Iraq (/ɪˈræk/ or i/ɪˈrɑːk/; Arabic: العراق al-‘Irāq); officially the Republic of Iraq (Arabic: جمهورية العراق Jumhūriyyat al-‘Irāq, Kurdish: كؤماری عێراق, Komara Îraqê) is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert.Iraq is bordered by Jordan to the west, Syria to the northwest, Turkey to the north, Iran to the east, and Kuwait and Saudi Arabia to the south. Iraq has a narrow section of coastline measuring 58 km (36 mi) on the northern Persian Gulf. The capital city, Baghdad is in the center-east of the country.Two major rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates, run through the center of Iraq, flowing from northwest to southeast. These provide Iraq with agriculturally capable land and contrast with the steppe and desert landscape that covers most of Western Asia.Historically, Iraq was known in Europe by the Greek toponym 'Mesopotamia' (Land between the rivers). Iraq has been home to continuous successive civilizations since the 6th millennium BC. The region between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers is identified as the cradle of civilization and the birthplace of writing and the wheel. At different periods in its history, Iraq was the center of the indigenous Akkadian, Sumerian, Assyrian, Babylonian, and Abbasid empires. It was also part of the Achaemenid, Hellenistic, Parthian, Sassanid, Roman, Rashidun, Umayyad, Mongol, Safavid, Afsharid, and Ottoman empires, and under British control as a League of Nations mandate.Iraq's modern borders were demarcated in 1920 by the League of Nations when the Ottoman Empire was divided by the Treaty of Sèvres. Iraq was placed under the authority of the United Kingdom as the British Mandate of Mesopotamia. A monarchy was established in 1921 and the Kingdom of Iraq gained independence from Britain in 1932. In 1958, the monarchy was overthrown and the Republic of Iraq was created. Iraq was controlled by the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party from 1968 until 2003. After an invasion led by American and British forces, the Ba'ath Party was removed from power and Iraq came under a military occupation by a multinational coalition. Sovereignty was transferred to the Iraqi Interim Government in June 2004. A new constitution was then approved by referendum and a new Government of Iraq was elected. Foreign troops remained in Iraq after the establishment of a new government due to an insurgency that developed shortly after the invasion, with violence peaking in mid 2007. In August 2010 the U.S. became the last member of the coalition to cease combat operations in Iraq. 18,000 US troops remain in the country; their full withdrawal is mandated by 31 December 2011.Britain granted independence to Iraq in 1932, on the urging of King Faisal, though the British retained military bases and transit rights for their forces. King Ghazi ruled as a figurehead after King Faisal's death in 1933, while undermined by attempted military coups, until his death in 1939. Ghazi was followed by his under age son, Faisal II. 'Abd al-Ilah served as Regent during Faisal's minority.On 1 April 1941, Rashid Ali al-Gaylani and members of the Golden Square staged a coup d'état and overthrew the government of 'Abd al-Ilah. During the subsequent Anglo-Iraqi War, the United Kingdom invaded Iraq for fear that the Rashid Ali government might cut oil supplies to Western nations because of his links to the Axis powers. The war started on 2 May and an armistice was signed 31 May.A military occupation followed the restoration of the pre-coup government of the Hashemite monarchy. The occupation ended on 26 October 1947. The rulers during the occupation and the remainder of the Hashemite monarchy were Nuri as-Said, the autocratic Prime Minister, who also ruled from 1930–1932, and 'Abd al-Ilah, the former Regent who now served as an adviser to King Faisal II.Republic of IraqMain article: History of Iraq (1958–1968)The reinstated Hashemite monarchy lasted until 1958, when it was overthrown by a coup d'etat of the Iraqi Army, known as the 14 July Revolution. The coup brought Brigadier General Abd al-Karim Qasim to power. He withdrew from the Baghdad Pact and established friendly relations with the Soviet Union, but his government lasted only until the February 1963 coup, when it was overthrown by Colonel Abdul Salam Arif. Salam Arif died in 1966 and his brother, Abdul Rahman Arif, assumed the presidency.The Ba'athist regime advocated women's literacy and education. Shown here is Saddam Hussein with Iraqi schoolgirls.In 