3 Month Record For US Troops Killed
Da’wa Terror Figure Member of Parliament
The kidnapping by guerrillas in Iraqi army uniforms of the second secretary of the Iranian embassy in Baghdad has raised tensions between Iran and the US. Iran blames the US for the abduction, which Washington denies. But the US has arrested several Iranian officials in Iraq recently. George W. Bush recently announced that the US military would kill or capture Iranians in Iraq that it considered intelligence operatives. I said at the time that this announcement and this policy were a big mistake in a chaotic situation like that of Iraq (not to mention that the US “arrests” Iranians invited into Iraq by the Iraqi government or other high officials, which seems rather colonial.) So now Bush’s threat is affecting how the Iranians see the kidnapping of their embassy official.
Iraqi police often sell their weapons on the black market. A Sunni Arab guerrilla interviewed in The Guardian admitted that the insurgents buy a lot of their weaponry from the Iraqi government.
On ly 2,000 of the expected 8,000 extra troops PM al-Maliki ordered to Baghdad had shown up by the beginning of February. The two Kurdish brigades coming from Irbil and Sulaymaniya, which were supposed to have 3,000 troops each, are not actually coming at full strength. One showed up with only 1500 troops. The other was only coming with 1,000. So that is 2,500, not 6,000. They won’t make their extra 8,000 that way. And, Dan Froomkin says that this is already a missed benchmark.
This story about the Islamic Da’wa (Islamic Call) Party member of parliament, Jamal Jaafar Muhammad, who is alleged to have participated in the 1982 attack on the US consulate in Kuwait, strikes me as very fishy. First of all, that operation was a Da’wa Party operation, ordered by the leadership in exile in Tehran. So how many big expatriate Da’wa Party leaders were *not* implicated in it in some way? The first prime minister of post-Saddam Iraq, Ibrahim Jaafari, was Da’wa and was in Tehran at that point. Did he really not know about this? Nuri al-Maliki was in Damascus and the Da’wa in Syria and Lebanon helped to form the Lebanese Hizbullah.
Ezzedin Salim, , whom Paul Bremer appointed to the Iraqi Governing Council and who was killed outside the Green Zone in May, 2004, when he was de fact president of American Iraq, was also al-Da’wa. In the 1980s he wrote in favor of Khomeinism and Shiite activism.
Da’wa hated the United States in the 1980s because Washington was seen as an ally of Saddam Hussein, whom Da’wa wanted to overthrow. Also because the US wanted to undermine Khomeini’s Islamic Republic in Iran, with which Da’wa was allied.
I have spoken about this terrorist past for Da’wa before. I could never understand why the members of the Republican Party in the US were so delirious with joy that their president had installed the Da’wa Party in power in Iraq.
But the US intelligence agencies knew all this. So why are they making a big deal about MP Muhammad now?
I do not know. But I entertain deep, dark suspicions that this leak is a means for the US to put pressure on Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. He is surely vulnerable to this sort of blackmail himself, since no Da’wa activist in Damascus in the 1980s can have been completely innocent of the organization’s then darker side. I suspect the message to al-Maliki is, back off from the Mahdi Army and back off from Iran, or we can arrange to put you in the same docket as MP Muhammad.
As for the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, another main component of the ruling bloc in Iraq, it was a Khomeinist organization in the 1980s and 1990s that ran a guerrilla paramilitary, the Badr Corps. I don’t know that it ever hit a specifically American target. But it wasn’t exactly a US ally. To say the least.
If you start worrying about the Shiite government of Iraq having people in it who were anti-American in the 1980s, you’d have to arrest the lot of them. This is self-evident to US intelligence agencies. Therefore, making a big deal out of Muhammad is likely a way of telegraphing a threat.
CIA buddy Landed Iraq Deal for Contractor. The title says it all. Actually, if you changed it to Department of Defense, you’d have many more headlines and many billions in “deals” for “buddies.”
The Bush administration can’t account for up to $12 billion handed out in Iraq by the Coalition Provisional Authority. Only 10 percent of it seems to have gone to firms or persons with written-down contracts. There are fears that some of it went to the building insurgency. Wolf Blitzer asked today on CNN why it had to be in cash, and didn’t they have banks? That one is easy. The banking system in Iraq collapsed and the Bush administration had made no plans for reviving it. So the CPA had to deal in cash. It was given out arbitrarily. Rory Stewart’s Prince of the Marshes tells some of that story; see also Rajiv Chandrasekaran’s Imperial Life in the Emerald City. Also they gutted the Baath government ministries, fired party members, and let the records be burned, so there was no auditing capacity.
I was complaining about the missing billions years ago. It is finally on television only, I guess, because the Dems took the House. Why do US journalists feel they have to be authorized to write the news by majority political parties?
Speaking of scams, Neoconservative Douglas Feith is teaching at Georgetown. So in the run up to the 2003 war, I’m told, Douglas Feith was challenged by a State Department official who knows the Middle East about what in the world the US would do in Iraq once it won the war.
State Dept. Official: “Doug, after the smoke clears, what is the plan?”
Feith: “Think of Iraq as being like a computer. And think of Saddam as like a processor. We just take out the old processor, and put in a new one–Chalabi.”
State Dept. Official: “Put in a new processor?”
Feith: “Yes! It will all be over in 6 weeks.”
State Dept. Official: “You mean six months.”
Feith: “No, six weeks. You’ll see.”
State Dept. Official: “Doug.”
State Dept. Official: “You’re smoking crack, Doug.”
Feith: “Oh, so you’re disloyal to the President, are you?”
Doug Feith betrayed the United States by getting up a false case for war with Iraq. He made it clear in 1996 that his motivations for an Iraq War had to do primarily with Israel, and, indeed, with a far Right agenda of simultaneously pushing to destroy the Labor Party in Israel, to permanently annex the West Bank, and to overthrow Syria. At the Pentagon, he also ran an authoritarian shop that punished and marginalized anyone who stood in his way. He allegedly had State Department personnel spied on and excluded from meetings. He is not “mild-mannered.” He just doesn’t show the iron fist in public. He is writing a book, but needn’t bother. The Dems are likely to subpoena documents that will make for far more interesting reading.
Reuters reports on political violence in Iraq on Tuesday. Several bombings in Baghdad killed or wounded dozens of Iraqis. Police found 25 bodies in the streets.
Reuters says that US troops arrested the mayor of Tikrit. McClatchy says instead that it was a general in the new Iraqi army and his brother, a municipal administrator who has worked with the Americans. Either way it seems pretty obvious that the Sunni Arabs of Tikrit who on the surface looked like they were cooperating with the new order were in fact often linked to the resistance.
Nick Turse on America’s secret air war in Iraq. I don’t think the Geneva conventions envisaged occupying powers bombing cities they have occupied for several years.
The outbreak of outspokenness in Japan continues to build. Leader of the Japanese Democratic Party, Ichiro Ozawa, now says that he would have warned Bush not to start the “absurd” Iraq War. Ichiro-san, that would not have worked; lots of people tried, and they were run over by a Mack truck of marginalization driven by Exxon Mobil and the Neoconservatives (i.e. the American Enterprise Institute).