Friday, August 31, 2018

More Evidence Iraq Reaching Tipping Point With Displaced, Few Want To Return Home

(IOM)

The NGO Reach Initiative found more evidence that Iraq’s displacement crisis may be reaching a tipping point. It did interviews with 1600 displaced (IDPs) households living outside camps in Dohuk, Irbil, Ninewa, Salahaddin and Sulaymaniya. Most the respondents said they had no plans to return to their homes in the next 3 months.

This Day In Iraqi History - Aug 31


1922 Gertrude Bell wrote King Faisal telling him he was vain and weak
(Musings On Iraq book review of Gertrude Bell And Iraq)
- 1986 Iran started Op Karbala 2 in Haj Umran Advanced deep into Kurdistan in
            retaliation for Iraq air attacks on oil facilities
(Musings On Iraq interview with author Anthony Tucker-Jones on Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq review The Iran-Iraq War 1980-1988)
(Musings On Iraq review Iran-Iraq War, The Lion of Babylon, 1980-1988)
(Musings On Iraq review The Iran-Iraq War)
1986 Document said chemical and biological agents were being distributed in Irbil to be
            used against Kurds
1996 30,000 Republican Guards began attack upon PUK Captured Irbil city to back
KDP PUK gave orders to flee to hills to escape Iraqi attack upon Irbil
1996 INC camp in Qushtapa, Irbil captured by Iraqi forces 96 INC members killed
1996 Clinton said he was concerned about Iraqi attack on Irbil but US not ready to
            respond Def Sec Perry said US should not get involved in Kurdish civil war
2003 Commander of Guantanamo Bay prison Gen Miller flew to Iraq to advise on
interrogation techniques
2003 Pentagon DefPolicyBoard’s Perle US should have organized Iraqi opposition to
            take over govt after invasion
2004 CIA report Sistani and Sadr’s standing increased by Battle of Najaf PM Allawi’s
            hurt
2005 Rumor of suicide bomber led to stampede of Shiite pilgrims on Tigris Bridge in
            Baghdad leading to over 1,000 dead and wounded
2005 Report draft constitution did not deal with some of major issues in Iraq
(Musings On Iraq interview with constitutional scholar Zaid al-Ali on Iraq’s constitution)
2005 Albu Mahal Sheikh Mahallawi said his tribe had declared war on Al Qaeda in Iraq in
            western Anbar
2006 Iraq Cmdr Gen Casey said Baghdad security progressing US forces clearing
areas but Iraqis not holding them Said Iraqi forces could take over security in country in 12-18 months
(Musings On Iraq article on pre-Surge US Iraq strategy)
2006 Maliki told Iraq Survey Group security problems caused by Baathists and Al Qaeda
            Said problem with Iraqi police was too many former regime members in it
2006 Report Spec Insp Gen for Iraq Reconstruction said 30% of 56 projects inspected
didn't meet standards and some were failures Said US should have started using Iraqi companies for work to speed process and help Iraqi economy
2010 US officially ended combat operations in Iraq
2015 Protest in front of Judicial Council building in Baghdad demanding Chief Justice
            Medhat be dismissed

View the Iraq History Timelines 

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Security In Iraq Aug 22-28, 2018

(Iraqi News)

Iraq remained relatively quiet during the fourth week of August 2018. Incidents remained within the mean of around 40 per week, while casualties remained extremely low for the second week in a row.

This Day In Iraqi History - Aug 30


1919 War Min Churchill wrote that half the British forces in Mesopotamia
            should be sent home
(Musings On Iraq article on Churchill’s views on Mesopotamia/Iraq)
1920 War Min Churchill denied Middle East commander Gen Haldane additional
            reinforcements to put down 1920 Revolt
(Musings On Iraq review of Reclaiming Iraq, The 1920 Revolution and the Founding of the Modern State)
1962 KDP bombed Iraq Petroleum Company pipeline
1968 Pres Bakr shut down Iraqi offices of Arab Socialist Union and ended Iraq-Egypt
            union plans
1987 Iraq air raid on Kharg Island Iraq’s main oil terminal 
(Musings On Iraq interview with author Anthony Tucker-Jones on Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq review The Iran-Iraq War 1980-1988)
(Musings On Iraq review Iran-Iraq War, The Lion of Babylon, 1980-1988)
(Musings On Iraq review The Iran-Iraq War)
1992 Reports that govt arrested Shiites in south and moved them into camps
1996 State Dept attempted to mediate ceasefire between KDP-PUK KDP denied that it
            had any deal with Baghdad
2000 US and Soviets agreed not to send UN inspectors back to Iraq
2002 Blair decided UK strategy would be to get UN to issue resolution that would give
            ultimatum to Iraq on inspectors or else
2003 Iraqi Governing Council announced 17 candidates for first-post Saddam cabinet
2005 US Amb Khalizad said final draft of constitution with edits had not been
            submitted yet Never was
(Musings On Iraq interview with constitutional scholar Zaid al-Ali on Iraq’s constitution)
2006 Bush said if US left Iraq before job done would become terrorist state and
            undermine US leadership
(Musings On Iraq article on pre-Surge US Iraq strategy)
2006 Report Mahdi Army seized Sunnis in Baghdad hospitals and executed them
Health Min run by Sadrsits Inspector General said investigation into matter found nothing

