Thursday, March 10, 2022

Music (Blondie, Tom PEtty, Pat Benatar, Fleetwood Mac, Barbra Streisand)

Someone asked if music was exciting anymore? Yeah, I think so. I was excited to hear Chase Rice's laest (THE ALBUM) for example and I still ove it. But if you're going back, way back? I can remember buying a Pat Benatar single ("Treat Me Right"?) with "Never Wanna Leaves You" on the flip side and being really excited to listen to the b-side. I don't think that kind of excitement happens these days because I don't think people listen to 45s I loved Blondie, for example. "Suzy & Jeffrey" was a B-side. To "The Tide Is High" or "Rapture." And it was the b-side that made me purchase that album (AUTO AMERICAN). Thanks to greedy artists like Barbra Streisand, the cost of an album soared in the late 70s and early 80s and I needed at least two songs to justify to myself spending that much money. (In fairness, let me note that Tom Petty fought a basically one person war to try to keep the price of vinyl albums lower.)

And I can remember being hugely excited when TANGO IN THE NIGHT came out. On the radio, they said it would be out Monday. So I showed up Monday just in case. Back then new albums only came out on Tuesdays. But maybe this was an exception? It wasn't. But that was fine. I never needed an excuse to go to Tower Records.

But this was supposed to be a return to RUMOURS. So I was excited. Fleetwood Mac doing rock -- and not Lindsey's nonsense?

So I go back the next day -- Tuesday. Again, not complaining, there were weeks that I went to Tower six days a week. I'm not joking.

But TANGO IN THE NGIHT was a piece of crap. And it was a piece of crap that idiot critics praised. It was garbage.

In terms of Stevie Nicks, she brought in "Seven Wonders" written by her friend Sandy Stewart and it was a hit and a good song. She wrote "Welcome To The Room Sara" which was not intended as a single and was a strong song like "Sister Of The Moon." And she brought in a nice ballad "When I See You Again." They were the only real life on the album.

Christine wrote some good songs but they were overproduced by Lindsey with all these toy and plastic sound effects. "Little Lies" didn't need it nor did "Everywhere." And those effects ruin "Isn't It Midnight" completely. I couldn't stand that song until I saw them live and heard the band rip into it without all of Lindsey b.s.

And then there's the garbage Lindsey 'wrote' like "Caroline" and the especially awful "Family Man" where he fancies himself Popeye, apparently ("I am what I am -- am what I am am what I am -- a Family Man."

It was such garbage. And so disappointing. I'd gotten U2's THE JOSHUA TREE around the same time and that only made it worse because they made an excellent album and Fleetwood Mac churned out garbage -- TANGO remains my least favorite Mac album of all time.

Back to the rising album prices. They nearly killed the industry. Michael Jackson's THRILLER and the move towards cassettes due to the Walkman craze would bring in some excitement. But greedy artists like Barbra nearly killed the industry. She wasn't the only greedy one but the Rolling Stones has a back catalogue that continues to sell while Barbra really doesn't. There's her Christmas album. Otherwise, people are pretty much done with her albums within a year of their original release.

She was doing a lot of duets in that time period and that gave the mistaken impression that she was a radio artist who had hits. She really wasn't. After GUILTY, she never had another significant hit on the pop charts. But teaming up with Donna Summer ("Enough Is Enough") and Neil Diamond ("You Don't Bring Me Flowers") -- both number ones -- gave the impression that she was a hit maker.

She stopped being worth the advances by 1983. Even THE BROADWAY ALBUM -- her last real hit album -- cost a fortune to make. Others, ike HIGHER GROUND, cost a fortune and never made back their costs.

She's someone who should have been dropped long ago. I don't see her as a prestige client the way Bob Dylan is. Bob writes songs. Barbra doesn't -- though she loves to steal credit and pretend she's written things. (Rupert Holmes should have sued over "Evergreen.")

On music, be sure to check out:


Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Thursday, March 10, 2022.  The Iraqi people continue to suffer because of the actions of the US government, Julian Assange remains persecuted by Joe Biden and the  US corporate media continues to push for war with Russia.

US President Joe Biden continues to persecute Julian Assange, the publisher of WIKILEAKS.  For the 'crime' of informing the people, Joe is attacking Julian and attacking a free press all the while strutting -- as best as a feeble old and lazy man his age can -- around and hectoring other governments about freedoms and the neceesity for freedoms.  

Because the corporate media is useless, no one bothers to put that reality to him and get a response.  

But that's how it works and that's why the children's  parable (later a children's story by Hans Christian Andersen)  The Emperor Has No Clothes  existed in the  first place.  Two weeks ago, Chris Hedges (SCHEER POST) observed:

We know what Julian did. We know the great public service he provided. We know that he and WikiLeaks, aided by courageous figures such as Chelsea Manning, gave us the most important journalist coup of our generation, ripping back the veil erected by the ruling political, military, and financial elites to expose their mendacity, their corruption, and their crimes. We know that populations around the world, from Haiti to Tunisia, were empowered by this information to hold these elites accountable. 

But today I want us to reflect on Julian himself. For Julian, endowed with precocious skills, could easily have been someone else. He could have sold his talents to Silicon Valley, to Wall Street or to intelligence and surveillance agencies, who would have paid handsomely. He could have built a lucrative career, one where he was financially secure, perhaps wealthy. He could have obtained the possessions we are told in our consumer society we should aspire to, an opulent house, luxury cars, financial security, fine clothes, and the status that comes with material acquisition and advancement within the structures of power. No worries. No controversy. No persecution.

But to follow this route, a route many have followed, would have required Julian to surrender his integrity and dignity. It would have required him to forsake justice and freedom to suppress and control the aspirations of the vast majority locked outside the golden gates of privilege and power. It would have placed him within the interlocking systems designed by the ruling elites to concentrate privilege, wealth, and power among themselves. It would have required Julian to become a cog in the megamachine, to play a part in constructing our corporate totalitarianism. 

Julian chose not to do this.  He turned away from the siren call of success, at least as it is defined by the powerful. He set out on the difficult road taken by all who fight the oppressor on behalf of the oppressed. 

A life of meaning is a life of confrontation. When you resist radical evil you jeopardize your career, your reputation, your financial solvency and at times your life. It is to be a lifelong heretic. When you stand with the oppressed, the crucified of the earth, then you are treated like the oppressed. You too are crucified. And that is what is happening to Julian. 

Those that care the most, are targeted and killed by those who care the least. 

