Thursday, October 14, 2021

Jimmy Dore, THE GOLDBERGS, Joe and Donald

First, let's start with Jimmy Dore.


Joe Biden is shrinking in the polls and in the eyes of the American people and it's only 2021.  Do you think Donald Trump could really get the GOP nomination?  I don't.  But if he did, that would mean 2020 would be a rematch and Biden barely squeeked past Trump and that was with the media obviously in the tank for Joe.  They lied about Trump constantly and they lied for Joe all the time.

People saw that.  I'm not a Republican and I don't support Donald Trump but I saw it.  The media could try to pull that stunt again but too many people saw it and they just wouldn't buy it again.

So a rematch would be very hard for Joe. 

He's not delivering.  Inflation?  Have you not noticed the huge increase on groceries?  Have you not heard about the expect shortages next month -- food shortages?  (See Mom's "Food shortages?" for more on that.)  We're looking at serious problems and that's on top of the pandemic.  

Remember the pandemic?  That Joe as a candidate just knew how to deal with?  But is basically doing what Donald Trump did -- plus he's violating the Constitution with mandates on the vaccines.  

Joe's offering nothing.  We're still in a pandemic.  Where's a stimulus check?  Where's any effort to deliver on needed programs like Medicare For All?  He's offered nothing and he's moved to the right -- no surprise if you know his record.  So it would be a right-wing Donald Trump against right-wing Joe Biden.

THE GOLDBERGS?  Geoff and Erica next door to Bev?  That's what she wanted when the house next door became available   Didn't happen by the way.  The main story was Adam and it bored the hell out of me.  He has to tape the big football game.  And he blows it.  And then he has to get forgiveness from the whole school.  Huh?  I played football in high school and I know that the whole school did not care about football.  I just felt like they were struggling for an Adam story and they over reached.

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

 Thursday, October 14, 2021.  Iraq did not have a fair and free election.

Iraq elections were supposed to prove something. And the US government really wanted that.  They want Mustafa al-Kahdimi to have a second term as prime minister and they want the elections to send a message to the world.  And a message has been sent, it's just not the message that the US government was hoping for.

The Iraqi people are not fooled by the government that has been imposed upon them.  They are not fooled by the politicians and officials who promise to represent them but never do.  Maybe if, like in the US, they'd lived under the current system for over 200 years, it woul dbe different.  But 'democracy' in Iraq is still a new thing and the Iraqi people know there is something better, that there has to be, then what is being imposed upon them.

This shows in the record low turnout.  It shows in reactions to the results.  

Some see the results as a "scam."

Mina al-Orabia (FOREIGN POLICY) provides a walk-through:

On Sunday, Iraq held its fifth national elections since the removal of Saddam Hussein in 2003, with the national parliament’s 329 seats at stake. While final results have yet to be announced, the biggest losers appear to be pro-Iranian militant groups, which have already said they’ll reject the outcome and have issued veiled and not-so-veiled threats of violence.

Another loser of the election is Iraq’s struggling democracy itself. Believing their system to be manipulated, about 60 percent of eligible voters stayed away from the polls. That hasn’t kept the government and election monitors from touting the vote as a success—it went relatively smoothly, there were no incidents of violence, and most voters had easy access to polling stations. Electronic voting and biometric registration cards had been introduced with the promise of eliminating the kind of fraud that undermined the last elections in 2018.

However, the Iraqi government and Independent High Electoral Commission promised to deliver the results within 24 hours of the polls closing, which would have been Monday night. Instead, the results of only 10 provinces were announced on Monday, with Baghdad and eight other provinces still trickling in. When the electoral commission made the initial results public online, its website crashed as Iraqis rushed to see the results. A delay in electronic vote counting meant that some boxes had to be counted manually without external monitors, further undermining Iraqis’ trust.

The elections and the results aren't credible -- not to the outside world, not inside Iraq.  PRENSA LATINA notes:

Former Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Thursday said that due to mistakes in the procedures of the Electoral Commission, there is a lack of credibility in Sunday's election results.

