Join our mailing list

* indicates required

Tags Matching:

Iraq


  • Originally published 07/08/2014

    Iraq and the Neocons: The Sequel

    "Since many of the neocons cut their teeth inside the Reagan administration, it's hard to believe they were unacquainted with the 'strategic' contours of the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s."

  • Originally published 07/03/2014

    The Caliphate Fantasy

    "The problem with this new caliphate is that it is ahistorical, to say the least."

  • Originally published 07/02/2014

    The Acute Danger of Iraqi Dams

    It's been apparent at least since the American-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 that the Mosul Dam, Iraq's largest, could spell devastation for Iraq due to a combination of faulty construction, governmental indifference, and an ongoing civil insurrrection.

  • Originally published 07/02/2014

    Iraq Must Not Come Apart

    Such a rupture would ignite terrible slaughter inside the country and unsettle the Middle East as a whole.

  • Originally published 06/27/2014

    The Lies We Believed (And Still Believe) About Iraq

    Our report found that in the two years after the terrorist attacks of 9-11, President George W. Bush and seven of his administration’s top officials made at least 935 false statements.

  • Originally published 06/24/2014

    Fixing the world after Iraq

    How shall we effectively improve our chances for surviving and prospering on this endangered planet?

  • Originally published 06/19/2014

    Who Won Iraq?

    Lost Dreams, Lost Armies, Jihadi States, and the Arc of Instability.

  • Originally published 06/19/2014

    A cautious Obama misreads history

    Two instincts — one predictable, the other surprising — help explain the arc of Barack Obama’s presidency.

  • Originally published 06/19/2014

    Deconstructing The Iraq And Syria Conflicts

    The current escalating sectarian violence between the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and Iraqi forces and the unending civil war in Syria are now intertwined and neither can be resolved without the other, which requires a dramatic change in the political and military landscape in Syria and Iraq.

  • Originally published 06/18/2014

    Turkish Support for ISIS

    The Turks offered far more than an easy border crossing: they provided the bulk of ISIS' funds, logistics, training and arms.

  • Originally published 06/18/2014

    The Hour of ISIS Power: How Did It Come To This?

    No longer merely a terrorist organization, it has now formed a renegade military theocracy and is in the process of creating a new Sunni territorial state in the Middle East.

  • Originally published 06/17/2014

    7 Myths about the Radical Sunni Advance in Iraq

    Already in the past week and a half, many assertions are becoming commonplace in the inside-the-Beltway echo chamber about Iraq’s current crisis that are poorly grounded in knowledge of the country.

  • Originally published 06/13/2014

    Obama’s Iraq

    Mosul has fallen, and al Qaeda is on the march towards Baghdad.

  • Originally published 02/08/2014

    The Modern Monuments Men

    The U.S. military's effort to protect the cultural treasures of the world continues even in today's war zones

  • Originally published 08/15/2013

    Archives readies a schoolgirl’s records and a trove of Jewish treasures for return to Iraq

    The girl’s name was Farah. She had thick, dark hair. And in the school snapshot found in the flooded basement of Saddam Hussein’s ­secret-police headquarters, she is smiling and wearing a pretty dress.She was probably about 13 when the picture was taken in the 1950s. She was a student at the Jewish intermediate school in Baghdad, where she scored a 94 in English and an 88 in history.In another time, her life might have passed unnoticed outside of her family and friends.But her school records, and those of other Iraqi Jews, as well as a trove of water-logged treasures from Baghdad’s Jewish past, are being conserved at the National Archives for their return to Iraq next year....

  • Originally published 07/18/2013

    Mark LeVine: Flamenco, Car Bombs and a 'Happy' Future for Iraq

    Mark LeVine is professor of Middle Eastern history at UC Irvine, and distinguished visiting professor at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Lund University in Sweden and the author of the forthcoming book about the revolutions in the Arab world, The Five Year Old Who Toppled a Pharaoh.I don't remember if it was my second or third hospital visit of the day. But the scene will remain etched in my memory. Before me was an Iraqi political activist, roughly my age, lying in what passed for an intensive care ward (less than half the beds have sheets, doctors have to rely on adult-sized IV tubes for children, and hardly any patients receive proper pain or antibiotic medications). He was in tremendous pain from several gunshot wounds, and yet he couldn't stop repeating to me that I shouldn't interpret his shooting as an act of sectarian violence. This is despite the fact that he was Shi'a and his shooter was Sunni, and that the morgue downstairs was overflowing with less fortunate victims of the same kind of violence.

