The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Iraqi time capsule, 2014

One Benjamin Isakhan (Mizrahi Jew?) back in 2014 delivered a fascinating rundown of how Maliki connived to take power in Iraq: Shattering the Shia: A Maliki Political Strategy in Post-Saddam Iraq. He is not above some sneering at "Orientalists", but he only does this once that I noticed. Besides that bow to academic fashion, he argues an unpopular position: that it was the Shi'a in Iraq who clamoured for Americans to come give them democracy, and it was the Shi'a who bickered amongst themselves until Maliki took over.

After the 2006 "surge", when Americans and their Sunni allies in Anbar defeated Islamist rebels there, Americans didn't care much about the squabbling in the more-peaceful Shi'a regions. We remembered what a rabble-rousing jerk Sadr had been in the early years, which goes to explain why we later supported Maliki when the two came to blows. Also, I'll add, the Communist victory of Obama and his voters here meant people like me had more to worry about at home. So we forgot about Iraq.

Isakhan fills that void in our knowledge. He stops at 2014, which is the year Baghdadi's goons in Syria crossed to take Mosul. But his essay explains how it is that Iraq couldn't keep Mosul.


posted by Zimri on 17:08 | link | 0 comments

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