Monday, April 13, 2020

Truest statement of the week

But Sanders has slunk out of the fight for the nomination in a manner that invites contempt. There was nothing of an old fighter’s last hurrah. The aged senator did not even offer his supporters a last harrumph. Rather, he meekly accepted the verdict of the Democratic Party machine and sang the praises of his “old friend” Joe Biden. And so, Sanders’ political revolution ended not with a final roar of defiance, but with a whimper of unctuous flattery.

-- Eric London, "The end of Sanders’ campaign deepens crisis in Democratic Socialists of America" (WSWS).

Truest statement of the week II

Bernie was staggeringly passive; he let one opportunity after another go whizzing past with weak responses, if any, in the face of a growing Democratic resurgence determined to destroy him. His silences emboldened the corporate centrists, and confused supporters, who thought he would take the huge advantage they gave him and surge forth, brandishing fury and determination. Instead, he endlessly equivocated.
I have to own my part in this: I was stunned in 2016 when he said Hillary was right and that nobody cares about her damn emails. From the beginning I saw him back down. Everything since then has been consistent: he never went full tilt. He wanted to be loved more than being right at all costs. He was able to be loved again, and forgiven again, and able to let us down again. Yet I went along with it; I still worked on his behalf.
Despite his recent abdication (and, for some of us, his serial betrayal) Bernie Sanders will be remembered fondly, and he will likely be forgiven by the majority of his followers. Jacobin Magazine has written an article entitled “Thank You, Bernie,” making the case that Sanders two campaigns have made it possible to talk about socialism in America. It’s now okay apparently that he will be endorsing and campaigning for Joe Biden, who shamed Anita Hill and is now shaming Tara Reade. I have lived to witness the day this has happened. It is not a joke.

-- Laurie Dobson, "Another Sanders Betrayal" (COUNTERPUNCH).

A note to our readers

Hey --

Early Monday morning. 

Let's thank all who participated this edition which includes Dallas and the following:

The Third Estate Sunday Review's Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess and Ava,
Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude,
Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man,
C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review,
Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills),
Mike of Mikey Likes It!,
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz),
Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix,
Ruth of Ruth's Report,
Wally of The Daily Jot,
Trina of Trina's Kitchen, 
Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends,
Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts,
and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub.

And what did we come up with?


-- Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava and C.I.

Editorial: We aren't all in this together

Despite a lot of repetition, we aren't all in this together.  Various corporations keep insisting we are in one commercial after another -- Wal-Mart, Burger King, Lowe's, Quicken Loans, Car Max, etc -- but we aren't.

The Congress works for the corporations.

That's who they bail out in the stimulus.  They don't bail out Americans.  Americans need $2,000 a month -- every adult -- minimum.  When Bernie Sanders was pretending to be a fighter, he gave lip service to that assertion.  Of course, he refused to demand it in the Senate and voted for the corporate give away of American tax dollars.  Fake Ass Bernie.

So many fake asses in Congress.

As Jimmy Dore points out above, US House Rep. Alexandria  Ocasio-Cortez did not vote against the corporate give away despite claims otherwise.

"Shameful and crumbs for working families" -- that's what Ocasio-Cortez called it but she voted for it.

Who fights for the American people?

We're not all in this together.

That's a lie that we're told so we don't get outraged.  Could you imagine thousands of people in the streets right now?  They don't want that.  Their figure head, Joe Biden, promises if he becomes president that nothing will change.  Nothing.  Will.  Change.  The pandemic makes clear that everything must change.

Our Congress has betrayed us.  Trade deals that robbed the American people of jobs have been revealed to have left us unable to manufacture what we need -- basics like surgical masks and ventilators.  Medicare For All has never been needed more.  The pandemic has exposed how wanting our current system is, how corrupt and how outrageous.

We aren't all in this together.

The corporations got our tax dollars.  The American people got screwed.

We should be outraged.  We should be outraged by where our money has gone.  We should be outraged that we are expected to take part in the normalization of a pandemic -- a pretense that massive numbers of Americans dying from the coronavirus is normal or, for that matter, acceptable.

TV: Liars

Lies abound -- little ones, big ones.  They just never end.


Little ones?  MODERN FAMILY's one hour 'special' (two thirty minute episodes) was not worth watching or airing.  Yet some in The Water Cooler Set try to insist it was.

Nonsense abounded from scene to scene.  There wasn't a real or genuine moment in either episode.  And no one seems to notice the most obvious point: Who was recording?

