TLW's Iraq War Historyscope
By T.L. Winslow (TLW), the Historyscoper™
© Copyright by T.L. Winslow. All Rights Reserved.
Original Pub. Date: Nov. 1, 2012. Last Update: May 18, 2018.
Westerners are not only known as history ignoramuses, but double dumbass history ignoramuses when it comes to the Iraq War. Since I'm the one-and-only Historyscoper (tm), let me quickly bring you up to speed before you dive into my Master Historyscope.
On Aug. 4, 1914 - Nov. 11, 1918 the horrific World War I causes 15M deaths and 39M military casualties, and destroys the Old Order of formerly Christian Europe, along with the decrepit Muslim Ottoman Empire based in Turkey.
The Allies psych-out and pick apart the defunct Ottoman Empire, creating corrupt Western-backed kleptocratic tyrannies in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, and Syria that cause endless grudges and contribute to the rise of al-Qaida? On May 19, 1916 Sir Mark Sykes (1879-1919) of Britain and Francois Marie Denis Georges-Picot (1870-1951) of France conclude the secret Sykes-Picot (Asia Minor) Agreement in Paris, partitioning the postwar Middle East and recognizing an independent confederation of Arab states in place of the defunct Ottoman Empire; France receives Cilicia, Lebanon, coastal Syria, and a sphere of influence stretching E to Mosul; Britain receives Baghdad, Basra, Haifa, and Acre (giving them control of the bay that will serve as the terminal for oil pipelines from Mesopotamia), and a sphere of influence between the new pasted-together state of Iraq and Palestine, which is to be placed under the triple protection of Britain, France, and Russia; the remainder goes to one or more new Arab states, who later grumble that they were supposed to receive Palestine.
Fallujah me once, Fallujah me twice? On May 5, 1920 after English Middle East traveler Gertrude Margaret Lowthian Bell (1868-1926) draws a map that Winston Churchill doesn't contest (because he hated Classics at Harrow School?), the Apr. 25 League of Nations British Mandate of Mesopotamia for the phony patchwork kingdom of Iraq (named after the ancient city of Uruk and/or Arab. "fertile land") is formally accepted by Britain, creating a new country from the former Ottoman provinces (vilayets) of Baghdad (mostly Sunni), Mosul (mostly Kurdish and Assyrian Christian), and Basra (mostly Shiite), with a pop. of 3M, 97% Muslim, 35%-40% (20%?) Sunni, and 60%-65% Shiite; 80% are Arabic speaking and 15% Kurdish speaking; the Shiites constitute 80% of the Arab pop.; 80% are rural, with the largest city being Baghdad with 200K pop.; Baghdad is the center of the Sunni pop. which extends N into Anbar and W into Diyala Provinces; Basra and Kurdistan are later found to contain oil, which the Sunnis latch onto, improverishing the Shiites and creating mucho grievances; Britain grants independence to Iraq in 1932; in June British Lt. Col. Gerard Evelyn Leachman (1880-1920) (known for his dark Semitic looks and camel-riding ability, allowing him to pass as a Bedouin), who fought against the Ottomans in WWI then tries to stop rebel Arab tribesmen by wholesale slaughter is assassinated in Fallujah, Iraq by Sheikh Dari (Dhari), sparking a violent uprising against British rule in N and C Iraq which lasts most of the summer and is finally crushed by RAF warplanes from the nearby base at Habaniyah (50 mi. W of Baghdad); Fallujah remains the capital of anti-British resistance in Iraq; Winston Churchill suggests using chemical weapons "against recalcitrant Arabs as an experiment", with the soundbyte "I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes to spread a lively terror"; Harith al-Dari (al-Dhari) (1941-2015), grandson of big hero Sheikh Dari, who presents his granddaddy's gun to Saddam Hussein in 2000 becomes secy.-gen. of the Assoc. of Sunni Muslim Scholars, formed on Apr. 14, 2003 (four days after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq), and backs the anti-U.S. insurgency in the 2003 U.S. Iraq War, and on Nov. 16, 2006 he becomes the most wanted man in Iraq after an arrest warrant is issued by the U.S.-backed Iraq govt.
Your inner beauty will shine through? On Aug. 10, 1920 Sultan Mehmed VI signs the Treaty of Sevres (Sèvres) between Turkey and the Allies, reducing the once-proud Ottoman Empire to little more than little ole Turkey itself; Armenian independence is recognized, with the borders to be "settled by the arbitration of Pres. Wilson"; Greece obtains Smyrna, the Dodecanese (except Rhodes), E Thrace, Imbros, and Tenedos; the arrangement pisses off Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who persuades the nat. assembly to form a nat. army and take on the Allied occupation forces, starting the Franco-Turkish (Cilicia) War (ends 1923), the Greco-Turkish War (ends 1922), and the Turkish-Armenian War (Sept. 24-Dec. 2); the Persian-speaking Kurds, distributed in Turkey, Persia, Iraq, Syria, and Armenia are promised an autonomous homeland, but after the Ottoman Empire is overthrown by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in 1922, Turkey, Persia, and Iraq all renege, and by the end of the cent. they end up as the largest ethnic group in the world (25M) without their own country; the Turks remain in control of the Armenian city of Erzerum, but Armenian leader Boghos Nubar Pasha tells the Allies that he will drive them out; meanwhile more Armenians try to set up in the areas conquered by Russia in 1878, with capital at Kars; too bad, after the U.S. turns its back, the Turks invade Armenia from two sides, conquering it in six weeks.
On Oct. 1, 1920 Sir Percy Cox (1864-1937) arrives in Iraq as British high commissioner.
In Aug. 1921 exiled Faisal I (1885-1933) returns to Iraq and is crowned king of Iraq with British support.
In June 1922 seeing their chance, the Kurdish Revolt in N Iraq begins (ends July 1924), led by Sheik Mahmud al-Barzinji, who declares himself king of the independent state of Kurdistan. On Oct. 10, 1922 the Anglo-Iraq Treaty (ratified in 1924) gives Britain management of Iraq's foreign affairs and defense, along with advisors in the govt., while giving a Iraq a constitution that makes Iraqis pay for their British bosses; in an attempt to end border disputes Sir Percy Cox, British high commissioner in Iraq draws new borders between Iraq, Kuwait, and Arabia. In July 1924 the Kurdish tribal revolt in N Iraq (begun 1922) is suppressed. In 1924 the first Iraqi parliament meets; by the end of the Hashemite monarchy in 1958, 10 elections are held, and 50+ cabinets take their turns. On Nov. 13, 1929 four-time Iraqi PM Sir Abdul Muhsin commits suicide after helping win a British promise of independence - I'm a soul man?
In 1932 Iraq gains independence; too bad, the military uses the chance to begin large-scale massacres of Christian Assyrians in retaliation for collaboration with Britain.
In Aug. 1933 Gen. Bakr Sidqi (1890-1937), a Kurdish Arab nationalist orders the Iraqi army to crush Assyrian separatists in Sumail (near Mosul), Iraq, killing 3K civilians and replacing the Iraqi civilian govt. with a military one, becoming the first coup d'etat in the Arab world; in Aug. the Simele Massacre of Christian Assyrians in N Iraq by the Muslim Iraq govt. sees 3K murdered in 63 villages in the Dohuk and Mosul districts, with atrocities incl. raping girls then burning them using Christian Bibles for fuel; now that that's taken care of, on Sept. 8 Faisal I (b. 1883) dies, and his 21-y.-o. pan-Arab nationalist son Ghazi (Arab. "warrior against infidels") I (1912-39) becomes king of Iraq (until Apr. 4, 1939), going on to sympathize with Nazi Germany and claim Kuwait for Iraq. In 1935 oil pipelines are opened between Iraq, Haifa and Tripoli (Lebanon). On Apr. 2, 1936 the Saudi-Iraqi Treaty of Non-Aggression and Arab Brotherhood is signed in union against a Jewish Palestine, promoting Pan-Arabism with the view towards forming an Arab federation. In Oct. Kurdish gen. Bakr Sidqi, cmdr. of the Iraqi army stages a surprise military coup in Baghdad to stop dem. reforms, overthrowing PM Yasin al-Hashimi, and installing puppet PM Hikmat Sulayman (1889-1964), an ethnic Turkmen, becoming the first modern military coup in the Arab world; al-Hashimi makes it to Damascus before croaking in Dec.; Sidqi becomes dictator of Iraq (until 1937), steering it away from pan-Arab nationalism, settling border disputes with Iran, and forging an alliance with Turkey before his own military cmdrs. ditch him. On Aug. 12, 1937 Kurdish Iraqi dictator Gen. Bakr Sidqi (b. 1890) is assassinated in Mosul after his nationalist military officers withdraw support.
On Dec. 24, 1938 former Iraqi PM (1930-2) Nuri as-Said (1888-1958), brother-in-law of Jafar Pasha al-Askari (the only Iraqi politician to seek refuge in the British embassy during the 1936 Bakr coup) returns from exile in Egypt to Iraq, is kicked back to London for being pro-British, then stages a remote-control coup via Arab nationalist Col. Salah al-Din al-Sabbagh (1889-1945), returning and becoming PM of Iraq (until 1958), going on to plot to get rid of King Ghazi I and increase British influence in Iraq - this must be where the Bush Iraqi War got its start?
On Apr. 3, 1939 Ghazi I (b. 1912) of Iraq dies in a car accident, and on Apr. 4 is succeeded by his infant son Faisal II (1935-58); Anglophile PM Nuri as-Said is widely suspecting of staging the death, Iraqi crowds shouting "You will answer for the blood of Ghazi", and he goes on to get puppet regents installed; too bad, after the fall of France in 1940 his main military man Col. Salah al-Din al-Sabbagh goes pro-German, leaving him in the lurch.
On Apr. 2, 1941 a pro-Axis Arab regime is set up in Iraq by Gen. Rashid Ali, who seizes the Turkmeni town of Kirkuk in NE Iraq (90 mi. SE of Mosul), cutting off the oil pipeline to the Mediterranean used by the British, delighting Hitler, who sends military experts and arms from Vichy Syria, only to have the British retake it by June 1 after landing at Basra on Apr. 18; on Apr. 28 Rashid Ali seals off the British airbase at Habbaniya, trapping 2.2K soldiers and 9K civilians. On May 30, 1941 after a fuel shortage ends Italian air support, Rashid Ali sends the mayor of Baghdad to ask for an armistice; on June 1-2 after getting whipped-up by pro-Nazi Jew-hating Jerusalem grand mufti (1921-48) Mohammad Amin al-Husayni (al-Husseini) (1895-1974) (who fled to Iraq in 1939 with 400 Palestinian supporters), helped by Nazi propaganda, the Farhud (Farhoud) (Arabic "violent dispossession") sees Muslim Nazi sympathizers in Baghdad and Basra, Iraq stage a pogrom against the long-settled (2.6K years) 140K Jewish pop., killing 180, wounding hundreds, and destroying 900 Jewish homes and 586 shops; British authorities stand by and don't pub. their official report until 1958; the dissolution of the Iraqi Jewish community begins, with Nuremberg-style laws, and 90% flee to Israel after 1948, along with 1M Jews from the Arab world. On June 4, 1941 a pro-Allied govt. is installed in Iraq. On June 8 (2:00 a.m.) to cut the Germans off from the easy route to Palestine and the Suez Canal, 9K British, 18K Australian, 2K Indian, and 5K Free French (De Gaullist) troops launch Operation Exporter, invading Vichy-held Syria and Lebanon from Iraq and Palestine, capturing Damascus on June 21, followed by Tyre on July 9, and Beirut on ?; an armistice is signed on July 12, and Syria becomes an Allied base for the rest of the war, with French Gen. Georges Catroux (1877-1969) promising them independence with Damascus as capital of the Repub. of Syria (until 1958); it isn't recognized until Jan. 1, 1944; 26-y.-o. Zionist Palestinian volunteer Moshe Dyan (1915-81) loses an eye in the early days. On June 11 Hitler issues Directive No. 32, laying down detailed plans for the military after it defeats the Soviet Union, incl. Operation Isabella to secure the Atlantic coasts of Spain and Portugal and take Gibraltar, while pressuring Turkey and Iran to help him drive the British from Palestine and Egypt, ordering Tobruk to be taken in Nov.; if possible, the Germans will send a force from Transcaucasia to retake Iraq, using Arabs to "tie down" the Brits "at the right moment by civil commotion or revolt"; after the East is secure, the invasion of Britain will begin.
