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Archive for 'Iraq'

Neoconservatism: A Lament

In 2003 I did not just support the Iraq War, I supported an ideology associated with many of the most vocal proponents of that war: neoconservatism. The purpose of this post is not to criticise Tony Blair for his decision to go to war, although one has to admit that Iraq in 2016 is not [...]

Lest we forget

Here’s a reminder of why some of us supported the invasion of Iraq and the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in 2003. (Hint: It had little to do with alleged weapons of mass destruction and nothing to do with oil.)

What was (and remains) unforgivable, and borders on criminal, was the utter failure to deal competently with [...]

How to Build Nations

This is  a cross-post by James Snell
The story of Emma Sky, newly told in her memoir The Unravelling: High Hopes and Missed Opportunities in Iraq, is a fascinating one. An opponent of the war in Iraq – someone, in fact, who had proposed serving as a human shield in the first Gulf War – does not [...]

Kamel Sachet and Islamism in Saddam’s Security Forces

This is a cross-post by Kyle Orton
Book Review: The Weight of a Mustard Seed: The Intimate Life of an Iraqi Family During Thirty Years of Tyranny (2009) by Wendell Steavenson
Wendell Steavenson’s The Weight of a Mustard Seed—the title drawn from a verse of the Qur’an about the difference between attaining heaven and hell—comprises five years of research [...]

Did Saddam Hussein Become A Religious Believer?

This is a cross-post by Kyle Orton
It should be stated up front that the question posed in the headline is, strictly speaking, unanswerable: only Saddam Hussein could ever answer that question, and even then any out-loud answer given by Saddam could be untrue in any number of directions, for any number of reasons. Still, from [...]

The Iraq War: Not Illegal, Not Immoral, and Not Over

This is a cross-post by James Snell
Today sees the publication of an entirely excellent article in The Times by Nigel Biggar, Regius Professor of Moral Theology at the University of Oxford. In it, the good professor takes apart a number of myths which have been allowed to coagulate about the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the toppling of [...]

A Response to Criticism: Why the Ex-Saddamists in the Islamic State Matter

This is a cross-post by Kyle Orton
In the Jerusalem Post on Sunday, Seth Frantzman wrote in opposition to the idea that the ex-military-intelligence officials of the Saddam Hussein regime had contributed significantly to the success of the Islamic State (ISIS) in taking over large swathes of Syria and Iraq. Much of what Frantzman says, about the [...]

Glenn Greenwald needs to stop being a cheerleader

This is a cross-post by John Sargeant at Homo Economicus
Glenn Greenwald likes to call people tribalists and cheerleaders. He should know, he used to be one in praise of George W Bush. Now, he is a tribalist where everything comes back to the evil of Bush and Blair. I engage with his desire to say [...]

Saddam and the Taliban

This is a cross-post by Kyle Orton
In the last two posts, examining the Saddam Hussein regime’s long relationship with al-Qaeda, a noticeable sub-theme was the connections the Saddam regime had with the Taliban theocracy in Afghanistan. The evidence accumulated suggests that Saddam’s policies in his later years, namely the Islamization of his own regime and instrumentalization of Islamists [...]

Galloway’s dancing partner dies

Tariq Aziz, Iraq’s former foreign minister and deputy prime minister, who loyally provided an urbane facade to Saddam Hussein’s unspeakably brutal regime, has died in hospital at the age of 79.
George Galloway once wrote of his experience on “the crowded dance floor of a North African nightclub … dancing with Tariq Aziz, the deputy prime [...]