Maliki’s Menage-a-Trois

It has not been an easy month for Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Domestically, the Basra Provincial Council announced a lawsuit against the national Ministry of Oil and the central government in Baghdad is still locked in arguments with the Kurdistan

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. (www.foxnews.com)

Regional Government (KRG) over the issuance of exploration permits and oil payments. More significantly, the worsening crisis in Syria, continuing talks over an attack on Iran’s nuclear program, and Turkish attacks on Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq are testing Maliki’s foreign policy and domestic sovereignty credentials. This week, facing a menage-a-trois of American, Iranian, and Turkish interests in Iraq, Maliki decided to send some powerful messages. Continue reading

Iraqi Clubs Get Busted

Club goers in Baghdad, 2009. (www.almonitor.com)

September was a sad month for the Iraqi party scene. A recent report from al-Monitor details the forced closing of a number of night clubs in Iraq’s capital city of Baghdad. The report cites the official reasons for the closures to be complaints from local citizens complaining of “drunken people near their homes, stores, and markets”. Security officials also claim that night clubs “promote prostitution and host suspects”. Sound like any clubs you know? 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. (www.uskowioniran.com)

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