An Occupation By Any Other Name...

by Maren Milligan | published June 29, 2004

Monday’s transfer of authority—two days before the June 30 date—is being touted as the date of Iraqi independence. Nothing could be further from the truth. The unfolding political transition in Iraq will keep sovereign power in the hands of Americans in every relevant sense.

Hypocrisy Doesn't Win Arab Friends

by Marc Lynch | published November 3, 2004

A prominent liberal Arab journalist who strongly supported the war in Iraq, has a long record of outspoken opposition to Islamic extremism, and has a deep appreciation for American values recently told me that he has never been more depressed or more alienated from the United States. Why? He was absolutely clear: George W. Bush’s policies and rhetoric have made it impossible for moderates such as himself to win their battles for a more liberal Arab future.

Dictatorship Remains OK for our Allies

by Chris Toensing | published February 18, 2005

President George W. Bush likes to associate his administration’s goals with the will of the Almighty. Witness the stirring coda of the 2005 State of the Union address: “The road of Providence is uneven and unpredictable yet we know where it leads: It leads to freedom.” As in many previous speeches, Bush lingered on the way stations of this divinely lit pathway in the “broader Middle East,” the region stretching from Morocco to Afghanistan.

Bush's Flawed Flypaper Theory

by Chris Toensing | published July 29, 2005

Forget for a moment how shamelessly President George W. Bush tried to manipulate Americans’ emotions by invoking September 11 six times during his recent prime-time sales pitch for staying the course in Iraq. There is no need to recall the reports finding no connection between that day’s terrorist attacks and Iraq, and no call for repeating that Iraq was not in danger of becoming a “safe haven” for al-Qaida until after it was invaded. The president doesn’t really claim otherwise.

Study Group Shows Why US Must Leave

by Chris Toensing | published December 14, 2006

It is time for the United States to leave Iraq.

Not because the consequences of withdrawal won’t be dire for Iraq, but because these consequences are occurring anyway, in slow motion. Civil war and chaos already envelop the country, both conditions are getting worse and the United States is powerless to arrest the downward spiral.

Slowly, but too slowly for those who will die unnecessarily in the meantime, this somber reality is dawning on Washington. The report of the vaunted Baker-Hamilton commission, released December 6, offers a blunt diagnosis of multiple problems besetting the Bush administration Mesopotamian misadventure.

Waging Peace, Step by Step

by Chris Toensing | published October 15, 2007

The war debate in Washington is bogged down. Partisan rancor is one reason why, and bipartisan desire for US hegemony in the oil-rich Persian Gulf is another. But many Americans are vexed by a nobler concern: that a “precipitous” US departure from Iraq would leave intensified civil war, ethnic-sectarian cleansing and massive refugee flows in its wake. This concern is legitimate.

The Reawakened Specter of Iraqi Civil War

by Michael Wahid Hanna | published April 17, 2009

April has already been a cruel month in Iraq. A spate of bombings aimed at Shi‘i civilians in Baghdad has raised fears that the grim sectarian logic that led the capital to civil war in 2005-2007 will reassert itself. On April 6, a string of six car bombs killed at least 37 people; the next day, shortly after President Barack Obama landed in Baghdad, another car bomb killed eight; and on the morrow, still another bomb blew up close to the historic Shi‘i shrine in Kadhimiyya just northwest of the capital’s central districts, taking an additional seven civilian lives.

A Precarious Peace in Northern Iraq

by Quil Lawrence | published October 1, 2009

On a stifling August afternoon in 2008, just as Iraq was recovering from the worst of its sectarian civil war, the Arab and Kurdish parties allied with the United States came to the edge of an ethnic bloodbath whose consequences for Iraq and the region would have been every bit as frightening. The trouble started when the mayor of Khanaqin, a predominantly Kurdish city in the Diyala province along the Iranian border, received a frantic call from a police station beyond the Alwand River on the west side of town. “They told me that the Iraqi army was on its way,” said the mayor, Muhammad Mula Hassan. “No one had informed me. A minute later we heard that the Iraqi army was surrounding Khanaqin.

The Worldly Roots of Religiosity in Post-Saddam Iraq

by Faleh A. Jabar
published in MER227

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