FROM Joost Hiltermann
The Iraqi People Have Voted Again: What's Next? Nineteen million people were eligible to vote for 6200 candidates nationwide with 325 parliamentary seats at stake. Iraq’s Independent High Electoral Commission says 62% turned out nationwide in yesterday’s election -- 61% in the Sunni province of Anbar and 80% of the Kurds. In Baghda, though, only 51% went to the polls.
The Iraqi People Have Voted Again: What's Next? Nineteen million people were eligible to vote yesterday for 6200 candidates nationwide with 325 parliamentary seats at stake. Iraq's Independent High Electoral Commission says 62% turned out nationwide, despite rocket and mortar attacks that killed 38 people in Baghdad: 61% in the Sunni province of Anbar and 80% of the Kurds. It'll be days until the results are in and probably months until a new government can formed. But already there's talk of the impact on US withdrawal. Will a new leader be able to maintain democracy? Will there be a dictatorship or an attempted coup? Will Iran gain even more influence as the US pulls away?
Lessons from Basra, Once Called an Iraqi Success Story Today's Washington Post says that, as British troops pull back from the southern Iraqi city of Basra, Shiite militias are battling among themselves . That's raising new questions about the stability of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's Shiite-dominated central government. Joost Hiltermann is Middle East Deputy Program Director of the International Crisis Group, which has produced a report on Basra .
The Lost Secrets of Saddam Hussein The Iraqi government says it's interrogating the person whose cell-phone pictures of the execution of Saddam Hussein found their way to TV and the Internet. While there's still controversy over the execution, but the consequences of Hussein's death go beyond disputes about the way he was killed. Billions of dollars are missing, mass graves are still uncovered, and countless victims will never see a murderer held to account. We look at the history of atrocities and the mysteries that Saddam took to his grave. How much help did he get from western governments and corporations? Will Iraq's current leaders pursue those questions or let them go unanswered?
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Venezuela spirals into economic and political chaos Venezuela, a country whose potential for prosperity is unmatched, finds itself on the verge of civil war. What sustains the repressive government? With time running out, guest host León Krauze looks at what the international community can do to pull the country from the edge of collapse.