Al-Abadi said in a tweet that he was among the first to support an early parliamentary elections that would win popular confidence, but the recent polls failed in that objective.

Meanwhile, Hadi al-Ameri, Head of the Conquest Alliance (al-Fatah Alliance), expressed his rejection to preliminary reports of vote counting.

Some in the press are rushing to spin the results as a mark against Iran.  

They are imposing their wishful eye glasses on others.

Iran and Iraq are neighbors.  They will get along.  They will squabble.  It's been that way for decades.  They have links and they have barriers.  You'd be better off arguing the election was a reproach to the militias.  I don't know what to say here so I'm just going to say it.  The US government is stupid beyond words.  It's wanted, for years and years, to turn Iraq against Iran.  But they never grasp how.  It's fairly obvious how. And it's not in the way they've done it.  I'm going to stop there because I don't want to help empire.  But all the US government is doing right now is ensuring that Iran and Iraq will resolve conflicts.  

This is nonsense:

Iraq: Pro-#Iran forces slam preliminary legislative elections results as 'scam'

You can say "Iran-linked."  But "pro-Iran"?  Are we going to include others in that?  Certainly, the KDP in Kurdistan is pro-Iran.  Does Hero Talabani make a move without darting off to Tehran first?  Not a significant move.

Iran and Iraq are neighbors.  There are many Iraqis who are 'pro-Iran."  And that same group can -- and does -- include pro-Iran Iraqis who are also pro-Iraq and want an independent Iraq.

What's passing for analysis is soggy and ill defined.

Some of the rush to spin Iran as the loser is also about trying to move the spotlight off the US.  It's the US government that imposed the corrupt system in Iraq.  It's the US that back the current prime minister -- the low turnout can -- and should -- be read as a reflection upon him.  This election was a debacle for the US government and for it's 'mission' in Iraq.  

Thanks to Mina al-Oraibi for getting it right regarding the Commission's promise that they'd have the results on Monday -- and that they didn't.  And apologies to her because until the person I was dictating this snapshot to this morning said it was "Oraibi," we have spelled it here "Draibi" -- and that's been for years.  My apologies.

I have no idea why the Commission would make that promise.  For over two weeks, we noted that as follows:

In one surprising development, Dilan Sirwan (RUDAW) has reported: "Iraq’s electoral commission aims to announce the results of the upcoming parliamentary elections on October 10 within 24 hours, they announced on Thursday following a voting simulation."

It was never going to happen.  But they made the promise and they weren't able to keep it which is one more thing being pointed to on social media with some suggesting that they weren't able to do that because the results did not go as they wanted so they were rigging it.

That's one possibility.  I don't subscribe to it but I could be wrong and often am.  What I find most appalling is the lack of census.  I'm surprised by how many adults were registered to vote -- I'm going by the commission's published figure for 2020 that we noted earlier this week.  Every adult is not registered to vote.  The CIA's estimate -- an estimate -- is 40 million.  Iraq is a land of widows and orphans.  21 years-old is the median age.  It's past time that Iraq held a census and I would question every election held until they do at this point. 

This election was not transparent and it was not fair.  I am no fan of the militias -- I'm opposed to them being part of the government (as security forces) and I see the bulk of them as thugs and call them that here regularly.  But the Iraqi government made them part of the security forces.  To have done that and then not allowed some to early vote?  That's not fair.  That's not a free election.  As security forces, they were deployed around Iraq on election day.  If they couldn't early vote, they had to return to their homes to vote and for some that wasn't possible.  

If we did that to any security forces in the US, it would be denounced as unpatriotic.  Joe Lieberman helped destroy the 2000 election, please remember, by going on NBC's MEET THE PRESS and responding that US military ballots should be counted even if they didn't meet the regulations.  

I don't know how Mustafa gets away without having to publicly weigh in on that.

I don't support the militias being part of the Iraqi government.  All the problems that they cause ar problems we noted here -- years ago.  Because they tried to make them part of the government for years.  But it doesn't matter right now what I think about whether they should be government forces or not, they are government forces.

