Sunday, April 22, 2018

Musings On Iraq In The News

I was mentioned by Coline Clarke and Haroro Ingram in "Defeating the ISIS Nostalgia Narrative" in Foreign Policy Research Institute. The article was also republished by RAND.

Review Foulk, Vincent, The Battle for Fallujah, Occupation, Resistance and Stalemate in the War in Iraq


Review Foulk, Vincent, The Battle for Fallujah, Occupation, Resistance and Stalemate in the War in Iraq, Jefferson and London: McFarland & Company, Inc.: 2007

The Battle for Fallujah is a bit misleading as the book is really about the period from 2003 when the U.S. forces first entered Fallujah until the 2nd Battle of Fallujah at the end of 2004. Each chapter has a theme such as kidnappings, car bombs, Moqtada al-Sadr and his uprisings, etc. It’s a quick read on what the American military was facing during this period of the Iraq War.

This Day In Iraqi History - Apr 22


1915 Lord Curzon asked why British should promise Basra and Baghdad vilyats
            to Arabs if they were fighting on Ottoman side
1916 British attacked Sannaiyat but Ottomans turned them back British suffered
            1,200 casualties
1923 British troops occupied Rowanduz in military campaign to subdue Kurds opposed
            to being included in new Iraq Mandate
1969 After Shah ended 1937 border treaty with Iraq Iran sailed ship down Shatt al
            Arab waterway in violation of treaty
1969 Iraq retaliated by expelling 10,000 Iranians for Shah ending 1937 border treaty
            over Shatt al-Arab waterway
1980 Khomeini revealed that Ayatollah Baqir al-Sadr had been executed and called for
            overthrow of Saddam
1991 Report that Iranian intel and Revolutionary Guard working in Iraq to help revolts
1998 Tariq Aziz letter to UN Said inspectors ignored last 7 yrs of progress Said intrusive
            inspections work of US to create justification for US military strike
2003 ORHA head Garner went to KRG to talk with Barzani and Talabani about interim
            Iraqi govt
2003 Barzani and Talabani suggested group of Iraqi advisers to help Garner rather than
            interim Iraqi govt
2003 Sadrists held second day of protests after its cleric Fartusi was arrested by US
2003 Only 10% of Baghdad’s electricity restored since city fell to US forces
2003 US sent 1000 more experts to look for Iraq’s WMD
2003 Chief UN inspector Blix told BBC US tried to discredit inspections at the Security
            Council
2003 UK general warned that British military not trained for postwar operations called
            for in Iraq
2003 NYTimes’ Miller told PBS NewsHour US found info on Iraq’s WMD Had
            destroyed stocks right before invasion Fooled UN inspectors
2004 Bremer said some Baathist officials would be able to return to their jobs
2004 After no real weapons turned over by insurgents in Fallujah Gen Conway said
            militants had days to do so or city would be attacked again
2006 Pres Talabani Asked Maliki to form new govt
(Musings On Iraq interview with Reuters’ Parker on Maliki’s biography)
(Musings On Iraq interview with Inside Iraqi Politics’ Sowell on whether Maliki became a dictator)
(Musings On Iraq interview with Historian Phebe Marr comparing PM Maliki with MP Said)
2007 ISI stopped bus and took 23 Yazidis off and executed them in Bashiqa, Ninewa
2008 Maliki promised $150 mil to rebuild Sadr City after fighting Mahdi Army was
            over
2009 16 Kurdish towns in Ninewa threatened to not cooperate with new Hadbaa run
            Ninewa council calling it Baathists
2010 Parliamentary election results were supposed to be certified but political disputes
            delayed that
2011 Protests in Baghdad, Mosul and other cities calling for release of prisoners better
services fighting corruption
2011 Sadr announced new social organizing project Munasiroon in Basra
2012 Attack on Najaf offices of Ayatollah Fayadh in wave of attacks against Iraq’s
            top clerics
2012 Turkey’s Erdogan compared Maliki to Saddam
2013 Tigris Ops Command stopped parliamentary delegation from visiting Hawija
            protest site after checkpoint attacked
2014 Pres Barzani threatened independence of Kurdistan if oil dispute with Baghdad
            continued
2015 Day after IS attacked Sahl al-Malih, Ninewa Peshmerga expelled Arab residents,
            looted and burned village

View the Iraq History Timelines 

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Review Fukuyama, Francis, America at the Crossroads, Democracy, Power, and the Neoconservative Legacy


Review Fukuyama, Francis, America at the Crossroads, Democracy, Power, and the Neoconservative Legacy, Yale University Press: New Haven and London, 2006

Neoconservatives were one of the main groups behind the 2003 invasion of Iraq providing much of the ideological justification for the war. The term was thrown around a lot in the media, yet few actually knew what it was about. For example, there was some talk about Leo Strauss and graduates from the University of Chicago where he taught, but what that meant in real terms or how it related to the Iraq war were largely left unexplained. That’s the reason why Francis Fukuyama’s America at the Crossroads, Democracy, Power, and the Neoconservative Legacy is important because it provides a short and concise summary and analysis of just what neoconservatism is and how it was connected to Iraq.

