Events are moving fast. Here are a few sources to help you make sense of it all:
- Baghdad coup rumours are rife on Twitter this morning as troops loyal to PM Maliki are deployed around the city.
- Note these are just rumours at present. There is still a lot we don't know.
- Yesterday Maliki, in a midnight TV address, said he was taking legal action against President Fouad Massoum for 'violating the constitution.'
- A senior State Department official says the US is throwing its weight behind President Masoum.
- The first three days of US air strikes have emboldened Kurdish fighters, as they reclaim two towns from ISIS.
- Obama cast his air-strike announcement of last Friday in humanitarian terms, but John Judis says it is all about oil.
- The consequences of America's previous humanitarian intervention, in Libya.
- The NY Review of Books has a quick explainer about the competing political and military forces in Iraq:
The story, which has seemed to be all about religion and military developments, is actually mostly about politics: access to government revenue and services, a say in decision-making, and a modicum of social justice. True, one side is Sunni and the other Shia, but this is not a theological conflict rooted in the seventh century. ISIS and its allies have triumphed because the Sunni populations of Mosul and Tikrit and Fallujah have welcomed and supported them—not because of ISIS’s disgusting behavior, but in spite of it. The Sunnis in these towns are more afraid of what their government may do to them than of what the Sunni militia might. They have had enough of years of being marginalized while suffering vicious repression, lawlessness, and rampant corruption at the hands of Iraq’s Shia-led government.