And some were deprived -- by the government -- of the right to vote.

That's a corrupt system and that's not a fair and free election -- and I don't care how many foreigners you dub "observers" -- it doesn't make it fair.

People are protesting for many reasons.  

And it's amazing that the press wants to talk about low turnout but doesn't take the time to note that many disabled and challenged voters were deprived of the right to vote.  Weeks before the election, Human Rights Watch loudly warned about the barriers for this group and called for this issue to be addressed.  After they published that call, they raised it on their Twitter feed at least once a day.  And yet news outlets supposedly want to address low turnout but don't have a minute to devote to how one group was not equal to all others and faced hardships and obstacles that others didn't.

I marvel at what passes for  news analysis from the major outlets.

Let's wind down with this from Burn Pits 360:


October 2021 Newsletter

Jon Stewart's Apple+ Show Premieres
The Problem With War:
Burn Pits & Sick Veterans

On September 30th, "The Problem With Jon Stewart" premiered on Apple+ and we are so proud and honored to have been his first guests to discuss his first "problem" with what's happening in America -- and that is veterans dying from burn pits exposure.

We were introduced and became friends with Jon Stewart back in 2019 when he heard about Le Roy's story and the stories of the many veterans we advocate for. After his successful fight for New York City First Responders who were suffering similar fates after the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks, he took up our cause and has been a fierce ally and advocate since.

Since this program aired, support for our veterans suffering from burn pits exposure has been beyond what we can imagine.
We've been in this fight for our veterans for over a decade and we're glad to see this issue getting the attention that it deserves. We have other projects in the works that we look forward to sharing with you.
"The Problem With Jon Stewart" can be seen starting Sept. 30th and features Rosie & Le Roy Torres of Burn Pits 360. Click the photo to watch a clip.
Rosie Torres, Jon Stewart, Rep. Takano, and John Feal advocating in  DC.
Please consider supporting our efforts by making a contribution today.
Honoring Heroes That We Have Lost...
SFC (Ret) Frederick Timothy Slape retired from the Army after 20 years of service on August 31, 2012. He was diagnosed with Stage 4 Adenocarcinoma Lung Cancer with Metastatic Brain Tumors, due to his extensive exposure to the burn pits during his 2 tours in Afghanistan. Just 9 weeks after his diagnosis, on October 22, 2015, he passed away which was only 3 years after retirement. His wife Diane has been an ardent advocate for Burn Pits 360 in honor of her late husband's legacy.
Earlier this Summer, Burn Pits 360 teamed up with Grunt Style to launch a new podcast called "Gaslighting the Warfighter" which focuses on the injustices our veterans face after returning home from war, and spreads awareness that they are being denied health and compensation benefits after being diagnosed with respiratory and other exposure-related health conditions.

The show is hosted by Marine Veteran and Grunt Style CSO Tim Jensen, as well as Rosie Torres of Burn Pits 360. The podcast features political activists, epidemiologists, and various other medical experts that discuss how military service-members that return home from war are facing numerous roadblocks when it comes the VA, dealing with the various illnesses, and also how Americans can get involved to support those veterans.

Click here to check out all episodes.

Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Marco Rubio team up with Rep. Raul Ruiz to pass meaningful burn pits legislation.

Bipartisan and bicameral legislation by the Senators called the Presumptive Benefits for War Fighters Exposed to Burn Pits and Other Toxins Act, and its companion legislation introduced in the House by Rep. Raul Ruiz would support over 3.5 million veterans exposed to toxic burn pits while serving overseas. Visit to learn more about and support the War fighters bill.

Senator Jon Tester who is Chairman of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee had unveiled sweeping legislation that would also provide veterans suffering from toxic exposure their due benefits and care by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). This bill has been passed out of the Veterans' Committee and will be going to the Senate floor for a full vote.

We encourage all of our subscribers and supporter to contact their Member of Congress and US Senator to push for this legislation to be voted on and passed so it can be signed into law as soon as possible. They move when we apply pressure. Visit to learn more about our efforts behind this legislation.