This Day In Iraqi History - Apr 21


1802 Wahabi army from Arabia sacked Karbala 2,000-5,000 killed
1917 Battle of Istabulat in Diyala started between British and Ottomans with
            the Turks being defeated
1926 Turks told British it no longer wanted Mosul just a stake in the province’s oil
(Musings On Iraq article on how Mosul province became part of Iraq)
1941 Hitler told military aid to Iraq could only be delivered by air and that would require
            stop in Syria which would need approval of Vichy France
1941 Hitler got intel of large British forces in Iraq and more arriving so was skeptical
            of providing aid to Gaylani govt
1981 Kuwait gave Iraq $2 bil interest free loan to help pay for Iran-Iraq War
1991 Iraqi govt forces began attack on southern marshes in Maysan Basra and Dhi Qar
            to root out rebels
2002 Telegraph reported Iraq supported Ansar al-Islam Al Qaeda affiliate in Kurdistan
2003 CPA created to take over running Iraq for US replacing ORHA
2003 ORHA staff and head Garner entered Baghdad Gen Franks had kept them out He
            didn’t want civilians to get in way of military
2003 Rumsfeld took advice of Gen Franks and cancelled sending 50,000 additional
            troops to Iraq from 1st Cavalry Div
2003 5,000 Sadrists protested arrest of its cleric Fartusi by U.S.
2003 NY Times article claimed Iraq had destroyed WMD right before war and moved
rest to Syria Story proved false
2003 NY Times article said Iraqi scientist told Americans Iraq had been working on
            WMD for years and led US soldiers to banned precursors
2003 Foreign Sec Straw told Blair he was skeptical evidence of Iraq’s WMD wound be
            found Thought it might be destroyed
2003 Iraqi scientist told US Iraq had destroyed WMD equipment right before invasion
            Had sent some to Syria since 90s Worked with Al Qaeda Story false
2003 2 US congressmen went to Syria and got Assad’s promise not to harbor any
            Baathists and expel those that tried to flee there
2004 Car bombs in Basra City killed more than 70
2004 CIA analyst told Congress no working relationship between Iraq and Al Qaeda
2006 United Iraqi Alliance nominated Dawa’s Nouri al-Maliki as new PM Mahmoud
            Mashadani of Accordance Front would become Speaker of Parliament
2008 Oil Minister objected to Kurds’ independent oil deals
2008 U.S .general said if Sadr didn’t hold back Mahdi Army US would fight them
2009 Sahwa in Adhamiya put “X”s on houses of displaced Shiites and told them
            not to come back
2010 State of Law said Sadr reason no new govt after elections because Sadr opposed
            to Maliki 2nd term
2011 Human Rights Watch report Govt arrested and tortured protesters in
            Baghdad and held some in secret prison at Muthanna Airport
2011 Drive by shooting on opposition radio station that supported protests in
            Sulaymaniya
2011 2 offices of Kurdistan Islamic Group attacked in Sulaymaniya
2011 Lawyers protested in Fallujah demanding US withdrawal and release of prisoners
2011 Clash in Mosul as army tried to stop demonstration
2011 Maliki told US joint chiefs head Adm Mullen ISF could handle security after
            US withdrawal
2011 5,000 Sadrists held march in Basra to commemorate formation of Mahdi Army
2013 Maliki blamed anti-govt protests for increase in violence in country
2013 Protest leader in Hawija said army had arrested 114 demonstrators after
            checkpoint was attacked and 1 soldier killed
2015 Pres Barzani and other KRG politicians complained about PKK being in Sinjar
            Claimed trying to take over district

View the Iraq History Timelines 

Friday, April 20, 2018

Iraq Delays New Round Of Auctions For Oil-Gas Fields


April 15, 2018, Iraq’s Oil Ministry was scheduled to take bids for eleven oil and gas fields along the Iranian and Kirkuk borders as well as offshore in the Persian Gulf. The Ministry was also rolling out a new contract for foreign energy companies, which they were supposed to receive two days before the auction. The new deals included linking oil prices to remuneration fees to the companies to try to mitigate against the constant ebb and flow in the international energy market. The introduction of new terms with a rushed bidding process was criticized, but 14 companies still showed interest. The Oil Ministry eventually backed down and delayed the auctions until April 25, so that it could continue changing the contracts. It likely took the advice that it was trying to push things ahead too quickly and taking more time would help all those involved.