  • Originally published 05/06/2013

    Frank Snepp: The Vietnam Syndrome

    Frank Snepp is a Peabody-award winning investigative journalist and the author of two CIA memoirs.Thirty-eight years ago last week, I was among the last CIA officers to be choppered off the U.S. Embassy roof in Saigon as the North Vietnamese took the country. Just two years before that chaotic rush for the exits, the Nixon administration had withdrawn the last American troops from the war zone and had declared indigenous forces strong enough, and the government reliable enough, to withstand whatever the enemy might throw into the fray after U.S. forces were gone.

  • Originally published 05/06/2013

    Hanging gardens not in Babylon

    No trace of the Hanging Garden has ever been found in Babylon for the simple reason that this wonder of the ancient world was never there in the first place, according to an Oxford researcher.Instead, the Hanging Garden was actually created 300 miles further north in Ninevah, a feat of artistic prowess achieved by the Assyrian civilisation under King Sennacherib, writes Stephanie Daley, a Research Fellow at Somerville College, Oxford.For centuries, Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylonia, has been credited with the birth of a lavishly watered paradise in the fertile crescent of what is now central Iraq in the 6th century BC.But there is one problem: no remains of the Hanging Garden have ever been found in Babylon. When a German team spent 19 years excavating the site during the last century, Ms Daley writes that they "expected to find inscriptions of Nebuchadnezzar confirming that he built the garden"....

  • Originally published 04/23/2013

    Louis René Beres: What's to Blame for America's Senseless Wars?

    Louis Rene Beres is a professor of International Law at Purdue University. Born in Zurich, Switzerland at the end of World War II, he is the author of many major books and articles dealing with world politics, law, literature, and philosophy.Where there were great military actions, there lies whitening now the jawbone of an ass.–Saint-John PerseI am in Vietnam, wondering just how any U.S. president could ever have imagined a purposeful American war in this part of the world. My considerable wonderment has as much to do with the obvious vacancy of 1960s and 1970s-era conceptual justifications (Vietnam as a threatened "domino" was the preferred metaphor) as with patently overwhelming operational difficulties. Notwithstanding the carefully cultivated and contrived images of an indispensable conflict, this was a war that never had a single defensible raison d'etre, and that never displayed any conceivable way of being won.Never.Lately, it was Iraq, although now already officially ended, at least for us. In Afghanistan, a war is still ongoing, even for us. Allegedly, at least for us, the Afghan war will soon be over. For the Afghans, however, it will be status quo ante bellum.At best.

  • Originally published 04/05/2013

    Ancient site unearthed in Biblical home of Abraham

    BAGHDAD –  British archaeologists said Thursday they have unearthed a sprawling complex near the ancient city of Ur in southern Iraq, home of the biblical Abraham.The structure, thought to be about 4,000 years old, probably served as an administrative center for Ur, around the time Abraham would have lived there before leaving for Canaan, according to the Bible.The compound is near the site of the partially reconstructed Ziggurat, or Sumerian temple, said Stuart Campbell of Manchester University's Archaeology Department, who led the dig."This is a breathtaking find," Campbell said, because of its unusually large size -- roughly the size of a football field, or about 260 feet on each side. The archaeologist said complexes of this size and age were rare....

  • Originally published 04/05/2013

    Bringing Babylon back from the dead

    (CNN) -- Babylon was one of the glories of the ancient world, its walls and mythic hanging gardens listed among the Seven Wonders.Founded about 4,000 years ago, the ancient city was the capital of 10 dynasties in Mesopotamia, considered one of the earliest cradles of civilization and the birthplace of writing and literature.But following years of plunder, neglect and conflict, the Babylon of today scarcely conjures that illustrious history.In recent years, the Iraqi authorities have reopened Babylon to tourists, hoping that one day the site will draw visitors from all over the globe. But despite the site's remarkable archaeological value and impressive views, it is drawing only a smattering of tourists, drawn by a curious mix of ancient and more recent history....

  • Originally published 04/04/2013

    Huge find throws new light on ancient Iraq

    The team, directed by Professor Stuart Campbell and Dr Jane Moon, both from Manchester, and independent archaeologist Robert Killick, first spotted the amazing structure – thought to be an administrative complex serving one of the world's earliest cities– on satellite. It was after carrying out geophysical survey and trial excavations at the site of Tell Khaiber that they were able to confirm the size of the complex at about 80 metres square – roughly the size of a football pitch....

