I am back in Baghdad after seven years away.
Since 2003, a million people have died in Iraq in the wake of post-invasion violence. (1) Sectarian wars have torn the country apart, foreign troops have established huge military bases, and politicians who have sworn to crack down on militias have their own private armies. This once secular nation has been scarred by extremism, with terrible consequences for women, gay people and religious minorities. As government ministries remain feeding troughs for cronyism and sectarian patronage, national reconciliation remains elusive.