Thursday, January 18, 2018

Churchill In His Own Words On Mesopotamia/Iraq


A recent article outlined how England’s War and later Colonial Secretary Winston Churchill’s main focus after World War I was to save money. England had expended a huge amount to fight the war, and then faced continued obligations and conflicts in Ireland, Palestine, Russia, Turkey, and Mesopotamia/Iraq. In the latter, the British had seized the Ottoman provinces of Basra and Baghdad as part of a strategy to attack the Turks from the east. After the war, it took Mosul as well. The question was then what to do with them.

This Day In Iraqi History - Jan 18


1981 Saddam accused Iran of getting US spare parts despite US embargo
1981 UN Envoy Palme warned that superpowers may get involved in Iran-Iraq War
1987 Iran ended Op Karbla 6 seized western bank of Shatt al-Arab Iran-Iraq War
1991 Iraq launched missiles at Israel and Saudi Arabia at start of Gulf War
1991 Iraqi terrorist tried to blow up US ambassador’s house in Indonesia in retaliation for Gulf War
1993 US UK and France carried out air and missile strikes on Iraq for not cooperating
            with UN inspectors
1996 Iraq agreed to talk about UN Resolution 986 that would create Oil For Food
            program
2003 UN inspectors said sites named by US as WMD facilities had been looked at
            and nothing found
2003 Report Saudis attempted to get Saddam to go into exile to avert war
2004 Truck bomb hit US headquarters at Republican Palace Baghdad Killed 20
            wounded more than 100
2008 Fighting broke out between Soldiers of Heaven and Iraqi forces in Nasiriya and Basra  

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Security In Iraq, Jan 8-14, 2018


The number of security incidents remained low for the second week of January 2018. There were very few attacks and casualties. The week did see the return of mass casualty bombings by the Islamic State.

This Day In Iraqi History – Jan 17


1974 Bakr govt held talks with Mustafa Barzani and KDP
1987 Iraq conducted missile and air strikes on Tehran and other major cities 3rd War of
the Cities Iran-Iraq War
1988 Mahdi Hakim killed in Sudan by Iraqi intelligence
1989 US report said Iraq was working on typhoid cholera anthrax for its chemical
            weapons program
1990 Iraq ended foreign travel ban for citizens
1990 Bush admin signed directive for normalized relations with Iraq
1991 Operation Desert Storm-Gulf War started to expel Iraq from Kuwait Coalition
            began air campaign against Iraq
1993 US UK and France carried out air and missile strikes on Iraq for not cooperating
            with UN inspectors
2002 Gen Franks briefed his commanders at CENTCOM on initial Iraq war plans for 1st
            time
2003 CIA report said Iraq had rebuilt its nuclear program Said were reports Iraq tried to
            buy uranium from Africa
2003 CIA told Joint Chiefs of Staff that it had some reports that Iraq tried to buy
            uranium from Africa
2003 Blair agreed to 1 UK division and 3 combat brigades for Iraq War to be deployed
            in south
2003 UN inspectors after 4 inspections said Fallujah II chlorine plant inoperative US
            claimed it was producing WMD
2008 Hawija Dist Head said Sahwa would be formed there Didn’t need Peshmerga
2010 Chemical Ali sentenced to death for Halabja attack
2011 Parliament passed VP law taking away their power

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

This Day In Iraqi History - Jan 16


1948 Communists led protests against new Anglo-Iraq Treaty Fired upon by police
            4 killed Led to large sectors of country to turn against treaty
1981 UN Envoy Palme visited Iran and Iraq to try to negotiate ceasefire in war
1995 UN asked Iran to relocate 4,000 Shiite refugees away from border which Iraq
            had claimed was being used for base for attacks
2003 UN inspectors found 12 missile warheads that could carry WMD not included
            in Iraq’s 2002 weapons declaration
2003 Blair told cabinet 2nd UN resolution was not necessary for military action against Iraq even 
            though he was told it was
2003 Future ORHA head Garner met with Rumsfeld and UnderSecDef Feith Rumsfeld
            said no coordination of postwar planning
2003 Rumsfeld told future ORHA head Garner he needed to consult with different US
            agencies coordinate postwar plans
2003 Garner said in WWII US spent years planning for postwar and he was only given
            a few weeks for Iraq
2003 CIA received docs claiming Iraq-Niger uranium deal Sent to State Dept to be
            translated Turned out to be fakes
2003 UnderSecDef Feith memo to Rumsfeld said Iraq-Syria pipeline should be kept
            open after invasion to see whether Syria would cooperate with US
2004 US military spokesman Gen Kimmit talked about allegations and investigations
            into Abu Ghraib prison abuse
2004 30,000 Protested in Basra against U.S. installing an unelected provincial govt
2012 Baghdad complained to Turkey’s ambassador about Ankara accusing Maliki of
            spreading sectarianism Turkey did same to Iraq’s ambassador to Ankara 

Monday, January 15, 2018

PM Abadi’s Alliance With Hashd’s Fatah List Comes And Goes


A day after Prime Minister Haidar Abadi announced that he had made a deal with the Hashd’s Fatah list it was cancelled. January 11 was the Election Commission’s deadline to sign up coalitions for the upcoming vote. Instead of ending talks between parties, it seemed to only accelerate them even though they could no longer run together. At that time, Prime Minister Haidar Abadi was in discussions with the Fatah group made up of 20 pro-Iran Hashd factions. The two disagreed over where Abadi and Fatah leader Hadi Amiri of Badr would be on the ballot, each wanted to be listed first, with talk that the latter also wanted to replace Abadi as prime minister. Those differences were overcome, and the two signed an agreement on January 14. That just meant the two would cooperate as they could not be an official alliance. Abadi had two inspirations for this move. First, was to isolate Vice President Nouri al-Maliki who was hoping to depose Abadi. The VP aligned with the pro-Iran Hashd during the war against the Islamic State hoping to achieve that, but in recent months they have moved away from each other. Second, Abadi wanted to hold onto the premiership, so even though he and Fatah have diametrically opposed views on Iraq he was willing to come to an agreement with them for short term gain. Within a day however, the two moved apart.

