Sunday, July 15, 2018

Musings On Iraq In The News

The following books cited Musings On Iraq: Education and Ethno-Politics: Defending Identity in Iraq by Kelsey Shanks, Iraq and the Crimes of Aggressive War, The Legal Cynicism of Criminal Militarism by John Hagan, Joshua Kaiser and Anna Hanson, and Quicksilver War: Syria, Iraq and the Spiral of Conflict by William Harris.

Musings On Iraq was cited also by the Commissariaat-General voor de Vluchtelingen en de Staatlozen in "Irak De veiligheidssituatie in de Koerdische Autonome Regio" and by the European Parliament's Directorate-General for External Policy Policy Department in "Rebuilding the Iraqi State: Stabilisation, Governance, and Reconciliation." Musings On Iraq was quoted by Seth Frantzman in "Operation Revenge Of The Martyrs: Iraq's Biggest Anti-ISIS Operation Of 2018" for tsarizm.

Protests Continue Across Southern Iraq And Spread To Baghdad

After July 13’s events where there were protests, occupation of government offices, burning political party buildings across seven provinces, and the deaths of two people at the hands of the police there were more such activities the next day.
 Protest at the Majnoon oil field in Basra (Al Mirbad)
Demonstration in Dhi Qar (Al Sumaria) 

This Day In Iraqi History - Jul 15

1920 UK Chief General Staff Wilson heard of 1920 revolt and ordered dispatch
            of division from India to put it down
1950 Cabinet resigned when PM Suwaidi complained his brother not appointed head of
Cassation Court Stayed in office because Regent out of country and couldn’t call for new govt
1952 Mustafa al-Umari became premier
1958 Deposed PM Nuri al-Said executed by Free Officers Regent’s body taken from
            royal palace Mutilated Dragged through Baghdad streets
1968 PM Yahya resigned over divisions within military over running country that
            would eventually lead to 68 coup
1979 Saddam had Revolutionary Command Council Secretary General Mashadi arrested
and tortured Mashadi named Saddam opponents within Baath Party Those members later accused of a Syrian backed coup
1986 UK Official told Geneva conference that Iraq chemical weapons had caused
            10,000 Iranian casualties in Iran-Iraq War
1988 Iran’s cabinet endorsed decision to accept UN Res 598 ending Iran-Iraq War
1990 At Baath Party meeting decided Iraq should make its case to the world against
Kuwait so that it would not be seen as an aggressor Izzat al-Duri said Kuwait conspiring against Iraq and part of larger Israeli conspiracy
1990 At Arab League Iraq complained Kuwait tapping into Rumaila oil field in Basra
costing Iraq $1 bil/year Demanded loans from UAE and Kuwait during Iran-Iraq War be forgiven Threatened force against Kuwait and UAE saying they were US puppets
1990 Iraq made first deployment of troops for Kuwait invasion
1991 US troops withdrew from Kurdistan after setting up safe area for displaced Kurds
            after Gulf War
2002 Czech Intel head doubted that 9/11 hijacker Atta met with Iraqi intelligence in
            Prague in 2001
2002 Fmr Saddam Fedayeen told press Iraq trained Al Qaeda fighters in Salman
            Pak False story
2004 UN head inspector Blix accused Blair of misleading public on Iraq threat
            before invasion
2004 Report in 2003 UK intel found Zarqawi setting up cells in Baghdad  
2006 Insurgents stormed Olympic Committee in Baghdad Took 30 people including
            committee president
2011 3 bombs in Karbala left 100 casualties
2012 Iraq complained about KRG-Turkish oil deals saying it would affect relations
            between two countries 

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Protests In Iraq Greatly Escalate And Spread Throughout South

In just a few days the annual protests in Iraq have greatly accelerated. There had been a week of protests since the start of July, but then July 8 in northern Basra province a demonstrator was killed by the security forces. That gave impetus to greater activism, and another person dying from gunfire on July 12, leading to an explosion of people taking to the streets on July 13 across southern Iraq, which saw ports, airports, and political offices occupied and attacked. The government offered some platitudes in response, but the public was far from satisfied.

This Day In Iraqi History - Jul 14

1941 PM Midfai declared martial law in Sulaymaniya to stop revolt by Barzani
1958 Free Officers led coup overthrowing King Faisal II and Iraq’s monarchy
1958 Gen Qasim became head of state King Faisal II and family killed
(Musings On Iraq interview with Western Kentucky’s Prof Romero on the Qasim govt)
1959 Communists called rally to celebrate 1958 coup in Kirkuk Turned into 2 days of
            fighting between Kurds and Turkmen with around 30 killed 100 injured
(Musings On Iraq Interview with Prof Johan Franzen on the history of the Iraqi Communist Party)
1964 Pres Arif announced pan-Arab Iraqi Arab Socialist Union party
1964 Pres Arif nationalizes banks and insurance companies
1968 Coup against Pres Arif planned but called off after army officers backed out
            Baath would not drop coup
1988 Iran said it would withdraw from Kurdistan after Iraq invaded southern Iran
1988 Iranian leadership agreed to accept UN Res 598 calling for end of Iran-Iraq War
1990 Kuwait said it would reconsider OPEC quotas in Oct Was considered a breech
            by Iraq
1990 Pres Mubarak visited Saddam in Baghdad trying to get him to backdown in
            confrontation with Kuwait
2003 Article Iraqi scientists said bombings inspections sanctions unilateral
            destruction ended Iraq’s WMD programs before invasion
2003 Columnist Novak exposed Ex Amb Wilson’s wife as a CIA agent after he criticized
Bush admin over false Niger-Iraq uranium deal Info came from VP Cheney’s office trying to discredit Wilson
2003 UK For Sec Straw said CIA believed UK intel on Iraq-Africa uranium deal
(Musings On Iraq article on Iraq-Niger uranium story)
2004 US appointed governor of Mosul assassinated
2004 Blair said he expected Iraq’s WMD to be found
2004 Butler Report said UK intel on Iraq WMD based upon worst case scenarios and
exaggerated alleged stockpiles Said UK intel on Iraq WMD was “seriously flawed”
2004 Butler Report said UK intel found no evidence of Iraq-Al Qaeda cooperation
2006 When asked was the US winning in Iraq US Army Chief of Staff Gen Schoomaker
told congressional aids U.S. wasn’t losing in Iraq Said war was getting more difficult and was more at start than end
2007 Maliki said Iraqi forces were ready to take over security when US left

View the Iraq History Timelines 

Friday, July 13, 2018

This Day in Iraqi History - Jul 13

1958 Col Arif gained control of 20th Brigade and began march towards Baghdad
            from Diyala to start 1958 coup
1959 Gen Qasim appointed several Communists to his cabinet
1982 Iran’s Op Ramadan invaded Iraqi territory for 1st time in attempt to seize Basra
Took 10 miles of territory and then stopped Consisted of 5 human wave attacks with 100,000 troops against Iraqi lines
1982 Iraq used tear gas to turn back Iranian attacks
1988 Iraq threatened to invade southern Iran if it didn’t withdraw from Kurdistan
1988 Iraq launched another offensive operation into Iranian territory to increase its
            negotiating position with Tehran
2001 Deputy Secretary of State Armitage suggested that Bush make Iraq the top foreign
            policy issue
2003 Iraqi Governing Council announced its formation and held first session Mohammed
            al-Uloom became premier
(Musings On Iraq article on Iraqi Governing Council)
2003 After White House blamed CIA for Bush using Iraq-Africa uranium story CIA
            leaked it had blocked story from being used before
2003 Blair said he still believed story Iraq tried to buy uranium from Africa CIA
            questioned its veracity
(Musings On Iraq article on Iraq-Niger uranium story)
2005 UndersecDef Feith said US didn’t train enough Kurds and Iraqi exiles to help
with security before 03 invasion Said US officials relucatant to end CPA early in 2003 Said US military not Pentagon determined size of invasion force
2005 US army officers refuted Feith saying Pentagon curtailed troop deployments to
            Iraq before and after invasion
2006 For the first time in Iraq US military turned over security in a province to Iraqi
            forces Happened in Muthanna
2008 Islamic Party said Iraqi forces should not take control of security in Anbar because
            Awakening was not ready Sheikhs Sulaiman and Hayes agreed
(Musings On Iraq article on security handover of Anbar)
2015 Campaign started to recapture Ramadi from IS

View the Iraq History Timelines 

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Election Recount In Iraq Going Badly Politically

In May 2018 Iraq held its latest election for parliament. Immediately afterward there were various charges of fraud. The loudest came from the Kurdish opposition, the Turkmen Front and Arab Alliance that accused the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) of cheating in Kirkuk and Sulaymaniya. These complaints and others led parliament to amend the election law at the start of June to order a recount of the ballots. This process is roughly half way finished, yet there are still parties that are not satisfied and the controversy over the results continues.  

This Day In Iraqi History - July 12

1946 Police tried breaking Communist oil worker strike in Kirkuk Fired on workers
killing 8 wounding 50 Killings condemned in press PM Umari shut down papers in response Helped lead to fall of govt in Nov
(Musings On Iraq Interview with Prof Johan Franzen on the history of the Iraqi Communist Party)
1968 PM Yahya threatened to resign over divisions within military that would lead to
            1968 coup
1979 Saddam elected new president and head of Regional Command Council of the
            Baath Party Dhuri elected VP
1979 Rev Command Council Secretary General Muhyi Hussein Mashadi objected to
            Bakr stepping down saying he should have been convinced to stay in office
1982 UN offered ceasefire and withdrawal from territory to try to stop Iran from
            invading Iraq Iran said no
1983 Reagan signed NSDD 99 to review US policy in Middle East Led to tilt towards
1988 Iran withdrew from Halabja district Kurdistan
1988 Iraq started withdrawing from 2,260 sq mi of Iranian territory
1988 Iraq recaptured Musian border region from Iran
1991 Saddam carried out new wave of executions of Baath members and army officers
2001 Iraqi Military Alliance opposition group met in London made up of 60 former
            officers Called for democratic Iraq Foreign aid Iraqi soldiers to work with it
2003 British officially took control of Basra Maysan Dhi Qar and Muthanna with no
            strategy on how to run them
2003 Cheney chief of staff Libby spoke 3rd time with NY Times reporter Miller telling
            her fmr Amb Wilson’s wife worked for CIA
2003 Cheney chief of staff Libby talked with Time reporter Cooper who said fmr Amb
            Wilson’s wife might’ve sent him on Niger trip
(Musings On Iraq article on Iraq-Niger uraniuam story)
2006 20 people from bus station abducted and executed in Muqtadiya
2009 VP Hashemi said Baghdad would fight PKK and would form special units to do so
            Mean to appease Turkey
2014 Naqshibandi leader Izzat al-Dhur welcomed and praised ISIS role in fighting
            against Maliki govt
2017 Asaib Ahl Al-Haq members arrested in Musayib Babil for kidnapping 28
            Sunnis and killing 20 of them

View the Iraq History Timelines 

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Remembering The Iran-Iraq War Interview With Author Anthony Tucker-Jones

(Weapons and Warfare)
The Iran-Iraq War was one of the longest and deadliest in recent histories. Iran full of zeal after its revolution hoped to spread its ideology across the Persian Gulf and believed Iraq was in its way. Saddam Hussein saw the threat posed by Tehran, but also wanted to seize control of the Shatt al-Arab waterway Iraq’s only access to the Persian Gulf and weaken his neighbor. That led to an eight year war that left hundreds of thousands of casualties. Anthony Tucker-Jones was a long time British intelligence officer, journalist, and now author. His Iran-Iraq War, The Lion of Babylon, 1980-1988 gives a brief introduction to the conflict.

This Day In Iraqi History - Jul 11

1917 1st Battle of Ramadi started Ottomans forced British to retreat
1921 Iraq council of state declared Faisal monarch of Iraq
1979 Pres Bakr resigned from the Revolutionary Command Council citing health
            Saddam took over council
1991 Iran warned that Iraqi forces about to launch new military operation into southern
            marshes against rebels and displaced
1991 UK intel report said Iraq tried 4 methods to enrich uranium for its nuclear program
            and might have made enough for 1 bomb
1991 Pres Bush said that coup vs Saddam might be best way to assure that Iraq didn’t
            continue with its nuclear weapons program
2003 Rice called CIA Dir Tenet telling him he was responsible for Iraq-Africa uranium
            story being used in Bush’s State of the Union
2003 CIA Dir Tenet issued statement that he was responsible for Iraq-Africa uranium deal
getting into Bush’s State of Union Said CIA only had fragmentary intel on Iraq trying to buy uranium from Africa
2003 Dir Tenet also said that CIA had Iraq-Africa uranium story stricken from previous
            Bush speeches
2003 CIA officials quoted in Wash Post that they tried to dissuade British from using
            Iraq-Africa uranium story
2003 Bush Chief of Staff Rove told Cheney Chief of Staff Libby he talked with
columnist Novak and he was going to write fmr Amb Wilson’s wife sent him to Niger
2003 Bush Chief of Staff Rove told Time reporter Cooper fmr Amb Wilson not sent
            to Niger by CIA Dir Tenet or Cheney but his wife who worked at CIA
2003 Columnist Rove called CIA to confirm that Valerie Wilson sent her husband to
            Niger CIA tried to stop story and not mention her name
2003 White House spokesman Fleischer and Comm Dir Bartlett told reporter Fmr
            Amb Wilson found little on his trip to Niger and wasn’t sent by Dir Tenet
(Musings On Iraq article on Iraq-Niger uranium story)
2003 Rice told reporter Natl Intel Estimate said aluminum tubes Iraq tried to buy were for
nuke program Blamed CIA Dir Tenet for Bush’s State of the Union using fake Iraq-African uranium deal
(Musings On Iraq article on the aluminum tubes story)
2003 After protests by Iraqi police US agreed to reduce its forces at police stations in
            Fallujah to try to stop attacks on them
2006 Amb Khalizad said hadn’t seen security improvement from Baghdad security plan
            Op Together Forward yet
2006 Brookings’ Pollack told House committee not enough US and Iraqi forces to secure
            Baghdad during Op Together Forward
(Musings On Iraq article on pre-Surge US Iraq strategy)

View the Iraq History Timelines 

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Security In Iraq July 1-7, 2018

During the first week of July 2018, the security forces (ISF) launched a major sweep through central Iraq after several people were kidnapped and murdered along the Baghdad-Kirkuk highway. Unfortunately, this operation and several others had no real effect upon violence. There were roughly the same number of incidents in Diyala, Kirkuk, and Salahaddin as the previous week. These are the three areas where the Islamic State is rebuilding the insurgency.

This Day In Iraqi History - Jul 10

1924 First elections held in Iraq Was for Constituent Assembly
1940 England decided to send Indian Div to Basra after PM Gaylani wanted to block
            British troops moving through Iraq as part of Anglo-Iraq Treaty
1940 UK Cmdr in Middle East Gen Wavell thought sending British troops to Iraq would
            destabilize region so Indian Div sent to Egypt instead
1967 General Tahir Yahya became premier 2nd time Was later charged with corruption
1978 Former Prime Minister Naif died from gunshot wounds from assassination attempt
            by Iraqi agents in London
1978 England would expel Iraqi diplomats and intel officers for Naif assassination Iraq
retaliated by expelling British diplomats arresting British businessmen Embargo on UK
1988 Iraq recaptured 14 mountain peaks in Panjwin area of Kurdistan
1990 Gulf OPEC members met and agreed to follow quotas which Iraq had been
1991 UN set up camps at Lake Hammar to take in displaced from southern marshes
            but govt did not allow people to enter
2002 Pentagon Defense Policy Board met over Iraq invasion plans Angry
            military not thinking innovatively Wanted generals fired
2003 Iraqi police demonstration in Baghdad saying US forces in city led to attacks
            upon police
2003 Powell told ABC that captured trailers were Iraqi mobile WMD labs
(Musings On Iraq article on mobile labs story)
2008 2 Sadrist politicians and an Iraqi army officers said Hezbollah ran two training
camps in Basra since 2006 Up to 10 Hezbollah operatives trained Special Groups there Closed during Charge of Knights
2008 Sadrist politicians and army officer said Hezbollah involved in Jan 07 Asaib Ahl
Al-Haq raid on Karbala that killed US soldiers and involved in AAH kidnapping of 5 Britons from Finance Min in Baghdad May 07
(Musings On Iraq article on Hezbollah presence in Iraq)
2012 During visit to Irbil Pres Barzani tried to get Syria’s Kurdish National Council
            and Democratic Union Party to unite and not align with PKK
2017 PM Abadi declared Mosul freed after 9 month long campaign Heavy fighting
            continued in city
(Musings On Iraq Interview with Ret. Col Witty on the Battle of Mosul)
(Musings On Iraq interview with Horizon Client Access’ Alex Mello on Battle of Mosul)
(Musings On Iraq interview with Amnesty International’s Donatella Rovera on Battle of Mosul)
(Musings On Iraq interview with International Center for Study of Radicalization’s Charlie Winter on how IS media dealt with its defeat in Battle of Mosul)
(Musings On Iraq interview with BBC’s Quentin Sommerville on the Battle of Mosul)
(Musings On Iraq interview with Niqash’s Mustafa Habib on Battle of Mosul)
(Musings On Iraq interview with Reuters’ Stephen Kalin on Battle of Mosul)
(Musings On Iraq interview with AFP’s Ahmad Mousa on Battle of Mosul)
(Musings On Iraq interview with journalist Florian Neuhof on Battle of Mosul)

View the Iraq History Timelines 

Monday, July 9, 2018

Summer Protests In Iraq Turn Deadly In Basra

Summer time is when Iraqis come out to protest a number of ills, the most common being the lack of electricity during the searing heat, other services, and jobs. There have been demonstrations every week recently, and one in Basra province turned deadly as police killed two people.

This Day In Iraqi History - Jul 9

1962 Iraqi planes bombed Turkish border post during operation against Kurdish
            rebels killing 2 Turkish soldiers
1963 Soviet Union accused Arif govt of genocide against Kurds
1973 Another 36 coup plotters tried including Regional Command members Samarriea
            and Fadil and given death sentences
1978 Former Prime Minister after 1968 Baath coup Naif shot in London by Iraqi agents on
            orders from Saddam
1980 Iraq backed failed military coup in Iran vs Khomeini
1982 Pres Rafsanjani said Iran would accept peace if 1975 border treaty retained
            $100 bil in reparations Saddam tried as war criminal
1988 Iraq recaptured 23 mountain peaks in Mawet area of Kurdistan
1990 US Amb to Iraq Glaspie said that US working on releasing 2nd half of
            $1 bil loan guarantees to Baghdad
1996 UN Sec Council asked US for info about Iraq smuggling to get around sanctions
1997 KDP accused PUK of breaking ceasefire attacking its positions with help of PKK
2003 CENTCOM Cmdr Gen Franks told Congress violence in Iraq meant no US troop
            withdrawal anytime soon
2003 Rumsfeld told Congress Iraq was costing US around $3.9 bil a month
2003 Rumsfeld told Congress Iraq war wasn't because new evidence about Iraq’s
            WMD but because saw Iraq differently after 9/11
2003 Fmr State Dept Military Intel officer Thielman told Congress US govt
            misrepresented intel about Iraq threat
2004 Iraqi defector Zubaidi claimed INC embellished reports of defectors about
            Iraq’s WMD INC denied story
2004 Bush said everyone believed Iraq had stocks of WMD and Saddam wanted those
            WMD programs
2005 Al Qaeda’s Zawahiri sent Iraq strategy letter to Zarqawi Expel US Declare
            emirate that would become caliphate Expand to other nations
2005 Zawahiri also told Zarqawi he should include more Iraqis in Al Qaeda in Iraq
2005 Zawahiri warned Zarqawi attacks upon Muslim civilians could cost him heart and
            minds and support
2006 Maliki announced Op Together Forward 2 would start to secure Baghdad after 1st
failed in days
(Musings On Iraq article on pre-Surge US Iraq strategy)
2006 Militiamen in Jihad, Baghdad pulled Sunnis from cars and executed at least 50
2006 Article on State Dept report on Interior Min Said corruption human rights abuses
            sectarian violence connections to insurgents and militias undermined ministry
2006 US officials said Jadriya prison in Baghdad run by Mahmoud Waeli Badr’s intel
            head and renegade faction of Interior Ministry
2012 KRG said it would barter oil for refined products with Turkey
2014 Human Rights Watch recorded 61 Sunni civilians killed by Hashd in last

View the Iraq History Timelines 

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Musings On Iraq In The News

Musings On Iraq was quoted by Armed Conflict Location and Events Dataset "The Reconstitution of the Islamic State's Insurgency in Central Iraq" by Heni Nsaibia.

This Day In Iraqi History - Jul 8

1937 Sadabad Pact between Iraq Iran Turkey Afghanistan agreed to borders non-
            interference regional security
1973 Police Chief Kazzar and 20 coup plotters executed
1982 Saddam survived assassination attempt in Dujail Saddam ordered town
destroyed 1500 residents arrested 150 executed
1991 Iraq admitted to UN inspectors it had 3 secret programs to enrich uranium to
            build a nuclear bomb Before Iraq denied it had any nuclear weapons program
1995 Ceasefire in Kurdish civil war ended as PUK and KDP went back to fighting
            over control of Irbil
2003 Blair told Parliament he believed intelligence that Iraq had WMD
2003 Blair said evidence of Iraq-Niger uranium deal was not based upon fake docs but
            separate intel
2003 White House spokesman said intelligence on Iraq-Niger uranium deal turned
            out to be inaccurate
2003 Wash Post article quoted admin officials saying Iraq-Africa claim shouldn’t
            have been used in State of Uion and story could be wrong
2003 Cheney’s chief of staff Libby met NYTimes’ Miller Said Fmr Amb Wilson’s
            NY Times OpEd part of CIA campaign to absolve itself of bad intel on Iraq
2003 Libby told Miller Fmr Amb Wilson’s report on his trip to Niger never made it
            out of CIA and found evidence Iraq did try to buy uranium
2003 Libby told Miller Natl Intel Est had stronger evidence that Iraq tried to buy
            uranium from Africa
2003 Libby told Miller that Wilson’s wife’s name was Valerie Plame and she worked at
            CIA Miller would later denied she got her name from Libby
2003 Columnist Novak asked DepSecState Armitage why fmr Amb Wilson sent to
Niger to look into Iraq uranium deal Armitage said because his wife worked at CIA
2003 Bush Chief of Staff Rove confirmed to columnist Novak that fmr Amb Wilson’s
            wife sent him to Niger
(Musings On Iraq article on Iraq-Niger uranium story)
2004 Al Qaeda in Iraq beheaded Bulgarian civilians Georgi Lazov and Ivaylo Kepov
2004 US and Iraqi officials said decision to stop 1st Fallujah battle was wrong and city
            now controlled by insurgents
2004 US and Iraqi intel reports said Zarqawi using Fallujah as a base
2005 Iraq constitutional committee started its work
2008 Report Al Qaeda sent foreign fighters to Sudan and Somalia rather than Iraq due to
            downturn in insurgency
(Musings On Iraq article on decline of insurgency)

View the Iraq History Timelines 

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Review The Iran-Iraq War 1980-1988

Review Karsh, Efraim, The Iran-Iraq War 1980-1988, Oxford: Osprey, 2002

Osprey’s Essential Histories series gives brief reviews of some of the major conflicts in the world from ancient times to the present. Its offering on the Iran-Iraq War has less than 100 pages in text. While it goes over the major battles and explains how senseless the war was, it’s main problem is that it gives an Iraqi centered explanation for how things started.

This Day In Iraqi History - Jul 7

1921 American consul in Baghdad wrote that Faisal would become King of Iraq
            even though he was unpopular in the country
1973 Police Chief Kazzar and 20 other coup plotters found guilty and given death
1973 Baath Regional Congress expanded membership to accommodate Saddam
1987 UN Resolution 598 called for ceasefire in Iran-Iraq War
1991 Iraq Foreign Min Hussein told UN that it would make a declaration of its
            nuclear program
1991 Hussein said Iraq had not violated Non-Proliferation Treaty or IAEA safeguards
1991 Iraq’s concealment committee met Decided to reveal details about nuke program
            after inspectors found site
1991 Concealment committee decided to secretly destroy WMD programs and
            materials to hide them from inspectors
1991 Would prove long term problem because Iraq could never fully prove what it
            destroyed and what it was hiding to inspectors
1997 Turkey withdrew its forces from Kurdistan after killing over 2,000 PKK fighters
2003 CPA suspended Iraq’s old banking laws as part of reform program
2003 Rumsfeld told Senate US didn't go to war with Iraq because it had dramatic new
            evidence of its WMD programs
2003 White House admitted Bush’s State of Union claim Iraq tried to buy uranium
            from Africa shouldn't have been used
2003 Cheney’s chief of staff Libby told White House spokesman Fleischer fmr Amb
            Wilson’s wife sent him to Niger to investigate Iraq-Niger uranium deal
(Musings On Iraq article on Iraq-Niger uranium story)
2003 SCIRI dropped objection to joining Iraqi Governing Council after lobbying by
2003 UK parliament’s Foreign Affairs comm report on UK dossier said was not sexed
            up by Blair govt
2003 UK Foreign Affairs comm report said Blair govt didn’t mislead parliament but
            misstated some of the intel on Iraq’s WMD
2003 UK Foreign Affairs comm report said claim Iraq could use WMD in 45 min
            should not have been so prominent in dossier
2003 UK parliament’s Foreign Affairs comm report said UK dossier on Iraq WMD
            should’ve been more qualified on story Iraq tried to buy uranium from Africa
2003 State Dept intel agency sent memo to DepSec State Armitage originally from
            June that said Iraq-Niger docs were fakes
(Musings On Iraq article on Iraq-Niger uranium story)
2004 Gen Casey told Bush 70% of Fallujah Brigade had joined insurgency
2004 Sen Intel Comm found major judgements in Oct 02 Natl Intel Est on Iraq’s
            WMD and nuke program were overstated and generally not supported
2004 Sen Intel Comm found US intel claims Iraq had WMD and programs larger than
            before Gulf War were overstated
2004 Sen Intel Comm found US had evidence Iraq buying dual use equipment Uncertain
            Iraq had destroyed its WMD stocks after Gulf War
2004 Sen Intel Comm found US intel didn’t have much good info on Iraq’s WMD
            and nuke programs after UN inspections ended in 1998
2004 Sen Intel Comm found US intel suffered from group think Assumed Iraq had
            WMD Assumed everything it did was to expand those programs
2004 Senate Intel Comm report on pre-war intel found that all of CIA’s claims about
            Iraq renewed nuke program were wrong and weak to begin with
2004 Sen Intel Comm found CIA justified to claim Iraq-Al Qaeda might have
            cooperated based upon pre-war intel
2005 Iraq and Iran’s Defense Ministries signed military cooperation agreement
2005 Report Human Rights Min said Iraqi forces carried out random arrests not using
            warrants torturing and abusing prisoners
2005 Report Human Rights Min official said Iraqi forces conducting extrajudicial
            killings and govt not doing anything about it
2005 Report $8.8 bil went missing in Iraqi ministries during CPA period 03-05
2006 Bush said Americans were wondering if US could win Iraq war Said US was
(Musings On Iraq article on pre-Surge US Iraq strategy)
2006 Gen Casey given investigative report on Marines killing Iraqi civilians in Haditha
2006 Integrity Commission head Radi said weak institutions and lack of punishment led
            to uncontrolled corruption
2008 Maliki said he wanted a memo of understanding on withdrawal of US forces instead
            of a Status of Forces Agreement which was stalled
(Musings On Iraq article on negotiations over SOFA)
2008 Female suicide bomber hit market in Baquba 23rd female suicide bombing of the
(Musings On Iraq article on female suicide bombers)
2008 Report 94% decline in attacks by ISI 25 in Nov 07 vs 334 Nov 06
(Musings On Iraq article on ISI attacks)
2013 Pres Barzani visited Baghdad to try to resolve problems with Maliki

View the Iraq History Timelines 

Friday, July 6, 2018

Review Iran-Iraq War, The Lion of Babylon, 1980-1988

Review Tucker-Jones, Anthony, Iran-Iraq War, The Lion of Babylon, 1980-1988, South Yorkshire: Pen And Sword Military, 2018

Picking up Iran-Iraq War, The Lion of Babylon, 1980-1988 it might appear to be a regular campaign book that goes through the causes of the war and then covers it battle by battle in chronological order. In fact, even though it is quite short, only 128 pages total, it actually is able to cover a lot. Rather than going from start to finish it begins with the background to the war, the initial battles, and then goes into thematic chapters such as how the American and Soviet superpowers saw the conflict, the Tanker War when Iraq began attacking shipping going to Iran, and Baghdad’s use of chemical and biological weapons.

This Day In Iraqi History - Jul 6

1991 Baghdad demanded Peshmerga disband close Kurdish radio stations end
contacts with foreign govts Kurds demanded democracy talks over Kirkuk offered to give up heavy weapons close radio stations end contacts with foreign govts
1992 Iraq refused to allow UN inspectors into Agriculture Min causing a crisis
2003 Fmr Amb Wilson NY Times OpEd said Bush exaggerated about Iraq-Niger
            uranium story in State of Union
2003 Fmr Amb Wilson sent to Niger by CIA to investigate Iraq-Niger uranium story
            and found no evidence
2003 Fmr Amb Wilson said he never saw fake Iraq-Niger docs but Cheney’s office
            should’ve been sent report on his trip
2003 Fmr Amb Wilson overestimated impact of his visit to discredit Iraq-Niger
            uranium story Actually increased questions
2003 Fmr Amb Wilson on Meet The Press said Cheney should’ve gotten report
            on his trip to Niger
2003 Cheney questioned Wilson’s OpEd and asked why he was sent to Niger
(Musings On Iraq article on Iraq-Niger uranium story)
2003 US said it would release Turkish Special Forces it arrested in Sulaymaniya
2004 Blair told Parliament that he didn’t know what happened to Iraq’s WMD Said
            they could have been hidden or destroyed
2004 Report 2000 CIA started program to contact relatives of Iraqi WMD scientists
            that lived in west to try to collect intel
2004 Relatives of Iraq scientists said Iraq had no WMD programs Intel not included
            in reports or passed to White House
2005 Al Qaeda in Iraq claimed it kidnapped and executed Egypt ambassador to Iraq
            Ihab al-Sherif

View Iraq History Timelines 

Thursday, July 5, 2018

This Day In Iraqi History - Jul 5

1926 Turkey and Britain signed treaty setting Turkey-Iraq border UK agreed to
            give Turkey 10% of Mosul oil revenues in return
(Musings On Iraq interview with Princeton’s Sara Pursley on setting Iraq-Turkey border)
1940 PM Gaylani made overture to Germany with Justice Min Shawkat meeting German
            ambassador to Turkey von Papen
1940 Justice Min Shawkat told Ger Amb von Papen Iraq wanted Germany to stop Italian
            imperialism from spreading in Middle East and to support pan-Arabism instead
1940 Germ Amb Papen said Iraq should contribute to war vs England and Shawkat
            said that would happen
1960 Islamic Party issued statement warning against Communist activities in Iraq
1983 Tariq Aziz returned from trip to Egypt to improve relations and ensure Cairo
            would continue to supply Iraq with ammunition for the war
2002 Talks between Iraq and UN in Vienna breakdown over new weapons inspections
(Musings On Iraq article on UN weapons inspections)
2002 Supporters of DefSec Rumsfeld leaked CENTCOM doc to NYTimes on invasion
            plans to use air strikes Special Forces CIA operatives for covert ops
(Musings On Iraq article on arguments over US Iraq invasion plan)
2003 US police training center in Ramadi bombed 7 police killed 40 wounded
2003 CIA Dir Tenet complained to NSC about Iraq-Africa uranium deal getting into
            Bush’s State of the Union speech
2003 NSC said DepNatSecAdv Hadley forgot CIA had pulled Iraq-Africa story from
            previous Bush speech Tenet didnt read State of Union
2003 CIA Dir Tenet said he and NSC responsible for Iraq-Africa uranium story getting
            into Bush’s State of Union
(Musings On Iraq article on Iraq-Niger uranium story)
2004 Allawi govt announced amnesty for insurgents
2004 Report Zarqawi’s bombing moved him from margins of insurgency to the center
2008 Head of Islamic Party in Fallujah escaped assassination attempt in campaign
            against the party

View the Iraq History Timelines 

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Iraq Oil Exports Up In June But Prices Dip

Iraq’s oil exports were up slightly in June, but a slight dip in prices meant revenues were down.