This Day In Iraqi History – Apr 20


1921 Churchill wrote Iraq High Comm Cox that Feisal needed to be told all
British would be out of Iraq by end of year unless he gave up demands for more power
1941 Churchill told For Sec Eden that British troops landed in Iraq to establish a
            base in Basra to establish control of province
1948 Operation Hametz began with Jewish forces attacking Arab villages held by Iraqi
            volunteers in 1st Arab-Israeli War
1970 Bakr govt restored citizenship to Patriach of Assyrian community
1987 Iraq agreed to allow UN team to visit and investigate its use of chemical weapons
            in Iran-Iraq War
1988 End of last war of cities Iran-Iraq War Iraq fired 200 missiles at Iran killing
            2000 Iran fired 77 missiles at Iraq
1988 End of 3rd Anfal campaign that targeted PUK in Sulaymaniya Civilians were
            rounded up and put into camps Mass executions
(Musings On Iraq article on Anfal campaign)
1991 Bush White House didn’t think Saddam was going to be overthrown anymore
            after Gulf War
1991 SCIRI claimed it started attacks upon govt forces in southern Iraq Came after
            Shiite revolt put down
1991 Kurds went to Baghdad to hold talks with Saddam to end revolt
1991 500 Marines landed in Kurdistan to set up safe-haven for displaced Kurds
2002 Gen Franks briefed Bush on Iraq war plans Franks said he wanted to cut timeline
            by 1/3 and could start with 180,000 troops
2003 US forces arrested Sadrist cleric Fartusi leading to days of protests
2003 ORHA head Garner held meeting Said top priority was getting to Baghdad and
            establishing its presence
2003 ORHA head Garner said when staff got to Baghdad had to get Iraqi ministries
            up and running
2003 ORHA staff finally allowed to enter Iraq by US military
2003 Report US wanted long term military relationship with Iraq and use of up to 4
            bases
2003 Report Kurds expelled 2000 Arabs from Daquq, Kirkuk
2003 Apr 10-20 up to 40 people killed in Arab-Kurd violence in Kirkuk city
2003 UnderSecDef Feith cancelled State Dept plan to set up Kirkuk committee to
            return displaced set up compensation etc
2004 US forces surrounded Najaf that was under control of Mahdi Army
2006 Jaafari stepped down as Iraq’s premier under pressure from Sadr Kurds US
            Said he wouldn’t give up office until Ayatollah Sistani told him to
2007 ISI sent letter to Ansar al-Sunnah apologizing for past attacks and asking for
            unification Ansar said no
2007 Ramadi sheikhs said they would turn Awakening into political party to run in
            09 provincial elections
2007 Abu Sheibani captured by US Was deputy of network that delivered EFPs from
Iran to militias
(Musings On Iraq interview with Galen Wright of Arkenstone blog on on Iranian arms shipments to Iraqi militias) 
2008 Sadr said he gave final warning to Baghdad to stop offensive against his
            followers
2008 Report that Thar Allah head Sinawi executed in Baghdad after being
            captured in Basra during Charge of Knights
2009 Kurdish Alliance complained about Hadbba rule in Ninewa excluding them
2009 Suicide bomber in Iraqi army uniform attacked US soldiers visiting Baquba
            mayor killing 11
2011 Mass grave found in Anbar with more than 800 bodies in it Victims of
            Saddam
2011 Arab League delayed summit in Baghdad due to Iraqi govt complaints
            about crackdown in Bahrain against Shiites
2011 Independent TV station and a Kurdish poet said they were attacked by security
            forces during crackdown on protests
2011 Protest in Fallujah demanded withdrawal of ISF after man killed by army
2012 Oil Min said Exxon could continue work at West Qurna oil field despite signing
oil deal with Kurds
2012 Sadr met with KRG PM Barzani in Tehran to talk about removing Maliki
2012 Pres Barzani gave speech saying power sharing agreement after 2010 elections
            was dead due to Maliki
2012 Pres Barzani speech said that PKK would not be tolerated if continued to use
            violence
2012 Maliki called Turkey a hostile country
2013 Provincial elections held in 12 of Iraq’s 18 provinces No voting in KRG or
            Ninewa, Kirkuk and Anbar
2014 Anbar Ops Command announced offensive to retake Fallujah while Anbar
            council said no op started
2015 IS held ceremony where Ramadi sheikhs gave it baya
2015 80 Anbar sheikhs called on Abadi to provide more military aid and called
            on Hashd to help fight in province


Thursday, April 19, 2018

PM Abadi’s Nasr List Opens National Campaign With Candidates In Kurdistan


Part of Prime Minister Haidar Abadi’s election campaign is hinged upon being a nationalist leader who represents all of Iraq. As part of that stance his Nasr list has opened offices in Kurdistan and plans on running candidates there.