View the Iraq History Timelines

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Iraq Failed To Prepare For Water Crisis


Turkey's Ilisu Dam (Global Water Blog)

Basra is currently facing a growing water crisis. 17,000 people have been hit by colic and diarrhea, and there are warnings that cholera might break out. The cause of this problems are two-fold. One is increasingly salinity moving north up the Shatt al-Arab waterway from the Persian Gulf. Second is the reduction of water coming down the Tigris River from the north due to a new Turkish dam. The dam project started over a decade ago yet the Iraqi government failed to make adequate preparations for it, and is now paying the price.

This Day In Iraqi History - Aug 29


1922 Turkish troops testing border with Iraq attacked Rania in Sulaymaniya
1987 Iraq attacked 2 Iranian merchant ships 40 ships hit by both Iran and Iraq in next 2
            weeks
(Musings On Iraq interview with author Anthony Tucker-Jones on Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq review The Iran-Iraq War 1980-1988)
(Musings On Iraq review Iran-Iraq War, The Lion of Babylon, 1980-1988)
(Musings On Iraq review The Iran-Iraq War)
1988 Bazi Gorge in Kurdistan attacked by Iraqi forces with chemical weapons
            killing around 3,000 Kurds during Anfal campaign
(Musings On Iraq article on Anfal campaign)
1996 Iraqi National Accord discovered impending Iraqi attack on Kurdistan and KDP
            had made deal with Saddam
2002 Bush signed Iraq: Goals, Objectives, Strategy that said US would use all means to
            remove Saddam
2002 Bush and Blair talked about tough UN resolution on Iraq disarmament and how
            Saddam wouldn't comply leading to conflict
2002 Cheney spoke at Veterans of Korea War about Iraq threat Said Iraqis would
            welcome US invasion with joy
2002 UK Foreign Office paper said rebuilding Iraq would be a long and costly affair
2002 IAEA spokesman in London Times no evidence Iraq rebuilding nuclear facilities
            Would be easy to find by spy satellites
2002 Chirac said France opposed unilateral and pre-emptive action by U.S. against Iraq
2003 SCIRI head Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim killed in Najaf Imam Ali shrine car bombing
by Zarqawi 125 killed 500 wounded Bomb driven by Yassin Jarrad father of Zarqawi’s second wife
2007 Sadr announced freeze of Mahdi Army after fighting with Badr in Karbala
2007 Petraeus wrote about Anbar Awakening and Sahwa and how they improved
            security in Iraq
2008 PM Maliki in confrontation with KRG warned that if Peshmerga operated outside
            of Kurdistan they would be breaking the law
(Musings On Iraq article on PM Maliki dispute with Kurds over disputed areas)
2017 Anbar council elected Halbusi new governor after finally dismissing Governor
            Rawi on corruption after 3 tries
2017 Kirkuk council voted to be included in Kurdistan independence referendum
            Condemned by Arab and Turkmen politicians

View the Iraq History Timelines 

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Deadlines Begin To Form New Iraq Govt But Parties Still Talking

(Al Mada)

Now that the manual recount of Iraq’s May election has been completed and certified, President Fuad Masum called for the newly elected parliament to have it first session on Monday September 3, 2018. The assembly is to elect a speaker and his deputies, then a new president, and then the new executive is to call for the largest bloc to form a government all within 45 days. The problem is the winning parties are not ready to form a new administration yet.