On Apr. 7, 1947 the Socialist nationalist pan-Arab Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party (Arab. "al-Ba'th al-Arabi" = "The Arab Resurrection") holds its first congress in Damascus, Syria, with Syrian Orthodox Christian turned Muslim Michel Aflaq (1910-89) as leader, who defends Islam as essential for retaining Arab identity, providing it with "the most brilliant picture of their language and literature, and the grandest part of their national history", with the soundbyte: "Islam is to Arabism what bones are to the flesh".
On Oct. 26, 1947 the British withdraw their troops from Iraq.
A big day for Bible thumpers and Millennium Feverists? "Thus says the Lord God: O my people, I will open your graves and have you rise from them, and bring you back to the land of Israel." (Ezekiel 37:12) On May 14, 1948 (midnight) the Jewish Nat. Council in Tel Aviv, Palestine proclaims the formation of the new Jewish State of Israel, with an Unwritten Israeli Constitution and a unicameral Knesset (Heb. "assembly"); "We offer peace and amity to all the neighboring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East" (Proclamation of the State of Israel); the U.S. recognizes it 11 min. later, but Pres. Truman refuses to call it a Jewish state; on May 15 the British Palestine Mandate ends and the British withdraw, leading to the 1948 Arab-Israeli War with Arab states as Lebanese, Syrian, Iraqi, Egyptian, and Transjordanian troops, supported by Saudi and Yemenite troops attack, screaming "Allahu Akbar", "Jihad", and "Idbah al-Yahud" (slaughter the Jews), showing that it isn't a nationalist but a religious struggle, and sorry, but Islam will never accept the Jewish state of Israel; on May 15 Egyptian Arab League secy.-gen. #1 (1945-52) Abdul Rahman Hassan Azzam Pasha (1893-1976) utters the soundbyte "This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre"; on May 14 David Ben-Gurion (1886-1973) becomes PM #1 of Israel (until Jan. 24, 1954); on May 17 the Soviet Union recognizes Israel; Jordanian King Abdullah Ibn Hussein's British-trained Arab League under British Lt. Gen. Sir John Bagot Glubb (1897-1986) (AKA Glubb Pasha) seizes control of Judea and Samaria, along with the Jewish Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem on May 28 and annexes them, cutting off access by Jews to the Western Wall until 1967, going on to destroy or desecrate 50+ synagogues in the Jewish Quarter; only Great Britain and Pakistan recognize the annexation; Egypt occupies (but doesn't annex) Gaza; U.S. aircraft manufacturer Adolf "Al" Schwimmer (1917-2011) violates U.S. laws to smuggle surplus aircraft and found the Israeli air force, is convicted in 1950 of violating the U.S. Neutrality Act, and becomes pres. of Israel Aircraft Industries until 1978, finally receiving a pardon by Pres. Bill Clinton in 2000; in June the U.N. Truce Supervision Org. (UNTSO) (the first U.N. peacekeeping force) is established, with HQ in Jerusalem to oversee the truce; Golda Meir (1898-1978) becomes the Israel ambassador to the U.N; Ha Tikva(h) becomes the Israeli nat. anthem; the knee-jerk reaction of Arabs is to expel all Jews from Arab cities from Casablanca to Baghdad; the Christian pop. of Jordanian Jerusalem falls from 25K to 11K by 1967 as restrictive laws are placed on them. On Dec. 11 by 35-23 the non-binding U.N. Gen. Assembly Resolution 194 is passed, calling for the return of Palestinian refugees to their homes; all six Arab countries at the U.N. (Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Yemen) vote against it; Israel isn't a U.N. member yet. On Jan. 31, 1949 the U.S. grants de jure recognition to the state of Israel; on Feb. 17 Chaim Weizmann (1874-1952) becomes pres. #1 of of Israel (until 1952) after Albert Einstein turns the job down; armistice agreements are signed with Israel by Egypt (Feb. 24), Lebanon (Mar. 23), Jordan (Apr. 3), and Syria (July 20); Iraq withdraws troops but refuses to sign.
In 1950 after a new agreement with the Iraq Petroleum Co. which substantially increases Iraqi royalties, the Development Board of Iraq is established to plan the utilization of oil revenues, with agricultural improvements coming first; next year the Iraqi royalties are raised to over 50%; in 1950-73 Middle Eastern oil rises from 17% to 40% of total world production (down to 35% in 1980).
In 1951 the entire Jewish community (130K+) flees Iraq for Israel, leaving behind assets estimated at over $150M; Cuba supplies planes and pilots to bring nearly 150K Jews to Israel from Iraq, Iran, Yemen, and India by 1953, although it is kept secret until 2010; meanwhile the Arab League establishes the Bureau for Boycotting Israel in Damascus, Syria, and Iraq joins it, banning dealings with Israeli cos. and those with Israeli shareholders; Israel's desire to get the sanctions lifted later causes them to pressure the U.S. into the 2003 Iraq War?
On Nov. 23, 1952 the Iraq govt. uses strikes and riots as an excuse to outlaw all political parties and form a military govt. (until 1953).
On Jan. 22, 1953 new elections in Iraq are organized, causing the military govt. to step down.
In Aug. 1954 the Iraqi cabinet under PM Nuri al-Said (1888-1958) issues a series of decrees outlawing all opposition, driving it underground.
On Feb. 24, 1955 the Baghdad Pact (Central Treaty Org) (Middle East Treaty Org.), designed by John Foster Dulles is signed by Turkey and Iraq, followed by Britain (Apr.), Pakistan (Sept. 23), and Iran (Oct.), with member countries assured that the U.S. will shield them from subversion and Soviet interference with a "mobile power of great force"; the Western alignment causes Egypt to break with Iraq, and blockade the Straits of Tirain, cutting off the Israeli port of Eilat in the Gulf of Aqaba.
On May 2, 1956 the first Middle Eastern TV station begins broadcasting in Baghdad, Iraq. On Aug. 1 Tunisian-born French-Jewish Capt. David Galula (1919-67) is stationed in Kabylia, Algeria (until Apr. 1958), where he experiments with counterinsurgency tactics in the Algerian War, becoming an expert, after which he becomes a Harvard prof. and advises the U.S. and other Western countries, his strategies getting used in the Vietnam War and U.S. Iraq War.
On May 12, 1958 a union between Jordan and Iraq modeled on the UAR (union of Egypt and Syria) is ratified.
On July 10, 1958 Pres. Ike and PM Diefenbaker agree in Ottawa to establish the Canada-U.S. Committee on Joint Defense. On July 14 the pro-Western (British-backed) Hashemite monarchy of Iraq is overthrown in the bloody July 14 Iraqi Army Coup headed by pro-Nasser Arab nationalist Gen. Abdul Karim (Abd Al-Karim) Qasim (Kassim) (1914-63), who veers Iraq pro-Communist with his Iraqi Communist Party; after surrending on the promise of safe passage abroad, the royal family incl. 23-y.-o. King Faisal II and his uncle Crown Prince Abdul-Illah are massacred by troops in the Massacre of Al-Zuhoor Palace in Baghdad, followed by execution of other prominent Iraqis incl. former PM Nuri Pasha al-Said (as-Sa'id) (b. 1888) (founder of the Constitutional Union Party in 1949) on July 15; land and social reform programs are put in place, shifting govt. expenditures away from agricultural projects to urban programs, while imposing rent and price controls; land is redistributed, bringing the percentage of the pop. owning land from 15% this year (2% of landowners controlling 68% of the land) to 95% by 1971; the 6-mo.-old Baghdad Pact falls apart; the Iraq pop. doubles from 7M to 14M by 1983, while the percentage residing in towns rises from 37% to 75%, with Baghdad growing from 1M to 4M pop., and Mosul and Basra topping 1M each; elementary school students grow from 500K this year to 2.6M in 1983; literacy goes from 15% this year to 50% in 1977; the army grows from 50K this year to 200K in 1988, with military spending going from 7% to 19% of GNP.
On Aug. 18, 1959 the Baghdad Pact Org. is officially changed to the Central Treaty Org. (CENTO) (Iraq dropped out), with HQ in Ankara, Turkey. On Oct. 7 a Ba'ath assassination team which incl. Saddam Hussein attempts to assassinate Gen. Abdul-Karim Kassim (Kassem) in Baghdad, only wounding him; Saddam is wounded in the leg and flees Iraq to Syria then Cairo, Egypt (until 1963) while being sentenced to death in absentia; as Sunni rebels close in on the hated British RAF base at Habaniyah, the British finally pull out of Iraq, which they have occupied since 1922, at a total cost of 18K men, leaving their bases to the new Iraq govt. - by 2003 the U.S. will be filling their shoes? On Dec. 30 Iraq enacts the Personal Status Code, improving the status of women (from zero to one-tenth?); Iraqi feminist Naziha Jawdet Ashgah al-Dulaimi (1923-2007) is appointed minister of municipalities in Iraq, becoming the first Arab deficient human, er, woman to hold a gov. ministerial position; from now on most Arab countries attempt to have a token woman in their cabinet, usually in a HEW-type job?
|United States of America||Dwight David Eisenhower (1890-1969)||Jan. 20, 1953||Jan. 20, 1961|
|United Kingdom||Harold Macmillan (1894-1986)||Jan. 10, 1957||Oct. 19, 1963|
|United Kingdom||Queen Elizabeth II (1926-)||Feb. 6, 1952|
|Soviet Union||Nikita Khrushchev (1894-1971)||Sept. 7, 1953||Oct. 14, 1964|
|People's Republic of China||Mao Tse-tung (Zedong) (1893-1976)||1943||Sept. 9, 1976|
|India||Jawaharlal Nehru (1889-1964)||Aug. 15, 1947||May 27, 1964|
|Canada||John George Diefenbaker (1895-1979)||June 21, 1957||Apr. 21, 1963|
|France||Charles de Gaulle (1890-1970)||Jan. 8, 1959||Apr. 28, 1969|
|West Germany||Konrad Adenauer (1876-1967)||Sept. 15, 1949||Oct. 16, 1963|
|East Germany||Wilhelm Pieck (1876-1960)||Oct. 11, 1949||Sept. 7, 1960|
|Yugoslavia||Josip Broz Tito (1892-1980)||Nov. 29, 1945||May 4, 1980|
|Spain||Francisco Franco (1892-1975)||Apr. 1, 1939||Nov. 20, 1975|
|Mexico||Adolfo Lopez Mateos (1909-69)||Dec. 1, 1958||Nov. 30, 1964|
|Egypt||Gamal Abdel Nasser (1918-70)||Jan. 16, 1956||Sept. 28, 1970|
|Israel||David Ben-Gurion (1886-1973)||May 14, 1948||June 26, 1963|
|Papacy||John XXIII (1881-1963)||Oct. 23, 1958||June 3, 1963|
|U.N.||Dag Hammarskjold of Sweden (1905-61)||Mar. 31, 1953||Sept. 18, 1961|
On Mar. 26, 1960 Iraq executes 30 for attempting a coup. On Sept. 14 after Pres. Dimwit, er, Dwight Eisenhower forces quotas on Venezuelan oil in favor of Canada and Mexico, claiming military reasons, Venezuelan energy minister Juan Pablo Perez Alfonzo (1903-79) (known for calling oil the Devil's excrement) gets together with Middle Eastern oil countries, and OPEC (Oil Producing and Exporting Countries) is formed in Baghdad, Iraq by Kuwait, Qatar, Iran, and Saudi Arabia (later Abu Dhabi, Algeria, Ecuador, Gabon, Indonesia, Libya, Nigeria, and Venezuela); their first action is to force Standard Oil of N.J. to retract its 4-14 cents per barrel decrease of oil prices - why not call it VIKISA?
