Author: Iraqi Thoughts

The Chapter After ISIS in the New Iraq: Reflections on Security and Social Development

It is said that mismanagement is the illegitimate father to all types of corruption (administrative, financial, security, and social). Strong management comes from a firm will; this firmness depends on many attributes such as A) the clarity of purpose; B) the justice of the cause; C) the legitimacy of the objectives and D) the aspirations of the oppressed to the realization of their right. We have heard more than enough from senior Iraqi officials who claim that the next year is the year of construction or the year to fight against corruption or … etc. We simply need these...

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Democracy and the Iraqi Collective

It has been a long journey, full of pain and sacrifice, but Iraqi forces are on the precipice of achieving what many said they could not. With the near liberation of Mosul and thereafter the whole of Iraq from the savagery of Daesh, it is useful to reflect on some key lessons: During my tenure as Iraq’s Ambassador to Japan, I learned through coexistence with the Japanese how a strong social foundation can be a guarantee against the mightiest earthquake or tsunami. The development of resilience and perseverance in the Japanese character is the most important capital for its...

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The Geneva Conference: Last Stand for Exiled Sunnis

By Ihsan Noori & Ali Hadi Al-Musawi Iraqi Sunni politicians gathered in Switzerland last week for yet another conference that was marred by mystery and intrigue. After conferences in Doha and Amman in 2015, and Paris last year, the “Geneva Conference” was held on February 15 and 16 in Montreux, 93 km east of Geneva. Like its predecessors, the event raised important questions about the intent of the organizers and whether it would produce any meaningful outcomes. The European Institute of Peace (EIP) hosted the event, which brought together several controversial Sunni figures, government officials and a handful of foreign...

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The Dangers of Muqtada Al-Sadr’s Violent Demonstrations

The Sadrist demonstrations have become a staple of Friday afternoons in Baghdad’s Tahrir (freedom) Square. Last week’s demonstrations drew more people than usual based on Muqtada al-Sadr’s demand that his loyal supporters come out for a “million man march”. Last year’s demonstration culminated in the storming of the International Zone (IZ), the fortified district that houses the majority of Iraq’s government institutions. Once again on February 11, 2017 Muqtada Al-Sadr directed his followers to protest outside the gates of the IZ, this time for reforms on the electoral commission. Like all of Sadr’s calls, his faithful supporters answered despite the...

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PUK Lobbying in D.C. Threatens Party Gains in Baghdad

The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) is a divided party. There are two spheres of influence within the PUK, each pursuing a contradicting policy to the other. On one hand, there is the wing led by Hero Ahmed, Jalal Talabani’s wife. This wing has taken to building an alliance with parties in Baghdad, thus strengthening ties with the federal government. On the other hand, there is the wing led by Kurdistan Region’s Vice President, Kosrat Rasul Ali, and former KRG Prime Minister, Barham Salih. This side wants to maintain the current alliance with the region’s incumbent President Masoud Barzani...

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