Saturday, January 20, 2018

How US Intelligence Failed, The Iraq-Niger Uranium Story

Within the U.S. intelligence community that story that Iraq tried to buy yellowcake uranium from Niger was never very important. It was a considered a secondary claim to other reports that Iraq had restarted its nuclear program. It would later become a huge controversy when it was included in the president’s 2003 State of the Union address, and then Vice President Dick Cheney tried to discredit former Ambassador Joseph Wilson who disputed the story. That embarrassing episode was only the public face of a larger example of the intelligence failure America suffered from in the lead up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

This Day In Iraqi History – Jan 20


1948 March by railway workers and students against Anglo-Iraq treaty fired
            upon by police killing some
1970 failed military coup against Pres Bakr led by ex-Gen Rawi and Col Samarraie
            backed by Iran
1970 Iran expelled Iraq’s ambassador military attache and four embassy staff over
            failed coup
1970 Shah of Iran opposed to Baathism’s Pan-Arabism and socialism Moved troops
            to border after coup leading to war scare
2003 Military Industrialization Commission ordered its director generals to come
            forward with any info on WMD
2003 White House gave report to Congress on Iraq’s noncompliance with UN inspectors
            included Iraq not mentioning trying to buy uranium
2003 National Sec Presidential Dir 24 gave Pentagon control of postwar Iraq
2003 Pentagon would dismiss previous NSC planning for postwar Iraq and kick out
            State Dept officials
2003 Office for Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance (ORHA) created to
            run post-war Iraq 2 months before invasion
2003 UK announced it deployed ground forces for Iraq War
2003 France’s For Min deVillepin said there was no justification for war against Iraq
2003 Powell furious at French statement because took threat of war off table at UN
            and strengthened Saddam
2004 Bush’s State of the Union said US was committed to spreading democracy to
            Iraq
2004 Bush’s State of the Union said Iraq Survey Group found Iraq’s WMD programs and
            if US hadn’t invaded Iraq would still have them
2006 Dec 05 election results announced United Iraqi Alliance 128 seats Kurds 53
            Accordance Front 44 Iraqiya 25 National Dialogue Front 11
2006 Al Qaeda in Iraq said Abdullah Rashid al-Baghdadi had become emir of new
            Mujahedeen Shura Council
2006 Amb Khalizad met with Iyad Allawi and Fadhila head Jabiri Jabiri promised PM
            spot if he broke with United Iraqi Alliance and backed Allawi Sunnis and Kurds
2006 Iyad Allawi told his followers he would get Fadhila head Jabiri to back him as PM
            after he broke with United Iraqi Alliance
2007 Asaib Ahl Al-Haq in an Iranian Revolutionary Guard planned op attacked
            Karbala Center and kidnap and kill 5 US soldiers

Friday, January 19, 2018

This Day In Iraqi History - Jan 19


1948 Kurds from Iraq and Iran met in Baku, Soviet Union Mustafa Barzani
            led plans for Kurdish movement
1987 Iranian attack on Basra city caused population to start fleeing
1991 Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim said that Supreme Council was against U.S.
            aggression vs Iraq over its Kuwait invasion
1991 US 5th Special Forces Group entered Iraq to carry out covert ops behind Iraqi
            lines during Gulf War
1991 Iraqi terrorist tried to bomb US Information Service HQ in Philippines in retaliation for Gulf 
            War
1992 Report Saudis pushed US to help foment military coup in Iraq to topple
            Saddam
2003 US offered Saddam immunity if he departed Iraq to avert war
2003 Pentagon officials leaked info on US invasion plans of Iraq to Time to push back
            against Rumsfeld’s small invasion force
2003 Fmr UN inspector David Kay OpEd in Wash Post said UN weapons inspectors would never 
            find any hard evidence against Iraq
2004 Iraqi Governing Council went to UN to ask it for help with transition to
            sovereignty against wishes of CPA
2004 100,000 marched in Baghdad calling for early elections
2004 US Cmdr in Iraq Gen Sanchez ordered secret investigation into Abu Ghraib
            prison abuse
2007 US arrested Abdul al-Daraji and Ali Smaisin for running death squads for
Sadr
2014 Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi told his fighters to march towards Baghdad

