Friday, September 30, 2022

Review The Prince of the Marshes, And Other Occupational Hazards Of A Year In Iraq

Stewart, Rory, The Prince of the Marshes, And Other Occupational Hazards Of A Year In Iraq, Orlando, Austin, New York, San Diego, Toronto, London: Harcourt Inc, 2006


 

Rory Stewart was a British Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) official in Maysan and Dhi Qar provinces in southern Iraq. He was tasked with setting up local governments and starting construction projects. His book The Prince of the Marshes, And Other Occupation Hazards Of A Year In Iraq documents all the problems he faced trying to achieve those two goals. That included a CPA administration in Baghdad that didn’t care about the governorates, dozens of competing parties, sheikhs and tribes, and an uprising by the followers of Moqtada al-Sadr. His firsthand experience goes with others from this period who believed America made a hollow promise that it came to Iraq to create a democracy and rebuild the country.

This Day In Iraqi History - Sep 30 Qasim passed Agrarian Reform Law Broke up power of landlords who had ruled Iraq since Mandate


 

1922 PM Naqib Gaylani named new cabinet Was to pass new Anglo-Iraq Treaty before parliament

formed so it wouldn’t be debated

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Futility Of Sadr’s Position On Forming New Iraqi Govt

Sadrists stormed the Green Zone once again but to no avail (AP)

On September 28 Iraq’s parliament
met after a nearly two month hiatus and re-affirmed its confidence in Speaker Mohammed al-Halbusi who offered his resignation. The body then elected Muhsin al-Mandalawi as deputy speaker to replace Sadrist Hakim al-Zamili.

This Day In Iraqi History - Sep 29 Def Sec Rumsfeld ordered review of all Iraq war plans

(Reuters)

 

1914 Royal Naval dispatched ships to patrol Shatt al-Arab to protect Persian oil concessions

(Musings On Iraq review Iraq In World War I, From Ottoman Rule to British Conquest)

(Musings On Iraq review When God Made Hell, The British Invasion of Mesopotamia and the Creation of Iraq, 1914-1921)

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Chilcot Inquiry Section 9.2 23 May 2003 To June 2004


During the lead up to the 2003 Iraq War the Blair government was very optimistic. It believed that it could influence the Bush administration’s war plans and that everything would work out even when things didn’t go according to plan during the invasion. As soon as the occupation of Iraq began the British changed their tuned. They believed that the U.S. had no plan for postwar Iraq and that security was quickly deteriorating. They warned the Americans who largely ignored them.

This Day In Iraqi History - Sep 28 After invasion plan failed Saddam asked for ceasefire one week into Iran-Iraq War

(Biography)

1915 British attacked Ottomans at Es Sinn with frontal attack Ottomans held and then retreated at night

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

New Iraqi Alliance, Will Sadr Join To Form Next Iraqi Govt?

(AFP)

A new list is being put together in Iraq to try to break the political deadlock in the country and form the next government. It includes both rivals and allies of Moqtada al-Sadr. They hope to make an offer to Sadr to join them but it’s still an open question over whether he will or not.

This Day In Iraqi History - Sep 27 US published letter from Al Qaeda to Zarqawi Warned him about vanity Said he had to consult with Al Qaeda more and cooperate with other insurgent groups

(Wikipedia)

 

1915 Battle of Es Sinn began 1st move by British to take Kut from Ottomans

(Musings On Iraq review When God Made Hell, The British Invasion of Mesopotamia and the Creation of Iraq, 1914-1921)

Monday, September 26, 2022

Security In Iraq Sep 15-21, 2022


The Islamic State’s summer offensive might still be going on as there were double digit attacks by the group again during the third week of September. There were no incidents pro-Iran groups for another week.

This Day In Iraqi History – Sep 26 Bush told Def Sec Rumsfeld to secretly start Iraq war plans

(Life/Getty Images)

 

1914 Gen Barrow at India Office said UK had to stop Turkish-Arab alliance and declaration

of jihad which could spread to Afghanistan and threaten India UK should make show of force in Shatt al-Arab to deter Arabs from backing Ottomans and if war started should seize Basra vilayet

(Musings On Iraq review Iraq In World War I, From Ottoman Rule to British Conquest)

(Musings On Iraq review When God Made Hell, The British Invasion of Mesopotamia and the Creation of Iraq, 1914-1921)

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Friday, September 23, 2022

This Day In Iraqi History - Sep 23 Natl Sec Adv Rice said Iraq would be next stage in war on terror

(AFP)

 

1948 Shafiq Ades Jewish merchant in Basra hanged on accusation he smuggled weapons to Palestine Part

of anti-Jewish feelings that spread after creation of Israel

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Review No End In Sight, Iraq’s Descent Into Chaos

Ferguson, Charles, No End In Sight, Iraq’s Descent Into Chaos, New York: Public Affairs, 2008


 

No End In Sight, Iraq’s Descent Into Chaos is an expansion of a documentary about the Iraq war that Charles Ferguson made. It consists of over a dozen interviews the author did with former U.S. officials, journalists, Iraqis and more. It is a condemnation of the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq. He blames President Bush, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Coalition Provisional Authority head Paul Bremer for everything that went wrong. Most of the book is very informative and convincing but the last third gets a bit meandering as it loses focuses and goes into all kinds of topics such as withdrawing from Iraq, Iran’s role, what might have happened in Iraq and more.

This Day In Iraqi History - Sep 22 Iraq invaded Iran starting Iran-Iraq War


 

1961 After Barzani’s forces overran army and police outposts and pushed back pro-govt Kurdish

tribes Qasim ordered counterattack Iraqi air force bombed 500 villages destroying 270 of them

(Musings On Iraq review Kurds of Iraq, Tragedy and Hope)

(Musings On Iraq review The Kurds, A Modern History)

(Musings On Iraq review The Kurdish Revolt 1961-1970)

(Musings On Iraq review Journey Among Brave Men, Travels in Kurdistan)

(Musings On Iraq Explaining Kurdish Nationalism Interview With Teen Tech Univ Prof Michael Gunter)

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Chilcot Inquiry Section 9.1 March to 22 May 2003


The British were caught off guard by the post-war situation in Iraq. That’s because the Blair government had made so few plans for what it was to do the day after the invasion ended. There were mixed ideas about who would run Iraq, the security situation and deBaathification.

This Day In Iraqi History - Sep 21 Coup plot by PM Razzaq vs Pres Arif discovered Led to Baathist purge from govt

(Wikipedia)

 

1941 PM Midfai resigned over argument with Finance Min Kamal

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Chilcot Inquiry Section 8: The Invasion


The British entered the invasion of Iraq focused upon taking Basra province which they initially believed would be an easy task. They ended up getting much more than they were planned for. The UK found itself an occupying power afterward with no strategy on what to do.

This Day In Iraqi History - Sep 20 Bush talked with Blair about seizing Iraq’s southern oil fields

(AP)

1917 Sir Percy Cox made civil commissioner in Iraq

Monday, September 19, 2022

Security In Iraq Sep 8-14, 2022


It appears that the Islamic State’s short lived summer offensive is over after just one month. This was the latest sign that the insurgency is barely hanging on in Iraq.

This Day In Iraqi History - Sep 19 Bush again asked for report on Iraq-Al Qaeda ties after already told none existed

(Reuters)

 

1914 UK sent 3 gunboats to Shatt al-Arab to protect Persian oil fields

(Musings On Iraq review When God Made Hell, The British Invasion of Mesopotamia and the Creation of Iraq, 1914-1921)

Sunday, September 18, 2022

This Day In Iraqi History - Sep 18 PM Said threatened to expel Jews from Iraq over Israel


 

1916 British leaders told troops to continue advance in Mesopotamia vs Ottomans after huge loss

at Kut One of biggest British defeats in WWI

Saturday, September 17, 2022

This Day In Iraqi History - Sep 17 Mohammed al-Jamali became Iraq’s 3rd Shiite PM Included Kurdish Interior Min and 7 Shiite ministers most ever Presented reform plan blocked by landlords

(Wikipedia)

1953 Mohammed al-Jamali became PM Was a Shiite Cabinet included Kurdish Interior Minister 7

Shiites most ever and ministers from opposition United Popular Front and Independence Party Presented land and civil service reform which parliament rejected Landowners blocked land reform MPs blocked civil service reform accusing Jamali of sectarianism

(Musings On Iraq review The Chatham House Version and other Middle-Eastern Studies)

(Musings On Iraq review Iraqi Statesman, A portrait of Mohammed Fadhel Jamali)

(Musings On Iraq review Relations Of The People to The Land In Southern Iraq)

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Review The Saddam Hussein Reader, Selections From Leading Writers On Iraq

Munthe, Turi, Edited by, The Saddam Hussein Reader, Selections From Leading Writers On Iraq, New York: Thunder’s Mouth Press, 2002


 

The Saddam Hussein Reader, Selections From Leading Writers On Iraq was put together by Turi Munthe, an editor at I.B. Tauris Publishers to provide some background to the coming U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. It has 38 selections from people both for and against Saddam Hussein. Any anthology will be up and down because of the variety of authors. This collection however is noted for how many bad pieces it included.

This Day In Iraqi History - Sep 15 Bush said he thought Iraq involved in 9/11 and would be dealt with later

(History.com)

1934 PM Ayubi Jawadat called for new elections Hoped to pack parliament with his followers

who were loyal to King Ghazi by fixing vote Parliament criticized for being overly Sunni

(Musings On Iraq review Iraq’s Democratic Moment)

(Musings On Iraq review Independent Iraq 1932-1958, A Study in Iraqi Politics)

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

How Could The US Get Iraq’s WMD So Wrong?


There is a well known argument that the United States simply lied about the Iraq threat and its weapons programs to justify the war. The presidential and Senate investigations reject that line of thought and so does Charles Duelfer who was the deputy head of the United Nations inspectors in Iraq in the 1990s and then in charge of the Iraq Survey Group which searched for weapons of mass destruction after the 2003 invasion. In his book Hide And Seek he has an example of how U.S. intelligence made assumptions about Iraq which became the basis for all of its reports and assessments about WMD.

This Day In Iraqi History - Sep 14 Iraq helped found OPEC


1929 Acting Iraq High Commissioner Air Vice Marshal Brooke-Popham told King Faisal that UK

had not changed its position on new Anglo-Iraq Treaty or Iraqi independence

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Monday, September 12, 2022

Sadr Has 2 Setbacks In Latest Iraq Govt Formation Drama

(AFP)

In Iraq’s on going political soap opera Moqtada al-Sadr has faced two new setbacks.

This Day In Iraqi History - Sep 12 Pres Bush asked govt to look into whether Iraq involved in 9/11

(White House)

 

1915 British forces launched campaign to capture Baghdad starting in present day Wasit

(Musings On Iraq review Enemy On The Euphrates, The Battle For Iraq 1914-1921)

(Musings On Iraq review When God Made Hell, The British Invasion of Mesopotamia and the Creation of Iraq, 1914-1921)

Saturday, September 10, 2022

This Day In Iraqi History - Sep 10 1st Iraqi cabinet formed under new King Faisal govt

(Wikipedia)

 

1921 1st Iraqi cabinet formed under newly coronated King Faisal Abd al-Rahman al-Gaylani became

Iraq’s 1st PM

(Musings On Iraq review The Role of the Military In Politics, A case study of Iraq to 1941)

(Musings On Iraq review The Chatham House Version and other Middle-Eastern Studies)

Friday, September 9, 2022

This Day In Iraqi History - Sep 9 Sheikh Abu Risha announced the Anbar Salvation Council to fight Al Qaeda in Iraq in Ramadi

(Wikipedia)

1914 India Viceroy requested 3rd ship to be sent to Shatt al-Arab and to seize Basra vilayet

before start of WWI

(Musings On Iraq review Iraq In World War I, From Ottoman Rule to British Conquest)

(Musings On Iraq review When God Made Hell, The British Invasion of Mesopotamia and the Creation of Iraq, 1914-1921)

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Review The Insurgents, David Petraeus And The Plot To Change The American Way Of War

Kaplan, Fred, The Insurgents, David Petraeus And The Plot To Change The American Way Of War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 2013


 

Journalist Fred Kaplan had a good idea behind writing The Insurgents, David Petraeus And The Plot To Change The American Way. He wanted to explain how a small group of U.S. army officers, academics and think tankers tried to incorporate counterinsurgency into military doctrine to save the failing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He goes into the ideas they shared, the books they read, the papers they wrote and their role in the two conflicts. Most of the book is about Iraq with only the last few chapters switching to Afghanistan under the Obama administration. Kaplan believed that counterinsurgency was institutionalized within the U.S. army, but the book has one gaping hole, an assessment of whether the new strategy worked or not.

This Day In Iraqi History - Sep 8 King Faisal died of a heart attack in Switzerland

(Financial Times)

 

 

1922 Gertrude Bell wrote that while King Faisal was beloved he was also weak because he was Oriental

Was in relation to Faisal’s demand for Iraqi independence which Bell believed was due to Faisal’s nationalist advisers that she saw as troublemakers

(Musings On Iraq review Gertrude Bell And Iraq)

(Musings On Iraq review Gertrude Bell, Explorer of the Middle East)

(Musings On Iraq movie review Letters from Baghdad)

(Musings On Iraq review Desert Queen, The Extraordinary Life of Gertrude Bell: Adventurer, Adviser to Kings, Ally of Lawrence of Arabia)

(Musings On Iraq review Inventing Iraq: The Failure of Nation Building and a History Denied)

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Islamic State Launches Belated Summer Offensive In Iraq


August saw the Islamic State finally launch its summer offensive. The number of incidents were still far below the previous years. Pro-Iran groups were also active during the month but a much lower level due to ongoing disputes over forming a new government.

This Day In Iraqi History - Sep 7 New Al Qaeda in Iraq War Min Masri called on members to kill an American and a Shiite in next 15 days

(Wikipedia)

 

1938 Iraq wrote UK saying Iran was threatening Shatt al-Arab waterway Iraq wanted outlet to sea via

Kuwait UK said Iran not threat because ally and Kuwait wouldn’t allow canal through its territory

(Musings On Iraq review Unholy Babylon, The Secret History of Saddam’s War)

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Iraq's Oil Exports And Revenue Decline In August 2022


When Russia invaded Ukraine setting off a spike in world petroleum prices Iraq was riding high. As the most oil dependent country in the world Iraq welcomed the boom because it had been suffering an economic crisis since 2020 when COVID and a dispute between Russia and Saudi Arabia led to a plummet in the market. Baghdad’s hopes for a better future look to be short lived as prices are declining ever so slightly month to month.

This Day In Iraqi History - Sep 6 Ali Hassan al-Majid ordered Kurdish families be deported and all males be arrested


 

1961 General strike by Kurds in Sulaymaniya and parts of Baghdad over Qasim govt not moving on

Kurdish demands

Monday, September 5, 2022

Security In Iraq Aug 22-28, 2022


Violence spiked during the fourth week of August in Iraq. That was largely due to a large number of attacks by the Islamic State across seven provinces.

This Day In Iraqi History - Sep 5 PM Said broke relations with Nazi Germany Arrested all Germans in Iraq and deported them to India


 

1920 Gertrude Bell wrote that Iraq was in the middle of a jihad during 1920 revolt

(Musings On Iraq review Enemy On The Euphrates, The Battle For Iraq 1914-1921)

(Musings On Iraq review Reclaiming Iraq, The 1920 Revolution and the Founding of the Modern State)

(Musings On Iraq review Gertrude Bell And Iraq)

(Musings On Iraq review Gertrude Bell, Explorer of the Middle East)

(Musings On Iraq movie review Letters from Baghdad)

(Musings On Iraq review Desert Queen, The Extraordinary Life of Gertrude Bell: Adventurer, Adviser to Kings, Ally of Lawrence of Arabia)

Sunday, September 4, 2022

This Day In Iraqi History - Sep 4 Saddam mobilized armed forces and ordered seizure of disputed border towns to find excuse to invade Iran

(Biography)

 

1921 Colonial Secretary Churchill memo said he supported Iraqi govt and independence to

maintain British influence in Iraq

(Musings On Iraq Churchill In His Own Words On Mesopotamia/Iraq)

(Musings On Iraq review Churchill’s Folly, How Winston Churchill Created Modern Iraq)

(Musings On Iraq review Supremacy And Oil, Iraq, Turkey, and the Anglo-American World Order, 1918-1930)

Saturday, September 3, 2022

Thursday, September 1, 2022

Review Tell Me How This Ends, General David Petraeus And the Search For A Way Out Of Iraq

Robinson, Linda, Tell Me How This Ends, General David Petraeus And the Search For A Way Out Of Iraq, New York: Public Affairs, 2008


 

Tell Me How This Ends, General David Petraeus And The Search For A Way Out Of Iraq by Linda Robinson is about the 2007 U.S. Surge when General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Croker attempted to use new techniques to break the cycle of violence in Iraq and bring about national reconciliation. Half of the book follows a great man in history narrative as Robinson focuses upon Petraeus as the right man at the right time to bring about change. The other part covers the politics of the war both in Washington and Baghdad. The author notes the dramatic reduction in violence the Surge brought about but then couldn’t tell whether that would lead to the necessary political transformations in Iraq because her work was published before the Surge ended.

This Day In Iraqi History - Sep 1 Colonial Sec Churchill argued for UK to withdraw from Iraq to save money


Islamic State’s Summer Offensive Ends With A Whimper

September 2022 marked the end of the Islamic State’s annual summer offensive. It paled in comparison to previous years in the number and typ...