Jesus Comes to America: On Christmas, MAGA Economics and COVID…..

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MAGA Economics: Rich people elected mainly by poor people taking money from the poor and giving it to the very rich, in the hope of somehow making the poor richer

I once responded to a poll posted on social media about whether Jesus would be allowed into America. That was abut three years ago. Here is my modified updated version the unusual year of 2017, edited now for even the more/most unusual year of 2020:

  • He, Jesus (Essa) Son of Maryam Bint Amran, as we call him, wants to come to America. He has heard that this new land is the last bastion of his true followers, those who truly adhere to his sect of Judaism, now renamed. He knows they call themselves Christians. He wants to visit his true believers, many of whom distinguish themselves from others with the added name Evangelicals.
  • He, Jesus Christ, would probably not get a visa, might even be put on a designated list by a potentate called Pompeo. Even if he did, he won’t be allowed on a connecting flight from Europe (back in the Middle East there are many who have the same appearance as he does). Eventually, he might be put on a no-fly list.
  • If not, or if he manages to sneak through the controls, some other passenger (almost certainly one of those Christians) would complain that he feels uncomfortable with someone dressed in a robe, a hairy man mumbling in some strange language, on the same airplane. So, Jesus would likely be bounced off the flight anyway (maybe he’ll be handed a check for $200 as compensation).
  • Let’s assume that he manages to make it after all, perhaps walking across from Mexico or Canada. He will not be allowed into some churches because his attire (robe & sandals) is deemed un-Christian. The first Mega-Buck Church would throw him out because he does not fit in, does not have the image of a member.
  • Besides, he wouldn’t know what a church is. Most likely, Jesus would look for a synagogue upon arrival. Lucky for him, like I did in my teens, he’d most likely land in New York City.
  • He wouldn’t be any more welcome in a New York synagogue than in a church. Memories of the Diaspora and pogroms and massacres and the Holocaust perpetrated by his alleged later followers do not fade easily. Besides he has no money to pay the high New York fees.
  • He, as Son of Maryam and fruit of Immaculate Conception, might be allowed into a mosque (fees are never needed there), but with the hope of converting him to the teachings of the Arabian  shepherd who appeared after him. But that probably wouldn’t last long.
  • He would also wonder about this blue-eyed blond namesake of his, whose alleged birthday is celebrated by corporate America so eagerly every year. From September to January of each year. And he would wonder what he has to do with a fat jolly Germanic man who likes to wear red and white tights and to jingle his bells. 
  • Once enlightened he would wonder what do Amazon and Apple and Macy’s and NASDAQ have to do with him. Also wonders why they say his birthday will spread the new plague called COVID. Kill more people. Then there is the battle being waged by two rivals for governorship, like the old battles he had heard about between Octavian and Marcus Antonius. 
  • Most of all, he is intrigued about this new noisy Roman governor of America who never stops speaking loudly, is suspected of keeping for himself and his family what belongs to Caesar. This orange governor is pushing a vague new creed that he calls MAGA. Most of his followers don’t realize or ignore the fact that the main tenet of the creed is called the Power of Trickle Down, described by others as: Rich people elected mainly by poor people taking money from the poor and giving it to the very rich, in the hope of somehow making the poor richer“. Makes sense?

Cheers & Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year..
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

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Iraqi Politics: PMU Factions Splitting into More Factions?

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THERE are reports from Iraq about PMU (Popular Mobilization Units). These reports claim that the PMU (militias somewhat affiliated with the Iraqi security) may be experiencing serious ideological and personal disagreements among its factions and there is the possibility of a split. It is a mix of ideological differences and rivalry for power. The units were formed after a call by Ayatollah al Sistani in 2014 immediately following the fall of Mosul to ISIS. The goal was to protect Baghdad and the area that remained outside ISIS. After the defeat of the Caliphate, the PMU remained well-armed and active, even after the Iraqi Army managed to recover and restructure.

THEY note that one faction of the PMU follows the highest Shi’a theologian in the world, Ayatollah Ali al Sistani, who has always opposed the idea of an Iranian style theocracy led by a Supreme Leader. Another faction is closer to an Iranian view. The reports claim that the former faction prefers to focus on internal Iraqi affairs, while the latter has a broader scope for its focus.

HISTORICALLY, Iraqi political groups and parties have always been riven with disputes and infighting between factions, based on divergent ideas and/or individual rivalry. They have often split along these lines. Even the Baath Party, which ruled Iraq with an iron fist for decades experienced such factionalism, several times. The Baath underwent several purges, each one bloodier than the preceding ones. This intense political rivalry also occurred early after 2003, when the mostly Shi’a opposition groups felt safe enough to come above ground and come home from exile.

So, if true, there is nothing new there in terms of usual Iraqi politics. But the implications for the American presence and the depth of Iranian ties can be important.


M Haider Ghuloum