Miruna Soare Tweets:

#JulianAssange told #thetruth.  #corrupted government officials and private #warmachine didnt like their dirty secrets exposed. So, they have been trying to silence #Julian for good. Dont let that happen! #KeepFighting to #freeAssange 🎗🎗🎗🎗

Evan Jones (DISSIDENT VOICE) notes:

Julian Assange is being tortured to death in a British prison. How can this be?

Assange has an army of supporters across the globe. Their support has had little to no tangible impact on Assange’s fate. How can this be?

Among the rest (the majority) are the indifferent and those who are hostile to various degrees, precisely because the US and the UK have captured him and put him on trial. Assange has to be guilty of something or other. After all, these countries are pivotal leaders of the “free world”!


The UK government is assisting the US government in the torture and persecution of Julian Assange.  At THE INTERCEPT, Guillaume Long notes:

The U.K. High Court ruling that Julian Assange should be extradited to face trial in the United States — a decision that Amnesty International has called a “travesty of justice” — came as no surprise to me. It’s what the U.K. government always wanted. I know because the British deputy minister of foreign affairs told me.

Many pundits and politicians talk of the extradition proceedings against Assange as if they were an unforeseen legal outcome that came about as Assange’s situation unfolded. This is not true. My experience as the foreign minister of Ecuador — the South American country that granted Assange asylum — left me in no doubt that the U.K. wanted Assange’s extradition to the United States from the very beginning.

One encounter I had with Alan Duncan, the former British minister of state for Europe and the Americas, in October 2016 really let the cat out of the bag. At our meeting in the Dominican Republic, Duncan went on extensively about how loathsome Assange was. While I didn’t anticipate Duncan to profess his love for our asylee, I had expected a more professional diplomatic exchange. But the most important moment of the meeting was when I reiterated that Ecuador’s primary fear was the transfer of Assange to the United States, at which point Duncan turned to his staff and exclaimed something very close to, “Yes, well, good idea. How would we go about extraditing him to the Americans?”

His advisers squirmed in embarrassment. They had spent the last four years trying to reassure Ecuador that this was not what the U.K. was after. I responded that this was news indeed. I then wondered whether Duncan left the meeting feeling he had made a mess of it.

When not persecuting Julian, Joe Biden can be found trying to destroy the Russian people.  Bryce Green (SCHEER POST) notes:

Many governments and media figures are rightly condemning Russian President Vladimir Putin’s attack on Ukraine as an act of aggression and a violation of international law. But in his first speech about the invasion, on February 24, US President Joe Biden also called the invasion “unprovoked.”

It’s a word that has been echoed repeatedly across the media ecosystem. “Putin’s forces entered Ukraine’s second-largest city on the fourth day of the unprovoked invasion,” Axios (2/27/22) reported; “Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine entered its second week Friday,” said CNBC (3/4/22). Vox (3/1/22) wrote of “Putin’s decision to launch an unprovoked and unnecessary war with the second-largest country in Europe.”

The “unprovoked” descriptor obscures a long history of provocative behavior from the United States in regards to Ukraine. This history is important to understanding how we got here, and what degree of responsibility the US bears for the current attack on Ukraine.

At BLACK AGENDA REPORT, Ajamu Baraka observes:

U.S. determination to be the world's hegemon created the crisis in Ukraine. The impacts are felt by working people in this country, who must look outside for solidarity and leadership as they struggle in a political system that offers them no representation. 

“As a radical standpoint, perspective, position, the politics of location necessarily calls those of us who would participate in the formation of counter-hegemonic cultural practice to identify the spaces where we begin the process of re-vision” (bell hooks)

+The constant morality play that the U.S. public has been exposed to has resulted in mass support for war. Of course, ordinary people will pay the price, the ruling class will get over once again and Biden achieved his bipartisanship the old fashion way - through war!

+The U.S. corporate media frames the Ukraine conflict as a premeditated, unprovoked attack by the maniacal government of the Russian dictator Vladimir Putin. But from the very beginning of Biden’s administration, it seemed like his agenda was to create the conditions in Ukraine that would evoke a conflict with the Russian Federation. It has turned out to be one of the few objectives of his administration that was met.

+The claims by commentators in the U.S. that war crimes and crimes against humanity that are being committed by the Russian state perfectly reflect the psychopathology of white supremacy, a narcissistic cognitive disorder that renders the afflicted with an inability to see objective reality in the same way as others.

+It is not just gas prices going up. These bumbling incompetents thought they could impose sanctions on a country fully integrated into the world capitalist economy without it hurting consumers in the U.S.- will now have to explain why food prices will go up.

+It appears that along with Russia, consumers in the U.S. will feel the effects of economic sanctions with higher prices and austerity while U.S. energy companies experience windfall profits. Perhaps with those profits that will be realized by the energy companies and the military/industrial complex they might have enough tax money to provide a little relief for workers through Build Back Better legislation. Oh, but my bad! The biggest corporations do not pay taxes in the U.S.

As Joe Biden and other blood thirsty trash try to whipe up anti-Russian sentiment, no one's supposed to note that the Russian people are people.  Both Joe and corrupt Hillary Clinton have called for the Russian people to be grought to their knees.  Both Joe and Hillary supported the Iraq War.  It would be fair for the Iraqi people to call for Joe and Hillary to be brought to their knees.  But that's not how it works, the corporate press just props up the crooks like Joe and Hillary who, like other useless leaders, will retire to comfy lives and never be confronted for all the people who are dead as a result of their actions.  Margaret Kimberley (BAR) points out:

Anyone who speaks out against imperialism, capitalism, or racism with concrete examples of the terrible harm they do, can expect to be charged with the dreaded term “whataboutism.” Like clockwork, the act of revealing American crimes will result in an accusation that is used to silence dissent.

When war propaganda prevails regarding Ukraine or any other place where the hegemon is doing its dirty work, it is reasonable to ask probing questions. Why are the deaths of 14,000 people killed by Ukraine's civil war swept under the rug? Why is it forbidden to ask about the U.S. destruction of Libya? But once having asked a good question, one will be told that raising the topic is proof of the whataboutism sin.

The word whataboutism is in the dictionary and is defined as, “the act or practice of responding to an accusation of wrongdoing by claiming that an offense committed by another is similar or worse.” That meaning is accurate and also completely defensible.

The charge is meant to censor the speaker, excuse U.S. actions, and defend its human rights violations. The denials and apologies are exactly why whataboutism should be defended. It is terrible when lies and crimes are not countered with verifiable information exposing them.

