11-01-14

The American Spring: US left Iraq in violent pieces

iraq.jpg.jpg

Fallujah.Iraq.jpg

November 1, 2013 - US spent trillions and left Iraq in violent pieces

As Iraq's prime minister visits Washington, BBC North America bureaux chief Paul Danahar, who was based in Baghdad during the US-led invasion, says the country America left behind is broken, and Middle Eastern strong men are flexing their muscles.

Only people with no long-term vested interest in the well-being of the subjects of a state could have conjured up Iraq.

Neither the country nor the political power structures within it would have naturally come about without the intervention of foreigners.

The Arab nationalism of Saddam Hussein's Baathism was a reaction to the selfish audacity of colonial rule.

The above is also broadly true in Syria. Neither country now necessarily has a future within its present borders.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-24730270

09-01-14

American spring: More than 13,000 Iraqi families flee Fallujah

Fallujah.Iraq.jpg

More than 13,000 Iraqi families flee Fallujah after gunmen takeover

January 8, 2014

More than 13,000 families have fled Fallujah in the past few days amid clashes and shelling after the city fell to al-Qaeda-linked militants, the Iraqi Red Crescent said on Wednesday.

Masked gunmen remained in control of Iraq's Fallujah Wednesday even as traffic police returned to the city's streets after a jihadi group urged to keep fighting the government.

Fallujah and parts of the Anbar provincial capital Ramadi farther west have been outside government hands for days - the first time militants have exercised such open control in major cities since the height of the insurgency that followed the 2003 US-led invasion.

Red Crescent official Mohammed al-Khuzaie said in a statement that the organization had provided humanitarian assistance to more than 8,000 families in the past three days across the Anbar province.

"Most of them are now living in schools, public buildings or with relatives," Khuzaie said.

Earlier on Wednesday, two areas of Fallujah saw brief clashes and shelling, witnesses said, but it was not immediately clear who was involved in the fighting.

The traffic police, whose sole responsibility is directing vehicles and controlling intersections, were back on the streets in several parts of central Fallujah, an AFP journalist reported.

They were apparently back on duty with the blessing of the gunmen, whose allegiance was not immediately clear.

The gunmen were deployed in areas around the edge of the city, at the entrances of neighborhoods, and on bridges - including one from which the bodies of American contractors were infamously hung in 2004, prompting the first of two US assaults on Fallujah that year.

Read more at: http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/more-13000-iraqi-families-flee-fallujah-after-gunmen-takeover

===

December 6, 2013 - Pentagon approves $1.1 billion Raytheon missile sale to Saudi Arabia: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/06/us-raytheon-saudi-missiles-idUSBRE9B50SF20131206

December 12, 2013: ‘No one is expecting a tank invasion of Saudi Arabia anytime soon, but the kingdom just put in a huge order for U.S.-made anti-tank missiles’:http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2013/12/12/why_is_saudi_arabia_buying_15000_us_anti_tank_missiles_for_a_land_war_it_will_ne#sthash.otwdA4hc.dpbs

December 17, 2013 - Saudi Arabia Will Go It Alone “Saudi Arabia has global responsibilities and we will act to fulfill these responsibilities, with or without the support of our Western partners”http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/18/opinion/saudi-arabia-will-go-it-alone.html?hp&rref=opinion&_r=0

In 2010, the US made the largest arms sale in its history, selling $60 billion’s worth of jets and attack helicopters to the Arab kingdom. Saudi Arabia is also a major exporter of oil to the US, though its highly unlikely OPEC would support a slow down or boycott over the kingdom’s political gripes with the US.  Israeli personnel in recent days were in Saudi Arabia to inspect bases that could be used as a staging ground to launch attacks against Iran, according to informed Egyptian intelligence officials… 

April 6, 2013 - 'The Arab Spring Started in Iraq'
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/07/opinion/sunday/the-arab-spring-started-in-iraq.html?_r=0

Iraq: Fallujah falls to Al Qaeda

Fallujah.Iraq.jpg

January 8, 2014 -  Fallujah falls to Al Qaeda, veterans question illegal Iraq war

With the fall of Fallujah to Al-Qaeda affiliated terrorist group the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, many veterans of the Iraq war and the massive fighting that took place in Fallujah during the US occupation are beginning to realize that their sacrifice and the ultimate sacrifice paid by many of their comrades was completely and totally for nothing, and for many veterans that is a truly hard pill to swallow.

