Monday, February 17, 2020

How Much Power Will Incoming Premier Allawi Have?

(Reuters)

There were two reports about the possible scope and limitations of Mohammed Allawi when he forms a new Iraqi government. Middle East Eye had a story that Allawi’s nomination was agreed upon in a meeting in Iran between Moqtada al-Sadr and Badr Organization and Fatah Alliance head Hadi Amiri amongst others. It claimed that Allawi would only be given a limited mandate to hold elections, remove foreign military forces from the country and integrate the Hashd further into the government. One politician said that Allawi would be in a weaker position than outgoing premier Abdul Mahdi because he wouldn’t be able to deal with any major issues like corruption. That was contradicted by another piece in Al Masalah which talked with a parliamentarian (MP) who attended a meeting with Allawi and other MPs. The lawmaker claimed Allawi laid out a plan to make a clean sweep of the government administration by replacing all the deputy ministers, general managers, special grades, and advisers in the cabinet and prime minister’s office and tracking the performance of the minister he picked.

This Day In Iraqi History - Feb 17


1917 British crossed Shumran bend outflanking Ottoman forces in campaign to recapture Kut
1981 UN Rep Palme went to Iran and Iraq for 3rd time to try to negotiate ceasefire
1986 Iran started attack to gain more ground in Fao Peninsula
(Musings On Iraq interview with author Anthony Tucker-Jones on Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq interview with author Tom Cooper on Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq book review The Iran-Iraq War 1980-1988)
(Musings On Iraq book review Iran-Iraq War, The Lion of Babylon, 1980-1988)
(Musings On Iraq book review The Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq book review of Iran-Iraq War Volume 2: Iran Strikes back, June 1982-December 1986)
1995 Temporary ceasefire made between PUK and KDP during civil war
(Musings On Iraq book review of The Kurds, A Modern History)
1998 Clinton told Pentagon US had to stop Iraq from getting WMD and nuclear weapons and Baghdad
had to allow unfetted UN inspections
(Musings On Iraq book review The United States And Iraq Since 1990: A Brief History with Documents)
2003 U2 spy planes began flying over Iraq for UN weapons inspectors
2003 Turkish parliament delayed vote to allow deployment of US troops for Iraq invasion due to domestic
opposition
2003 IAEA found that Iraq-Niger uranium docs were fakes
(Musings On Iraq article on Iraq-Niger uranium story)
(Musings On Iraq Review Hubris, The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, And The Selling Of The Iraq War)
2007 3 car bombs in Baghdad killed 74 and wounded over 100
(Musings On Iraq book review Voices From Iraq, A People’s History, 2003-2009)
2007 VP Hashemi called for Mahdi Army to be placed on terrorist list by US
2007 Report Mahdi Army staying off Baghdad streets as Surge started
2008 2 car bombs at Awakening meeting in Anbar killed more than 20
2008 Sadr announced end of truce with SIIC made in Oct 07 Didn’t stop fighting between two parties
2008 Report 2007 avg 200 attacks per day against ISF Start of 2008 only avg of 82 per day
2008 Report Almost half of displaced said they wouldn’t return to old neighborhoods because
demographics changed in civil war Baghdad’s Adil neighborhood 70% of violence caused by conflicts between returnees and squatters occupying their homes ISF helping Shiites keep homes by arresting Sunnis and not allowing families back
2008 US accused Iran of increased arms shipments to militias in Iraq
(Musings On Iraq interview with Galen Wright of Arkenstone blog on Iranian arms shipments to Iraqi militias) 
2011 Protests in Sulaymaniya began demanding reform in KRG Attacked KDP HQ Fired upon by guards
killing 2
(Musings On Iraq interview with journalist Wladimir Van Wilgenburg on 2011 KRG protests)
2012 Mahoum Sarkhi offices set on fire Blamed on followers of Ayatollah Sistani

