The story in Iraq, which has seemed to be all about religion and military developments, is actually mostly about politics: access to government revenue and services, a say in decision-making, and a modicum of social justice.
The real story in Iraq, and the Middle East at large, is the policies of exclusion that have created an environment in which radical organizations like ISIS have been able to gain ground.
The Islamic State seeks to create and govern a Sunni heartland that bisects the Shiite-led alliance that stretches from Tehran to Hezbollah’s stronghold in Lebanon.
Though it had to operate in a hostile political environment, the Brotherhood ultimately fell because of its own political, ideological, and organizational failures.
The age of ideology in the Arab world is drawing to a close.
It is time for the United States to take responsibility for the failures of its Middle East policies.
The dramatic seizure of Mosul by ISIS marks what may be a fateful turning point in Iraq’s history. But it would be inaccurate to re-frame the region’s crises as governed solely by sect and ethnicity.
Those who have ‘obvious’ solutions to the crisis in Iraq assume that the U.S. government and military have more power, skills, and knowledge than what recent experience has repeatedly demonstrated.
Egyptian officials have objected to the negative stories that have been coming out about the human rights abuses in Egypt as part of a very broad crackdown that’s been going on for almost a year.
The roots of the instability that wracks Iraq today can be traced not only to the Bush-era invasion of Iraq but also to the only-temporary benefits won by the surge and failure of both Bush and Obama.