The Week: Most Recent Middle East:Iraq War recent posts.en-usFri, 31 Aug 2012 15:25:00 -0400http://theweek.com Recent Middle East:Iraq War from THE WEEKFri, 31 Aug 2012 15:25:00 -0400Kofi Annan's memoir: Did Colin Powell doubt his own WMD claims?<img src="" /></P><p>Former Secretary of State Colin Powell has called the run-up to the Iraq invasion "a blot" on his distinguished career. But if he's trying not to think about it, he's out of luck. Kofi Annan, who was secretary-general of the United Nations during the lead-up to war, is releasing a new memoir &mdash; <em>Interventions: A Life in War and Peace</em> &mdash; in which he says that Powell had greater doubts than previously believed about the Bush administration's evidence suggesting that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. How skeptical was Powell? Here, a brief guide to Annan's account:<br /><br /><strong>How does Annan...</strong></p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffFri, 31 Aug 2012 15:25:00 -0400Iraq's well-timed oil boom: A concise guide<img src="" /></P><p>Iraq is still something of a mess, with deadly bombings and political infighting casting a cloud over the country's future. But Iraq's long-troubled oil industry is turning into a crucial success story. Production is booming &mdash; exceeding pre-war levels for the first time &mdash; and not a moment too soon. The Iraqi government can't rebuild or provide the services its people need without oil income. And the increased flow from Iraq will help replace the loss of Iran's crude, due to sanctions targeting Tehran's oil industry, potentially helping to avert a global crisis. Is Iraq finally realizing...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffMon, 04 Jun 2012 09:55:00 -0400A survivor's tale of torture in Iraq<img src="" /></P><p>DURING HIS CAPTIVITY, Peter Moore vowed to himself that if the end ever came, he wouldn't grovel or beg. He would stay calm in the face of death. He would fixate on a happy memory &mdash; of when he was a boy in England, walking the family dog.</p><p>One day in the summer of 2007, somewhere in the sun-bleached warrens of the Iraqi city of Basra, the end seemed finally to have arrived. A guard blindfolded Peter, cuffed his hands behind his back, took him outside, and shoved him to the ground.</p><p>He felt the cool metal of a pistol pressed to his head, heard tense conversation in Arabic. He broke out in...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffFri, 23 Mar 2012 11:45:00 -0400The brutal stoning of Iraqi 'emo' kids<img src="" /></P><p>At least a dozen young Iraqis have been stoned to death in recent weeks in an apparent campaign by Shiite Muslim religious extremists to punish youths sporting Western-style "emo" clothes and haircuts. Though the government is not directly implicated, the violence began after the Interior Ministry issued a statement branding the country's growing "emo" subculture as subversive, and vowing to eliminate it. What's behind this killing spree? Here, a brief guide:<br /><br /><strong>Who exactly is being targeted?</strong><br />Human rights activists say the victims &mdash; including those killed, and others merely beaten as a warning...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffMon, 12 Mar 2012 11:02:00 -0400Remembering David Hickman: The last U.S. soldier to die in Iraq<img src="" /></P><p>As the last U.S. troops withdrew from Iraq over the weekend, a crowd gathered in Greensboro, N.C., to honor Army Spec. David Hickman, who died in an explosion Nov. 14, two weeks before he was supposed to go home. Hickman, 23, "bears the symbolic freight" of being the last of nearly 4,500 members of the American military to be killed in a war that began in the tense aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorism attacks. Here's what you should know:</p><p><strong>What was Hickman's job in Iraq?</strong><br />His unit shipped out from Fort Bragg in May. Hickman &mdash; a black belt in taekwondo who jokingly called himself Zeus...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffTue, 20 Dec 2011 14:54:00 -0500The Iraq War's 'bittersweet' end: 4 lingering questions<img src="" /></P><p>"That's it, the war is over," a jubilant U.S. soldier told NBC News' Richard Engel as the last U.S. troops quietly crossed the Iraq border into Kuwait on Sunday. The last 500 soldiers whooped and cheered when they exited Iraq, but with 4,483 U.S. troops killed in the nearly nine-year war, the end is "bittersweet" for many of those who fought in it. And the U.S. is leaving behind more than vehicles, equipment, and a massive embassy with some 16,000 State Department personnel and military contractors. We're also leaving several unanswered questions. Here are four of the biggest:</p><p><strong>1. Did we win?<br /></strong>"In...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffMon, 19 Dec 2011 14:16:00 -0500The Iraq War's 'quiet' end: By the numbers<img src="" /></P><p>America's long, contentious war in Iraq came to a "quiet" end Thursday. In a "muted ceremony" in Baghdad, U.S. troops lowered the flag of command that flew over the headquarters of the U.S. mission for a final time. "After a lot of blood spilled by Iraqis and Americans, the mission of an Iraq that could govern and secure itself has become real," Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said at the ceremony. Here's a by-the-numbers look at the bloodshed and monetary toll:<br /><br /><strong>8</strong><br />Number of years the Iraq War lasted &mdash; the official tally is eight years, eight months, and 25 days. As a start date, <em>The Washington...</em></p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffThu, 15 Dec 2011 14:54:00 -0500How Iraq will fare without U.S. soldiers: 4 predictions<img src="" /></P><p>On Monday, President Obama marked the impending end of the war in Iraq, which began nearly nine years ago, saying the last U.S. troops are leaving at the end of 2011 "with their heads held high." Obama and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, in a joint press conference, vowed to work together to keep the country stable, and outlined a broad agenda for post-war cooperation. But it seems clear that history will judge the war based on what comes next. What will happen in Iraq when the U.S. military is gone? Here, four predictions:&nbsp;</p><p><strong>1. Iraq will be an unreliable ally plagued by violence</strong><br /> The...