You can find out who your Member of Congress and US Senator is by 
clicking here.
NVLSP Announces Program for Free Representation of Veterans on VA Disability Claims Based on Exposure to Burn Pits

The National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP) – a nonprofit veterans service organization that has been representing veterans for free since 1981 – is opening its doors to representing veterans on claims for VA disability benefits for diseases related to exposure to burn pits. You can read about NVLSP on its website – www.nvlsp.orgIf you would like NVLSP to consider representing you on your VA burn pits claim, send your name and email address by November 15, 2021 to Ryan Kelley will then let you know the information NVLSP needs to decide whether it can take on your case.
Burn Pits 360 is proud to announce the establishment of our Warrior Hope Network. This program will provide access to our various network partners that are providing many types of healthcare modalities at either a discounted rate or under full scholarship grant. Our partners are providing services such as hyperbaric oxygen therapy, stem cell therapy, detoxification, as well as nutritional, emotional and spiritual support. We will begin taking applications for participation in this program in January 2022.
Our pilot program launched in the Spring of 2021 with an initial cadre of 4 veterans undergoing treatment at the NorthStar Hyperbaric Clinic in Tucson, AZ. These treatments were made possible through the support of a wonderful 501(c)3 charity, Healing Arizona Veterans. All four of our veterans came from other areas of the country and due to the length of treatment and the accompanying logistical support demands that go along with that, Burn Pits 360 provided a communal home free of charge so they could have a place to rest and heal while undergoing treatment without worry of how to pay for accommodations while away.

We are currently looking for additional providers to expand our network across the United States. If you are interested in joining in our efforts, please email
We here at Burn Pits 360 would just like to thank all our donors, subscribers, and others for always fighting for our veterans. We honestly would not be able to do this without your continued support. Your support means the world to us.

If you are interested in making a recurring donation of $10 a month, please consider doing so here.
Copyright © 2021 Burn Pits 360 Veterans Organization, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you submitted your contact information via the Burn Pits 360 website.

Our mailing address is:
Burn Pits 360 Veterans Organization
P.O Box 1475
RobstownTX 78380

The following sites updated:

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Haugen is no hero

First up, Jimmy Dore.

That is not a whistle blower.  She's not fooling most of us.  Ava and C.I.  covered it this week in "TV: The Franceses Are Alwyas Lying:"

Before you think Frances Haugen is some sort of an anomaly, please note that she has always been with us. For example, you can find her in the 50s trying to 'save' the children back then too.

As Zachary Bampton noted at Princeton University's blog back in 2018:

Into the 1950s, community and national organizations voiced concerns over subversive content found in comic books. In the words of Reverend Thomas J. Fitzgerald of Chicago, depictions of “crime, disrespect for law, rape, infidelity, perversion, etc.” troubled adults who thought of the impact on children (American Civil Liberties Union Records (MC001), Box 773, Folder 25). While comics across the board received criticism, a certain genre stood out from the rest, aptly referred to as “crime comics” or horror comics.

And, 'for the children,' people like Frances have, throughout history, attempted to shut down the press, experience and even people. Yes, the Frances of this world have tried to shut down the LGBTQ community throughout history and you could find them, before The Civil Rights Movement, trying to shut down equality among the races -- for the children, always for the children. A fantasy stance that allowed them to hide behind children and also pretend that all children were White and straight.

Look at any time period in US history and you will find the Franceses doing harm while claiming to believe in God and country.  

They also noted  Jonathan Turley's column for THE HILL:

Haugen lashed out at what she said was the knowing harm committed against people, particularly children, by exposing them to disinformation or unhealthy views. Haugen wants the company to remove “toxic” content and change algorithms to make such sites less visible. She complained that sites with a high engagement rate are more likely to be favored in searches. However, the problem is that sites deemed false or harmful are too popular. Haugen said that artificially removing “likes” is not enough because the popularity or interest in some sites will still push them to the top of searches.
It was a familiar objection. Just the week before, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) called for Amazon to steer readers to “true” books on climate change. Her objection was that the popularity of “misleading” books was pushing them to the top of searches, and she wants the algorithms changed to help readers pick what she considers to be healthier choices — meaning, more in line with her views.
Similarly, Haugen’s solution seems to be … well, her: “Right now, the only people in the world who are trained to analyze these experiments, to understand what is happening inside … there needs to be a regulatory home where someone like me could do a tour of duty after working at a place like [Facebook],and have a place to work on things like regulation.” Censorship programs always begin with politicians and bureaucrats who — in their own minds — have the benefit of knowing what is true and the ability to protect the rest of us from our harmful thoughts.

