Iraq: Escalating violence and sectarian division

Talk September 11, 2012 7:00 PM

What do the recent deadly attacks in Iraq tell us about the country today?

It has been nearly ten years since the US-led invasion and nearly a year since the last foreign troops withdrew. But is there anything about the state of the country they left behind that can begin to explain this recent wave of violence?

Although al-Qaeda forces appeared to have been pushed back, there has been an increase in violence that culminated on 23 July in the bloodiest day since US troops left Iraq. Coordinated bombings and shootings in 15 cities left over 100 people dead and many more injured.

What impact will al-Qaeda’s mission to regain ground have on political tensions among the main Shia, Sunni and Kurdish factions? 

Join us with a panel of experts to discuss the situation in Iraq today and what impact the conflict on its doorstep in Syria might have on the country.

Chaired by Elizabeth Palmer, CBS News correspondent.


Tom Hardie-Forsyth, a senior adviser to the Prime Minister’s office, Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), Northern Iraq. He is a former Chairman of the NATO Critical Infrastructure Protection Committee at its Brussels HQ, and is now a Fellow of the Atlantic Council. He was commissioned in The Royal Signals Regiment, where he saw active service in the Gulf and Northern Iraq. 

Charles Tripp, professor of Middle East politics at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). Among his books are A History or Iraq, Islam and the Moral Economy: The Challenge of Capitalism and The Power and the People: Paths of resistance in the Middle East.

Patrick Cockburn, senior Middle East correspondent since 1979 for the Financial Times and, presently, The Independent. He is an experienced commentator on Iraq and has written several books on the country including The Occupation: War and Resistance in Iraq and Muqtada: Muqtada al-Sadr, the Shia Revival, and the Struggle for Iraq.

Kamran Karadaghi, former senior political correspondent for the London-based daily Al-Hayat from 1988 to 1998. He has worked as a journalist, interpreter, diplomatic correspondent, and editor for more than 40 years. From 1998 to 2004 he was deputy director and chief editor of Radio Free Iraq at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. From 2005 to 2007 he served as the chief of staff and the official spokesperson for Iraqi President Jalal Talabani.