View the Iraq History Timelines 

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

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


Thursday, January 11, 2018

How England Chose Feisal As 1st King Of Iraq


England ended World War I in control of three former Ottoman vilayets or provinces, Basra, Baghdad and Mosul, also known as Mesopotamia. What to do with the three vilayets became a top priority for London. Winston Churchill who was Secretary of War at the time and later Colonial Secretary was most concerned with cutting costs for Britain after the war. Throughout the year, he continuously wrote Prime Minister Lloyd George about how much England was wasting in Mesopotamia. He even lobbied to give up Mosul and Baghdad and just keep Basra for the money it could save. In 1921, Churchill and his advisers decided to form a government led by Feisal bin Hussein that would run the new country of Iraq, and thus save England from those expenses, while creating a regime dependent upon London.
Churchill seated center at 1921 Cairo Conference that determined the future of the new Iraq (Wikipedia)

This Day In Iraqi History – Jan 11


1917 Start of Battle of Hai salient between British and Ottomans
1928 Abdul Sadoun become premier for 3rd time Replaced Askari who was forced to
            resign over opposition to his conscription plan for army
1972 Kurds started rebellion against govt with support of US, Iran, Israel
1999 Newsweek report Iraq and Al Qaeda had meetings
2003 UK naval task force left for Persian Gulf for Iraq invasion
2003 Rumsfeld and Joint Chiefs head Gen Myers met Saudi Amb to US Bandar to get
            Saudi support for invasion
2003 Amb Bandar told Rumsfeld and Gen Myers he needed Bush’s word to get Saudi
            support
2004 Ayatollah Sistani rejected CPA’s plans for transition to Iraqi sovereignty and
            constitution
2004 Blair told BBC he didn’t know whether he was wrong or not about Iraq’s
            WMD
2004 Kurdish party headquarters bombed in Kirkuk city
2004 Fmr Treasury Sec O’Neill said Bush admin was focused upon Saddam from
            when it entered office Jan 2001
2006 Supreme Council head Hakim ruled out any substantive changes to Iraqi
constitution Blamed US and Sunni parties for insurgency claiming they encouraged terrorism
2006 Spanish police broke up recruiting network that raised money and sent fighters to
            Iraq in coordination with Al Qaeda in Iraq
2007 US arrested 5 Iranian Rev Guard Quds Force operatives in Irbil as part of
            new US crackdown on Iranians
2007 Were trying to arrest Jafari deputy head of Iran’s NSC and Gen Frouzanda head of
            IRGC intelligence
2007 KRG complained about raid Jafari and Frouzanda had invitations from Pres
            Talabani and were to meet Pres Barzani
2011 State of Law head of Baghdad council wrote law banning alcohol sales in
            province under Islamic Law
2011 Police started raiding bars and clubs selling alcohol including Iraqi Writers Union
2016 After suicide bombing at café Hashd killed Sunnis burned mosques shops and
            homes in Muqtadiya for several days


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Islamic State Sowing Seeds Of its Own Defeat?


Brian Fishman in his book The Master Plan, ISIS, Al-Qaeda, And The Jihadi Strategy For Final Victory argued that two of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s core beliefs were that most Muslims were not following their religion and that not only the leaders, but the rank and file of his organization could determine who was a true believer and who was not. Takfir, or apostate, was used extensively by Zarqawi’s followers and the Islamic State to justify attacks upon other Muslims.  Fishman believed this would eventually come to undermine the group because what would stop its members from eventually accusing the Islamic State of being takfir?