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffTue, 13 Dec 2011 14:13:00 -0500Is America getting 'kicked out' of Iraq?<img src="" /></P><p>Barack Obama, who made a name for himself with a&nbsp;passionate speech&nbsp;in 2002 arguing against the Iraq War before campaigning for president in 2008 on the promise that he'd end the war once and for all,&nbsp;announced on Friday that, "as promised, the rest of our troops in Iraq will come home by the end of the year." That timetable was actually set in place by a 2008 agreement George W. Bush signed with Iraq, which called for all troops to be out by year's end. In fact,&nbsp;the Obama team had been negotiating with Iraq for a few thousand U.S. troops to stay on past 2011. Iraq balked at...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffMon, 24 Oct 2011 09:20:00 -0400Obama's Iraq drawdown: Too soon?<img src="" /></P><p>The Obama administration plans to slash the number of U.S. soldiers in Iraq from 45,000 to 3,000 by year's end, <em>Fox News</em> reported&nbsp;on&nbsp;Tuesday. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has reportedly approved the reduction, while senior military commanders, who had requested troop strength no lower than 10,000, are reportedly "livid." Is President Obama over-delivering on his promise to withdraw?</p><p><strong>This is an insurgent's dream:</strong>&nbsp;Could this be part of Obama's master plan, creating chaos that the next Republican president will have to "inherit and take the blame for"?&nbsp;asks Moe Lane at <em>RedState...</em></p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffWed, 07 Sep 2011 14:22:00 -0400America's $3.7 trillion wars: By the numbers<img src="" /></P><p>When President Obama announced that he would withdraw 33,000 troops from Afghanistan by mid-2012, he cited the cost of the war as a factor in his decision. Rightly so: By the time the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan end, it's estimated they will have cost the U.S. trillions and trillions of dollars, according to "Costs of War,"&nbsp;a research project conducted by Brown University. That's enough to cover California's total spending &mdash; estimated at $86 billion this year &mdash; for at least the next four decades. How does that money break down, and where is it going?</p><p><strong>$3.7 trillion</strong><br />The minimum...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffThu, 30 Jun 2011 16:00:00 -0400Jon Stewart vs. Donald Rumsfeld<img src="" /></P><p><strong>The video: </strong>"I know why you're here. And let me just deflate the tension right off the bat: Apology accepted." That's how Jon Stewart began his wide-ranging, confrontational interview with former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld &mdash; a favorite target for the Comedy Central star during President George W. Bush's years in the White House. Stewart grilled Rumsfeld on the build-up to the Iraq War, and accused him of selling the cause to America with "a certainty bordering on arrogance." Who came out top in this extended, 30-minute interview?<br /><strong>The reaction: </strong>Stewart "swung mightily" at Rumsfeld, says...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffThu, 24 Feb 2011 13:52:00 -0500Exposed: The lie that led us into Iraq<img src="" /></P><p>Eight years after then&ndash;Secretary of State Colin Powell used harrowing stories of Saddam Hussein's alleged biological and chemical weapons programs to make the Bush administration's case for invading Iraq, the man who supplied intel agents with those stories admits he made them up. Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, known to U.S. and other Western spy agencies as "Curveball," tells <em>The Guardian</em> that he "fabricated" the whole WMD tale in the hopes of bringing Hussein down. He certainly helped, but what's his real story?</p><p><strong>Who is "Curveball"?<br /></strong>Janabi was an Iraqi chemical engineer who now lives in Karlsruhe...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffWed, 16 Feb 2011 10:12:00 -0500The last word: No longer a soldier<img src="" /></P><p>I&rsquo;M ONE OF the lucky ones. War destroys without regard to what&rsquo;s fair or just. This isn&rsquo;t a new or terribly profound revelation, but witnessing it, and sometimes participating in it, makes it seem like both. In a professional military, the entire point of training is to minimize the nature of chance in combat. But all the training in the world will never eliminate happenstance in war, or even render it negligible.</p><p>I returned from Iraq with all of my limbs, most of my mental faculties, and a book deal. I wake up every morning in an apartment in New York City. I&rsquo;m working...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffFri, 04 Feb 2011 11:53:00 -0500Is it right to execute Iraq's Tariq Aziz?<img src="" /></P><p>Tariq Aziz, the urbane PR man of Saddam Hussein's regime, has been sentenced to death by an Iraqi court for participating in the persecution of Shiites. But Russia and the Vatican are among many voices calling for clemency. Defenders point out that Aziz is in failing health and never took part in his government's worst abuses. Should Aziz be spared? (Watch Tariq Aziz's sentencing)<br /><br /><strong>Executing Aziz only makes him a martyr:</strong> Tariq Aziz is a "sycophant, a fool, a criminal," say the editors of the Toronto <em>Globe and Mail</em>, but he still deserves mercy. Aziz is 74 years old and sick &mdash; he is no threat...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffThu, 28 Oct 2010 17:00:00 -0400Iraq's Punk'd-style reality TV show<img src="" /></P><p><strong>The video</strong>: Tricking celebrities into making fools of themselves has long been a staple of American television, but a recent attempt to do the same in Iraq has taken a turn for the horrifying. A "Punk'd"-style show, broadcast on the Al Baghdadia network during Ramadan, placed fake bombs in Iraqi celebrities' cars, then secretly filmed them being "arrested" by real soldiers. The celebrity targets, including one of Iraq's top soccer players, often scream, cry and faint before they are told it is a televised prank. Iraqi newspapers have condemned the show for insensitivity, and demanded it be canceled...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffMon, 13 Sep 2010 14:45:00 -0400