On June 19, 1961 the British protectorate of oil-rich Kuwait regains complete independence from Britain along with Qatar and Bahrain; Sheik Abdullah III Al-Salim Al-Sabah (1895-1965) continues as emir of Kuwait (since 1950), entitled to receive half of its oil profits; on June 26 Kuwaiti voters oppose Iraq's annexation plans; on July 1 Sheik Sabah III al-Salem al-Sabah (1913-77) calls in 6K British troops to oppose Iraqi Gen. Kassim's threats of occupation; the Brits end up collapsing in the heat while their machines seize up, and the Strategic Oil Reserve is depleted, causing them to get itchy about Berlin, but luckily Iraq backs out and doesn't invade. In Sept. the Iraq govt. begins an offensive against Kurdish rebels in Kurdistan in N Iraq after demands by the Kurdish Dem. Party (KDP) are ignored and tribal rebels under Mulla Mustafa al-Barzani (1903-79) revolt and declare a Kurdish state. On Nov. 30 the Soviets veto a U.N. seat for Kuwait, pleasing Iraq, who covets their oil.
On Feb. 8-9, 1963 with CIA backing, the Baath (Ba'ath) Socialist Party in Iraq overthrows Soviet-leaning Gen. Abdul Karim Kassim in Baghdad and seizes power, putting Kassim through a farcical hours-long trial and then immediately machine gunning him to death in an Iraqi TV studio, holding his lifeless face up to the camera for everybody to see, after which thousands of Communists, trade unionists, and leftist sympathizers are executed; a new 1963 Iraqi Flag is approved, with red-white-black horizontal stripes and three green stars in the white strip to symbolize the union of Iraq with Egypt and Syria as the United Arab Repub.; law student Saddam Hussein (1937-2006) (on the CIA's payroll?) returns from exile in Cairo, Egypt, and resumes his studies in Baghdad, while Ahmed (Ahmed) Hassan al-Bakr (1914-82) becomes PM; on Nov. 18 they are overthrown by the army, led by Pres. Abdel (Abdul) Salam (Abd al-Salam) Mohammed Arif Aljumaily (1921-66), who curtails the Ba'th Party but runs the govt. as a family affair, with no constitution or parliament; Saddam Hussein is imprisoned. On Mar. 11 the Iraqi Rev. Council proposes the formation of a joint military command incl. Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Yemen, and Algeria.; the UAR, Syria and Iraq agree on Apr. 9. On Mar. 15 1.5K demonstrate before the Iraqi Embassy in Moscow to protest against their anti-Communist drive. On May 3 the U.S. asks the UAR, Syria, and Iraq to stop their propaganda campaign against the Jordanian monarchy amidst reports of a possible coup against King Hussein; on May 4 six Syrian cabinet ministers resign; on May 5 Algerian pres. Ben Bella expresses a desire to join the UAR. On May 7 Moscow announces support for Kurdish forces in achieving autonomy within Iraq, even though the Kurdish leader is anti-Communist. On June 11 Iraq resumes its war against the Kurds after claiming that they started hostilities while negotiations were underway in Baghdad. In 1963 Iraq renounces its claim to Kuwait - oh really?
On Feb. 23, 1966 the Syrian Coup of 1966 in Damascus gives power to a radical Marxist neo-Baathist faction, causing the party's founders to flee into exile for life, while creating a permanent schism between the Syrian and Iraqi branches. On Apr. 15 Iraqi pres. (since 1963) Abdul Salam Arif (b. 1921) is killed in a heli accident, and is on Apr. 16 succeeded by his brother gen. Abdul Rahman (Abd al-Rahman) Mohammed Arif Aljumaily (1916-2007) (until July 16, 1968), who continues the family-style govt. - dealing out the surplus, bow down?
On July 17-18, 1968 the regime of Pres. Abdul Rahman Arif in Iraq is overthrown by the Ba'th Socialist Party led by Maj. Gen. Ahmed (Ahmad) Hassan (Hasan) al-Bakr (1914-82); his 2nd-in-command is his cousin Saddam Hussein (1937-2006); on July 30 a 2nd coup eliminates army officers from the govt., giving the Ba'ath Party, based in the town of Tikrit on the Tigris River total control, with al-Bakr becoming pres., PM and CIC, and Saddam becoming chief of internal security, going on to purge key party figures, deport thousands of Iranian Shiites and supervise the takeover of Iraq's oil industry and land reform - how damned insane is he at this point?
On Jan. 27, 1969 Iraq hangs 14 Iraqis (incl. nine Jews) in Baghdad and Basra for spying for Israel. My litter box secret, arm and hammer to fight odor? On Sept. 1 a group of 70 officers and enlisted men, led by 27-y.-o. ascetic never-masturbating fundamentalist Muslim Lt. Muammar (Moammar) Gaddafi (al-Gaddafi) (al-Qadhafi) (al-Qaddafi) (1942-2011) overthrows heirless Libyan king (since Dec. 24 1951) Idris I (1890-1983) in the bloodless September 1 Coup in Benghazi while he's in a Turkish spa receiving medical treatment, and after taking Tripoli they turn the monarchy into the Libyan Arab Repub., with Gadhafi as chmn. of the Rev. Command Council (RCC) (the old fart had distanced himself from Arab nationalist movements and let the Turks and Italians run him, so he had to go?); on Sept. 4 the Soviet Union recognizes his new regime, followed on Sept. 6 by the U.S.; on Sept. 7 a new cabinet is formed with U.S.-educated technician Mahmud Sulayman al-Maghrabi as PM, presiding over an 8-member council of ministers consisting of six civilians and two military officers; on Sept. 8 Gadhafi is promoted to Col. and made CIC of the armed forces; he never accepts an official position or promotes himself to gen. to show his dedication to his principles, although he likes the title of "Great Brother Leader of the Revolution"; Gaddafi protects the Christian minority from persecution as long as they accept no political power, which the Vatican terms the Panda Syndrome, which is later copied by Saddam Hussein in Iraq, and Hosni Mubarak in Egypt. On Oct. 29 Iraq ratifies the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, pledging to not manufacture nuclear weapons :) In 1969 Hizb al-Da'wa al-Islamiyya, an anti-Ba'th Shiite religious party is formed in Iraq, with backing from Iran.
|United States of America||Richard Nixon (1913-1994)||Jan. 20, 1969||Aug. 9, 1974|
|United Kingdom||Harold Wilson (1916-95)||Oct. 16, 1964||June 19, 1970|
|United Kingdom||Queen Elizabeth II (1926-)||Feb. 6, 1952|
|Soviet Union||Leonid Brezhnev (1906-82)||Oct. 14, 1964||Nov. 10, 1982|
|People's Republic of China||Mao Tse-tung (Zedong) (1893-1976)||1943||Sept. 9, 1976|
|India||Indira Gandhi (1917-84)||Jan. 24, 1966||Mar. 24, 1977|
|Canada||Pierre Elliott Trudeau (1919-2000)||Apr. 20, 1968||June 4, 1979|
|France||Georges Pompidou (1911-74)||June 15, 1969||Apr. 2, 1974|
|West Germany||Willy Brandt (1913-92)||Oct. 21, 1969||May 7, 1974|
|East Germany||Walter Ulbricht (1893-1973)||1950||1971|
|Romania||Nicolae Ceausescu (1918-89)||Mar. 22, 1965||Dec. 22, 1989|
|Yugoslavia||Josip Broz Tito (1892-1980)||Nov. 29, 1945||May 4, 1980|
|Spain||Francisco Franco (1892-1975)||Apr. 1, 1939||Nov. 20, 1975|
|Mexico||Gustavo Diaz Ordaz (1911-79)||Dec. 1, 1964||Nov. 30, 1970|
|Nicaragua||Anastasio Somoza Debayle (1925-80)||May 1, 1967||July 17, 1979|
|Egypt||Gamal Abdel Nasser (1918-70)||Jan. 16, 1956||Sept. 28, 1970|
|Israel||Golda Meir (1898-1978)||Mar. 17, 1969||June 3, 1974|
|Iran||Shah Reza Pahlavi II (1919-80)||Sept. 16, 1941||Jan. 16, 1979|
|Iraq||Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr (1914-82)||July 17, 1968||July 16, 1979|
|Papacy||Pope Paul VI (1897-78)||June 21, 1963||Aug. 6, 1978|
|U.N.||U Thant of Burma (1909-74)||Jan. 1, 1962||Dec. 31, 1971|
In 1970 U.S. oil consumption is 17M barrels/day; U.S. domestic output: 10M barrels/day; top U.S. oil importers: Venezuela, Canada; U.S. oil production peaks this year, sliding to 5.7M barrels/day in 2005; oil production (M barrels/day): Saudi Arabia 6.5M, Iran: 5M, Kuwait: 3M, Libya: 2.2M, Abu Dhabi, 1.2M, Iraq: 1.1M, Qatar: 550K, Oman: 300K.
On Jan. 20, 1970 the govt. of Iraq crushes a right-wing coup against the Ba'th Socialist govt. of pres. Ahmed Hasan al-Bakr, causing the latter to announce a new 1970 Iraqi Constitution, advocating Arab Socialism and Islam, but only giving lip service to the latter until the 1980 Iran-Iraq War. On Mar. 11 8.5 years of warfare ends as Iraq agrees to grant the Kurds limited autonomy, recognize Kurdish as an official language, and allow the appointment of a Kurdish vice-pres.
6, 6 * (6+6) (June, '72) becomes a mini-Armageddon for the U.S. political system? On June 1, 1972 Iraq nationalizes its oil industry, starting with Iraq Petroleum's field in Kirkuk, telling them and other Western-owned oil cos. to stuff it; Iraq Petroleum strikes an agreement with Iraq, recognizing nationalization of its fields, paying $345M in back taxes in return for receiving 15M tons of oil and helping it boost production to 3M barrels/day; the Compaigne Francaise des Petroles buys 23.75% of Iraq's annual oil output; by 1979 Iraq ranks #2 among Persian Gulf states in oil production, with oil revenues providing 90% of total revenues and 98% of foreign exchange (the Iran-Iraq War cuts them in half).