  • Originally published 04/01/2013

    Doug Bandow: Obama Didn't Lose Iraq

    Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. He is a former special assistant to President Ronald Reagan and the author of several books, including Foreign Follies: America’s New Global Empire.A decade ago President George W. Bush invaded Iraq. U.S. forces quickly triumphed. But that counted for little when Secretary of State John Kerry visited Baghdad last weekend seeking Iraqi assistance against Syria’s Bashar Assad. What Washington thinks doesn’t matter much in Baghdad these days.Most Americans recognize that blame for the Iraq debacle lies with the Bush administration. It was a foolish, unnecessary war followed by a myopic, bungled occupation. No wonder Washington is finding benefits from its policy of being illusive at best.Yet the leading cheerleaders for the war remain undaunted.

  • Originally published 03/28/2013

    American Anniversaries from Hell

    Still frame from video of the July 12, 2007 air strike in Baghdad, leaked to the public by WikiLeaks in 2010.Originally posted on TomDispatch.com

  • Originally published 03/28/2013

    Victor Davis Hanson: Iraq -- A Convenient Scapegoat

    NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. His The Savior Generals will appear in the spring from Bloomsbury Books. © 2013 Tribune Media Services, Inc.Bring up Iraq — and expect to end up in an argument. Conservatives are no different from liberals in rehashing the unpopular war, which has become a sort of whipping boy for all our subsequent problems.Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan recently enumerated countless pathologies that followed Iraq. Yet to examine her list is to learn just how misinformed we have become in our anguish over the intervention.Noonan writes of Republicans: “It [Iraq] ruined the party’s hard-earned reputation for foreign-affairs probity. They started a war and didn’t win it.”

  • Originally published 03/25/2013

    Haroon Moghul: 10 Years Later -- An American Muslim Looks Back at Iraq

    RD Senior Correspondent Haroon Moghul is a Fellow both at the Center on National Security at Fordham Law and with the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding. Haroon is completing his doctorate at Columbia University and is the author of The Order of Light (Penguin, 2006). He's been a guest on CNN, BBC, The History Channel, NPR, Russia Today and al-Jazeera.I didn’t want to write on the occasion of the Iraq War’s tenth anniversary. So much has been written, and so much of it dully offensive, structurally racist, or profoundly heartless, that I thought it better to skip the subject altogether. What, really, could I say to capture how we should feel? But the woman who commands my building’s front desk in the late night hours is Iraqi.I found this out when, a few days ago, she helped me with the freight elevator. Some folks were buying furniture from me, and while we waited, we started talking. Five years ago, if I remember right, she came to this country. I could not imagine what it would feel like for an Iraqi to find refuge in America, and I wasn’t about to unleash those feelings with a silly, ill-timed question.

  • Originally published 03/25/2013

    Patrick Cockburn: The American Legacy in Iraq

    Patrick Cockburn is a Middle East correspondent for The Independent and also contributes to the London Review of Books.Ten years ago, Iraqis, even if they had originally opposed them, hoped that the US invasion and occupation would at least bring an end to the suffering they had endured under UN sanctions and other disasters stemming from defeat in the first Gulf War in 1991. Today, people in Baghdad complain that they still live in a permanent state of crisis because of sectarian and criminal violence, pervasive corruption, a broken infrastructure and a dysfunctional government. Many Iraqis say that what they want in 2013 is the same as what they wanted in 2003, which is a visa enabling them to move to another country, where they can get a job.

  • Originally published 03/25/2013

    Jeremiah Goulka: A Post-Iraq Security Consensus?

    Jeremiah Goulka writes about American politics and culture, focusing on security, race, and the Republican Party, of which he is a former member.  He was formerly an analyst at the RAND Corporation, a recovery worker in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, and an attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice.  He lives in Washington, D.C.  You can follow him on Twitter @jeremiahgoulka or contact him at jeremiah@jeremiahgoulka.com.  His website is jeremiahgoulka.com.

