IRAQ HISTORY, A
GUIDE TO UNDERSTANDING TODAY'S SITUATION IN IRAQ
L A May 8th, 2007
President Bush and Vice President Cheney deliberately lied to the American
People about weapons of mass destruction and Saddam Hussein’s
support of Al Quaida in Iraq. Unfortunately IRAQ is now crucial to the
USA. As of today May 1, 2007 67% of Americans disapprove of the way
the President is conducting the war in Iraq.
IRAQ is now an important country for the American people, and studying
its history is crucial to understanding the predicament George Bush
Junior has imposed on the American people.
However an analytical study of
Iraq encompassing the period before the advent of the Muslim religion
on to the present shows that in fact it is not Iraq that is a threat
to the USA, it is IRAN.
The study of the History of these two countries that share a long border
today but in the past were one country will help understand the difficult
situation the United States is in.
Because the USA is in Iraq we will study the interactions between IRAN
and IRAQ as well as their religion from the point of view of IRAQ. For
ease of understanding we will use the term IRAQ to describe the territory
that is roughly modern IRAQ even though it had different names in ancient
The goal of this analytical history
of Iraq is to offer information to the American People that can help
them understand the war in Iraq. We will develop in more detail the
historical facts that are even today influencing the situation in Iraq.
BEFORE WE ENTER THE REALM OF
HISTORY EVENTS IN IRAQ HAVE MADE US AWARE THAT:
FUNDAMENTALIST BELIEVERS IN THE MUSLIM RELIGION DO NOT WANT ANY AMERICANS
OR NON MUSLIMS IN THEIR REGION.
AND THAT IRAN IS BENT ON CONQUERING PART OF IRAQ OR THE WHOLE IRAQ.
We are going to add Historical facts to the two elements that have defined
Iraq for numerous centuries and are a very important influence today.
PERSIANS AGAINST ARABS
SHIAS AGAINST SUNNIS
It is difficult to forget that Iraq called “the cradle of civilization"
was known as Mesopotamia or: " the land between the two rivers"
which are the Tigris and the Euphrates. Iraq or Mesopotamia was one
of the rare lands in the region with plenty of water and rich soil and
could have been described as blessed by the Gods for its riches and
cursed by the Gods for the envy it has always triggered from its neighbors.
In addition modern Iraq has enormous wealth because it has lot of oil.
One of the most significant elements that underline the war in Iraq
today is the Muslim Religion.
The Muslim faith was born and established by the Prophet Mohammad in
622 AD. The Muslim Calendar begins in 622 AD which marks the emigration
of Mohammad from Mecca to Medina known as the Hijira. Of course the
birth of one of the most important religions in the world is significant,
but even more significant to the USA which is enmeshed in at war that
involves the two main components of Islam that are the most extreme:
The Fundamentalist SHIAS and the Fundamentalist SUNNIS.
The fact that the Muslim Religion
fractured into two different factions shortly after the death of the
Prophet Mohammad is important because when these fundamentalist Muslims
do not kill Americans they kill each other by the hundreds each and
every month in Iraq.
At the time of his death the Prophet Muhammad had conquered the Arabian
Peninsula and converted the inhabitants of the Arabian to Islam. He
was an Arab and almost all of his original followers were Arabs.
His first successor was Abu Bakr
his father in law who was named a Caliph which is the equivalent of
a governor or king who has absolute power. It was mostly a secular title
that also included religious duties. The Caliph was the ruler of all
the lands they conquered and controlled. The second Caliph was Umar
who succeeded Abu Bakr and achieved the conquest of Iraq which was at
that time part of Iran. Iraq was inhabited by Iranians composed of Christians
and Jews. Christians were left alone if they agreed to pay a special
tax for non-believers.
In the Muslim world but for very
rare exceptions one will never know where secular power begins and where
religious power begins and which one will dominate the other.
Believing that there was or is some sort of separation of religion and
state is one of the main mistakes Americans and Europeans have made
in attempting to understand and negotiate with Muslim Arab States.
