Project Extra: Imposing The Divide

This is a bonus podcast from Aidan Coughlan’s conversation with Sami Ramadani from the episode, ‘The Tragedy of Iraq’. Sami grew up in Baghdad, departing as a political exile during Saddam Hussein’s reign. In previously unreleased audio, Sami explains that, contrary to what is widely believed, the sectarian fighting in Iraq is something of a new phenomena. You can find Sami on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SamiRamadani1.

For more ways to listen, to subscribe to the podcast or to sign-up for e-mail updates when new content is available, please click here.

The Tragedy of Iraq

In this edition of the Aidan Project, Aidan is joined by Iraq-born writer, Sami Ramadani, to discuss important questions regarding Iraq and the Middle East. What is happening now in Iraq? We are now 14 years on from the controversial invasion, yet Iraq is not at peace, not least because of an ongoing battle with ISIS. Sami provides a whistle-stop history of the struggle of the Iraqi people, from imperial oppression from the United Kingdom up to the occupation of US-led forces in 2003. Sami also discusses US foreign policy under the Trump administration, speculating on a potential showdown with Iran. Sami grew up in Baghdad, but departed as a political exile during Saddam Hussein’s reign. However, despite his objections to Saddam’s government, Sami argued against US-led sanctions and opposed the 2003 invasion and occupation. A semi-retired lecturer in sociology, Sami writes on Middle Eastern affairs and sits on the Stop the War Coalition’s steering committee. For more information on Sami, you can find him on Twitter (@SamiRamidani1) and the Guardian web site (https://www.theguardian.com/profile/samiramadani).

For more ways to listen, to subscribe to the podcast or to sign-up for e-mail updates when new content is available, please click here.

The Art of Terror

In this episode, The Art of Terror, I will be looking at the War on Terror, in addition to Edmund Clark’s thought-provoking exhibition at the Imperial War Museum, London, entitled War *of* Terror. This adapted name is quite deliberate, as will become clear within this episode. The artist-photographer, Clark, has visited Guantanamo Bay, along with the homes of persons who have been held under house arrest here in the United Kingdom. In a world in which ISIS and other groups sympathetic to the Jihadist cause are committing regular atrocities in the Middle East and, indeed, much closer to ‘home’, Western-speaking, we must surely offer strong support for robust governmental action to tackle terrorism. But – and this is the key – it needs to be effective and proportionate. Is it really a case of no pain, no gain? Is torture ever morally acceptable? Indeed, can the War on Terror ever be fought with our morals intact? This episode also looks at the West’s best options for tackling extremism; options which, frustratingly, are being suffocated by the ‘regressive left’. Furthermore, and very much linked to the work of would-be reformers, the power of belief in the supernatural is a significant factor in the War on Terror, which this episode explores in detail. Did George W. Bush’s belief in God lead to the invasion of Iraq? Thank you for tuning in. You can follow my work on Twitter @theaidanproject.