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Supporters of Iraqi Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr celebrate in Baghdad’s Tahrir square on October 11, 2021, after the announcement of parliamentary elections’ results. Photo: AFP / Ahmad al-Rubaye
Supporters of Iraqi Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr celebrate in Baghdad’s Tahrir square on October 11, 2021, after the announcement of parliamentary elections’ results. Photo: AFP / Ahmad al-Rubaye

It would be tempting to picture the Iraqi parliamentary elections last Sunday as a geopolitical game-changer. Well, it’s complicated – in more ways than one.

Let’s start with the abstention rate. Of the 22 million eligible voters able to choose 329 members of Parliament from 3,227 candidates and 167 parties, only 41% chose to cast their ballots, according to the Iraq High Electoral Commission (IHEC)

Then there’s the notorious fragmentation of the Iraqi political chessboard. Initial results offer a fascinating glimpse. Of the 329 seats, the Sadrists – led by Muqtada al-Sadr – captured 73, a Sunni coalition has 43, a Shi’ite coalition – led by former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki – has 41 and the Kurd faction led by Barzani has 32.

In the current electoral setup, apart from Shi’ite coalitions, Sunnis have two main blocks and the Kurds have two main parties ruling autonomous Kurdistan: the Barzani gang – which do an array of shady deals with the Turks – and the Talabani clan, which is not much cleaner.

What happens next are extremely protracted negotiations, not to mention infighting. Once the results are certified, President Barham Saleh, in theory, has 15 days to choose the next Parliament speaker, and Parliament has one month to choose a President. Yet the whole process could last months.

The question is already in everyone’s minds in Baghdad: true to most forecasts, the Sadrists may eventually come up with the largest number of seats in Parliament. But will they be able to strike a solid alliance to nominate the next prime minister?

Then there’s the strong possibility they may actually prefer to remain in the background, considering the next few years will be extremely challenging for Iraq all across the spectrum: on the security and counter-terrorism front; on the ghastly economic front; on the corruption and abysmal management front; and last but not least, on what exactly the expected US troop withdrawal really means.

Iraqi Army and volunteer fighters launch an operation in Saladin Governorate against Daesh on March 2, 2015. Photo: AFP / Ali Mohammed / Anadolu Agency
Iraqi Army and volunteer fighters launch an operation in Saladin Governorate against Daesh on March 2, 2015. Photo: AFP / Ali Mohammed / Anadolu Agency

The takeover of nearly one-third of Iraqi territory by Daesh from 2014 to 2017 may be a distant memory by now, but the fact remains that out of 40 million Iraqis, untold numbers have to deal on a daily basis with rampant unemployment, no healthcare, meager education opportunities and even no electricity.

The American “withdrawal” in December is a euphemism: 2,500 combat troops will actually be repositioned into unspecified “non-combat” roles. The overwhelming majority of Iraqis – Sunni and Shi’ite – won’t accept it. A solid intel source – Western, not West Asian – assured me assorted Shi’ite outfits have the capability to overrun all American assets in Iraq in only six days, the Green Zone included.

Sistani rules

To paint the main players in the Iraqi political scene as merely a “Shi’ite Islamist-dominated ruling elite” is crass Orientalism. They are not “Islamist” – in a Salafi-jihadi sense.

Neither they have set up a political coalition “tied to militias backed by Iran”: that’s a crass reductionism. These “militias” are in fact the People’s Mobilization Units (PMUs), which were encouraged from the start by Grand Ayatollah Sistani to defend the nation against takfiris and Salafi-jihadis of the Daesh kind, and are legally incorporated into the Ministry of Defense.

What is definitely correct is that Muqtada al-Sadr is in a direct clash with the main Shi’ite political parties – and especially those members involved in massive corruption.

Muqtada is a very complex character. He’s essentially an Iraqi nationalist. He’s opposed to any form of foreign interference, especially any lingering American troop presence – in whatever shape or form. As a Shi’ite, he has to be an enemy of politicized, corrupt Shi’ite profiteers.