We enter now a second phase of the Islamic evolution that reverberates
today in the massacres that are happening in Iraq between Shias and
Sunnis. The origin of the schism is purely and simply a family feud
between factions related to Mohammad vying for the power of the Caliphate
which controlled the riches and land they controlled. This feud has
been painted later with religious connotations but it was a feudal power
struggle of similar to the ones that happened in the courts of many
When the third Caliph Uthman was elected he was opposed by Ali the son
of the Prophet Mohammad's daughter. Poorly paid malcontents Bedouin
soldiers found a spokesman in the person of Ali. The Caliph Uthman made
promises to them that were not kept. Under Ali's guidance they besieged
Medina and killed Uthman. Ali then became Caliph.
Muawiya a kinsman of the slain caliph Uthman rebelled against Ali and
they clashed in a large battle. On the verge of defeat Muawiya demanded
arbitration and Ali accepted by. Part of Ali’s own troops named
the Kharajites rebelled against Ali because he had accepted arbitration
instead of continuing the battle; then Ali asked them to reunite with
him to fight. They refused and he massacred them. This massacre angered
most of his troops who deserted him.
The Caliphate was divided with Muawiya Caliph in Egypt and Ali Caliph
Both tried to foment trouble for the other and Ali was assassinated
by a Kharajites in 661, and his son died soon after him. It took only
30 years to tear apart the Muslim unity that Ali built.
Ali's death insured his status
as a Martyr and Shias means follower of Ali. The Shia declaration of
faith is: "There is no God but God; Muhammad is his Prophet and
Ali is the Saint of God."
Once Ali was dead Muawiya was declared Caliph of all territories. Ali’s
second son Hussein rebelled against Muawiya's son Yazid. Karbala became
sacred land for the Shias when Hussein and a small contingent were defeated
and massacred. Hussein's head was brought to Yazid.
In 750 a new dynasty the Caliphate of the Abbasids founded Bagdad. The
Caliphate was named after Abbas who came from the North and followed
the Sunni religion but had ancestral ties with the Shia believers in
Baghdad. Abbas’ successor A Mansour made Bagdad the capital and
under the rule of the six next Abbasid Caliphs the region was enormously
prosperous. One of the Caliphs, Haroun al Rashid, was portrayed in the
legend of the one thousand and one nights.
Culture and science were developed
in important ways.
The Abbasid Dynasty continued under seven Caliphs until 1250. Starting
with the death of Al Mamun in 833 the Caliphs began to lose power and
territory. They ended up being figureheads placed for convenience by
the Turks - Mameluks, then by Iranians Shias, then by Seljuk Turks.
In 1258 Hulagu Khan the grandson of Genghis Khan came to the Arab Peninsula
with his Mongol Army leaving a path of massacres and destruction. Another
Mongol Tamerlane continued to destroy and massacre finally devastating
the center of advanced culture and the riches that were Baghdad. The
prosperous country that was Iraq was transformed and was a collection
of poor tribes until 1500
Between 1534 and 1916 Iraq became the battleground between the Turkish
Empire and the Iranian Empire, many battles were fought in Iraq, and
Iraq and its capital Baghdad were occupied alternatively by the Sunni
Turks and by the Shias Iranians further exacerbating the rivalry between
the two religious sects.
However the Turks prevailed in the end and established a bureaucracy
whose example pervaded in ensuing years.
In 1917 the Turks who were allied with Nazi Germany were defeated by
the English Army who conquered Baghdad. The English following a resolution
of the League of Nations established a protectorate or a governorship
of modern day Iraq.
There were many insurrections some of which were close to being successful
but none succeeded, and were repressed by the English. Oil was discovered
Finally, in 1930 a treaty was signed that guaranteed independence in
Iraq actually gained its independence in 1933 and was governed by King
Faisal followed by King Ghazi. Then infant King Faisal II and his regents
ruled a country very much divided by the differing goals of various
sects, tribes and ethnicities.
However as has always happened
Iraq found a new unity against an old invader.
In order to thwart Iraq’s tendency to ally itself with German
in 1941 England invaded Iraq again and set up a monarch who was only
Difficult years ensued but around 1950 oil revenues increased significantly.
However the oil revenues were diverted by the extremely corrupt elite
setting the stage for an uprising of the masses. Prime minister Nuri
Al Said who ruled for a long time become more and more oppressive.