The term has gained popularity in part because there is so much hypocrisy to point out and there are so many adherents to American exceptionalism who defend what they should condemn. When the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced that it would begin investigating “the Situation in Ukraine” corporate media and their political partners gloated and pointed fingers at Russia. They didn’t point out that the U.S., like Russia, is not a signatory of the Treaty of Rome which brought the ICC into existence. Not only is the U.S. not a member state, but in 2002 Congress passed the American Service Members Protection Act , popularly known as the Hague Invasion Act. It gives the U.S. the right to extract any American held at the court in the Hague. The removal part isn’t even necessary because the act prohibits the extradition of Americans to the ICC.

The chest thumping about the investigation into Ukraine should surely be followed by a discussion of U.S. hostility to the ICC. It is a clear example of when and how whataboutism should be practiced. Not mentioning the U.S. relationship or rather lack of relationship with the ICC would be an indication of agreement with exceptionalist doctrine.

If Vladimir Putin is described as a war criminal, thug, dictator, and a modern day Hitler, it is appropriate and indeed necessary to ask about American presidents. For brevity’s sake consider only those American presidents who served since 2001. U.S. invasions and interventions in western Asia, North Africa, central Asia and the Horn of Africa have displaced more than 37 million people since the “war on terror” began. Why shouldn’t George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Donald Trump and Joe Biden be called war criminals too? Silence in the face of their criminality gives license and approval to U.S. aggressions.

American exceptionalism is an illness which infects most of the population of this country. Unfortunately most people need little prompting to defend their nation’s misdeeds. George W. Bush is now thought of as a kindly old man who paints pictures of puppies. There is little inclination to acknowledge the one million dead from the Iraq invasion. Doing so would create great discomfort.

Iraq?  It's March 10th.  Many months ago, on October 10th, Iraq held elections.  And all this time later, there is still no prime minister or president.  A vie month political stalemate continues.   And there's no end in sight.  There's also no real plan since the Constitution's been kicked aside.  Dana Taib Menmy (THE NEW ARAB) explains:

Legal experts and politicians say Iraq’s Federal Supreme Court has breached the country’s constitution in a decision on 1 March to rule against parliament's decision to accept more nominations for the long-delayed presidency after a 30-day constitutional period expired in early February.

However, the court, Iraq’s highest judicial authority, has decided that the Iraqi parliament can make another decision with an overall majority vote of its members to reopen nominations for the presidency.

According to the second provision of Article 72 of the Iraqi constitution of 2005, the parliament must elect the president within a maximum period of 30 days from their first session after the election. The parliament held this session on 9 January and the period for electing the president expired on 8 February.

“One duty of Iraq’s Federal Supreme Court is preventing breaches towards the constitution, but unfortunately the court itself has side-stepped the constitution in its recent decision,” Latif Sheikh Mustafa, a constitutional law expert and former Iraqi MP told The New Arab in a phone call.

"The 30 day period outlined in the second provision of Article 72 is not subject to extension in any way, thus all measures that have been taken after that era are contrary to the constitution. The court should not have overridden its duties and breached the constitution to find legal exits to appease political sides.” 

It's a disaster and it's a US-created disaster.  The Iraqi people suffer as a result.  

AFP reports:

Protests erupted Wednesday in Iraq’s impoverished south over a rise in food prices that officials attributed to the conflict in Ukraine.

For about a week, the price of cooking oils and flour have skyrocketed in local markets as government officials have sought to address growing anger with various statements and measures.

More than 500 protesters gathered in a central square in the southern city of Nasiriyah -- a flashpoint of anti-corruption protests that gripped the country in 2019.

“The rise in prices is strangling us, whether it is bread or other food products,” retired teacher Hassan Kazem said. “We can barely make ends meet.”

We'll wind down with these observations from Debra Sweet (World Can't Wait):

This war is dangerous for humanity and the planet! We shouldn't support either "side."

It's no exaggeration to say that the showdown between Russia and the U.S./NATO bloc has profound dangers for the people of Ukraine. Millions are already facing death and displacement from the immediate incursion of the Russian military. Russia doesn't want NATO at its borders in its mission to control Eastern Europe.

Many hundreds of millions more are endangered by the U.S. missile launchers recently installed in Poland and Romania, on the border of Russia. These are MK 41's, the same weapon the U.S. used thousands of times on people of Iraq, Syria and Yugoslavia. The U.S. wants to encircle Russia with NATO countries in its mission to maintain imperialist dominance.

Claiming the "high ground" by imposing sanctions, as the U.S. is doing, is not done to avoid war. It's aggression, part of making war, with potential devastating consequences, as we saw in years of deadly sanctions on Iraq, when an estimated 500,000 children died of hunger and lack of medical care.

The following sites updated:

Wednesday, March 09, 2022


AMERICAN DAD airs new episodes Monday nights on TBS. The most recent episode? Francine threw a party and, like anyone would, worried with Roger over the fact that Klaus would be attending. At one point, Roger thought Klaus was killing the party so Francine walked over to where Klaus was, rushed over. And tried to save the day but Greg insisted Klaus was hilarious and Klaus actually scored on Francine when she tried to get people to laugh.

Klaus was very, very popular and Roger and Francine couldn't figure it out. The whole town loved him.

Were they caught in a dream?

No, but you knew something was wrong because Klaus is not someone anyone likes. He's the weakest character on the show except for Roger's child Rogu.

Well Klaus is using his podcast to hypnotize people into liking him.

Francine discovers this with Roger and discovers how to stop it. But even when stopped, people are still liking Klaus so Francine has to show them the old Klaus, the real one.

That ends Klaus' takeover.

It was a pretty tight and funny episode.

Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

 Wednesday, March 9, 2022.  And the wars drag on, yeah, the wars drag on.

The US government continues to persecute Julian Assange.  Don't tell John Nichols.  He's got another useless column.  Russia!  Russia! Russia!  Does he think he looks smart or brave?  Only to the deeply stupid.  He's a craven whore who pushed for Bull Boy Bush to be impeached - even wrote a book on impeachment and was promoting it but then Nancy Pelosi announced that impeachment was off the tble and like a good whore John Nichols dropped the topic -- enraging the publishing house tht had put out his book.  When he had a world of US government officials to call out for the Iraq War, John Nichols zoomed in on the most 'dangerous' of all . . . Barbra Streisand.  He's a coward and a whore.  Today he wants you to know that Russia is crqcking down on media.  Just Rissia, you understand.  Any unbiased outlet has already told you that both Russia and Ukraine are cracking down on their media.  But whore's got whore, right, John?

