Saturday, January 25, 2020

Sadr Holds Anti-U.S. Rally, Tilts Towards Iran, Then Crackdown On Protests

Sadr's rally against the US presence in Iraq .... (BBC)


... Was followed by a crackdown on the protest sites in Baghdad and Basra


Moqtada al-Sadr held his anti-U.S. protest in Baghdad’s Jadriya neighborhood on January 24. People protested against western forces being in the country and demanded that they leave. Sadr didn’t attend but issued a message to the crowd. He announced plans for this march on January 14. This was a day after he met with several leaders of pro-Tehran Hashd groups in Qom, Iran where he is currently living. Several of those groups participated in the march. Later in the day, the Iraqi forces attacked the sit-in sites in Basra and Baghdad. That pointed to an agreement between Sadr and the pro-Iran camp. Sadrists have been involved in the anti-government demonstrations since they began and provided unofficial security. They new round of attacks pointed to Sadr withdrawing this support and allowing Iran’s allies to make another attempt at breaking up the activists.

This Day In Iraqi History - Jan 25


1917 British attacked Ottoman positions along Hai River
1959 Gen Qasim legalized trade unions
(Musings On Iraq interview with Western Kentucky’s Prof Romero on the Qasim govt)
1967 Pres Johnson met 5 Iraqi generals and Iraqi Amb Hani at White House and said that they
would build closer ties
1981 Islamic Conference Organization created group to try to mediate end to Iran-Iraq War
1987 3rd War of the Cities ended
(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 OPEC said Kuwait and UAE agreed to limit oil exports to try to settle dispute with Iraq
1995 Saddam discussed how Iraq had created a deterrent to protect every Arab capital from Israel
with WMD
(Musings On Iraq article on the origins of Iraq’s WMD programs)
1998 Report US was preparing strike against Iraq called Operation Desert Thunder for non
cooperation with UN inspectors US was hoping to cause a confrontation with inspectors to attack Iraq
(Musings On Iraq article on how US manipulated UN inspections)
(Musings On Iraq book review of Iraq In The Eye of the Storm)
2003 Military Industrialization Commission officials had Republican Guard commanders sign docs
that they had no WMD in units
(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 Cheney chief of staff Libby briefed White House on case vs Iraq’s WMD and ties to Al Qaeda
Said Iraq hiding its WMD and cleaning sites before UN inspections Said Iraq-Al Qaeda ties strong Libby played recording of 2 Al Qaeda operatives talking about poisons that Libby said they got from Iraq Libby claimed 9/11 hijacker Atta met with Iraq intelligence in Prague up to 4 times
2004 Ex-Iraq Survey Group Head Kay US intel was wrong about state of Iraq’s WMD programs US
intel agencies had to explain why they failed on Iraq intel on WMD Kay said Iraq tried to restart nuke program in 2000-01 but didn’t get far Kay said Iraq had active biological weapons program 1998 US bombing had stopped Iraq’s chemical weapons program
(Musings On Iraq article Iraq, One Of The Worst Intelligence Failures In US History)
2005 Bush admin said it would ask Congress for another $80 bil for Iraq and Afghanistan wars
2005 Human Rights Watch reported arbitrary arrests torture abuse threats corruption in Iraqi
justice system
2006 Report US wanted to make Iraqi army light infantry force to fight insurgency and not
threaten neighbors Meant given no artillery or heavy weapons besides 77 T-72 tanks
2010 3 international hotels bombed
2013 ISF killed 9 protesters at Fallujah protest camp for throwing stones
2015 Yazidi militias and YPG forced Arabs out of Om Danabuk, Sinjar Killed 10 and looted village
2015 Badr’s Amiri claimed all of Diyala cleared of IS

