Idrees Ahmad

IdreeeesI am a Glasgow-based writer and photographer with a doctorate in sociology and specialization in international conflicts. I am a Lecturer in Digital Journalism at the University of Stirling. I have also lectured in politics, philosophy,  international relations, religion, media, film and cultural studies at the Universities of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Sheffield and Creative Arts. I am the author of The Road to Iraq: The Making of a Neoconservative War (Edinburgh University Press).

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I write for The Nation, The Daily Beast, Los Angeles Review of Books, The AtlanticThe New RepublicAl JazeeraThe National, Vice News, In These Times, Le Monde Diplomatique, Die Tageszeitung (TAZ), Adbusters, Guernica, London Review of Books (Blog), Bella Caledonia, Asia Times, IPS News, Political InsightThe Drouth, Canadian Dimension, Tanqeed, Variant, etc. I have appeared as an on-air analyst on Al Jazeera, the BBC, RAI TV, Radio Open Source with Christopher Lydon, Alternative Radio with David Barsamian and several Pacifica Radio channels.

I am the former captain of the American University, Dubai’s tennis team. In 2004, I was the co-winner of the University of Pittsburgh’s Dubai Jazz Talent Hunt, selected by a panel that included Larry Coryell and James Moody.

My favorite authors are: Lev Tolstoy, William Faulkner, J.M. Coetzee, Ernest Hemingway, Norman Mailer, Kurt Vonnegut, Cormac McCarthy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and Jose Saramago. Essayists I admire include Gore Vidal, Tony Judt, John Gray, Alexander Cockburn and John Berger. I dig the plays of Shaw, Stoppard, Ibsen, and — of course — Shakespeare. Filmmakers I worship include John Ford, Orson Welles, Sidney Lumet, Ken Loach, Akira Kurosawa, Terrence Mallick, Robert Altman, and Alejandro González Iñárritu.

Selected Media Appearances

Discussing counterinsurgency on Al Jazeera

Debating Prof. Stephen Walt of Harvard on Radio Open Source.


Discussing drones

Selected Journalism

  • ‘The anti-Imperialist’s Guide to Inaction in Syria’, The Drouth, Winter 2015-16.
  • ‘Syria and Surrealism’, Los Angeles Review of Books, 22 December 2015.
  • ‘What is to be done about Syria?’, Bella Caledonia, 26 November, 2015.
  • ‘Obama’s legacy is tarnished as Putin fills the vacuum in Syria’, The National, 10 October 2015.
  • ‘Divided Affections’, The Nation, 10 September 2015.
  • ‘The NYRB Is Rewriting Tony Judt’s Stance on Israel’, The Nation, 14 July 2015.
  • ‘The Act of Remote Killing’, In These Times, 9 July 2015.
  • ‘Who’s Lying about the Christian massacre in Syria?’, The Daily Beast, 27 May 2015.
  • ‘ISIS: Managers of Savagery’, In These Times, 6 March 2015.
  • ‘Courting Disaster’, The Nation, 9 December 2014.
  • ‘Black Holes and Media Missionaries’, Heinrich Böll Stiftung, 1 December 2014.
  • ‘Medien und Krieg in Nahost: Die große Syrien-Schlamperei’, Die Tageszeitung (, 25 November 2014.
  • ‘The West’s Syria policy has been shaped by media missionaries’, The National, 27 September 2014.
  • ‘In Syria, the Enemy of America’s Enemy is Still a Lousy Friend’, Vice News, 16 July 2014.
  • ‘A Dangerous Method: Syria, Sy Hersh, and the Art of Mass-crime Revisionism’, Los Angeles Review of Books, 1 June, 2014.
  • ‘Searching for a “realistic” solution in Syria has inflamed the conflict’, The National, 17 May 2014.
  • ‘Tony Blair’s confidence tricks’, Al Jazeera America, 29 April 2014.
  • ‘The use of force as a political weapon – from Mandela to Syria’, The National, 9 January 2014.
  • ‘Prediction: 2014 will be a year of surprises for many countries’, The National, 25 December 2013.
  • ‘On Monsterphilia and Assad’, Guernica, 24 October 2013.
  • ‘The New Truthers: Americans Who Deny Syria Used Chemical Weapons’, The New Republic, 11 September 2013.
  • ‘British parliament over-learns the lessons of Iraq’, Al Jazeera America, 4 September 2013.
  • ‘How Pakistan can stop drone strikes’, The Atlantic, 3 July 2013.
  • ‘Obama won’t end the drone war, but Pakistan might’, Al Jazeera, 3 July 2013.
  • ‘Ambiguous drone policies cast doubt on Obama’s lofty pledges’, The National, 1 June 2013.
  • ‘Everybody has to buy bread’, LRB Blog, 14 May 2013.
  • ‘True costs of Iraq War whitewashed by fuzzy maths’, The National, 5 April 2013.
  • ‘A parade of characters and causes led the US to war in Iraq’, The National, 23 March 2013.
  • ‘Archaeology of Revolutionary Knowledge’, Guernica, 30 January 2013.
  • ‘Hagel, the Lobby, and the Limits of Power’, Al Jazeera, 28 December 2012.
  • ‘Hawking Women’s Rights’, Tanqeed, 2 November 2012.
  • ‘The Archbishop, Oedipus, and the Golden Ass’, Al Jazeera, 29 September 2012.
  • ‘Romney’s indiscreet advisor’, Al Jazeera, 28 October 2011.
  • ‘Fighting back against the CIA drone war’, Al Jazeera, 30 July 2011.
  • ‘Gunboats and Gurkhas in the American Imperium’, Al Jazeera, 14 July 2011.
  • ‘The virtue-less war of the Nintendo bomber’, Al Jazeera, 28 June 2011.
  • ‘Between a rock and a hard country’, IPS News, 20 June 2011.
  • The magical realism of body counts,’ Al Jazeera, 13 June 2011.
  • ‘Insurgent Pakistan’, Political Insight, April 2010
  • ‘Pakistan Creates its Own Enemy’, Le Monde Diplomatique, November 2009 (translations appeared in all foreign language editions in the December 2009 issue).
  • ‘Why Paksitanis see US as a bigger threat’, Asia Times, 3 November 2009; Inter Press Service, 30 October 2009
  • ‘Peshawar: A Journey Home’, Le Monde Diplomatique, 14 October 2009
  • ‘The End of Israel’s Impunity?‘, Variant 34, Spring 2009
  • ‘Another Chorister for Israel (The BBC: Eyeless in Gaza)’, Adbusters, January 2009
  • Fortress Britain’, Variant, Number 32, Summer 2008


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