For eleven seasons, this rather dull family has been recorded.  They've spoken to the camera.  The camera has caught their antics.  Were they doing a reality show?  Was this a documentary?  What the hell was going on?

If MODERN FAMILY had even one iota of honesty, the camera would have panned back in the final scene to show film director Christopher Guest recording the family members -- that way the 'creators' of MODERN FAMILY could have finally acknowledged the theft they'd conducted.

Mockumentaries can be funny.  Guest has certainly demonstrated that with the films: THIS IS SPINAL TAP, WAITING FOR GUFMAN, BEST IN SHOW, A MIGHTY WIND, FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION and MASCOTS.  And the mockumentary format that Guest excelled in can be ripped off in a crude and far less funny manner as the TV series 'creators' Christopher Lloyd and Steven Levitan demonstrated.

The show never should have had an eleventh season.  In the final two episodes, they attempted to cram in all this 'development' that should have taken place in episodes scattered throughout the season.  Last Thursday, WILL & GRACE, in their (second) final season offered "We Love Lucy" -- a pointless episode where Karen, Jack and Grace argued over who was the Lucy (I LOVE LUCY) as each took place in fantasies where they took turns playing Lucy, Ethel and Fred.  It was pointless and not very amusing.  It was a waste of time.  Fortunately, season eleven of WILL & GRACE has only one wasted episode (there are two more weeks before the show wraps up) while MODERN FAMILY had a season eleven where every episode was a waste of time.

Ariel Winter should have been fired long ago.  As the late Burt Reynolds told her to her face, she can't act.  And she really, really can't.  Her character of Alex is also irritating and annoying.  She ended up with the British professor.  Yawn.  They never had chemistry.  Winter had chemistry with Ben (Joe Mande) and with Bill (Jimmy Tatro).  They managed to mitigate Winter's smugness and other irritating qualities.  Chris Geere's Arvin had no chemistry with Winter and he had no chemistry with Sarah Hyland when he was supposed to be in love with Haley.

Speaking of Haley, it's good that talk of a spin-off is not around her character.  Hyland is a comic marvel and as important to the show as Ty Burrell and Sofia Vergara but the decision to saddle her with Dylan (Reid Ewing) killed all interest in the character.  She had real chemistry with Adam Devine's Andy.  Ewing has played Dylan dull as water since day one.  Why they brought him back is anyone's guess but he helped destroy season eleven.

The spin-off?  Mitch and Cam.  Because who doesn't want to see those two bitch at each other?

The ending for those two was they bought a bigger house (and Elizabeth Banks showed up for a far-too-brief cameo as best friend Sal) and then decided to leave it and move to Missouri so Cam could coach college football in his home state.  How sad is Missouri football?  We don't know but we must assume that college football in Missouri is in a very sad state if they are rushing to hire some guy who has only coached high school football for six years and coached it at a small high school in a Los Angeles suburb.

While Cam tries to coach college football, imagine all the fun we'll have as Mitch learns to take care of an infant.  We get that, right?  They just adopted an infant.  Someone will have to take care of the baby so Mitch's dreams about being a judge in Missouri will have to be on hold for a few years.  Cam took care of Lily when she was an infant so Mitch'll have a lot to learn.  Oh, the laughter that will ensue.  No doubt it will be as inspiring as "The Conversation" episode of MAD ABOUT YOU -- where Jamie and Paul try to let Mabel cry herself to sleep?  What's that?  Not a sitcom classic episode?  Yes, we agree.

MAD ABOUT YOU was a dated show when it was brand new though some try to pretend it was a breakthrough.  Since Gloria was a stereotype, they couldn't talk about breakthrough in terms of Latinas and since the show was never that funny, they couldn't call it a comedy breakthrough.  So we were supposed to pretend that two straight men creating a same-sex male couple was some sort of gay breakthrough for television.

But there was already ELLEN and WILL & GRACE.  How exactly was MODERN FAMILY a breakthrough?  Season eight of WILL & GRACE ended with Will having a child.  Cam and Mitch were never having a romantic nights -- though Jay and Gloria did and so did Phil and Claire.  MODERN FAMILY was largely a tale of sexed up heterosexuals and celibate gay men.

The show served up insulting stereotypes, not breakthrough portrayals.  This would include the myth that gay men and lesbians can't get along.  This would include Mitch constantly referring to Cam as a woman -- except when he was condemning Cam for doing the same.  This would also include Jay's homophobia that was part of the show long after Mitch and Cam got married and long after Gloria gave birth to Joe.