View the Iraq History Timelines 

Sunday, February 16, 2020

This Day In Iraqi History - Feb 16


1917 British defeated Ottoman forces at Dahra Bend
1922 Gertrude Bell complained to her father that King Faisal had surrounded himself with nationalists that
demanded Iraq’s complete independence from England
(Musings On Iraq book review of Gertrude Bell And Iraq)
(Musings On Iraq book review Gertrude Bell, Explorer of the Middle East)
1944 Parliamentary Party formed mostly of large land holding sheikhs Supported whatever govt Regent
backed
1979 Saddam said unifying Iraq and Syria was part of the Arab revolution
1979 Saddam said Iraq would respect choice of the Iranian people with their revolution
1984 Iran cut Basra-Baghdad highway between Maysan and Wasit
1986 Iraqi intelligence fell for Iranian deception and claimed attack upon Fao in Basra not main Iranian
attack Meant Iraq didn’t send reinforcements
1986 Iraq made another attempt to retake Fao Peninsula in Basra Only advanced 2 km Iraqis lost 7,000
casualties and 1,500 prisoners taken Iranians lost 8,000 casualties in Op Wa al-Fajr 8 that took Fao Peninsula
(Musings On Iraq interview with author Anthony Tucker-Jones on Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq interview with author Tom Cooper on Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq book review The Iran-Iraq War 1980-1988)
(Musings On Iraq book review Iran-Iraq War, The Lion of Babylon, 1980-1988)
(Musings On Iraq book review The Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq book review of Iran-Iraq War Volume 2: Iran Strikes back, June 1982-December 1986)
1989 Iraq formed Arab Cooperation Council with Egypt Jordan Yemen to counter Gulf Cooperation
Council
1991 US troops destroyed Iraqi radar facility while Apache helicopters conducted raid in depth behind
Iraqi lines in Iraq
1992 Defense Secretary Cheney said that if US had overthrown Saddam would have to decide what kind
of govt to establish Would have been hard to capture Saddam Would have to decide how many casualties willing to take How many troops would have to stay in Iraq to keep govt going
2001 Bush told speechwriter David Frum that he was going to get rid of Saddam  
2001 UK Attorney Gen Lord Williams approved air attacks out of no fly zones in Iraq for self defense
2001 US and UK planes bombed 20 radar and command and control centers in Iraq outside of No Fly Zone
Claimed Iraq had upgraded its air defenses Then said bombed Iraq to stop it from upgrading its defenses
2002 Bush signed secret NSC directive calling for covert action against Iraq by CIA Had budget of $189
mil for 2 years Plan included supporting Iraqi opposition Sabotage missions inside Iraq Working with other countries Information campaign vs Iraq attacking Iraqi revenue sources and disrupting its smuggling operations
(Musings On Iraq book review Wanting War: Why the Bush Administration Invaded Iraq)
(Musings On Iraq book review Leap of Faith, Hubris Negligence, and America’s Greatest Foreign Policy
Tragedy)
(Musings On Iraq Review Hubris, The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, And The Selling Of The Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq book review The Bush Administrations and Saddam Hussein, Deciding on Conflict)
2003 Rice claimed Iraq was deceiving UN weapons inspectors
(Musings On Iraq article on UN weapons inspections)
2004 Report Iraqi and US sources said Iraqi forces would not be able to provide security after sovereignty
transferred to Iraq
2004 CIA said it still believed Iraqi defector CURVEBALL was credible source for intel that Iraq had
mobile WMD labs Turned out to be false source
(Musings On Iraq How Iraqi Defector CURVEBALL Became Basis For US Claim That Iraq Had WMD)
(Musings On Iraq Look Who The LA Times Dug Up – CURVEBALL)
(Musings On Iraq Story of CURVEBALL And Iraq’s Mobile Biological Weapons Labs)
2006 Sec State Rice told Senate oil production and electricity below postwar levels in Iraq Said initial
problems with rebuilding Iraqi security forces fixed and as Iraqi forces stood up US forces would do less
2006 Sec Def Rumsfeld told House US was not in Iraq to do nation building that was up to Iraqis to do
2008 PM Maliki said Al Qaeda in Iraq had mostly been driven from Baghdad
2010 ISI set off 4 suicide car bombs targeting hotels in Baghdad where foreign press stayed
2011 PM Maliki visited Kuwait after Kuwait premier visited Iraq in 1st high level meet between 2 countries
since 1990
2016 Allawi said no reason to remove cabinet until Abadi presented a strategic plan
(Musings On Iraq interview with Reidar Visser on PM Abadi’s reform program) 