Which is why he's outside pointing the finger again instead of directing it t his own country.  Joe Biden's crcking down on media.  He's gotten a lot of help from the media itself.  They knew Tra Reade was probably telling the truth but like some 'feminists' they insisted it didn't matter, they were still supporting Joe.  There's been no bigger buffoon in the White House in the last 100 years yet the press has gone so easy on liar Joe who most recently lied about how many times he'd been to Iraq and Afghanistan claiming 40 when it's only been 21 -- a lie he made during the campaign and got slammed for and a lie he continues to make.  It's not smart to lie in a Statue of the Union address.

Joe was unable to do whatever one before him in 'modern times' has done, deliver the speech in January.  But his lying about basic facts?  The SOUA is a mandated speech, mandated in the Constitution.  

He can't stop lying.  He lies about the big stuff, he lies about the small stuff.  He is forever inflating his own miniscule record.  Remember when he was telling us he was arrested while visitng South Africa as a US senator?

Despite the very easy ride that Joe's gotten from the US press, the White House is still miserable, is still attacking reporters, has asked THE NEW YORK TIMES to reassign one reporter (if the reporter's learning of it here, check iwth your editor, you'll be informed then).  He's a petty man who can't deliver for the American people because he's too busy having tantrums over how he is being portrayed in the press in the here and now.  Joe's an old man and he's going to die soon.  But he's not concerned about how history will receive him because he's too obsessed with the here and now.  

The whores of journalism like to pretend they're doing something of value but they're forgotten near instantly and history is a little more harsh.  Jeh Johnson.  He got a lot of good press.  Some called him out -- a few -- for his role in Barack Obama's inhumane response to immigration.  Some of us knew it would come back to bite him in the ass.  He didn't get it.  He thought he could manage it and the press was all that mattered and . . .

Poor little Jeh, dopped as a speaker to Vassar.  

How humiliating for him.

How fitting.

The press may have gone easy on him in real time but that didn't mean a damn thing.  Truth will out -- always.  And Jeh better get used to the fact that this is just the beginning.  He might want to drop to his knees and publicly beg forgiveness for the vile and disgusting things he'd done.  

Some might forgive him if he did that.

I'm not the Pope.  I'm not granting him forgiveness.  I'll stand with the epople whose lives he destroyed.  

Again, congratulations on being ruled unfit to speak before a college -- being ruled that by We The People.  Not the press.  Not his hero Barack.  By We The People and, in a democracy, we are always the final voice.

Julian Assange is persecuted for attempting to tellt he truth and for supporting an informed citizenry.  He shined a light into the shadows and so Joe Biden is determined to destroy him.  A) It's about revenge.  B) It's about making an example of Julian, trying to put the fear into the press.

But, by all means, John Nichols, waste all of our time with another useless column.  

Ueseless hsi whole life.

We'll note this Tweet:

Seems accurate

Richard Medhurt speaks with Jeffrey Sterling about the presuction of Julian Assange and other issues.

Julian tried to inform.  The US media lives to distract and to deny reality.  CJ Hopkins (DISSIDENT VOICE) takes a humorous look at how the media is currently conducting itself:

And they’re back! It’s like one of those 1960s Hammer Film Productions horror-movie series with Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee … Return of the Putin-Nazis! Revenge of the Putin-Nazis! Return of the Revenge of the Bride of the Putin-Nazis! And this time they are not horsing around with stealing elections from Hillary Clinton with anti-masturbation Facebook ads. They are going straight for “Democracy’s” jugular!

Yes, that’s right, folks, Vladimir Putin, leader of the Putin-Nazis and official “Evil Dictator of the Day,” has launched a Kamikazi attack on the United Forces of Goodness (and Freedom) to provoke us into losing our temper and waging a global thermonuclear war that will wipe out the entire human species and most other forms of life on earth!

I’m referring, of course, to Putin’s inexplicable and totally unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, a totally peaceful, Nazi-free country which was just sitting there minding its non-Nazi business, singing Kumbaya, and so on, and not in any way collaborating with or being cynically used by GloboCap to menace and eventually destabilize Russia so that the GloboCap boys can get back in there and resume the Caligulan orgy of “privatization” they enjoyed throughout the 1990’s.

No, clearly, Putin has just lost his mind, and has no strategic objective whatsoever (other than the total extermination of humanity), and is just running around the Kremlin shouting “DROP THE BOMBS! EXTERMINATE THE BRUTES!” all crazy-eyed and with his face painted green like Colonel Kurtz in Apocalypse Now … because what other explanation is there?

Caitlin Johnstone observes:

Just your regular reminder that the US empire (A) had solid intelligence that this war was coming, (B) knew they could prevent it by making very reasonable, low-cost concessions like promising not to add a nation to NATO that they didn’t want to add anyway, and (C) chose not to.

It’s 2022 and people still believe the US is pouring weapons into a foreign country to protect freedom and democracy. That’s like being 57 and still believing in the Tooth Fairy.

The US empire has had a standing policy of preventing the rise of any rival superpowers since the USSR collapsed, by which I mean that policy was explicitly laid out in writing within months of the Soviet Union’s dissolution. Both Moscow and Beijing have refused to kiss the imperial ring, and crippling Russia is an essential part of hamstringing China’s rise. This was all planned years ago.

Gilbert Doctorow described back in 2017 how Moscow and Beijing have formed a mutually beneficial “tandem” based on their respective strengths; Russia as a major military force who is willing to confront the US empire, and China as a rising economic superpower. Empire managers had previously expected that Moscow would be forced to pivot to Washington and become a member state of the empire. The fact that it chose Beijing instead to retain its sovereignty is what set all this in motion.

This was all planned years in advance. It’s no coincidence that we were hammered with narratives originating from US intelligence agencies which inflamed hysteria about Russia in the years leading up to this, most of which had nothing to do with Ukraine. I mean for Christ’s sake, even the one narrative that did involve Ukraine occurred because a CIA officer (ridiculously labeled a “whistleblower” by the mass media) just so happened to be in the right place at the right time to get it rolling.

So we’re all going to suffer financially and live under the risk of total obliteration via nuclear war in a long-planned confrontation geared toward obtaining total planetary domination, just because a few manipulators in the US government decided that would be a good thing.

It doesn’t need to be this way. Never did. There’s no good reason why nations can’t just get along and work together for the common good of all. The only reason that’s not happening is because of this insane desire to dominate and control instead of collaborate and thrive.