The fall of Fallujah and the fact that Al-Qaeda linked terrorists and murderous Sunni radicals now control the Anbar province where Fallujah is located and where approximately 1,500 US troops lost their lives during the Iraq war further underlines the complete and total failure of an illegal aggressive war based on complete and total lies and might also cause those who served their country and killed what are reported to be as many as one million Iraqis to finally wake up and realize that they were simply callously used. The fact that CIA-created-Al-Qaeda was never allowed to operate and had no presence in Iraq under Saddam Hussein only further brings to question what the US was really doing in Iraq and why the US-installed-puppet-government has done almost nothing to stop Al-Qaeda from taking over massive parts of the country. It is also of interest to note that US forces are being prevented from fighting Al-Qaeda elements.

Read more: http://voiceofrussia.com/2014_01_08/Fallujah-falls-to-Al-Qaeda-veterans-question-illegal-Iraq-war-8336/

---

January 8, 2014 - Armed groups demanding autonomy for eastern Libya have invited foreign companies to buy oil from ports they have seized in defiance of the central government in Tripoli.
http://www.euronews.com/newswires/2283888-libya-says-navy-blocks-oil-tanker-at-mutinous-eastern-port/

January 8, 2014 - Libyan threat to sink tankers pushes oil price higher
http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/libyan-threat-to-sink-tankers-pushes-oil-price-higher-1.2488808

05-12-13

Latest News Syria: Iran and Iraq

December 4, 2013

Tehran, (SANA) –  Iran and Iraq reiterated on Wednesday the call for a political solution to the crisis in Syria and stressed the political will on the highest levels of the two countries to continue work to reach this solution and to combat terrorism.

Iranian First Vice President, Isaac Jhangere, said at a joint press conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in Tehran that Iran and Iraq stressed since the beginning on the political solution to the crisis in Syria and rejected fueling violence in Syria.

He expressed hope that the international conference on Syria "Geneva 2" would reach a new agreement to resolve the crisis in Syria with the help of the two countries and regional countries.

Jhangere stressed that ending violence in the region is the demand of the peoples and it entails the political will on the highest levels of the countries, adding that Iran and Iraq have such will to end violence.

Iraqi Prime Minister stressed support to the unity and stability of all countries in the region, the political solution and non-interference in the domestic affairs of other countries.

F.Allafi

http://213.178.225.235/eng/22/2013/12/04/516049.htm

Latest News Syria: Iraq

Iraq PM in talks on Syria during Iran trip

December 4, 2013

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki arrived in Iran on Wednesday, state television reported, for two days of talks that will also focus on the conflict raging in Syria. It is Maliki’s first visit to Tehran since Hassan Rouhani, a relative moderate who champions engagement with the West, became Iran’s president in August after defeating a pool of conservative candidates in a June election.

Maliki’s spokesman Ali Mussawi told AFP in Baghdad the premier’s talks would focus on energy cooperation and “the necessity of fighting terrorism”.

http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2013_12_04/Iraq-PM-in-talks-on-Syria-during-Iran-trip-5395/

17-11-13

'Arab spring': Iraq

As we have already published here and there, there were some problems with this blog. The blog was  inaccessible for its administrators.

Hans Blix: ‘Iraq War was a terrible mistake and violation of U.N. charter’

Ten years ago the war in Iraq began.

On March 19, 2003, Iraq was invaded by an “alliance of willing states” headed by the U.S. and UK. My U.N. inspection team and I had seen it coming — and I felt an emptiness when, three days before the invasion, an American official called me to “ask” that we withdraw from the country.