This Day In Iraqi History - Aug 28


1948 Jews forbidden to work in banking or foreign currency transactions after
            creation of Israel
1984 Senate Foreign Relations report said US and Soviet Union both backing Iraq
            in Iran-Iraq War
(Musings On Iraq interview with author Anthony Tucker-Jones on Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq review The Iran-Iraq War 1980-1988)
(Musings On Iraq review Iran-Iraq War, The Lion of Babylon, 1980-1988)
(Musings On Iraq review The Iran-Iraq War)
1990 Kuwait formally annexed as 19th province of Iraq
1990 Egypt’s Pres Mubarak attempted to mediate between Iraq and Kuwait
1990 Saddam allowed western women and children hostages captured during Kuwait
            invasion to go home
1996 US provided info to UN that Iraq smuggling oil in violation of sanctions
1996 PUK and KDP restarted US brokered peace talks to try to end civil war
2002 Def Policy Board’s Ken Adelman WallStJournal OpEd Said Saddam worse threat
            than Al Qaeda
2004 Iraqi insurgents kidnapped 2 French reporters Gave Paris 48 hrs to end ban on
            schoolgirls wearing headscarves
2005 Draft Iraq constitution presented to parliament but more changes made to it
            afterward
(Musings On Iraq interview with constitutional scholar Zaid al-Ali on Iraq’s constitution)
2006 Dep PM Salah said Iraqi parties agreed on oil revenue sharing with money being
distributed to provinces based upon population and needs Still no agreement over signing oil contracts or making major decisions
2006 ISF raid in Diwaniya led to major gun battle with Mahdi Army and other militias
Captured Iraqi soldiers were executed in a public square More than 40 killed and 90 wounded US military said Diwaniya battle was a major victory for the ISF but was actually ended by political deal with Sadr
2006 Report around 100 Iraqi soldiers from 10th Division in Maysan refused to deploy to
Baghdad for Operation Together Forward II Not 1st time ISF units had refused to leave their home base
2007 PM Maliki headed forces to arrest Sadrists in Karbala after fire fight with Badr
Brigade
2008 In dispute with PM Maliki over disputed area of Khanaqin Diyala Peshmerga
            Minister said his forces were better than the ISF who couldn’t challenge them
(Musings On Iraq article on PM Maliki dispute with Kurds over disputed areas)
2011 Suicide bombing on Um al-Qura mosque Baghdad during Ramadan killed 28
2011 Iraq’s cabinet submitted draft of new oil law Never passed
2015 Protests in Salahaddin Basra, Najaf Karbala Babil Dhi Qar Wasit Diyala Maysan
            for reform
2017 Court upheld dismissal of Anbar Gov Rawi on corruption after escaping charges
            2 other times

View the Iraq History Timelines 

Monday, August 27, 2018

This Day In Iraqi History - Aug 27


1920 British forced to withdraw from Shatra during 1920 Revolt British were
            able to retake Baquba from tribes
(Musings On Iraq review of Reclaiming Iraq, The 1920 Revolution and the Founding of the Modern State)
1933 Iraqi govt sent letter to British newspaper claiming only a few Assyrian villages had
been emptied of people Baghdad had returned all stolen goods No truth to reports villages had been burned Was propaganda effort to cover up massacre of 600 Assyrians and 60 villages having been looted and destroyed
(Musings On Iraq book review of The Tragedy of the Assyrian Minority in Iraq)
1934 Ali Aiyubi became premier of Iraq, would hold office 3 times
1992 Report US funneled in counterfeit dinars into Iraq to try to undermine economy
            and Saddam
1995 PKK attacked KDP as it was blocking its operations along Turkish border PUK
            Iran and Syria gave aid to PKK
1995 KDP accused Badr and Iranian Revolutionary Guard of involvement in PKK
            offensive
1996 PUK attacked KDP in Kurdistan Forced KDP out of most of its territory PUK
            backed by Iran
2002 Cheney gave speech calling Saddam a threat that needed a pre-emptive strike to
            remove him
2002 Hosni Mubarak said that Arab League opposed invasion of Iraq
2003 White House considered asking Congress for additional $3 bil for reconstruction
            in Iraq on top of previous $2.5 bil
2003 Oxfam started withdrawing from Iraq after terrorist bombings against aid groups
            by Zarqawi 4th aid group to do so
2003 ORHA oil team met with 3 Oil Min director generals Said US not in Iraq to take its
oil Picked top positions within ministry Agreed needed to up oil production and refined products
2004 Sistani returned from London to Najaf Arranged ceasefire with Sadr to end Battle of
Najaf Mahdi Army were to turn in weapons but not be arrested Didn’t give up arms
2004 Sadr said “puppet police” couldn't protect Imam Ali shrine in Najaf and
            Mahdi Army still in control of it
2006 Maliki told CNN violence was going down in Iraq no civil war but reconciliation
            MP Mutlaq said no democracy developing because of violence
2006 National reconciliation meeting ended with 700 sheikhs Talked about creating
            committees to negotiate with insurgency
2006 US Gen Thurman said Operation Together Forward II was reducing violence in
            Baghdad
2006 Khalis Diyala 22 shot in cafĂ© Judge’s home raided brother killed IED at market
killed 6 Part of sectarian fighting between militias and insurgents for control of province
2007 Mahdi Army got into gunfight with ISF run by Badr Brigade in Karbala shrine
led to more than 50 dead 280 wounded
2017 Tal Afar liberated by Iraqi forces

View the Iraq History Timelines 

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Musings On Iraq In The News

I was quoted by Paul Iddon in "Arabization hels no one, but hurts Kirkuk most" for Rudaw.

This Day In Iraqi History - Aug 26


1920 War Min Churchill wrote PM George that he thought reinforcemetns would
            lead to victory in 1920 Revolt
(Musings On Iraq review of Reclaiming Iraq, The 1920 Revolution and the Founding of the Modern State)
1922 King Faisal apologized to British Iraq High Commissioner Cox for Anti-British
            remark made at a party
1968 Mullah Barzani had his two ministers resign from Bakr govt because Baath was
            backing Jalal Talabani
1980 After Saddam visited Khanaqin Diyala Iraqi army started shelling Iranian border
            Was looking for excuse to justify invasion
1981 85 POWs exchanged between Iraq and Iran in Cyprus 2nd prisoner exchange of Iran-
            Iraq War
1987 Iraq demanded UN arms embargo on Iran for not accepting ceasefire deal and
            threatened new air strikes
1987 U.S. signed 5 year trade agreement with Iraq mostly for farm products One of
            main forms of support US provided Iraq during Iran-Iraq War
(Musings On Iraq interview with author Anthony Tucker-Jones on Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq review The Iran-Iraq War 1980-1988)
(Musings On Iraq review Iran-Iraq War, The Lion of Babylon, 1980-1988)
(Musings On Iraq review The Iran-Iraq War)
1988 End of 5th Anfal campaign
(Musings On Iraq article on Anfal campaign)
1992 US, UK, France started Operation Southern Watch creating southern no fly zone over
            Iraq
1994 Iraqi Vanguard for National Salvation took responsibility for car bomb in Baghdad
1998 UN inspector Ritter quit after his anti-concealment unit was disbanded at request of
Clinton admin Ritter claimed from Nov 97-August 98 Clinton admin had tried to block inspectors work 7 times and came from top of White House staff Ritter’s claims about Clinton convinced many on UN Security Council US manipulating inspectors for its own aims
(Musings On Iraq article on UN weapons inspections)
2002 Cheney speech at Veterans of Foreign War Called Iraq a mortal threat to US Said no
doubt Iraq had WMD and that it was good at deceiving weapons inspectors Said Iraqi defectors like Hussein Kamal proved Iraq had renewed its nuke program Hussein Kamal defected in 1995 Said Iraq ended nuke program and killed 1996 so couldn’t know what Iraq doing in 2001 Argued UN inspectors would fail in Iraq Cheney gave speech because felt losing argument within administration over Iraq war
2002 Powell argued that US had to go through UN to deal with Iraq at National Security
            Council
2003 Report US left thousands of munitions dumps all over Iraq which were looted by
            insurgents and militias
2003 Bremer said Iraq could not pay for its own reconstruction and U.S. would have to put
up several billion dollars to do it CPA could not meet Iraq’s electricity needs until summer of 2004
2003 US launched Op Ivy Needle to hunt down criminals and Baathists in Salahaddin
2003 DepSecState Armitage said US might consider a multinational force under UN to
            help with security after rejecting UN role
2003 Humanitarian aid groups announced pulling out workers from Iraq after terrorist
            attacks
2004 US halted military operations in 2nd Battle of Najaf to allow negotiations to end
            fighting
2004 Mahdi Army attacked Sistani supporters in Kufa killing 20
2006 National conference of Sunni sheikhs backed Maliki govt condemned violence
            called for people to participate in politics
2008 Kurds in Kahanqin Diyala protested arrival of Iraqi forces leading them to
            withdraw
(Musings On Iraq article on PM Maliki dispute with Kurds over Khanaqin)
2015 Pres Masum implied that some of Abadi’s reforms were unconstitutional

View the Iraq History Timelines

Saturday, August 25, 2018

This Day In Iraqi History - Aug 25


1920 British gave limited self-rule in Najaf to try to stop 1920 Revolt there
1920 UK Cmdr Gen Haldane wrote that almost all the tribes north of Diyala had joined
            the revolt and was afraid it was spreading to Kirkuk and Irbil
(Musings On Iraq review of Reclaiming Iraq, The 1920 Revolution and the Founding of the Modern State)
1922 British High Commissioner for Iraq Cox demanded apology from King Faisal
            for anti-Mandate comment at his party
1941 British forces in Basra and Diyala invaded Iran where Shah refused to expel Germans
            spreading Axis propaganda
1969 Bakr govt executed opponents in central Baghdad
1988 Villages in Dohuk hit by chemical weapons in 6th Anfal campaign
(Musings On Iraq article on Anfal campaign)
1990 UN Resolution 665 strengthened economic sanctions on Iraq for Kuwait invasion
2002 James Baker OpEd in New York Times said US needed UN resolution that Iraq
submit to inspections anytime Said US needed to be explicit that if Iraq avoided the inspections US would invade and change the govt
2003 Funeral in Najaf turned into anti-American demonstration
2004 US army investigation blamed morally corrupt soldiers and contractors poor
leadership for Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal Found intelligence officers played leading role in Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal
2004 Ayatollah Sistani said he would return from medical treatment in England to Iraq
            to try to end 2nd Battle of Najaf
2005 Constitutional committee given 3rd extension to finish work
(Musings On Iraq interview with constitutional scholar Zaid al-Ali on Iraq’s constitution)
2006 Iraqis looted base exited by British in Maysan before Iraqi forces could take it over
2006 Head of Association of Muslim Scholars Sheikh Dhari said he was willing to meet
            with Ayatollah Sistani to talk about ending national crisis
2008 Electricity Min announced that power production had reached same level as 2002
before US invasion Only 50% of demand was being met though due to huge increase in usage after 2003 Later turned out Ministry included power provided from Iran and Turkey
(Musings On Iraq article on Electricity Min announcement)
2010 ISI coordinated attacks in Mosul Kirkuk Tikrit Dujail Baquba Muqtadiya Ramadi
            Fallujah Karbala Kut Basra Baghdad
2016 Iraqi forces freed Qayara Ninewa

View the Iraq History Timelines 

Friday, August 24, 2018

Review Gertrude Bell And Iraq, A Life and Legacy


Edited by Collins, Paul and Tripp, Charles, Gertrude Bell And Iraq, A Life and Legacy, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017

Gertrude Bell And Iraq, A Life And Legacy was the result of a conference held in 2013. Eleven authors turned their presentations into chapters for the book. A variety of topics were covered from Bell’s trips through the Middle East and her interest in archeology, to her place in women’s history, to her contributions in forming the Iraqi state, to her legacy in preserving Iraqi history. Due to the breadth of topics covered Gertrude Bell And Iraq is up and down with some chapters providing interesting insights into Bell’s life, while others are purely for specialists.

This Day In Iraqi History - Aug 24


1922 On anniversary of King Faisal’s coronation opposition gave him a petition
calling for an assembly to draft a constitution, elections for a parliament, and independence for Iraq
1922 UK High Commissioner for Iraq Sir Percy Cox met by anti-British slogans being
chanted outside the palace During celebration Haras Party leader Basir gave anti-British speech Cox demanded King punish perpetrators
1986 Ayatollah Khomeini said Iran had to fight until victory and Saddam deposed
1988 Iran and Iraq started peace talks in Geneva to officially end Iran-Iraq War
(Musings On Iraq interview with author Anthony Tucker-Jones on Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq review The Iran-Iraq War 1980-1988)
(Musings On Iraq review Iran-Iraq War, The Lion of Babylon, 1980-1988)
(Musings On Iraq review The Iran-Iraq War)
1988 Start of 6th and final Anfal campaign focused upon destroying KDP bases
            in Dohuk KDP HQ attacked
(Musings On Iraq article on Anfal campaign)
1990 PLO Foreign Minister Qaddumi said PLO supported Iraq against colonialists
1995 UK intel report said Iraq had hidden much of its nuke program destroyed its
            SCUDs didn’t have hidden chemical stockpile
1998 US Intel said Iraq was connected to Al Qaeda chemical plant Clinton admin
            bombed in Sudan
2000 Iraq rejected new UN inspectors and Resolution 1284
2003 Ayatollah Hakim wounded in bombing at his Najaf office Some blamed Sadr for
            attack in growing inter-Shiite rivalry
2003 Bremer admitted US not doing a good job securing Iraq’s borders
2004 Panel found Rumsfeld’s orders on interrogations contributed to abuse of prisoners in
Iraq Found that U.S. underestimated need for prisons in postwar Iraq then didn’t attempt to solve the problem Contradicted White House claim that Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal was act of a few prison guards Found Abu Ghraib prison abuse was not part of an intelligence gathering operation
2005 Report EFP attacks upon US forces showed Iranian and Hezbollah arming militias
            in Iraq
(Musings On Iraq interview with Galen Wright of Arkenstone blog on Iranian arms shipments to Iraqi militias) 
(Musings On Iraq article on Hezbollah presence in Iraq)
2005 Police took away 36 Sunnis from Hurriya Baghdad tortured killed them and dumped
bodies along Iranian border Judge blamed Volcano Brigade commander but nothing done to him
2006 Maliki banned TV channels from showing bloodshed caused by the war
2007 Natl Intel Estimate on Iraq said security improving unevenly No reconciliation
2008 Maliki broke deal with Kurds and moved ISF into Khanaqin east Diyala Kurds
            organized demonstrations in response
(Musings On Iraq article on Maliki’s pressuring Kurds in Diyala)
2009 Sadrists ISCI Jaafari announced creation of National Alliance
2015 Sadr said his followers should join Friday protests in Baghdad on Aug 28
2015 Sit in protests in Basra ended when govt promised to meet their demands
            Were not met