Elijah Magnier has done a sterling job focusing on the importance of a new fatwa on the elections issued by Grand Ayatollah Sistani, even more important than the “Fatwa of Reform and Changes” which addressed the occupation of northern Iraq by Daesh in 2014 and led to the creation of the PMUs.

Top Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani. Photo: AFP
Top Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani. Photo: AFP

In this new fatwa Sistani, based in the holy city of Najaf, compels voters to search for an “honest candidate” capable of “bringing about real change” and removing “old and habitually corrupt candidates.” Sistani believes “the path of reform is possible” and “hope … must be exploited to remove the incompetent” from ruling Iraq.

The conclusion is inescapable: vast swathes of the dispossessed in Iraq chose to identify this “honest candidate” as Muqtada al-Sadr.

That’s hardly surprising. Muqtada is the youngest son of the late, immensely respected Marja’, Sayyid Muhammad Sadiq al-Sadr, who was assassinated by the Saddam Hussein apparatus. Muqtada’s immensely popular base, inherited from his father, congregates the poor and the downtrodden, as I saw for myself numerous times, especially in Sadr City in Baghdad and in Najaf and Karbala.

During the Petraeus surge in 2007, I was received with open arms in Sadr City, talked to quite a few Sadrist politicians, saw how the Mahdi army operates both in the military and social realm and observed on the spot many of the Sadrist social projects.

In the Shi’ite collective unconscious Muqtada, at the time based in Najaf, made his mark in early 2004 as the first prominent Shi’ite religious leader cum politician to confront the US occupation head-on, and tell them to leave. The CIA put a price on his head. The Pentagon wanted to whack him – in Najaf. Grand Ayatollah Sistani – and his tens of millions of followers – supported him.

Afterward, he spent a long time perfecting his theological chops in Qom – while remaining in the background, always extremely popular and learning a thing or two about becoming politically savvy. That’s reflected in his current positioning: always opposed to the US occupation forces, but willing to work with Washington to expedite their departure.

Iraq’s populist cleric Muqtada al-Sadr prepares to vote at a polling station in the central Iraqi shrine city of Najaf on October 10, 2021. Photo: AFP
Iraq’s populist cleric Muqtada al-Sadr prepares to vote at a polling station in the central Iraqi shrine city of Najaf on October 10, 2021. Photo: AFP

Old (imperial) habits die hard. Out of his status of sworn enemy, routinely dismissed as a “volatile cleric” by Western media, at least now Muqtada is recognized in Washington as a key player and even an interlocutor.

Yet that’s not the case of the Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq group, which was born of the Sadrist base. The Americans still don’t understand that this is not a militia but a party: they are branded by the US as a terrorist organization.

US occupation actors also conveniently forget that the way Iraq’s “dysfunctional” Parliament is configured, along confessional lines, is inextricably linked to the project of Western liberal democracy being bombed into Iraq.

Geopolitically, looking ahead, Iraq’s future in West Asia from now on will be inextricably linked to Eurasian integration. Not surprisingly, Iran and Russia were among the first actors to officially congratulate Baghdad for running a smooth election.

ORDER IT NOW

Muqtada and the Sadrists will be very much aware that the Axis of Resistance – Iran-Iraq-Syria-Hezbollah in Lebanon – is strengthening by the minute. And that is directly linked to the Iran-Russia-China partnership strengthening Eurasia integration. But first things first: let’s get an “honest” prime minister and Parliament in place.

(Republished from Asia Times by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Iran, Iraq, Muqtada al-Sadr 
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  1. Anonymous[197] • Disclaimer says:

    Thank you for an informative report.

    • Agree: Richard B, Alfred
    • Replies: @Richard B
  2. TG says:

    In 2020 the population of Iraq was about 40 million.

    It was 20 million in 1995. That’s a doubling time of about 25 years. Not nearly as fast as places like Afghanistan and Yemen and (until they hit the wall) Syria, mind, but historically basically no nation larger than a city state or an without an open frontier has ever developed any kind of prosperity with these kinds of growth rates.