In 1958 a coup led by military commanders proclaimed a Republic. Brigadier
Quasim became the leader of Iraq. He was a man of humble origins who
increasingly turned to communism. He was killed in 1963, and a succession
of military coups and military regimes kept Iraq in a situation of weakness
and quasi anarchy.
From 1968 until 1979 we see a concurrent reinforcement of the Baath
secular party and the emergence of Saddam Hussein along with the usual
tensions in a Military Junta and a strong containment of the Kurds.
However Saddam Hussein developed the economy and improved Iraq’s
regional stature as well as working on an Iraq - Iran rapprochement.
In 1980 the IRAQI Shias more and more followed the tendencies of the
IRANIAN Shias government led by the Ayatollah Khomeini.
In 1980, afraid to lose his dominance
over the Shias population who outnumbered his Sunni followers, Saddam
declared war on IRAN. The war ended in 1987 in a stalemate after generating
more than two million casualties and debilitating the economy.
It is interesting to note that the USSR was the main weapon provider
to Iran, but all major European nations and the USA supported Saddam
Hussein with money, trade and arms during this war. In the USA side,
one of the highest ranking american who went to Bahgdad to shake hand
with Saddam Hussein was Dick Cheney.
Not long after in 1990 Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait and was soundly
beaten by a real coalition of 28 allied nations led by the USA and fully
backed by the UN using the doctrine of overwhelming force designed by
Colin Powell. President Bush the elder wise man did not conquered Baghdad
or Iraq in its entirety but established a successful policy of containment
through the UN.
In 2003 without the backing of the UN President Bush Junior lied to
the American People in order to lure them into supporting the invasion
of Iraq under the false pretense of Iraq’s possessing weapons
of mass destruction which they did not have. President and Vice President
Dick Cheney also made the case for the war saying that Saddam Hussein
supported Al Quaida terrorists who destroyed New York’s World
Trade Center Towers on 9/11. This assumption was also proven to be absolutely
false. In addition President Bush called a coalition of the willing
a joke of a patchwork of insignificant states but for Great Britain.
To make matters worse, President Bush invaded Iraq with 150,000 troops
a force small enough to make sure that the war would not be won which
is the case as of May 1, 2007.
Below is a timeline for the History buff. It outlines the Ancient History
of Iraq or Mesopotamia as the cradle of civilization.
This History of the most ancient civilisation has a couple of jewels
worth reading .
Mesopotamia, modern day Iran means the land between two rivers which
are the Tigris and the Euphrates.
Mesopotamia is the cradle of civilization where historians believed
that human began to form what we call a civilization.
The origins of civilization are dated between 6000 BC and 5000 BC the
Sumerians a non- Semitic people began a form of written communication
that evolved into cuneiform texts around 2500 BC when the Epic of Gilgamesh
was written, a long poem describing the exploits of a hero. The Sumerians
also invented irrigation, the wheel, astronomy, arithmetic, and organized
religion. They established the first city states and fought each other
on a regular basis.
The AMORITES, a Semitic people, succeeded them from 2000 BC to 1600
BC but continued their culture.
One of their Kings Hammurabi established one of the most comprehensive
legal codes of his time and established a strong administration that
changed the prevailing organization of the city states.
The Hittites reigned in the region from 1600 to 1200 BC by military
conquest but left no cultural or monumental imprint
From 1200 BC to 600 BC the Assyrians a people perceived as accomplished
but cruel warriors conquered the region and founded Nineveh their capital
Their rule was perceived as so cruel that after their demise all their
constructions were razed.
Around 539 BC Persians established their domination over ancient Iraq.
It was the reign of Cyrus the Great, then Darius then Xerxes then Cyrus
The Persian Empire was the greatest known until that time and Iraq was
The first emperor Cyrus the Great was a follower and promoter of a religion
called Zoroastrianism named after its founder Zarathustra.
It is an important religion because it is probably the foundation of
Christianity and Islam. Zoroastrianism religion has the god of Evil
opposing the god of good in an incessant fight and Cyrus the Great saw
that it was his mission to fight against evil, and he was thus the first
Crusader with a fierce will to disseminate his religion around the known
In 330 the Greek Alexander the
Great defeated Darius III at Issus taking control of the Persian Empire
including Iraq. Alexander the Great did not impose a harsh rule on his
Iraqi subjects and let them follow their religions and customs.
