The Speech on Diplomacy That Obama Should Have Given Last Night

The Speech on Diplomacy That Obama Should Have Given Last Night

Too often in the United States—most especially since 9/11—we equate “doing something” with “doing something military.” George W. Bush gave a traumatized, near-paralyzed US public two options: we either go to war, or we let ‘em get away with it. Faced with that choice,...
Trouble on the Other Side of the Euphrates

Trouble on the Other Side of the Euphrates

Millions of Iraqis made national history last month when they voted in provincial elections secured entirely by the Iraqi army and police. For a country that was in the depths of a vicious sectarian civil war only six years ago, merely defending a nationwide vote is a...
The Wahhabi War on Indonesia’s Shiites

The Wahhabi War on Indonesia’s Shiites

Indonesia’s Shi’a minority is under heavy attack. Men, women, and children have been assaulted, schools damaged, and villages burned to the ground. Many have been killed. It is becoming increasingly clear that Saudi Arabia’s intolerant brand of...
Syria and the Dogs of War

Syria and the Dogs of War

Cry “Havoc,” and let slip the dogs of war;That this foul deed shall smell above the earthWith carrion men, groaning for burial Julius CaesarAct 3, scene 1William Shakespeare “Blood and destruction,” “dreadful objects,” and...
Staunching Syria’s Wounds

Staunching Syria’s Wounds

Almost 18 months after the onset of popular democratic protests, the Syrian revolution increasingly resembles a bloody marathon with no clear finish line on the horizon. Unlike the “lightning” revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, where strongmen were...
Carnage in the Streets of Iraq

Carnage in the Streets of Iraq

In the most violent day in Iraq since the United States pulled out its remaining troops last December, a series of well-thought-out and coordinated terrorist strikes across the country killed approximately 80 Iraqis last Wednesday. As is usually the case in Iraq,...
Review: Eclipse of the Sunnis

Review: Eclipse of the Sunnis

The destruction of Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003 created a power vacuum in the center of the Middle East. Nearly a decade of sectarian warfare and chaos ensued as militants from various communities fought mercilessly for control of Iraq. Ethnic, tribal, and...
Al-Qaeda in Iraq’s Strategy for 2012

Al-Qaeda in Iraq’s Strategy for 2012

It was an ordinary early morning in Baghdad in February 2012. Mothers and fathers were stuck in the grueling traffic of the capital, on their way to work. Their children were all packed up and ready to go to school. Shops were opening up in Baghdad’s market,...

Whining About Winning in Iraq

On infrequent news reports from Iraq I occasionally recognize a place I filmed. In late September 2002 I saw Baghdad, Kerbalah, Najaf, Hamidayah, and other Iraqi cities through the camera lens. Saddam Hussein had just announced he would allow UN weapons inspectors to...
Iraqis in Despair

Iraqis in Despair

While politicians in Washington argue over the future of Iraq, half a world away a bloody battle for the soul of Iraq is being fought by Iraqis who are paying a high price for the U.S. occupation. When asked about Iraq and its future, many Iraqis have the same...