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Iraq, Arms, and Oil

Iraq, Arms, and Oil

Back in the swing of things.
“Iraq could overtake Russia as the world’s second-largest oil supplier behind Saudi Arabia by the 2030s, nearly tripling its current output, according to a report from the International Energy Agency.” (h/t The LA Times)
“Iraq has signed contracts …

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Don’t Forget About Iraq

Don’t Forget About Iraq

An Emerging Power?
The Council on Foreign Relations recently published an interesting memorandum titled “Renewed Violence in Iraq.” The contingency report, authored by Douglas Ollivant of the New America Foundation, offers suggestions as to how the U.S. can help the Iraqi government cope with myriad internal security threats.
Ollivant begins by …

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Al Qaeda in Iraq Threatens America

Al Qaeda in Iraq Threatens America

“You will soon witness how attacks will resound in the heart of your land, because our war with you has now started…“
- Abu Bakr Baghdadi
Presaging the latest wave of violence in Iraq, al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) released a recorded message, heralding the start of Ramadan. The speaker, believed to …

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Iraqi Oil Production Outpaces Iran’s

Iraqi Oil Production Outpaces Iran’s

Although American statesmen and Republican politicians of the Bush era hate to admit it, one of the foundational aims of the war in Iraq – the creation of a liberal democracy – guaranteed an increase in Iranian influence both within Iraq and across the region. The politics of Shi’a majority …

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America’s Troubling Intervention Instinct

America’s Troubling Intervention Instinct

Way back in February I expanded on a report in the Christian Science Monitor that suggested al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) had set up shop against the Assad regime, in Syria. Writing both here and for The American Spectator, I joined the chorus of analysts, academics and pundits who urged caution against …

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Awakening Unrest at Askariya

Awakening Unrest at Askariya

 
The past weeks in Iraq have been marked by an alarming uptick in violence. A recent CNN tally suggested at least 180 people were killed during the month of June – most of them victims of frequent bombings and small arms attacks.
Umpteen explosions in Baghdad, and high-profile assaults …

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Imam Sheds Light on Iraq…Past and Present

Imam Sheds Light on Iraq…Past and Present

Early Wednesday morning, nearly seventy people were killed and more than 100 wounded in a flurry of road-side bombings targeted against Shi’a pilgrims. A redoubtable Sunni insurgency launched the coordinated wave of attacks as tens of thousands of their countrymen participated in a religious festival marking …

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Fractional Frictions Grip Iraq

Fractional Frictions Grip Iraq

Over at the Huffington Post (via AP), Qassim Abdul-Zahra and Brian Murphy raise an interesting point regarding the political crisis currently gripping Iraq’s fragile parliamentary patchwork.
They note leadership in Iran is desperately clinging to their power proxy in Baghdad – Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki, and his factional allies …

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Baghdad Set to Host Next Round of Talks on Iran

Baghdad Set to Host Next Round of Talks on Iran

Today, Iran and the 5+1 group of permanent UN Security Council members (plus Germany) will sit down in Baghdad to discuss the terms of Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.
Iran’s ambassador to Baghdad, Hassan Danaiifar, explained that merely hosting the talks demonstrated a historic chapter in the history of Iraq. But what does …

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Clerical “Closening” Between Iraq and Iran

Clerical “Closening” Between Iraq and Iran

Over at The National, Hassan Hassan has authored an excellent analysis of Iraq’s complex relationship with Iran, and the evolving nature of her ties to the Arab Gulf states. Hassan suggests Iraq’s Arab neighbors should resist knee-jerk presumptions regarding another Persian proxy.
Hassan complements his take with …

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The Donkeys’ Party Enters Kurdistan’s Political Bray

The Donkeys’ Party Enters Kurdistan’s Political Bray

The Donkeys’ Party of Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region unveiled an aptly wrought statue of its four-legged namesake today. Cast in bronze by famed Kurdish sculptor Zerak Mire, the officious fellow is buttoned up in a suit, collared shirt and tie. The political m’ass’cot stands five feet tall …

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Iraqi Political Tensions Alarm Arab Neighbors

Iraqi Political Tensions Alarm Arab Neighbors

Iraq’s fugitive vice president, Tariq al-Hashemi, initially fled Baghdad to Kurdistan to avoid capture at the hands of Shi’a forces loyal to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Rumors spread that the vice president’s body-guard had been slaughtered in a bloody attempt to seize the Sunni VP on trumped-up charges of “terrorism.” …

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Shaima Alawadi and the Fickle Discourse of Instant Obsession

Shaima Alawadi and the Fickle Discourse of Instant Obsession

America is in a state of public mourning for a young man by the name of Trayvon Martin, whose death at the hands of an over-zealous neighborhood watch volunteer – and under suspicions of racial profiling – has sparked a national dialogue on race.
His shooting death has prompted

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“Emo” Eradication in Iraq

“Emo” Eradication in Iraq

As we’ve heard far too many times from Iraq, “the situation is bad, and we’re expecting the worst.”
To update the piece I wrote back on March 7th regarding the targeted killings of members of the LGBT community in Iraq, the violence has metastasized. Now the victims are “emos,” …

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Iraqi LGBT Community Targeted in Coordinated Attacks

Iraqi LGBT Community Targeted in Coordinated Attacks

The San Diego Gay and Lesbian News is reporting that human rights NGOs based in Iraq have received alarming reports that the country is facing another bloody wave of targeted attacks on men, women and children who are believed to be gay or lesbian.
In the past month, some 40 Iraqis …

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