Michael Petrou

Michael Petrou is a journalist and historian. He’s a fellow-in-residence in Carleton University’s Bachelor of Global and International Studies program and an adjunct professor in its Department of History. He’s also a fellow at the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies and was the 2018 Martin Wise Goodman Canadian Nieman Fellow at Harvard University.

Latest from Michael Petrou


It would be immoral for Canada to leave its ISIS members in Syria

Abandoning the Kurds is a longstanding Western tradition. But must we really add to this betrayal by sticking them with the worst of Canada?

Defeating ISIS in Mosul is a victory for Iraq. The challenge will be making it last: Michael Petrou

While ISIS ruled by terror, it drew some support from Sunnis who felt abandoned by a government in Baghdad, which they believed discriminated against Sunnis and cared only for Shias. It's these people that Iraq must now bring onside if it is to have any hope of maintaining control.

Canada should join its closest allies and return to Afghanistan: Michael Petrou

Progress in Afghanistan will be measured in generations. And long-term progress requires long-term commitments. Giving up on Afghanistan avoids confronting just how long it often takes to end insurgencies.

What does Canada get out of restoring diplomatic ties with Iran?: Michael Petrou

We will see more convenient travel for Iranian Canadians and their relatives, certainly, and the possibility of modest trade and business deals down the road. That might be enough for Trudeau's government, and if it is, he should say so.

No decent politician should profess to be shocked by the latest chemical attack in Syria

​What's caused refugees to flee Syria is shocking. But for those who have allowed it to happen, the only appropriate response is shame.

White House shift on a two-state solution could be enormously damaging to Israel

If statehood is off the table, and if Palestinians are told they will never have the same rights as Israelis with whom they share territory, what is left to negotiate for?

Trudeau should spend his diplomatic capital on Syria

When Trudeau meets with President Donald Trump next week, a top priority should be persuading the American leader that Assad is not a viable partner in the fight against ISIS.

With Donald Trump's victory, Assad has been given free rein in Syria

Whatever hope for peace Syria might have had became weaker with Trump's win, writes Michael Petrou.

Liberal MPs defend invitation list for Stéphane Dion roundtable on Iran

Foreign Minister Stéphane Dion met with selected Iranian Canadians last week to hear their views about the Canadian government's plan to re-engage with Iran. But two attendees say most of those invited were supporters of restoring diplomatic ties with Tehran, rather than critics of Iran's human rights abuses.

Iraqi army has been 'crushing' ISIS, Canadian general says

​When Brig.-Gen. Greg Smith first touched down in Iraq in February to advise and assist the Iraqi army in its fight against Islamic State militants, he assumed that ISIS had the upper hand.