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Friday, January 24, 2020

This Day In Iraqi History - Jan 24


1969 Former MP Bajari during spy trial claimed opposition leaders were trying to
overthrow Pres Bakr’s govt
1970 42 more sentenced to death for coup plot against Pres Bakr
2003 Gen Franks presented final war plan to Sec Def Rumsfeld and Joint Chiefs head Gen Myers
(Musings On Iraq book review of Shaping the Plan for Operation Iraqi Freedom, The Role of Military
(Musings On Iraq book review Leap of Faith, Hubris Negligence, and America’s Greatest Foreign Policy
Tragedy)
2003 PM Blair sent note to Bush suggesting delaying Iraq invasion for a month to allow more time for
postwar planning
2003 UK Foreign Office legal adv Sir Wood told Foreign Sec Straw that Britain could not go to
war with Iraq without a 2nd UN resolution
(Musings On Iraq Book Review The Report of the Iraq Inquiry, Executive Summary)
2003 IAEA told Wash Post aluminum tubes Iraq tried to buy were wrong for nuke program
(Musings On Iraq article on the aluminum tubes story)
2003 Archaeologists and scholars briefed Pentagon about historical sites in Iraq that should be
spared from bombing
2003 DIA report repeated CIA reporting on Iraq-Niger uranium deal and Navy reported uranium
was in a warehouse in Benin Said Iraq could have gotten uranium
(Musings On Iraq article on Iraq-Niger uranium story)
2003 2nd NYTimes article on Iraqi defector Haideri provided by INC Said that he’d led to dozens of
DIA reports on Iraq’s WMD DIA labeled him a fabricator May 02 story continued to be used
2003 Defense Policy Board’s Richard Perle accused CIA of being biased against INC so it wouldn’t
interview people like Haideri
(Musings On Iraq review Losing Iraq, Inside The Post War Reconstruction Fiasco by David Phillips)
2004 Iraq Survey Group took INC provided defector Haideri to sites he claimed were WMD and
found nothing May 02 labeled fabricator by DIA but story continued to be used
2004 7,000 Kurds marched for a new federal Iraq
2006 Report Inspector Gen for Iraq Reconstruction found disputes lack of staff and set rules caused
huge delays completing projects
2007 Amb Khalizad asked British to stop troop withdrawal plans UK Foreign Sec Beckett said
drawdown would continue
(Musings On Iraq Book Review The Report of the Iraq Inquiry, Executive Summary)
2007 UK intel report Mahdi Army and Badr behind most attacks upon Sunnis Were powerful groups with
positions in govt and influence in security forces PM Maliki wanted Sadr to rein in Mahdi Army so US didn’t go after militia Maliki opposed any major US ops vs Mahdi Army in Baghdad Maliki wanted to maintain his Shiite base which meant keeping ties to Sadr Maliki govt seen as linked to militias which hindered reconciliation with Sunnis
2008 Report 200 Sahwa killed and 500 wounded Jun-Dec 2007 by ISI 100 were killed just in Jan in
Baghdad and Diyala Increased after Dec 29 message by bin Laden against Awakening/Sahwa
2008 Report 4 yrs after 2 battles of Fallujah city still largely destroyed Only 4 hrs of power Little running
water Sewage system didn’t work 70% unemployment Lack of fuel Tight security hindered trade and development US reconstruction projects small and local and couldn’t address large problems with services Fallujah blamed Baghdad neglect
2009 Basra Ops Cmd began crackdown in province before Jan provincial elections Continued until Apr
(Musings On Iraq article on Basra security op)
2011 2 bombs hit Shiite pilgrims during Arbayeen
2011 Deputy Justice Min denied report prison at Camp Honor Baghdad was under Maliki’s control
Said run by Justice Min Said Red Cross and Human Rights Min had visited facility and found no torture or abuses Said families and lawyers could visit prisoners Red Cross said they were denied access
(Musings On Iraq article on Camp Honor prison)
2014 As fighting and insurgency took off in Anbar when PM Maliki shut down protest sites mass
displacement started UN said 140,000 displaced from Anbar up from 65,000 week before
(Musings On Iraq article on displacement due to fighting in Anbar)
(Musings On Iraq book review Iraq After America, Strongmen, Sectarians, Resistance)
2015 Kurdistan Security Council announced 23 IS leaders killed in fighting Peshmerga Included
Abu Muslim al-Turkmani member of IS Shura Council highest body in group Said to be one of Baghdadi’s top deputies
(Musings On Iraq article on death of IS leaders)
2017 East Mosul officially declared liberated by PM Abadi
(Musings On Iraq Review They Will Have to Die Now: Mosul and the Fall of the Caliphate)
(Musings On Iraq Review Shatter the Nations, ISIS and the War for the Caliphate)

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Thursday, January 23, 2020

Review Imagining The Nation, Nationalism, Sectarianism and Socio-Political Conflict in Iraq


Al-Qarawee, Harith, Imagining The Nation, Nationalism, Sectarianism and Socio-Political Conflict in Iraq, Lanchashire: Rossendale Books, 2012

Imagining The Nation, Nationalism, Sectarianism and Socio-Political Conflict in Iraq is an academic book by Harith Al-Qarawee who now goes by Harith Hasan, about how Iraq’s Arab population has struggled to form a national identity from the foundation of the country to the present. The book is organized like a thesis with an introduction where the main argument is laid out, followed by a review of the literature on the topic, and then two broad sections. The first covers the Ottomans to Saddam Hussein, and the second is about Iraq post-2003. The book was largely shaped in response to Western commentators that argued Iraq has been beset by sectarian divisions since its origins. Hasan believes that is mistaking current political struggles as historical ones. The thesis is that Iraq’s identities have been shaped by socio-political conflicts over power and resources, which have changed over time.