  • Originally published 03/22/2013

    The Iraq War: A Failure of Presidential Leadership

    2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division during the Battle of Fallujah in 2004. Credit: DoD.In Supreme Command: Soldiers, Statesmen, and Leadership in Wartime, Eliot Cohen argues that civilian leaders need to be deeply involved in the creation and execution of military strategy. His examination of Abraham Lincoln, Georges Clemenceau, Winston Churchill, and David Ben-Gurion shows that civilian leaders who immerse themselves in politico-military decision-making fare better than those who leave the most important decisions to their generals. Cohen published his book in 2002, just in time for President George W. Bush to read it during a vacation in Texas, about six months before U.S. forces invaded Iraq.

  • Originally published 03/22/2013

    HNN Hot Topics: The Iraq War Ten Years Later

    U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Brian L. Wickliffe.News10 years later, an anniversary many Iraqis would prefer to ignore (3-19-13)PollsPOLL: Has the Media Been Open Enough About Its Role in the Iraq War?Poll: Iraq War not worth it (3-17-13)Iraq: The spies who fooled the world (3-17-13)Commentary

  • Originally published 03/21/2013

    Fouad Ajami: Ten Years Ago, an Honorable War Began With Wide Support

    Mr. Ajami is a senior fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution and the author, most recently, of "The Syrian Rebellion" (Hoover Press, 2012).Nowadays, few people step forth to speak well of the Iraq War, to own up to the support they gave that American campaign in the Arab world. Yet Operation Iraqi Freedom, launched 10 years ago this week, was once a popular war. We had struck into Afghanistan in 2001 to rout al Qaeda and the terrorists' Taliban hosts—but the 9/11 killers who brought ruin onto American soil were not Afghan. They were young Arabs, forged in the crucible of Arab society, in the dictators' prisons and torture chambers. Arab financiers and preachers gave them the means and the warrant for their horrific deeds.America's previous venture into Iraq, a dozen years earlier, had been a lightning strike: The Iraqi dictator was evicted from Kuwait and then spared. Saddam Hussein's military machine was all rust and decay by 2003, but he swaggered and let the world believe that he had in his possession a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction. The Arab redeemer, as he had styled himself, lacked the guile that might have saved him. A great military expedition was being readied against him in London and Washington, but he gambled to the bitter end that George W. Bush would not pull the trigger....

  • Originally published 03/21/2013

    10 years later, an anniversary many Iraqis would prefer to ignore

    BAGHDAD — The war that arrived a decade ago is still too painful and too controversial to be taught to schoolchildren or subjected to serious academic study at universities, and the local news media are too busy reporting on the latest bombings, protests and political disagreements to care much about an anniversary.So as historians, pundits and former government officials in Washington and London produce a wave of reminiscences on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq — symposiums have been held, books written, new studies published on the conflict’s toll, human and financial — Iraqis are more concerned with the present.On Friday morning at the pet market in the center of this city, Hasim al-Shimari watched two roosters fighting it out and offered a rejoinder to those marking his war’s anniversary.“You see these people,” he said. “They are here to sell birds to earn some money to help them live. People are not interested in that. They are desperate and want to see real change, so they’ve stopped looking at the news or remembering past events.”...

  • Originally published 03/21/2013

    John R. Nagl: What America Learned in Iraq

    John A. Nagl, a retired Army officer and a research professor at the United States Naval Academy, served in both Iraq wars and is the author of “Learning to Eat Soup With a Knife: Counterinsurgency Lessons from Malaya and Vietnam.”THE costs of the second Iraq war, which began 10 years ago this week, are staggering: nearly 4,500 Americans killed and more than 30,000 wounded, many grievously; tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis wounded or killed; more than $2 trillion in direct government expenditures; and the significant weakening of the major regional counterweight to Iran and consequent strengthening of that country’s position and ambitions. Great powers rarely make national decisions that explode so quickly and completely in their face.

  • Originally published 03/21/2013

    Greg Mitchell: When Chris Hedges, 10 Years Ago, Warned About Coverage of the Iraq Invasion

    Ten years ago, as the US invasion of Iraq began, and I was the editor of Editor & Publisher, I turned to veteran war reporter (then still at The New York Times) Chris Hedges for insight on what was going on—and what was likely coming. On most questions, his was a minority voice.  Also, as it turned out, quite prescient.He told our reporter Barbara Bedway that the US military's use of embedded reporters in Iraq had made the war easier to see and harder to understand. Yes, "print is doing a better job than TV," he observed. "The broadcast media display all these retired generals and charts and graphs, it looks like a giant game of Risk. I find it nauseating." But even the print embeds had little choice but to "look at Iraq totally through the eyes of the US military," he pointed out. "That's a very distorted and self-serving view."

