How Corruption, Incompetence, and Sectarianism Undermine Democracy in Iraq

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Iraqi lawyer Zaid al-Ali argues that the poorly planned U.S. intervention destroyed the Iraqi state, creating a black hole that corrupt and incompetent members of the elite have made their own. He looks at what's happened to Iraq’s people, their government, and their nation’s since the United States-led invasion in 2003. His book The Struggle for Iraq’s Future: How Corruption, Incompetence, and Sectarianism Have Undermined Democracy looks at the many problems the country is dealing with: bombings, increasing sectarianism, and pervasive government corruption.


Zaid al-Ali

Comments [5]

jgarbuz from Queens

There are only 4 real nations in the Middle East: Turkey, Israel, Kurdistan and Iran. The Arabs are a bevy of tribes, just like the native "Indians" who were 566 tribal nations often fighting each other.

Mar. 05 2014 12:35 PM
Bradley Calder from New York

Your interview of Zaid al-Ali was tremendously disappointing.

Mr. Ali is an attorney who has never lived in Iraq and yet you interviewed him about his opinion on the current level of safety in Iraq? Why not ask him about his thoughts on the Chinese legal system or Bolivian foreign policy?

Admittedly his father, is Iraqi as you touched on in your interview, but at no point do you address the vast decrease in violence relative to the 2004-2009 period, increased stability of the Iraqi banking system, or the significant IPO's on Iraqi stock market. Not to mention, you did not address the proliferation of foreign multi-national banks, CitiGroup, JP Morgan, HSBC all opened Baghdad offices in the last 18 months in Iraq.

Perhaps large banks with large risk departments, which presumably allowed these openings, might be more telling regarding the level of safety than a lawyer who has never lived in the country?

If you are going to cover Iraq, you really might try to look at where people are putting their money and not what they say.

For some supporting information please see the links below.

Mar. 05 2014 12:23 PM

The U.S. people saw what we were conditioned to see...not what was. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Feith, Wolfowitz, Rice and Bremer ought to give their salaries back.

I will *never* forget sitting in the car inspection line on a Saturday morning in February 2002 listening to Scott Simon cheerlead a parade of Iraqi nationals who were trying to sell me on how dangerous Saddam was and how great our invasion would be for their nation. Simon should have made an 'apology for the mess' attempt, too.

Mar. 05 2014 12:23 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

We should have left Saddam in power, and let him do what Assad is doing today. There is absolutely nothing the US can do, short of helping them destroy Israel, that will ever be appreciated by Muslim Arabs. Period,

Mar. 05 2014 12:21 PM
antonio from baySide

Two questions:
I heard there was this megalith sized military base there, Is that true? If so I'd suspect the country would be more stable? Does the guest know why was it built? I suspect it's there to protect other interests...

Isn't there an area of Iraq to the north which wanted to form a federation? On 60 minutes it was reported that is was quite stable...Is there any info regarding the territory?

Mar. 05 2014 12:14 PM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.