Following Alexander one of his generals founded the Seleucid Dynasty
a Persian Greek dynasty that ruled Iran and Iraq from approximatively
312 BC to 247 AD regions of the Empire which were mostly inhabited by
Persians at this time.
After the Seleucides came the Parthians and as almost all their archives
were destroyed little is know beside the fact that they were implacable
warriors as well as feared rulers. They ruled from 247 BC until 228
After the Parthians came the
Saasanides an Iranian Dynasty claiming that they were the descendant
od the great Persian Emperors such as Darius the Great.
Around these times in Iraq a prophet Mani created a religion which blended
Zorostrianism, Judaism, Christianity and Buddhism. The religion was
called Manichaeism and one of its fundamental principles is the constant
fight between good and evil but evidently the tolerance of other religions,
this new religion with a new concept became very popular and temporarily
revolutionozed the society until Conservatism took over again..
200 years later during the same dynasty Another prophet Mazlak advocated
the abolition of private property, the division of wealth and non violence.
Mazlak had invented socialism 1400 years before Karl Marx
One of their king King Anushiravan developed education, scientific and
medical research, and philosophy and literature.
They had a dynasty of thirty kings and it was the longest period when
almost all Iraq was ruled by Iranian.
The Sassanides conquered and ruled the region from 227 to 638 AD If
we put together the periods in ancient History and History when Iraq
was a province of the Iranian Empire or Iraq was dominated by rulers
from Iran we have more than 1000 years of Iranian domination over Iraq.
THAT GIVES THE IRANIAN A STRONG CLAIM TO IRAQI TERRITORIES.
Then we have the advent of Islam.
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VICE PRESIDENT CHENEY
READY FOR ASYLUM OR JAIL
Los Angeles, January 29th 2007
Wolf Blitzer’s last interview with Vice President Dick Cheney
on January 24, 2007 has confirmed what many of us had already observed
in the Vice President’s behavior.
The Vice President’s states of denial and disillusionment
have reached the level of insanity.
The observation first came based on the fact that Vice President Cheney’s
entourage is made up of courtesans who blindly support him.
An interview with his wife showed that she stands by her man, no matter
how wrong he is.
Standing by your man when almost 70% of the nation believes he is wrong
shows that the group very close to Vice President Cheney has abandoned
His other closest adviser Mary Matalin has shown an unsurpass ed degree
of aggressiveness in defending VP Dick Cheney demonstrating that she
supports him blindly as well.
By always agreeing with Vice President Cheney, by always demolishing
his critics and by never offering a perspective different from the Vice
President’s ideas and supporting him these advisors have contributed
to the creation of a monster afflicted with the Idi Amin syndrome.
Idi Amin was a dictator who was so delusional that he believed himself
to be above all laws and exempt from all rational behaviors.
One of the elements that tipped observers to Vice President Cheney’s
state of denial was learning from his cabinet that when traveling
the Vice President of the USA requested that the TV set in his
hotel room be preset to the Fox News Channel.
This is extremely telling.
The Vice President could change the channel when it was not set to the
Fox News Channel, but if the set was not programmed to the Fox News
Channel he would be exposed to another channel for a few seconds and
probably another news channel would give him a view of the world that
was in contradiction to his own views that are shared totally by Fox
His state of denial is so huge that he cannot stand to be exposed
even for a few seconds to a channel other than Fox News, the
amplifier and megaphone for the government’s failed policies.
Vice President Cheney finds solace and comfort in the Fox News
cable channel, a channel that shares his values.
Fox Channel has been as efficient in its relentless debasing and destruction
of the USA as Vice President Cheney has been.
We now know that Vice President Cheney was engaged in character
assassination in targeting Valerie Plane's Husband Joseph Wilson.
His unethical, aggressive and unacceptable behavior toward Joseph Wilson
and Valerie Plane is totally similar to the character assassination
methods used constantly by Fox News Cable anchor men like Bill O Reilly
who is an example of the Kings of the Sewer that Vice President Dick
Cheney loves reveling in.
Bill O Reilly and Rush Limbaugh have head starts on character assassination,
but the Vice President of the USA has caught up with them.