This Day In Iraqi History – Apr 19


1916 German commander of the Ottoman forces in Mesopotamia Gen Goltz
            died of typhoid
1920 Start of San Remo meeting with Britain France Italy and Japan Decided on split
            up of Ottoman Empire and creation of Iraq
1922 Colonial Sec Churchill said King Feisal’s demand that mandate be dropped from        Iraq impossible under League of Nations that created mandate
(Musings On Iraq article on Churchill’s views on Mesopotamia)
1941 British 20th Inf Brigade finishes its landing in Basra and 7 planes flown into
            Habaniya airbase
1969 Iraq expelled Shiites claiming they were Iranians Backed Iran dissident groups
            Claimed Khuzistan due to Shah voiding 1937 Shatt al-Arab Treaty
1981 Revolutionary Command Council member Tariq Aziz said he hoped for better
            relations with US but skeptical it would happen
1983 Baath meeting in Amara over army desertions in southern Iraq Came up with
            military operation to arrest them
1990 White House rejected limiting high-tech exports to Iraq that could be used for
            military
1990 Saddam met with Yasser Arafat and discussed retaliatory attacks upon Israel and
            US if Iraq was attacked
(Musings On Iraq article on Saddam’s motivation for threatening Israel before the Kuwait invasion)
2002 UK intel report Iraq not seen as a threat in Middle East except by Kuwait
2003 Protest in Baghdad’s Adhamiya against U.S. occupation
2003 Gen Mattis said that U.S. didn’t have enough troops to secure Iraq
2003 Turkey threatened to send troops if Kurds took over Kirkuk
2004 Marines and Fallujah leaders worked out deal for insurgents to turn over heavy
            weapons
2005 Report US intel discussed what torture techniques they could use on Iraqi
            prisoners in Aug 03 including electrocution
2006 NGO Survey found 19,548 kidnappings from Jan to April 2006
2006 KRG parliament proposed creating Natural Resource Ministry to run region’s
            oil industry
2007 ISI announced that Abu Ayub al-Masri was War Minister
2008 Sadr said he would continue to fight US and Maliki until stopped operations
            against his group
2008 ISF took Sadr stronghold in Hayaniya, Basra Fighting in Nasiriya as well
2008 Al Qaeda’s Muhajir called on Sunni Iraqis to unite behind ISI
2010 State of Law called for revote after lost to Iraqiya Charged fraud but no
irregularities found
2011 Protest in Diwaniya over better work conditions broken up by police
2011 Sulaymaniya govt banned all demonstrations in city after protests broken up
            day before
2012 Anbar councilman said province would move towards federal region
2012 ISI set off car bombs in Baghdad Kirkuk Samarra Baquba, Dibis 35 killed
            more than 100 wounded
2012 After meeting Pres Barzani Turkish officials accused Maliki of spreading
            sectarianism
2013 Checkpoint outside Hawija protest site attacked 1 soldier killed Led to stand
            off between 2 sides
2013 Hawija site was run by Naqshibandi that wanted to provoke confrontation with
            ISF to push demonstrators towards violence
2014 Head of Ninewa Operations Command accused of extorting money and arresting
            people for ransom
2014 Protest in Baghdad and other provinces for reform


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Ziad Qatan, Allawi Govt Defense Official Wanted For Corruption Extradited By Jordan


On April 15, 2018, a former Defense Ministry official under Prime Minister Iyad Allawi was extradited by Jordan. In September 2017, a Jordanian court approved Ziad Qatan’s deportation to Iraq, and he was arrested in January 2018. He finally arrived in Baghdad in April to coincide with the 6th ministerial conference of the Arab Network for the Promotion of Integrity and Combating Corruption. Premier Haidar Abadi’s office trumpeted his detention as a sign that the government was following through with its promise to fight corruption. That is a main part of the PM’s re-election campaign. Ziad Qatan is accused of stealing up to $800 million during the Allawi period.