Saturday, February 15, 2020

This Day In Iraqi History - Feb 15


1923 UK Head of Board of Trade Sir Graeme told Iraq commission Iraq too costly and British
should withdraw
1936 Def Ministry complained that UK War Office ignored arms purchases and deliveries and that was
undermining Iraqi army
1949 2 Communist politburo members hanged by PM Said to put down protests
(Musings On Iraq book review Red Star Over Iraq, Iraqi Communism Before Saddam)
(Musings On Iraq Interview with Prof Johan Franzen on the history of the Iraqi Communist Party)
1964 Arif govt and Mustafa Barzani started talks to try to end KDP revolt
(Musings On Iraq book review of The Kurds, A Modern History)
(Musings On Iraq book review Kurds of Iraq, Tragedy and Hope)
1984 Iraq, Egypt, Argentina and Swiss companies signed contract to develop long range missile
1984 Iranian Op Al Fajr 5 began Largest operation to date in war Included 2/3 of Iran’s manpower 400,000
men in 15 division Attacked Wasit towards Kut Aim was to cut Baghdad-Basra road
(Musings On Iraq interview with author Anthony Tucker-Jones on Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq interview with author Tom Cooper on Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq book review The Iran-Iraq War 1980-1988)
(Musings On Iraq book review Iran-Iraq War, The Lion of Babylon, 1980-1988)
(Musings On Iraq book review The Iran-Iraq War)
1990 Voice of America commentary called for end of dictatorships after fall of Ceausescu in Romania
Named Iraq
1991 Pres Bush called on Iraqi military and people to overthrow Saddam twice
(Musings On Iraq article on how US encouraged 1991 uprising)
(Musings On Iraq interview with National Univ of Singapore’s Fanar Haddad on the impact of the 1991 uprising)
(Musings On Iraq book review The United States And Iraq Since 1990: A Brief History with Documents)
1991 US Task Force 1-41 first Coalition troops to cross into Iraq to carry out recon and combat missions
1991 US 1st Cav Div launched probing attack into Iraq
1991 US Task Force 1-32 breached Iraqi defensive berm and entered Iraq in deception attack to convince
Iraq that invasion would come through Wadi Al-Batin
2001 US and UK planes bombed Iraq’s air defense system as part of no fly zone
2002 VP Cheney told Council on Foreign Relations action needed to be taken against Saddam for his
aggressive actions support of terror WMD threat
(Musings On Iraq book review Iraq’s Future The aftermath of regime change)
(Musings On Iraq book review Wanting War: Why the Bush Administration Invaded Iraq)
(Musings On Iraq book review Leap of Faith, Hubris Negligence, and America’s Greatest Foreign Policy
Tragedy)
(Musings On Iraq review Losing Iraq, Inside The Post War Reconstruction Fiasco by David Phillips)
2003 Protests in more than 600 cities around world against going to war with Iraq
2003 Bush told Sec Def Rumsfeld to slow troop deployments because getting ahead of diplomacy
2006 Study Iraqi insurgency dominated by few large groups Sunni identity became basis for groups
Had no program for future of Iraq Iraqi insurgents rejected politics Believed they could win
(Musings On Iraq book review Iraq’s Sunni Insurgency)
2007 Pres Talabani claimed Mahdi Army commanders had left Iraq for Iran because Sadr supported the
Surge and wanted Baghdad secured Sadr and militiamen had fled to avoid being arrested and killed by US
2008 Report leaked US doc said Maliki govt didn’t feel urgency to integrate Sahwa Said ministries
interested in taking on Sahwa didn’t have capacity to do so
2009 Iraq Election Comm said fraud took place in 14 of Iraq’s 18 provinces but only effected small
fraction of votes
(Musings On Iraq article on voter fraud in 2009 provincial election)
2010 PM Maliki reversed order to have all raids authorized by him Came after he protested US-Iraq raid on
Kataib Hezbollah
(Musings On Iraq Instrument Of Iran’s Power In Iraq And Syria Kataib Hezbollah)