Where's the coverage of Iraq in the US media?  It had to vanish.  What the US government did is a crime.  Iraq has been torn apart by the US government.  The suffering has not gone away.  But they can't champaion another war, the media, while providing reality about what happened and continues to happen in Iraq.  

It's a tragedy.  Iraqis have to live with it but the US government inflicted it. 

And the US media rushes to run from it.  

UN Women Iraq Tweets:

UN staff in Erbil gathered to celebrate International Women’s Day and reflect on the progress and achievements made on women’s rights as well as to recognize the importance of achieving gender equality for a sustainable future free from violence against women and girls

The following sites updated:

Monday, March 07, 2022


Please read Ava and C.I.'s "TV: A streaming pile of garbage" which covers a number of things including HBO MAX's THE TOURIST:

THE TOURIST (produced by BBC ONE and STAN) is a limited series airing on HBO MAX.  It's a thriller and it lives up to that name.  Jamie Dornan has never been more appealing or skilled than as the amnesiac Elliot Stanley who can't remember anything but knows someone is trying to kill him.  The entire cast is excellent but talent demands that Shalom Brune-Franklin especially be noted.  Jamie is a talented actor whose looks sometimes distract from that fact.  THE TOURIST continues his upward trajectory and is a solid follow up to last year's high points in drama (BELFAST) and comedy (BARB AND STAR GO TO VISTA DEL MAR).

Back when Jamie was on ONCE UPON  TIME on ABC, I really did like him.  I didn't care for the show and couldn't stay focused enough to follow the storylines.  But my friend Maggie loved it and she knew I'd pay attention when Jamie was on.  He was a sexy man.

I didn't see 50 SHADES OF FAUX SEXY.  I'm just not into the movies where it's the woman getting spanked.  I'm sorry, I've never wanted to be spanked and I've never been spanked.  But about 1/3 of the guys I've been with have wanted me to spank them.  In most cases, it's the men wanting to be spanked.  If Jamie had been spanked in those movies, I would've watched.

But I heard about THE TOURIST from Ava adnd C.I. before they wrote their piece so I made a point to watch it Sunday.

You should watch it.

It's good.  And Jamie's good.

Jamie's also so sexy in a t-shirt.  We don't get to see hims shirtless enough in the series.  But even with that t-shirt on -- and just three or four tufts of chest hair sticking up through the front collar -- he's so unbelievably sexy.  

Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

 Monday, March 7, 2022    Black Alliance for Peace issues a statement regarding Russia and Ukraine while Hillary Clinton spews hate at Russia, another woman is murdered in Iraq, the political stalemat continues, and much more.

In 2020, Joe Biden was a candidate for the Democrats Party primary.  Then, still 2020, he became the nominee.  In both cases, he was full of how he was going to take on COVID 19 and how Donald Trump was doing it wrong and how blah blah blah.

He did nothing to address the issues.  In fact, he did far less.  At least people got a tiny bit of money when Donald Trump was president.  (The checks Joe signed upon being sworn in as president were supposed to have gone out weeks prior but Nancy Pelosi stalled them so Donald wouldn't get credit -- that's "We fee them!" Nancy)

A complete and utter failure, Joe Biden is now using war on Russia to distract from his failure to provide leadership on COVID.  All he did was what Donald had done and as proof of the carry over, he kept the idiot and liar Anthony Fauci on in the same position.

Add to that the inflation that so many outside the bubble are dealing with and Joe needs a villain, something to push the hatred off on and distract from his impotecny.  

What better way than to attack the Russian people and whip up hatred towards them.  Enter Hillary Clinton.  What did Dana Milbank calle her in 2008?  Mad dog bitch?  Something like that.  

Well she's living up to that these days.  She can't stop frothing at the mouth about how the Russian people need to suffer as she tries to inflate hatred and stir things up.  She really needs to be retired from public life.  A known liar who used Russia as an excuse for her own failures to campaing properly in 2016, she's never been about women except for those named Hillary Clinton.  In the 90s, she attacked the women who came forward -- just as she had attacked a rape victim on the stand prior to that.  She attacked the women and showing that she didn't know what she was talking about -- a common occurence for Hillary -- she said if she could get those women on the stand, she would rip them apart because their stories had changed.  As we all know -- all of us except Hillary-- victims stories can change.  

She looks like the man she always wanted to be these days.  Ugly, angry, spewing hate.

She's a failure as a politician and she's a fialure as a woman.  Remember the late Eliabeth Edwards had words about that.  (Before they bit Elizabeth in her ass.)

Where she or Chelsea get off making public statements is amazing.  The only thing we need to hear from either is how do you embrace Bill Clinton when you know he raped Juanita Broaddrick?

Corporate media is to blame as well.  They know she has no humanity, they know she has no decency, yet they put her on the air.  Present her as an expert.  On how to lose an election?  On how to destroy Iraq?  On how to pretend like everyone's not laughing at you over the fact that your husband repeatedly cheats on you -- to this day, cheast on you?

Exactly what is her accomplishment?  Office holder?  SHe certainly never accomplished anything to brag of in any office.

Fat, short and ugly to this day, I guess I can give her credit for taming those awful eye brows after she became First Lady.

Don't see how that makes her an expert on the world, but okay?

She wants people close to Vladimir Putin to step in?  I'm sure that Putin, like Hillary herself, has no friends.

She has lackeys.  She lost a number of them with the 2008 campaing.  First by blaming some women while she was campaigning for the nomination and then by blaming them even more after she lost the nomination.  

Hillary is neither attractive nor smart.  It takes a real idiot to think you can whisper insults to the press and it won't get back to the women that the omments came from Hillary.  Especially when some of the women are married to members of the press.

Her 2016 campaign -- dull and insispid with Hillary trying to out-Barack Barack himself -- was all about the men.  It was doomed before it started.

Now this failure, whose most important 'accomplishement' was taking part in the war on Iraq that destroyed Iraq wants to share what she thinks is insight?

Black Alliance for Peace notes:

Within large sectors of the U.S. left, including many elements of the Black left, there is widespread confusion related to the Ukraine “crisis.” Years of anti-Russia propaganda from the U.S. and its NATO allies, and the tendency to abstract the current Ukrainian situation from its historical and geo-strategic context, have created a climate of confusion. This climate has played into the hands of state propagandists and Democratic Party activists eager to use the Ukraine situation to deflect attention from Biden’s disastrous domestic agenda. 

The situation with Ukraine did not just fall out of the sky in 2021. It has a long history.