This Day In Iraqi History – Jan 15


1923 UK Treasury wrote Iraq commission that Iraq too costly to administer
1929 Sir Henry Dobbs said King Faisal was like a chameleon and drove those
            around him mad
1935 Persia presented border dispute to League of Nations Challenged Iraq’s
            control of Shatt al-Arab
1948 New Anglo-Iraqi Treaty signed British troops withdrew but Iraq tied to
            UK until 1973
1948 Anglo-Iraq Treaty originally included Iraq supplying weapons to Palestinians and
            Iraqi forces taking over Palestine to prevent Jewish state
1983 Saddam went to Riyadh and got approval for oil pipeline through Saudi Arabia
1991 UN deadline for Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait ended
1991 Saddam added Allah Akbar to Iraqi flag
2003 CIA told White House that paper on Iraq should say Iraq tried to buy uranium
            from Africa
2003 Blair said 2nd UN resolution not necessary for use of force against Iraq
2003 Report Rumsfeld okayed more aggressive patrols over Iraq no fly zones and
            attacks on Iraq air defense in prep for invasion
2003 Bush received 1st brief on postwar Iraq plans from NSC’s Abrams Went over
            humanitarian aid Emphasized feeding public
2003 Abrams said money had to secretly be sent to aid groups that would work in Iraq
            because they didn’t want to be seen supporting war
2003 Abrams said Oil for Food program would be maintained after invasion to feed
            public
2003 Abrams said that 2 mil Iraqis might be displaced during invasion
2003 NSC officials had gone to military to make sure things like health centers weren’t
            bombed during invasion
2003 Bush thought humanitarian aid after war very important Thought could change
            image of US in Middle East
2003 Aid groups that met with USAID about postwar Iraq plans asked to meet with
            Pentagon leadership Nothing happened
2004 Shiites demonstrated calling for direction elections for new Iraqi govt
2006 Al Qaeda in Iraq created Mujahedeen Shura Council to try to cooperate with
            other insurgent groups
2006 Shura Council was in part created due to Al Qaeda’s suggestion Zarqawi include
            more Iraqis in his jihad
2006 Army of the Victorious joined Mujahadeen Shura Council
2006 US announced more than 2000 military police would work with Iraqi police in the
            field as advisers during Year of the Police
2006 Report $18.6 bil US approved for reconstruction in 2003 would be spent by end
            of 2006 Foreign govts provided only fraction of what they promised
2006 Report Japan pledged $5 bil in reconstruction funds in 2003 Delivered less than
            50% of that Saudi Arabia and Kuwait pledged $1 bil and gave less than 10%
2006 Report Spain England S Korea UAE Italy Canada owed more than $100 mil
            each for their 2003 promises for reconstruction funds
2008 SecState Rice told Talabani Barzani Hashemi Mahdi that Maliki not problem
            they were because they controlled more votes  
2014 Bodies of 14 Sunni men found in Tarmiya day after they were kidnapped by
            men in ISF uniforms and vehicles


Sunday, January 14, 2018

Musings On Iraq In The News

I was mentioned by Paul Iddon in "Did Iraq's takeover of Kirkuk give ISIS breathing room?" for Rudaw.

It’s Official PM Abadi and VP Maliki Will Run Separately In 2018 Elections


The Dawa Party officially announced what many were expecting the last month or so. The party said that it would not run in the 2018 elections, thus allowing its members to run separately. That meant that Prime Minister Haidar Abadi could run on his Nasr list and Vice President Nouri al-Maliki could maintain his State of Law. The party made this decision rather than break apart. As Harith Hasan al-Qarawee pointed out, Dawa feels that it needs to maintain control of the premiership to remain relevant. It therefore thought it best to keep the façade of unity despite the deep divide between those two figures.

This Day In Iraqi History – Jan 14


1991 Saddam called on Iraqis to fight to the death to hold Kuwait
1992 Iraq admitted to UN inspectors that it was trying to enrich uranium to build a
            nuclear bomb
1999 ABC reported on Dec 98 meeting with Iraqi intelligence officer and bin Laden
2002 UK Def Min analysis said weaknesses of INC outweighed its strengths
2003 Bush told press time running out for Saddam
2003 Bush met Polish Pres Kwasniewski Said he would support US in war but asked
            about consequences
2003 UK Attn Gen Goldsmith told Blair that 2nd UN resolution was needed to have
            legal justification for war with Iraq
2004 Gen Sanchez ordered investigation of abuses at Abu Ghraib prison
2004 US troops killed 2 civilians at anti-American protest in Fallujah
2010 Joint U.S.-Iraqi-Peshmerga patrols announced for Mosul to increase cooperation
            between Baghdad and Irbil on security
2012 Bombings of Shiite pilgrims during Arbayeen leave 190 casualties
2012 Turkey’s Foreign Min Sinirlioglu visited Pres Barzani in Irbil without going to
            Baghdad
2013 Maliki released 300 prisoners in concession to Sunni protests