Author: Iraqi Thoughts

How the KRG Attempts to Misinform the West

The Iraqi constitution was drafted and ratified in 2005 under the strong influence of Iraqi Kurdish parties who make up the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the Kurdish members of constitution drafting committee. Their influence in writing the constitution resulted in their three provinces voting with the highest rate of approval in the nationwide referendum to ratify the Iraqi constitution. Despite all its shortcomings, the Iraqi constitution makes it clear about preserving the national integrity of the federal state and the exclusive powers the federal government in Baghdad holds. Article 110 in the constitution states the following: The federal...

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10 Must-Read Saudi Cables on Iraq

While only a small portion of the half a million Saudi cables have so far been released by WikiLeaks, a quick scan of the available documents that relate to Iraq reveal three consistent approaches adopted by the Kingdom in an effort to extend its influence in the country: financial and political support for Sunni Arab tribes, politicians and Kurdish actors that are willing to undermine the central government in Baghdad; close communication with Baath Party officers, financial support and political asylum for families of high-ranking former officials; and regional diplomatic efforts aimed at undermining the sovereign legitimacy of the Iraqi state. Here are ten of...

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The Speicher Massacre and Its Legacy in Iraq

On June 10 2014, the terrorist organization formerly known as ISIS (or ISIL), now known as the “Islamic State” or Da’ish, captured the northern city of Mosul and began a rapid advance south towards Iraq’s capital, Baghdad. Within 48 hours, the central city of Tikrit had fallen to the militants. Along with Tikrit, Da’ish militants captured a massive contingent of army recruits and air cadets totaling three to four thousand, most of them in their twenties. While earlier reports simply stated that the recruits “attempted to flee” the Da’ish onslaught and were subsequently caught, it soon became clear that...

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Salim al-Jabouri Must Represent All Iraqis in Washington

Iraq’s Speaker of Parliament Salim al-Jabouri is visiting Washington, D.C. this week accompanied by a delegation from Baghdad, having received an invitation from Vice President Joe Biden. This marks the Speaker’s first visit to the U.S. capital and the first visit of an Iraqi Parliament Speaker since January 2014 when his predecessor and political coalition leader Usama al-Nujayfi visited. The current situation in Iraq differs significantly from when al-Nujayfi visited the White House. Then, Iraq’s provinces of Anbar, Nineveh and Salahudin did not have ISIS-controlled towns. During that time, Usama’s brother Atheel al-Nujayfi was governor of Nineveh and accepting of Ba’athists...

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Fall of Ramadi Breaks U.S. Assumptions

In June last year, Mosul, the capital of Nineveh province and Iraq’s largest Sunni city, fell to ISIS militants. The widespread belief in the United States and the west was that the Prime Minister at the time, Nouri al-Maliki, had spent eight years marginalizing Iraq’s Sunni minority, resulting in the Mosul disaster. The argument went that conditions were so awful for Sunnis that he forced them to regard ISIS as the better option compared to the Iraqi government. In other words, the only blame for the fall of Mosul lay at the feet of the former Prime Minister. Nearly...

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