, working partners since the summer of 2013. Al-Monitor's Harith Hassan tells Joel Wing (Musings On Iraq), "Although Pro-Sadr block and Hakim’s coalition are running separately, it is very likely they will ally after the election, especially if they feel this move will help blocking Maliki’s attempt to win a third term." Moqtada had another high profile discussion Sunday. NINA noted:
Kurdistan leader Massoud Barzani discussed on Sunday with head of the Sadrists bloc cleric Moqtada al-Sadr the political and security situation in the country.
A statement by the presidency of the Region today, said that Barzani and al-Sadr held a telephone conversation during which they stressed the need to hold parliamentary elections as scheduled in a stable and quiet atmosphere.
Interesting since Moqtada was 'out of politics.' Clearly, that's not the case. He wouldn't be talking elections today with Ammar al-Hakim and with KRG President Massoud Barzani.
Moqtada al-Sadr announced his political retirement February 15th. February 18th, he delivered a speech -- CounterPunch posted the speech in full -- emphasizing his decision. February 26th, NINA noted the rumors that Moqtada left Iraq, "The sources noted in a press statement that Mr. Muqtada al-Sadr left today's afternoon the city of Najaf heading to the Islamic Republic of Iran in order to complete his religious studies and stay away from the political scene as he officially announced for all Iraqis." Yet March 14th, Moqtada returned to Iraq.
Clearly, Moqtada has not stepped away from the political scene. Things might be easier for Nouri if he had.
Who was it that got Moqtada to return? Who should Nouri blame for that?
From the March 14th snapshot:
Background. Nouri's big mouth ended up tanking his own two-day conference. For those who missed it, Nouri's fat mouth was flapping last Saturday insulting many as he spoke to France24. France 24's Mark Perelman interviewed (link is text and video) Nouri for a half hour broadcast which aired Saturday. In the interview, Nouri's well noted paranoia was on full display as he repeatedly declared, in the very first two minutes, his alleged 'victory' over those attempting to turn Iraq and Syria into one country ("there are goals to create a one state," "create a state -- one part in Syria and one part in Iraq"). He continued to gab and began accusing other countries of supporting terrorism (he was supposedly going to reveal proof of his gossip in the conference but, as usual, his fat mouth made empty promises). He also insulted Moqtada.
That's right, Moqtada returned because Nouri attacked him on French television. Alsumaria notes that a State of Law MP denounced Moqtada and Barzani's conversation. State of Law is clearly upset by Moqtada's return. They need to remember Nouri is the reason Moqtada is back.
RECOMMENDED: "Iraq snapshot"
"At least 30 reported dead in Iraq as Tony Blair re..."
"Court Dismisses Lawsuit Challenging U.S. Drone Kil..."
"I hope the Administration doesn’t think such a pro..."
"Caterpillar Inc is a member of the corporate profi..."
"Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "When To Say Go..."
"Nouri's Iraq: Another reporter assaulted, election..."
"I Hate The War"
"Court Dismisses Lawsuit Challenging U.S. Drone Kil..."
"The Vote to Declassify Interrogation Report (Senat..."
"Real Unemployment at 12.7% (Senator Sanders)"
"Did Tina Fey run off ticket buyers again?"
"Can dickless Robert Parry go to a nursing home already?"
"scandal - the bad"
"Peter Dale Scott"
"Mickey Rooney passed away"
"The Drone War"
"The bully goes down"
"ObamaCare cuts Medicare funding"
- Truest statement of the week
- Truest statement of the week II
- A note to our readers
- Editorial: Will prayers be enough for Iraq?
- TV: Saturday Night Live's latest problem
- Why Town & Country bombed
- TV: Joan & Melissa (Jess)
- Secretary of State John Kerry can't stop boasting
- Where are the jobs?
- This edition's playlist
- Hey, Washington Post,
- Tweet of the week
- Must read of the week
- VA sneaks in policy to close doors on veterans
- Blank Project: Neneh Cherry's comeback is worth th...
- Tweets, the Cuban 5 and the U.S. blockade (Cheryl ...
- Real Unemployment at 12.7% (Senator Bernie Sanders...
"He wants Chris Evans"
"THIS JUST IN! BARRY O EXPLODES!"