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Iraqi soccer team is playing in the Asian Cup to defend its title as the champion of 2007 tournament. Today we won the match with UAE team by luck. The Iraqi government owned Iraqiya TV news anchor read the following...

As if Saddam never was

Our schools are different from schools in the U.S. in that the teachers are required to stick to the material in the text books that the Ministry of Education prints, and are not permitted to deviate from the curriculum in...

The Unnecessary Checkpoints

Good news for all poor normal Iraqi people. The commander in chief of the armed forces Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki ordered the security forces to remove all the UNNECESSARY CHECKPOINTS throughout Baghdad. For me and for all normal people who...

Government formation, people's opinions

After more than nine months, the Iraqi political parties agreed about forming a new government. This big event that all the world news agencies covered seemed to have no echo among the Iraqi public, who completely ignored the news. Here...

The National Council for Strategic Policies

The most recent draft of the legislation to govern the proposed National Council for Strategic Policies (NCSP) leaked to an Iraqi news website yesterday. This is the body which Ayad Allawi is supposed to chair under the deal between him, Barzani and Maliki. Show More Summary


Last Tuesday was one of the most frightful days in my life. I was 115 miles away from my family sharing my uncle’s family their sorrow for losing my uncle who died last Sunday. It was the second day of...

Maliki's rivals are not giving up yet

Unnamed politicians say that former PM Ibrahim Jaafari, Finance Minister Bayan Jabr, and the sketchy Ahmed Chalabi will be working separately to foil Maliki's efforts to assemble a cabinet. The key, according to the report, is in the...Show More Summary

Government formation update

The government formation process seems to have reached critical mass and I suspect we’re going to see some interesting developments within the next couple weeks. Here’s where the different groups stand as of now: The Sadrists (40 seats) made a 180 degree turn earlier this week by supporting Maliki’s bid for a second term. Show More Summary

On the radio

Will be on the Brian Lehrer-WNYC show tomorrow starting 10:06 Am EST to talk about the withdrawal of combat troops and Obama's speech.

New Op-Ed

Check out the opinion page at the WSJ tomorrow. Austin Bay and I will have a piece on government formation.

Realities, rules, relationships won't help surge succeed

Debating the surge in Afghanistan, on The Hill. Here are my two cents. When the Bush administration unveiled the Iraq surge and new war strategy, then Senator Barak Obama opposed the plan, arguing it was bound to fail and increase the violence. Show More Summary

False alarm

Yes. That's what the post from July 8 was. It was very disappointing because Maliki did in fact make such statement and it was reported the next day by numerous local and Arab sources. It was probably a statement that he made without...Show More Summary

Maliki Concedes the Premiership to Allawi

It looks like Allawi is about to get what he deserves as the winner in the March 7 election: Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki said that he is not opposed to having al-Iraqiya bloc of Ayad Allawi form the new government, if the matter was...Show More Summary

Allawi-Maliki Deal Imminent

Nouri Al-Maliki and Ayad Allawi are going to meet tonight at 6pm local time, at Allawi's Iraqiya bloc offices. Word in some local media and speculations by some politicians indicate that a deal between the two leaders is imminent. The...Show More Summary

Najaf on Vatican's Steps?

A growing sex scandal that recently surfaced is probably going to haunt the Najaf clergy, particularly that of Ayatollah Ali Sistani, for a while. Recently, a bunch of video clips appeared on youtube, in which Sistani's representative...Show More Summary

Time for some maintenance

I decided it was time to finally endorse Blogger's new (a couple years old actually!) goodies and fancy tools. So, I will be upgrading, adding, removing, adjusting and readjusting page elements, sidebar content, links etc one thing at a time, meaning it will probably take a couple weeks until things return to normal. Show More Summary

Maliki at a Crossroads

Two months after election and six weeks after results were announced, we are farther from figuring out the shape of the new government than we were on election eve. The largest three blocs (Allawi's Iraqiya, Maliki's SoL and Hakim/Sadr's INA) are struggling to wrestle the initiative from one another. Show More Summary

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