While we were sad to be ushered out in the midst of a job entrusted to us by the U.N. Security Council — one that we were doing well — there was a certain relief in knowing we had all made it out safely. We had worried that our inspectors might be taken hostage, but as it turned out the Iraqis had been very helpful during our time there.
So it was that a few hundred unarmed U.N. inspectors left Iraq, to be replaced by hundreds of thousands of soldiers who began an occupation that would have a horrendous cost in lives, suffering and resources.

I headed the U.N. inspections in Iraq at the time of the war 10 years ago. Today, I look again at the reasons why this terrible mistake — and violation of the U.N. charter — took place and explore if any lessons be drawn. Here are my thoughts.

After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, George W. Bush’s administration felt a need to let the weight and wrath of the world’s only superpower fall on more evil actors than just Afghanistan’s Taliban regime.
No target could have seemed more worthy of being crushed than Iraq’s brutal dictator, Saddam Hussein. Sadly, however, the elimination of this tyrant was perhaps the only positive result of the war.

The war aimed to eliminate weapons of mass destruction, but there weren’t any.

The war aimed to eliminate al Qaeda in Iraq, but the terrorist group didn’t exist in the country until after the invasion.

The war aimed to make Iraq a model democracy based on law, but it replaced tyranny with anarchy and led America to practices that violated the laws of war.

The war aimed to transform Iraq to a friendly base for U.S. troops capable to act, if needed, against Iran — but instead it gave Iran a new ally in Baghdad.

The Bush administration certainly wanted to go to war, and it advanced eradication of weapons of mass destruction as the main reason. As Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz has since explained, it was the only rationale that was acceptable to all parts of the U.S. administration.

The WMDs argument also carried weight with the public and with the U.S. Congress. Indeed, in the autumn of 2002 the threat seemed credible. While I never believed Saddam could have concealed a continued nuclear program, I too thought there could still be some biological and chemical weapons left from Iraq’s war with Iran. If not, why had Iraq stopped U.N. inspections at many places around the country throughout the 1990s?

However, suspicions are one thing and reality is quite another. U.N. inspectors were asked to search for, report and destroy real weapons. As we found no weapons and no evidence supporting the suspicions, we reported this. But U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfield dismissed our reports with one of his wittier retorts: “The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.”

Rumsfeld’s logic was correct, I believe, but it was no excuse for the American and British governments to mislead themselves and the world, as they did, by giving credit to fake evidence or assuming that if weapons items were “unaccounted for” that they must exist. They did not exist.

We inspected many hundred of sites, including dozens that had been suggested to us by various governments’ national intelligence organizations. In a few cases we found conventional weapons — but no weapons of mass destruction. The governments that launched the war claimed to be 100% convinced that there were such weapons, but they had 0% knowledge of where these weapons were.

Read more at: http://edition.cnn.com/2013/03/18/opinion/iraq-war-hans-b...

Hans Blix was the head of U.N. weapons inspections in Iraq (UNMOVIC) in the lead-up to the 2003 invasion.

===

Iraq Death Toll Reaches 500,000 Since Start Of U.S.-Led Invasion, New Study Says
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/15/iraq-death-toll_n_4102855.html

10-11-13

Latest News Syria: Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister

November 9, 2013

Baghdad, (SANA) – Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Hussain al-Shahristani said that his country affirms that the solution to the crisis in Syria should be political and carried out by all Syrian sides engaging in negotiations without foreign interference.

In an interview given to al-Mayadin TV on Saturday, al-Shahristani said that there are Arab countries which send weapons to terrorists Syria, and that these weapons also find their way to Iraq where they are used in terrorist attacks, noting that his country warned Saudi Arabia that they weapons they send to Syria are also being used to murder Iraqis.

He also said that a small country like Qatar has no right to interfere in other countries' affairs, calling on Qatar to review its policies and realize its actual scale and political weight.

Al-Shahristani said that the disagreement between Iraq and Turkey regarding the Syrian crisis is one of the causes of the tension between them, as Iraq favors a political solution while Turkey sends weapons to armed groups.