1968, Abdul Rahman Arif was overthrown by the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party. Ahmed Hasan Al-Bakir became the first Ba'ath President of Iraq but then the movement gradually came under the control of Saddam Hussein, who acceded to the presidency and control of the Revolutionary Command Council (RCC), then Iraq's supreme executive body, in July 1979.Iran-Iraq WarMain articles: Iran–Iraq War and History of Iraq (1968–2003)In 1979, Saddam Hussein took power as Iraqi President after overthrowing his close friend and the leader of his party (Ahmed Hasan Al-Bakr) and killing and arresting his leadership rivals. Shortly after his taking power, the political situation in Iraq's neighbor Iran changed drastically after the success of the Iranian Revolution of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, which resulted in a Shi'ite Muslim theocratic state being established. This was seen as a dangerous change in the eyes of the Iraqi government, as Iraq too had a Shi'ite majority and was ruled by Hussein's government which, apart from having numerous Sunnis occupying leading positions, had a pan-Arab but non-religious ideology.Dead Iraqi Kurds of Halabja in 1988 after the town was attacked by Iraqi armed forces, using poison gas, during the closing days of the Iran-Iraq war.This left the country's Shiite population split between the members and supporters of the Ba'ath Party, and those who sympathized with the Iranian position. In 1980, Saddam claimed that Iranian forces were trying to topple his government and declared war on Iran. Saddam Hussein supported the Iranian Islamic socialist organization called the People's Mujahedin of Iran which opposed the Iranian government. During the Iran–Iraq War Iraqi forces attacked Iranian soldiers and civilians with chemical weapons.In 1977, the Iraqi government ordered the construction of Osirak at the Al Tuwaitha Nuclear Research Center, 18 km (11 mi) south-east of Baghdad. It was a 40 MW light-water nuclear materials testing reactor (MTR). In 1981, Israeli aircraft bombed the facility, in order to prevent the country from using the reactor for creation of nuclear weapons.The war ended in stalemate in 1988, largely due to American and Western support for Iraq. This was part of the US policy of "dual containment" of Iraq and Iran. Between half a million and 1.5 million people from both sides died in the 1980–1988 war.Donald Rumsfeld as US special envoy to the Middle East, meets Saddam Hussein in December 1983.al-Anfal campaignMain article: Al-Anfal CampaignSaddam's regime was notorious for its human rights abuses with the most large-scale and systematic being the Al-Anfal Campaign, a genocidal campaign that targeted the Kurdish population in Iraq. The campaign led by Saddam Hussein's military commander and first cousin, Ali Hassan al-Majid, led to the killing of 50,000 - 100,000 civilians.The Anfal Campaign began in 1986 and lasted until 1989 and included a series of military operations, abductions, transfers and internal displacements, executions, and chemical weapons use. Attacks were launched against approximately 3000 to 4000 Kurdish villages in areas of northern Iraq and forcibly displaced hundreds of thousands among the country's Kurdish population. The most infamous chemical attack was on the Kurdish town of Halabja, which al-Majid tried to justify as a punishment for elements of Kurdish support of Iran.Gulf WarMain articles: Invasion of Kuwait and Gulf WarIn 1990, Iraq was faced with economic disaster following the end of the Iran–Iraq War. Kuwait, its small southern neighbor, had increased its production of oil, which kept oil revenues relatively low for Iraq. The Iraqi government also claimed that Kuwait was illegally slant drilling its oil wells into Iraqi territory, a practice which it demanded be stopped; Kuwait rejected this claim. In August 1990, Iraq followed this by invading Kuwait. The Iraqi military rapidly occupied the country, and Hussein declared that Kuwait had ceased to exist, becoming Iraq's 19th province. This brought heavy objections from many countries and the United Nations.The UN agreed to pass economic sanctions against Iraq and demanded its immediate withdrawal from Kuwait (see Iraq sanctions). Iraq refused and the UN Security Council in 1991 unanimously voted for military action against Iraq. The United Nations Security Council, under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, adopted Resolution 678, authorizing U.N. member states to use "all necessary means" to "restore