    So in 2045, 80 million people. A ways off, but it will still come. How much investment in new infrastructure will be needed to accommodate this? What will they do for fresh water? For established nations these sorts of investments typically take generations. And what is the investable physical surplus that Afghanistan has to build the needed infrastructure? Maybe \$50 USD per person per year, maybe? And remember, the issue is not whether the Iraqis can – in some economic fairy tale universe – handle this population growth, but whether they will.

    Sure the politics is interesting and I wish the Iraqis luck. But physical reality has a way of intervening even if we pretend that it’s not there.

    • Thanks: RichardDuck
    • Replies: @TGD
    , @Briggs
    , @HbutnotG
  3. the Axis of Resistance – Iran-Iraq-Syria-Hezbollah in Lebanon – is strengthening by the minute

    Heartening words. The Zionist abomination is nearing its long-overdue end.

    • Replies: @sally
  4. Anon[228] • Disclaimer says:

    Make iraq great again !!!!

  5. BorisMay says:

    CIA viewpoint by CIA operative Pepe Escobar.

    Don’t trust a word of this analysis other than it is the CIA perspective as promoted by CIA operative Escobar.

    He sullied himself in the Pamirs (Afghanistan) and is now the primary CIA mole in the region.

    Any Muslim trusting this man is signing his own death warrant.

    YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

    • Troll: Showmethereal
    • Replies: @Justrambling
  6. Anon[237] • Disclaimer says:

    ….. The takeover of nearly one-third of Iraqi territory by Daesh from 2014 to 2017 may be a distant memory by now, but the fact remains that out of 40 million Iraqis, untold numbers have to deal on a daily basis with rampant unemployment, no healthcare, meager education opportunities and even no electricity…..

    Destruction of societies is a feature, not a bug of Washington/Likud interventions

  7. Tom Welsh says:

    From what I remember about the history of the region, Iraqis (I mean the people living in what is now Iraq) have absolutely no tradition of democracy – or even “democracy” as practised in the West.

    We have historical knowledge of at least 5,000 years of Mesopotamian history, and for virtually all of that time the people were accustomed to living under kings, emperors, or sultans.

    After Iraq was “liberated” from the Ottoman Empire after WW1, there followed a succession of dictatorships (sometimes loosely disguised as “republics”) until the US invasion of 2003. Since then, Iraq has been legally an occupied nation, rendering any approach to democratic politics meaningless.

    In what insane universe would anyone believe it to be possible for true democracy to emerge overnight in such circumstances?

    “The White House and Downing Street were suffused with the naïve view that the introduction of parliamentary democracy would solve all Iraq’s problems. But you can’t introduce democracy like a fast-growing shrub. It takes generations to embed”.
    – Sir Christopher Meyer (Daily Mail 19th June 2014) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2658093/No-Mr-Blair-Your-naive-war-WAS-trigger-savage-violence-writes-CHRISTOPHER-MEYER-Ambassador-US-Iraq-War.html)

    In fact Sir Christopher was unduly optimistic. Democracy has NEVER been introduced from outside, or “embedded”. It always evolves from the wishes and preferences of the people.

    • Replies: @Maddaugh
    , @Showmethereal
  8. “But first things first: let’s get an “honest” prime minister and Parliament in place.”

    I suspect that will happen right after the USA elects an “honest” president and Congress.

    The words “honest” and “politician” should never appear in the same sentence, possibly even within the same paragraph. It can cause instant crippling nausea alternating with fits of debilitating hysterical laughter, like what happens when one considers the idea of an “Honest Joe Biden”.

    In today’s world, the term “honest politician” is beyond oxymoronic; it is simply impossible……

    • Agree: Rich, Arthur MacBride
  9. Pepe’s Sandwich Shop has sure gone downhill. In the first paragraph: “gamechanger”, in the last paragraph: “Axis of Resistance” and “Eurasian integration”. That’s the two slices of “bread”, for the filling we get some cheap mafia slop how Americans can be overrun in only six days(but aren’t). OK, I get it, Nataree closed and prices rose but then COVID hit and “the girls” in Thailand are cheaper than ever, as it should be, if you like Issan girls, too dark for me…anyway Pepe, just cuz things have got cheaper in “Thighland” doesn’t mean you don’t have to worker harder too, after all the girls do.