So many lies last week as various members of The Water Cooler Set informed you of how amazing the show was and how amazing the last two half-hour episodes were.

Lies came over the radio airwaves last week on one of Andy Cohen's radio shows on his RADIO ANDY channel.   Andrew is neither funny nor attractive which makes him your typical male talk show host.  The twist with Andy is that he is an out gay host of a talk show.  The sick with Andy is that he hits 52 in two months but acts like he's in his twenties.  That act's not aging well for 36-year-old Adam DeVine so you can imagine how much worse it is for Andy Cohen.

He chatters with D-listers which is how, last week, he ended up chatting with former child actress Alyssa Milano. Alyssa has no career so she mainly used her time to trash Tara Reade.

You know Tara, right?  The woman who states that, while she was working for then-Senator Joe Biden, he assaulted her. Katie Halper was the first to interview Tara in depth about the accusations for a broadcast.  Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez also interviewed Tara for DEMOCRACY NOW!:

AMY GOODMAN: Can you give us the circumstances, how you ended up — what was the day, how you ended up alone with Joe Biden? Explain what happened that day.

TARA READE: I was approached by my supervisor. She handed me a gym bag and said, “Hurry, Joe wants this, so get it to him. He’ll meet you down towards the Capitol.” And I went down the stairs, and I don’t remember exactly where I was, because there’s connections between the Russell Building and all of that and the corridors, but we were in a semi-private location. It wasn’t a room. It wasn’t, you know, the Russell Office Building — I mean, in his office. It was down in the corridors. And I handed him the gym bag.

And then he — it was one, as I described, fluid moment. He was talking to me, and he said some things that I don’t recall. And I was up against the wall. And he — I remember the coldness of the wall. And I remember his hands underneath my blouse and underneath my skirt, and his fingers penetrating me as he was trying to kiss me and I was pulling away. And he pulled back, and he said, “Come on, man. I heard you liked me.” But he was angry. It was like a tight voice. And he tended to smile when he was angry. And he isn’t like the Uncle Joe like everybody talks about now. He was younger. He was my dad’s age at that time and very strong. And he looked insulted and angry. And I remember feeling like I had done something wrong when he said that statement. And then I was standing there when he said — he was still near me. He said — pointed his finger and said, “You’re nothing to me. You’re nothing.” And he walked away.

 Alyssa went on Andy's show to try to silence the calling out she'd been receiving for weeks for refusing to acknowledge Tara.  See, with no career to speak of, Alyssa's spent the last years claiming credit for #MeToo (Tarana Burke created it) and pretending she was an activist for survivors.  Believe all women, she had insisted.  But when the rubber hits the road, Alyssa's fake assery floats to the surface.

We called her out long ago.  In July of 2018, Illeana Douglas went public about how Les Moonves assaulted her.  And Alyssa said nothing, not one word, not one Tweet.  She who Tweets constantly went into silent mode.  Why?  She was attempting to get a pilot (for HACKTIVIST) on the air and didn't want to jinx her chances.

So, no, we weren't surprised that she would refuse to acknowledge that Joe Biden may have assaulted a woman.  Like Rose McGowan, we knew Alyssa was a fake ass.

But there she was talking to Andy and making it clear that she was full of s**t and didn't believe women unless they were attacking men she didn't like.  Earlier, back in April of last year, she had dismissed Lucy Flores and the other women accusing Joe Biden of inappropriate behavior.

There she was lying to Andy that she'd done her -- what?  "Due diligence," she said eventually.  She struggled with the word -- "diligence" is a big word when you never had an education and Alyssa never had one.  We weren't surprised she struggled with big words.  She wanted the world to know that she'd been "friends" with Joe Biden for 15 years.

Apparently, he's advised her on birthing and breast feeding over the years and she's advised him on make up techniques and Team Steam.

And that's why, she explained/lied, "I don't feel comfortable throwing away a decent man."

Isn't it great to know that Alyssa can determine a decent man?

We no longer need court systems, we just need Alyssa.  She'll tell us who the decent men are, right?  That's good enough, right?

If she knows them and likes them, they are innocent.

Is that the world we live in now?

Tara Reade has made some serious allegations.  Is she telling the truth?  That's for people to decide on their own.  What is known is that she has every right to tell her story and any advocate for survivors shouldn't be trying to discredit her before the corporate media has reported on it and allowed the nation to have a dialogue.

Alyssa's hypocrisy, as Krystal Ball predicted, just increased awareness of Tara Reade.

