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The March of Shiism
Updated: November 200
 
Today, the key to the future of Iraq is in Tehran. On April 9, 2003, the day US forces occupied Baghdad, control in Mesopotamia was transferred to Iraq’s 60% Shiite majority after a thousand years of Arab Sunni control. Washington’s elimination of the Wahhabi Talibans in Afghanistan in 2001 and Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq in 2003 allowed Iran to become the major power over Iraq and the world’s richest oil region. On April 9, 2003, the U.S. won the battle against a tattered Iraq. But Iran, without firing a shot won the war for Iraq; a triumph for the Khomeini revolution---one of Shiism’s greatest moments since Saladin ended the rule of the Shiite Fatimid State in Cairo in 1171 A.D. The British think tank, Chatham House, concluded in August 2006: “The greatest problem facing the U.S. is that Iran has superseded it as the most influential power in Iraq”. To appreciate the reasons why Iran has gained the upper hand in southern Iraq a brief outline of the Shiite/Sunni divide and the forces that bind Shiism together would be helpful. To read more...
 
 
Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani: Is He a Spiritual Guide or a Political Leader
Updated: May 2004
 
Washington’s occupation of Iraq in April 2003 handed control of governmental power in Baghdad to the country’s 60% Shiite majority. At the top of the new power pyramid sits Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani. His personal philosophy will dictate whether Iraq becomes a theocratic dictatorship or a secular democracy. Is the Ayatollah of the Quietist School (separates religion from politics), or is he of the Khomeini activist Wilayat Al-Faqih School (combines religion with politics)? This question has attracted a good deal of attention in recent years. The answer could reveal the colors of Iraq’s post-occupation governance and the consequences it might have on the Middle East and beyond.
        This article explores the basis of the Ayatollah’s immense spiritual hold over the millions of his followers in Iraq, Iran, and elsewhere. It also recalls political decisions made by the Ayatollah since 2003 that help shed light on his preferences.  To read more...
 
 
A verdict on the “surge”
Updated: November 2009
 
Was the decline in American casualties since the second half of 2007 due to the Bush administration's 30,000-soldier “surge” in Iraq in January 2007? The answer is no. There are more important factors than the "surge" that brought about the reduction in American casualties; although, the timing of events made it convenient for the Bush administration to credit the "surge" with the success. To read more...


A Report Card: G. W. Bush's Venture in Iraq
Updated: December 2009

As the Bush administration's days came to an end on January 20, 2009, almost six years after the war against Iraq, which started on March 20, 2003, it is worthwhile to take stock of what the Bush White House has accomplished there. To read more...