April 20, 2013 |
BEIRUT - After a week of violence, Iraq held its first provincial elections Saturday since the departure of U.S. troops last year. Results are not expected for several days, but the conditions under which the vote was held showed that little has changed since the exit of the Americans, who shaped Iraq's current electoral process after leading the 2003 invasion that ousted longtime President Saddam Hussein. Saturday's polling was held amid visible discontent among voters, with balloting delayed in several provinces and vehicular traffic again banned in big cities in an effort to avoid deadly attacks as in every Iraqi election since 2005.
March 26, 2013 |
Iraq is on its way to dissolution, and the United States is doing nothing to stop it. And if you ask people in Iraq, it may even be abetting it. With very few exceptions, an important event in Iraq went unnoticed in the U.S. media this month. Prime Minister Nouri Maliki sent a force that included helicopters to western Iraq to arrest Rafi Issawi, the former finance minister and a leading Sunni Arab opposition member. Issawi, who was protected by armed members of the Abu Risha clan, one of post-2003 Iraq's most powerful Sunni tribes, escaped capture.
March 24, 2013 |
BAGHDAD - Secretary of State John Kerry pressed Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki on Sunday to stop Iran from flying arms across Iraqi territory to the beleaguered Syrian regime, but found him unwilling to give ground. In a visit to Baghdad that was not announced in advance, Kerry told Maliki that the almost daily flights have become a lifeline for Syrian President Bashar Assad that is undermining the efforts of the United States and allies to negotiate the departure of Assad and an end to the 2-year-old war. And Kerry warned that many in the United States are wondering how, after Americans “have tried so hard to be helpful” in rebuilding post-Saddam Iraq, the country could stand in its way. “The overflights from Iran are, in fact, helping to sustain Assad,” Kerry told reporters after the meeting, which he described as “spirited.” PHOTOS: War in Iraq - a look back 10 years later But Maliki repeated Iraq's view that there is no definitive proof that the cargoes are arms, rather than humanitarian aid, as the Iranians contend.
February 13, 2013 |
RAMADI, Iraq - The call to prayer echoes across the quiet highway in western Iraq and a few hundred men gather along the roadside in the frigid night air. Each has a story to tell: a father whose son languishes in jail without trial; a veteran who cannot get a job; a student so terrified of the police that he avoids Baghdad. In the morning, they know the area will fill with thousands of people like them, with stories like their own. Under the flutter of tribal flags, they will shout boisterously the same words heard from protesters across the Arab world: Down with the regime.
December 13, 2011 |
With the last U.S. troops set to depart Iraq, President Obama on Monday welcomed a new phase of "equal partnership" with the Iraqi government, even as both sides admit uncertainty about how that will work. "We're here to mark the end of this war," Obama said, appearing alongside Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki at the White House, and to "begin a new chapter in the history between our countries — a normal relationship between sovereign nations. " The Obama administration faces a host of challenges in postwar Iraq, where the role of the U.S. military in providing future training and assistance for security forces has yet to be defined, beyond both leaders saying it was vital to Iraq's long-term stability.
December 12, 2011 |
Declaring a respectful end to the war he once called "dumb," President Obama today said the United States will continue to help Iraq with its security after this month's troop withdrawal but that now it will do so by helping to train Iraqi forces and by trading with the country as it rebuilds. Appearing alongside Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki, Obama paid tribute to the military personnel who have fought in Iraq over the past nine years. "This is a historic moment," Obama said.