View the Iraq History Timelines 

Friday, February 14, 2020

This Day In Iraqi History - Feb 14


1949 Communist Chairman Farhad hanged by PM Said to try to squash opposition protests
(Musings On Iraq book review Red Star Over Iraq, Iraqi Communism Before Saddam)
(Musings On Iraq Interview with Prof Johan Franzen on the history of the Iraqi Communist Party)
1958 Iraq and Jordan announced Arab Federation in response to Egypt and Syria’s United Arab Republic
Kuwait asked to join but said no
1983 Sec of State Shultz met with Iraq’s For Min Hammadi who asked for expanded trade deals
1984 Iran Op Kheibar began with diversionary attack northeast of Khorramshahr Iran southern front
1986 Iraq counterattacked to try to re-captured Fao Peninsula started
(Musings On Iraq interview with author Anthony Tucker-Jones on Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq interview with author Tom Cooper on Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq book review The Iran-Iraq War 1980-1988)
(Musings On Iraq book review Iran-Iraq War, The Lion of Babylon, 1980-1988)
(Musings On Iraq book review The Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq book review of Iran-Iraq War Volume 2: Iran Strikes back, June 1982-December 1986)
1991 During funeral for member of Hakim family anti-Saddam slogans chanted in Najaf
1991 Iraq said it would withdraw from Kuwait if Israel withdrew from Palestine sanctions ended and
Iraq’s foreign debt forgiven
2002 National Sec Adv Rice called PM Blair For Pol Adv Manning saying US was only reviewing its Iraq
policy
2003 Chief Inspector Blix briefed Security Council on Iraq inspections Said found no evidence of WMD
Said 400 inspections at 300 sites Were all without notice and gained entry every time Said Iraqis cooperating Said soil samples showed no signs of WMD Iraq still had unaccounted for materials Found 2 banned missiles Blix refuted Sec State Powell’s claim that Iraqis were cleaning WMD sites before inspections
2003 IAEA head El Baradei said it had dismembered Iraq’s nuke program in 1998 and found no evidence
that it had been restarted yet Said Iraq had provided documents for why aluminum tubes it tried to buy had such specific specifications
(Musings On Iraq article on the aluminum tubes story)
(Musings On Iraq article UN Inspectors Were Right Iraq Was Not A Threat)
(Musings On Iraq article Iraq’s Rejection of UN Inspectors Led To Mistrust Over WMD and 2003 Invasion)
2003 Sec State Powell told Security Council Iraq not cooperating with inspections and use of force still an
option
2003 Saddam issued presidential directive banning companies from importing equipment for WMD
2003 Sec Def Rumsfeld gave speech that U.S. was opposed to nation building in Iraq
(Musings On Iraq article on Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction Hard Lessons Chapter 3 The Department of Defense Takes Charge)
(Musings On Iraq book review Leap of Faith, Hubris Negligence, and America’s Greatest Foreign Policy
Tragedy)
2003 Wash Post editorial supported war with Iraq
2003 NSC met over how to respond to a coup in Iraq Didn’t think it was likely but had to plan for it
2004 Fallujah police station attacked by insurgents dressed in ISF uniforms killing more than 20 officers
and released prisoners
2004 US intel report Al Qaeda captive al-Libi recanted story Iraq trained Al Qaeda in poisons and
explosives Libi’s story was used in US intel reports and Sec State Powell’s UN speech
2006 US military ordered investigation into Marines executing Iraqi civilians in Haditha
2007 1st reports appeared that Sadr had left Iraq for Iran out of fear that Surge would target him
(Musings On Iraq A Divided Sadr Trend)
2007 Bush said that Iranian Rev Guards Quds Force was operating in Iraq aiding militias and needed to be         stopped
(Musings On Iraq article on Iran’s Iraq policy)
(Musings On Iraq interview with Naval Postgraduate School’s Ostovar on history of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard)
(Musings On Iraq book review Vanguard of the Imam, Religion, Politics, and Iran’s Revolutionary Guard)
2008 Jordan put visa restrictions on Iraqis to try to stop flow of refugees moving there
2008 Iraq justice system overwhelmed by prisoners captured during Surge More than half 26,000 prisoners
held hadn’t gone to trial and some waited for years Prisons overcrowded Police often ignored orders to release prisoners Many guards worked with militias and released them Iraq didn’t have enough judges to deal with cases Not supported by govt
2016 Hakim criticized PM Abadi’s call for ending quota system saying that PM got his job because
of quotas
(Musings On Iraq interview with Reidar Visser on PM Abadi’s reform program)
2018 Kuwait conference raised $30 bil in loans investment credits mostly for developing Iraq’s economy
as well as reconstruction
(Musings On Iraq article on Kuwait conference)

