May 24, 2012

The Struggle to Succeed Ayatollah Sistani

Paul McGeough, Foreign Affairs


As Sistani ages, a struggle to succeed him has begun, putting the spiritual leadership of one of the world's foremost faiths in play. But with neighboring Iran moving to install its preferred candidate in the position, the secular political foundations of Iraq's fledgling democracy are at risk. Consequently, what amounts to a spiritual showdown could pose a challenge to Washington's hope for postwar Iraq to serve as a Western-allied, moderate, secular state in the heart of the Middle East.

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TAGGED: Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, Najaf, Shiite, Iraq, Ali al-Sistani


May 17, 2012
A Pundit's Rosy View of the Pax Americana
Andrew Bacevich, Harper's
Time and again - from the collapse of the Soviet Union to the events of 9/11 to the onset of the Arab Spring - events have caught the experts, whether in government or on the outside, completely by surprise. Business owners... more ››
May 24, 2012
Syria's Neighbors Are Growing Restless
David Ignatius, Washington Post
The Middle East sometimes resembles a string of detonators wired to explode together - and this seems especially true now of Syria and its neighbors. more ››
May 16, 2012
The Risks of a Syria Spillover
Andrew Exum, World Politics Review
Over the past week, we have seen the first real case of sectarian violence spilling over from Syria into neighboring Lebanon. In clashes in and around the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli, at least five people have been killed... more ››