This Day In Iraqi History - Jan 23


1920 British cabinet decided Iraqi oil would be developed by a public company Foreign
Secretary Curzon overturned decision
1920 UK Foreign Secretary Lord Curzon decided Turkish Petroleum Company would keep its oil
rights signed with Ottomans
(Musings On Iraq book review The Creation of Iraq 1914-1921)
1948 More protests against Anglo-Iraq Treaty leading to fights between Communist and
Independence party
(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)
1970 33 conspirators in coup against Pres Bakr executed
1987 Ali Khamenei said Iran would not negotiate with Iraq as long was Saddam in power
(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)
1991 Iraq dumped 400 mil gallons of oil into Persian Gulf to try to prevent US retaking Kuwait
1999 NSC counterterrorism dir Clarke said US was right to bomb factory in Sudan because
connected to Al Qaeda and Iraq WMD experts
2003 Iraq Defense Ministry ordered that if Baghdad were to fall all govt buildings were to be looted
and burned
2003 Mukhabarat document called for looting and destruction of property if Saddam were
overthrown
2003 Natl Sec Adv Rice wrote NY Times OpEd Iraq hiding its WMD programs from UN inspectors and
tried to buy uranium for its nuke program Reference to Iraq-Niger deal
(Musings On Iraq article on Iraq-Niger uranium story)
(Musings On Iraq article on how poor US intel work led to claim Iraq rebuilt its nuclear weapons program)
2003 Sec Def Rumsfeld said that Iraq had WMD and ties to terrorism were one threat
2003 Under Sec of Def Wolfowitz said Iraq had tons of WMD and time running out for it Said Iraq
didn’t make truthful weapons declaration to UN Said Iraqi defectors told about Iraq having mobile WMD labs Said Iraqi govt threatening scientists not to talk to UN inspectors
(Musings On Iraq article on mobile labs story)
2003 White House released document saying Iraq hiding its WMD and tried to buy uranium for its
nuke program Reference to Iraq-Niger deal
(Musings On Iraq article Iraq, One Of The Worst Intelligence Failures In US History)
2004 Iraq Survey Group head Kay resigned saying didn’t think Iraq had any WMD stocks or large
programs since 1980s Said Iraq destroyed its WMD after Gulf War due to inspections and unilateral actions Kay resigned because group was going to be diverted from finding WMD to fighting insurgency
2004 In response to Iraq Survey Group head Kay resigning and saying there were no WMD White
House said it believed Iraq had WMD and it would be found
(Musings On Iraq article Iraq, One Of The Worst Intelligence Failures In US History)
2006 Report Iraqis going to Jordan jumped from 200-250/day from 2004-05 to 1,100/day in Jan 06
as people were fleeing violence
2006 Al Qaeda in Iraq bombed Sheikh Kharbite’s house in Ramadi of Albu Khalifa tribe and
member of Anbar security council
(Musings On Iraq book review Illusions of Victory, The Anbar Awakening And The Rise Of The Islamic State)
2007 Bush State of Union outlined the Surge
(Musings On Iraq interview with Prof Mansoor on the Surge)
(Musings On Iraq interview with New America Foundation’s Ollivant On Reassessing the Surge)
2008 ISF Ninewa campaign began to secure Mosul
2008 20,000 pound bomb went off in Mosul Killed 15 wounded 132
2010 Asaib Ahl Al-Haq kidnapped US contractor Issa Salomi which it swapped for 4 of its
members held in prison
(Musings On Iraq article on history of Asaib Ahl Al-Haq)
2010 Report Diyala Sahwa told to abandon posts by commanders due to Maliki govt crackdown
Sahwa sheikh claimed 425 Sahwa and 25 senior leaders had been arrested by govt on charges they belonged to ISI
(Musings On Iraq More Sons of Iraq Integrated While Others Walk Off The Job In Diyala)
2011 Report found prison at Camp Honor Baghdad Prisoners held incommunicado No lawyers
Torture Facility was under direct command of PM Maliki
(Musings On Iraq article on Camp Honor prison)
2015 Hashd destroyed four mosques in Muqtadiya Diyala after operation there

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Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Iraq’s Oil Exports Finish On A High Note In Dec Due To Iran War Fears

(AFP/Getty Images)

Iraq saw diminishing returns from its oil exports in the second half of 2019 as oil prices dropped due to a glut in the market. Due to war fears over Iran however, profits were back up in December. At the end of the year however, Iraq finished with higher export figures, but lower revenues.

This Day In Iraqi History - Jan 22


1921 Gertrude Bell wrote that British officers in Mosul province thought they could
convince Kurds to vote for Feisal as king in referendum They didn’t
(Musings On Iraq book review of Gertrude Bell And Iraq)
(Musings On Iraq book review Gertrude Bell, Explorer of the Middle East)
1970 3 coup plotters executed by Pres Bakr govt
1970 Iraq expelled Iranian ambassador accusing Tehran of backing 1970 failed coup
1991 Iraqi SCUD missile and 2 U.S. Patriot missiles landed on Israeli city of Ramat Gan
1991 Iraqi forces set fire to 700 Kuwaiti oil wells
2002 Dep Def Sec Wolfowitz memo to Undersec Def Feith that Pentagon was not finding intel on Iraq-Al
Qaeda links and said Sec Def Rumsfeld should get some analysis on issue
(Musings On Iraq book review Leap of Faith, Hubris Negligence, and America’s Greatest Foreign Policy
Tragedy)
2003 2nd meeting of US UK Australia on postwar Iraq Little came of meeting
2003 CIA sent its report on Iraq WMD to White House to help make case for war
2003 CIA analyst told IAEA aluminum tubes Iraq tried to buy were for centrifuges IAEA said they
were for rockets IAEA proved right
(Musings On Iraq article on the aluminum tubes story)
2004 VP Cheney said Iraq had mobile labs and WMD programs Inspections found no mobile labs
(Musings On Iraq article on mobile labs story)
(Musings On Iraq article Iraq, One Of The Worst Intelligence Failures In US History)
2004 VP Cheney said overwhelming evidence Saddam linked to Al Qaeda Said Iraq behind 1993 World
Trade Center bombing Based upon Laurie Mylroie conspiracy theories
(Musings On Iraq article on Mylroie’s Iraq conspiracy theories)
2005 Report $300 mil for arms deal for Iraqi army went missing after put on plane for Lebanon
(Musings On Iraq interview with Special Inspector Gen for Iraq Reconstruction Bowen on corruption in Iraq)
(Musings On Iraq interview with fmr anti-graft official Vincent Foulk on corruption in Iraq)
2005 INC’s Chalabi accused Defense Min Shaalan of stealing the $300 mil Shaalan threatened to
arrest Chalabi for the charge
2006 Report 34,131 attacks in 2005 up from 26,496 in 2004 Car bombs went from 420 in 2004 to
873 in 2005 IEDs went from 5,607 in 2004 to 10,953 in 2005
2007 PM Maliki announced he would no longer protect the Mahdi Army from US raids Didn’t happen
(Musings On Iraq A Divided Sadr Trend)
2007 Mayor of Sadr City Daraji had 2nd of 2 meetings with UK Gen Lamb on working out
understanding with militias to prevent confrontations in district Militias were afraid of major US operation in Sadr City as part of Surge Sadrists backed Daraji’s effort
2008 Mahdi Army tried to kidnap PM Maliki’s national security adviser Mowafaq Rubaie in Baghdad
2008 Oil Min blacklisted companies that signed oil deals with Kurdistan
2011 Kirkuk made deal with Electricity Min that province would get larger power quota Would
still not meet demand Governor had cut off power line to Baghdad and kept electricity for province
(Musings On Iraq article on Kirkuk-Electricity Min deal)
(Musings On Iraq article on power problems in Kirkuk)
2012 Iraq voted in Arab League for a transition of power in Syria away from Assad
2015 Coalition air strike killed Abu Ans Samarraie IS’s governor for Anbar He was responsible for
            executing hundreds of members of the Albu Nimr tribe
(Musings On Iraq article on death of IS leaders)

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Sadr Holds Anti-U.S. Rally, Tilts Towards Iran, Then Crackdown On Protests

Sadr's rally against the US presence in Iraq .... (BBC) ... Was followed by a crackdown on the protest sites in Baghdad and Ba...