Hopeless in Iraq

Four months of mass protests in the streets of Hong Kong, and thousands of injuries and arrests – but only two gunshot wounds, both very recent and neither life-threatening. Five days of mass protests in the streets of Baghdad, and there are already a hundred dead, most by gunfire from the various ‘security’ forces that […]

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Iraq: Endless War

“Suppose that…the Iraqis feel ambivalent about being invaded and real Iraqis, not (just) Saddam’s special guard, decide to offer resistance,” wrote British prime minister Tony Blair to US president George W. Bush in December 2001, two years before the US and the UK invaded Iraq. At least Blair had some doubts, but neither man could

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Kurdistan’s Big Chance

Every disaster creates opportunities for somebody. If the Kurds of Iraq play their cards right, they could finally end up with the borders they want, fully recognised by a government in Baghdad that has been saved by Kurdish troops. The Kurds have this opportunity because the large but totally demoralised Iraqi army has fallen apart

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ISIS rises in Iraq

THE IRAQI ARMY will have to destroy Mosul in order to save it—and it’s not clear whether it can do the job even then. It isn’t so much an army as a vast system of patronage providing employment of a sort for 900,000 people. When fewer than a thousand ISIS jihadis fought their way into Mosul,

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Iraqi Election

3 March 2010 Iraqi Election By Gwynne Dyer There are some bombs going off, but apart from that the election in Iraq on 7 March is a model of its kind. There are more than 6,000 candidates for the 352 seats in parliament, and the country is flooded with foreign observers who will monitor the

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The Kurds Lose Again?

28 July 2009 The Kurds Lose Again? By Gwynne Dyer It was a triumph of democracy. On 25 July, in a free election, Iraq’s Kurds finally elected a real opposition party to their regional parliament. According to preliminary results, the Change Party won 25 of the 111 seats in the parliament, breaking the monopoly of

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