Birds of a feather flock together. Even though it is disgusting
for news anchors to engage in character assassination, SUCH BEHAVIOR
IS ABSOLUTELY UNFORGIVABLE FOR THE VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
With the power at the disposition of Vice President Cheney if he is
even indirectly responsible for leaking the name of CIA undercover agent
Valerie Plane then he not only engaged in character assassination, but
by pushing to expose an undercover agent to her potential enemies, a
pure and simple attempt at physical assassination.
What we know now is that he was trying to harm Valerie Plane’s
husband Joseph Wilson as much as he could, and he made that abundantly
clear to his staff and employees who were sent on a mission to harm
Joseph Wilson and may have decided that one of the best ways to harm
Joseph Wilson was to harm his wife Valerie Plane.
Best case scenario for Vice President Cheney is that by relentlessly
pushing to harm Joseph Wilson he motivated his staff to harm anybody
close to Joseph Wilson and of course his wife would be the best target
because she was at his mercy and at the mercy of his staff.
Worst case scenario Vice President Cheney through his closest henchmen
or henchwomen directed the revelation of Valerie Plane’s identity
as a covert CIA agent.
By acting in this fashion directly or indirectly the closest adviser
to the President and the second most powerful person in the USA betrayed
a soldier of the USA setting her up as a target for potential enemies.
The Constitution of the USA is
very well designed however we have seen in the past with President Nixon
and now President Bush and Vice President Cheney that a mockery can
be made of the Constitution of the USA by those in the highest offices.
Will Vice President Cheney be successful in being above the law in his
abuse of power? We will see in the following months if the trial of
his assistant, Scooter Libby, will reveal the depth of the illegal and
unethical conduct the Vice President has been engaged in.
This will be a very important test for American Democracy.
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LAWFUL LIMITED MILITARY ACTION VERSUS TOTAL WAR
The USA is a nation
of Laws, some people could say a Nation of Lawyers. The obligation to
go through the law is repeated and enforced from childhood to death
on all Americans.
All civilized Nations are aiming towards a world were conflicts will
be regulated and solved by following the rule of, in case of world crisis,
international law and the center of this process is the United Nations.
President Bush and his close advisers in the beginning regarding the
crisis with Iraq were vehemently opposed to go through the United Nations
thus showing a profound contempt for international law .
The United Nations always try to solve problem by avoiding war. President
Bush wanted this war so badly that he took the risk to shun the United
Nations which is the organization responsible in solving crisis by law
and by legislation
. He also with his policy turned against America, USA most
To President Bush defense,
in the past the United Nations have shown very often a weakness trend
that led to inefficient results.
In any case however
the first step should have been to go to the United Nation and explain
the problem. On the contrary President Bush had to be dragged kicking
and screaming by Colin Powell towards a path that led to consult the
Why such an attitude and such a desire for war? One explanation resides
in President Bush fears not to be reelected for a second term and a
desire to finish the business his father has not finished.
What should the government
of a Nation of law and lawyers had done with the Iraqi crisis? The Iraqi
contrary to the previous golf war had not attacked any of the US allies.
It is not a clear and immediate danger.
First the USA through
the United Nation should have had Saddam Hussein indicted as a war criminal
Second and above all
the prosecutors in that case the USA should have gone from the beginning
towards the United Nations and say:
The UN passed an ordinance ( a law), a judgement that says that IRAQ
must disarm and allow inspection of this disarmament.
Iraq is in complete violation of the Law because the inspectors are
not even in Iraq anymore. Countless resolutions have been passed but
none is enforced.
Is the United Nations ready to agree that it is necessary to enforce
their own laws and judgements.
The Inspector regime due to obstruction of Iraq has failed to destroy
Iraq illegal weapons.
The task of the UN is now to destroy these weapons.
The intelligence community can locate a number of site where weapons
The intelligence community can locate a number of site were weapons
could be located
The intelligence community has located a number of site were there is
a small chance that weapons are located.
We the United Nations in the last 12 years have gone to extreme length
to disarm Iraq through the UN inspectors. Iraq has rejected this peaceful
It is necessary that the law be applied thus we have to destroy the
sites we believe contain illegal weapons.
