Nightmare scenario: change in Syria may be detrimental to Iraq-Hamid Alkifaey

March 21, 2012 Edition 12 Bitterlemons International Syria and Iraq have been at odds for the last 50 years. Since the early 1960s, both countries have been ruled by two rival wings of the Baath Party. Both wings seized power in their respective countries via a military coup. This inter-party rivalry caused the two countries to be at each other’s throats for most of this period. Both countries nurtured opposition to the other’s regime.... 

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US may be withdrawing its military, but it is staying on – Hamid Alkifaey

December 15, 2011 Edition 37 Bitterlemons International After almost nine years in Iraq, the United States military is leaving. Not because it wants to, but because it has to. All Iraqi political groups–friends and foes–were united in demanding troop departure by the end of 2011. The Obama administration is not totally happy at this turn of events, since it wanted to keep 20,000 soldiers in the country to make sure its interests are not... 

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US and Iran: working together in Iraq- Hamid Alkifaey

August 04, 2011 Edition 24 Bitterlemons International It may sound strange to some, but theUnited StatesandIranhave been “working together” ever since the tragic events of September 11, 2001 and the subsequentUSinvasions ofAfghanistanandIraq. This “cooperation”, albeit behind the scenes, can be seen clearly inIraq. The two countries are officially and actually enemies and no doubt monitor each other’s activities and work... 

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Democratic Arab world to embrace peace with Israel – Hamid Alkifaey

May 05, 2011 Edition 12 Bitterlemons International One could reasonably argue that the golden opportunity for peace in the Middle Eastwas blown away when Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated on November 4, 1995. He was the only Israeli leader capable of making peace with the Palestinians, and was about to do so had it not been for the bullets of Yigal Amir, the rightwing religious zealot who believed in the “winner takes all”... 

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With western retreat, Iraq looks east – Hamid Alkifaey

February 24, 2011 Edition 7 Bitterlemons-International Iraqhas always in many ways been the odd one out in the region. Despite being the cradle of civilization–writing was invented here in the home of the first city (Uruk), as was the first written law (Hammurabi’s Code)–from the beginning, this great riverine plain has also been a theater of war. Nebuchadnezzar, Alexander the Great, Hajjaj, the Abbasid caliphs, the Mongol invaders... 

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Iran-weary Arabs won’t be comfortable with a Shiite government in Baghdad – Hamid Alkifaey

October 28, 2010 Edition 20 Bitterlemons International Iraqhas broken the world record for the time required to form a government, surpassing theNetherlandsthat in 1977 took 208 days. The March 7 elections were inconclusive, producing a hung parliament with four major blocs, the largest of which is Iraqia of former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi. Article 76 of the Iraqi constitution states that the bloc with the most seats forms the government. This means... 

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Obituary: Aqila Al-Hashimi: Shrewd diplomat who made the transition to the new Iraq

Shrewd diplomat who made the transition to the new Iraq Hamid Alkifaey The Guardian Friday 26 September 2003    The Iraqi diplomat Aqila al-Hashmi, who has died, aged 50, from abdominal wounds sustained when she was attacked by gunmen close to her home in western Baghdad last Saturday, was one of the three women members of Iraq’s 25-strong interim governing council (GC). Before that appointment last July, she had worked for two decades... 

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Breaking the silence Hamid Alkifaey

 Breaking the silence After decades of propaganda, Iraqis are finally discovering freedom of information. Hamid Ali Alkifaey on the efforts to build the legal framework for a free press The Guardian Monday 14 July 2003  I am leaving for Baghdad soon, for the first time in almost 23 years. I am not, however, going there to be a member of the “governance council” that Paul Bremer announced last week, nor will I be part of Baghdad’s... 

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Interview with Iraqi Writer and Journalist Hamid Alkifaey

Interview with Hamid Alkifaey The Guardian 21/5/2003 The removal of Saddam Hussein was, in my opinion, the greatest-ever US achievement, and was also a personal triumph for the president, George Bush. Saddam Hussein was an extraordinary terrorist, and he was armed with the most sophisticated weapons on earth. He spent Iraq’s wealth on weapons of mass destruction that he used against the Iraqi people and Iraq’s neighbours. He would have... 

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Staying above the soil – Hamid Alkifaey

 Staying above the soil Iraqi writer Hamid Ali Alkifaey, who fled from Saddam Hussein’s regime, recalls life under his leadership and considers what the future could hold for Iraq  Hamid Alkifaey The Guardian, Friday 16 May 2003 Nothing is more difficult than describing what it was like to live under Saddam Hussein’s regime, and this is especially true when talking to free people who have never experienced oppression. However,... 

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