In Iraq, America Comes After Iran

September 10, 2013

Last weekend’s visit by Mohammad Javad Zarif, who chose Baghdad for his first trip outside Iran as foreign minister, sends a clear signal to the United States: Iraq is in the Iranian camp. This is the message that Iraq is sending at a time when the United States is seeking support for military action...
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Kurds of Syria: No World Attention and No Local Leadership

August 20, 2013

The influx of refugees into Iraqi Kurdistan is not because they are afraid or to seek a better life. It is because they feel abandoned and insecure in their land. Their leaders are not with them, the international community does not want to know anything about them, Turkey is not helping and Kurdistan Region...
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A Legislation that Would Take Kurdistan to the Next Level

August 2, 2013

Two weeks ago, Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani signed into law a landmark legislation passed by parliament that guarantees the right to information. According to the legislation, failure by public institutions and officials to provide information is punishable by the law. Although the penalties are inadequate, the legislation itself provides strong incentive for institutions...
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Islamists and Secularists: Reluctant Bedfellows of a Turbulent Iraq

July 25, 2013

Over the last few days, Iraq’s Islamists and secularists have been attacking and accusing each other in newspaper articles and Facebook posts, most of it centered on the closing of cafes in Baghdad by the city’s staunchly Shiite governor. Secularists have likened the closures to attacks by Al-Qaeda, while the Islamists have applauded the...
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Are Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya Models Anymore?

July 15, 2013

Last month, at a media training session for a number of Syrian local council press officers, I asked each of the participants to name the favorite television channels on their satellite receivers. The unanimous answer was, Al Jazeera. This reminded me of my early days of training journalists in Baghdad in late 2003. Back...
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A different presidency for Barzani

July 9, 2013

Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani’s visit to Baghdad, shortly after the political saga over the two-year extension of his presidency, carries a different symbolism from the visit of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to Erbil. The message of Maliki’s visit was to show that Erbil matters to Baghdad. But the only message one can...
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