international peace and security in the area." The United States, which had enormous vested interests in the oil supplies of the Persian Gulf region, led an international coalition into Kuwait and Iraq.The mixture of civilian and military vehicles on the Highway of Death. Estimates of Iraqi military deaths range from 8,000 to 100,000.The coalition forces entered the war with more advanced weaponry than that of Iraq, though Iraq's military was one of the largest armed forces in Western Asia at the time. Despite being a large military force, the Iraqi army was no match for the advanced weaponry of the coalition forces and the air superiority that the coalition forces provided. The coalition forces proceeded with a bombing campaign targeting military including an occupied public shelter in Baghdad.Iraq responded to the invasion by launching Scud missile attacks against Israel and Saudi Arabia. Hussein hoped that by attacking Israel, the Israeli military would be drawn into the war, which he believed would rally anti-Israeli sentiment in neighboring Arab countries and cause those countries to support Iraq. However, Hussein's gamble failed, as Israel reluctantly accepted a U.S. demand to remain out of the conflict to avoid inflaming tensions. The Iraqi armed forces were quickly destroyed, and Hussein eventually accepted the inevitable and ordered a withdrawal of Iraqi forces from Kuwait. Before the forces were withdrawn, however, Hussein ordered them to sabotage Kuwait's oil wells, which resulted in hundreds of wells being set ablaze, causing an economic and ecological disaster in Kuwait.After the decisive military defeat, the agreement to a ceasefire on February 28, and political maneuvering, the UN Security Council continued to press its demands that Hussein accept previous UN Security Council Resolutions, as stated in UNSCR 686. By April, UNSCR 687 recognized Kuwait's sovereignty had been reinstated, and established the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM). Two days later, UNSCR 688 added that Iraq must cease violent repression of ethnic and religious minorities.The aftermath of the war saw the Iraqi military, especially its air force, destroyed. In return for peace, Iraq was forced to dismantle all chemical and biological weapons it possessed, and end any attempt to create or purchase nuclear weapons, to be assured by the allowing UN weapons inspectors to evaluate the dismantlement of such weapons. Finally, Iraq would face sanctions if it disobeyed any of the demands.Shortly after the war ended in 1991, Shia Muslim and Kurdish Iraqis engaged in protests against Hussein's regime, resulting in an intifada. Hussein responded with violent repression against Shia Muslims, and the protests came to an end. It is estimated that as many as 100,000 people were killed. The US, UK, France and Turkey claiming authority under UNSCR 688, established the Iraqi no-fly zones to protect Kurdish and Shiite populations from attacks by the Hussein regime's aircraft.UN sanctionsMain articles: Iraq sanctions and Iraq disarmament crisisWhile Iraq had agreed to UNSCR 687, the Iraqi government sometimes worked with inspectors, but ultimately failed to comply with disarmament terms, and as a result, economic sanctions against Iraq continued. After the war, Iraq was accused of breaking its obligations throughout the 1990s, including the discovery in 1993 of a plan to assassinate former President George H. W. Bush, and the withdrawal of Richard Butler's UNSCOM weapon inspectors in 1998 after the Iraqi government claimed some inspectors were spies for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. On multiple occasions throughout the disarmament crisis, the UN passed further resolutions (see United Nations Resolutions concerning Iraq) compelling Iraq to comply with the terms of the ceasefire resolutions.Studies dispute the number of childen who died in southern and central Iraq during the sanctions. With humanitarian and economic concerns in mind, UNSCR 706 and UNSCR 712 allowed Iraq to sell oil in exchange for humanitarian aid. This was later turned into the Oil-for-Food Programme by UNSCR 986. Over the years, U.S. land forces were deployed to the Iraq border, and bombings were carried out to try to pressure Hussein to comply with UN resolutions.As a result of these repeated violations, US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, US Secretary of Defense William Cohen, and US National Security Advisor Sandy Berger held an international town hall meeting to discuss