Tag Archive: Iraq

Why the Iraqi City Basra Will Not Go Away - MPC Journal

Why the Iraqi City Basra Will Not Go Away

In late 2018, 100,000 people were hospitalized in Basra, Iraq over the period of a few weeks, inundating hospitals and creating a frenzy of media attention. They were poisoned by the city’s toxic water supply, which was pumped untreated after a heat wave knocked out the city’s water treatment facilities. Despite months of protests inside Basra to protest their unlivable conditions, little was accomplished: the city’s polluted water infrastructure remains under repaired and underserved even as its oil almost single-handedly funds the Iraqi state.

aqis protest against unemployment and lack of public services in Baghdad, 27 July 2018. Picture by Ameer Al Mohammedaw/DPA/PA Images. All rights reserved.

Post-Sectarian Iraq Between Theory and Practice

Iraq arguably entered a new phase of ‘post-sectarianism’ since 2015. This was evident during the popular protests that began in the summer of 2015 and returned significantly in the summer of 2018 – when Iraqi political activism transformed from identity politics to being issue based. This showed that the protests are driven by frustration and demands for improving the poor public services and the high unemployment figures, rather than the usual politically led religious and ethnic differences. Specifically, the transition was motivated by the failure of the ethnic-sectarian political class in providing efficient public services, education, health care, security and…
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Syria - MPC Journal - bashar-al-assad

The Kurds and Assad

International politics are subject to strange twists and turns. By one such convolution the future of Syria’s Kurdish population and of its president, Bashar al Assad, have become intertwined. Formed in 2015, the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC) is the political wing of the mainly Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which controls north-eastern Syria. Kurdish forces have fought the Syrian military on several occasions during the 7-year civil war, but the SDC has clearly begun to seek better relations with the Assad regime. On July 27, 2018, in response to an invitation from the Syrian government, a delegation of the SDC…
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Iraqi students walk near a building of the central Library of the University of Mosul

The Rise of Iraq’s Young Secularists

MOSUL, Iraq—Rayyan Hadidi was 18 years old when he lost his faith. It was July 2006, and he was on his way to school when he stumbled upon a cheering crowd that had gathered near a local mosque. The group, made up mostly of mosque leaders and worshippers, had encircled two men accused of volunteering with the Iraqi police force, which many saw as a puppet of the American occupiers. Al-Qaeda gunmen brandished their arms, preparing to execute the men, as the crowd shouted, “Allahu akbar.” Hadidi stared at the two men, flinching when he made eye contact with one…
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irak-regionen0

Referendum in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq: Right Choice?

The phenomenon of the Islamic State (ISIS) has deepened and worsened the instability and tensions among states in the Middle East. According to some political observers, the spread of ISIS in Syria and Iraq will transform the current political landscape of the Middle East. Today, the Kurds in both countries play a significant role all through this process. They have established strong relations with global powers so as to counter terrorism, while defending their position from ISIS attacks ever since their beginning in June 2015.

Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) supporters at a party rally. Masoud Barzani, the party's leader and the President of Iraqi Kurdistan, is featured on a banner behind the supporters. © Ivor Prickett/PANOS / LUZ

Double Standard of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan

Having won the two times popular vote in 1991 and 2005 elections, the PUK is now becoming the third largest party in Kurdistan region. Lack of vision as well as dominance of personal interests at the expense of the party’s led to the emergence of the KDP as a decisive force. The PUK still has the potential to rise and become a key player in the game, but it requires a strong leadership and clear policies, two components the party is still missing. These missing components and intra-conflicts made the PUK adopt controversially inconsistent policies compared to its rival the KDP.

Iraqi Prime Minister Al-‘Abadi in Washington – Some Realities

Iraqi Prime Minister Al-‘Abadi in Washington – Some Realities

While the current media coverage of the war against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has shifted to the fighting in Syria, the major battle continues to be the Iraqi campaign to defeat the Islamist group in the city of Mosul. The Iraqi security forces – Army, Air Force, police, and special operations units, as well as several Iranian-backed Shi’a militias – have generally acquitted themselves well in the fighting. We all remember the Iraqi Army’s dismal performance against ISIS in June 2014, when the Army collapsed as the group stormed into northern Iraq from Syria and began…
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Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq: Example of Failure?

Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq: Example of Failure?

The Kurds in Iraq have been running their government since the uprising in 1991 against the dictatorial regime Of Sadam Hussein. It means that they have been governing their territory for about 26 years. Throughout this period of time, this region has experienced many political and military crises. The main actors in these crises are those political parties running or dominating the Kurdish region, specifically both parties the Democratic Party of Kurdistan (KDP), and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). After the collapse the Sadams’ regime in 2003, thanks to coalition forces under the leadership of the USA, all major Iraqi…
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Jalal Talaban

Who Rules Kurdistan Region in Iraq?

The Kurds of Iraq had been systemically oppressed by different Iraqi regimes since the creation of modern Iraqi state in 1921. Consequently, many Kurdish movements appeared and fought against the Iraqi state. The chief amongst are the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), Mustafa Barzani, established the former in 1946, while Jalal Talabani had founded PUK in 1975 when he split from Barzani’s KDP. Both parties have fought against Iraq till 1992. Since then, The Kurdistan Region of Iraq emerged as a quasi-state thanks to the establishment of the no-fly zone in northern Iraq by…
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What to Be Improved in the Arab World? Image ©: Wayne Owens Chair Tanner Humanities Center The University Of Utah

What to Be Improved in the Arab World?

The short answer to the question: Where does one start? If things in the Middle East and North Africa were not complicated enough, answering the question has been made even more difficult by the rise of Donald Trump, and the fact that no one, maybe not even he, has an idea about what his policy towards the various crises in the Middle East and North Africa will be, or what his attitude might be towards individual countries in the region.

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