Author: Iraqi Thoughts

Reaction to the U.S. National Defense Authorization Bill, Section 1223, on Iraqi Armed Groups

Today, Iraqis on social media have been buzzing with contempt for the U.S. National Defense Authorization Bill which, in Section 1223, calls for the recognition of Sunni and Kurdish militias as “a country” for direct armament and assistance. Does that sound worrisome? It surely does. I couldn’t help but look for the draft bill to find out for myself what the real issue was. Section 1223 of the Bill is titled, “Modification of Authority to Provide Assistance to Counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.” It is only three paragraphs long, so how bad can it be? Well, at...

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Human Rights Advocacy, Sectarianism, and Other Biases

Knowing that media sources are biased, usually leaning towards one narrative or another, we resort to human rights organizations for objective examination and reporting on various human rights violations around the world. Over the past few years, and particularly over the past two, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has been a curious source of biased reporting. Michael Rubin recently addressed the decline in HRW’s neutrality in a worthy article. In one documented case cited in the article, and dated 12 June 2014, HRW’s Executive Director Kenneth Roth tweeted that “ISIS in #Iraq reportedly tried not to alienate local population, unlike PM...

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Ayoub al-Jabouri: The Story of an Iraqi Martyr

What you’re about to read is not fiction, although I wish it was. It’s also not propaganda, although some Iraq observers will have you believe so. It’s the story of a humble boy from a simple town with extraordinary bravery during trying times. This is my attempt to honour the life and sacrifice of my cousins’ cousin, Ayoub Mohammed Hassan al-Jabouri. Our story begins in early 1991 during Iraq’s historic uprising against the repressive regime of Saddam Hussein. The southern town of Rumaitha in Al-Muthana province is in the hands of anti-government rebels. Ayoub’s family members participated in the...

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The U.S. Blunder in Iraq

On December 18, 2011 the world witnessed the last American soldier step on a plane and leave Iraq. After nine long years, the United States’ mission in Iraq was over, leaving behind a mammoth embassy in Baghdad and a couple of consulates in Basra and Erbil. Prior to this landmark, however, President Obama was hoping to keep up to 10,000 US soldiers stationed in Iraq, and the Iraqi government was agreeable to this. Failure of the Obama administration to reach a mutual agreement with the Iraqi government on keeping back any American troops resulted in every single soldier being...

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Iraqi Shia and Iran – a Complex Relationship and Challenging Future

When Nouri al-Maliki met Hamid Karzai in New York in 2007, most of the discussion was an exchange of niceties, but there was one thing the former Afghan President said which caught the attention of many in the Iraqi delegation. ‘When the relationship between Iran and the US is good, the security situation improves, and when the relationship worsens, security deteriorates’. At that time, Iranian backed Shia groups were fighting US troops in Iraq, heavily undermining America’s efforts against Sunni jihadists, and Iraq was on fire. Today, the US is still engaged in fighting Sunni Jihadists in Iraq, but...

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