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Bribe, Swindle or Steal

Aug 16, 2023

Robert Worth, a journalist previously based in Baghdad with the New York Times and author of A Rage for Order: The Middle East in Turmoil from Tahrir Square to ISIS, describes the deadly and intractable problem of corruption in Iraq. He discusses the role the United States and its pallets of cash played in this, but also the enforced sectarian apportionment of power—the Muhasasa—that ensures each group protects its fiefdom rather than acting in the best interest of the whole country. (This episode was originally published in 2022.)