View the Iraq History Timelines 

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Review The Next Attack, The Failure of the War on Terror and a Strategy for Getting It Right


Review Benjamin, Daniel and Simon, Steven, The Next Attack, The Failure of the War on Terror and a Strategy for Getting It Right, New York: Times Book, 2005

The Next Attack, The Failure of the War on Terror and a Strategy for Getting It Right was written by Daniel Benjamin and Steven Simon. They argue that the Bush administration was mishandling the war on terror after the 9/11 attacks because it misunderstood the jihadist movement, didn’t create an effective and coordinated anti-terror strategy, and made the situation worse by invading Iraq in 2003. For a book that was mostly written in 2004 it was way ahead of its time. Many of the issues it brought up would become mainstays of books written about the Islamic State after it declared its caliphate in 2014.

This Day In Iraqi History - Feb 13


1959 Communists said they stood for Arab unity but not in a quick and simple manner Was
taking shot at pan-Arabists and Nasser who called for immediate unity
(Musings On Iraq book review Red Star Over Iraq, Iraqi Communism Before Saddam)
(Musings On Iraq Interview with Prof Johan Franzen on the history of the Iraqi Communist Party)
1967 Pres Arif speech declared Freedom Socialism and Unity belonged to no Party co-opting
Baathist slogans
1979 Iraq sent memo to new Iranian govt after revolution asking for friendly relations
1982 Saddam ordered new attack upon Bostan Khuzistan Still raining and failed again
1985 Saddam offered amnesty to Kurds that fought against govt Rejected by KDP and PUK
(Musings On Iraq book review of The Kurds, A Modern History)
(Musings On Iraq book review Kurds of Iraq, Tragedy and Hope)
1986 Iran in full control of Fao Peninsula Basra Lost 600 dead 2000 wounded Iraq 5000 dead and
wounded 1500 captured
1986 Report around 2,000 Iranian troops suffered mustard gas burns in Fao Peninsula from Iraqi
attacks
(Musings On Iraq article on the origins of Iraq’s WMD programs)
(Musings On Iraq interview with author Anthony Tucker-Jones on Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq interview with author Tom Cooper on Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq book review The Iran-Iraq War 1980-1988)
(Musings On Iraq book review Iran-Iraq War, The Lion of Babylon, 1980-1988)
(Musings On Iraq book review The Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq book review of Iran-Iraq War Volume 2: Iran Strikes back, June 1982-December 1986)
1991 Amiriya shelter in Baghdad bombed by U.S. during Gulf War 408 killed
1998 UN chief Annan said he had a personal initiative to end inspector crisis with Iraq Began consulting
with Security Council members to win approval
(Musings On Iraq article UN Inspectors Were Right Iraq Was Not A Threat)
(Musings On Iraq article Iraq’s Rejection of UN Inspectors Led To Mistrust Over WMD and 2003 Invasion)
1998 Saudis refused to allow its territory to be used by US for air strikes vs Iraq as tensions raised over
inspectors
1999 AP reported that Saddam offered bin Laden shelter after being kicked out of Afghanistan False story
2002 Bush at press conference said he had a number of options for dealing with Iraq
2002 Bush admin officials told several media outlets they had decided to move against Iraq
(Musings On Iraq book review Wanting War: Why the Bush Administration Invaded Iraq)
(Musings On Iraq book review Leap of Faith, Hubris Negligence, and America’s Greatest Foreign Policy
Tragedy)
(Musings On Iraq Review Hubris, The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, And The Selling Of The Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq book review The Bush Administrations and Saddam Hussein, Deciding on Conflict)
(Musings On Iraq book review Plan of Attack: The Definitive Account Of The Decision To Invade Iraq)
2003 UN announced it had humanitarian plan for Iraq working with 6 regional countries and had $30.6
mil and would ask for another $88.8 mil
2003 CENTCOM Cmdr Gen Franks told Bush he had Iraqi mayors for each city to run things after
invasion He didn’t
(Musings On Iraq article on Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction Hard Lessons Chapter 3 The Department of Defense Takes Charge)
(Musings On Iraq book review Leap of Faith, Hubris Negligence, and America’s Greatest Foreign Policy
Tragedy)
2003 IAEA interviewed Iraq’s ex-amb to Vatican Zahawie second time over Iraq-Niger uranium deal
Denied story
(Musings On Iraq article on Iraq-Niger uranium story)
(Musings On Iraq Review Hubris, The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, And The Selling Of The Iraq War)
2004 After talks with Sistani UN endorsed Ayatollah’s call for early elections but said they couldn’t
happen as soon as Sistani wanted
(Musings On Iraq book review The Occupation of Iraq, Winning The War, Losing The Peace)
(Musings On Iraq book review Patriotic Ayatollahs, Nationalism In Post-Saddam Iraq)
2004 Report CIA review showed it relied upon too many unreliable exile sources for intel on Iraq’s WMD
Included INC defector Haideri May 02 labeled fabricator by DIA but story continued to be used
2005 Early election results showed that Shiite United Iraqi Alliance got 140 of 275 seats in parliament
missing majority it wanted
2005 Provisional election results released UIA 48% Kurds 26% Iraqiya List 14% 58% voter turnout
2006 Saddam returned to court on order of judge and chanted “Down with Bush!”
2007 Baghdad Security Plan under Surge began Would place US and Iraqi forces in neighborhoods set up
combat outposts and focus upon protecting population
(Musings On Iraq interview with Prof Mansoor on the Surge)
(Musings On Iraq interview with New America Foundation’s Ollivant On Reassessing the Surge)
2007 Report Austrian sniper rifles Iran ordered showed up in Iraq
(Musings On Iraq interview with Galen Wright of Arkenstone blog on Iranian arms shipments to Iraqi militias) 
2007 Al Qaeda head Zawahiri released audiotape saying Bush gambled on Iraq and lost
2008 Parliament passed Provincial Powers Act to devolve authority to governorates Never really
implemented
2008 Awakening leader Sheikh Abu Risha announced political party Iraq’s Awakening to run in 2009
provincial elections
2008 Report Anbar Awakening splitting over politics Sheikh Abu Risha made deal with VP Hashemi
and Islamic Party Sheikh Suleiman accused Hashemi of attempting to take over Awakening Accused Islamic Party of working with ISI
(Musings On Iraq book review Illusions of Victory, The Anbar Awakening And The Rise Of The Islamic State)
(Musings On Iraq interview with author Carter Malkasian on Anbar Awakening)
2008 Report Only 10% of Sahwa started training to join ISF Govt promised 25% would join
2016 Sadr said economic reforms needed and better govt Gave Abadi 45 day deadline and supported
his technocratic govt idea
(Musings On Iraq interview with Reidar Visser on PM Abadi’s reform program)
(Musings On Iraq interview with Cambridge’s Michael Clark on Sadr, protests and PM Abadi’s reforms)

View the Iraq History Timelines 

How Much Power Will Incoming Premier Allawi Have?

(Reuters) There were two reports about the possible scope and limitations of Mohammed Allawi when he forms a new Iraqi government. Midd...