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(Nearly) Live from Sadr's Speech

Today, speaking from a podium outside a compound that once was once home to his father, the grand ayatollah who had sacrificed his life defying Saddam Hussein’s brutal dictatorship, Muqtada al-Sadr addressed thousands of loyal followers for the first time since he left Iraq in exile in 2007.

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Sadr's City

Sadr's City

Feared, reviled and revered, Sadr has officially staked his claim to his personal legacy and his nation’s future.

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Radical Shi'a Cleric Muqtada al-Sadr Returns to Iraq

In a developing story, Reuters is reporting that firebrand cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has returned to Iraq after years of self-imposed exile in Iran. The radical nationalist visited the holy city of Najaf where his father is buried. The source said Sadr had left Iraq at the end of 2006.  Sadr, whose Mehdi Army fought U.S. troops after […]

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Iraq in Verses: The Poetry of War and Hope

In an effort to preserve a nation’s humanity after decades of dictatorship and war and in a modest tribute to the enduring spirit of the Iraqi people, I have decided to ring in the New Year with a brief study of the unique and compelling poetry of Iraq.

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Iraq: 2010 in Review

Iraq: 2010 in Review

By this time next year, the United States should have withdrawn all of its troops from Iraq. We can hope that this long, bloody chapter in American military history may be at an end.

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Ave Erbil-ia! Recognition of Oil Contracts makes for a Merry Xmas in Kurdistan!

Ave Erbil-ia! Recognition of Oil Contracts makes for a Merry Xmas in Kurdistan!

On Saturday, Iraq’s new oil minister, Abdul Kareem Luaibi, announced that Iraq will recognize an array of oil deals signed by the Kurds in northern Iraq. Luaibi, who has been at the head of negotiations with the Kurdistan Regional Government also said in his statement that dialog “with our Kurdish brothers will continue in order to reach a resolution […]

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A Holy Night Goes Silent: Iraq's Christian Community Cancels Christmas

A Holy Night Goes Silent: Iraq's Christian Community Cancels Christmas

Sadly, Santa may not make it to Iraq this year. Nor will Iraq’s Christian community enjoy festive decorations, or the tradition of midnight Mass. Any and all public displays of the holiday have been scratched  following Christian leadership’s decision to cancel Christmas celebrations. New al Qaeda threats directed at the tiny community, left reeling by a bloody siege on […]

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Investment in Iraq: Some Expert Perspective from The Economist

Investment in Iraq: Some Expert Perspective from The Economist

In June 2010, the Economist Intelligence Unit surveyed 367 senior executives, all of who had direct input into their company’s decision-making regarding business in the Middle East, about their perceptions of investment in Iraq. All major industries are represented, with energy, manufacturing and financial services having the strongest representation. The ensuing report, titled Iraq Through Investors’ Eyes, details the refined perspective of investors who are already operating in Iraq and the perceptions of others that are either weighing their options or have decided not to invest for the time being.

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Al Qaeda in Iraq Targets Christian Church

Al Qaeda in Iraq Targets Christian Church

The Islamic State of Iraq, an branch of Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), took credit for last night’s massacre at a Baghdad church that killed 52 Iraqi, claiming the attack was designed to avenge the treatment of Muslim women in Egypt.

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WikiLeaks Takes on Iraq: Afghanistan Was Just the Beginning

WikiLeaks Takes on Iraq: Afghanistan Was Just the Beginning

The self-described whistleblower website, WikiLeaks, will release as many as 400,000 sensitive military documents on the U.S. mission in Iraq as early as next week.

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Shadow Government: Allawi, the Saudis and the Sadr Question

Shadow Government: Allawi, the Saudis and the Sadr Question

The top tier of Ayad Allawi’s secular Iraqiya slate met with Saudi leadership in Riyadh today, including King Abdullah to discuss Iran’s meddlesome role in Iraq’s domestic affairs.

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Time to Hurry up and Wait for the Kurdish Bloc

Time to Hurry up and Wait for the Kurdish Bloc

Maliki’s political endurance hangs on the support of the Kurdish faction.

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Sadr Breaks Stalemate by Backing Maliki

Sadr Breaks Stalemate by Backing Maliki

The New York Times is reporting the Sadrist bloc has made a stunning reversal to support erstwhile opponent and political bugbear, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, for another term at the helm of the Iraqi government. The Sadrists’ 39 seats would prove the critical tipping point for the incumbent premiere.

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Long on Platitudes and Short on Persuasion, Obama Calls it a Wrap in Iraq

Long on Platitudes and Short on Persuasion, Obama Calls it a Wrap in Iraq

Last night, President Obama addressed the nation about the end to the U.S. combat mission in Iraq. Packed to the brim with bizarre nautical references, he embarked (pun very much intended) “to give us confidence that our course is true, and that beyond the pre-dawn darkness, better days lie ahead.” Ultimately and unfortunately, his message was as mixed as his metaphors.

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General Odierno Expresses Concerns about Political Stalemate

General Odierno Expresses Concerns about Political Stalemate

While overseeing the departure of American forces in Iraq, Gen. Ray Odierno, warned Sunday that a new Iraqi government may still be months away from formation and said that an extended impasse could create demands for a new election to break the deadlock, which has existed since March 7th. The New York Times published an excellent piece regarding statements made by Odierno yesterday, at headquarters. […]

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About the Author

Reid Smith
Reid Smith

Reid Smith has worked as a research associate specializing on U.S. policy in the Middle East and as a political speechwriter. He is currently a doctoral student and graduate associate with the University of Delaware's Department of Political Science and International Relations. He blogs and writes for The American Spectator.

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