Haugen is no hero.  She's a book burner, she's a prohibitionist, she's no whistle blower and she's no hero.

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

 Wednesday, October 13, 2021.  As the vote count in Iraq is still 'preliminary,' distrust grows.

Sunday, elections took place in Iraq.  Sinan Mahmoud |and Mina Aldroubi (THE NATIONAL) write:

Iraq’s Independent High Electoral Commission has confirmed that the manual count for a sample of polling boxes matched the initial results released on Monday.

It has moved to reassure sceptics of Sunday’s national election result, which were based on an electronic tally.

[. . .]

The turnout, 41 per cent, was the lowest participation in any Iraqi election since 2005, underlining the growing disappointment among Iraqis towards a political system that is widely seen as broken.

In the 2018 election, the turnout was 44.5 per cent.

Was the turn out even 41%?  Who knows.  It wasn't a fair and free election.  For example?  You have mainstream outlets reporting the purchasing of votes.  You have Human Rights Watch calling -- for weeks -- for efforts to be made for the disabled and challenged to vote -- the Iraqi government did nothing to adopt the recommendations HRW made.  You had some candidates who were intimidated into not campaigning due to threats that only increased when they attempted to report them.  Some point to one group of militia members not being allowed to vote in early voting (which was last Friday).  The regulations forbade them from early voting because they did not have the right paperwork.  If you were the security forces, you were dispersed throughout Iraq on election day (Sunday).  If you did not early vote on Friday, you had to travel to wherever you were stationed on Sunday, work your full shift and then return to your home to vote.  This was not possible for some and that is the reason security forces are among the groups allowed to early vote.

All of this and much more has led to a growing distrust of the results.  CNA notes:

Two days after Iraq's legislative election, pro-Iranian Shiite Muslim parties and armed groups on Tuesday (Oct 12) denounced early poll results as "manipulation" and a "scam".

Sunday's election - the fifth in the war-scarred country since the 2003 US-led invasion toppled dictator Saddam Hussein - was marked by record low turnout of 41 percent.

Zaid Tweets:

The number of voters in Iraq's elections is 67 million, according to the Electoral Commission website. This means that the population of Iraq is approximately 130 million. Iraq's population is 40 million #Iraq_Election_Fraud

I see the image above all over MENA social media.  I do not, however, see it at the High Electoral Commission's website.  Doesn't mean it's not there.  (And I only traveled through the Arabic version, I didn't go into the English portal.)  I do see this page.  It notes that, as of April 2020, there were 24,907,679 registered voters in Iraq. 

I'm not saying the above image didn't (or doesn't) exist at the commission's website.  I couldn't find it.  Maybe I missed it.  Maybe it was pulled as it began to trend on social media.  Or maybe it is a fake.

That it is being spread so widely goes to the fact that the public does not trust the results or the government.    

In the US, the elections are being downplayed by the press.  Government press briefings either have no questions about Iraq or just one.

For example, yesterday's US State Dept press briefing by spokesperson Ned Price:

QUESTION: (Inaudible.) First, do you have any comment on the Iraqi parliamentary election? And how do you view that – that Moqtada al-Sadr won and the defeat of popular mobilization forces?

MR PRICE: So when it comes to the Iraqi elections, we congratulate the Iraqi Government on having fulfilled its promise to hold early elections. We are pleased the – we are pleased that the election days were largely conducted peacefully. We have seen the preliminary results announced by the Iraqi Independent High Electoral Commission, and we’re awaiting for the final certified results. So we’ll – we will omit judgment until then. But these elections included hundreds of international monitors and observers from the UN and the EU, in addition to thousands of domestic observers. We look forward to reviewing their reports.