On Mar. 6, 1975 Iran and Iraq announce in Algiers a a settlement to their border dispute going back to 1947, signing the Algiers Agreement (Accord) (Declaration) on June 13 and Dec. 26, with Iran taking over half of the Shatt al-Arab estuary at the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates River 100 mi. from the Persian Gulf from Iraq in return for Iran's promise to end support of Kurdish rebels in Kurdistan; the shah's hatred of Arab nationalism traces to a belief in Persian superiority?; the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), founded on May 22, 1975 by Jalal Talabani (1933-) breaks off from the KDP in protest, and the U.S. ends support for the Kurdish rebellion; on Mar. 9 Iraq launches an offensive against the rebel Kurds and cuts their flow of weapons, after which Iraqi troops occupy most of Kurdistan, interpret the 1970 accord on their own terms, and open the region to economic development.
In Sept. 1975 Iraq vice-pres. Saddam Hussein announces that the French are supplying Iraq with a light-water nuclear materials testing reactor called Osirak (Osiraq), which is completed 11 mi. SE of Baghdad in 1977; too bad, he mentions that it is the first step in the production of an Arab nuke, causing the Israelis to begin planning to destroy it, which they finally do on June 7, 1981. In 1975 U.S. secy. of state Henry Kissinger meets with an Iraqi diplomat, and utters the soundbyte "We don't need Israel for influence in the Arab world. On the contrary, Israel does us more harm than good in the Arab world... We can't negotiate about the existence of Israel but we can reduce its size to historical proportions."
On Jan. 8, 1979 amid a gen. strike of oil workers and mass calls for his death, the U.S. advises shah (since Sept. 16, 1941) Mohammed Reza Pahlavi II (1919-80) to get his butt out of Iran or lose it, and he skedaddles with his family on Jan. 16 after 38 years in power, but doesn't abdicate, claiming that when he returns he will only reign not govern, receiving asylum from Anwar Sadat in Egypt, then hiking to Morocco, the Bahamas, and Cuernavaca, Mexico, finally entering the U.S. on Oct. 22 at the urging of Henry Kissinger and David Rockefeller to be treated for cancer in New York City, incl. removal of his gall bladder; on Jan. 17, 1979 Islam history ignoramus Pres. Carter pledges support for the new civilian govt. in Tehran, and urges the shah's opponents to give it a chance; behind the scenes, Peanut Pres. Carter sends a rep. to meet Ayatollah Khomeini in Paris, who returns with glowing reports about a "saint", causing Carter to undermine the new regime to put him in power, making a deal with him to remove the shah and prevent an Iranian army coup in return for ending Soviet influence and disruption of Iranian oil to the West - and he ran a lemonade stand as a kid? On Mar. 27 Iraqi dictator Sodamn Insane holds a private Meeting on Israel with high-level officials, calling for a long grinding war and deciding to obtain nukes from "our Soviet friends" to counterract Israeli nuclear effects so that the war can drag on with 50K Iraqi casualties. On Jan. 30 the civilian govt. of Iran announces that it has decided to allow Muslim Shiite ultra-fundamentalist Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini (1902-89) to return from 15 years of exile in Paris, and on Feb. 1 (9:33 a.m. local time) (which becomes an annual celebration) he lands in Tehran to cheering crowds who believe him to be the Islamic hidden imam or Shiite messiah, while Commies believe he's one of them because of his cryptic statements incl. "In a truly Islamic society, there will be no landless peasants", and his claims to back the mostazafin (oppressed masses), plus the popularity of "Red Shiite" Ali Shariati (1933-77), and the U.S. govt. believes that he won't become Iran's Archbishop Makarios but will hole-up in the Shiite holy city of Qum while letting Iran have a parliamentary democracy; on Feb. 3 he creates the Council of the Islamic Rev.; on Feb. 7 his supporters take over govt. bldgs. while the final session of the nat. assembly is held; on Feb. 10 the army mutinies and joins the rev.; on Feb. 11 the Islamic Uprising of Khurdad 15 sees Khomeini's supporters route the elite Imperial Guard and cause PM (since Jan. 4) Shahpur Bakhtiar to resign, and Khomeini seizes power, ending autocratic rule after 2.5K years and erecting a theocracy with Sharia Law, with thousands killed throughout the year in rioting and mass executions, and troops sent by Khomeini to crush Kurdish guerrillas seeking autonomy; the Communists applaud the takeover at first, but by 1983 all the real rev. gains of workers and peasants are destroyed by the new regime, which also outlaws the pesky Bahai (Baha'i) Muslim sect; Khomeini sets up the Rev. Guards (Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Rev.) and the Basij-e Mostaz'afin ("Mobilization of the Oppressed") paramilitary militia; meanwhile the rev. drives U.S. gasoline prices from 63 to 86 cents per gal. On Feb. 16 Iranian gen. Nematollah Nassiri (b. 1911), head of the secret service Savak since 1965 (who delivered the arrest warrant for PM Mohammed Mossadegh in 1953, and who has been imprisoned since last year) is executed by firing squad after a summary trial; his predecessor Gen. Hassan Pakravan (b. 1911) is executed on Apr. 11 despite having saved Khomeini's life in 1963. On Feb. 17 Iran announces that starting Mar. 5 it will resume oil exports at a 30% higher price than set by OPEC in Dec. 1978; production is only 3.4M barrels this year, compared to 5.4M last year, hurting the U.S., which had been importing 900K barrels from Iran a day, 6% of total imports. On Feb. 19 U.S. writer-activist Richard Anderson Falk (1930-) stinks himself up with a letter to the New York Times called "Trusting Khomeini", with the soundbyte "The depiction of Khomeini as fanatical, reactionary and the bearer of crude prejudices seems certainly and happily false... To suppose that Ayatollah Khomeini is dissembling seems almost beyond belief... Having created a new model of popular revolution based, for the most part, on nonviolent tactics, Iran may yet provide us with a desperately-needed model of humane governance for a third-world country." Speaking of malaise? On July 16 Iraq vice-pres. Saddam Hussein (1937-2006) forces pres. (since 1968) Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr to resign, and succeeds him as pres. of Iraq and chmn. of the Rev. Command Council (RCC) (until 2003), launching a major purge of hundreds of Ba'th Party members while plastering the streets with 20-ft.-high portraits of himself; he establishes a multilayered security system with 3-5 secret police units, and later puts his sadistic son Qusay Saddam Hussein al-Tikriti (1966-2003) in charge of his 10K-man Special Guards - 24 years 5 mo. till he's captured hiding in a hole? On Dec. 29 the U.S. begins pub. its List of State Sponsors of Terrorism, starting with Iraq (until 1982, then 1990-2004), Libya (1979-), and South Yemen (1979-90), then Cuba (1982-), Iran (1984-), Sudan (1993-), North Korea (1988-2008), and Sudan (1993-) - guess why is Saudi Arabia always exempt, kaching? In 1979 the Islamic Movement of Kurdistan is founded in Halabjah, Iraq by Sunni mullah Shaykh Uthman Abd-Aziz.
|United States of America||Jimmy Carter (1924-)||Jan. 20, 1977||Jan. 20, 1981|
|United Kingdom||Margaret Thatcher (1925-)||May 4, 1979||Nov. 28, 1990|
|United Kingdom||Queen Elizabeth II (1926-)||Feb. 6, 1952|
|Soviet Union||Leonid Brezhnev (1906-82)||Oct. 14, 1964||Nov. 10, 1982|
|People's Republic of China||Hua Guofeng (1921-2008)||1976||1981|
|India||Indira Gandhi (1917-84)||Jan. 14, 1980||Oct. 31, 1984|
|Canada||Joe Clark (1939-)||June 4, 1979||Mar. 3, 1980|
|France||Valéry Giscard d'Estaing (1926-)||May 27, 1974||May 21, 1981|
|West Germany||Helmut Schmidt (1918-)||May 16, 1974||Oct. 1, 1982|
|East Germany||Erich Honecker (1912-94)||1971||1989|
|Romania||Nicolae Ceausescu (1918-89)||Mar. 22, 1965||Dec. 22, 1989|
|Spain||Juan Carlos I (1938-)||Nov. 22, 1975|
|Mexico||Jose Lopez Portillo (1920-2004)||Dec. 1, 1976||Nov. 30, 1982|
|Nicaragua||Daniel Ortega Saavedra (1945-)||July 17, 1979||Apr. 25, 1990|
|Egypt||Anwar Sadat (1918-81)||Oct. 15, 1970||Oct. 6, 1981|
|Israel||Menachem Begin (1913-92)||June 21, 1977||Oct. 10, 1983|
|Iran||Ayatollah Khomeini (1902-89)||Feb. 11, 1979||June 3, 1989|
|Iraq||Saddam Hussein (1937-2006)||July 16, 1979||Apr. 9, 2003|
|Papacy||John Paul II (1920-2005)||Oct. 16, 1978||Apr. 2, 2005|
|U.N.||Kurt Josef Waldheim of Austria (1918-2007)||Jan. 1, 1972||Dec. 31, 1981|
In 1980 U.S. prices rise 12.4%, compared to 13.3% in 1979; a 2nd quarter recession cuts real output by 9.9%. Oil prices reach a peak of $68 a barrel during the Iran-Iraq War, throwing the economies of oil-dependent countries into recession; the U.S. recession lasts from June 1981 to Dec. 1982; after the North Sea fields begin producing, prices return to the $20 a barrel level by 1986; Japan oil imports cost $39.5B for the fiscal year ending Mar. 31, causing a record $14.4B trade deficit for the year (vs. $13.4B in 1979); U.S. oil avgs. $22 a barrel (vs. $8.57 in 1977), and the oil industry drills a record 59,107 wells (vs. 27.3K in 1971 and 58,160 in 1956); proven domestic U.S. petroleum reserves fall to 27B (vs. 39B in 1970); U.S. gas prices avg. $1.20-$1.23 per gal. (vs. 66% in 1978); Saudi Arabia pumps 9.5M barrels a day (vs. 8.5B in 1979); U.S. air fuel prices climb to $1 from 57 cents a gal., causing passenger mi. flown to fall 5% and major U.S. airlines to lose $200M (vs. $1.4B profits in 1978 and $215M in 1979).
On Apr. 1, 1980 an assassination attempt against Iraq vice-PM Tariq Aziz (1936-) fails. In Aug. Iraq and Syria break diplomatic ties after Damascus sides with Iran in their long-standing dispute over the Shatt-al-Arab waterway between Iraq and Iran - silted up with acres of Arab what? On Sept. 22 after mos. of border skirmishes, the Iraqi military council orders the army to "deliver its fatal blow on Iranian military targets", and planes bomb 10 Iranian airfields in Khuzistan, after which troops invade W Iran during the night, seizing the oil refinery at Abadan on Sept. 23, all without warning, beginning the 8-year Iran-Iraq (Gulf) War over the Shatt Al-Arab estuary (ends Aug. 1988); after regrouping, the Iranians drive them back to their starting positions by June 1982, turning into WWI-style trench warfare complete with chemical weapons used by Iraq; the Iranians recruit 100K children to use as minesweepers? On Sept. 30 Iran rejects a truce call from Iraqi Pres. Saddam Hussein, and attacks and damages the Osirak (Osiraq) nuclear reactor (built 1977) 11 mi. SE of Baghdad, after which France repairs it, causing the Israelis to step up plans to finish it off. On Nov. 9 Iraqi Sunni Muslim Pres. Saddam Hussein declares holy war (jihad) against Shiite Muslim Iran - he plays the Allah card?