Here are some points to frame how we should engage this issue:

  1. Ukraine is a manufactured crisis. That is, the stand-off between the U.S./ NATO forces and the Russian Federation with the Ukrainians, including the Ukrainians in the Eastern portion of Ukraine (that the media refers to as “pro-Russia separatists”), did not evolve organically but was the result of conscious decisions on the part of the Biden Administration. Less than two months after taking office there were indications that the Biden Administration was signaling to the Ukrainian government that it would support efforts to reincorporate the eastern region (Donbas) by force. This is why we reject any obscurantist references to the “both sides are to blame” position that we see in various statements from peace and anti-war groups. To be clear: this is not a “pro-Russia” position, but an objective assessment of the dynamics of the situation. 

  2. The U.S./EU/NATO Axis of Domination. We see NATO as a criminal military structure whose only purpose is providing the military/material basis for the maintenance and extension of the U.S./EU/NATO Axis of Domination (white power). As a structure of white colonial power, NATO was essential in supporting colonial powers in Africa, including the Portuguese in their military struggles to maintain their colonial holdings in Africa during the initial wave of anti-colonial struggles on the continent. The Obama/Biden administration also used NATO for their attack on Libya in 2011, resulting in the destruction of the most prosperous and revolutionary state on the continent. All peace loving people should call for the dismantling of NATO. 

  3. Ukraine and U.S. Doctrine of “Full Spectrum Dominance.” While the focus on Ukraine is of utmost importance, we must also recognize the bipartisan commitment to the U.S. national security strategy of “Full Spectrum Dominance” and its utilization of a “military-first” strategy to achieve continued U.S. global dominance. For example, troops trained by the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) have been involved in nine coups d’etat in the thirteen years that AFRICOM has operated on the continent. Therefore, unlike a number of peace and anti-war groups that abstract Ukraine from that context, we argue that the coup in Ukraine and the attempt to create the conditions for the expansion of NATO into Ukraine must be seen as just one aspect of U.S. imperialist strategy. It is the concrete, material interests of imperialism that drives U.S. policies and is, therefore,  why it must be defined as such and vigorously opposed by all anti-imperialists. 

For African peoples, the U.S./EU/NATO Axis of Domination represents the greatest threat to peace, human rights, and social justice on the planet today. It is absurd for any African to embrace the agenda of empire by giving credence or legitimacy to the crude mobilization of public opinion for conflict on behalf of NATO and the white supremacist, colonial/capitalist project. 

  1. Ukraine reflects the continuous right-wing nature of European and European American politics. In a 2018 article in The Nation, Stephen Cohen detailed the social and political impacts of the 2014 right-wing coup in Ukraine: 

…storm troop-like assaults on gays, Jews, elderly ethnic Russians, and other “impure” citizens are widespread throughout Kiev-ruled Ukraine, along with torchlight marches reminiscent of those that eventually inflamed Germany in the late 1920s and 1930s. And that the police and official legal authorities do virtually nothing to prevent these neofascist acts or to prosecute them. On the contrary, Kiev has officially encouraged them by systematically rehabilitating and even memorializing Ukrainian collaborators with Nazi German extermination pogroms and their leaders during World War II, renaming streets in their honor, building monuments to them, rewriting history to glorify them, and more. 

This is the nature of the government in Ukraine that the Biden Administration along with the corporate press, deranged Black people, and a confused left are supporting.  

Below is an alternative set of facts and analyses related to the Ukraine crisis, a “crisis” deliberately generated to divert attention away from the Biden’s administration inability to provide capitalist stability. 

The unfolding of events in Ukraine that are relevant for Africans

  1. The full responsibility for the dangerous crisis unfolding in Ukraine has its genesis in the illegal policies of the U.S./EU/NATO “Axis of Domination” beginning in 2014. As the Black Alliance for Peace reported, it was clear even from statements attributed to Obama officials that, “During the latter part of 2013 until February 2014, the Obama/Biden administration gave material support and encouragement to anti-democratic right-wing elements in Ukraine to execute ‘regime change.’” Therefore, the U.S. was deeply implicated in the coup of February 2014 that overthrew the democratically elected president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych. 

  2. The coup government was infected with Ukrainian ultra-nationalists and with political ties to literal fascists such as the “Right Sector” and the Azov battalions. The coup plunged Ukraine into crisis because substantial sectors of Ukrainian society did not support it, especially sections of predominantly Russian speaking Ukrainian citizens in the Eastern portions of the nation. Those Ukrainian citizens rejected the legitimacy of the coup government and began to voice support for independence from the neo-Nazi government that took power.  The response from the illegal coup regime was to label its own citizens “terrorists” and attack the Eastern portions of the country militarily. In other words, they attacked their own citizens – a crime that the Obama administration pretended was the excuse for U.S. subversion in Syria. 

  3. The Azov Battalion played a major combat role in the attacks by the coup government against Ukrainian citizens who opposed the coup. The Azov Battalion is avowedly “partially” pro-Nazi, as evidenced by its regalia, slogans, and programmatic statements, and as well-documented as such by several international monitoring organizations. The Azov Battalion was incorporated into the National Guards of Ukraine, the armed forces of the Ukrainian state, and today is reported to be being trained by U.S. Special Forces.

  4. After suffering military defeats at the hands of the peoples in Eastern Ukraine that had subsequently declared themselves independent of the coup government, an agreement between Donbas and the coup government was arrived at that became known as the Minsk II agreement. Terms of the agreement included a commitment to a ceasefire along with relative autonomy for Donbas (Eastern Ukraine). The agreement avoided all-out war and provided a degree of “stability” until the Biden administration came back to power. 

Back in power, Biden and the Democrats who have now reclaimed the mantle of the party of war, began to encourage Ukraine authorities to ignore the Minsk II agreement and to forcefully retake control of Donbas. Even more dangerously, the U.S. and some European powers began to indicate that Ukraine might be invited to become a member of NATO. If Ukraine becomes a member of NATO, this could allow a nuclear armed NATO to be positioned right on the borders of Russia. Russia is rightly concerned about this security risk at its border. 

The Black Radical Position on the Situation in Ukraine 

NATO is an illegitimate aggressive structure in the service of Western imperialism and does not deserve any support from African/Black and colonized people. Moreover, all social forces committed to peace should demand that NATO be dismantled. The Ukrainian crisis is yet another example of the delusional policies being pursued by U.S. rulers unable to accept the changed circumstances in the world today that limit their ability to impose their interests on peoples and nations without consequences. 

