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This week’s front page editor

Clare Sambrook

Clare Sambrook, investigative journalist, co-edits Shine a Light.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

The outcomes of Iraq’s 2018 elections

The ramifications from Iraq’s elections do not mean we will witness a better Iraq, but it will certainly differ from the one we know of today.

Heritage peacebuilding in Iraq

After years of funding being pumped to Iraq’s NGO sector based on US military needs, local civil society is rebuilding itself based on Iraqi priorities, not least of which is heritage.

Afghan interpreters: belonging on the battlefield, exclusion from the nation?

The recent Windrush migration scandal poignantly illustrated the tensions between people’s sense of belonging to a country, societal recognition of that belonging, and legal status and access to social rights.

Iraq and Syria: of memory and maps

The interests of outsiders, not those of the battered, bloodied and belittled peoples of Iraq and Syria, drive this brutal political theatre.

The crisis of the state in the Arab region and the rise of the Islamic State

Islamic radical groups, such as the Islamic State, seem to have become the substitute for a failed regional order and failing domestic conditions.

Gassing and selective applications of a ‘Red Line’: lest we forget

The gassing of people is considered exceptionally inhumane, officially a categorical “red line” dividing good from evil. This belief now threatens to trigger an escalation with unpredictable consequences.

How the 2003 US-led invasion changed Iraq forever

Fifteen years after the US and its allies invaded Iraq on March 20, 2003, the country is still entrenched in a cycle of sectarian violence and rampant corruption.

Counter-terrorism: new UK strategy must learn obvious lessons

Since 2001, Britain has compromised its passion for the rights of people in the name of counter-terrorism, thereby undermining its national security and winning enemies faster than they are eliminated.

Prosecuting ISIS crimes against women and LGBTIQ people would set a crucial precedent

A potentially precedent-setting petition at the International Criminal Court could help human rights advocates and survivors of gender-based crimes in conflict.

Will Iraq’s PM embrace a Trump-inspired Saudi-sponsored drive to curb Iranian influence?

Trump-MBS strategy has not made significant headway. Will they succeed in escalating anti-Shia confrontation against Iran and its allies?

The return of authoritarianism is priming the Middle East for more conflict

How is the Saudi-Iranian rivalry overwriting the Arab Spring’s key messages?

Kurds’ choices: heed history or the US?

Who controls Syria’s borders? The US and Israel are encouraging Syrian Kurds to fight the regime and its allies for border control. The ensuing mayhem might unravel the Mideast and far beyond.

In search of cardinal virtues in Iraq

Political violence has ascended into a mode of governance in Iraq today, wherein religious identity reigns supreme.

Iraq and rest of humanity

To ask, why so much violence in Iraq, is, then, to ask what is happening to humanity everywhere in this world?

The challenges of building a shared Iraqi identity

If we take the fracturing of Iraqi memory to be an indicator of the direction Iraq is headed, then it is clear that reconciliation will also entail reconciling such competing narratives of Iraqi history, and thus identity.

استفتاء كردستان والمعارضة السورية: لا موقف.. موقف.. وتخبّط

لم تختلف حصيلة أداء هيئات المعارضة بالعلاقة مع استفتاء الاستقلال الكردستاني من حصيلة أدائها بالعلاقة مع مسائل أخرى.

Iraq’s security dilemma and the intractable problem of the PMF

Given the current political forces in Baghdad and security realities in Mosul, an incremental approach is needed.

The survival game: post-referendum politics in Iraqi Kurdistan

The regional hostile post-referendum moves may seem to leave the Kurds with little reason for optimism, but in Kurdistan, resistance never comes as a surprise.

Iraqi Kurdistan: the fight for a seat at the table of nations

The result of Iraqi Kurdistan’s independence referendum was never in doubt, but the budding state’s future is.

Not another story of failed liberation: tensions in Bashur and Rojava in the light of the referendum

Kurds need to rely on their own strength. The people must directly participate in and control their affairs if the fate of many other postcolonial countries is to be avoided.

Eastern Kurdistan: a silent politics with huge casualties

It is surely time that organisations that are internally active should dedicate their efforts to resuming activities that give hope to the people.

What we are fighting for

The relationship between Iraq and the United States is intimate, toxic, and enduring. It is a relationship whose violence is generally dismissed as inevitable.

Kurdish struggles and the challenge of foreign support: the case of Syrian Kurds

What needs discussing critically is the historical and structural reasons that would leave a revolutionary movement with no option but to ask for help from virtually whoever offers it.

Kurds in Iraq: from Sykes-Picot to no-fly zones and beyond

Will the approaching referendum on independence open up a new phase for the Kurds, abrogating the Sykes-Picot Agreement?

Justice after ISIS: time for judicial triage

The overwhelming reliance on a counterterrorism framework is showing its limits. Judges and local officials in Iraq and Syria are realizing that you cannot lock everyone up.

Kurdistan referendum: why now is the wrong time

It appears that the referendum is arguably nothing more than a bargaining chip used by President Barzani, whilst also covering itself as a clever ploy to lull the suffering Kurdish population away from the on-going problems.

Iraq after ISIS: continued conflict or rebuilding beyond ethno-sectarian identities?

Ignoring priorities that have popular support in Iraq risks undermining post-ISIS attempts to build a stable country, with knock-on effects at a regional level. 

The possible devastating outcome of a Kurdish referendum

An attempt to establish a Kurdish state including Kirkuk is likely to result in a truncated and economically devastated mini-Kurdistan.

Race to the sea: Qatar and the balance of power in the Middle East

If the Qatari crisis is not managed rationally, then it is likely to compound the present risks in the regional balance of power, with consequences for all states in the region.

Why the ICC examination into torture and other abuses by UK soldiers in Iraq must continue

The Office of the Prosecutor is under pressure to conclude the examination. It must remain open. The Prosecutor should be taking it to the next logical step – a full-blown investigation. 

الانبعاثات وارتفاع درجات الحرارة في العراق

ترتفع درجات الحرارة في العراق هذا الصيف لتصل لدرجات غير مسبوقة فبحسب الارصاد الجوية العراقية سجلت المناطق الجنوبية قبل بضعة ايام 51 درجة مئوية وهي الأعلى منذ 30 سنة.

Preparing Iraq for the defeat of IS

Multiple segments of the population, including at elite level, have come together in the fight against IS and now the time has come for this effort to extend beyond the battle.

Can the Kurds pull off Kurdexit?

Iraqi Kurdistan president Masoud Barzani and former Iraqi foreign minister Hoshyar Zebari share their thoughts about the upcoming referendum on the independence of Iraqi Kurdistan.

الغطاء النباتي واثره على التغير المناخي في العراق

يعاني العراق ارتفاع في درجات الحرارة وتأثير الرياح الجافة وتكرار العواصف الغبارية في المنطقتين الوسطى والجنوبية بوجه خاص ويتطلب فهم اثارها البيئية والاقتصادية والاجتماعية والصحية وربما السياسية في الوقت الحاضر والمستقبل، للوصول الى الوسائل الناجعة لتقليل الاثار السلبية.

Lebanon in the eye of the regional storm

Hizbollah’s proven armed capability in Syria, Israel’s perceived political defeat in 2006, coupled with a possible US and Saudi green light, may make confrontation inevitable.

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