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

Saturday, January 13, 2018

2017 More Returns Than Displaced In Iraq


The International Organization for Migration (IOM) released its end of the year report for displacement in Iraq and found that more people returned to their homes than were displaced in 2017.

This Day In Iraqi History – Jan 13


1916 Ottomans retreated 10 mil up Tigris after defeat of Battle of Sheikh Saad
            and were beaten again by British at Battle of Wadi
1968 6 ministers from Pres Arif’s govt resigned after anti-govt protests demanded
            return to democracy
1972 Bakr govt said it would take power away from Iraq Petroleum Company
1983 Report China was supplying both Iraq and Iran with weapons during Iran-Iraq
            War
1987 Iran started Op Karbala 6 in Qasr-e-Shirin central Iran to divert Iraqi forces
            from Basra Freed 100 sq mi of Iranian land
1991 UN Sec Gen deCuellar went to Baghdad to try to avert Gulf War
1993 US UK and France carried out air and missile strikes on Iraq for not cooperating
            with UN inspectors
1998 Iraq stopped work with UN inspectors complaining about too many US and UK
            members
2003 Bush met Saudi Amb Bandar Gave assurance that US would remove Saddam
2003 Bush told Powell he’d decided on war and needed his support Powell said he
            would back president
2003 Powell reminded Bush that if US invaded Iraq it would have to run the country
2003 Powell decided he had to play out diplomacy with Iraq at UN despite Bush’s
            decision to go to war
2003 NSA Dir Adm Hayden ordered decentralization of intel so that it could be
            distributed to combat units during Iraq invasion
2003 Blair TV speech said Iraq could give WMD to terrorists and US and UK could
            act against Iraq without 2nd UN resolution
2003 Lord Goldsmith told Blair and Foreign Sec Straw that there needed to be a 2nd
            UN resolution against Iraq to go to war
2003 State Dept intel analyst told other analysts Iraq-Niger uranium docs were probably
            fake 2 CIA analysts said they saw problems with docs but didn’t think fakes
2003 UnderSecDef Feith called ex-Gen Jay Garner to run postwar Iraq and he accepted 2
            months before invasion
2003 IAEA head El Baradei said inspectors needed a few months to finish work in Iraq
2004 US soldier in 800th Military Police reported abuse by his unit at Abu Ghraib prison
            and handed over photos
2005 Fmr Sec State Baker said US occupation of Iraq undermined US support for war
            and made US look imperialist in Middle East
2005 Ayatollah Sistani representative assassinated in Baghdad
2005 US National Intelligence Council Iraq became new terrorist training ground in
            world replacing Afghanistan
2006 Report after US forces handed over Saddam palace in Tikrit in Nov 2005 Iraqi
            forces and Salahaddin officials looted it
2010 Joint Iraq-Peshmerga-US checkpoints opened in Diyala’s disputed territories to
increase cooperation amongst parties
2014 Tribal Military Council tried to unite all the insurgent groups in Fallujah

Friday, January 12, 2018

Alliances Announced For Iraq’s 2018 Elections


Iraq’s Election Commission announced that January 11 was the deadline to register alliances for the 2018 balloting. As usual, there were several new coalitions, largely based upon the latest rivalries.

This Day In Iraqi History – Jan 12


1968 Baghdad Univ student strike demanded return to parliamentary govt and
            elections
1991 Bush administration authorized by Congress to use force to make Iraq
withdraw from Kuwait
1998 1st day of new UN weapons inspections Iraq rejected personnel because of American members
2003 State Dept intel analyst sent email to intel community arguing that Niger docs
            were fakes
2003 State Dept told White House docs claiming Iraq-Niger uranium deal were fakes
2003 IAEA said it would be hard to believe that Iraq was hiding a complete nuclear
            weapons program
2006 Gen Peterson head of US training mission said that 200,000 Iraqi police would
            finishes courses by end of 2006 in what was dubbed Year of the Police
2006 Report Albu Mahal tribe in Qaim west Anbar turned on Al Qaeda in Iraq and
            formed Desert Protection Force to fight it
2006 Report US hoping to exploit splits between insurgency and Al Qaeda in Iraq
2008 Accountability & Justice Commission replaced deBaathification Commission
2011 12 ISI members escaped from Basra prison
2011 Kuwait Premier and Foreign Affairs Min arrived in Baghdad for first high
            level meet between 2 countries since 1990