As an African people involved in an existential battle in the U.S. against rightist forces, from the Trump/Republican supporters to the warmongering neoliberal Democrats, with both committed to global “Full Spectrum Dominance” (white power), it would be an affront to our history and people to enter this struggle on the side of empire and NATO.  


BAP Demands:

1. All parties to the conflict adhere to the provisions reflected in the Minsk agreement

2. Instead of the arbitrary and illegal activities of the United States and NATO, the Ukrainian situation should be moved to the United Nations Security Council, the only body by international law tasked with the responsibility to address international threats to peace.

3. That NATO, a structure for advancing the interests of white supremacy and the U.S. empire be dismantled.

4. The U.S. government renounce its commitment to the doctrine of global “Full Spectrum Dominance.”

Select Resources from BAP and BAP members:

BAP Press Release: Black Alliance For Peace took a strong stance on the escalating situation in Ukraine. “Black Alliance for Peace Condemns the Policies of the U.S./EU/NATO Axis of Domination in Ukraine”

Ajamu Baraka, Ukraine: What Does it Have to Do with Black Folks?

BAP Press Release: Ukraine: Biden Administration’s “Wag the Dog” Diversionary War?:

Interview Ajamu Baraka on Ukraine: Unmasking Imperialism Hosted by Ramiro Sebastián Fúnez. 

Margaret Kimberley: Ukraine and War Propaganda

Ajamu Baraka, National Organizer of the Black Alliance for Peace joined “By Any Means Necessary” to discuss the ongoing issues in Ukraine and its meaning for Black people in the US.

Salifu Mack, Erica Caines, Biden-Harris and the Never-Ending Commitment to War and Terror:

Charisse Burden-Stelly, “Against the Triple Evils: The Biden’s Administrations Affront to Dr. King’s Legacy



Margaret Kimberley: Russia Wins 

Glen Ford: Hillary and Other Assorted Barbarians at Russia’s Gate

Ajamu Baraka: The Story of Charlottesville Was Written in Blood in The Ukraine

Interview: Ajamu and Phil Wilatyo - A Voice From The Margins - US Foreign Policy in Ukraine and Eastern Europe

Additional Information:  

Estonia and Latvia are NATO member states; they are both on Russia’s border. Estonia would be the closest to Saint Petersburg. See the map here and look at number 24, that is Estonia and the little inlet just north > that is where Saint Petersburg is.

US propaganda is inflating the supposed 100,000 troops that Russia has on Ukraine’s border but doesn’t talk about the 3.5 million personnel that NATO has in Europe

NATO and Africa: 

In his 1966 book Challenge of the Congo, Kwame Nkrumah writes: Foreign powers already have military bases in various, strategically important parts of our continent. There are in Africa at present, seventeen air bases owned and operated by individual members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). There are nine naval bases encircling the continent from the north coast of Africa right round the south coast to the east. There are foreign military missions, for example in Kenya, Morocco, Liberia, Libya, South Africa, Senegal and Ivory Coast. Furthermore, they possess three rocket sites, and an atomic testing range in North Africa. There are mines being exploited for the production of raw materials for the manufacture of nuclear weapons. Some of these mines are situated in the Congo, Angola, South Africa, Mozambique and Rhodesia. In the context of of the imperialist plan to prevent Africa from achieving complete political and economic independence and an All-African Union Government, these foreign military bases present a serious threat to the African revolutionary struggle.” (p. xi)

Walter Rodney was even more explicit on how NATO moved into Africa as part of the efforts to shift colonial power from the traditional European powers to the new colonial hegemon - the United States of America. 

Rodney accurately describes the early foundation of colonial Africa’s relationship with NATO which continues today when he said in How Europe Underdeveloped Africa: “Adding to the regular bases in long established colonies, the imperialist powers were able to set up military installations in African territories which fell into their hands during the war. In this context, the USA was particularly important, because it was already the principal buttress of the capitalist defense system in the form of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Thus, after helping to recapture North Africa from the fascist, the United States was able to build major air-force bases in Morocco, and Libya. In Italian Eritrea, the Americans stepped in with modern radar stations; and Ethiopia conceded military bases.” (p. 198)


AFRICOM is actually a direct product of NATO via EUCOM (US European command) because EUCOM is a component part of NATO and EUCOM originally included responsibility for 42 African states. In 2003 NATO started expanding; four years later the EUCOM commander proposed the creation of AFRICOM in 2007. James L. Jones Jr. explains how he came to make the proposal for AFRICOM from his position as commander of EUCOM as well as commander of operational forces of NATO here.

As previously mentioned regarding NATO’s relationship with OAU states, the policy of NATO “partnering” with African states to achieve its goals has continued with the establishment of the AU. The AU has partnered with NATO/AFRICOM missions regarding “anti-piracy,” military training, operational support, etc. in Somalia, and spearheaded missions in Sudan & Gulf of Guinea.

The US/NATO role in the destruction of Libya in 2011 is important to highlight because it offers some important lessons. First, US imperialism and its western lackies do not accept any country that decides to be an independent force outside of its sphere of influence. Secondly, it also demonstrates how NATO can work hand in hand with other US/western dominated world structures like the UN. In 2011 the UN (resolution 1973) gave political authorization for a “no Fly zone” and blockade of Libya to reportedly “protect” the citizens which ultimately resulted the destruction of the country. It shows that although US-led NATO often uses the UN for political cover, it has no problem illegally overstepping its UN mandate to commit its crimes against humanity and achieve its regime change goals. Even a few countries that abstained from the UN vote like China said they did so not to offend the reactionary Arab league AND the African Union which approved of the resolution. This shows cooperation between NATO, UN the AU, and the Arab League.

The book The Illegal War on Libya edited by Cynthia McKinney, includes the chapter titled “NATO’s Libya War, A Nuremberg Level Crime” in which Stephen Ledman writes: “The US-led NATO war on Libya will be remembered as one of history’s greatest crimes, violating the letter and spirit of international law and America’s Constitution. The Nuremberg Tribunal’s Chief Justice Robert Jackson (a supreme court justice) called Nazi war crimes ‘the supreme international crime against peace.’ Here are his November 21, 1945 opening remarks:

The wrongs which we seek to condemn and punish have been so calculated, so malignant, and so devastating, that civilization cannot tolerate their being ignored, because it cannot survive their being repeated.”  Jackson called aggressive war “the greatest menace of our times.” International law defines crimes against peace as “planning, preparation, initiation, or waging of wars of aggression, or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances, or participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the foregoing.

