The IMF and the Future of Iraq

by Zaid Al-Ali | published December 7, 2004

On November 21, 2004, the 19 industrialized nations that make up the so-called Paris Club issued a decision that, in effect, traces the outline of Iraq's economic future. The decision concerns a portion of Iraq's $120 billion sovereign debt—a staggering amount that all concerned parties recognize is unsustainable. In their proposal to write off some of the debt, the Paris Club members took advantage of the opportunity to impose conditions that could bind the successor government in Baghdad to policies of free-market fundamentalism.

Hard Time in the Heartland

by Ian Urbina | published September 30, 2003

On April 16, 2003, George W. Bush visited the shop floor at the Boeing plant in St. Louis, Missouri. His 90-minute appearance drew several hundred men and women who help make the military's $48 million F-18 Hornet fighters, 36 of which were deployed during the Iraq war. The purpose of Bush's visit was twofold: to offer thanks to the blue-collar workers equipping US soldiers for their foreign adventures and to provide reassurance in an atmosphere of climbing unemployment.

The Kurds' Secret Scenarios

by Chris Kutschera
published in MER225

 Never have the gardens of Sarchinar and the slopes of Mount Azmar welcomed so many Kurdish families fleeing the heat of Suleimaniya than during the exceptionally long Indian summer of 2002. Squatting on the ground or sitting around tables, grilling shish-kebabs on improvised barbecues or unpacking home-cooked dishes, women dressed in colorful robes mix with men in traditional attire, listening to the last cassette of the Kurdish crooner Omar Dizai, drinking yogurt mixed with water, tea, beer or raki, while children run around nearby. The crowd revels late into the night, seemingly without a care in the world. "For once," says Azad, an engineer, "we Kurds are on the right side of the fence."