  10. Maddaugh says:
    @Tom Welsh

    Democracy has NEVER been introduced from outside, or “embedded”. It always evolves from the wishes and preferences of the people.

    You know that, I know that, just about everyone in the world knows that. Anyone studying ME history knows that BUT they don’t teach that in the Ivy League schools in the US.

    Since this bit of reality is not taught, then it cannot be a historical fact. That is why time after time we spend trillions and waste countless lives trying to prove that we can change thousands of years of tradition by blowing non Democratic countries to pieces>>>>>>>and then giving them money to rebuild what we destroyed. LOL

    The geniuses of the Ivy League clique even believe whores make good wives. Who are we, high school graduates, suffering from a deadly virus of commonsense, to contradict these scholars.

    Its madness on a grand scale but like the inmates of a criminal asylum, the inmates think THEY are sane and everyone else is MAD.

  11. TGD says:
    @TG

    So in 2045, 80 million people. A ways off, but it will still come. How much investment in new infrastructure will be needed to accommodate this? What will they do for fresh water?

    First things first. What Iraq needs desperately is a fully functioning electrical grid. Having one of the world’s largest reserves of hydrocarbons, Iraq should have no trouble meeting its electricity needs. But the electricity ministry is so full of corruption that nothing seems to happen.

    I don’t see how humans can survive when outside temperature hover at 50° Celsius for months.

    https://www.dw.com/en/why-are-iraqs-electricity-issues-so-hard-to-solve/a-58189500

  12. Bert33 says:

    Shittys, crappies, bearded diaper heads, whatever. Hopefully they will find some way eventually to successfully govern their country such that the place isn’t blowing up and catching fire every 20 minutes while burning stacks of american flags. Maybe. While there’s life, there’s hope. They do have 13 trillion or so dollars in proven oil reserves.

  13. Thanks for an informative (and heartening) report Pepe.
    Probably the low turnout for “voting” reflects Iraqi distrust of “parliamentary democracy” despite the good intentioned exhortation of GA Ali al-Sistani (respects to him),
    Representative so-called democracy has passed its usefulness worldwide, especially in its home of Europe so why would anyone want to implement it, an alien system anyway ?

    Wishing the best to Iraqis/Arabs to regain their countries from the catastrophic effects of “democracy” and its murderous invasive and hypocritical practitioners.

  14. Richard B says:
    @Anonymous

    they are branded by the US* as a terrorist organization.

    Who isn’t?

    *The Hostile Elite. Or, if you prefer, Jewish Supremacy Inc.

  15. Briggs says:

    Let the sand people do their sand bullshit. We have our own problems

  16. Briggs says:
    @TG

    They’ll be heading north.

  17. sally says:
    @traducteur

    I think the Axis of Resistance – Iran-Iraq-Syria-Hezbollah in Lebanon – is strengthening.

    But these nations and organizations merely express a growing sentiment of the governed humanity everywhere. Pressure to rise is coming from the bottom membership layers of these organizations and institutions also. The so called axis of resistance is a response of bottom up pressure which has been slowly pushing top-down powers out?

    Domestic resistance against tyranny is bottom up. Resistance produces rebellion against monopoly-powered, private-global-corporate managed use of government and media supported by advertising designed to distribute content that can regulate behavior and influence audience opinion.

    The pandemic project has revealed global corporations are in charge: governments follow. When bottom up governments and institutions form, they reflect grass root, bottom up demands made by the governed people. Corporate control over top down government are pushed out when governments experience bottom up pressures.

    Most media are privately owned. Content can only access mainstream media if it the media will allow it. The financial needs of the media are supported by advertising dollars. The payers of the advertising dollars are the global monopoly powered corporations, for the most part.

