Thought for the day

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Rockets have landed in Baghdad’s Green Zone, home to government buildings and foreign missions, for the second day in a row, breaking weeks of calm.

No one has claimed responsibility for the four missiles fired from the east of the capital on Thursday morning, and there were no reported casualties, local police officers said.

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The resignations of the 73 MPs of the Sadrist bloc were illegal and it was not within the Iraqi parliament speaker’s authority to authorise them, the parliament's legal advisor has ruled.

According to a letter sent to parliament by legal advisor Muhammad al-Ghazi, and seen by Middle East Eye, the MPs’ resignations did not follow the necessary processes, therefore the Sadrists are still MPs.

 Four Katyusha rockets landed in Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone government area Wednesday, wounding four security officers, Iraqi state news reported.

The rockets landed as parliament voted to keep Speaker Mohammed Halbousi on the job, rejecting his resignation request. Halbousi was originally named a candidate for the post by parliamentarians backed by influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. Al-Sadr’s 73 lawmakers resigned last June to protest the political deadlock.

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Although the porous Iraqi-Syrian border stretches for over 600 kilometers, about half of it – in practice – is not subject to the authority of either state. Over the years, this lack of comprehensive border control has given rise to a number of security threats to both nations, not least the persistent presence of ISIS elements in border regions.

The head of Iraq’s Asaeb Ahl al-Haq resistance group, Qais al-Khazali, announced on 23 September that the Coordination Framework (CF) agreed to hold early elections in show of good faith to the movement led by cleric Moutada al-Sadr, a prominent rival of the CF.

“For the return of the Sadrist bloc’s deputies, there is no solution without early elections,” Khazali said, noting that “the CF is ready to respond to all the Sadrist movement logical demands and does not want to exclude the latter.”

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“The government doesn’t care, they are useless, and political parties are fighting for power for themselves,” said Nada, aged 27, over a coffee in Baghdad’s Karrada district, reflecting on the past few tumultuous weeks – and years – of Iraq’s political crisis. “We have nothing to lose any more,” she added, referring to youth-led demonstrations. “We need to be braver … we need to wake up, no one speaks for us anyway.”

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Israel offers cyber aid to Albania, which severed Iran ties over hacking claim MikeRivero Wed, 09/14/2022 - 09:18

Israel offered cyber defense assistance to Albania on Monday, days after the Balkan state severed its diplomatic ties with Iran, citing accusations that the Islamic Republic carried out cyberattacks against the country in July.

Deputy Foreign Minister Idan Roll met with Albanian Foreign Minister Olta Xhacka on the sidelines of the Conference on Shaping Feminist Foreign Policy in Berlin, where he “offered to share our knowledge and experience in cyber defense” and “expressed Israel’s appreciation” for Tirana’s decision to kick out Iran’s diplomats, he said in a tweet.

Tony Blair, War Criminal Who Has Escaped Justice MikeRivero Tue, 09/06/2022 - 07:51

The phrase ‘elected dictatorship’ was coined by Lord Hailsham, a respected Tory Lord Chancellor, to mean that, once elected, a British government could do more or less as it pleased.

But Hailsham can surely have had no idea of how far Tony Blair would go.

The first question we should ask ourselves is how this man was able, in the world’s oldest and most revered parliamentary democracy, to override the constitutional checks and balances about which we were taught at school, and do virtually what he wanted.