"What is more worrying is that politicians themselves are adapting to the situation rather than trying to change it. The new regime seems to have slipped in to the shoes of the former. Officials squat in the opulent residences of their predecessors, whose era they claimed they were ending. Almost no infrastructure has been built in Baghdad over the past 10 years, except the local government headquarters, the road to the airport and a few flyovers. Traffic police shelters at crossroads are stamped “gift from the town hall”, recalling the “donations” (makarim) of Saddam: a personalised substitute for what should be provided anonymously by the state. Public service salaries remain insufficient, driving employees to find supplementary sources of income, legal or not. High-level corruption is tolerated, documented and used as leverage when necessary. Pervasive social climbing, nepotism and incompetence are poisoning institutions." -- Almost ten years after the start of the War on Iraq, Le Monde Diplomatique looks at what has really changed
posted by MartinWisse
on Mar 3, 2013 -
"After the blast the entire building came down.
As the rescue teams and journalists rushed to the scene, a second explosion took place."
Hazaras are a religious minority who fled from Afghanistan. They are called infidels by Sunni extremist groups operating in Pakistan, and as an ethnic minority, are easily recognized and targeted. The Pakistani government has done nothing to stop these attacks. Last night, more than 83 people from my community lost their lives. For nothing. [more inside]
posted by legospaceman
on Jan 11, 2013 -
Is This a 'Victory'?
"We hear again and again from Washington that we have turned a corner in Iraq and are on the path to victory. If so, it is a strange victory."
posted by homunculus
on Sep 28, 2008 -
The military surge in Iraq is failing. Sure, violence in the country is down significantly, but that's as much due to the Sunni Awakening
, which began
significantly before the surge got going in 2007
. Unfortunately, everyone, particularly the McCain campaign, seems to have forgotten that the goal of the surge was to provide political stability, and it totally hasn't
. [more inside]
posted by Caduceus
on Sep 10, 2008 -
the "Second Liberation of Baghdad"
--coming soon, in which we act as "enforcers", providing "protection" --...American and Iraqi troops would move from neighbourhood to neighbourhood, leaving behind Sweat teams — an acronym for “sewage, water, electricity and trash” — to improve living conditions by upgrading clinics, schools, rubbish collection, water and electricity supplies.
Sunni insurgent strongholds are almost certain to be the first targets, although the Shi’ite militias such as the Mahdi army of Moqtada al-Sadr, the radical cleric, and the Iranian-backed Badr Brigade would need to be contained. ...
Will we be greeted with candy and flowers again as well?
posted by amberglow
on Apr 16, 2006 -
Civil war. Surely this is an adjectival misnomer of the first rank. Of all of the various types of war, civil war -- that is, a violent conflict waged between opposing sides within a society -- has generally been the least mannerly and the most savage... By just about every meaningful standard that can be applied -- the reference points of history, the research criteria of political science, the contemporaneous reporting of on-the-ground observers, the grim roll of civilian and combatant casualties -- Iraq is now well into the bloody sequence of civil war. Dispense with the tentative locution "on the verge of." An active, if not full-boil, civil war is already a reality.Shattering Iraq
See also Iraq: see no evil, hear no evil
Iran gaining influence, power in Iraq through militia
Bush's Strategy, Iraq's New Army Challenged by Ethnic Militias Outside View: Iraq's Grim Lessons
posted by y2karl
on Dec 14, 2005 -
Converting to which
Islam? Most of the new Muslims I read about in the usual media feel impelled to join the "orthodox" Sunni
(if not outright Wahhabi
) variety, as if there is no other. But, as many of you no doubt already know, a non-negligible minority of the world's Muslims are Shi'ite
, whose biggest "Twelver"
branch was made famous by this Ayatollah
To further refute the image of "monolithic" Islam,within the Shia minority are a minority known as "Seveners"
, whose biggest branch
is run by this gentleman
, whose conception of Islam
as "a thinking, spiritual faith, one that teaches compassion and tolerance"
seems more congenial to the self-selected strata inclined to, oh, post to MetaFilter, perhaps especially to "Secular Humanist" atheists like me. (I'll bet some of you can even relate to his divorce
.) Further reading from these links (perhaps with Google's help) should further belie much of the dumbed-down propaganda "mainstream" Americans are spoon-fed about Islam, showing the kaleidoscopic nature of one of today's One True Faiths. (And then there are the almost Zen-like Sufis
, and ....)
posted by davy
on Dec 7, 2004 -
The battle the US wants to provoke
Make no mistake: this is not the "civil war" that Washington has been predicting will break out between Sunnis, Shias and Kurds. Rather, it is a war provoked by the US occupation authority and waged by its forces against the growing number of Shia who support Moqtada al-Sadr (by Naomi Klein in Baghdad).
posted by acrobat
on Apr 6, 2004 -