The Powerful Militias in Iraq 1

The Powerful Militias in Iraq Part 2

The invasion in 2003 led to a significant weakening of the security situation in Iraq. The militias have primarily arisen as a consequence of the invasion, and state security forces say the inability to protect their own civilian population. A major challenge for the Iraqi state has been to provide public services that Iraqis depend […]

Iraq from Tyranny to Chaos 3

Iraq: from Tyranny to Chaos Part 3

5: Civil War The bombing of the Samarrah Mosque and the retaliatory actions that followed were not the starting point for the gloomy situation in Iraq. They were triggered by an occupation and circumstances that had gradually built up. According to the Iraqi government, 12,230 people were killed in Iraq in 2006, half of them […]

Iraq from Tyranny to Chaos 2

Iraq: from Tyranny to Chaos Part 2

However, it was groups with holy war as ideology that were responsible for the first and most spectacular actions (the attack on the Jordanian embassy and on the UN headquarters in August 2003). A fundamental problem was the lack of control over Iraq’s borders, and foreign, young men were responsible for or contributed to these […]

Iraq from Tyranny to Chaos 1

Iraq: from Tyranny to Chaos Part 1

February 22, 2006 was a turning point in Iraq. Bombs – probably placed by extremist Sunni Arabs – destroyed the gold-plated Shiite Muslim shrine (mosque) in Samarra. Shia Muslims had been victims of bombings since the fall of 2003; this was the attack that caused patience to burst. They launched retaliatory actions against Sunni Arab […]

Referendum in Iraq 3

Referendum in Iraq Part 3

8: Battle theme It says a lot about the political climate in Iraq that only a few issues in the constitution have been the subject of extensive debate. With regard to the role of religion, the competing Islamist groups (both Shia and Sunni Muslims) have largely tried to outdo each other in a fundamentalist direction. […]

Referendum in Iraq 2

Referendum in Iraq Part 2

5: An authoritarian past Many constitutions have acquired their distinctive character because they seek to address specific problems in the political history of individual countries. Some countries have experienced that concentration of power can threaten democracy , while others have seen that power pulverization can create paralysis of action and risky fragmentation. The constitutions that […]

Referendum in Iraq 1

Referendum in Iraq Part 1

On October 15, there will be a referendum in Iraq on a new constitution. Many see this as a milestone in the establishment of a new democracy after Saddam Hussein’s dictatorial regime was overthrown in 2003. What particular challenges have the Iraqis faced in working on a new constitution? Which points in the draft constitution […]