Toby Dodge on rebuilding Iraq

Dr Toby Dodge in the Independent writes that calling for speedy troop withdrawal in the vain hope that things will somehow miraculously get better once British and American troops have gone cannot deliver this. He concludes that An honest and sustainable approach to the unfolding tragedy would be, first, to admit that the situation is very bad and getting worse. Second, it would admit that the rebuilding of the Iraqi state and reconciliation of its population is beyond the resources or capacity of any one state, even the world’s sole remaining super power. Once these two things have been recognised, … Continue reading Toby Dodge on rebuilding Iraq

Irish lessons for Iraq

The Irish Times (via reports that Iraqi foreign minister Hoshyar Zebari is studying the Northern Ireland peace process “very closely” to see if the same approach could help resolve the conflict in his own country but recognises that that the problem was the greater intensity and viciousness of the Iraqi conflict and that the insurgents had no political dimension. He said that the motto of those who are fighting us is very simple: Either we rule Iraq or we burn Iraq.’

Observers report on Iraqi referendum

The Next Century Foundation provided the only international observers operating at large in the interior of Iraq and accredited as election monitors to the Independent Electoral Commission for Iraq during the recent referendum on the new iraqi constitution. Their warts and all report concludes that Overall, we regard this referendum as having been fair — despite minor local irregularities. Though these were regrettable, they had no significant effect on the final outcome.

President Barzani at Downing Street

The Kurdistan Regional Government web site carries a transcription of the joint press conference given by Tony Blair and the Iraqi Kurdistan President Barzani on 31st October. Tony Blair met with Masoud Barzani at Number 10 and spoke briefly to journalists afterwards. Opening statements Tony Blair: Good afternoon everyone. A very warm welcome to President Barzani. We are delighted to have you here, Sir. Thank you for everything that you are doing in Iraq at the present time. Obviously after the Constitutional Referendum the next stage is to have successful elections in December. We hope that they will be successful … Continue reading President Barzani at Downing Street

Review of history of the Stop the War Coalition

Abdullah Muhsin and Gary Kent review a history of the Stop the War movement at Democratiya and conclude that This book should include a health warning. It embraces authoritarian language with little space for dialogue or even fair debate. It is glossy, visually busy and bitty in the modern style, with coffee table production values, attractive photographs, and appalling politics. One day a decent history of the Stop the War Coalition will be written. This isn’t it.