This Day In Iraqi History – Jan 10


1981 Iran accused Iraq of using napalm and chemical weapons on Ahvaz, Iran
1981 Iraq defeated Iranian attack in Susangard in one of largest tank battles in Middle
East Iran lost 300 tanks to 50 by Iraq
1984 Iraq announced plan to build oil pipeline to Jordan’s Aqaba
1991 Congress began debate on Bush’s request to use force against Iraq in Kuwait
2001 Clinton DefSec Cohen briefed Pres elect Bush on Iraq said Saddam contained
            and strong action vs Iraq would cause problems in region
2003 US official said Iraq was deceiving the IAEA about its nuclear program
2003 Bush met with 3 Iraq dissidents Rend Francke Hatim Mukhlis Kanan Makiya Bush
            said he thought Iraqis could have a democracy
2003 Mukhlis told Bush all Iraqis wanted Saddam out Makiya said removing Saddam
            would change US’s image in region
2003 Makiya told Bush that U.S. forces would be greeted with sweets and flowers in Iraq
2003 Mukhlis told Pres Bush if US troops didn’t win support of Iraqis Iraq
            would turn into Somalia in 2 months 
2003 NYTimes article IAEA challenged aluminum tubes story that they were for nuke
            program and Energy and State Depts thought they might be for rockets
2004 4 days of protests started in Kut Wasit over lack of jobs
2005 Bush said that U.S. would stick with January 30 election date for Iraq
2005 Ukraine announced it would withdraw its 1650 troops from Iraq after 8 soldiers
            killed in bombing
2005 Zarqawi’s forces assassinated Baghdad’s deputy police chief and his son
2007 Bush and Maliki individually announced troop Surge in Iraq


Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Security In Iraq, Jan 1-7, 2018


The start of the new year did not change the improved security situation in Iraq. The number of incidents creeped up, but were still low compared to much of 2017, and there were relatively few casualties. 

This Day In Iraqi History – Jan 9


1916 Battle of Sheikh Saad ended with British beating the Ottomans
1917 Battle of Mohammed Abdul Hassan between Ottomans and British
1917 British began assault upon Khadairi Bend fort
1959 Gen Qasim blocked Communists’ application to be recognized as political
            party
1990 Iraq opened 2nd oil pipeline with Saudi Arabia
1991 Sec of State Baker met with Iraq For Min Aziz and failed to end Kuwait
            crisis
1991 Bush sent Baker to Baghdad to convince people he was trying all options to
            resolve Kuwait crisis
1991 Baker warned Iraq not use to use WMD in upcoming Gulf War
1991 Iraq said that if it was attacked it would strike Israel
1991 Bush sent request to Congress to use force against Iraq in Kuwait
2002 CENTCOM commander Gen Franks briefed Rumsfeld on latest war plan
2002 Powell called Gen Franks concerned that Rumsfeld was trying to push as small
            an Iraq invasion force as possible
2003 Head UN weapons inspector Blix said no smoking gun found in Iraq but
            didn’t mean there were no WMD
2003 Head UN inspector Blix said Iraq’s Dec weapons declaration was incomplete
2003 White House spokesman said US knew for a fact Iraq had WMD
2003 Pentagon asked Jay Garner to head ORHA to run postwar Iraq 2 months
            before invasion He initially said no
2003 IAEA head El Baradei said aluminum tubes Iraq tried to buy were probably for
            rockets not nuclear program
2003 White House responded to IAEA saying Iraq spinning it over aluminum tubes
2003 Gen Franks briefed Bush on war plan Talked about Turkey’s refusal to allow in US
            troops
2003 Gen Franks worried about Jordan and Saudi Arabia staying on board for war
2003 Gen Franks said he’d be ready for invasion by Feb 03 but March would be better
2006 Foreign Min Zebari told Amb Khalilzad Ayatollah Sistani and Iran’s Gen
            Suleimani would likely pick next candidate for premier after 05 vote

Monday, January 8, 2018

PKK-Turkey Escalation In Northern Iraqi Kurdistan Interview With Journalist Frederike Geerdink


In the last six months of 2017 the Turkish government increased its bombings and shelling of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) positions in northern Iraqi Kurdistan. Casualties were rarely reported but many towns and villages were hit in these strikes. In response, in November and December the PKK attacked the Turks leaving several dozen casualties amongst its troops. To help explain this situation is freelance journalist Frederike Geerdink who specializes in the PKK. She can be followed on Twitter @fgeerdink

