Sunday, February 17, 2019

This Day In Iraqi History - Feb 17

1917 British crossed Shumran bend outflanking Ottoman forces in campaign to recapture Kut
1981 UN Rep Palme went to Iran and Iraq for 3rd time to try to negotiate ceasefire
1986 Iran started attack to gain more ground in Fao Peninsula
(Musings On Iraq interview with author Anthony Tucker-Jones on Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq interview with author Tom Cooper on Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq book review The Iran-Iraq War 1980-1988)
(Musings On Iraq book review Iran-Iraq War, The Lion of Babylon, 1980-1988)
(Musings On Iraq book review The Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq book review of Iran-Iraq War Volume 2: Iran Strikes back, June 1982-December 1986)
1995 Temporary ceasefire made between PUK and KDP during civil war
(Musings On Iraq book review of The Kurds, A Modern History)
(Musings On Iraq book review Kurds of Iraq, Tragedy and Hope)
1998 Clinton told Pentagon US had to stop Iraq from getting WMD and nuclear weapons and Baghdad had
to allow unfetted UN inspections
2003 U2 spy planes began flying over Iraq for UN weapons inspectors
2003 Turkish parliament delayed vote to allow deployment of US troops for Iraq invasion due to domestic
opposition
2003 IAEA found that Iraq-Niger uranium docs were fakes
(Musings On Iraq article on Iraq-Niger uranium story)
(Musings On Iraq article on UN weapons inspections)
2007 3 car bombs in Baghdad killed 74 and wounded over 100
2007 VP Hashemi called for Mahdi Army to be placed on terrorist list by US
2007 Report Mahdi Army staying off Baghdad streets as Surge started
2008 2 car bombs at Awakening meeting in Anbar killed more than 20
2011 Protests in Sulaymaniya began demanding reform in KRG Attacked KDP HQ Fired upon by guards
killing 2
(Musings On Iraq interview with journalist Wladimir Van Wilgenburg on 2011 KRG protests)
2012 Mahoum Sarkhi offices set on fire Blamed on followers of Ayatollah Sistani 

Saturday, February 16, 2019

This Day In Iraqi History - Feb 16


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

View the Iraq History Timelines 

Friday, February 15, 2019

Review The Great Betrayal, How America Abandoned The Kurds And Lost The Middle East


Review Phillips, David, The Great Betrayal, How America Abandoned The Kurds And Lost The Middle East, London, New York: I.B. Tauris, 2019

The Great Betrayal, How America Abandoned The Kurds And Lost The Middle East reads like it had been in the works by author David Phillips of Columbia’s Program on Peace Building and Rights, but then got rushed into publication because of current events. It starts off as a short history about the Kurdish drive for independence since World War I and how the west had repeatedly stymied their attempts. The second half of the book is about modern Iraqi politics, Syria and the Kurds and that’s where the story goes off the rails. Phillips has a poor understanding of present day Iraq, and by the end of the book he has chapters that only marginally deal with the Kurds and are more about the war in Syria, and the failures of the Obama and Trump administrations to deal with that conflict. The roots of Phillips’ problems is that he forgets about his original thesis about the Kurds being abandoned to focus upon how Obama and Trump lost the Middle East.

This Day In Iraqi History - Feb 15

1923 UK Head of Board of Trade Sir Graeme told Iraq commission Iraq too costly and British
should withdraw
1936 Def Ministry complained that UK War Office ignored arms purchases and deliveries and that was
undermining Iraqi army
1949 2 Communist politburo members hanged by PM Said to put down protests
(Musings On Iraq book review Red Star Over Iraq, Iraqi Communism Before Saddam)
(Musings On Iraq Interview with Prof Johan Franzen on the history of the Iraqi Communist Party)
1964 Arif govt and Mustafa Barzani started talks to try to end KDP revolt
(Musings On Iraq book review of The Kurds, A Modern History)
(Musings On Iraq book review Kurds of Iraq, Tragedy and Hope)
1984 Iraq, Egypt, Argentina and Swiss companies signed contract to develop long range missile
1984 Iranian Op Al Fajr 5 began Largest operation to date in war Included 2/3 of Iran’s manpower 400,000
men in 15 division Attacked Wasit towards Kut Aim was to cut Baghdad-Basra road
(Musings On Iraq interview with author Anthony Tucker-Jones on Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq interview with author Tom Cooper on Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq book review The Iran-Iraq War 1980-1988)
(Musings On Iraq book review Iran-Iraq War, The Lion of Babylon, 1980-1988)
(Musings On Iraq book review The Iran-Iraq War)
1990 Voice of America commentary called for end of dictatorships after fall of Ceausescu in Romania
Named Iraq
1991 Pres Bush called on Iraqi military and people to overthrow Saddam twice
(Musings On Iraq article on how US encouraged 1991 uprising)
(Musings On Iraq interview with National Univ of Singapore’s Fanar Haddad on the impact of the 1991 uprising)
1991 US Task Force 1-41 first Coalition troops to cross into Iraq to carry out recon and combat missions
1991 US 1st Cav Div launched probing attack into Iraq
1991 US Task Force 1-32 breached Iraqi defensive berm and entered Iraq in deception attack to convince
Iraq that invasion would come through Wadi Al-Batin
2001 US and UK planes bombed Iraq’s air defense system as part of no fly zone
2002 VP Cheney told Council on Foreign Relations action needed to be taken against Saddam for his
aggressive actions support of terror WMD threat
(Musings On Iraq book review Iraq’s Future The aftermath of regime change)
2003 Protests in more than 600 cities around world against going to war with Iraq
2003 Bush told Rumsfeld to slow troop deployments because getting ahead of diplomacy
2006 Study Iraqi insurgency dominated by few large groups Sunni identity became basis for groups
Had no program for future of Iraq Iraqi insurgents rejected politics Believed they could win
2007 Pres Talabani claimed Mahdi Army commanders had left Iraq for Iran because Sadr supported the
Surge and wanted Baghdad secured Sadr and militiamen had fled to avoid being arrested and killed by U.S.
2009 Iraq Election Comm said fraud took place in 14 of Iraq’s 18 provinces but only effected small fraction
of votes
(Musings On Iraq article on voter fraud in 2009 provincial election)
2010 Maliki reversed order to have all raids authorized by him Came after he protested US-Iraq raid on
Kataib Hezbollah

Thursday, February 14, 2019

PM Mahdi Launches Latest Anti-Corruption Initiative In Iraq

(Iraqi Parliament)

At the end of January 2019 Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi announced his new anti-graft campaign. That focused around a new Supreme Anti-Corruption Council. Every Iraqi administration since 2005 has said that it would stand up to theft and stealing, but they have done little to actually combat it. Mahdi’s effort is likely to go the same way.

This Day In Iraqi History - Feb 14

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

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Possible Breakthrough In 5 Month Deadlock Over Forming New Kurdistan Govt

Iraqi Pres Salah and PUK politburo member Rasul (Rudaw)

In September 2018 Kurds went to the polls to elect a new Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). Five months later it appears that the two main parties the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) might finally have a deal to create a new ruling coalition.

This Day In Iraqi History - Feb 17

1917 British crossed Shumran bend outflanking Ottoman forces in campaign to recapture Kut 1981 UN Rep Palme went to Ir...