On June 7, 1981 under PM Menachem Begin's orders Operation Opera (Babylon), and Israeli F-15s and F-16s under IAF cmdr. #9 (1977-82) David Ivry (1934-) (Israeli ambassador to the U.S. in 2000-2) fly from Etzion Air Base 680 mi. across Jordan and Saudi Arabia and destroy Iraq's 40-70 MW French-supplied Osirak (Osiraq) nuclear reactor (built 1977) 11 mi. SE of Baghdad in an effort to prevent Saddam Hussein's Iraq (and Arabs) from obtaining nukes; it had already been damaged by an Iranian air strike on Sept. 30, 1980, and repaired; Israeli pilot Ilan Ramon, who participates in the mission is killed in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster on Feb. 1, 2003; in the 1991 Gulf War the U.S. completely destroys what's left of it; this only makes Saddam Husein work harder at it?; the U.S. is furious at the news, with defense secy. saying that "Begin must have lost control of his senses"; meanwhile after Pres. Carter pressures Begin into surrendering the Sinai in exchange for a peace treaty with Egypt, causing him to fear that he will also force him to accept a Palestinian state, Begin shifts Israel's political support to Repub. candidate Ronald Reagan, helping insure Carter's lopsided defeat?
On Jan. 6, 1982 Iraqi Shiite Muslims damage the 625-mi.
Iraq-Iskendrun Pipeline in
Turkey carrying oil from Kirkuk, Iraq to the Mediterranean port of Yumurtalik,
Turkey; they damage it again on Jan. 8.
On Mar. 22 Iraqi ambassador
is assassinated by three gunmen (working for Iran?) in East Beirut in the
Christian section where he had moved with 60 others after a Dec. blast wrecked
the embassy in West Beirut.
On May 2
of Waco, Tex. is kidnapped by Kurdish rebels near Irbil, Iraq, and
freed on Oct. 2 after intervention by the Iranian govt; his co-worker
Guy Boisvert from Canada is freed on Sept. 19.
On May 9 a car bomb explodes outside the empty Syrian embassy in Tehran, Iran,
destroying the bldg. and wounding 16 bystanders; the Syrian ambassador to
Iran blames "Iraq and elements of imperialism and Israel".
On May 24 Iranian forces recover the port city of
(captured Oct. 26, 1980), taking 30K Iraqi POWs, being later celebrated
by Iranians as a turning point in the war.
In June Iran demands that Iraq pay it $150B in war reparations, and Islamic
clerics vow to continue fighting until Saddam Hussein is deposed; after Iraq
declares a ceasefire, Iran attacks Iraq anyway - the U.S. later gives them
On Aug. 11 a car bomb explodes outside the
Iraq embassy in Paris,
injuring six incl. three children; the Shiite Movement of Islamic Action of Iraq
claims responsibility to "warn French authorities against furnishing military
aid to Iraq".
On Sept. 21 a bomb explodes at an Iraqi cultural center in Madrid, Spain
a few hours before a scheduled photo exibit of the Iran-Iraq War, destroying
On Dec. 2 a large bomb left by an Arab destroys the Iraq consulate in
killing a bomb disposal expert and injuring six police and 11 civilians;
the Shiite Apr. 20 Group Supporters of Iran claims responsibility.
In 1982 after Iranian Ayatollah Khomeini calls for the overthrow of Iraqi pres.
Saddam Hussein, an attempt on his life by Shiite guerrilas in
On Dec. 12, 1983 the 1983 Kuwait Bombings see six key foreign and Kuwait installations in Kuwait City attacked in a 90-min. period by radical Shiite members of the Iraqi Islamic Dawa Party to get even for support of Iraq in its war with Iran, incl. the U.S. embassy, the main airport, and a petrochemical plant; after faulty bombs misfire, six are killed, along with one suicide bomber - I wonder who coulda done it, I think I'll check my database?
In 1984 Kuwait's oil income plummets from $18.4B in 1980 to $9B, due to the decline in oil prices; meanwhile Kuwait's support for Iraq in its war with Iran draws terrorist attacks by radical Shiites. On Feb. 22 the U.K. and the U.S. send warships to the Persian Gulf after Iraq uses French Exocet missiles against tankers loading at Kargh Island, and Iran attacks tankers loading oil from Saudi Arabia and other Arab states; 50K Iraqis and 100K Iranians have been killed in their Muslim-against-Muslim war. On Mar. 5 Iran accuses Iraq of using chemical weapons, causing the U.N. to condemn their use on Mar. 30. In the spring Iran and Iraq extend their ground war to attacks on Gulf shipping, Iraq attacking tankers loading at Iran's Kharg Island terminal, followed by Iran striking at tankers calling at Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries; in May the U.S. sells 400 Stinger antiaircraft missiles to Saudi Arabia, and shortly afterward Saudi fighter planes, receiving directions from a U.S. AWAC plane shoot down two Iranian planes as they approach a foreign tanker over the Gulf.
On Aug. 17, 1985 Iraqi jets armed with French Exocet missiles bomb Iran's strategic Kharg Island oil terminal in the first of 130+ attacks.
In Jan. 1986 independent counsel Lawrence E. Walsh (1912-) begins his probe into whether money from the sale of weapons to Iraq was illegally diverted to the Nicaraguan Contras; in early Nov. the Iran-Contra Affair almost gets U.S. Pres. Reagan impeached when his adm. is found to have illegally sold arms to Iran and used some of the profits to support the rebel Contras in Nicaragua; on Dec. 19 Walsh is appointed official independent counsel to investigate the Iran-Contra Affair, later uncovering the CIA's Project Democracy - mad money, will it be a house of pleasure? On Dec. 25 Iraqi Airways Flight 163 (Boeing 737) en route from Baghdad to Amman crashes near Arar, Saudi Arabia after being hijacked by four Hezbollah hijackers who toss two hand grenades into the cockpit, killing 60 of 91 passengers and three of 15 crew; Lebanese terrorist Ribal Khalil Jallul is killed, his martyr poster being hung up near a Beirut mosque.
On Apr. 16, 1987 Saddam Hussein's holy goons bombard the Kurdish village of Sheik Wasan and the nearby village of Basilan, becoming the first time his regime uses chemical weapons on Iraqi citizens; this year and next 180K Kurds in N Iraq are killed in genocidal Operation Anfal, launched in the final months of the war with Iran, using mustard and nerve gas to wipe out Kurds for alleged Iranian ties, masterminded by Saddam's 1st cousin Ali Hassan Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti (1941-2010), AKA "Chemical Ali", chief of Iraqi intel. On May 17 Iraqi missiles attack the frigate USS Stark in the Persian Gulf, killing 37; Iraqi pres. Saddam Hussein apologizes. On June 20 Saddam Hussein signs a decree ordering "special artillery bombs to kill as many people as possible" in the Kuridsh area of N Iraq, "special" meaning chemical weapons such as mustard and nerve gas. On July 20 the U.N. Security Council votes unanimously to approve a U.S.-sponsored resolution demanding an end to the Persian Gulf War between Iraq and Iran, a move supported by Iraq but dismissed by Iran.
On Mar. 1, 1988 Iraq says it fired 16 missiles into Tehran in the first long-range rocket attack on the Iranian capital since the Iran-Iraq War began. On Mar. 28 Iraq uses chemical weapons against the Kurdish town of Halabja, Iran, killing 5K; on July 23 Iran publicly accuses Iraq of it; the U.S. was complicit? On Apr. 21 "Chemical" Ali Hassan Majid orders people caught in Kurdish areas in N Iraq "to be destroyed... have their heads shot off". On July 20 Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini accepts a truce with Iraq, negotiated by U.N. secy.-gen. Javier Perez de Cuellar, saying that the decision was like drinking poison; on July 22 Iran and Iraq announce that they will send their foreign ministers to New York City to meet with de Cuellar. On July 26 U.N. secy.-gen. Javier Perez de Cuellar meets twice with Iran's foreign minister in the first formal talks about a ceasefire for the 8-year war between Iran and Iraq; on July 27 he holds separate talks with the foreign ministers of Iraq and Iran. On Aug. 1 Iran says it will honor an immediate ceasefire in its 8-y.-o. war with Iraq; on Aug. 6 Iraq's pres. says his country will agree to a ceasefire with Iran, provided the Iranians promise to hold direct talks immediately after the truce takes effect; on Aug. 7 Iranian foreign minister #9 (1981-97) Ali Akbar Velayati (1945-) signals his govt.'s acceptance of Iraq's modified peace proposal; on Aug. 8 U.N. secy.-gen. Javier Perez de Cuellar announces a U.N.-mandated ceasefire, and the Iran-Iraq War ends (begun Sept. 1980); estimates of the number killed incl. 700K for Iraq and 500K-1M for Iran, not incl. Iraqi attacks on Kurdish villages; at the end of the war Iran executes thousands of Iranian POWs, which Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazero later calls "the biggest crime in the history of the Islamic Republic". On Aug. 9 the U.N. Security Council votes 15-0-0 for Resolution 619, creating the U.N. Iran-Iraq Military Observer Group, led by Bangladeshi Brig. Gen. Anam Khan to monitor the ceasefire. On Nov. 26 Dr. Kazem Sami, leader of a liberal Islamic movement is murdered in non-liberal Iraq.
In the 1989 U.S. delegation demands that Iraq privatize its oil industry, and it refuses - Bush Jr. is listening?
|United States of America||George Herbert Walker Bush (1924-)||Jan. 20, 1989||Jan. 20, 1993|
|United Kingdom||Margaret Thatcher (1925-)||May 4, 1979||Nov. 28, 1990|
|United Kingdom||Queen Elizabeth II (1926-)||Feb. 6, 1952|
|Soviet Union||Mikhail Gorbachev (1931-)||Mar. 11, 1985||Dec. 25, 1991|
|People's Republic of China||Jiang Zemin (1926-)||1989||2002|
|Canada||Brian Mulroney (1939-)||Sept. 17, 1984||June 25, 1993|
|France||Francois Mitterrand (1916-96)||May 21, 1981||May 17, 1995|
|West Germany||Helmut Kohl (1930-)||Oct. 1, 1982||Oct. 27, 1998|
|Spain||King Juan Carlos I (1938-)||Nov. 22, 1975||June 19, 2014|
|Mexico||Carlos Salinas de Gortari (1948-)||Dec. 1, 1988||Nov. 30, 1994|
|Egypt||Hosni Mubarak (1928-)||Oct. 14, 1981|
|Israel||Yitzhak Shamir (1915-)||Oct. 20, 1986||July 13, 1992|
|Iraq||Saddam Hussein (1937-2006)||July 16, 1979||Apr. 9, 2003|
|Kuwait||Sheikh Jaber III al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah (1926-2006)||Dec. 31, 1977||Jan. 15, 2006|
|Papacy||John Paul II (1920-2005)||Oct. 16, 1978||Apr. 2, 2005|
|U.N.||Javier Perez de Cuellar y de la Guerra of Peru (1920-)||Jan. 1, 1982||Dec. 31, 1991|
On Mar. 15, 1990 Iraq executes Iranian-born London-based journalist Farzad Bazoft (b. 1958) as a spy. On Mar. 28 following an 18-mo. investigation by U.S. and British authorities, British customs officials announce they have foiled an attempt to supply Iraq with 40 U.S.-made devices for triggering nuclear weapons. On May 28 Iraqi pres. Saddam Hussein opens a 2-day Arab League Summit in Baghdad with a keynote address in which he says that if Israel were to deploy nuclear or chemical weapons against Arabs, Iraq would respond with "weapons of mass destruction" - talk about putting your foot in your mouth? On July 24 Iraq, accusing Kuwait of conspiring to harm its economy through oil overproduction masses tens of thousands of troops and hundreds of tanks along the Iraqi-Kuwaiti border to make it into Iraq's 19th province; what really made Saddam Hussein decide to invade was when Kuwaiti leader Sheik Jaber Al Ahmed Al Sabah told him that he was going to turn every Iraqi woman into a $10 ho? On July 25 April Glaspie (1942-), U.S. ambassador to Iraq meets with Iraqi Pres. Saddam Hussein to discuss Iraq's economic dispute with Kuwait.
