Facts, and Opinions, this week

Fishing with Fire: a photo essay, by Tyrone Siu  Report Under the darkness of the night sky, a small group of Taiwan fishermen set sail off the northeast coast, light a fire on the end of a bamboo stick using chemicals and

Ahmed Chalabi: Death of a Salesman

JONATHAN MANTHORPE: International Affairs  November 6, 2015 Ahmed Chalabi is lucky he died this week. Had he lived even a few months longer he would have had to face yet more charges that he is personally responsible for the death and destruction

Kurdistan could be a silver lining in Middle East quagmire

The siege of Kobani has pushed to the surface some of the internal and external pressures working against the creation of a complete Kurdistan homeland, writes International Affairs columnist Jonathan Manthorpe. But if any good can come of the latest ill-conceived bombing of

Will Islamic State zealots bring U.S. and Iran together?

Relations between Iran and the United States have been ice cold since 1979. The terrorist attack of 9/11 could have been one opportunity for  a thawing, but “among the plethora of murderously stupid things former United States President George W. Bush did

The Man Who Would be Caliph

What sets Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi apart from all other would-be Caliphs, including Osama bin Laden and his successor as al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri, is that he is supremely qualified, writes International Affairs analyst Jonathan Manthorpe, of the current battle in Syria and Iraq. An

From Shattered Iraq, Ancient “Land of Kurds” Will Rise

The fracturing of Iraq will mean the birth of Kurdistan, and another revision of borders around  the ancient land of the Kurds, writes International Affairs analyst Jonathan Manthorpe. An excerpt of his new column: The question is not whether there will be an independent

Iraq on our mind

Events in Iraq have dominated world affairs this week. Reports and analysis in Facts and Opinions provide context:   In The Cold War 2.0, Thoughtlines author Jim McNiven looks at the deep historical and geopolitical picture (subscription required): For 40 years, one big contest played out

Replace Westphalian Nationalism with Green Unity: Chris Wood

National sovereignty, no matter how zealously protected, cannot achieve natural security, writes Chris Wood in today’s Natural Security column. Critical ecological infrastructure can only be assured if we get past misguided nationalisms, nativism and deep-rooted tribalisms —  past a way of thinking about the world

On Iraq and America’s Folly

From five words flow the events we see today in Iraq, writes International Affairs analyst Jonathan Manthorpe in today’s column. As the United States grappled with a response to 9/11 Donald Rumsfield, then Secretary of Defense, said, “What if Iraq is involved?”  What has

Analysis: Iran and United States join forces against common foes

International affairs columnist Jonathan Manthorpe writes on the sea-change in the Middle East as Tehran and Washington find common cause and turmoil grows in Iraq and Syria. Excerpt: As al-Qaida-linked groups hijack the anti-government insurgencies in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere, Washington is