Today, THE NEW YORK TIMES finally reported on the allegations as did NBC NEWS.

Shaun King notes of NYT's report:

independently confirmed that Tara Reade told friends and family members that she was sexually assaulted by
. They also confirmed with Biden interns that she was removed from supervising them right when she reported the assault.
The details only grow stronger for Tara.

 Does that mean she's telling the truth?

Not necessarily.

But it does mean that we need to have a serious discussion.

Can we do that when we're surrounded by liars?

Oh, boo hoo

Cenk Uygur Tweeted:

Exactly as predicted
comes out with story about Tara Reade's allegations against
right after
leaves the race. They of course say they were working on story all along. Funny how accurately we can predict these coincidences.


This is about whether or not Joe Biden assaulted Tara Reade.

Bernie Sanders made his decision.  He decided to betray everyone when there were 26 primaries still to vote.  No one forced him out.  His supporters -- that he supposedly represented -- weren't calling for him to drop out.

Bernie decided all by himself to drop out.

That's on him.

Tara Reade had already made her allegations -- weeks before Bernie made his decision.  He never once noted her, never once defended her.  He was too eager to bail.  Now he may have blown the nomination but that's on him.

He's a coward who couldn't stay in the race.

As more information comes out about the allegations, we may see Joe forced out by the DNC leaders.  If that happens, a Gavin Newsom or an Andrew Cuomo may emerge.

If so, too bad for Bernie.  He had the chance to stay in the race.  He made his decision.  Stop whining about the coward who betrayed everyone.

This really has nothing to do with him -- not Tara's allegations and not the nominee of the Democratic Party.  Bernie made sure that neither had anything to do with him.

As C.I. noted last week:

You got used, America.  He blew his wad and left you in the middle of the night.  Now you wake up in the still semi-wet spot of the sheets and you're all, "Do you think he'll call?"

He's never calling.  It's not that 'he's not into you,' he was into you last night, rutting away.  It's that he doesn't respect you and he honestly doesn't like you.

He didn't lose your phone number.  He didn't have a medical emergency.  He didn't get hit by a bus.

He used you.  He pumped and dumped.

Bernie is no longer pertinent, he ensured that with his withdrawal from the race.

Music video for self-isolation

“Reasons I Drink" from the album ‘Such Pretty Forks in the Road’ - listen here: ‘Such Pretty Forks in the Road’ out May 1st - pre-order the album: On tour this year celebrating 25 years of Jagged Little Pill - get dates and tickets Directed by Erin Elders Executive Produced by Steve Farr / Purple Onion Produced by Raub Shapiro Director of Photography: Jeff Tomcho

New York Times Publishes SHAMEFUL Story on Tara Reade Allegations Against Joe Biden

Earlier today, the New York times published an article on Tara Reade's allegations against Joe Biden. In it they claim that no details of her allegations were corroborated by sources, and they also suggest that there was no pattern of Joe Biden doing similar things to other women and individuals. Both of these claims are wrong, and while the New York Times tried to delete these sections and relevant Twitter posts, it doesn't change the fact that this story--like much of the Media--has done a poor job at accurately telling Tara Reade's story. The timing of the story also seems to be designed to minimize impact and also only days after Bernie Sanders suspended his 2020 presidential campaign. #IbelieveTara #TimesUpBiden Support me on Patreon: Support me on PayPal: For Christo Aivalis: Twitter: Facebook: Website: Twitch:

Stop persecuting Julian Assange

Saturday, Oscar Grenfell (WSWS) noted, "Today marks 12 months since WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was arrested by British police and security officers after being illegally expelled from Ecuador’s London embassy, where he had lived and worked as a political refugee for seven years."  Julian remains behind bars.  Why?

Because he's being persecuted.  He's not behind bars for any crime.  He's not behind bars for skipping bail.  He's behind bars because the UK government is persecuting him.  He's in Belmarsh prison currently -- where the coronavirus is sweeping through.  Is this an attempt by the UK government to kill him?

Is that what they really want? To murder him?

Grenfell notes, "In a phone call to his friend Vaughan Smith on Thursday night, Assange said he is held in his cell 23-and-a-half hours a day. His half hour of exercise is in a yard crowded with other prisoners. At least 150 prison staff members have either been infected with COVID-19 or are self-isolating. Assange revealed that there have been more deaths of inmates than the one admitted by prison authorities. He said the virus was 'ripping through the prison."

Again, is the UK government trying to murder Julian?

