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The Obama Administration, Iraq, and the Question of Leverage
Reidar Visser, Historiae (Nov 7, 2008)
With Barack Obama’s victory in the American presidential elections there are expectations of changes in US policy in Iraq, involving a substantial reduction of force levels. The U.S. forces will withdraw in large numbers, but beyond that, and of interest to those who care for Iraq itself, can Obama realistically hope to achieve anything other than a unilateral withdrawal? GO

Wrecked Iraq: What the Good News from Iraq Really Means
Michael Schwartz , TomDispatch.com (Oct 24, 2008)
Since there are far fewer foreign reporters moving around a quieter Iraq, far less news is coming out of that wrecked land. The major newspapers and networks have drastically reduced their staffs there and what's left is often little more than a collection of pronouncements from the U.S. military, or Iraqi and American political leaders in Baghdad and Washington, framing the American public's image of the situation there. GO

Iraq's missing generation
Navtej Dhillon and Elizabeth Ferris, Brookings-Bern Project on Internal Displacement (Oct 16, 2008)
Youth, not oil, is Iraq's most precious asset in building a stable and prosperous future. In 2002, before the US invasion, around 60% of Iraq's population was under the age of 30 – many with high school and university education. Today, too many of those young people are among the 2.2 million Iraqi refugees living in countries such as Syria, Jordan and Lebanon.

Five Years On: The Pentagon Still Struggling to Make Sense of Iraq
Reidar Visser, Historiae (Oct 1, 2008)
The U.S. presidential candidates are not the only ones scrambling to put together a credible interpretation of the situation in Iraq these days. Today, Pentagon released its latest report to the U.S. Congress, entitled "Measuring Stability and Security in Iraq." GO

Whose War Will Win the Election -- McCain's or Obama's?
Ira Chernus , TomDispatch.com (Sep 30, 2008)
In 1932, in the midst of a disastrous economic meltdown, Franklin D. Roosevelt made "the forgotten man" the centerpiece of his presidential election campaign. Far more than we suspect, this year's election may turn not on a forgotten man, but on a forgotten war in a forgotten country. GO

No, Senator Obama, On This One You Were Wrong and McCain Was Right
Reidar Visser, Historiae (Sep 29, 2008)
Senator Barack Obama to Senator John McCain during yesterday's presidential debate: "You said that there was no history of violence between Shiite and Sunni. And you were wrong." Since this is forceful claim about Iraqi history which was presented during a contest for the position as the world's most powerful leader, it is worth examining in some further detail. Let's take a closer look at that "history of violence between Shiite and Sunni" in Iraq. GO

Sunnis Need Political Power
Tiare Rath, Institute for War and Peace Reporting (Sep 29, 2008)
An upcoming provincial council election is certain to turn a new page in Iraqi politics by boosting the representation of Iraq’s once-powerful Sunni Arab minority. Iraq seems to be moving forward these days. Its citizens are fed up with sectarianism and extremism, the violence is somewhat contained, foreign diplomats are returning to Baghdad and high oil prices are feeding the state treasury. Amid the positive signs, the omission of Sunni Arabs from local councils remains a black mark on the process of political development. GO

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