View the Iraq History Timelines 

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Security In Iraq Aug 15-21, 2018

(Iraqi News)

While the number of incidents has remained relatively stable for the last four months, the third week of August 2018 had one of the lowest casualty counts in Iraq since the 2003 invasion.

This Day In Iraqi History - Aug 23


1922 King Faisal struck by appendicitis with no PM or govt UK High
Commissioner Cox ruled until king returned Cox deported and exiled opposition leaders banned opposition parties and papers Silenced opposition and Shiite leaders
1924 American Consul in Iraq said King Faisal had no popular support and many were
            openly opposed to him
1952 Communist led strike at Basra port over pay Broken up by police Started year of
            protests called the Intifada
(Musings On Iraq Interview with Prof Johan Franzen on the history of the Iraqi Communist Party)
1962 Govt census in Jazeera listed 120,000 Kurds as aliens during Kurdish revolt
1988 UN said that Iraq used poison gas in attack on Oshnaviyeh Iran on Aug 2 that
            wounded around 2,600 civilians 7th time UN documented use of WMD by Iraq
(Musings On Iraq interview with author Anthony Tucker-Jones on Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq review The Iran-Iraq War 1980-1988)
(Musings On Iraq review Iran-Iraq War, The Lion of Babylon, 1980-1988)
(Musings On Iraq review The Iran-Iraq War)
1990 Saddam appeared on state TV with western hostages in Iraq Told them they were
            being held to prevent war
1996 Barzani said KDP stopped PUK offensive captured or killed 400 PUK Peshmerga
2003 CPA created Dep of Border Enforcement but gave it little money to control Iraq’s
            borders
2003 Turkmen protested in Kirkuk city over Turkmen being killed Turned violent 3
            killed 15-20 wounded
2005 US embassy report said Gen Casey’s plan for handing off security to Iraq had no
            chance of succeeding and argued for counterinsurgency to defeat insurgency
(Musings On Iraq article on pre-Surge US Iraq strategy)
2005 Sunni members of constitutional committee said they rejected draft Said
            committee didn’t create consensus on draft
2005 Members of Allawi’s Iraqi National Accord also voiced concerns over draft
            constitution
(Musings On Iraq interview with constitutional scholar Zaid al-Ali on Iraq’s constitution)
2008 Report 2 Mahdi Army men said Hezbollah training the militia in Lebanon
(Musings On Iraq article on Iranian and Hezbollah training of Iraqi militias)
(Musings On Iraq article on Hezbollah presence in Iraq)
2015 Police opened fire on demonstrations in Babil wounding 4

View the Iraq History Timelines 

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

When The Shah and Nixon Manipulated The Kurds

(National Archives)
In 1976 part of the secret Senate Intelligence Committee’s Pike report was leaked to the Village Voice. The Pike Committee was put together in 1975 to investigate the activities of the Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation and National Security Agency. It included information on how the Nixon Administration began supporting the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) to help the Shah pressure Iraq over a border dispute. Once that issue was resolved the U.S. and Iran abandoned the Kurds whose rebellion was crushed.