possible war with Iraq, which seemed to have little public support. In October 1998, U.S. President Bill Clinton signed the Iraq Liberation Act, calling for "regime change" in Iraq, and initiated Operation Desert Fox. Following Operation Desert Fox, and end to partial cooperation from Iraq prompted UNSCR 1284, disbanding UNSCOM and replacing it with United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC).The George W. Bush administration made a number of allegations against Iraq, including that Iraq was acquiring uranium from Niger and that Iraq had secret weapons laboratories in trailers and isolated facilities throughout Iraq; none of these allegations have proven true. Saddam Hussein, under pressure from the U.S. and the U.N., finally agreed to allow weapons inspectors to return to Iraq in 2002, but by that time the Bush administration had already begun pushing for war.In June 2002, Operation Southern Watch transitioned to Operation Southern Focus, bombing sites around Iraq. The first CIA team entered Iraq on July 10, 2002. This team was composed of elite CIA Special Activities Division and the U.S. Military's elite Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) operators. Together, they prepared the battle space of the entire country for conventional U.S. Military forces.Their efforts also organized the Kurdish Peshmerga to become the northern front of the invasion and eventually defeat Ansar Al-Islam in Northern Iraq before the invasion and Saddam's forces in the north. The battle led to the killing of a substantial number of militants and the uncovering of what was claimed to be a chemical weapons facility at Sargat. In October 2002, the U.S. Congress passed the Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq, and in November the UN Security Council passed UNSCR 1441.US-led invasionMain articles: 2003 invasion of Iraq and Iraq WarAn Iraqi Army unit prepares to board a Task Force Baghdad UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter for a counterinsurgency mission in Baghdad. Iraqi troops going in to action in the year 2007.On March 20, 2003, a United States-organized coalition invaded Iraq, with the stated reason that Iraq had failed to abandon its nuclear and chemical weapons development program in violation of U.N. Resolution 687. The United States asserted that because Iraq was in material breach of Resolution 687, the armed forces authorization of Resolution 678 was revived. The United States further justified the invasion by claiming that Iraq had or was developing weapons of mass destruction and stating a desire to remove an oppressive dictator from power and "bring democracy to Iraq." In his State of the Union address on January 29, 2002, President George W. Bush declared that Iraq was a member of the "Axis of Evil", and that, like North Korea and Iran, Iraq's attempt to acquire weapons of mass destruction posed a serious threat to U.S. national security. These claims were based on documents that were provided to him by the CIA and the government of the United Kingdom. Bush added,"Iraq continues to flaunt its hostilities toward America and to support terror. The Iraqi regime has plotted to develop anthrax, and nerve gas, and nuclear weapons for over a decade...This is a regime that agreed to international inspections — then kicked out inspectors. This is a regime that has something to hide from the civilized world...By seeking weapons of mass destruction, these regimes [Iran, Iraq and North Korea] pose a grave and growing danger. They could provide these arms to terrorists, giving them the means to match their hatred."However, according to a comprehensive U.S. government report, no weapons of mass destruction have been found. There are accounts of Polish troops obtaining antiquated warheads, dating from the 1980s, two of which contained trace amounts of the nerve gas cyclosarin, but U.S. military tests found that the rounds were so deteriorated that they would "have limited to no impact if used by insurgents against coalition forces. The possible effect upon civilians was not discussed."OccupationMain articles: Post-invasion Iraq, 2003–present, Iraqi insurgency, Civil war in Iraq, and Humanitarian crises of the Iraq WarOccupation zones in Iraq after invasionFollowing the invasion, the United States established the Coalition Provisional Authority to govern Iraq. Government authority was transferred to an Iraqi Interim Government in June 2004, and a permanent government was elected in October 2005.After the invasion, al-Qaeda took advantage