FROM Judith Yaphe
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?
9/11, Iraq and the Global War on Terror Six years ago, almost 3000 Americans died in attacks orchestrated by al Qaeda's Osama bin Laden. Today, Washington is preoccupied by the war in Iraq. General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker are getting tougher questions from Senators than they did from members of Congress. We update the action on Capitol Hill, including criticism from Republicans as well as Democrats, and look at the "Global War on Terror" so tragically dramatized six years ago. Is it really "global?" Is it a "war?" What does Iraq have to do with it?
Is It Time to Consider Dividing Iraq? The ceasefire is still holding in southern Lebanon and Israel is beginning to withdraw its troops. In Iraq, meantime, bloody sectarian violence is claiming 1,000 lives a month around Baghdad and becoming a growing challenge to the training of Iraqi police who might restore order. As US troops are being moved into Baghdad, there's increasing risk of losing control in other cities, where relative peace has been won at high cost. Is it time to consider dividing the country? Should the US continue to grit its teeth, absorb casualties and "stay the course," despite declining support in an election year? Plus, investigative reporter Seymour Hersh on whether Washington sees the war in Lebanon as a test for attacking Iran.
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?
What is Trump's plan for Middle East peace? On his first foreign tour, President Trump has promised "peace" between Israel and the Palestinians. Are there any details for re-starting talks that have been stalled for the past three years?