All US post-WWII wars fall under this definition. Since then, America has waged direct and proxy premeditated, aggressive wars worldwide. It has killed millions in East and Central Asia, North and other parts of Africa, the Middle East, and Europe, as well as in Central and South America.” (p. 79)

Some quotations from Horace Campbell’s book Global NATO and the Catastrophic Failure in Libya: Lessons for Africa in the Forging of African Unity are instructive for understanding the expansion of NATO, its aggression toward Russia, and its role in Africa generally, and Libya particularly:

“The NATO operation [in Libya] exposed the reality that in the current depression there will be massive use of force by Western corporations to remain competitive. These corporate entities have decided to go beyond structural adjustment ‘reforms’ and have taken a military stand in Africa. There were also commentators who perceived the Libyan intervention as a proxy war with China. War and revolution in North Africa have opened a new period in the history of Africa.” (p. 30)

“Russia opposed the expansion of NATO, claiming that this was a military alliance to encircle Russia by extending its membership to include former members of the Warsaw Pact… NATO expanded under President Clinton to protect ‘globalized’ capital, and it was in this period of expansion that NATO jumped from twelve members to sixteen, then to nineteen, then to twenty-six by 2004 and to twenty-eight members by 2009. Despite vocal opposition from Russia, the discussion of expanding NATO now proceeded to the idea of Global NATO…” (p. 40)

“Africa remained outside the orbit of this globalized NATO because memories of the anti-apartheid struggles were too fresh in Africa, especially southern Africa. Soon after the end of apartheid, the government of the United States proposed an African Crisis Response initiative. Nelson Mandela was among the first to vigorously oppose this planned military force in Africa. For the next eight years, U.S. diplomatic efforts were geared toward ensnaring individual states into a military network dominated by the United States. Hiding behind the guise of humanitarian relief, in 2004 the United States announced the formation of the African Contingency Operations Training and Assistance program. The ostensive purpose of ACOTA was to train military trainers and equip African national militaries to conduct peace support operations. Less than four years later, the United States launched a new initiative, the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM). This new military force for Africa was rejected by even the most servile allies of the United States. There was only one country that, in public, promised basing privileges for AFRICOM. This was Liberia.” (pp. 40-41)

“Africans could see through the duplicity of the humanitarian imperialism of NATO in the genocide in Rwanda and the NATO operations in the Balkans. In 1994, the United States took the lead in opposing the United Nations intervention to stop the genocide in Rwanda. In 1999, NATO bombed Kosovo for over seventy-nine days as it gave itself a new mission to expand U.S. military power right up to Moscow’s doorstep.” (p. 43)

NATO continues its training of African forces

The July 2018 NATO Summit has solidified the geopolitical climate for a NATO-led training mission to the DRC, aimed at the ‘protection of civilians’ through the development of the DRC security forces. See article “Crisis In The Congo: A New Role For NATO’s Southern Hub 

This is related to the current role of AFRICOM in the DRC today. See article, ”Backed by AFRICOM, corporations plunder DR Congo for “climate-friendly” materials and blame China”

Further reading:

As Secretary of State, Hillary refused to highlight the obstacles for women in Iraq.  She even refused -- begged by friends -- to include them in a major speech she gave on women -- a speech that noted pretty much every country.  Maybe that's why the western press loves her so much?  They enjoy ignoring Iraqi women as well.  The attacks and assaults on women have been increasing and the western media can't find the story as usual.  Layal Shakir (RUDAW) reports:

Another woman was found dead in the Kurdish capital late Sunday night, less than two days before International Women’s Day.

Amid a spike of women killings in the Kurdistan Region, Eman Sami Maghdid, 20, was murdered by unknown assailants on Erbil’s 100 meters street, Erbil’s police department said early Monday.

The police did not disclose any details regarding the perpetrator or perpetrators, or how she was killed.

Known as Mari, Sami was a well-known TikToker with a platform of over 47,000 followers, many of whom have expressed outrage at the news of her death. 

Coming from a conservative society, Mari’s social media photos and videos rebelled against the community’s narratives. She published photos with cigarettes in her hands, videos where she expressed herself out loud, and images wearing crop tops - actions seen as lethal and looked down upon by the majority of the Kurdish community.

Twenty-year-old Eman Sami Maghdid was found dead in Erbil on Sunday, less than two days before International Women’s Day. According to statistics by the Directorate of Combatting Violence against Women, 24 women were killed in the Region in the past year.

In other news, ALJAZEERA notes the ongoing corruption in the Iraqi government.


Bribing public officials, paying kick-backs to fixers, and financing slush funds. What reads like an indictment of some prolific crime syndicate is in reality a summary of the recent allegations of misconduct levelled at telecom giant Ericsson and its actions in Iraq.

For the last few weeks, Ericsson has been hard at work to stem the reputational bleeding. In a recent interview given to the financial publication Dagens Industry, CEO Börje Ekholm appeared to come clean by admitting that payments intended to secure access to transport routes may have gone to “terrorist organisations, including ISIS”.

However, more revelations from an investigation conducted by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) – the ‘Ericsson List’ – have ensured that the spotlight remains firmly on the Swedish telecom firm. Having analysed leaked internal company documents, the ICIJ established that the payments referenced by Mr. Ekholm, amounting to around $171,000, were in reality bribes paid to ISIS militants.

In response to these most recent revelations, the US Department of Justice (DoJ) notified Ericsson on Wednesday that they breached the terms of their Deferred Prosecution Agreement for a second time. News of the DoJ’s move further fanned the flames of the crisis engulfing the company, whose stock value plummeted by around 13% in a single day.

In the corrupt state, the political stalemate continues.  RUDAW reports:

Iraqi parliament voted on Saturday to reopen registration for presidential candidates days after the country’s federal court called off a similar decision by the legislature. 

Iraq held parliamentary elections on October 10 but the political parties failed to elect a president for the country on time due to strong rivalry between Kurdistan Region’s ruling parties over the position. After the Federal Supreme Court removed the Kurdistan Democratic Party’s (KDP) candidate Hoshyar Zebari last month over corruption allegations, the parliament presidency reopened doors for candidates. This time, the KDP fielded the Region’s interior minister Reber Ahmed but the same court ruled on Tuesday the reopening of registration “unconstitutional” on the grounds that the decision was not made by majority of MPs but by the parliamentary speaker.  

The parliament convened on Saturday. The session was attended by 265 MPs, according to a statement by the legislature which added that 203 MPs voted in favour of the reopening of registration for presidential candidates. 

The registration begins on Sunday, lasting for three day, the parliament said later. 

The following sites updated: