Larry Kaplow

Iraqi Oil Ready for Risk-Takers

There was oil in little jars, gyrating on swiveling chrome and glass shelves along with kerosene and gasoline. On display were scale models and designs of gas stations that could be built in the future and pieces of pipeline skillfully welded by Iraqi technicians.

Iraqi Maverick Politician Banned for Israel Trip

While American politicians debate who's a maverick willing to take on the establishment, Iraq's Mithal al-Alusi meets the criteria and pays the price. In the latest in a series of battles with what he calls the "fascist" religious parties running the government, Alusi was banned from parliament for making his third trip to Israel—or, the "Zionist entity" as it's known in official Iraqi correspondence.

Iraq: Attack Trends Through the Fall

Updated charts the military provided to NEWSWEEK showed that the number of attacks around the country dropped back to pre-Ramadan levels when the holy month ended at the beginning of October.

Iraq National Museum Gets New American Aid

Perhaps the most famous of Hammurabi's legal codes was the tooth thing. Written in Mesopotamia about 2,700 years ago, it read, roughly, "If a man has knocked out the tooth of a man of the same rank, they shall knock out his tooth." There was the eye-for-an-eye clause, of course, and then many more intricate instructions.

Sistani Backs SOFA

Grand Ayatollah Sayed Ali Husseini Sistani has had some ups and downs lately but he's still the most influential person in Iraq. The latest reminder came today when he signaled–signaling is about as explicit as he gets on these kinds of issues–that he would not oppose the status of forces agreement (SOFA) between Iraq and the United States.

There's More than Oil Under Iraqi Soil

Several times a month, the U.S. military sends out press releases announcing the discovery of hidden weapons caches. Those can be newly smuggled mortars held by insurgents for use against American bases or, usually, old rifles and ammo left behind by Saddam Hussein's armies.

Inside Iraq's Unusual Surveillance Game

Every Ramadan, in neighborhoods around Baghdad, groups of men face off in the streets. But they are engaged in a battle of wits, not arms, as they play a game called "mahaibis" or "little ring." One team cloaks itself behind a large cloth and hides a ring in the fist of one of its players.

Iraq Reschedules Elections. Again.

The Iraqi parliament's vote today to hold local elections by Jan. 31 won quick praise by an American official but is actually a reminder of the decreased leverage the United States has here and that, in fact, the elections are in danger.

Odierno Takes Over in Iraq

The dress code for the handover of American power in Iraq from Gen. David Petraeus to Gen. Ray Odierno was different today than it had been when Petraeus took the job 19 months ago.

A Nervous Meeting on the Future of America's Tribal Allies

A meeting today in the Rasheed Hotel's faded ballroom was meant to reassure America's tribal allies. But the so-called Sons of Iraq tribal fighters, so crucial in stabilizing Iraq, remained worried they are being shoved aside and left vulnerable to their old Al Qaeda adversaries.

In the Dairy Aisle

It's easy to come up with reasons why Baghdad's relative peace might not last. There are still assassinations almost daily. Militias continue their saber-rattling exchanges.

Spy v. Spy in the Green Zone

A soon-to-be released book by The Washington Post's Bob Woodward reportedly confirms the most open secret in Baghdad's Green Zone – that you never know who's listening on your phone.

After Calling Them Attackers, Army Admits Slain Iraqis' Innocence

The military admitted late Sunday that three bank employees – a 57-year-old man and two women coworkers – killed by U.S. soldiers in the Baghdad airport complex were just as their loved ones and Iraqi police had maintained: "Law abiding citizens of Iraq." But the soldiers who fired at them were, a military statement said, "not at fault."The announcement about the conclusion of an Army investigation corrected what had seemed implausible all along.

McCain vs. Obama: Who's Right on the Surge?

The U.S. military says there were zero attacks in Baghdad on Wednesday. A year ago, there were an average of 43 a day. The question of how this happened has led to the latest tussle in America's race for the White House.

Pizza Joint: A Baghdad Barometer with Extra Toppings

Sign of the Times: Waleed al-Bayati has re-opened his pizza restaurant (Credit: Larry Kaplow) Baghdad's probably still too dangerous for western reporters to comfortably linger over meals in restaurants but it's just about right for pizza runs.

Bush Hosts An Ally On Force Agreement

President George W. Bush probably can't find an Iraqi more sympathetic to the idea of keeping U.S. troops in his country than Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, who stopped by the White House today.

Iraqi Staff: Should They Stay or Should They Go?

What would you tell an Iraqi who asks you if they should uproot their entire family and move to the United States? That's the question facing us in NEWSWEEK's Baghdad bureau as we explain a new U.S. immigration program aimed at giving safe haven to Iraqis who have risked working with Americans.

Spin Watch: When is a Lull Not a Lull?

A senior U.S. Administration  official briefed reporters today about the situation in Iraq and applied a spin heavier than any I've heard in Baghdad for a long time.

Iraq's National Soccer Team Gets Back on the Pitch

Iraqis breathed a collective sigh of relief Thursday as they learned their beloved national soccer team would be allowed to keep playing. FIFA, world soccer's governing body, rescinded a decision to suspend the Iraqi squad from qualifying matches for next year's World Cup tournament.

For May at Least, A Drop in Violence

With the end of the intense fighting between Shiite militias and U.S. and Iraqi troops, violence has dropped significantly,  according to military statistics.

Marla Ruzicka: Lessons and a Legacy

Three years ago today, April 16, 2005, a suicide car bomber killed 28-year-old Marla Ruzicka and her colleague, Faiz Ali Salim, on the capital's airport road.

Which Iraqis Are Coming Home?

While the rate of Iraqis fleeing their homes has been lower in the last several months than before, it still looks like only the biggest risk-takers or those with the shortest journeys are ready to bet on a return.