Unconventional thinking about the Middle East.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Apologies and Gossip

So here is the deal: when I travel, I get lazy, and hence no blogging. But I promise to mend my ways, and as a peace offering I offer this piece of frivolous gossip: one of Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki’s chief aides allegedly got the FBI involved in a case of domestic disturbance involving his Virginia-based daughter and his son-in-law. Four or five days ago, this aide had sent a message to the FBI claiming that his son-in-law, who is a practicing Iraq-American medical doctor, was preparing to assassinate Maliki, or otherwise hurt him. Apparently, federal agents showed up at the guy’s clinic and inquired as to these allegations, and to be on the safe side, the son-in-law was barred from attending any of the functions held by Maliki for the local Iraqi community.

This aide, who attended Maliki’s meeting with President Bush and stayed at the Blair House, also carries the citizenship of a North American country, and is a long standing member of the Da’awa Party.

Family feuds taking on national security dimensions? How will sectarian strife get handled, then? The caliber of the staff around Maliki is rather uninspiring. In fact, some of them measure up to a national embarrassment.

Monday, July 10, 2006


I have been travelling, and that's my excuse for not blogging. Syria, Jordan and currently in Egypt. Come back soon for some sketches of Syria, but for now, check out my column on Sunni Revivalism in Syria.