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Archive for the tag “Nouri al-Maliki”

Let Iraq Break

Iraq is really three separate geographical regions, now contested by Kurds and Arabs ethnically, Arabic and Kurdish speakers linguistically, and Sunni and Shiite Muslims religiously. Ethnically Iraqis are approximately 75 percent Arabs, 20 percent Kurds, and 5 percent Turkmen and Assyrians. Religiously they are 65 percent Shiite Muslims, 30 percent Sunni Muslims, and 5 percent Christians and Mandeans.

Read Here – WorldAffairsJournal

Federalism Would Mean Death Of Iraqi Nationalism — But So What?

Yet again Iraq finds itself at a ‘crossroad’ – a euphemism for political intransigence to the point of paralysis coupled with a spike in violence, cruelty and ethno-sectarian entrenchment. As with all such crossroads since 2003 the idea that Iraq needs to – or indeed inevitably will – fragment into three states with neat ethno-sectarian labels has gained purchase during the recent crisis.

Read Here – Gulf News

Iraq: Sovereign Partner Of The United States

Yesterday marked the 10th anniversary of the overthrow of Saddam Hussain. But the debate about the direction of the US-Iraqi relationship is influenced by a pessimistic view that the US has lost Iraq. Not true. Despite all the problems of the past decade, the overwhelming majority of Iraqis agree that we are better off today than under Saddam’s brutal dictatorship. Iraqis will remain grateful for the US role and for the losses sustained by military and civilian personnel that contributed in ending Saddam’s rule. These losses pale by comparison, of course, to those sustained by the Iraqi people, writes Nouri Al Maliki, Prime Minister of Iraq.

Read Here – Gulf News

Back in Black

Iraq’s nascent democracy faces a new dilemma: whether or not to embrace the political comeback of a former militia leader. Muqtada al-Sadr, the firebrand Shia cleric, has launched a public relations campaign, rebranding himself as a voice of sectarian harmony. Should Iraqis welcome Sadr with open arms, or be wary of his new persona?

Sadr first made a name for himself as an erratic demagogue who stoked sectarian fighting and helped bring Iraq’s young democracy to its knees. From 2003 to 2008, Sadr’s Mahdi Army took up arms against successive Iraqi governments and committed widespread atrocities against the country’s Sunni minority, in addition to targeting U.S. installations and personnel until American forces left Iraq at the end of 2011.

Read Here – Foreign Affairs

Iraq’s Al-Maliki Finds Himself In A Soup

Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki’s efforts to solve myriad issues, including angry rallies against him, with a one-size-fits-all approach is likely to prolong Iraq’s perennial crises, experts say.
More than six years into his rule, the premier is no stranger to stand-offs.
But the latest crisis pitting him against many of his erstwhile Cabinet partners as protests have raged for more than a month in the north and west is decidedly more dangerous, one analyst believes.
“This is around the 10th crisis since he became prime minister again,” said Crispin Hawes, Middle East and North Africa director at the Eurasia Group in London. “He doesn’t have a new strategy for each situation.”

Read Here – Arab News

Why Separatism Could Rip Iraq Apart — Again

It’s not easy being a prominent Sunni in Iraq these days. This past December, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki ordered the arrest of several bodyguards of Rafi al-Issawi, the minister of finance and one of the most influential and respected Sunni leaders in Iraq. In response, tens of thousands of Sunnis took to the streets of Anbar, Mosul, and other predominantly Sunni cities, demanding the end of what they consider government persecution. Issawi has accused Maliki of targeting him as part of a systematic campaign against Sunni leaders, which includes the 2011 indictment of Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi, a Sunni, on terrorism charges.

Read Here – Foreign Affairs

A Year of Endemic Instability in Iraq

Since 2003, the Anbar province of Iraq has shown itself to be home to powerful and formative forces that have altered the country’s direction of political developments at key moments. It was the change in position of key tribes and groups in Anbar in 2005 that led to the formation of the Anbar Awakening that ultimately led to the broader Sunni awakening of 2006-7.

This awakening, along with the standing down of the Mahdi Army of Shi’a leader Muqtada al-Sadr, was just as responsible if not more so as the vaunted ‘surge’ of US military forces for the ending of Al-Qa’ida associated activities that had threatened to derail the fragile Iraqi government. Once again, Anbar is awakening, but this time the dynamics and the environment are very different: Anbar is stirring against the government of Nouri al-Maliki; it is doing so at a time when the Kurds are taking increasingly strident positions against Baghdad; and this is happening when there is no possibility of a second US surge rescuing the prime minister from threats that could turn into attempted coups.

Read Here – RUSI

Iraq Suffers From Its Chaotic Foreign Policy

Iraq has no national foreign policy. For the past decade, a lack of unity among its ruling elite has failed to allow for a unified approach towards its international relations — one that could have protected the country from becoming a playground for outside powers, with disastrous consequences for its political and security stability.

Read Here – The Hindu

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