Because Iraq refused to cooperate and renegade on his word to help destroy
these weapons we have to destroy them with the means that are left to
It then becomes a Police
operation on behalf of the United Nations. Instead of destroying the
illegal weapons from the ground through the Inspectors, the UN planes
will bomb them in order to destroy them.
Saddam Hussein has shown without any doubt that without the
physical threat of force he will not disarm.
Only the visible and tangible preparation for war by the USA
led him to accept Weapons inspectors.
Now we are in an inspection process that seems to work not
perfectly but reasonably well.
Unfortunately the whole diplomatic process leading to the
inspection process was a case in point of what not to do.
Instead as described above the USA should have presented its
case to the United Nations and advocate for a police like operation
and in the process would have kept all his allied on board.
The UN will warn in
general terms the Iraqi population and the Army that anybody working
on, with, or near illegal weapons will be in danger to die because all
suspect sites will be bombed including Saddam Hussein Palaces which
are used from time to time to store weapons of mass destruction.
Cruise missiles and bombs will be released everyday in a small scale,
about 10 to 20 a day, everyday until all suspected sites and their illegal
weapons are destroyed or Saddam Hussein is ousted by his own people.
Many variations can be on the table if Saddam accept after an extended
period of bombing the return of the Inspectors in the actual format
or in a more developed format.
It is a modern version
of siege warfare.
It has to be done with
a surrounding of the border of Iraq with on one hand refugee camps and
on the other hand patrol borders to arrest the ruling class escaping
with weapons they can transfer to other countries.
It has to be done in
the spirit of a law enforcement agency who is enforcing a court judgement.
Minimizing collateral civilian damages but destruction of all weapons
and arrest of the criminals.
Basically it was a FOUR STEPS DISARMAMENT PROCESS.
1) Go to
the UN ask for enforcement of the destruction of the weapons of mass
destruction by bombing the sites where they are suspected to be and
at the same time indict Saddam Hussein as a war criminal.
2) As Saddam
Hussein continue his deception, start bombing his palaces which are
or were hiding weapons of mass destruction and all other suspected sites.
3) Continue pushing
Saddam opposition to overthrow him and pushing his military to defect.
4) Then and only
then if nothing above worked start a Full Scale War.
If you analyze what the USA have done they did it upside down starting
with the last step and putting it as the first step and then working
their way backward. Strange vision for a foreign policy
has to be shown to the world that Saddam Hussein does not deserve a
full scale war. A full scale war will be perceived by the Muslim world
as worth fighting against the USA and it is bestowing on Saddam Hussein
too much of an Honor to deem him worth of a full scale war.
On the contrary an every day bombing of Saddam sites suspected of harboring
weapons of mass destruction should be labeled as a simple police operation
that will not even distract the USA everyday life and above all their
It is the best way without any doubts to show
the overwhelming superiority of the USA to the Arab world and North
Korea. The USA will be sending the following message: We destroyed the
illegal weapons, we followed the guidance of the United Nations all
that without even breaking a sweat. That is the right message to send.
Terrorists action will increase but during and after a full scale war
terrorism actions will increase even more and our allies will not be
as willing to help.
It demands however
a lot more intelligence, political talent, patience and courage than
to go with a huge army and smash everything that moves regardless of
the feelings and interests of his closest allies in and out the region
and regardless of the consequences after the war. Unfortunately the
latest is President Bush administration's way.
It would have been better in the beginning and not now and I emphasize
not now because a major mess has already been created if the crisis
had been treated with the UN as a Police operation. A police operation
with relentless daily bombing and an army sitting outside Iraq to capture
in their net the bad guys would have done the job. An army which would
not have had to enter combat but which presence is necessary.
Destroying the illegal weapons is the task.
Due to President Bush lack of basic understanding of the art of warfare
which is first and above all to win while shedding the less blood possible
on your side and laying the premises for a better situation after the
war we seem to be on our way to an unnecessary war which we will win
but will turn 80% of the world against us and take us back to solving
crisis by waging war first and then going backward.
Remember: after the Tragedy of 9/11/2001, 80% the People of the world
were the friends of the USA, today 80% of the People of the world are
unfriendly to the USA and it is President Bush policy that created that