Once the final results are certified, we hope that the new Council of Representatives members will form a government that reflects the will of the Iraqi people, and which can work to address Iraq’s governance, security, and economic challenges.

When it comes to Moqtada al-Sadr, again, we’re waiting for final results. We don’t want to prejudge the outcome. But we do look forward to working with the new government once it is formed.

And yesterday's White House press briefing by spokesperson Jen Psaki:

Q  What does it take -- what does it take -- sorry, quick question: What does it take for the White House -- on the Iraqi election, there’s a lot of changes. Some Iran -- pro-Iran groups are saying this is not a fair election. So, what is the take of the White House?
MS. PSAKI: Sure.
Q  Thank you.  
MS. PSAKI: So, we congratulate the Iraqi government on having fulfilled its promise to hold earlier elections. We are pleased that the election days were largely conducted peacefully. We’ve seen the preliminary results announced by the Iraqi Independent High Electoral Commission yesterday and are waiting for the final certified results.
These elections included hundreds of international monitors and observers from the U.N. and EU, in addition to thousands of domestic observers. We look forward to reviewing their reports.
Once the final results are certified, we hope that the new Council of Representative members will form a government that reflects the will of the Iraqi people and which can work to address Iraq’s governance, security, and economic challenges.


It was only at yesterday's  John Kirby's press briefing at the Defense Dept  that a follow up question on Iraq existed.

Q:  John, I want to ask a question about Iraq in light of the initial results of -- of the elections? And this is not a, you know, political question. It's related to the security of Iraq and the security of U.S. forces. So the so-called Iraqi Resistance Coordination Committee, basically groups that -- some of the groups that were targeting the U.S. forces in Iraq, are claiming that the elections have been manipulated...

MR. KIRBY:  That had been?

Q:  Manipulated.


Q:  And that the elimination of the BMF will "only serve," quote-unquote, the American occupation.

MR. KIRBY:  Thelevation?

Q:  The elimination of the BMF.

MR. KIRBY:  Elimination.

Q:  Based on -- on this statement, and the -- and the initial result -- results, are you concerned that this could usher a new wave of -- of targeting U.S. forces in Iraq?

MR. KIRBY:  Well, I mean -- so a couple of thoughts. First, we congratulate the Iraqi government on having fulfilled its promise to hold early elections. And we're pleased to see that the election days were largely conducted peacefully. We've seen preliminary results announced by the Iraqi government. I'm sorry, the Iraqi Independent High Electoral Commission, and we're waiting for the final certified results. Once those results are certified, it's our hope that the new Council of Representatives will form a government that reflects the will of the Iraqi people and will work to address Iraqi's governance, human rights, security, and economic challenges. We, from a security perspective, we are still partnering with the Iraqi government and the Iraqi security forces in an effort to continue to put pressure on ISIS. That's the focus. That's what we're there for. And we are still in technical talks with Iraq about what that looks like going forward.

As a part of our presence there, yesterday, as today, we still maintain the right of self-defense. And so we obviously don't want to see, as a result of these elections or any other event, we don't want to see violence increase. We certainly don't want to see attacks or threats on our troops. But our commanders have the right of self-defense; they have the capabilities to defend themselves if they need it. Again, they're there predominantly to -- to help the Iraqi security forces improve their capabilities against ISIS. That's the mission.

Q:  (OFF-MIKE) and since you talk policy and politics...

MR. KIRBY:  I did not. I was just congratulating the...

Q:  No, no, you said more than that. I love it to ask this question. Clearly, the -- some of the militias and -- and political groups were associated with -- with Iran or supported by Iran. And some of these groups were targeting the U.S. forces. They didn't do well in -- in the elections based on that preliminary results. Is that -- is that a message from the Iraqi people to the -- to Iran and the militias that -- that resulting to violence is not the answer inside Iraq...