    Media delivers content to audiences and advertisers buy advertising in order to access the audience. Content can be engineered by psychologist and others. Content can be designed by engineers and psychologist to control how people think and act. The content the media distributes is selected by the dictates of the private corporate advertising which support the media.

    The private media are funded by private mostly corporate spending. Advertising costs are tax deductible. Many advertisers are pharmaceuticals offering content as advertising, or supporting content distribution that support in their themes the objects of private pandemic projects.

    The advertising supports the pandemic project because the pandemic beneficiaries develop content which support pandemic projects and the corporations support the media with their advertising dollars. The pandemic experience with government and media, has allowed many to understand how private corporations, global in nature, coerce governments and use media in many parts of the world.

    Global coordination, between the media and the various nation state governments have revealed just how global is the coordination that made the pandemic project possible. Normally nations do not support each other. It takes privately- owned global corporate reach, to coordinate the different nations to behave as it they were one. The fear in the form of a virus, improves the efficiency of coordinated efforts.

    It is clear that the global monopoly powered pharmaceutical companies have more influence over most western governments that do the people who are governed. It is clear the pharmaceutical corporations have strong, controlling influence over the health care system, and have the support of the media and the reporting systems that return the data that produce the fears needed to control the behaviors and thinking of the public. Private commercial parties use government to supply and enforce the pubic mandates, mandates such as the pandemic project. So why should it come as a surprise if the corporations control the chaos in the various countries they dominate?

    There is a lesson to be learned by studying the advertising expenditures of the pharmaceutical industry especially as the media supports the pandemic projects. These bottom up resistance movements you mention are happening all over the globe. Such movements reflect bottom up response to corporate projects often blamed on governments by suggestion of propaganda.

    The middle east has produced the axis of resistance according to Pepe Escobar. but he did not analyze the corporate involvement in his article.

  18. Anonymous[139] • Disclaimer says:

    Eight somewhat intelligent post against five that only morons would write, about average I would guess from a dumbed down population.

    • Agree: Showmethereal
  19. Why are all Americans forced to ink their finger to prove they voted like the top pic of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr shows?
    America has a long ways to go in order to catchup with our fellow advanced nation states around the world.
    If GlobalHomo had their way, straight men would have to ink their pecker and straight women their right tit to prove we voted for their public perversion.

  20. HbutnotG says:
    @TG

    Infrastructure? Honey, these people wipe their assholes with bare fingers (left hand only!).
    You need to get out more. Ever been to Dearborn?

    • LOL: Thim
    • Replies: @Anonymous
  21. Thim says:

    America, prepare for 2 million Iraqi translators.

    • LOL: Grahamsno(G64)
  22. @BorisMay

    I wondered how Escobar seems to have ready access to inside information in a country rendered volatile by America’s most brutal occupation post-WWII. A CIA connection cannot be discounted.

    • Replies: @anonymous
    , @Maddaugh
  23. Uncle Jon says:

    You wonder how he has access? It is called active and real journalism. Walking the streets of Kabul, Baghdad and xianxing region will eventually get you that access if you are fair and not a mouth peace of empire.

    So far nothing in his writings points toward being a CIA mole. His anti-empire writings has been a staple for years. If anything, people think he is a plant by the Chinese.

    Who knows maybe even a double-agent. We do live in a cynical world.

  24. liz says:

    The information given by the Journalist PEPE ESCOBAR, is known to everyone who is interested in Iraqi election and is PUBLIC.

    Those who are illiterate and have no knowledge of the country should be ashamed of themselves to label a good journalist as ‘CIA agent’ or anything like that, Just because you are not doing your parts. Most of the CIA agents are illiterate themselves. They are skilled in terrorism and conspiratorial work, because they have NO BRAINS.
    Shut up and do your own research. I know you are lazy and want to get information by having a pill or pushing a button. This is not going to work, because the CIA agents have done it before.

