Wednesday, April 25, 2018

No Enforcement Of Foreign Funding Law In Iraqi Election


The Iraqi Election Commission continues to fine parties for violations of campaign rules before May’s voting. Those include the lack of good conduct, putting up materials in the wrong places and times, etc. There are much bigger violations going on that the Commission has done nothing about. That is enforcing the ban on foreign funding for campaigns.

This Day In Iraqi History – Apr 25


1920 San Remo Agreement created British Mandate in Iraq France agreed to
            give up Mosul vilyat in return for oil concessions in Iraq
(Musings On Iraq article on how Mosul province became part of Iraq)
1929 Iran officially recognized Iraq as a country Hadn’t before due to complaints of
            mistreatment of Persians in Iraq
1991 Kurdish parties agreed to deal with Saddam including autonomy to end
            revolt after Gulf War
1991 Turkey told UN 30,000 Iraqi Kurds had entered Turkey in 2 days and 220,000
            were on there way as Kurdish uprising put down
1994 Iraqi govt announced completion of Mother of all Battles Irrigation Canal meant to
            drain southern marshes to drive out displaced and rebels
1995 Turkey’s Op Steel ended Withdrew 20,000 troops but left 15,000 in Kurdistan
1998 Was story that bin Laden sent delegation to Iraq for Saddam’s birthday and
            Uday agreed to train Al Qaeda Report false
2002 For Sec Straw said UK had to stand up to “bullies” like Saddam
2002 IAEA report that during inspections in 1990s Iraq’s nuclear program was
            dismantled and no ability to produce nuke material
2003 US arrested ex-Iraq Amb to Tunisia Farouk Hijazi who reportedly met with Al
            Qaeda in 90s and cited as proof of Iraq-Al Qaeda ties
2003 Bush said Iraq’s WMD were either hidden or were destroyed but US would find
            them
2003 White House official told NY Times Iraq may not have had WMD just agents to
make them
2003 Only Iraqi policemen to help US in Fallujah executed outside his house
2003 US Cmdr in Iraq Gen Franks said didn’t know how long it would take to
            rebuild and stabilize Iraq
2003 Iraqi opposition met in Madrid but failed to agree on an interim govt
2004 Marine generals met with Iraqis to discuss creating a Fallujah brigade after 1st
            battle of Fallujah
2005 Iraq Survey Group found Gulf War and UN sanctions destroyed Iraq’s WMD
            programs and Saddam didn’t try to rebuild them
2005 Iraq Survey Group found no evidence that Iraq’s WMD were sent to Syria
2005 White House said Iraq Survey Group found Saddam wanted WMD in the future
2006 Memo by Gen McCaffrey said that Iraqi army was making real progress but was
            badly equipped lacking armor air support etc
2006 Memo by Gen McCaffrey said Iraqi police heavily infiltrated by insurgents and
militias Said that Al Qeada in Iraq had been defeated as a strategic threat to the Iraqi govt
2008 Sadr said he was only opposed to US occupation not Maliki govt
2008 Report Badr and Mahdi Army setting up checkpoints and killing each other in
Qadisiyah and Baghdad
2008 Maliki said all parties supported his crackdown on Sadr and sign of reconciliation
2008 Maliki said if Sadr disarmed dropped politics turn in wanted militiamen would
stop Charge of Knights
2008 Fmr Under Sec of Def Feith said he warned of postwar chaos in Iraq but
            was ignored and Pentagon was on top of issue not State or CIA
2009 Gorran List founded by former PUK leader Mustafa
2009 Shiites protest in Khalis, Diyala claiming Baathists taking over new provincial
council after elections
2009 Arab tribes in Makhmour and Qaraj demanded Asayesh withdraw claiming
            harassment
2010 Iraqi Airways flew to London for first time in 20 years
2010 Court upheld Accountability and Justice Comm banning 52 winning candidates
            for Baathist ties
2011 Maliki claimed power had been decentralized in response to national protests
2011 ISF tried to stop protesters from gathering in Mosul Led to clash killing 1
            demonstrator and wounding 9 others
2011 Protest in Ramadi demanding US withdrawal close secret prisons and stop
            Iranian influence in country
2011 Peshmerga Minister accused Kurdistan Islamic Group and Kurdistan Islamic
            Union of being saboteurs and fostering jihadists
2011 Kurdistan Islamic Union said KRG had cut its monthly budget
2011 Soldiers and KDP security got into shoot out in Kirkuk City after brother 12th Div
commander killed a taxi driver and was arrested
2011 Speaker Nujafi said Iraq didn’t need US troops anymore and any extension
            would have to go through parliament
2012 Accordance Front and Iraqiya threatened no confidence vote against Maliki unless
he followed Irbil power sharing agreement
2012 Pres Barzani said that unless Maliki shared power would be a revolt by
            other ruling parties Said Maliki was like a dictator
2013 Maliki gave TV speech saying security would be restored after ISF attack
            on Hawija protest site led to spike in violence
2013 Heavy fighting in Mosul 10 police and 31 insurgents killed
2014 Boko Haram pledged support to ISIS
2014 US sent intelligence officers to assist Iraq with fighting insurgency, started
            training Iraqi Special Forces in Jordan
2014 KRG offered North Oil Company to use its pipeline to Turkey
2014 Report that insurgents were split over whether to support elections or not
2015 Abadi said Hashd should include all Iraqis from all backgrounds
2015 Kudish Alliance said opposed National Guard in disputed areas because
            peshmerga could secure them
2015 Yazidi militia leader Haider Sesho said that Yazidis would form their own
            party in Sinjar and be independent of KDP
2015 IS took over army base in Thar Thar, Anbar 141 soldiers killed in fighting
2017 Turkey bombed PKK positions in Sinjar Ninewa


Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Security In Iraq Apr 15-21, 2018


April has been different from previous months during the year. Each week the number of security incidents has gone up and down. The two main trends during the third week of April was the ongoing fighting between the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and Turkey in northern Kurdistan and more attacks upon candidates and political parties before next month’s parliamentary elections.