Saddam's big miscalculation? On Aug. 2, 1990 Black Thursday sees Iraqi troops invade Kuwait and set up a well-oiled puppet govt. by Aug. 3; on Aug. 2 by a 14-0-1 (Yemen) vote the U.N. Security Council approves Resolution 660, condemning Iraq and demanding the unconditional withdrawal of Iraqi troops; PLO chief Yasser Arafat's support of Sodamn Insane results in the PLO's isolation; on Aug. 3 thousands of Iraqi soldiers push to within a few mi. of the border with Saudi Arabia, heightening world concerns about the invasion spreading; on Aug. 6 the U.N. imposes sanctions on Iraq, barring it from selling oil except in exchange for food and medicine; on Aug. 6-7 Operation Desert Shield begins as Pres. Bush at the request of King Fahd sends U.S. troops to Saudi Arabia to guard it, and are joined on Aug. 11 by Egyptian and Moroccan troops from the Arab League; on Aug. 8 Iraq annexes Kuwait as its 19th province, with Saddam Hussein's cousin Ali Hassan Al-Majid (Ali Hassan Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti) (1941-2010) as military gov.; Italian politician Cicciolina (Ilona Staller) (1951-) offers to have sex with Saddam Hussein if he will release all foreign hostages; the Saudis permit U.S. troops to use a base in their country, angering Muslim conservatives, who see infidels polluting their soil, while Kuwaitis are more practical, but politely request Army chaplains to remove religious insignia from their uniforms and get antsy about the sight of women driving cars and carrying guns?; after seeing women soldiers among the U.S. forces, 47 women from the Saudi intelligentsia go for a joy ride to protest Saudi Arabia being the world's only country that keeps women from driving, getting arrested and crushed by the regime; meanwhile Am. Christian evangelist Franklin Graham (1952-) (son of Billy Graham) is told by Saudi officials that Christian Bibles and religious material is illegal to send to Saudi Arabia in the mail, along with alcohol and porno - the U.S. is faced with the dilemma that destroying minority Sunni control of Iraq will make it easy for Shiite Iran to absorb it, opening a royal road to Israel through Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, which is why they don't attack and cut off Baghdad when the Iraqi troops are out in Kuwait, but just try to drive them back? Too bad, Bush Jr. isn't up to speed when he gets in the White House?
In other words, I hate all you infidels? On Aug. 5, 1990 the 57-member Org. of the Islamic Conference (OIC) signs the upside-down Cairo Declaration of Human Rights, a rebuke to the Dec. 10, 1948 U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), substituting you-guessed-it Sharia, declaring "the place of mankind in Islam as viceregent of Allah on Earth", a reference to Quran 3:110, proclaiming Muslim supremacy, and calling Christians and Jews (People of the Book) "perverted transgressors". On Aug. 12 Air Force SSgt. John Campisi (b. 1960) of West Covina, Calif. dies after being hit by a military truck in Saudi Arabia, becoming the first U.S. casualty of the Persian Gulf War. On Aug. 12 Iraqi Pres. Saddam Hussein seeks to tie any withdrawal of his troops from Kuwait to an Israeli withdrawal from the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. On Aug. 13 Pres. Bush orders U.S. defense secy. Dick Cheney to the Persian Gulf for the 2nd time since Iraq invaded Kuwait. On Aug. 13-14 Iraq says that approx. 9K foreigners, incl. North Ams., Europeans and Australians may not leave Iraq and Kuwait until hostilies cease. On Aug. 15 in an attempt to gain support against the U.S.-led coalition, Saddam Hussein offers to make peace with longtime enemy Iran. On Aug. 16 Pres. Bush meets with Jordan's King Hussein in Kennebunkport, Maine, where he urges him to close Iraq's access to the sea through the port of Aqaba. On Aug. 16 Saddam Hussein repeatedly calls Pres. Bush a liar and says the outbreak of war could result in "thousands of Americans wrapped in sad coffins". On Aug. 18 a U.S. frigate fires warning shots across the bow of an Iraqi tanker in the Gulf of Oman, becoming the first shots fired by the U.S. in the Persian Gulf crisis. On Aug. 19 Saddam Hussein offers to free all foreigners detained in Iraq and Kuwait provided the U.S. promises to withdraw its forces from Saudi Arabia and guarantees that an internat. economic embargo is lifted; on Aug. 20 for the first time since Iraq began detaining foreigners, Pres. Bush publicly refers to the detainees as hostages, and demands their release. On Aug. 22 Pres. Bush signs an order calling up reservists to bolster the U.S. military buildup in the Persian Gulf. On Aug. 23 Iraqi state TV shows Saddam Hussein meeting with a group of about 20 Western detainees, telling the "guests" that they are being held "to prevent the scourge of war". On Aug. 24 Iraqi troops surround foreign missions in Kuwait. On Aug. 24 Pres. Gorbachev sends a message to Saddam Hussein warning that the Persian Gulf situation is "extremely dangerous". On Aug. 25 the U.N. gives the world's navies the right to use force to stop vessels trading with Iraq. On Aug. 26 55 Americans who had been evacuated from the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait leave Baghdad by car, headed for the Turkish border. On Aug. 27 the U.S. State Dept. orders the expulsion of 36 Iraqi diplomats. On Aug. 28 German spy Juergen Mohamed Gietler (1957-) is arrested for passing military info. to Iraq on Western knowledge of Scud missiles. On Aug. 28 Iraq declares occupied Kuwait the 19th province of Iraq, renames Kuwait City Kadhima, and creates a new district named after Saddam Hussein, setting up a puppet regime under Alaa Hussein Ali (1948-) (until 1991); all foreign women and children are allowed to leave Iraq and Kuwait. On Aug. 29 a defiant Saddam Hussein declares in a TV interview that the U.S. can't defeat Iraq, with the soundbyte "I do not beg before anyone". On Aug. 30 in a moment of clarity forever repeated by conspiracy theorists, Pres. Bush tells a news conference that a "We can see a... new world order" coming into being from the Gulf crisis - an Orwellian global police state? On Aug. 30 U.N. secy.-gen. Javier Perez de Cuellar arrives in Jordan to try to mediate the Persian Gulf crisis in meetings with Iraqi foreign minister (1983-91) Tariq (Tareq) Aziz (Mikhail Yuhanna) (1936-) (a Christian).
On Sept. 1, 1990 Pres. Bush announces that he and Pres. Gorbachev will meet in Helsinki, Finland for a "free-flowing" 1-day summit on the Persian Gulf crisis and other issues. On Sept. 2 dozens of Americans are airlifted from Iraq. On Sept. 5 Saddam Hussein urges Arabs to rise up in a holy war (jihad) against the West and all former allies who have turned against him. On Sept. 5 Pres. Gorbachev meets with Christian Iraqi foreign minister Tariq Aziz in Moscow. On Sept. 9 Pres. Bush and Pres. Mikhail Gorbachev hold a 1-day summit in Helsinki, condemning Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. On Sept. 10 Iran agrees to resume full diplomatic ties with former enemy Iraq. On Sept. 13 Iraqi troops storm the residence of the French ambassador in Kuwait. On Sept. 14 during the Persian Gulf crisis, the U.S. Navy reports that U.S. troops fired a warning shot at an Iraqi tanker, then boarded it briefly before allowing it to proceed. On Sept. 15 France announces it is sending 4K more soldiers to the Persian Gulf and expelling Iraqi military attaches in Paris in response to Iraq's raids on French, Belgian, and Canadian diplomatic compounds in Kuwait. On Sept. 16 Iraqi TV broadcasts an 8-min. videotaped address by Pres. Bush, warning the Iraqi people that Saddam Hussein's brinksmanship could plunge them into war "against the world"; on Sept. 20 demanding equal time, Iraq asks U.S. networks to broadcast a message by Sodamn Insane in response. On Sept. 17 U.S. defense secy. Dick Cheney sacks Gen. Michael J. Dugan (1937-) as chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force #13 fter 79 days for imprudent comments to reporters about planning for the 1991 Gulf War, and he retires on Dec. 31, becoming the first JCS member to be dismissed since Adm. Louis Denfeld in 1949, and first top gen. to be relieved since Gen. Douglas MacArthur in 1951; he openly discussed contingency plans to launch massive air strikes against Baghdad and target Saddam Hussein, his family and mistress personally? On Sept. 19 Iraq begins confiscating foreign assets from countries that were imposing sanctions against them. On Sept. 22 Saudi Arabia expels most of the Yemeni and Jordanian envoys in Riyadh, accusing them of unspecified "activities jeopardizing the peace and security of the kingdom". On Sept. 23 Iraq threatens to destroy Middle East oilfields and attack Israel if other nations try to force it from Kuwait. On Sept. 25 in a videotaped Message to Infidel Americans, Sodamn Insane of Iraq warns that if Pres. Bush launches a war against his country, "it would not be up to him to end it". On Sept. 25 the U.N. Security Council votes 14-1 to impose an air embargo against Iraq; Cuba casts the lone dissenting vote. On Sept. 27 the deposed emir of Kuwait deliveres an emotional address to the U.N. General Assembly in which he denounces the "rape, destruction and terror" inflicted upon his country by Iraq; on Sept. 28 he visits the White House and boo-hoos some more. In Sept. in biological weapons scientists take control of a foot-and-mouth vaccine plant in Daura, Iraq and begin producing anthrax and botulinum toxin.
On Oct. 13, 1990 at the start of a 3-day conference in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, the crown prince of Kuwait promises greater democracy for the emirate after it is freed from Iraqi occupation. On Oct. 18 Iraq offers to sell its oil to anyone, incl. the U.S. for $21 a barrel, the same price before the invasion of Kuwait. On Oct. 19 Iraq orders all foreigners in occupied Kuwait to report to authorities or face punishment. On Oct. 25 defense secy. Dick Cheney says the Pentagon is laying plans to send as many as 100K more troops to Saudi Arabia. On Oct. 28 in a surprise move Iraq says it is halting gasoline rationing imposed earlier in response to global economic sanctions. On Oct. 29 the U.N. Security Council votes to hold Saddam Hussein's regime liable for human rights abuses and war damages during its occupation of Kuwait; in Sept. 2010 Iraq quietly agrees to pay the U.S. $400M to settle all claims by U.S. citizens who claim to have been tortured or traumatized. On Oct. 30 the Iraqi News Agency quotes Saddam Hussein as saying that Iraq is making final preparations for war, and that he expects an attack by the U.S. and its allies within days. On Oct. 30 in the Persian Gulf 10 U.S. sailors are killed when a steam pipe ruptures aboard the USS Iwo Jima. On Oct. 31 during a campaign swing in suburban Washington, D.C., Pres. Bush utters the soundbyte "I have had it" with the way Iraq is treating U.S. diplomats and hostages, saying "The people out there are not being resupplied. The American flag is flying over the Kuwait embassy and our people inside are being starved by a brutal dictator", but adds that he has no timetable for deciding on a possible military strike.
