Browse through Hossam Atef’s photo gallery, the photographer known as Antikka who recently made headlines with his latest project, “SpiderMan At Egypt.”
Showing posts for "Iraq"
It was sort of amazing back in August when President Barack Obama went before the White House press corps and publicly declared, “We don’t have a strategy yet” when it came to combating the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). He was pilloried in a collective freak-out that crossed partisan lines. The president probably should not have said what he said given what he must now know about the press, his opponents, and his previous, ill-considered comments about post-Bin Laden extremist groups being “JV.” That said, admitting that his administration had not yet determined how to meet the ISIS threat was also sort of prudent. “Strategy” and “strategic” are among the most misused and abused words in Washington, and given the complex and unprecedented problems that are consuming Iraq and Syria, it was a good idea for the administration to take a step back and ask a number of basic questions before settling on its goals and determining the resources necessary to meet those objectives. For example, what resources were available to the United States? What are ISIS’ goals? What can regional allies do? How might regional adversaries react to various courses of action? What are reasonable goals for the United States? How will the American people respond to different approaches? Instead, as I wrote last September, the president was bullied into bombing ISIS after James Foley was beheaded, leaving the Pentagon, White House, and State Department to figure out a strategy on the fly. It was no way to go to war. Read more »
It seems impossible, but it is true. President Barack Obama was elected to the highest office in the land in 2008 in part because after five years in Iraq, he promised the American people that he would not “do stupid stuff.” He is about to do precisely that in Iraq. It is not just the “I-don’t-know-whether-to-laugh-or-cry” feeling I had when I learned the news that Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Brett McGurk had met with Ahmed Chalabi the week before last to discuss the current crisis and Chalabi’s potential role in a new government. The irony is too much to take, but the dalliance with Chalabi is not actually the issue. Chatting up Chalabi is just a symptom of a bigger, albeit more abstract, problem the Obama and Bush administrations have had in Iraq: Bad assumptions. Read more »
Erbil had a weird feel to it this week. The euphoria that came when the Kurd’s military, known as the peshmerga, took over Kirkuk on June 11 has not exactly faded, but reality is making people nervous. The Kurds have never had it so good, but it is all relative, and the Kurds may be getting ahead of themselves which could lead to disaster. Read more »
From the Potomac to the Euphrates examines how debates about Mideast policy in Washington connect to the region, with a special focus on Egypt and Turkey.