  25. arami says:

    Possibility of a fundamental change in the results of the Iraqi vote count

    Due to changes in the Iraq election law and injection of money from the enemy of humanity, US-Israel-UAE-Saudi Arabia, to corrupt politicians and buy influence, and cooperation of Moghtada al-Sadr with US colonies, Saudi Arabia and UAE, to gain more power to manipulate Iraq election result in favor of himself, to send a message that we can work with many factions, including the imperialism and Zionism who invaded Iraq, and now they are more active than ever.
    Sadr is NOT a nationalist, he is seeking more power for himself if that means to put a knif on the resistant groups. Sadr is NOT Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hizbullah. Sadr cannot be trusted.

    Apparently, there there is a POSSIBILITY that the result of the early parliamentary election on October 10, 2021 might bring changes in the final vote count.

    Emad Jamil, a member of the Iraqi Independent High Electoral Commission, stressed that the results of the early parliamentary elections are likely to change fundamentally.

    Jamil, a member of the media office of the Iraqi High Electoral Commission, told the Euphrates News website today (Thursday) that the results of Sunday’s parliamentary elections are expected to make “sweeping and fundamental” CHANGES.

    He stressed that the final results of the elections will be announced within the next week and we expect a fundamental change in the results.

    The member of the Iraqi Independent High Electoral Commission said that yesterday (Wednesday) the manual counting of ballot boxes in “Al-Rasafa” in Baghdad was completed and today we will count the ballot boxes of “Al-Karkh” (in the capital).

    The Iraqi Independent High Electoral Commission (IEC) has previously announced that the manual counting of ballots will be carried out in the presence of international observers, representatives of political parties and groups, and members of the media.

    According to reports, the manner in which the results were announced by the Independent High Electoral Commission (IEC) has been widely CRITIZED and vague by many Iraqi political currents.

    Following the escalation of protests over the counting and announcement of votes, the Independent High Electoral Commission (IEC) on Wednesday began MANUAL counting of 140 polling stations.

    In this connection, many Iraqi personalities ACCUSE the UAE government of manipulating the results of the early parliamentary elections again with the cooperation of the Zionist regime.

    Abdul Amir al-Taiban, a prominent member of the Al-Fatah coalition and a former member of parliament, tweeted on Wednesday that the UAE should not be allowed to manipulate the results of the Iraqi elections.

    “I urge the Iraqi Independent High Electoral Commission (IEC) to count the votes manually so that justice in the election results is observed and the UAE is prevented from rigging the vote,” he said.

    According to reports, due to the existence of computer counting servers in the UAE and also the ownership of the sheikhdom on the satellite that transmits the election results from the ballot boxes to the National Counting Center in the Iraqi Independent High Electoral Commission, the personalities And various experts in Iraq have accused Abu Dhabi of manipulating the results of the October 10 (October 6, 1400) elections.

    The final results of the Iraqi elections were announced yesterday, and despite the passage of long hours, no new results have been published or leaked.

    So far, according to the Iraqi Independent High Electoral Commission, in the parliamentary elections held last Sunday, the Sadr faction led by Muqtada al-Sadr has won 70 seats.

    The Coalition for the Rule of Law, led by former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, won 40 seats, the Al-Fatah Coalition, led by Hadi al-Amiri, won 20 seats, and the Iraqi Kurdistan Democratic Party, led by Massoud Barzani, won 34 seats.

    The is a rumor that the Jewish mafia wants Masoud Barezani, corrupt and a terrorist who let the ‘normalization conference’ take place in Erbil, to be the next Iraq president. Is Al-sadr going to allow that. Al-sadr pose as anti imperialism and Zionism, but I am not sure and I don’t trust him. He should not be flirting with Saudi Arabia and UAE, two zionist dogs against Muslims.

    Death to zionism, down with the Jewish mafia. Israel has no right to exist in occupied Palestine.

  26. Firebrand!

    That’s the word that stuck to Muqtada al-Sadr, like an unwanted Siamese twin.

    Of course, this was back in the day, when your worst enemy, was my best friend…

  27. arami says:

    The axis of EVIL US-ISRAE-Saudis-UAE are trying to frame Hizbullah for the terrorism of Israel, meaning the latest blast in Lebanon.