 

  • Originally published 03/20/2013

    David Ignatius: The Painful Lessons of Iraq

    David Ignatius is a columnist for the Washington Post.Ten years ago this week, I was covering the U.S. military as it began its assault on Iraq. As I read back now over my clips, I see a few useful warnings about the difficulties ahead. But I owe readers an apology for being wrong on the overriding question of whether the war made sense.Invading Iraq to topple Saddam Hussein a decade ago was one of the biggest strategic errors in modern American history. We’ll never know whether the story might have been different if better planning had been done for “the day after,” or the Iraqi army hadn’t been disbanded, or several other “ifs.” But the abiding truth is that America shouldn’t have rolled the dice this way on a war of choice....

  • Originally published 03/18/2013

    Saddam’s specter lives on in Iraqi landmarks

    BAGHDAD — The soaring half domes of the Martyr Monument stand out against the drabness of eastern Baghdad, not far from where Saddam Hussein’s feared eldest son was said to torture underperforming athletes.Saddam built the split teardrop-shaped sculpture in the middle of a manmade lake in the early 1980s to commemorate Iraqis killed in the Iran-Iraq War. The names of hundreds of thousands of fallen Iraqi soldiers are inscribed in simple Arabic script around the base.Today the monument stands as a memorial to a different sort of martyr. In recent years, the Shiite-led government has begun turning it into a museum honoring the overwhelmingly Shiite and Kurdish victims of Saddam’s Sunni-dominated regime....

  • Originally published 03/18/2013

    Saddam’s specter lives on in Iraqi landmarks

    BAGHDAD — The soaring half domes of the Martyr Monument stand out against the drabness of eastern Baghdad, not far from where Saddam Hussein’s feared eldest son was said to torture underperforming athletes.Saddam built the split teardrop-shaped sculpture in the middle of a manmade lake in the early 1980s to commemorate Iraqis killed in the Iran-Iraq War. The names of hundreds of thousands of fallen Iraqi soldiers are inscribed in simple Arabic script around the base.Today the monument stands as a memorial to a different sort of martyr. In recent years, the Shiite-led government has begun turning it into a museum honoring the overwhelmingly Shiite and Kurdish victims of Saddam’s Sunni-dominated regime....

  • Originally published 01/15/2013

    The Agony of the Soldier Returned from the Wars

    Water by the Spoonful Second Stage Theater 305 W. 43rd Street New York, N.Y.Elliot, a hulking war vet, has been back from Iraq for two years. He's still trying to find himself as he struggles to rejoin his deeply dysfunctional and drug addicted family in Philadelphia. He faces many of the same problems that vets faced coming home from Vietnam, Korea, all the way back to the American Revolution. He served his country honorably, but suffered physically and mentally. He arrived back a hero, but not to a hero’s welcome.Elliot is the centerpiece of Water by the Spoonful, the new play by Quiara Alegria Hudes, the author of the successful In the Heights. It's a confusing play that rambles through act one in fits and starts, and long stretches of boredom, before finding its way in the middle of act two. That;s is when Elliot lets down his warrior macho and emotional shield. That is when we see the torment he has lived through in Iraq. He was wounded several times and became addicted to pain killers during his recovery. He also has nightmares about the first man he killed in Iraq -- the man’s ghost keeps getting off the ground to struggle with him.

  • Originally published 06/18/2014

    Enemies of Enemies

    The Obama administration is considering working with the Iranian government to deal with the full-blown horrors currently plaguing Iraq. As a non-interventionist, I’m committed to opposing such an approach. If I were a pragmatic realist or a utilitarian I’d be tempted to agree that such an alliance would be the lesser of evils, although as clear as that might seem today, I’d still have my reservations.

  • Originally published 06/18/2014

    The Noninterventionists Told You So

    Contrary to popular belief, there is no satisfaction in being able to say, “I told you so.” This is especially so with Iraq, where recent events are enough to sicken one’s stomach. Yet it still must be said: those who opposed the George W. Bush administration’s invasion of Iraq in March 2003 — not to mention his father’s war on Iraq in 1991 and the sanctions enforced through the administration of Bill Clinton — were right.