Weekend Roundup: The Implosion of Iraq


Nathan Gardels is the editor-in-chief of Noema Magazine.

More than a decade after America’s “shock and awe” invasion to topple Saddam Hussein, liberated Iraq is violently imploding into what Paul Salem calls “Syriaq,” ruled by Sunni fanatics, the Kurds in the north and the Shiite zone linked to Iran — the now dominant power in the region that is closer to having weapons of mass destruction than Saddam ever was. Ayub Nuri argues it is time at last for Iraq to split up. Dominique de Villepin, a former French prime minister most famous for opposing the U.S. invasion at the United Nations, writes that the world is descending into a violent “clash of identities” that only building cultural bridges, not dropping more bombs, can ultimately cure. Graham Fuller, a former vice chairman of the CIA’s National Intelligence Council, argues that America has reached the limits of its power and must let the Iraqis and others in the region find their own solutions. Jordanian analyst Rami Khouri writes from Beirut that Iraq’s implosion exposes the failure of the Shia government in Baghdad to accommodate local Sunni fears and concerns. WorldPost correspondent Sophia Jones reports from Erbil, Iraq that, in an about-face, Turkey is ready to accept Kurdish self-determination.

In other global hotspots, former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown reports on the progress of the #SafeSchools initiative in Nigeria and reflects on Scotland’s bid for independence. Stanley Weiss talks to Joe Horn-Phathanothai about finding the “orange” middle ground of the Thai silent majority between the so-called “red and yellow shirts” contending for power. From Shanghai, WorldPost’s editor Nathan Gardels sees China’s military assertiveness in the East and South Asian seas as undermining the posture of a “peaceful rise.”

Contributing editor Jehangir Pocha reads Thomas Piketty’s “Capital in the 21st Century” in India and suggests finding ways to break the causes of inequality instead of addressing them after the fact. In an excerpt from his new book, “Economics: the User’s Guide,” Cambridge economist Ha-Joon Chang proposes not what, but how, to think about economics.

Finally, on the cultural front, art historian Olivier Berggruen writing from the Art Basel fair in Switzerland, takes a swipe at super-rich collectors fueling the art bubble. In an exclusive essay, world famous artist Ai Weiwei analyzes the culture of self-censorship at play in China’s art world. He writes, “intimidation is the most efficient tool for those in power.”


EDITORS: Nathan Gardels, Senior Advisor to the Berggruen Institute on Governance and the long-time editor of NPQ and the Global Viewpoint Network of the Los Angeles Times Syndicate/Tribune Media, is the Editor-in-Chief of The WorldPost. Farah Mohamed is the Managing Editor of The WorldPost. Kathleen Miles is the Senior Editor of the WorldPost. Alex Gardels is the Associate Editor of The WorldPost. Nicholas Sabloff is the Executive International Editor at the Huffington Post, overseeing The WorldPost and HuffPost’s 10 international editions. Eline Gordts is HuffPost’s World Editor.

CORRESPONDENTS: Sophia Jones in Cairo; Matt Sheehan in Beijing.

EDITORIAL BOARD: Nicolas Berggruen, Nathan Gardels, Arianna Huffington, Eric Schmidt (Google Inc.), Pierre Omidyar (First Look Media) Juan Luis Cebrian (El Pais/PRISA), Walter Isaacson (Aspen Institute/TIME-CNN), John Elkann (Corriere della Sera, La Stampa), Wadah Khanfar (Al Jazeera), Dileep Padgaonkar (Times of India) and Yoichi Funabashi (Asahi Shimbun).

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Moises Naim (former editor of Foreign Policy) and Nayan Chanda (Yale/Global; Far Eastern Economic Review). Katherine Keating (One-On-One) and Jehangir Pocha (NewsX India) .

The Asia Society and its ChinaFile, edited by Orville Schell, is our primary partner on Asia coverage. Eric X. Li and the Chunqiu Institute/Fudan University in Shanghai and Guancha.cn also provide first person voices from China. We also draw on the content of China Digital Times. Seung-yoon Lee is The WorldPost link in South Korea.

Jared Cohen of Google Ideas provides regular commentary from young thinkers, leaders and activists around the globe. Bruce Mau provides regular columns from MassiveChangeNetwork.com on the “whole mind” way of thinking. Patrick Soon-Shiong is Contributing Editor for Health and Medicine.

ADVISORY COUNCIL: Members of the Berggruen Institute’s 21st Century Council and Council for the Future of Europe serve as the Advisory Council — as well as regular contributors — to the site. These include, Jacques Attali, Shaukat Aziz, Gordon Brown, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Juan Luis Cebrian, Jack Dorsey, Mohamed El-Erian, Francis Fukuyama, Felipe Gonzalez, John Gray, Reid Hoffman, Fred Hu, Mo Ibrahim, Alexei Kudrin, Pascal Lamy, Kishore Mahbubani, Alain Minc, Dambisa Moyo, Laura Tyson, Elon Musk, Pierre Omidyar, Raghuram Rajan, Nouriel Roubini, Nicolas Sarkozy, Eric Schmidt, Gerhard Schroeder, Peter Schwartz, Amartya Sen, Jeff Skoll, Michael Spence, Joe Stiglitz, Larry Summers, Wu Jianmin, George Yeo, Fareed Zakaria, Ernesto Zedillo, Ahmed Zewail, and Zheng Bijian.

From the Europe group, these include: Marek Belka, Tony Blair, Jacques Delors, Niall Ferguson, Anthony Giddens, Otmar Issing, Mario Monti, Robert Mundell, Peter Sutherland and Guy Verhofstadt.


The WorldPost is a global media bridge that seeks to connect the world and connect the dots. Gathering together top editors and first person contributors from all corners of the planet, we aspire to be the one publication where the whole world meets.

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