This Day In Iraqi History – Apr 24


1916 British attempt to re-supply besieged garrison at Kut failed
1920 UK gave France 25% of Turkish Petroleum Company in return for agreeing to
            British mandate in Iraq
1941 PM Gaylani and Mufti of Jerusalem met with Italian amb Told him they were
            angry Axis had done nothing to help Iraq vs British
1974 Iraqi planes bombed Qala Diza during Kurdish rebellion killing 130
1991 Kurdish leaders announced tentative deal with Saddam over autonomy and
            returning refugees who fled during revolt
1999 Were clashes between Iraqi forces and Iraqi opposition in south
2002 Gen Franks me with commanders in Qatar Said they needed to start war
            preparations
2003 Bush said Iraq might have destroyed its WMD before invasion but US would
            find them
2003 NY Times article Iraqi scientists said Saddam expanded WMD programs and
            secret facilities but destroyed stocks Wasn’t true
2003 US seized warehouse in Baghdad thought to contain WMD agents Proved false 
2003 Trailer found near Mosul was suspected of being mobile WMD labs Turned out
            not to be
2003 Dep PM Tariq Aziz surrendered to US Said Iraq had no WMD
2003 INC’s Zubeidi declared himself mayor of Baghdad
2003 ORHA head Garner met with 60 Iraqis in Kut to talk about security and how city
            should pick city council
2003 ORHA head Garner blamed Iran for anti-US protests in Kut
2003 ORHA head Garner said INC’s Chalabi was not US’s choice to run Iraq and
            Iraqis could pick their own leaders
2003 Gen McKiernan ground commander in Iraq told ORHA’s Garner security #1
            priority for postwar Iraq
2003 Rumsfeld called Powell to propose Paul Bremer as new presidential envoy to Iraq
2003 Rumsfeld called Garner and told him he would be replaced by Bremer Garner said
            he would quit Rumsfeld asked him to stay
2003 Rumsfeld said that Iraqis could form any govt they wanted as long as it wasn’t
            a theocracy like Iran’s
2003 UN Res 1476 extended Oil For Food Program past US invasion
2003 2 drive by shootings on US base in Kut, Wasit
2003 Was anti-American march in Kut, Wasit
2003 UK cabinet agreed to expand control from Basra & Maysan to Dhi Qar and
            Muthanna despite warnings might not have capabilities to deal with them
2003 UN SecGen Annan said US Coalition had to follow intl law as occupying
            power in Iraq US rejected occupier title
2004 US reported that 40% of Iraqi police deserted during Sadrist uprising in
            Najaf and Kut
2004 Insurgents launched boat attack upon Basra oil terminal killing 2 US sailors
2006 Sunni politicians accused SIIC of taking over Interior Min and staffing it with
            Badr militiamen and killing civilians
2006 Zarqawi released video portraying himself as military commander in Iraq
2006 Fmr CIA officer Drumheller said Iraq war was a policy failure by White House
            not intel one Said Bush committed to war no matter what the intel
2006 Iraqiya MP said new Maliki govt wasn't national unity one but just Shiite
            Kurdish and Sunni parties dividing up ministries
2008 ISF gained full control of central Basra from militias during Charge of Knights
2008 Captured ISI letters showed complaints about War Min Masri not consulting
            with others and didn't take criticism
2008 Captured letters said ISI was passing off old Zarqawi videos as new operations
2009 2 suicide bombers targeted Baghdad’s Khadmiya shrine
2011 Ayatollah Haeri in Iran issued fatwa against extending US troop presence in
            Iraq past 2011
2011 Sadrists said they opposed any troops extension for US past end of year
2011 Kurd opposition parties said KRG could either negotiate with protesters or
            suppress them
2011 Press freedom group said 226 violations by KRG against media trying to cover
            Sulaymaniya protests
2011 Bomb at Sacred Heart church in Baghdad
2011 6,000 protested in Mosul demanding reform and releasing prisoners
2012 Sound bomb at offices of Ayatollah Najafi in wave of attacks upon leading
            ayatollahs
2012 Pres Barzani said that Exxon would follow through with its contracts to work
            with KRG despite threats from Baghdad
2013 Maliki called for dialogue with Sunni protests after raided and killed protesters in
            Hawija Also called for law and order
2013 Mutahidun complained Maliki allowing militias to operate in Iraq
2013 Insurgents took control of Suleiman Beq, Salahaddin after ISF attacked
            Hawija protest site
2013 Hawija protest group announced that it was joining Naqshibandi after ISF
            attacked protest site
2014 Was fighting between ISIS and Military Council in Fallujah
2015 report that ISF were charging displaced Anbaris money to get into Baghdad


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.