Monday, April 23, 2018

Number Of Displaced Continues To Drop In Iraq


The war against the Islamic State that started in 2014 caused the second major displacement of Iraqis since 2003. Over 5 million people left their homes. Now that the conflict is over, more and more people are returning.

This Day In Iraqi History – Apr 23


1917 British Samarra Offensive ended in victory over Ottomans British suffered
            18,000 casualties
1920 Ataturk gave speech demanding Turkey’s southern territories include Mosul and
            Sulaymaniya
(Musings On Iraq article on how Mosul province became part of Iraq)
1941 PM Gaylani asked for German military intervention in case of war with England
1941 London decided to land an entire division from India in Basra
1948 Kirkuk oil workers protested against Anglo-Iraq Treaty
1989 Ali Hassan al-Majid’s special powers over northern Iraq for Anfal ended
(Musings On Iraq article on Anfal campaign)
2003 Iraq oil started flowing for fist time since US invasion Iraq shut down oil flow
            day war started Mar 20
2003 USAID official told Nightline rebuilding Iraq could cost US $1.7 bil and
            Iraqi oil and donors would pay for rest
2003 ORHA head Garner came up with list of 9 objectives to accomplish for postwar
            Iraq including paying salaries return police and ministries etc
2003 White House said confident Iraq’s WMD would be found
2003 NY Times article Iraqi scientists told US Iraq destroyed all its WMD equipment
            before invasion US now looking for programs rather than WMD stocks
2003 NY Times article US would be getting info on Iraq’s WMD from Chalabi and
            INC
2003 Up to 3 mil participated in Arbaeen ceremony that had been banned under
            Saddam
2003 Protest in Kut, Wasit blocked US convoy for 4 hours
2003 Report thousands of Arabs were being evicted from Kirkuk by Kurds and
            forming militias to protect themselves
2003 1st US troops arrived in Fallujah 2 weeks after end of invasion
2004 Bremer said ex-soldiers welcomed back into army said complaints about
            deBaathification were legitimate US streamlining how it deal with prisoners
2004 US Cmdr in Iraq Gen Sanchez ordered investigation into military intel practices
            due to Abu Ghraib prison scandal
2005 UN Sec Gen Annan blamed US and UK for Iraq smuggling under Oil For Food
            program in 90s rather than UN
2009 KRG Premier Barzani criticized Hadbaa party for monopolizing all the seats
            on Ninewa council
2009 Iraq claimed it captured IS leader Abu Omar Baghdadi Didn’t happen
2010 5 car bombs hit Shiite mosques in Baghdad kill 72
2011 Karbala governor said province should think about becoming a federal region
2011 5,000 protested in Mosul demanding release of prisoners
2011 Sadrists marched in Baghdad against US occupation
2012 Iran tried to work out deal between Maliki and Sadr but failed Sadr moved
            into growing critic of Maliki’s rule
2012 Iraq’s Foreign Ministry called in Turkey’s ambassador complaining about
            Ankara’s interference in Iraqi politics
2013 Maliki ordered raid on Hawija protest camp run by Naqshibandi leading to over 40
            dead and 70 wounded
2013 Violence spiked in Iraq after Hawija raid and helped mark return of Iraqi
            insurgency
2013 Mohammed Abu Risha called for protesters to arm themselves after ISF attack
            upon Hawija protest site
2013 Clash between protesters and ISF in Ramadi 6 soldiers killed
2013 Fighting broke out between ISF and insurgents in Suleiman Beq
2013 British court found maker of fake bomb detectors guilty of 3 counts of fraud
2016 Fighting broke out again between Hashd, Turkmen vs Peshmerga Kurds in
            Tuz Kharmato


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.