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New Iraqi Government:  Less than Meets the Eye?

New Iraqi Government: Less than Meets the Eye?

By Juan Cole The Iraqi parliament finally voted in the government of new Prime Minister Haydar al-Abadi on Monday, in what US Secretary of State John Kerry called a “turning point.” There…

Iraq:   Is the Battle of Amerli a Turning Point?

Iraq: Is the Battle of Amerli a Turning Point?

By Juan Cole The Iraqi military is maintaining that it has successfully relieved the town of Amerli (pop. 15,000) in northern Iraq from a siege by ISIL (the so-called Islamic State of…

Can al-Abadi win over Iraq’s Moderate Sunnis?

Can al-Abadi win over Iraq’s Moderate Sunnis?

By Juan Cole Arguably, the so-called Islamic State (actually a vicious gang of serial killers) could never have taken over northern and Western Iraq if the largely Sunni Arab populations there had…

Egypt’s Cover-Up: Rabia Massacre One Year Later

Egypt’s Cover-Up: Rabia Massacre One Year Later

By Sarah Leah Whitson Published in: Open Democracy “Forget about Morsy, forget about Rab`a,” my Egyptian neighbourhood grocer told me the other day, expressing the loyalty to the president, Abel Fattah al-Sisi,…

Sexual violence as a war strategy in Iraq

Sexual violence as a war strategy in Iraq

By Nazand Begikhani via Your Middle East “These are strategic theories of rape in wartime which have been deliberately practiced by IS jihadists in Syria and now in Iraq,” writes Dr Nazand…

The Long Knives Come out in Baghdad

The Long Knives Come out in Baghdad

By Juan Cole The coup-like atmosphere created by Nouri al-Maliki’s stationing of his troops at the Green Zone, checkpoints and bridges in Baghdad on late Sunday backfired on him with Iraq’s parliamentarians.…

Nightmare in Iraq

Nightmare in Iraq

Joe Stork via Human Rights Watch Fearing for their lives, more than 150,000 Yezidis fled Sinjar and surrounding villages to mountains north of the city on August 3, 2014 when the Islamic…