Category: Analysis

Polls Give Iraq’s Reformers the Advantage, the Vote May Be Theirs to Lose

Originally published by Fikra Forum – August 20, 2021 This October will mark the two-year anniversary of Iraq’s Tishreen protest movement that shook the country’s political establishment, bringing down the government of Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi and compelling Baghdad to schedule early parliamentary elections. October is also when those elections… Read more

Iraqi Activists And The Difficult Decision To Boycott Elections

In October 2019, a broad based protest movement in Iraq seized international headlines with mass rallies, marches, occupation-style encampments, and civil disobedience in Baghdad and other cities across the south. Activists dubbed their movement “Tishreen” from the Arabic word for October. Despite the largely peaceful, inclusive, and organized nature of… Read more

Iraqi protesters’ perilous journey to the ballot box

Originally published by the Middle East Institute – March  22, 2021 With the approach of Iraq’s next parliamentary elections in October 2021, pro-reform candidates are facing troubling obstacles as they prepare to compete against the country’s establishment parties, which include armed militias that have dominated Iraq’s parliament since 2018. To… Read more

Closing the US Embassy in Baghdad Is the Wrong Answer

Originally published by the LSE Middle East Center Blog – October 5, 2020 Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s threat to close the American embassy in Baghdad exposes a dangerous dichotomy in the Trump administration’s Iraq policy. Less than six weeks ago, the administration gave visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi… Read more

Will young protesters be the dark horses in Iraq’s next election?

Originally published by Middle East Monitor – September 3, 2020 On 4 August, Iraqi activist Ridha Al-Igaili’s home in Amara, the capital of Maysan province, was attacked by militiamen who fired a rocket-propelled grenade and sprayed the building with bullets. This was the second attempt on his life this year.… Read more

IRAQ’S HEALTH SYSTEM AT RISK: THE STRUGGLE TO FIGHT COVID-19 AND SAVE LIVES

The COVID-19 pandemic, which for the first few months seemed to mysteriously spare Iraq’s exposed population, is now hitting the country of 39 million and its under-resourced health system hard. The main cause has been poor compliance with social distancing policies by many Iraqis who haven’t taken the pandemic seriously… Read more

The real cost of US-Iran escalation in Iraq

Originally published by the Middle East Institute – January 27, 2020 As an Iraqi American who lived through the 1991 Gulf War and 2003 U.S.-led invasion to bring about regime change, I have witnessed firsthand how U.S. wars in the region can break out when Baghdad and Washington fail to… Read more

EXPLAINER: The Impact of U.S.-Iran Hostilities on Iraqi Aspirations for Sovereignty, Peace and Democratic Reform

With the U.S. targeted killing of Iranian Quds Force Commander Qassim Soleimani and U.S.-Iran confrontations on Iraqi soil, we are closely following fast moving events that carry very serious risks to people we care about, and for the future of peace and democratic reform in Iraq. WHAT WE KNOW Inside… Read more

Iraq’s Shabaks and the Search for Land Rights and Representation

Interview with Mr. Hussein al-Shabaki, member of the Free Shabak Movement This is the third in a series of interviews we had with representatives of various minority communities in Ninewa. More interviews will be published in the coming weeks. As part of EPIC’s work on Safe Return, a USAID project… Read more