Binoy Kampmark (COUNTERPUNCH) observes:

Prisons, featuring high concentrations of people, have become fertile grounds for spreading COVID-19.  The March 17 report by Richard Coker, Professor of Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, cautioned on how the transmission of the virus in “congregate settings” typified by “poor sanitation, poor ventilation, and overcrowding” could lead to overwhelming “a population, particularly a population with co-morbidities or that is elderly.”  Coker was unequivocal in recommending that unnecessary detention regimes should be eased.  “This should be done before the virus has chance to enter a detention centre.”
Representatives of the UK penal system have shown varying degrees of concern.  There have even been calls for early release or means by which prison is avoided as a form of punishment altogether.  The UK Prison Officers’ Association (POA) has urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson to intervene executively to reduce numbers.  The head of the Prison Governors Association Andrea Albutt has warned about the dangers posed by current detention arrangements.  “We’ve lots of prisoners, two people in a cell built for one”, citing Swansea as an example where 80 percent of prisoners were doubled up.  “We have that all across the country.”  Far better, she suggested, to reduce the population.  Such a measure “helps stabilise prisons”, “calm prisoners”, and reduce the staff to prisoner ratio. “If we have less prisoners doubled [up in cells], it will be easier to isolate those who’ve been confirmed as having the virus or have the symptoms so we can delay the spread.”
Those standing by current UK prison guidelines remain defiantly confident that enough is being done.  The Ministry of Justice is convinced that “robust contingency plans” have been put in place prioritising “the safety of staff, prisoners and visitors.”  Procedures dealing with managing “the outbreak of infectious diseases and prisons” were already in place, and were being used to identify COVID-19 cases.  Sanitising facilities such as hand washing “are available to prisoners, staff and visitors and we have worked closely with suppliers to ensure the supply of soap and cleaning materials.”
The ministry remains unclear on how the principle of social distancing, one seemingly anathema to the penal system, has been applied.  For her part, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, considers such measures in crowded, unhygienic facilities “practically impossible”.  Undeterred by such observations, the MOJ merely refers to a temporary suspension of “the usual regime”, meaning that “prisoners can no longer take part in usual recreational activities such as using the gym, going to worship or visiting the library.”  Nor can prisoners receive visits.  Such measures are bound to cause ripples of dissatisfaction.
Not much of this impressed the judicial consciousness.  Assange’s legal team were valiant in their efforts to state the obvious.  These were proceedings taking place on the third day of the country’s coronavirus lockdown.  Edward Fitzgerald QC, sporting a facemask, insisted that, “These [medical] experts consider that he is particularly at risk of developing coronavirus and, if he does, that it develops into very severe complications for him…  If he does develop critical symptoms it would be very doubtful that Belmarsh would be able to cope with his condition.”  Prisons were “epidemiological pumps”, fertile grounds for the transmission of disease, and Assange’s continued detention posed endangering circumstances “from which he cannot escape.”

Julian is being held for no legal reason.  This is persecution and the British government gets away with it.  We shouldn't let them.  They need to be mocked, they need to be called out and we all need to make clear that they do not practice justice in the United Kingdom.

This is about Julian's life.  Kevin Gosztola (SHADOW PROOF) notes:

Assange’s legal team have feared for his survival ever since he was confined at Belmarsh, but the coronavirus represents a new threat to his life.
More than 60 medical doctors have condemned the “torture and medical neglect of Assange” and urged the Australian government to intervene in order to protect the health of one of their citizens.
Over 1200 journalists from 98 countries have united to protest the “gross miscarriage of justice” that is unfolding. 
Italian journalist Stefania Maurizi, who was targeted by the CIA-backed espionage operation, believes only public pressure will save Assange.
“What I have seen in this case is completely unacceptable, completely incompatible with freedom of the press in our democratic societies,” Maurizi declared.
Maurizi contends if the U.S. succeeds in putting Assange on trial, the “whole WikiLeaks team of journalists,” including Sarah Harrison, who helped Snowden get asylum in Russia, WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson, and Joseph Farrell, a WikiLeaks ambassador, will be next.

Christine Assange, Julian's mother, asks people to contact their government representatives:

Please help save my sons life.. Julian Assange *Journalist * Chronic Lung Condition *In UK #COVID19 infected prison Please phone/email YOUR UK/OZ/US MP/Congress Rep Release him to home detention NOW! Many thanks/Please share widely

Krystal and Saagar: Trump's DEVASTATING new ad on Biden, new polling shows warning sign for Joe

This edition's playlist

1) Dionne Warwick's SHE'S BACK.

