Iraq…towards another Yugoslavia?

Saddam’s death is Mr. Maliki’s moment of truth, says Ned Parker in the London Times blog. He is the Baghdad Correspondent for The Times and has been based in the country since March 2003. He has also filed extensively from Israel and the Palestinian territories.

“Maliki must take the political capital from executing Saddam to prove that the Shia have moved beyond their fears of the old regime. If he cannot lead the Shia on a moderate path, Iraq looks likely to fall into civil war, if it hasn’t already done so. The current fight between Sunnis and Shia could very well be Saddam’s legacy.

“Two years ago, during the battle of Fallujah, a Marine commander told me Iraq reminded him of Yugoslavia. After the country’s strongman Josip Broz Tito died, the country’s ethnic and religious demons bubbled to the surface and sparked war. He feared the same thing was happening in Iraq.”

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Author: SWARAAJ CHAUHAN, International Columnist

Swaraaj Chauhan describes his two-decade-long stint as a full-time journalist as eventful, purposeful, and full of joy and excitement. In 1993 he could foresee a different work culture appearing on the horizon, and decided to devote full time to teaching journalism (also, partly, with a desire to give back to the community from where he had enriched himself so much.) Alongside, he worked for about a year in 1993 for the US State Department's SPAN magazine, a nearly five-decade-old art and culture monthly magazine promoting US-India relations. It gave him an excellent opportunity to learn about things American, plus the pleasure of playing tennis in the lavish American embassy compound in the heart of New Delhi. In !995 he joined WWF-India as a full-time media and environment education consultant and worked there for five years travelling a great deal, including to Husum in Germany as a part of the international team to formulate WWF's Eco-tourism policy. He taught journalism to honors students in a college affiliated to the University of Delhi, as also at the prestigious Indian Institute of Mass Communication where he lectured on "Development Journalism" to mid-career journalists/Information officers from the SAARC, African, East European and Latin American countries, for eight years. In 2004 the BBC World Service Trust (BBC WST) selected him as a Trainer/Mentor for India under a European Union project. In 2008/09 He completed another European Union-funded project for the BBC WST related to Disaster Management and media coverage in two eastern States in India --- West Bengal and Orissa. Last year, he spent a couple of months in Australia and enjoyed trekking, and also taught for a while at the University of South Australia. Recently, he was appointed as a Member of the Board of Studies at Chitkara University in Chandigarh, a beautiful city in North India designed by the famous Swiss/French architect Le Corbusier. He also teaches undergraduate and postgraduate students there. He loves trekking, especially in the hills, and never misses an opportunity to play a game of tennis. The Western and Indian classical music are always within his reach for instant relaxation. And last, but not least, is his firm belief in the power of the positive thought to heal oneself and others.

  • Jim S

    If Al Sadr cannot be moderated or eliminated there is no hope for a peaceful Iraq for years to come.