MR. KIRBY:  Well, it should never -- it should never be the -- the answer. Violence should never be the answer. But again, as for the exact results and what they mean, we're not going to prejudge those results because they're -- they're still -- the preliminary results -- all we've seen, they have not been certified. OK?

Preliminary results were stressed at all three.  For any who missed it, the ballots were supposed to be counted and complete by the day after voting.  Even now, the votes are still not all counted (the estimate as this is dictated is that 90% of the ballots have been counted).

This rejection of the count is a major story.  FRANCE 24 reports on it.

ALJAZEERA also reports on this as well.

Nouri al-Maliki is questioning the vote and were it just him?  You could dismiss it.  This is his pattern.  But the other officials questioning?  This is something new for them.  The Iraqi people are also more suspect of the count than they have been in previous elections since the US-led invasion of 2003.

MIDDLE EAST EYE's Nabil Salih discussed the election on yesterday's DEMOCRACY NOW!:

NABIL SALIH: Good morning, Amy. Thank you for having me.

And, well, thanks to the United States of America, every government that’s ruled Iraq after the barbaric invasion and occupation of 2003 has either killed or failed miserably in protecting Iraqis. So, Muqtada al-Sadr is no different. In fact, the protesters on the ground, as reported by both local and international media, remember all too well that his followers during the October uprising, that started in October 2019, have not only stabbed activists but also shot at them, for example, in Najaf and Karbala. And, of course, that is all dormant, because as a powerful guy who has his own militia, it is not easy to touch him. So, imagine. And, of course, let’s not forget the role Jaysh al-Mahdi, his militia, played in what our colleagues in the Western media like to call a civil war. Yes, Jaysh al-Mahdi terrorized and abducted and displaced Iraqis, and no apologies. Now the same guy, you know, had the most seats in this election.

So, you know, I fear for the future of Iraq, not only that the previous men in suits were any better. You know, for example, take Mustafa al-Khadimi, who is a favorite of Western media. People still got killed and abducted, assassinated and terrorized during his tenure. So, yes, I think I will quote Muhammad Mahdi Al-Jawahiri, the greatest Arabian poet, by saying, ”I see a horizon lit with blood / And many a starless night / A generation comes, another goes / And the fire keeps burning.” So, yes.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, Nabil, I wanted to ask you: To what do you owe, though, the continued growth of support, at least in this election, for al-Sadr? Is part of it that he’s been walking this tightrope between those forces in your country that continue to support or be under the direction of the United States versus those who support Iran and others that maybe are supportive of more Sunni activists supported by other Middle East states? Is he seen as one of the few leaders pushing for Iraq independence?

NABIL SALIH: Well, it is important to remind that the shipped-in crooks who ruled after the invasion don’t speak the language of the people. They speak in a different tone. Muqtada al-Sadr speaks in their language. He is one of them. He’s a populist. He speaks like any other ordinary citizen during his media appearances. And people like that, especially, for example, in eastern Baghdad in the area that is loyal to him.

But also, the fact that he won so many seats goes back to the fact that the rest of Iraqis, who don’t follow him, actually don’t bother going to vote, because it doesn’t make a difference. Like I said, Iraqis will still be killed, and the next government will still fail them, fail to protect them, and enable their necessary death that started long way back in '91. So, yes, and it is important also to notice that in his speech that you just aired, the tone that he speaks in, it's threatening. So, imagine someone whose first speech — who speaks in this tone in his first speech.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And these elections only came about because of an unusual protest, mass protest movement that developed. Some of the supporters of the protests did gain a few seats. But do you think —


JUAN GONZÁLEZ: — that, overall, it was advisable for these elections to occur, because — now that we see the results?

NABIL SALIH: Well, the elections has more to do with making this regime and this system look good than responding to the demands of the people, because it was — I was covering the protests and, if not covering the protests, then protesting myself. And I saw every banner that was hoisted on al-Tahrir Square in Baghdad. And it was one of so many other demands, including basically respect and bread and accountability. And so, yes, it is more of making the system look good.

The following sites updated: