Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Iraq’s Supreme Court Strikes Down Sending Money To Kurdistan Throwing Wrench Into PM Sudani’s Govt

(Al Jazeera)


On January 25 the Federal Supreme Court said that sending money to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) was illegal. The decision was the result of a lawsuit filed by Basra parliamentarian Mustafa Jabar Sanad. He was drawn to action by members of the Coordination Framework who are opponents of the Kurds and objected to the Kazemi and new Sudani governments sending monthly payments to the KRG without a budget agreement.

This Day In Iraqi History - Jan 31 Badr and Asaib Ahl Al-Haq blamed for retaliatory attacks in Diyala after bombing Killed civilians destroyed Sunni mosques and shops Told Sunnis they had to leave



1941 UK Foreign Office decided to give money to Regent to help him return to power

(Musings On Iraq review Persian Gulf Command, A History of the Second World War In Iran and Iraq)

(Musings On Iraq review Rashid Ali al-Gailani, The National Movement in Iraq 1939-1941)

Monday, January 30, 2023

Security In Iraq Jan 22-28, 2023

The Islamic State went back to barely being active in Iraq while pro-Iran groups carried out two attacks during the fourth week of January.

This Day In Iraqi History - Jan 30 Iraq held elections for parliament to write new post-Saddam constitution



1927 1st student strike in Iraq over Lebanese teacher writing book which attacked Shiites

Teacher fired and book banned Students called for freedom of speech and teacher be reinstated Broken up by fire dept and police Al-Ahali leaders arrested

(Musings On Iraq review The Modern History of Iraq)

(Musings On Iraq review Red Star Over Iraq, Iraqi Communism Before Saddam)

(Musings On Iraq review Iraq’s Democratic Moment)

(Musings On Iraq A History Of The Iraqi Communist Party Interview With Univ of East Anglia’s Johan Franzen)

Saturday, January 28, 2023

This Day In Iraqi History - Jan 28 UK claimed Mosul province which it took after WWI ended


1920 Turkish National Pact said Turkey gave up rights to all Ottoman provinces with Arab

majorities including Basra and Baghdad Did not include Mosul province which Turkey claimed had Turkish majority Kurds called Turks

(Musings On Iraq review Turkey, the US and Iraq)

Friday, January 27, 2023

This Day In Iraqi History - Jan 27 300-400 killed by police protesting against Anglo-Iraq Treaty

(Belfer Center)


1925 League of Nations Commission on Mosul arrived in province to protests Was to

determine who would get Mosul Iraq or Turkey Commission interviewed hundreds of locals and mapped economy land trade routes ethnicities

(Musings On Iraq review The Modern History of Iraq)

(Musings On Iraq How The Ottoman Province Of Mosul Became Part Of Iraq)

Thursday, January 26, 2023

This Day In Iraqi History - Jan 26 Saddam ordered most of Iraqi Air Force to fly to Iran to save it from Gulf War Never got planes back



1941 Cabinet met and decided to resign to force PM Gaylani to resign He refused PM asked

Golden Square officers to resolve dispute Regent said he could pick PM Told military to stay out of politics

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Review War and Decision, Inside The Pentagon At The Dawn Of The War On Terrorism

Feith, Douglas, War and Decision, Inside The Pentagon At The Dawn Of The War On Terrorism, New York: Harper Collins, 2008


Douglas Feith was the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy in the Bush administration. War and Decision, Inside The Pentagon At The Dawn Of The War On Terrorism is his attempt to answer the critics of the decision to invade Iraq in 2003. His problem was that he tried to make this argument using what was known in 2008 when the justifications for war had been disproven. He twists and turns events and omits others to try to say that Saddam Hussein was a threat to the United States while blaming the State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and Paul Bremer for everything that went wrong. War and Decision is an amazing example of verbal gymnastics but ironically exposes many of the problems with the Iraq War.

This Day In Iraqi History - Jan 25 Sadrists began attacks on protesters after Sadr withdrew his support for them

(Al Mirbad)


865 Mutazz acknowledged as the new Abbasid caliph in Baghdad

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Iraq Suffers As Dollar Increases In Value

(Al Sharqiya)

On January 23, Prime Minister Mohammed al-Sudani
fired the head of the Central Bank of Iraq Mustafa Ghaleb over the falling value of the dinar against the U.S. dollar. Ghaleb was scapegoated for the crisis in the economy caused by the U.S. Federal Reserve increasing interest rates to fight inflation which has increased the value of the dollar. Politicians have been complaining about the exchange rate and activists from the protest movement are planning on a demonstration on Wednesday over the matter. Since the dinar is pegged to the dollar there is little Baghdad can do about the issue other than attempt face saving measures such as getting rid of Ghaleb.

This Day In Iraqi History - Jan 24 Report Iraq bought fake bomb detectors for around $40,000 each Govt investigation claimed they worked when they didn’t



1969 Former MP Bajari during spy trial claimed opposition leaders were trying to

overthrow Pres Bakr’s govt

Monday, January 23, 2023

Security In Iraq Jan 15-21, 2023

The number of incidents by the Islamic State doubled during the third week of January compared to the last week. There was also another attack by a pro-Iran group something that has become rare in Iraq since last fall.

This Day In Iraqi History - Jan 23 Iraq Survey Group head Kay resigned Said didn’t think Iraq had any WMD

(David Kay)


1920 British cabinet decided Iraqi oil would be developed by a public company Foreign Secretary Curzon

overturned decision

(Musings On Iraq review The Modern History of Iraq)

Sunday, January 22, 2023

This Day In Iraqi History - Jan 22 Iraq set fire to 700 Kuwaiti oil wells during Gulf War



1921 Gertrude Bell wrote that British officers in Mosul province thought they could convince Kurds to

vote for Faisal as king in referendum They didn’t

(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)

Friday, January 20, 2023

This Day In Iraqi History - Jan 20 Office for Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance created to run Iraq 2 months before war


1915 UK troops and ships attacked Turks and Arabs in Ruta Creek, Basra Turned back Did wound Ottoman

commander in Basra who was sent to Baghdad

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

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Review We Meant Well, How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People

Van Buren, Peter, We Meant Well, How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People, New York: Metropolitan Books, 2011


Martin van Buren was a State Department official who was sent to Iraq for one year to head an embedded Provincial Reconstruction Team (ePRT) in 2009. His book We Meant Well, How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People reads like a travel journal. The highlight of the book is his description of how ridiculous the U.S. rebuilding effort was. That’s overshadowed by van Buren’s cynicism and immaturity which dominates his writing.

This Day In Iraqi History - Jan 19 Mulla Mustafa Barzani met with Iraqi and Iranian Kurds in USSR to discuss pan-Kurdish movement



1915 Ottoman governor of Baghdad wrote US consulate that British were distributing

money to clerics in Najaf and Karbala

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

KRG’s PM Barzani Blasts The PUK  

(Kurdistan 24)

The spat between the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) continues unabated. The latest example was Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG)
Premier Masrour Barzani saying that Sulaymaniya had been mismanaged and its revenues had been interfered with by officials for their own gain meaning ones from the PUK. He also said that the PUK had not handed over suspects in the death of a Kurdish colonel in Irbil. This was a reference to an intelligence officer who was going to switch from the PUK to the KDP and was killed with a sticky bomb in October 2022. That was followed by the KDP saying that the PUK ministers were rejecting their responsibilities by boycotting the KRG cabinet.

This Day In Iraqi History - Jan 18 UN inspectors said no WMD found at sites listed by US



1914 US consulate report UK forces in Basra under constant harassment by tribes

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

How Will PM Sudani’s Allies In The Coordination Framework React To His Comments About US Troops In Iraq?  


Iraq’s Prime Minister Mohammed Sudani
recently gave an interview with the Wall Street Journal where he said that there was no timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops from his country. He also said foreign forces were needed to help fight the Islamic State. His comments could lead to problems with his backers within the Coordination Framework.  

This Day In Iraqi History - Jan 17 Saddam ordered missile strikes on Israel during Gulf War


1913 US consul in Baghdad wrote if British took Mesopotamia there would be little resistance because

public so apathetic

Monday, January 16, 2023

Security In Iraq Jan 8-14, 2023  

Iraq was relatively quiet for another week. Security incidents were in single digits once again the second week of January while a pro-Iran group carried out a rare attack.

This Day In Iraqi History - Jan 16 Op Desert Storm to expel Iraq from Kuwait started



1943 Iraq declared war on Axis

(Musings On Iraq review Persian Gulf Command, A History of the Second World War In Iran and Iraq)

Sunday, January 15, 2023

Saturday, January 14, 2023

This Day In Iraqi History - Jan 14 Election Comm approved banning 511 candidates from 2010 election for Baathist ties Accountability & Justice Comm said more candidates and lists should be banned



1928 Abdul Sadoun became PM for 3rd time Would be PM 4 times Replaced Askari who was

forced to resign over opposition to his conscription plan for army Sadoun compromise between King and England to try to get Anglo-Iraq Treaty passed

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

(Musings On Iraq review Iraq Between the Two World Wars, The Militarist Origins of Tyranny)

Friday, January 13, 2023

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Review Republic Of Fear, The Politics of Modern Iraq

Makiya, Kanan, Republic Of Fear, The Politics of Modern Iraq, Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, 1998


Originally released in 1989 Kanan Makiya’s Republic of Fear, The Politics of Modern Iraq was a huge hit in the West as a diatribe against the rule of Saddam Hussein. The front cover has a blurb from the New York Times Book Review saying it was “required reading” to understand Iraq. Subsequent histories of the country would often cite this work. What people usually said about it however and what it was actually about are very different. Republic of Fear was not focusing upon the crimes of Saddam through murder, torture and imprisonment although it starts with that, but was actually an argument against Baathist ideology. Makiya argued that the problems with Iraq started with pan-Arabism and Baathism which led to Saddam but his thesis was deeply flawed and full of major problems.

This Day In Iraqi History - Jan 12 Churchill said Faisal might be best man to be king of Iraq



866 Papers of Abbasid Caliph Mutasin’s resignation signed

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Iraqi Oil Sees 6 Month Decline In Prices  

Iraq’s oil prices continue to slide downward as the bubble created by the Russian invasion of Ukraine has ended. That has led to a six month decline in the price for Iraqi crude.

This Day In Iraqi History - Jan 11 Mongol siege of Baghdad began Would kill entire population of city



1258 Mongols began siege of Baghdad Would eventually kill the entire population of the


Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Environmental Changes Forcing More Rural Iraqis To Migrate To Urban Areas  


The International Organization for Migration (ION) recently released survey results on the continued migration of Iraqis out of rural areas because of their changing environment. It found that over 68,000 people have been displaced in southern Iraq across 10 provinces.

This Day In Iraqi History - Jan 10 3 Iraqi exiles told Bush US forces would be greeted with sweets and flowers if they invaded Iraq

(White House)


1917 British failed at 2nd attack upon Ottomans at Khadairi Bend outside Kut

Thursday, January 5, 2023

Review Cobra II, The Inside Story of the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq

Gordon, Michael and Trainor, General Bernard, Cobra II, The Inside Story of the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq, New York: Vintage Books, 2007


Cobra II, The Inside Story of the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq by New York Times journalist Michael Gordon and former General Bernard Trainor is about the invasion of Iraq and the immediate aftermath. It is a traditional account of those events documenting how the U.S. focused upon overthrowing Saddam at the expense of planning for the aftermath. That led to instability and civil war in Iraq. It also makes the common argument that if the U.S. had only made better decisions like sending more troops Iraq could have worked out.

This Day In Iraqi History - Jan 5 Asaib Ahl Al-Haq’s Khazali released from prison in US-UK-Iraq deal to get release of British worker AAH kidnapped



1909 Riot in Mosul after Kirkuk soldier insulted a woman Organized by elites opposed to

Ottoman reforms 60 killed

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Violence Slightly Up In Iraq As Islamic State Launches Revenge Campaign  


Violence in Iraq slightly increased in December as the Islamic State launched a revenge campaign for the death of its leader. Pro-Iran groups also carried out one attack during the month. Overall attacks remained at an all-time low however.

This Day In Iraqi History - Jan 4 Gen Qasim gave up claims to Kuwait



1916 British attacked Shaikh Saad in campaign to relieve troops trapped at Kut Turned back

by Ottomans 600 British casualties

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Chilcot Inquiry Section 9.7 May 2008 To October 2009  

Section 9.7 of the Chilcot Inquiry covered the end of the British presence in Iraq. It dealt with two main issues. First was the aftermath of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s Charge of Knights security operation against Moqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army militia in Basra. The second was the timetable for the U.K.’s withdrawal from the country.

This Day In Iraqi History - Jan 3 US killed Hashd leader Abu Muhandis and Iran’s Quds Force cmdr Gen Suleimani in Baghdad for rocket attacks on US personnel

(Jason Institute)


1916 Sykes and Picot drafted deal on dividing Ottoman Empire Baghdad and Basra vilayets

would go to UK Mosul to France Would also include independent Arab state for Sharif Hussein

(Musings On Iraq review Empires of the Sand, The Struggle For Mastery In The Middle East 1789-1923)

Monday, January 2, 2023

Security In Iraq Dec 22-28, 2022  

Violence in Iraq remains at an all-time low. For the third straight week attacks by the Islamic State were in single digits. After a spike in casualties during the last week they were back to normal the fourth week of December. Despite recent press reports this shows that the insurgency is barely surviving in Iraq.

This Day In Iraqi History - Jan 2 ISIS seized control of Fallujah in aftermath of PM Maliki shutting down Anbar protests



1915 Suleiman Bey took over Iraq Command for Ottomans Called on Arab sheikhs to join war against

British and planned on retaking Basra

Sunday, January 1, 2023

This Day In Iraqi History - Jan 1 Qasim issued Law of Association promising legalization of political parties and civil liberties



1914 UK set out from Qurna, Basra north Found Tigris River had been blocked Gunboats

couldn’t follow Forced UK to retreat back to Qurna

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

This Day In Iraqi History - Jul 17 Gen Bakr led Baathist coup overthrowing Arif govt

  869 Deposed Abbasid Caliph Mutazz executed by Turkish soldiers ( Musings On Iraq review when baghdad ruled the muslim...