This Day In Iraqi History - Jul 4

1937 Iraq-Iran Frontier Treaty signed attempting to resolve long standing border
            dispute Iraq given most of Shatt al-Arab
1937 Political instability in Iraq and WW2 meant Iraq-Iran Frontier Treaty never
1937 Iraq-Iran Frontier Treaty angered pan-Arabists and helped lead to 1938 coup by
            Golden Square officers
1940 Regent of Iraq asked England to occupy Syria that had joined Vichy France so that
            pan-Arab union could be formed of Iraq Syria and other Arab countries
1969 Iraq signed technical agreement with Soviets to help with oil
1986 Iraqis launched counter attack but failed to retake Mehran, Iran
1991 Parliament passed law allowing opposition parties but with restrictions on their
1992 Kurdistan Regional Government formed in safe zone
1994 Barzani and Talabani announced they were still unified against Iraqi govt while
            PUK and KDP were in middle of civil war
1995 Turkey launched new operation to attack PKK in northern Kurdistan
1998 IAEA report to UN Iraq did not have nuclear weapons Iraqi scientists had not given
            complete access IAEA would focus upon long term monitoring
(Musings On Iraq article on UN weapons inspections)
2003 Marines in control of Najaf set provincial elections for this date but were
            cancelled by CPA
2003 US arrested 32 Turkish special forces in Sulaymaniya Accused them of plotting
            to assassinate Kurdish officials
2003 Arrest of Turkish Special forces led to protests in Turkey and bombing of US
            consulate in Istanbul
2003 Saddam tape aired on Al Jazeera Blamed US and UK for destroying Iraq looking
for WMD that didn’t exist Saddam said he would lead resistance to occupation of Iraq
2005 US found 170 prisoners at secret prison in Baghdad run by Interior Min
            Were told to leave it alone by commanders
2006 Abu Risha tribe in Ramadi district made first police recruiting drive
2006 Bush told US troops they were winning war in Iraq
(Musings On Iraq article on pre-Surge US Iraq strategy)
2007 US captured ISI media emir Mashadani Told US lie that Abu Omar Baghdadi was
            a fake and ISI still under Al Qaeda control
2014 Baghdadi declared caliphate from Nouri Mosque Mosul ISIS would now be Islamic
            State He was Caliph Ibrahim
2014 1st issue of IS’s English language Dabiq magazine came out saying caliphate was
            a de facto state

View the Iraq History Timelines

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

June 2018 Islamic State Rebuilding In Rural Areas Of Central Iraq

Since the Islamic State lost the last piece of Iraqi territory at the end of 2017 it has gone through three trends. First, for a few months after the group’s defeat, there was a period of residual violence. At the very end of that time, there was a decided change in tactics away from the usual mix of bombings and shootings to the rural areas in the center of the country. Then there was a sharp decline in attacks as the militants regrouped. Now IS is attempting to regain control of those agriculture and border places, while also increasing its direct confrontations with the security forces, which was what happened in June 2018.

This Day In Iraqi History - Jul 3

1923 35 clerics and religious students left Iraq for Persia to protest deportation of
            Mujtahid Khalisi for opposition activities
1946 Oil workers in Kirkuk led by Communists held meetings about their work
            conditions Led to strike
1963 Communist uprising at Rasheed military camp in Baghdad against Baathists
(Musings On Iraq Interview with Prof Johan Franzen on the history of the Iraqi Communist Party)
1986 Iranian forces recaptured Mehran, Iran from Iraqis
2001 UN Res 1360 renewed Oil for Food program
2003 38,000 police came back to duty after Bremer threatened to fire them for
            not working after invasion
2003 Ex CIA official said White House pushed hard on CIA to find Iraq-Al Qaeda
            connections but didn't find any
2004 3 US military review of 2003 invasion found that logistics were lacking and
            military intelligence was largely useless
2010 VP Biden made surprise visit to Iraq to try to help form new govt after elections
2011 MP said $1 mil fraud case for ISF buying dogs that couldn’t detect bombs used
            at checkpoints Nothing happened
2011 ISF launched op in Maysan to block Iranian weapons flowing into Iraq as result
            of increased militia attacks on US forces
2011 Protest in Nasiriya for turning Dhi Qar into autonomous region
2012 Parliament passed $9 bil supplemental budget fueled by high oil prices
2012 Iranian delegation arrived in Iraq to try to improve relations between Maliki
            and Sadr
2014 ISF claimed parts of Jurf al-Sakhr, Babil cleared Was still under IS control
2014 Khalidiya, Anbar cleared by ISF
2014 Report over 2,500 IS cells operating in Baghdad province
2014 Pres Barzani called on KRG parliament to create commission to create referendum
            on KRG independence
2016 Karrada Baghdad car bomb set off fire in mall killing 324 wounding 200
2016 PM Abadi ordered withdrawal of fake bomb detectors at checkpoints in Baghdad

View the Iraq History Timelines 

Monday, July 2, 2018

Musings On Iraq in The News

Musings was cited by the Finish Immigration Service in "Irakin Tilannekatsaus Toukokuussa 2018" and I quoted in "Why the Iraqi Hashd al-Shaabi presence in Syria matters" by Paul Iddon for Rudaw.

Saddam and Islam Interview With Univ of Penn’s Dr Samuel Helfont

In the 1990s Saddam Hussein launched a Faith Campaign. This caught many people by surprise since they believed that Saddam was non-religious and the Baath Party was secular. There has been much speculation about how this came about. Dr. Samuel Helfont in Compulsion In Religion, Saddam Hussein, Islam, and the Roots of Insurgencies In Iraq went through the captured Baath documents that now reside in the U.S., and found that Saddam set about to co-opt, coerce, and suppress religion starting in the 1980s. The Faith Campaign was simply a culmination of this effort. The government created an entire system to place the religious sphere at the service of the Baath Party. Helfont also found that when the Americans invaded Iraq in 2003 they destroyed this infrastructure letting lose a wave of religious groups, which had been banned from operating overtly under the old regime, and were now free to arm themselves and fight. What follows is an interview with Helfont on Saddam’s religious campaign and how it shaped Iraq from the 1980s to the present.