Thursday, November 02, 2017

Crooked as only a Clinton can be




On the phone Gary told me the DNC had needed a $2 million loan, which the campaign had arranged.
“No! That can’t be true!” I said. “The party cannot take out a loan without the unanimous agreement of all of the officers.”
“Gary, how did they do this without me knowing?” I asked. “I don’t know how Debbie relates to the officers,” Gary said. He described the party as fully under the control of Hillary’s campaign, which seemed to confirm the suspicions of the Bernie camp. The campaign had the DNC on life support, giving it money every month to meet its basic expenses, while the campaign was using the party as a fund-raising clearinghouse. Under FEC law, an individual can contribute a maximum of $2,700 directly to a presidential campaign. But the limits are much higher for contributions to state parties and a party’s national committee.
Individuals who had maxed out their $2,700 contribution limit to the campaign could write an additional check for $353,400 to the Hillary Victory Fund—that figure represented $10,000 to each of the 32 states’ parties who were part of the Victory Fund agreement—$320,000—and $33,400 to the DNC. The money would be deposited in the states first, and transferred to the DNC shortly after that. Money in the battleground states usually stayed in that state, but all the other states funneled that money directly to the DNC, which quickly transferred the money to Brooklyn.

“Wait,” I said. “That victory fund was supposed to be for whoever was the nominee, and the state party races. You’re telling me that Hillary has been controlling it since before she got the nomination?”



In today's NEW YORK TIMES, Renad Mansou insists "Iraq Is Not Iran's Puppet."  Of course, he also insists, "The prime minister has also become increasingly popular with Iraq’s Sunnis, who are wary of Iran’s deep penetration into the Iraqi state since 2003 and now see Mr. Abadi as a conciliatory figure and a safeguard against too much Iranian influence."

Uh, no.

Hayder's not deeply popular with any segment in Iraq.

The Christians want their own area in Iraq and he's against that.  Last month, Saad Salloum (AL-MONITOR) noted:

Following the redeployment of Iraqi federal forces in Kirkuk, Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako issued a statement Oct. 19 calling on Iraqi leaders in Baghdad and Erbil to proceed with genuine national reconciliation to put the political process on track. He stressed that it is important to preserve human beings and not oil wells, in reference to the recent dispute over the Kurdish independence referendum, which ended with federal government control of Kirkuk. The title of the statement, "An Appeal to Iraqi Leaders," shows the nature of the patriarch's view of his role as a national and moral guide for politicians on all sides, and his view of himself as a leader of Christians amid a Christian political split over the referendum and its results.
In conjunction with the crisis of the Kurdish independence referendum, a group of Christian clerics launched a political project in which they formally demanded separation from Iraq. Some others have called for joining the new Kurdistan state.

The Sunnis remember his bombing their homes.  (Nouri al-Maliki started the bombing campaign at the start of 2014.  Despite declaring it illegal in September of 2014, Hayder continued it.)  Those are War Crimes.  In addition, the US media's portrayal of 'liberation' is all soft focus with Vaseline smeared across the lens.

For example, Human Rights Watch notes today:

Iraqi security officials are preventing displaced families from returning home to retaken areas over perceived ties to the Islamic State (also known as ISIS), Human Rights Watch said today. Iraqi authorities also are evicting other families in an attempt to force them back to their homes, even when these families fear their home areas will be unsafe or their homes were destroyed by fighting.
The concerns about Anbar authorities’ treatment of displaced people are heightened because of new military operations beginning October 26, 2017, to retake the areas in western Anbar still under the control of ISIS and the possible exodus of tens of thousands more civilians from those areas.
While Iraqi forces confront serious security concerns, just being a family member of someone linked to ISIS or having lived under ISIS is not enough to represent a real threat,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Authorities should allow those who aren’t an actual security risk who want to go home to do so in peace and respect the right of people who don’t feel safe to live where they wish.
In mid-2016, Iraqi forces battled ISIS in and around the city of Fallujah, 50 kilometers west of Baghdad in Anbar province. Over the past month, Iraqi forces have continued to push toward Qa’im and Rawa in western Anbar along the border with Syria, the last towns in Iraq still under ISIS control. Fighting in Anbar has displaced at least 507,000 people since 2014, with at least 91,000 still in camps, according to the International Organization for Migration’s Displacement Tracking Matrix.
Most of the displaced have ended up in one of five main camps. Others are restricted to an area of formal and informal settlements, partially due to restrictions on staying outside camps that have increased with the newer arrivals from western Anbar, said two experts who monitor treatment of internally displaced people in Anbar and who requested anonymity. In early July, about 5,000 families were stuck at Suqur checkpoint, the main checkpoint between Anbar and Baghdad, for up to 12 days, with security forces unwilling to provide a plausible explanation.
Since March, Anbar’s Provincial Council has been encouraging districts in Anbar to forcibly return displaced families to areas retaken by Iraqi forces. On March 22 the Anbar Provincial Council issued a notice ordering authorities in the towns of Khaldiya and Amiriyat al-Fallujah to forcibly return all families whose homes were not completely destroyed by the fighting, citing limits in camp space.
Many armed forces are inside the main camps in western Anbar, including Iraqi Security Forces, Popular Mobilization Forces (known as the PMF or Hashd al-Sha’abi), Interior Ministry Intelligence agents, and local police. The experts said that procedures differ based on where residents are from.
In most cases, forces under the Anbar Operation Command carry out an initial screening of people who want to return home, including running the names of all men and boys over 15 through a database of those wanted for ISIS affiliation at Suqur checkpoint. If they pass, local Interior Ministry emergency forces carry out their own screening. In some areas, local PMF units made up of tribal forces carry out a third screening before greenlighting their return home.
According to the two experts and a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees report, Iraqi security forces regard most civilians who have remained in the towns of Rawa and Qa’im to be “ISIS-affiliated.”

The Kurds?  Well we've covered their conflicts in depth in the last weeks.  No, he's not popular with them.

The Shi'ites?

They're split as always.

Moqtada al-Sadr, Shi'ite cleric and movement leader, remains more popular than Hayder (Moqtada's been more popular than every prime minister Iraq's had since 2003).  Ammar al-Hakim is also more popular than Hayder.  Haytham Mouzahem (AL-MONITOR) observed at the end of August:

The Iraqi Shiite political scene is witnessing remarkable developments ahead of the parliamentary elections scheduled for 2018. With a mix of internal and regional political coalitions, the National Iraqi Alliance will not remain as it was in the 2010 and 2014 elections.
Ammar al-Hakim, leader of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq party and head of the National Iraqi Alliance, withdrew from the council and established a new party in July called the National Wisdom Movement.
Also, Muqtada al-Sadr, leader of the Sadrist movement, visited Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates at a time when conflict is intensifying in the region, with Saudi Arabia and the UAE on one side, and Iran and its allies in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Bahrain and Yemen on the other.
These two events are seen by some as an attempt to form an Iraqi Shiite movement that is independent from Iran and open to Sunni Arabs in Iraq as well as its Arab and Gulf neighbors.
In announcing he was establishing the National Wisdom Movement, Hakim said it “will work hand in hand with Iraqis to ensure democratic elections that include all of Iraq’s spectra, away from sectarian and national polarization, and embark on a new political horizon, because Iraq should be at peace with itself.”

Also more popular than Hayder is  Ibrahim al-Jaafari (former prime minister, current Minister of Foreign Affairs).

Nouri al-Maliki (former prime minister forever thug) hopes he's more popular than Hayder.  Both Nouri and Hayder are closely linked to Iran.

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