    ‘Political targeting’: Hezbollah chief denounces blast judge
    The JUDGE is the agent of axis of evil and wants to make Hizbullah responsible for Israeli’s terrorism

    Sophia
    @les_politiques

    Why would #Israel & #UAE/#Saudi need to ignite sectarian tensions in #Lebanon by paying Lebanese Forces #Geagea’s thugs to kill Hezbollah & Amal supporters in #Beirut when #Kushner had declared 2 days ago in #Israel that his #AbrahamAccords were a success?

    asad abukhalil
    @asadabukhalil
    Look how they say “Hezbollah-led”. No mention of Amal Movement. Agenda is clear: Qatari-Saudi-UAE-Israeli-Western agendas converge in Lebanon.

    • Thanks: Arthur MacBride
  28. Anonymous[197] • Disclaimer says:
    @HbutnotG

    They wash themselves with their hands and water, and then they wash their hands with soap. It is you who doesn’t wash. That’s why your own orthopedic doctors complain about how you smell when you show up at their offices with back pain. That’s why your own TV programs joke about “skid marks” on your underwear.

  29. anonymous[197] • Disclaimer says:
    @Justrambling

    What do you mean by “inside information”? He is reporting officially released election results, he has been following the country for years, and he has some contacts there who offer their views. I see nothing in his report that shows the type of “inside information” that would necessitate access to an intelligence agency.

  30. Maddaugh says:
    @Justrambling

    I wondered how Escobar seems to have ready access to inside information in a country rendered volatile by America’s most brutal occupation post-WWII. A CIA connection cannot be discounted.

    Pepe has as much “inside” information on anything as I have “inside” information on Stormy Daniels snatch. Like Ling Dung and his travel articles, Pepe sits in his basement looking at YuTub and scratching his scrotum. When he had enough tidbits that sound sensible it becomes a major expose.

    Unfortunately, where both these characters are concerned, the B/S sensors of UR readers have been red lining for some time. This article was just a load of uninteresting bunk that it garnered a whole 24 comments. Sadly, and with great regret, I must say I found it a YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAWNNN !

    I rather suspect, that like our Expert on Everything, Anita Toola Karlin, these two fakes will end up on the scrap heap of blogging and be reduced to being even more miserable commenters.

    I will really miss them………honestly, no lie, I am not kidding, trust me !!

    • Troll: Arthur MacBride
  31. anonymous[197] • Disclaimer says:

    So your criticism is that this article is not interesting to you, and that justifies ad hominem attacks on the author, with some entirely gratuitous, albeit revealing, obscenity thrown in.
    Escobar and Karlin are entirely different people. Escobar has been around for decades, written books, hundreds of articles on legitimate venues, appeared on TV interviews, travelled widely, attended all sorts of events and interviewed all manner of people. It is highly unlikely that he will end up ‘on the scrap heap of “blogging” ‘.

    • Agree: Arthur MacBride
  32. Getting and honest and effective prime minister and parliament is part of the problem. Western style democracy is not the best. Let us be for real – giving everyone the vote to choose the leader is nonsense. Not everyone is of the same intellectual or analytical ability. That is not a dengration – it is a reality of human civilization. In many ways it is akin to allowing your child to choose its own diet.
    The only way it works is if you have a ruling council that selects candidates based on actual achievements and qualifications and actual proof of a lack of corruption and graft – and then puts a few up for the people to choose from. It will sound offensive to many but it is reality.

    Of course then – who decided the ruling council..?? But that is the thing… One size doesnt fit all. Each society should choose their own way.

  33. @Tom Welsh

    I actually just wrote a comment that touched on that before I read yours. Well part lf the problem is trying to tell another set of people what type of governmemt system works best. Even in the days of monarchs – their systems varied very much from region to region and even tribe to tribe. Humanity has always had diverse systems. The idea that all should follow a similar one is nonsense. It is an idea for those who want to control the globe – because there is literally no sense in trying to firce everyone to be the same.

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