This Day In Iraqi History - Aug 22


1973 Sheikh Jabir al-Sabah visited Iraq and again offered to talk about Iraq-Kuwait
            border dispute Iraq demanded 2 islands from Kuwait which it refused
1991 Bush announced no fly zone over southern Iraq to stop Saddam offensive
            to clear out southern marshes
1995 UN interviewed Hussein Kamal former Industry Min and Saddam’s son-in-law that
defected to Jordan Kamal said Iraq hid its WMD and nuke programs from inspectors but all programs ended after Gulf War US and UN didn’t believe Kamal’s claim that Iraq had ended its programs Were convince Iraq would always hide WMD
1996 Massoud Barzani wrote Saddam asking for help to fight PUK and their Iranian
            backers in Irbil Tariq Aziz released letter
2003 Bush said Iraq war had transformed to one against Baathists and Al Qaeda
2003 Australian intel officer testified to parliament no pre-war evidence of Iraq-Al Qaeda
ties and Iraq’s WMD contained Said US flooded with disinformation by anti-Saddam Iraqis before war
2005 Incomplete draft constitution presented to parliament Given another extension
            to finish draft
(Musings On Iraq interview with constitutional scholar Zaid al-Ali on Iraq’s constitution)
2005 Report Abu Mustafa Sheibani running arms for Iranian Revolutionary Guard to
            Shiite militias in Iraq including EFPs
(Musings On Iraq interview with Galen Wright of Arkenstone blog on Iranian arms shipments to Iraqi militias) 
2005 Board of Supreme Audit report leaked to press Nearly half of $1.27 bil spent by Def
Min disappeared in 1st 8 months of Allawi govt Found Allawi’s office and Def Min gave no bid defense contracts to middlemen paid up front in cash
2014 ISF and Asaib Ahl Al-Haq raided mosque in Diyala and killed worshippers
2015 Gunmen in military uniforms attacked sit in protesters in Basra Police did nothing
2015 Riot police broke up protests in Hillah beating them Used water hoses

View the Iraq History Timelines 

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

This Day In Iraqi History - Aug 21


1921 King Faisal’s coronation Started negotiations over Anglo-Iraq treaty
1950 Nuri al-Said threatened to revoke license of transport company if didn’t fill quota
            of shipping 500 Jews out of Iraq per day
1969 Bakr govt executed opponents in central Baghdad
2002 Bush told press he had patience on Iraq and was thinking of all the options
2003 Sec State Powell asked UN Security Council to pass resolution encouraging foreign
            countries to provide troops for Iraq
2003 Ali Hassan al-Majid “Chemical Ali” captured by US forces
2005 Interior Minister Jabr said that stories of Iran supplying weapons to Iraqi militias
            were exaggerated
(Musings On Iraq interview with Galen Wright of Arkenstone blog on Iranian arms shipments to Iraqi militias) 
2005 Islamic Party leader Tariq Hashemi said constitution would not stop violence in
            Iraq because most politicians not recognized by public
2005 Isam al-Rawi of Muslim Scholars Association advocated US withdrawal
            reforming security forces amnesty for Baathists talks with insurgency
2006 2nd trial started for Saddam accused of genocide during Anfal campaign
(Musings On Iraq article on Anfal campaign)
2006 Al Qaeda in Iraq killed Sheikh Ataymi of Albu Jassim in Anbar who aligned with
            US and provided tribesmen for Ramadi police
2006 Bush said Saddam had relations with Zarqawi Disputed by CIA who said no ties
            between two
2007 ISI killed Sheikh Alayawia of Abu Jassim tribe of Ramadi for supporting govt
2007 ISI blew up new police station in Jazeera, Anbar
2008 Report Finance Min counted all money appropriated in budget as spent when little
of it actually was Govt claimed it spent 57% of the 2008 budget by Aug when only 18% had been used
(Musings On Iraq article on inability of Iraqi govt to spend budget)
2015 Protests in Baghdad Maysan Dhi Qar Wasit Diyala Basra Kirkuk Qadisiyah
Salahaddin Najaf Karbala Babil Diwainiya demanding reform
2015 Police attacked reporters from 3 TV stations trying to cover day’s protests

View the Iraq History Timelines 

Monday, August 20, 2018

Musings On Iraq In The News

I was quoted by Paul Iddon in "What effect will a Hashd drawdown have on Nineveh?" for Rudaw, and mentioned by Josie Ensor, "Isil still has up to 30,000 members in Syria and Iraq, UN report finds" for The Telegraph.

Displacement In Iraq Drops Below 2 Million

(IOM)
The number of displaced in Iraq continued to decline. The total finally dipped below 2 million in July 2018. At the same time, the rate of people going home has been slowing down. That means the country could be heading towards a tipping point where this process largely ends.

