Another Nationalist Victory over Sectarianism in Iraq?

A very interesting piece published on al-Monitor’s website today argues that Turkey has overestimated its ability to facilitate a Sunni Arab-Kurdish partnership capable of advancing Turkish interests in Baghdad.

Interestingly, the piece credits Iraq’s Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for playing up Iraqi-Arab nationalist sentiments among Iraqi Sunnis to rally them against Kurdish and Turkish influence. Continue reading


Marketing 101 with Prof. Khamenei

This post is an installment in my quest to better understand the religious and ethnic drivers behind the loyalties of Iraqi Shiites and Iraqi Kurds during the Iran-Iraq war. This subject will be presented in the form of a research paper at the end of the semester.

Billboard of Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei in Iraq. (

A new symbol of Iranian influence has recently hit the streets of Iraq, billboards of Iran’s Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. A recent article from the Associated Press states that the billboards, adorned with Continue reading

A Note on the Events in Libya and Egypt

(This is a personal post and reflects solely the views and opinions of the author. It is in no way a product or reflection of class discussions.)

As a Marine fighting on the front lines of America’s war on terror, I observed firsthand the life changing effect of helping someone build hope for the future and the power of tolerance, understanding, and discourse in achieving that hope. Unfortunately, too many times I also observed the terrible price to be payed in the absence of tolerance, understanding, and discourse, when hope is gone. The events which occurred in Cairo and Benghazi epitomized that loss of hope. Continue reading

The Others in my Life

This week’s blog topic asks us to look at the ‘others’ in our community. Naturally, when we think about others we tend to image those who are physically different than us. Those who look different or speak differently. This gut instinct makes it difficult to reflect on the others in my community. Not because I am some holier-than-thou post-racial person, but because my community, for the most part, looks just like me. Continue reading


Any discussion of minority identities in Mesopotamia almost always ends with one group, the Kurds.This week’s class discussion about the League of Nations mandate system in the post World War I Middle East coupled with current events sparked an interest in the Kurdistan region. Kurdistan is a subject which is often brushed over when learning about the Middle East. Certainly, this can not be due to any lack of importance in the region. A quick search of recent headlines Continue reading