11 December 2018
English Arabic
BAGHDAD — Iraqis are still haunted by memories of black-clad death squads roaming Baghdad neighborhoods a decade ago, cleansing them of Sunnis as the country was convulsed by sectarian violence. Many of the mass killings in the capital were done in the name of Moktada al-Sadr, a cleric best remembered by Americans for fiery sermons declaring it a holy duty among his Shiite faithful to attack United States forces. The militia he led was armed with Iranian-supplied weapons, and Mr.…
Regardless of how one chooses to read the outcome of last Saturday’s elections in Iraq, one thing is for sure: Iraqi voters have rejected the status quo and sought fresh political players to take over. Outgoing prime minister Haider Al Abadi, whose Victory List wooed disenchanted Sunni voters as well as Shiites, lost most of his base to two opposing coalitions: An anti-Iran, anti-United States alliance of Islamists, secularists and Communists, led by nationalist Shiite cleric Moqtada Al Sadr, and…
WASHINGTON — Fourteen years after Muqtada al-Sadr’s militias fought American troops, the United States is preparing to work hand in hand with the charismatic Shiite cleric and his movement, hoping to find common cause in curtailing Iran’s influence in the wake of an upset Iraqi election. Like many Iraqis, Washington was caught off guard by the election, in which a coalition organized by al-Sadr took the largest share of the parliamentary vote. Although al-Sadr, who didn’t run himself, won’t become…
THERE is an air of optimism in Iraq, which will hold parliamentary elections on May 12th. It will be the fifth such vote since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003, bolstering Iraq’s status as one of the few Arab democracies. Under the country’s electoral law 25% of parliament’s 329 seats must be held by women (see chart). Nearly 2,600 of them (37% of candidates) are running this year. Campaign posters of female candidates, some wearing Islamic headscarves, others uncovered…
Finally, and thanks to the upcoming elections it seems, the machine has begun working, and we now hope that it will not break down again or suffer any damages that burn out its engine as soon as the ballot boxes close on the evening of the 12th of May. By the machine, I mean the one fighting administrative and financial corruption. Fighting corrupt leaders In the past few months, Prime Minister Haidar Al-Abadi escalated his tone while speaking out on…
There has been a rising sentiment against Iranian meddling in Iraqi affairs among members of the Shia community. The upcoming Iraqi parliamentary and local elections are likely to present an opportunity for Iraq to curb Iranian influence, which has dominated the country since the 2003 US-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein. Ahead of the May 12 elections, the Iraqi government and influential politicians have been engaged in reconciliatory moves vis-a-vis Iraq’s neighbours, breaking its apparent overdependence on Iran. A visit by Iraqi Prime Minister…
On the 15th anniversary of the overthrow of Saddam Hussein by US forces, Iraq is reaching another critical moment in its troubled history. The outcome of the parliamentary elections scheduled for May 12 could end the more positive trajectory under the current leadership and inaugurate yet another troublesome chapter. Possibly, perhaps even most likely, these elections will institutionalize Lebanon’s Hezbollah model (in the most negative of senses) in Iraq.Iraq’s political system since the US invasion already replicates Lebanon’s. After one-and-a-half…
Iran's influence is looming large as Iraqis prepare to head to the polls for parliamentary elections in May, with many in the country worried that Tehran may be looking to strengthen its political grip on Baghdad through the ballot box. Iranian support and military advisers helped Baghdad's Shiite-led government beat back the Islamic State group. But with IS militants now largely defeated militarily, Iran's expanding influence has emerged as one of Iraq's most divisive issues ahead of the balloting. That…
In 2003, as U.S. forces entered Baghdad, Muqtada al-Sadr was a young Shiite Muslim cleric, little known to the American troops who toppled Saddam Hussein and ushered in a tumultuous new Iraq. As liberation turned into occupation, Sadr, the son of a revered grand ayatollah killed for opposing Saddam, compiled a militia that presented such a serious challenge to American forces, the U.S. vowed to kill or capture him. A couple of years later, his Mahdi Army was embroiled in…
OHA, Qatar — Global anxiety that the United States will take military action against Iran has increased now that President Trump has appointedJohn Bolton as his national security adviser. Mr. Bolton has long promoted regime change in Iran, argued for bombing Iran and a more assertive American policy against Iranian expansionism in the Middle East. But the United States cannot effectively confront Tehran and its proxies until it appreciates Iran’s role in state building in Middle Eastern countries decimated by conflict. Iran has…

Iraq reconstruction.. a fool's errand Thursday, 01 March 2018 20:08

Plans for the wholesale reconstruction of Iraq are being trumpeted by Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi and his government cronies. Abadi told the World Economic Forum in Davos in January that his country required over $100 billion to rebuild its shattered infrastructure. At the international conference in Kuwait on 14th February, the Kuwaiti Foreign Minister claimed that over $30 billion had been pledged by 76 countries. Some of the biggest potential donors included Turkey, who pledged $5 billion, the US who say they…

EIFA WARNS ABOUT GROWING PRESENCE OF SEC...

EIFA - Press releaseThere are alarming and escalating reports about the presence...

Exclusive: Biography and record of Hadi Farhan Abdullah al-Ameri

Exclusive: Biography and record of Hadi ...

-European Iraqi Freedom Association (EIFA)- Hadi Farhan Abdullah al-Ameri, know...

Iraq: We must stop meddling by Iran and its criminal militias

Iraq: We must stop meddling by Iran and ...

Brussels, European Iraqi Freedom Association (EIFA) press release - The continui...