On Nov. 1, 1990 during a trip to Orlando, Fla., Pres. Bush accuses Iraqi forces of engaging in "barbarism" and "brutality," adding a history ignoramous soundbyte "I don't believe that Adolf Hitler ever participated in anything of that nature." On Nov. 3 U.S. secy. of state James A. Baker embarks on a fast-paced 7-country tour to "lay the foundation" for possible military action against Iraq. On Nov. 4 Iraq issues a new broadside, saying it is prepared to fight a "dangerous war" rather than give up Kuwait. On Nov. 18 Pres. Bush begins a series of meetings in Paris with allied leaders aimed at solidifying support for his Persian Gulf policies. On Nov. 18 Mikhail Gorbachev meets with Pope John Paul II in the Vatican, and the pope says that all possible efforts should be made to avoid war in the Persian Gulf. On Nov. 20 the Soviet Union again vetoes Pres. Bush's efforts to rally support for a U.N. Security Council resolution authorizing military force against Iraq. On Nov. 21 Pres. Bush arrives in Saudi Arabia, where he confers with Saudi King Fahd and Kuwait's exiled emir. On Nov. 22 Pres. Bush and his wife Barbara, along with top congressional leaders share Thanksgiving dinner with U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia. On Nov. 23 Pres. Bush confers separately with Egyptian Pres. Hosni Mubarak in Cairo and Syrian Pres. Hafez Assad in Geneva, seeking Arab support for his drive to expel Iraqi troops from Kuwait; Bush returns home on Nov. 24. On Nov. 29 the U.N. Security Council, led by the U.S. votes 12-2 to authorize military action if Iraq does not withdraw its troops from Kuwait and release all foreign hostages by Jan. 15, 1991.
On Dec. 1, 1990 Iraq accepts a U.S. offer to talk about resolving the Persian Gulf crisis. On Dec. 3 Pres. Bush begins a 5-nation South Am. tour starting in Brazil; on Dec. 4 in Uruguay Bush says he is not convinced that "sanctions alone" will bring Iraqi Pres. Saddam Hussein "to his senses" about invading Kuwait. On Dec. 4 Iraq promises to release 3.3K Soviet citizen hostages; on Dec. 6 it promises to release all its hostages, telling foreigners they can begin leaving in two days. On Dec. 13 a final evacuation flight from Iraq arrives in Germany carrying the U.S. ambassador to Kuwait and his staff, who had endured a 110-day Iraqi siege of their embassy. On Dec. 14 Pres. Bush gets Iraqi Pres. Saddam Hussein to agree to talks on the Persian Gulf crisis by Jan. 3. On Dec. 17 Pres. Bush pledges "no negotiation for one inch" of Kuwaiti territory, repeating his demand for Iraq's complete withdrawal. On Dec. 19 Iraq urges its people to stockpile oil to avoid shortages should war break out, and Saddam Hussein declares he is "ready to crush any attack". On Dec. 29 Iraq denies a report that it was engaged in secret contacts with the U.S. to avert war, and might withdraw from Kuwait before the Jan. 15 U.N. deadline. On Dec. 30 Iraq's information minister Latif Nussayif Jassim utters the soundbyte that Pres. Bush "must have been drunk" when he suggested Iraq might withdraw from Kuwait, adding "We will show the world America is a paper tiger."
On Jan. 9, 1991 U.S. secy. of state James A. Baker and Iraqi foreign minister Tariq Aziz meet in Switzerland, and fail to reach agreement. On Jan. 12 Pres. Bush receives authorization from Congress to use force to end Iraq's occupation of Kuwait; Pope John Paul II warns that a Persian Gulf War would represent "a decline for all humanity", as one of more than 50 appeals for peace between last Aug. and the Feb. ceasefire. On Jan. 15 anti-war protesters around the U.S. demonstrate in front of federal bldgs. and many are arrested, incl. 35 in Boulder, Colo. and 22 in Denver; meanwhile tens of thousands of Iraqi demonstrate in support of their brave heroic 54-y.-o. leader's stand and against Western "arrogance". On Jan. 15-16 (midnight) the U.S. deadline for Iraqi withdrawal from Kuwait expires, and the White House comments, "Jan. 15 was a day for Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait. It was not a deadline for U.N. action. The choice for peace remains with Saddam Hussein"; on Jan. 16 ABC, CBS, NBC, and CNN cover the start of the war, with CNN featuring on-site reporting from Peter Arnett, Bernard Shaw, and John Holliman from a Baghdad hotel room. On Jan. 16/17, 1991 (Wed./Thur.) the (Persian) Gulf War (AKA Operation Desert Storm) (ends Feb. 28) is launched by the U.N. to recover Kuwait less than 17 hours after Iraqi Pres. Saddam Hussein fails to meet a U.N. deadline for withdrawal of military forces from his "19th province"; 680K Allied troops (incl. Arab, British and French and 415K Americans) are arrayed against 545K Iraqi troops (with 480K reserves) concentrated in Kuwait and SE Iraq; U.S. forces incl. 245K Army, 75K Marines, 50K Navy, and 45K Air Force (who have use of NATO air bases in Turkey); the U.S. has 13 combat ships in the Mediterranean, 26 in the Red Sea, incl. aircraft carriers Saratoga, Kennedy, Roosevelt, and America, and 34 in the Persian Gulf, incl. the aircraft carrier Midway, and amphibious ships; the U.S. Central Command is just E of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; no-fly zones are declared and patrolled by U.S. and British planes; U.S. troops are vaccinated for anthrax in preparation for the war; the Styx song Show Me the Way is adopted by the Gulf War Troops as their anthem; Operation Desert Storm, commanded by U.S. Gen. Herbert "Stormin'" Norman Schwarzkopf Jr. (1934-2012) sees coalition forces from 35 nations begin a 6-week air attack on Iraq; CNN correspondents Peter Arnett, Bernard Shaw, and John Holliman report the start of the war live from a Baghdad hotel; Iraq fires eight Scud surface-to-surface missiles at Israel; in early Feb. 1.5K allied tanks and 150K allied troops are positioned for a flanking maneuver along Iraq's lightly defended S border with Saudi Arabia; on Feb. 24 the U.S.-led coalition opens its ground war against Iraq, faking a frontal invasion in S Kuwait, with the real forces attacking from the W on three points; on Jan. 17 U.S. Navy pilot Capt. Michael Scott Speicher (b. 1957) becomes the first U.S. service member KIA in the Gulf War, and it takes until Aug. 2, 2009 to identify his remains; on Feb. 26 the main highway from Kuwait to Basra becomes the Highway of Death in a huge traffic jam of fleeing Iraqis, and 10K Iraqis are KIA; on Feb. 27-28 Saddam stages his last stand with a fierce tank battle (largest since WWII), in which 200 Iraqi tanks and no U.S. tanks are destroyed (during the war U.S. Abrams M1 and M2 tanks kill 2K Iraqi tanks without a loss); the fighting ends on Feb. 28 after 110K Iraqi soldiers and tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians are killed, and 30K Iraqi POWs are taken; Saudi Arabia is charged $60B to pay for their defense, and takes out its first-ever ($4.5B) loan to pay for it (paid up on May 22, 1995); no Medals of Honor are issued for this action; after five U.S. aircraft carriers are deployed to the Persian Gulf, the U.S. stations at least one carrier there at all times (until ?). On Jan. 18 the Iraqis begin launching Scud missiles against Israel. On Jan. 21 Iraq announces it has scattered POWs in targeted areas; Pres. Bush announces that Saddam Hussein will be held personally responsible. On Jan. 23 Iraq deliberately creates a huge oil spill in the Persian Gulf. On Jan. 26 there are massive demonstrations for and against Operation Desert Storm across the U.S.; the largest is held in Washington, D.C. On Jan. 27 the super-patriotic Super Bowl XXV (25) is held in Tampa, Fla.; Whitney Houston sings a stirring rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner, which is the first-ever to reach the top 40; the N.Y. Giants (NFC) defeat the Buffalo Bills (AFC) 20-19 after Bills' Scott Norwood's 47-yard field goal attempt with 4 sec. remaining sails wide right; Giants' QB Ottis Jerome "O.J." Anderson (1957-) is MVP.
On Feb. 3, 1991 U.S. military officials confirm that seven of 11 Marines who were killed in combat on Jan. 30 died from friendly fire. On Feb. 6 Jordan's King Hussein denounces the "savage" war against Iraq as an attempt by the U.S. to control the Middle East; this comes after eight Jordanian tanker drivers are killed in allied air attacks while transporting gasoline to Iraq in violation of the U.N. embargo; on Feb. 7 Pres. Bush orders a reappraisal of U.S. aid to Jordan, and in Mar. Congress votes to cut $20M in military assistance and $30M in economic aid; in July after Jordan agrees to attend the Oct. 30 Middle East peace conference, economic aid is restored, followed by military aid on Oct. 30. On Feb. 10 approx. 100 celebs in L.A. record Voices That Care in support of allied troops in the Gulf War. On Feb. 15 Saddam Hussein makes a conditional offer to withdraw from Kuwait, but the allies reject it. On Feb. 22 the U.S. and its Gulf War allies give Iraq 24 hours to begin withdrawing from Kuwait or face a final all-out attack; on Feb. 22 the U.S. invades Kuwait and quickly chases out the Iraqi forces; on Feb. 24 the USS Tarawa (launched in 1973) lands troops in Kuwait; U.S. soldiers may have been exposed to minute amounts of the Russian nerve gas agent Substance 33; the drug PB (pyridostigmine bromide) is issued to U.S. troops, and many abuse it for the rush it gives. On Feb. 23 French forces unofficially start the Persian Gulf ground war by crossing the Saudi-Iraqi border. On Feb. 24 the allies launch the official ground war against Iraq and Kuwait. On Feb. 25 an Iraqi Scud missile hits a crowded U.S. barracks in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, killing 28; meanwhile, Iraqi soldiers carrying white flags and copies of the Quran surrender to coalition troops in Kuwait en masse; some Iraqi units have a 40% casualty and 30%-50% desertion rate, and in some cases had already left their trenches when Allied troops crossed into Iraq and Kuwait. On Feb. 26 Allied troops take control of Kuwait after a 100-hour ground war as Saddam Hussein calls for a troop withdrawl; a ceasefire in Kuwait is announced by Pres. Bush on Feb. 27, and on Feb. 28 Iraq announces an end to all hostilities; on Mar. 1 Pres. Bush announces: "We've kicked the Vietnam syndrome once and for all"; Saddam has the last laugh as he orders 730 Kuwaiti oil wells set afire (causing a 26K-sq.-mi. smoke cloud), and a Kuwaiti refinery spiked to release 240M gal. of oil into the Persian Gulf (25x as much as the 1989 Exxon Valdez accident); oil minister Homoud al-Roqbah (pr. RUG-bah) is put in charge of putting out the fires in 597 leaking and burning oil wells; total U.S. war dead: 382; total Iraqi war dead: 100K, incl. 80K in the air campaign and 20K after the ground war was launched; "It wasn't a war, it was a slaughter. The other side didn't show up and forfeited the game. Then we killed them in the parking lot." (Scott Armstrong, Am. U. in Washington, D.C.); too bad, after the Gulf War ends, in Mar. Kuwait expels 450K Palestinians for PLO support of Saddam Hussein, lowering their percentage of the 2.2M pop. from 30% to 3%. In Feb. First Lady Barbara Bush flies from Washington, D.C. to Indianapolis, Ind. to calm public fears about terrorism related to the Gulf War, becoming her first commercial flight as First Lady.
