20 April 2018
English Arabic
On the 15th anniversary of the overthrow of Saddam Hussein by US forces, Iraq is reaching another critical moment in its troubled history. The outcome of the parliamentary elections scheduled for May 12 could end the more positive trajectory under the current leadership and inaugurate yet another troublesome chapter. Possibly, perhaps even most likely, these elections will institutionalize Lebanon’s Hezbollah model (in the most negative of senses) in Iraq.Iraq’s political system since the US invasion already replicates Lebanon’s. After one-and-a-half…
Iran's influence is looming large as Iraqis prepare to head to the polls for parliamentary elections in May, with many in the country worried that Tehran may be looking to strengthen its political grip on Baghdad through the ballot box. Iranian support and military advisers helped Baghdad's Shiite-led government beat back the Islamic State group. But with IS militants now largely defeated militarily, Iran's expanding influence has emerged as one of Iraq's most divisive issues ahead of the balloting. That…
In 2003, as U.S. forces entered Baghdad, Muqtada al-Sadr was a young Shiite Muslim cleric, little known to the American troops who toppled Saddam Hussein and ushered in a tumultuous new Iraq. As liberation turned into occupation, Sadr, the son of a revered grand ayatollah killed for opposing Saddam, compiled a militia that presented such a serious challenge to American forces, the U.S. vowed to kill or capture him. A couple of years later, his Mahdi Army was embroiled in…
OHA, Qatar — Global anxiety that the United States will take military action against Iran has increased now that President Trump has appointedJohn Bolton as his national security adviser. Mr. Bolton has long promoted regime change in Iran, argued for bombing Iran and a more assertive American policy against Iranian expansionism in the Middle East. But the United States cannot effectively confront Tehran and its proxies until it appreciates Iran’s role in state building in Middle Eastern countries decimated by conflict. Iran has…

Iraq reconstruction.. a fool's errand Thursday, 01 March 2018 20:08

Plans for the wholesale reconstruction of Iraq are being trumpeted by Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi and his government cronies. Abadi told the World Economic Forum in Davos in January that his country required over $100 billion to rebuild its shattered infrastructure. At the international conference in Kuwait on 14th February, the Kuwaiti Foreign Minister claimed that over $30 billion had been pledged by 76 countries. Some of the biggest potential donors included Turkey, who pledged $5 billion, the US who say they…
The alliance of a religious Shia movement with a leftist-secularist party might end up as the king-maker of a new Iraqi government The coalitions have formed for Iraq’s parliamentary elections, scheduled for May. While parties and coalitions based on ethnic and sectarian identities are prevalent in the race, at the same time, formerly sectarian parties have reinvented themselves as national movements. The Sadrists, followers of Shia religious leader Muqtada al-Sadr, have formed a joint list with the Iraqi Communist Party, ostensibly an…
Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi has called on the international community, especially the Arab world, to help Iraq rebuild what was destroyed by successive wars. Of course, Gulf countries were the early donors, but the mullahs of Iran did not commit to paying a single dollar. I was not surprised by Iran’s reluctance, but had expected it. Iran’s dark shadow In my opinion, the two most important obstacles impeding the reconstruction of Iraq are financial and administrative corruption, and the…

Whose responsibility is it to rebuild Iraq? Tuesday, 20 February 2018 21:58

Many countries came together in Kuwait last week and pledged to donate billions of dollars to rebuild Iraq after its three-year war with Daesh. Most of the donors were Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. If we look at the problem as a humanitarian one, we see that Iraq is a neighbor and a fellow Arab country. If we look more closely at the matter, however, we realize that the destruction of Iraq has been going on for about four decades. …

A vision for ending Iraq’s crises Wednesday, 17 January 2018 04:14

The military defeat of ISIL, the ramifications of the Kurdish referendum and the upcoming parliamentary elections represent defining moments in Iraq’s contemporary history. There is now an opportunity to reorient Iraq’s trajectory and propel the country towards prosperity and stability. Failure to seize this opportunity will condemn Iraq to deepen instability and may well doom Iraq to utter collapse. As such, Iraq is in urgent need of an internal dialogue to address the underlying structural flaws at the crux of the post-2003 political order. Iraqis…
raq started the new year with­out parts of its territory under Islamic State (ISIS) control for the first time in four years but, as Iraqis look to a future free from the ills of the militant group, many of the country’s problems are in urgent need of being addressed. When ISIS captured Falluja in January 2014, Iraq was plagued with serious levels of corruption and a revival of sectarianism. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has vowed to crack down on…

How Abadi violates Iraq’s constitution Friday, 29 December 2017 04:50

In recent times, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi has been mistreating the Kurdish citizens in his country. It is time for this to come to an end.   U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has finally declared that Washington, D.C. will stand with the Kurds in their efforts to get the Iraqi Constitution fully implemented. In recent years, the Iraqi Constitution has been violated repeatedly, thus providing the Kurds with a major incentive to secede and declare independence. After the U.S.…
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