He pointed out that Al Qaeda and its affiliates like Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) reject those who disagree with them and mark them for death, noting that ISIS has expanded its activities, carrying out over 1,000 terrorist attacks in Iraq and more than 100 terrorist attacks in Syria.

H. Sabbagh

http://213.178.225.235/eng/22/2013/11/09/511602.htm

http://www.iraqinews.com/tag/syria/#axzz2kC8aX6Kb

06-11-13

Polio in Iraq and Syria

As a reminder:

Joint statement

Despite difficulties, polio immunization drive underway in Iraq

GENEVA, NEW YORK, AMMAN, 14 November 2006 - A national polio immunization drive to protect 4.8 million Iraqi children was launched by the Iraqi Ministry of Health. The campaign was delayed for a week because of security concerns across parts of the country.

Over the next five days, over 5400 mobile vaccinators will travel house-to-house across Iraq to immunize every child under five against polio.  The campaign will help to maintain Iraq’s polio-free status, a public health triumph for children won through several successful immunization drives such as this latest one. Iraq’s last polio case was reported in 2000.

UNICEF is providing oral polio vaccines (OPV) for the campaign, as well as transport and communication support to help vaccinators reach children even in Iraq’s most remote and insecure areas. The World Health Organization (WHO) has also provided vital assistance to the Iraqi government for planning the campaigns, training local health staff and providing incentives for vaccinators.

This is Iraq’s second polio campaign of 2006. The first campaign was held in April/May and immunized over 96per cent of the target population. The second round of the current campaign will take place in December. 

Polio is a highly infectious and incurable disease that can cause lifelong paralysis.  Most of its victims are children under five years old. Although polio has been driven from Iraq, a recent global resurgence of the virus has brought a renewed threat to the region. Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Sudan have all been re-infected since 2004, making this week’s campaign critical to safeguard Iraq’s children.

UNICEF and WHO commend the Iraqi Ministry of Health, and in particular the vaccinators themselves, for their great commitment to ensure the success of the current campaigns. The UN Agencies are calling on everyone in Iraq to facilitate the vaccination effort.

Iraq is part of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, the world’s largest public health drive spearheaded by WHO, Rotary International, the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and UNICEF.

http://www.unicef.org/media/media_36567.html

25-06-13

Colonial history: Turkey’s attempt to extend its control to Mesopotamia

Image

September 1922:
Turkish troops enter the Allied controlled demarcation zone around Gallipoli and encamp at Chanak. Allied governments are determined to prevent Turkey occupying Chanak and reinforcements, including a number of Royal Air Force (RAF) units, are rushed to the area.
Elements from Nos. 4, 25, 56, 203 207, 208, and 267 Squadrons are formed into the Constantinople Wing, which supports the garrison until the crisis is settled in August 1923.

5 September 1922:
After the First World War, Turkey makes strenuous attempts to extend its control to Mesopotamia (renamed Iraq in September 1921), going as far as massing troops on the Turkish-Iraqi border and infiltrating irregular forces into Iraq.

By August 1922, irregulars, working with the local Kurdish tribes, have occupied Rowanduz and are probing towards Rania and Sulaimaniya. During the month, a mixed column of Imperial troops and levies, sent to restore the situation, are forced to retreat and it is subsequently decided to evacuate Sulaimaniya. Eighteen Royal Air Force (RAF) transport aircraft participate in the evacuation, which begins on this date.

30 September 1922:
Following earlier British reverses during September 1922, a Turkish Army detachment crosses into Iraq and established a post at Koi Sanjak, within 40 miles of Kirkuk. After an ultimatum dropped on the post is ignored, air action begins against Koi Sanjak and the neighbouring villages and the Turkish detachment is forced to withdraw.

1 October 1922:
The Royal Air Force (RAF) assumes military control of Iraq and throughout the winter of 1922-23, irregular posts are located and attacked from the air.
These attacks form the first effective check on Turkish aspirations with air supply operations conducted in support of Royal Air Force squadrons operating from Kirkuk.

http://rafmuseum-1.titaninternet.co.uk/milestones-of-flig...

Photo: British Military Aviation in 1922