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?
'Do-or-die' time on healthcare bill President Trump has demanded a House vote today on replacing Obamacare…whatever the details might be. Despite his campaign promise that nobody would lose health insurance, that's possible for 24 million people if he were finally to sign this bill into law.
Trump's travel ban and the long-term agenda The Trump Administration's revised travel ban may be good news for some visa holders and others, but it's still being challenged as unconstitutional. Some reporters call it the beginning of a long-term effort to change the demographic make-up of the United States.
Political appointments and the reshaping of the judiciary President Trump has the chance for a long-term impact -- not just on the US Supreme Court, but on the entire federal court system. And his nominees are likely to get the support of a massive spending campaign by donors who don't have to reveal their names. Can President Trump "pack" the federal court system?