of the national resistance to entrench itself in the country. On December 30, 2006, Saddam Hussein was hanged. Hussein's half-brother and former intelligence chief Barzan Hassan and former chief judge of the Revolutionary Court Awad Hamed al-Bandar were likewise executed on January 15, 2007; as was Taha Yassin Ramadan, Saddam's former deputy and former vice-president (originally sentenced to life in prison but later to death by hanging), on March 20, 2007. Ramadan was the fourth and last man in the al-Dujail trial to die by hanging for crimes against humanity.President of Iraq Jalal Talabani with U.S. President Barack Obama in 2009At the Anfal genocide trial, Saddam's cousin Ali Hassan al-Majid (aka Chemical Ali), former defense minister Sultan Hashim Ahmad al-Tai, and former deputy Hussein Rashid Mohammed were sentenced to hang for their role in the Al-Anfal Campaign against the Kurds on June 24, 2007. Al-Majid was sentenced to death three more times: once for the 1991 suppression of a Shi'a uprising along with Abdul-Ghani Abdul Ghafur on December 2, 2008; once for the 1999 crackdown in the assassination of Grand Ayatollah Mohammad al-Sadr on March 2, 2009; and once on January 17, 2010 for the gassing of the Kurds in 1988; he was hanged over a week later on January 25.Acts of sectarian violence have led to claims of ethnic cleansing in Iraq, and there have been many attacks on Iraqi minorities such as the Yezidis, Mandeans, Assyrians and others. A U.S. troop surge to deal with increased violence and improve security became a contentious political issue in the United States. The surge in troops was enacted in early 2007; in his September 2007 testimony to Congress, General Petraeus stated that the surge's goals were being met. Iraq also suffered a cholera outbreak in 2007.Violence in Iraq began to decline from the summer of 2007.The mandate of the multinational force in Iraq, last extended by UN resolution 1790, expired on December 31, 2008.On June 29, 2009, U.S. troops formally withdrew from Baghdad streets, in accordance with former U.S. President George W. Bush's security pact with Iraq known as the Status of Forces Agreement. The SOFA pact stated, among other things, that U.S. troops will withdraw from Iraq's cities by June 30, 2009, and will leave the country on December 31, 2011. Throughout the country, as the citizens of Iraq celebrated with fireworks, television programs declared June 30 as National Sovereignty Day. However, crime and violence initially spiked in the months following the US withdrawal from cities. As Iraqi security forces struggled to suppress the sudden influx of crime, the number of kidnappings, robberies, bomb assaults, and shootings increased dramatically. According to the Associated Press, Iraqi military spokesman Major General Qassim al-Moussawi said investigations found that 60 to 70 percent of the criminal activity is carried out by former insurgent groups or by gangs affiliated with them — partly explaining the brutality of some of the crimes. United States Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said that the withdrawal caused a change of chemistry with “a real sense of empowerment on the part of the Iraqis.” U.S. troops continue to work with Iraqi forces after the pullout. Despite the initial increase in violence, on November 30, 2009, Iraqi Interior Ministry officials reported that the civilian death toll in Iraq fell to its lowest level in November since the 2003 invasion. On August 31, 2010 US forces ended combat missions in Iraq. The remaining 50,000 US troops are in an advisory role.
Global Sanctions On Iran Are Working; Relaxing Them Now Would Be FoolhardyBy Lawrence J. HaasMcClatchy NewspapersMay 31, 2012 Calls to ease sanctions on Iran to spur global negotiations over its nuclear program will backfire, making a deal far less likely and greatly raising the risk of an Israeli military strike to cripple the program. To its proponents, sanctions-easing is a necessary confidence-boosting measure to assure Iran that the United States and the other "P5+1" negotiators - Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China - want a deal.But, it was the ever-tighter global, U.S. and European sanctions of recent months on Iran's energy and financial sectors - not global concessions - that forced Tehran to the table. And it's the still-tighter sanctions on the horizon - especially the July 1 start of Europe's embargo on Iranian oil - that will keep it there. That's because Iran's economy is suffering, stoking greater domestic