Author: Iraqi Thoughts

New Chapter Begins in Iraq’s War on Terrorism, as Baghdad Sighs in Relief

By Haidar Sumeri Major operations in populated areas of Iraq may have ended in a decisive win for Iraq’s armed forces but the decimation of Da’ish in the land of two rivers is not over yet. What was left of Da’ish’s military contingents fled to Iraq’s western desert looking for reprieve but did not find any there. Riding the wave of victory, Iraqi forces are now initiating a new phase in their war on terrorism as they look to root out the Da’ish elements aiming to revive an insurgency. With elections looming on the horizon, the security situation is...

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Criticizing the Critics: Towards some ‘Appreciative Inquiry’ in Iraq

The vast amount of criticism about Iraq, whether it is meant well or ill-minded, has created a rather toxic and unproductive environment in which everything is viewed in a negative light. While constructive criticism should be one of the mechanisms through which freedom of speech can contribute to change in a society, this is not happening in Iraq despite the abundance of critical minds and criticizers. What makes the situation worse is that criticism is often used to make Iraq look bad and to prove its failure, rather than to point out the flaws in order to fix them....

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Iraqi Security Forces Pivot from Offensive Warfare to Counter Insurgency

On November 17th, 2017, the Iraqi Army’s 7th and 8th  Divisions crossed the Euphrates at 7:30 a.m. local time and stormed the town of Rawa in Western Anbar. The fighting would last roughly five hours and the liberation of the town would represent the erasure of the so-called Caliphate due to Rawa being the last urban stronghold under the control of ISIS since 2014. Freeing Rawa meant that the so-called Islamic State  had been defeated militarily in Iraq. With the bulk of the terrorist forces pulling back northwards towards Badia Ba’aj, a steppe that is roughly 22,000 km2 in...

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Criticizing the Critics: On the Obsessive Negativity towards Iraq

(Art by Maytham Radhi) One of the things Iraqis were deprived of during Saddam’s reign was their ability to criticize. While people around the world cannot and probably never will be able to imagine how it was under Saddam, Iraqis remember well what it meant to criticize the leader, the party, or the state. Imprisonment and torture were the ‘lighter’ consequences of criticism, without getting into detail about what was happening in Saddam’s prisons and how ‘innovative’ the prison management was when it came to torturing people. More than often, however, criticism of political nature ended up in execution...

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Why Some Iraqi Officials Want Elections Delayed

The Iraqi cabinet and parliament have confirmed that federal and provincial elections will be held on May 15, 2018 despite the call to postpone elections from various political leaders. Provincial elections have usually been held a year prior to the federal election but due to logistical, economic and political reasons, the provincial elections were postponed a year to coincide with the federal election. This was the first time outside the Kurdistan Region that elections were postponed in the new Iraq, and despite the dangerous precedent it could set, Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi has ensured they would not be postponed...

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