A few articles and books we’ve referenced this week in our efforts to understand and explain (some of) what is going on in Iraq with regard to the heightened sectarian rhetoric, the militant assaults on government institutions, and the much discussed re-drawing of borders.
SADDAM HUSSEIN The Politics of Revenge, SAÏD K. ABURISH
Republic of Fear: The Politics of Modern Iraq, Kanan Makiya
ON RE-DRAWING STATE BORDERS
There Is No al-Sham
Militants in Iraq and Syria are trying to re-create a nation that never existed.
WHO ARE THE FIGHTERS?
Someone Is Spilling ISIS’s Secrets on Twitter
Palace intrigue on ISIS in-fighting and fragile partnerships for war and governance among would-be enemies.
Mulling Iraq options: Begin by telling me which of these groups you want to bomb
The title is misleading and unhelpful, but the article has a great roundup summary of “who’s who” among the players right now.
Do the Iraq rebels belong to ISIS, the Baath party, or clans?
“Qaeda sneaks in to angry societies w/ political vacuums. [But] their aims aren’t the aspirations of all angry Iraqis.”
A helpful piece on why “religious sectarianism” portrayed as “Sunni-Shia conflict” is a reductionistic view of what is really going on in Iraq.
Iraqi Premier Maliki Gaining Strength as Sectarian Strife Tears Nation Apart
A helpful look into the fact that not all opposition to Maliki’s “Shia-led” government is sectarian in origin—that is, many Shia oppose his policies and promulgate theories that the prime minister may even instigate or orchestrate chaos so as to lead the country through it and further consolidate power.
UNITY & SECTARIANISM
Mosul’s Christians Say Goodbye
Lots of people are talking about the targeting and extermination of Christians in Iraq. This is probably the best article I’ve read to date.
Sistani stresses need for unity over sectarianism in battle for Iraq
Grand Ayatollah calls on Iraqis to “[strengthen] the bonds of love between each other, and to avoid any kind of sectarian behavior that may affect the unity of the Iraqi nation.”