News & Events
Iraqis Turn Out to Vote in High Numbers Under Tight Security
By By Matt Bradley and Ali A. Nabhan, April 30, 2014
BAGHDAD—Millions of Iraqi voters braved the threat of violence to cast ballots in the country’s first parliamentary elections since U.S. troops withdrew at the end of 2011. The vote on Wednesday was held under extraordinary security that kept violence subdued compared with previous Iraqi elections, said Zaid Al Ali, a constitutional expert and author of the recently published book “The Struggle for Iraq’s Future.”
The central issue for the sttteleas of the Persian Gulf is the absence of a real security alternative to the USA. That constrains the action they can take. A strike by Israel would provide enough cover for the US with the Gulf countries.Would there be some anger? Yes. And some action. For a while. Enough to vent and placate the street . As to economic effects, the Gulf is already suffering from multiple economic shocks absent one or two bright spots. In Kuwait a large swathe of investment companies are bankrupt, large segments of the merchant elite are cash strapped even the venerable AlKharafi Group, and the health of the banks is less robust than it appears. Bahrain’s wholesale banking sector is in severe distress from cowboy firms like Gulf Finance House, TIBC, and Awal to more conservative names like Investcorp and Arcapita. In the UAE the full extent of the wreckage from Dubai has yet to appear there is a lot of profound pain yet to be felt.The Gulf is resilient. It did not run away when the Ayatollah was knocking on Saddam’s door. The Arab street did not erupt when the US invaded Afghanistan or Iraq. Lebanon in 2006. Operation Cast Lead. This camel’s back can take many straws.