The Kurdish referendum on September 25, 2017 created a sharp political crisis that shifted the attention of global media towards the Kurdish political narrative. In less than a month after the referendum, this narrative that seemed to a large extent coherent and unified started to fragment and witness some fundamental changes.
During discussions with well-educated and professional Iraqis I keep hearing that the cause of Iraq’s inability to assert itself internationally is because there is no serious and continuous lobbying effort by Baghdad to rally support for its causes. While I believe in the importance of lobbying and other approaches to soft power, I don’t think that it is the answer to Baghdad’s toughest problems.
“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.”
“You can wake up anybody who is asleep, but you can’t wake up those who pretend to be asleep.”
Since 2003, there have been many articles pushing the narrative that Iran’s influence in Iraq is growing uncontrollably. In a recent article with the same contention, the New York Times talks about how Iran was able to increase its influence in Iraq through several approaches, including the sales of dairy products. Continue reading “THE IRAQ-IRAN RELATIONS: YOGURT AND BEYOND”
In an at least in Iraq unprecedented move, Australia’s government placed an ad in Baghdad’s streets. The ad shows a stern looking Australian security officer, a background with cloudy sky and rough sea, a cartoon boat, a backward-pointing arrow indicating the return of that boat to its origin, with a writing saying ‘Do not try to come to Australia illegally on a boat. You will be sent back.’ Continue reading “QUESTIONABLE PUBLIC DIPLOMACY: WHAT WAS THE AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT THINKING?”