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Divide and heal

Despite the imminent formation of a government of national unity, Iraq is splintering into its three historic provinces. The break-up can be managed, but it cannot be avoided. The western powers and Iraqi nationalists must now accept that radical federalism…
Gareth Stansfield  

The new unionism

Northern Ireland's recent violence reflects the "modernisation" of unionism
E K  

Losing the south

When I was deputy governor of two southern Iraqi provinces last year, we tried to create a tolerant, modern society. Then the Islamic parties won most of the seats in the election and the dream collapsed
Rory Stewart  

Why Turkey’s Kurds matter

After five years of calm, the Kurdish insurgency in Turkey seems to be rekindling. But the government must not return to the heavy-handed methods of its predecessors. With EU membership now a real prospect, the best way to defuse the…
Jonathan Power  

The IED tussle

The "improvised explosive device" may seem a humble opponent for the US military, but it is the focus of a battle of innovations pitting high-tech against low cunning
Bartle Bull  

Iraq’s rebel democrats

Muqtada al-Sadr's populist Shia rebels, who last year battled with US forces in Najaf, are now deeply involved in politics. They provide a case study of a rebel movement tentatively embracing democracy
Bartle Bull  

The mother of all elections

Iraq's 30th January election will put Shias in power and be marred by Sunni violence. But it will express Iraqi, not US, ambitions. Bush will cease to call the shots— sooner than the world realises
Bartle Bull  

The coming of Shia Iraq

After 500 years of Sunni rule, Iraq's election will hand power to the Shia majority. This terrifies Sunnis, and gives Shia factions a common goal — masterminded by none other than Ahmed Chalabi
Bartle Bull