This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
The young Iraqi woman using that pseudonym was sentenced early this month to half a year behind bars for the light-hearted video clips that show her in tight-fitting clothes.
A new government campaign aims to cleanse social media platforms of content that breaches Iraqi "mores and traditions", the interior ministry announced in January.
A specialised committee now scours TikTok, YouTube and other popular platforms for clips deemed offensive by many in the largely conservative and patriarchal society.
A few days later, another TikTokeuse – under the pseudonym of Assal Hossam – was sentenced to two years in prison, for videos in which she showed off her forms, sometimes dressed in a military uniform.
A total of ten people have been arrested for decadent content, according to an official from the Ministry of the Interior, who wants to keep the Ministry of Interior. anonymity. Via a platform set up by the authorities, 96,000 reports were sent by the general public, according to the same source.
Six verdicts have already been pronounced in these cases, according to justice.
And in Amarah, southern Iraq, an investigative judge recently heard from four minor social media celebrities, suspected of offending the public morals and indecent assault, says a statement from the Supreme Judicial Council.
On Wednesday, February 8, 2023, the Karkh Misdemeanor Court issued prison sentences against content creator Hassan Sajma and content creator Ghufran Mahdi Sawadi, known as "Umm Fahd", on charges of "bad content" by "publishing several films and videos containing obscene and indecent statements and displaying them to the public on social networking sites".
Sajma was sentenced to two years in prison, and Umm Fahd to six months' imprisonment based on the provisions of Article 403 of the Penal Code No. 111 of 1969, as amended, which stipulates that "Any person who produces, imports, publishes, possesses, obtains or translates a book, printed or other written material, drawing, picture, film, symbol or other thing that violates the public integrity or decency with intent to exploit or distribute such material is punishable by a period of detention not exceeding 2 years plus a fine not exceeding 200 dinars or by one of those penalties. The same penalty applies to any person who advertises such material or displays it in public or sells, hires or offers it for sale or hire even though it is not in public or to any person who distributes or submits it for distribution by any means. If the offense is committed with intent to deprave and corrupt morals, it is considered to be an aggravating circumstances."
At the same time, the head of Iraq's Supreme Judicial Council, Faiq Zidan, directed "general deterrence" by taking strict legal measures against anyone who publishes content that "offends public decency and constitutes immoral practices."
Don't they have better things to than try to attack content creators and censor? Aren't there a ton of corrupt officials who should be standing before judges right now for having ripped off millions each year from the Iraqi people?
Or is this what that's really about? Create some nonsense like this to distract from just how awful the elected officials are? Oh, look, it's Tara Reade's little friend Marjorie Taylor Greene. Little? Honey, anyone who Tara stands next to is going to look little. Alex Bollinger (LGBTQ NATION) reports:
Out Rep. George Santos (R-NY) and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) are cosponsoring a bill that could restrict students’ access to books that discuss LGBTQ+ themes.
Santos is one of 11 out LGBTQ+ members of the House of Representatives and the only one advancing an anti-LGBTQ+ equality agenda. The other 10 LGBTQ+ House members are Democrats.
Does Tara not realize that her erotic Putin fan fiction might get banned by her new friend Marjorie -- the woman she can't stop reTweeting?
Tara's too busy snacking between, before and during meals to think about it too much and besides she's about to be on stage shortly at the faux fest that is RAGE AGAINST THE WAR MACHINE. Joseph Kishore (WSWS) serves up some reality about that nonsense:
The demonstration being held in Washington D.C. on February 19, under the headline “Rage Against the War Machine,” is opposed to a socialist and genuinely anti-war perspective. Based on the most shortsighted, pragmatic and opportunistic calculations, this event promotes an alliance and collaboration with the political right and even openly fascistic forces.
The primary organizers of the rally are the Libertarian Party, led by Angela McArdle, and the “People’s Party,” led by Nick Brana.
The platform of the right-wing Libertarian Party is the demand for the full and unrestrained right of the capitalists to exploit the working class. It is virulently opposed not only to socialism, but to all social reforms. One of the main speakers at the rally is the former Libertarian Party candidate for president, Ron Paul, who has advocated the elimination of income taxes, minimum wage laws, unemployment insurance and Social Security.
Angela McArdle is a member of the “Mises Caucus” of the Libertarian Party. Named after the fanatically anti-socialist economist Ludwig von Mises, this faction virulently upholds the absolute right of private property.
Under the direction of McArdle and the “Mises Caucus”, the Libertarians have made a more direct orientation to the fascist right and the anti-Semitic groups involved in the 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. In early 2021, McArdle defended the invitation of an anti-Semitic provocateur to the Mises Caucus convention in California, writing that a “truth-seeker” who asks “the question about whether or not Jews run Hollywood” is not an anti-Semite.
The “People’s Party” originated in the “Movement for a People’s Party” (MPP), which held its inaugural convention in August 2020. Its purpose, indicated in its name, is to oppose the organization of the working class as an independent political force. The specific social identity and interests of the working class are dissolved into the amorphous category of “the people.” The program of the “People’s Party” is nationalistic and anti-socialist. The WSWS called attention at the time to the MPP’s orientation to the far right, which has in the intervening two-and-a-half years exploded to the surface.
