Who's To Blame for the Mess in Iraq?

Posted on May 29, 2015 in Washington Watch

By James Zogby

Despite the prolonged US-led coalition bombing campaign, the so-called "Islamic State" (IS) recently won victories in Iraq expanding the area under its control. In the wake of these advances, fingers of blame have been pointing in every direction. Democrats continue to blame President Bush for beginning the war, in the first place, while Republican candidates are attempting to turn the tables by blaming President Obama for abandoning Iraq.  What is most disturbing is not the finger pointing, it is the degree to which the pointers have let politics trump history....

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Call to Action

Posted on May 28, 2015 in Countdown Vol. 13, No. 14: Call to Action

Following ISIL’s capture of the critical city of Ramadi, the capital of Iraq’s Anbar province, and its push into Palmyra in Syria, the Washington echo chamber became flooded with calls for a rethink of the Obama Administration’s efforts to combat the terrorist group. Voices are coming in from all corners to criticize the lack of progress on a coherent or effective strategy. It was no surprise that ISIL dominated the discussion across the Sunday talk shows over the long weekend. While we don’t agree with Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) on many issues, we can’t help but accept his recent assessment, at least in...


Posted on May 16, 2015 in Arab American Institute

The instability and violence that Iraq faced as a result of the 2003 U.S. war has been alarmingly exacerbated by the territorial gains and violence of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). ISIL’s military successes, coupled with the growing sectarian divisions within Iraqi society have eroded any progress in governance and civil society. The Arab American Institute continues to support U.S. policies that call for the unity, territorial integrity and sovereignty of Iraq and a stable government based on tolerance, transparency, and respect for democratic...

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White House Staff Addresses Arab American Policy Concerns

Posted by on April 30, 2015 in Blog
The Arab American Institute’s 2015 Leadership Days were ended with a White House with a briefing by senior members of the Obama Administration. Over 100 leaders spoke with policymakers in the Department of Justice, the National Security Council, USAID, and the personal office of the President.
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Arab American Leadership Days Kick Off on Capitol Hill

Posted by on April 29, 2015 in Blog
Today, AAI hosted a select group of Arab American community leaders from across the country on Capitol Hill as part of its annual Leadership Day.
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If the U.S. Wants Arabs as Partners, We Must Treat Them As Such

Posted on April 20, 2015 in Washington Watch
The U.S. allies in the Gulf have long been concerned not only with Iran's nuclear ambitions, but more importantly with the Islamic Republic's regional ambitions and its meddlesome intrusion into affairs in the Arab region. Statements from Tehran boasting that they now have sit in capitals in Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut, and Sanaa, weigh heavy on the collective Arab consciousness.
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Killing Off Myths

Posted on March 16, 2015 in Washington Watch
What many Arabs understand is that important parts of their world appear to be spinning dangerously out of control and that an intransigent Israel and an aggressive Iran are emboldened and ascendant. What they do not understand is why, in the midst of these threats and challenges, America's role is either absent or less than decisive. And precisely because many Arabs stubbornly hold on to myths about America's wisdom and power, they conclude that the unraveling and the threats must be by design.
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“There’s still work left to be done”

Posted on March 12, 2015 in Countdown
While Republicans have railed against the Obama Administration and Democrats for their lack of bipartisan efforts in the past, it seems that there are certain instances in which casting bipartisan efforts aside is appropriate. Senator McConnell seemed to get a little ahead of himself last week after he bypassed the committee process and attempted to bring the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 up for a vote before the March 24th deadline for a political framework.
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Grabbing Control of the Reins: The Republican Congress’s Attempt to Orchestrate U.S. Foreign Policy

Posted by on March 12, 2015 in Blog

From the brutal conflict in Syria, to Boko Haram in Nigeria, and pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine the White House has its hands full in implementing a U.S. foreign policy agenda that buttresses American interests and national security. Prominent Republicans, including Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner (OH-8), and Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Edward Royce (CA-39), have consistently criticized theadministration’s actions on multiple foreign policy fronts. Speaker Boehner’s recent invitation to Israeli Prime Minister (PM) Benjamin Netanyahu to address the U.S. Congress and the letter sent by 47...

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The More Things Change…

Posted on February 25, 2015 in Countdown

You Say it Ain't So... But is it?

We have been repeatedly, thoroughly, annoyingly, and sometimes beautifully reminded that the White House’s “Countering Violent Extremism” (CVE) programs are not aimed at the American Muslim community. We were first assured when the CVE program was announced in 2010 by Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough, and even though it was done so at a Muslim community center (why?!), we still wanted to believe it. Again we were promised that it wasn’t about us by Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and...

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