This Day In Iraqi History – Jan 8


1921 Churchill wrote Sir Percy Cox saying too expensive to maintain British
            Forces in Mesopotamia therefore Arab govt should be created to run things
1948 College student strike in Baghdad over Anglo-Iraq Treaty ended when arrested students were
            released by police
1966 Govt forces attacked KDP in Panjwin
1993 Iraq warned that it was in material breach of weapons inspections and would
            suffer consequences
2003 Bush met with Congressional leaders and said he would make case to Congress and
            US public for war with Iraq
2003 Bush met with Republican leaders saying Saddam wasn’t complying with UN resolutions and
            he would have to address US about war
2006 Bush admin meetings said US was on strategic defensive in Iraq
2008 6 churches in Mosul and Baghdad bombed
2008 Op Phantom Phoenix began to secure Baghdad and belts in Diyala Salahaddin
            Ninewa
2011 Inter Min Bolani claimed investigation into fake bomb detectors was a political
            move and no corruption in purchase
2011 Sadr gave homecoming speech after returning from Iran Said was religious
            obligation to resist the US occupation of Iraq


Sunday, January 7, 2018

This Day In Iraqi History - Jan 7


1916 British made second assault on Ottomans during Battle of Sheikh Saad
            taking part of the Ottoman defenses
1917 British made diversionary attacks along Tigris River to draw Ottoman forces
            away from Khadairi Bend fort
1969 14 hung in Baghdad after show trial over alleged Israeli spy ring uncovered by
            Saddam
1974 Baath Party congress organized by Saddam called for one party state
2003 IAEA went to Al Qaim facility 3rd time US claimed was an active Iraqi nuclear
            plant Found it destroyed
2004 Bremer met with Barzani and Talabani Kurds said they wanted an
            autonomous region not provinces in new Iraqi constitution
2006 Report US held talks with insurgents inside and outside Iraq since fall
            2005 Not much progress said to have been made
2006 Report insurgents expressed complaints and splits with Al Qaeda in Iraq
2010 Accountability & Justice Comm banned 511 candidates from 14 lists from
            election

Saturday, January 6, 2018

This Day In Iraqi History - Jan 6


1909 Riots in Mosul killed Sheikh Said Sufi leader in Sulaymaniya Led his
            followers to revolt cutting off trade in northern Mosul province
1916 start of Battle of Sheikh Saad as British forces moved up the Tigris and
            encountered the Ottoman defenses
1921 Govt issued order to form Iraqi General Staff Nuri al-Said became Chief of Staff
1942 Court sentenced fmr PM Gaylani and 3 Golden Square colonels to death in absentia
1948 College students went on strike in Baghdad after police broke up protest on Jan 4
            over Anglo-Iraq Treaty
1949 Nuri al-Said became PM of Iraq for 5th time
1986 Iraq started operation to try to retake Majnoon Island from Iranians
1987 Iran launched Op Karbala 5 at Basra city with 4 divisions Seized Dujail
            Took east bank Shatt al-Arab
1987 Saddam called for ceasefire in Iran-Iraq War Rejected by Iran
2003 Saddam said he was ready for war Accused UN inspectors of being spies
2003 IAEA asked State Dept for info about Iraq-Niger uranium deal
2003 IAEA head El Baradei no evidence of any suspicious Iraq nuclear activities
2003 Bush met with cabinet and said needed strong case vs Iraq for war
2003 Report 100 US Special Forces and 50 CIA officers had been sent into Iraq end of
            2002 along with Australian Jordanian British commandos
2003 Report US Special Forces CIA officers were in Iraq since 2002 to find military
            targets for invasion
2004 2 Frenchmen shot and killed in Fallujah after car broke down
2015 4 bodies found in Albu Bahani, Babil believed to have been kidnapped and
            executed by Hashd