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Dictators and Violence; What Saddam could teach Gaddafi

Violence only works if it is overwhelming. Up to a critical point, civilian losses embolden protestors who will rally against the injustices they see in the loss of their comrades. If the losses are massive, and pass that point, protestors are likely to realise that the state means business and is here to stay. This […]

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Day of Rage

There have been exhilarating winds of change in the Middle East, thanks in no small part to Twitter and Facebook. Today it’s Iraq’s turn, and London-based Iraqis have been debating whether or not its a good thing. A couple of weeks ago, Nouri al-Maliki backed the protests, people there told me that this one move made him […]

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Gas was Mubarak’s gift and downfall

There’s a certain time in the evening of any social gathering, normally between one or two o’clock, where the most important focus of any conversation is damage limitation. Having put up with most people with grace, time starts to wear away our cloak of civility. Nodding politely inevitably makes way for honest observation and mischief […]

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18 minutes

…is how long it would have lasted in Iraq before Saddam’s tanks rolled in and started massacring people. The other day I watched a video of the Cairo protesters dancing and singing “Hosni Mubarak has gone mad” and “Get out Hosni Mubarak”. They were waiving their signs and stuff, was adorable. Reminded me of another […]

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On Wikileaks and Corruption

An anonymous poster admonished this blog for being “pro-government and pro-Da’wa” for not covering the reactions to the Wikileak release or the Transparency International corruption findings. I am not sure that attack was completely warranted (see Mousa’s latest entry), but these are two topics I have personally been following closely since they broke, and wrote […]

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A record worse than Saddam’s? Think again.

Bad girl Yasmin Alibhai-Brown. Like many others who have been trawling through the secret military records leaked on Friday, I was shocked at the candid indifference and complicity of the US military towards human rights violations in Iraq, but also the incompetence of the Iraqi government. The leaked documents though, in many respects, did not […]

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Prisons & Compensations

Amnesty International recently released a report  claiming wide-spread abuse in Iraqi prisons, 30,000 detainees and many of them without trials or even charges. Amongst them a dual UK/Iraqi citizen whose wife claims has been tortured in prison. The Iraqi government was quick to deny all the findings of this report and Deputy Justice Minister Busho […]

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The Dilemma of US Foreign Policy: Between Oil and Terrorism

As many prepare to protest outside the Saudi Arabian embassy in London on 25 September, over a cemetery that was destroyed 85 years ago, they will also be making a stand against an ideology of intolerance that has affected billions across the world. The ‘Jannat al-Baqi’ [Garden of Paradise] cemetery is located near Prophet Mohammed’s […]

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British Elections… Iraqi Style!

I was speaking to a friend of mine who lives in Iraq this morning and he made the mistake of asking me about the state of politics in the UK after he had heard there was an election. This brought out my mischievous side and I decided to fictionally explain it to him, the only […]

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With brothers like these…

We have been hearing for years that a London to Baghdad direct flight was imminent, so I was pleasantly surprised when I heard earlier in the month that the flight was scheduled, and despite a slight geological hiccup in Iceland, would actually take place. But then the whole mood was soured some what by the […]

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