2) Beatles' REVOLVER.

3) Harry Style's FINE LINE.


5) The Mamas and the Papas' THE PAPAS AND THE MAMAS.


7) Janet Jackson's UNBREAKABLE.


9) Cat Power's THE GREATEST.


Malak Hayder al-Zubiedi

Repost (this shows up better in Google Chrome):

Malak Hayder al-Zubiedi

April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month.  I don't like "sexual assault" -- it's assault.  Quit tying "sex" to it.  It's rape and it's assault.  Don't call it "sex crimes."  It's not about sex.

It's amazing how, when we have appropriate words to use, we refuse to use them.  Rape is terrorism.  Assault is terrorism.  Domestic violence is terrorism.

And it takes place around the world.  Note this Tweet:

In Iraq,this girl has been burned,the psychological stress experienced by women are great and many,Domestic violence,killing in the name of customs and traditions,early marriage,absence of a law for holding men accountable,no law to limit childbearing,etc.

The photos are said to be of Malak Hayder al-Zubiedi

Another Tweet:

Men have to be punished by the law but IRAQ don't have one, all we do is being killed here. Women's in this world are without rights. We live as if we are useless just to satisfy MEN. Hope she's alright now and the girls in same situation too don't give up!! #ملاك_حيدر_الزبيدي

Sara Bassam Tweets:

We the women of Iraq demanding the women rights organizations and women rights activists to help #Malak to get the justice after she has been burned and abused by her husband who has been savagely torturing her-Tribes and laws will protect the abuser man’s side

Show this thread

She is 19-years-old.  Below  is the husband who is said to have set her on fire.  Prior to the assault, he and his family refused to allow Malak to see her family -- for eight months they refused.

Supposedly, the Governor of Najaf has issued a statement that the husband in police custody.  (The husband is said to be the son of a high ranking military official.)  The governor has also stated that they have a special investigative team on the case.

Violence against women in Iraq never receives the attention it deserves outside of Iraq.  Ruba Ali al-Hassani (INSIDE ARABIA) reports:

For two consecutive election cycles, al-Fadhila Party (or Islamic Virtue Party) has led a campaign targeting women and girls, pushing a bill that makes amendments to Iraq’s Personal Status Law, which governs how religious and civil courts settle disputes related to marriage, divorce, inheritance, and custody. Although unlegislated and rejected by parliament vote, it has been dubbed the “Jafari Law” in an alleged attempt to represent Jafari or Shia “values”. It remains in the Iraqi consciousness as an existing threat to women’s and girls’ rights.
Its most contentious component was the attempt to legislate underage marriage. This received widespread outrage from the public, and especially from Najaf’s Shia seminary, for a variety of reasons, primarily the obvious pedophilic as well as sectarian nature of the bill. In a weak attempt to divide women’s united front against the corrupt patriarchy, lawmakers behind this bill claimed it protects Shia women’s rights when in fact it imposed a threat to all women’s rights.
Some male analysts dismissed the objectification of girls and women as mere political pawns in these attempts to amend the Personal Status Law, calling it a “political stunt”. Others argued that legalizing child marriage could help regulate an already common practice. However, regulation cannot heal the trauma arising from years of child molestation. While the bill sanctions pedophilia, it also feminizes poverty more than already is the case. Global studies have demonstrated a direct link between child marriage and high reproductive rates, poverty, female illiteracy, divorce and suicide rates.
According to UNICEF, approximately 40 percent of Iraqis are under 14 years of age, and one in five girls is married by the age of 18. High child marriage rates arise from poverty, conflict, and patriarchal traditions. With the legalization of child marriage, these rates – and rates of reproduction – could fast increase. Iraq’s population is expected to mushroom from 38 to 50 million in 10 years’ time. This is among the world’s fastest population growths, faced by stunted development in most sectors. It will create immense economic strain, increasing the ratio between state resources and the population. According to the Iraqi Economists Network, over 20 percent of the population are widows and orphans, and over 35 percent of Iraq’s population lives in poverty. These numbers have mushroomed since the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham/Syria (ISIS) entered the scene.
Poverty and conflict expose girls to an increased risk of illiteracy. Sixty percent of girls aged 14 and 18 are not enrolled in secondary school. Among those internally displaced, they are 50 percent less likely than boys to get schooling. When girls are denied education, their well-being, future employment prospects, earning potential, and even relationships are jeopardized.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Poll1 { display:none; }