anger at a regime that's already widely despised across the Islamic Republic. Tehran will only strike a deal if it faces the prospect that greater economic disarray will generate the requisite anger that would threaten the regime's grip on power.Currently, Iran is having trouble selling its oil and its banks are increasingly shut out of the global financial system. Iran's economy is barely growing, its currency is sinking, and inflation is soaring. Looking ahead, the oil embargo and ongoing efforts to further isolate its financial sector will make Iran's economic troubles even worse.In fact, sanctions are now more important than ever because - after many years in which the West offered Tehran a host of economic and other inducements to abandon its nuclear pursuit - sanctions are the world's lone remaining non-military tool to prevent the regime from developing the technology and know-how for nuclear weaponry.But, time's running short.For one thing, the International Atomic Energy Agency reported recently that Iran is progressing further in enriching uranium at its once-secret underground Fordow facility near Qom, with more centrifuges at work and with traces of more highly enriched uranium. The higher the purity, the closer the regime comes to weapons-grade material.For another, the P5+1 are pursuing a negotiating path that plays into Tehran's finely-honed skills at drawn-out negotiations through which it can play for time, promise but not deliver, and make more nuclear progress.The United States and its allies had called for early tangible progress, warning that they would not talk merely to talk.Nevertheless, the P5+1 met with Iranian negotiators in Istanbul on April 14 and Baghdad on May 23 and, after making no progress, have agreed to do so again in Moscow on June 17.That's what happened about a decade ago when the EU-3 - Britain, France, and Germany - began three years of fruitless talks, and that's what has happened in more recent years through many iterations of P5+1 talks. Iran's diplomats talked, teased, and played for time; its scientists made progress; and its leaders bragged about the progress and suggested that its program was unstoppable.By easing sanctions now, the P5+1 will not coax Tehran into the steps that will signal a real desire for deal-making: stopping production of 20 percent enriched uranium, shipping all stockpiles of such uranium out of the country, closing Fordow and allowing unfettered international access to all nuclear sites.Instead, easing the sanctions will sacrifice the world's last chance to force a deal by creating more economic tumult within Iran.It also will try the patience of Jerusalem, which faces renewed annihilationist threats of late by Iranian leaders.However skeptical, Israeli leaders will give the latest P5+1 talks some time. But, they won't wait forever as Tehran plays its usual cat-and-mouse game, bringing nuclear weaponry and Israel's vulnerability that much closer.Tehran doesn't want a deal. The question is whether the world can force one. Sanctions-easing will make it far less likely. here:iran-are-working.html#storylink=cpyLawrence J. Haas is a senior fellow for U.S. foreign policy at the American Foreign Policy Council
Sunday10.13.20191:50 p.m.,Chicago, Illinois time:Dear JFK Murder Solved Forum Members and Readers:12.11.2011 - Mr. Joe "Dealey Joe" Hall an Outstanding JFK Murder Solved Forum Moderator, Member,and Historian Originally Posted this Headline and Supporting Material.Joe has a Brilliant, Focused Interest in the U.S. Constitution, History, Politics, and Wars.Joe has provided us with Tremendous Information and Insight to the History and Development ofIraq, the Kurds, and other factors that are even more relevant today.Through the years I have been fortunate enough to confer, discuss, and study many Major Issues with Joe, always gaining insight from his reasoned and seasoned perspective.If you are interested in the Possible/Probable Forces and Issues Trump is dealing with, Joe, as always,has provided absolutely necessary foundational material.As always, I strongly recommend that you first read, research, and study material completely yourself about a Subject Matter, and then formulate your own Opinions and Theories.Any additional analyses, interviews, investigations, readings, research, studies, thoughts, or writings on any aspect of this Subject Matter ?Bear in mind that we are trying to attract and educate a Whole New Generation of JFK Researchers who may not be as well versed as you.Comments ?Respectfully,BB.