The Libertarians and the People’s Party have, for their own purposes, assembled an assortment of “left” speakers to participate in the rally. They includes comedian Jimmy Dore and the editor-in-chief of The Grayzone, Max Blumenthal. Both Dore and Blumenthal have previously promoted an alliance with the far right forces that oppose all critical health measures to stop the COVID-19 pandemic. The have downplayed the significance of the January 6 coup. Dore’s response to the coup was to promote an alliance with the fascistic Boogaloo Boys militia.
While oriented to the far right, the rally also draws upon many of the conceptions of the Stalinist Popular Front and the subordination of political opposition to the Democratic Party. This is represented by figures such as former Democratic Party presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich and Green Party politicians Jill Stein and Cynthia McKinney. Also speaking is former Democratic Party Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, who is currently an active lieutenant colonel in the US Army.
The most putrid element of the rally is the direct involvement of fascists. Among the featured speakers is Jackson Hinkle, a supporter of Trump and promoter of “MAGA Communism,” who has said it is his aim to “finish the job of Donald Trump” by “uprooting liberalism from America and getting rid of the globalists out of the MAGA movement.” Another participant is Jordan Page, a libertarian who in 2015 wrote the fascist “Oath Keeper” anthem, entitled “Arm Yourselves.”
Given the far-right element at the rally, several groups refused to participate, including Veterans for Peace and Code Pink.
Pacifist columnist and author Chris Hedges, who will also be speaking at the rally, attempts to legitimize and defend his own participation in a statement published on his Substack this week, “There Are No Permanent Allies, Only Permanent Power.”
Hedges is known as a radical critic of American imperialism. Heavily influenced by Noam Chomsky and substituting middle-class moralizing for scientific political analysis, Hedges rejects Marxism and is implacably hostile to the “Trotskyites,” an element of his politics that has become ever more explicit. His writings are characterized by a demoralized, even obsessive, pessimism, and explicit opposition to the organization of the working class as an independent political force. He is not necessarily opposed to working class participation in a popular movement, but only in a subordinate political role. This has now led him to calling for and legitimizing a completely unprincipled and reactionary alliance with the far right.
According to Hedges, “We will not topple corporate power and the war machine alone. There has to be a left-right coalition, which will include people whose opinions are not only unpalatable but even repugnant, or we will remain marginalized and ineffectual.” Not only is it politically permissible to forge an alliance with the extreme right, Hedges insists, it is a necessity, a “fact of political life.”
Hedges argues that it is possible to build a movement against war in alliance with the far right in isolation from any other social or political issue.
“The rally on February 19 is not about eliminating Social Security and Medicare or abolishing the minimum wage, which many libertarians propose,” he writes. “It is not a rally to denounce the rights of the LGBTQ community, which have been attacked by at least one of the speakers. It is a rally to end permanent war. Should these right-wing participants organize around other issues, I will be on the other side of the barricades.”
How does one begin to unpack all this political nonsense?
Hedge’s assertion that legitimizing the claim of these far-right forces to be opposed to war in no way aids their anti-democratic and anti-working class social and political agenda is a political absurdity. Of course it helps the political right. The presence of Hedges and others claiming to be on the left assists the right-wing organizers in disorienting and deceiving workers and young people and provides a false “progressive” cover for their reactionary politics. Whtever his private intentions, Hedges’ public message is that the right wing Libertarians and the fascists are really not so bad, they have their good sides, and one can find common ground with them.
Hedge’s claim that he would be “on the other side of the barricades” should his far-right collaborators “organize around other issues” is theatrical demagogy pure sophistry. When his present right-wing friends combine their criticism of the Ukraine with American nationalism, anti-Semitism, rejection of even marginal social reforms, promotion of anti-vaccination madness, and other utterly reactionary policies, what are they doing if not “organizing around other issues?”
We took on Chris yesterday and I called him out but also noted he had done many things worth applauding. The failure to offer blind worship has offended a number of drive-by e-mailers. Some think I was much too hard on Chris.
Because what I could have done -- and maybe should -- is this.
That's from WILL & GRACE, episode "24" written by Gail Lerner, Kari Lizer, Jhoni Marchinko, Tracy Poust, Jon Kinnally and Bill Wrubel. Via DURFEE.NET, here's the part to emphasize from the above.
JACK: You must be dying!
[JACK CLAPS HIS HANDS TOGETHER.]
[KAREN AND WILL LAUGH.]
JACK: Aren't you dying?! Your husband is going to Guatemala with that! I would die!
KAREN: I know! That bod! She could be in a Whitesnake video! Whoo!
JACK: Just! die!
WILL: That is some lucky flesh-eating virus that gets her.
ROSARIO: What is she a doctor of? Foxology?
[EVERYONE BUT GRACE LAUGHS.]
JACK: [CLAPPING] Die! Die! Die!
GRACE: Okay! I get it! She's gorgeous and she saves lives, big whoop. I look good sometimes. And I let people cut in front of me in line at the supermarket. Well, I haven't, but I've thought of it.
WILL: Come on, Gracie. You have nothing to worry about.
GRACE: I know that! I'm very secure in my relationship. I love my husband, and I know that he loves me.
JACK: I would die!
And one more time, if you're throwing the party, it's incumbent upon you to do the invites. People you haven't invited aren't supposed to be calling you up and saying, "Hear you're having a party is it okay for me to invite myself." The lack of diversity in your guests is a reflection solely on the choices you made. You can't turn around now and blame others. Own your damn actions. Pathetic.