This Day In Iraqi History - Aug 20


1974 Iraq deployed 84,000 troops and 20,000 Kurdish militia to fight KDP
1987 Dawa set off car bomb in Baghdad killing 20
1988 Ceasefire in Iran-Iraq War announced 350 UN peacekeepers deployed along
            border
(Musings On Iraq interview with author Anthony Tucker-Jones on Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq review The Iran-Iraq War 1980-1988)
(Musings On Iraq review Iran-Iraq War, The Lion of Babylon, 1980-1988)
(Musings On Iraq review The Iran-Iraq War)
1990 NSD 45 signed saying U.S. would get withdrawal of Iraq from Kuwait restore
            Kuwaiti govt restore security of Gulf protect U.S. citizens in Kuwait and Iraq
1991 Barzani left Baghdad effectively ending autonomy balks with Baghdad
1995 Iraq admitted to UN inspectors that its crash program to build a nuclear bomb
            failed
1996 PUK attacked KDP positions in Sulaymaniya with Iranian artillery and helicopter
            support
1997 Iraq agreed to allow Iranian pilgrims to go to Najaf and Karbala as way to get
            around UN sanctions
2002 Rumsfeld said Al Qaeda operatives were in Iraq and that US needed to launch
            pre-emptive strike because couldn't wait for Iraq to get stronger
2002 UnderSecDef Feith’s intel group met with CIA to discuss Iraq-Al Qaeda ties
Complained CIA didn’t believe Iraq involved in 9/11 Brought up story that 9/11 hijacker Atta met with Iraqi intel in Prague in 2001
2003 Bush at NSC meeting said US had to re-evaluate enemy in Iraq after Zarqawi
            bombed UN in Baghdad
2003 UN said bombing of its Baghdad offices wouldnt stop reconstruction of Iraq
            UN would withdraw most of its staff
2004 PM Allawi called for Sadr to give up Imam Ali shrine in Najaf or face US-Iraq
            assault
2005 Report Islamic Party talked with insurgents to try to ensure large turnout in
            constitutional referendum
2005 Report Shiite parties took over police in Basra Carried out assassinations of
ex-Baathists Sunni leaders and rival Shiites
2005 Report Peshmerga ran 5 prisons and carrying out mass arrests of Sunnis Turkmen and
            minorities in Mosul
2007 ISCI governor of Muthanna assassinated by Sadrists Sadr-Hakim rivalry
2011 On ISI’s 5th anniv released video with message that it was going to Syria
2012 US warned that oil companies signing deals with Kurds without Baghdad’s
            approval were taking risks
2015 Pres Barzani’s term expired but he refused to leave office
2017 Operation to free Tal Afar began

View the Iraq History Timelines 

Sunday, August 19, 2018

This Day In Iraqi History - Aug 19

1921 UK cabinet decided Feisal would be coronated king and then Anglo-Iraq
            treaty drafted
1984 France agreed to refinance $1.4 bil in debts Iraq owed France biggest western backer of Iraq
1996 PUK accused KDP of working with Baghdad KDP accused PUK of working
            with Iran during civil war
2003 Zarqawi bombed UN headquarters in Baghdad killed 23 including UN Rep de
            Mello and injured over 100
2004 PM Allawi wrote Bush saying Iraq was more dangerous and unstable than a year
            ago
2004 Allawi govt called for Sadr to disband Mahdi Army and leave Najaf shrine
2004 Sistani’s office said it was open to Sadr’s offer to turn over keys to Najaf shrine
2004 Iraq Survey Group head Kay was rebuked by NSC staffer for criticizing NSC
            to Congress on WMD
2004 Iraq Survey Group head Kay said Rice more interested in being Bush’s friend
            than being National Security Adviser
2005 Al Qaeda in Iraq unsuccessful fired rockets on 2 US ships docked in Israeli port
            from Jordan
2005 3 Islamic Party members kidnapped by gunmen in Mosul putting up flyers to
            vote in constitutional referendum
2009 ISI set off 3 car bombs in Baghdad hitting Finance and Foreign Ministries and Rashid
Hotel killing 101 and wounding 565 PM Maliki blamed Baathists and Syria for Baghdad bombings even though it was ISI
2009 Iraq withdrew its ambassador to Damascus to protest Baghdad bombings
(Musings On Iraq article on Maliki’s response to Fall 09 bombings)
2014 IS posted video of beheading of journalist James Foley 


Saturday, August 18, 2018

Review The Tragedy of the Assyrian Minority in Iraq


Stafford, R.S., The Tragedy of the Assyrian Minority in Iraq, London and New York: Routledge, 2016

The Tragedy of the Assyrian Minority in Iraq was originally published in 1935 and covers the history of Assyrians in Iraq after World War I, and their massacre at the hands of the Iraqi army in 1933. It was written by R.S. Stafford who was a British officer stationed in Mosul province during that time period. It is a good source that documents those tragic events.

Assessment Of The Status Of The Islamic State

(Iraqi News) Michael Knights from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy wrote another excellent assessment of the state of the...