On Mar. 1-Apr. 5, 1991 after apparent encouragement by U.S. pres. George H.W. Bush, the 1991 Iraqi Uprisings see Shiite Muslims and Kurds rise up against Saddam Hussein in an intifada, but on Mar. 26 the Americans refuse to help and they are crushed; 50K are killed, and 1M flee to Turkey and Iran, wondering what the *!*?! is wrong with Amerika; Saddam Hussein begins an extermination war against the 100K Shiite Marsh Arabs (Ma'dan), launching a massive construction program using all of Iraq's equipment to build a series of canals to divert the Tigris River around them and turn the marshes into desert, reducing their pop. by 2003 to 1.6K, after which the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq allows the dikes to be breached, so that by 2011 50% of the wetlands are restored, and 20K Ma'dan return, with 80K-120K still in refugee camps in Iran. On Mar. 2 Syrian defense minister Lt. Gen. Mustafa Tlass (1932-) says in a radio broadcast that Yasser Arafat has lost all his internat. standing for supporting Iraq in the Gulf conflict, calling it a betrayal because Kuwait's ruling al-Sabah family supported his mainstream Fatah movement within the PLO. On Mar. 2 the U.N. Security votes 11-1-3 for Resolution 686, demanding that Iraq implement their 12 resolutions 660-2, 664-7, 669-70, 674, 677-8 after arranging a ceasefire; on Apr. 3, 1991 the U.N. Security Council votes 12-1-2 (Cuba, Ecuador, Yemen) for Resolution 687, laying down the law for loser Iraq, and establishing the U.N. Special Commission (UNSCOM) to ensure compliance with WMD prohibition; on Apr. 5, 1991 the U.N. Security Council votes 10-3-2 (Cuba, Yemen, Zimbabwe) (China, India) for Resolution 688, calling for Iraq to end repression of its people incl. Kurds; France, U.K., and U.S. use the resolution to establish no-fly zones above the 36th parallel to protect humanitarian operations; on Apr. 9 the U.N. Security Council votes 15-0-0 for Resolution 689, recalling Resolution 687 and setting up a DMZ with Kuwait and deploying the U.N. Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission of 200 military observers, with HQ in Umm Qasr, Iraq, growing to a max of 1,187 on Feb. 28, 1995 before withdrawing on Sept. 30, 2003. On Mar. 5 Iraq releases 15 U.S., 9 British, 9 Saudi, one Kuwaiti and one Italian POW, followed by the last 35 U.S. POWs on Mar. 6 as a condition for a ceasefire, causing the U.S. on Mar. 6 to release 294 Iraqi POWs, the first of 63K to be released; 30K Kuwaiti civilians are released by the Iraqis later. On Mar. 14 Sheik Jaber al-Ahmed al-Sabah, emir of Kuwait returns home after 7 mo. in exile. On Mar. 21 the U.N. releases a report stating that Iraq's public works have been bombed into a "pre-industrial" age. On Mar. 27 Gen. Schwarzkopf publicly questions Pres. Bush's judgment in calling a ceasefire in the Gulf War; he apologizes on Mar. 29.
On Apr. 1, 1991 the U.S. Treasury Dept. announces it has identified 52 firms and 37 persons worldwide who are fronts for Saddam Hussein's war machine and the up to $10B he has embezzled from skimming Iraq's oil and arms trade, incl. Bay Industries of Santa Monica, Calif. and Matrix Churchill Corp. of Cleveland, Ohio; the U.S. firms are closed and their assets seized; meanwhile U.S. officials report that Iraqi troops have retaken Dohuk, Erbil, and Zahko, the last major cities held by the Kurds as they crush the Kurdish rebellion in N Iraq, while simultaneously crushing a rebellion in S Iraq by pro-Iranian Shiites; Pres. Bush steadfastly refuses to interfere. On Apr. 3 the U.N. Security Council adopts a Gulf War truce resolution demanding that Iraq renounce its annexation of Kuwait, release all POWs, return stolen property, pay war reparations, renounce terrorism, abolish weapons of mass destruction (WMD) (except ballistic missiles with a range less than 90 mi.), and pay reparations; Iraq accepts on Apr. 6 - but then the fun begins? On Apr. 5 U.N. Security Council Resolution 688 is passed, condemning Iraq's suppression of the Kurds, and establishing a safe haven above Iraq's 36th parallel where they can set up safe enclaves. On Apr. 7 the U.S. belatedly drops supplies to Kurdish refugees in N Iraq and warns Iraq to not interfere; U.S. secy. of state James A. Baker tours the refugee camps on Apr. 8; on Apr. 10 the U.S. and Britain impose a no-fly zone to protect Kurdish provinces in Iraq. On Apr. 11 the U.N. Security Council issues a formal ceasefire to end the Gulf War (begun Jan. 16, 1991); on Apr. 14 the final withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from S Iraq begins 88 days after the offensive began. On Apr. 24 the Kurdish rebellion ends. In Apr. after offering the services of his Afghan mujahadeen fighters to Saudi regent Abdullah against Sadam Hussein, only to have him accept 500K U.S. troops instead, Osama bin Laden calls the Saudi govt. traitors and flees, moving to Pakistan, then to Sudan (until 1996); meanwhile after returning from Afghanistan where he fought against the Soviets alongside Osama bin Laden, who gives him seed money, Abdurajak Abubakar Janjalani (1959-98), Albader Parad (-2010) et al. form the militant Islamist Abu Sayyaf (Arab. "bearers of the sword of Islam") (AKA al-Harakat al-Islamiyya) group in the S Philippines, carrying out terrorist operations to create an independent Islamic province from the Roman Catholic Philippines (until ?); in 1998 Janjalani is killed in a shootout, and his men degenerate into a guerrilla gang that supports itself with kidnapping for ransom, along with torture, rape, and murder - like a Muslim Johnny Appleseed, sowing the seeds of hate apples?
On May 12, 1991 300M watch The Simple Truth, a satellite broadcast charity concert to benefit Kurdish refugees in London's Wembley Arena, starring Rod Stewart, Sting, Sinead O'Connor, et al. On June 10 celebrations are staged across the U.S. to welcome troops returning from the Middle East; New York City stages a ticker tape parade.
In 1991 Kenneth R. Timmerman (1953-) pub. The Death Lobby: How the West Armed Iraq, claiming it was a response to the overthrow of the shah of Iran; "The Islamic revolution in Iran upset the entire strategic equation in the region. America's principle ally in the Gulf, the Shah, was swept aside overnight, and no one else on the horizon could replace him as the guarantor of U.S. interests in the region", causing the U.S. to support Sadam Hussein as a weapon against the Islamic Repub. of Iran, removing Iraq from its list of state sponsors of terrorism in 1982.
The brains of LBJ, the gonads of Elvis? On Jan. 8, 1993 (his 58th birthday) the U.S. Post Office issues an Elvis Presley stamp (29 cents), and prints 50M copies, becoming the first rocker so honored. On Jan. 20 Ark.-born Georgetown U. grad, Oxford Rhodes scholar (first to become pres.) and Yale Law School grad., former Ark. gov., saxophone player ("first black U.S. pres.") ("first pres. to wear a tangerine lalalala speedo"?) (can't type) William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton (1946-) (Secret Service codename: Eagle/Elvis after his favorite singer) becomes the 42nd U.S. pres. (until 2001) in the 61st U.S. pres. inaguration; the 7th lefty U.S. pres. (last G.H.W. Bush); Albert Arnold "Al" Gore Jr. (1948-) (Secret Service codename: Sawhorse/Sundance) becomes the 45th U.S. vice-pres.; the 2nd time that the U.S. has six living presidents (Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton); the youngest combined age of pres. and vice-pres. (90) (until ?); the inauguration is in keeping with his status as America's first Baby Boomer pres., and features Maya Angelou reciting her poem On the Pulse of the Morning, and Fleetwood Mac performing "Don't Stop" (Bill's favorite thing for a woman to say?), scaring conservatives half to death and crystallizing desperate all-out desires to 'get' him?; Hillary Rodham Clinton (1947-) (Secret Service codename: Evergreen) becomes the first First Lady to have her own office in the White House, where it is rumored that she is the real president, has hairy balls, etc.
On Jan. 19, 1994 pro-Palestinian British Labour MP George Galloway (1954-) of Glasgow meets with Iraqi pres. Saddam Hussein, pissing off the British Parliament; he is expelled from the Labour Party in Oct. 2003. In early Oct. Iraqi troops mass on Iraq's border with Kuwait, but withdraw when the U.S. airlifts troops to the Gulf and threatens military action; the U.S. then charges Gulf Arabs $750M for their services.
On Mar. 23, 1995 Turkish officials announce their plans to establish a buffer zone in N Iraq to prevent raids by Kurdish rebels. On July 5 Turkey sends 3K troops into N Iraq to kick Kurdish guerrilla butt. On Oct. 15 Saddam Hussein receives over 99% of the 8M votes cast in a referendum on his rule in Iraq and a Hardplace.
On June 21, 1996 U.S. Defense Dept. officials announce that Gulf War troops may have been exposed to nerve gas when they destroyed an Iraqi ammo depot containing rockets armed with poison gas in Mar. 1991. On June 25 (9:50 p.m. local time) a 3K lb. truck bomb destroys the U.S. military residence of Khobar Towers in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, killing 19 servicemen and injuring 400 (incl. 250 Americans, plus Saudis and Bangladeshis); the complex houses Operation Southern Watch, which enforces the S Iraq no-fly zone; Iranian pres. #4 (1989-97) Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani gets a call at 10:00 p.m. saying "The package was delivered", causing the room to break into cheers?; Iranian Rev. Guards cmdr. Hadi Farhan al-Amiri later becomes transporation minister in the govt. of Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki, and is allowed to visit the Obama White House on Dec. 12, 2011 to hear him announce the end of the Iraq War; the Saudi royal family senses that it is losing its hold on power to swelling forces of Islamic fundamentalism as the masses mumble that they have sold out to Western materialism - hey, can you pay for my wives' fur coats and diamond rings? On Aug. 30 Saddam Hussein sends tens of thousands of Iraqi troops to quash enclaves of a Kurdish faction in N Iraq in the no-fly zone set up by the U.S. and its Western allies at the end of the 1991 Gulf War; on Sept. 3 the U.S. launches missile strikes against Iraqi air defenses in S Iraq in retaliation, and on Sept. 4 400K Iraqi troops pull out of the contested enclaves, but on Sept. 9 the Kurdistan Dem. Party (KDP), headed by Massoud Barzani and backed by Saddam captures the N Iraqi city of Slaimaniya (HQ of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan) without firing a shot, giving the KDP control of all Iraqi Kurdish cities. On Sept. 11 the U.S. dispatches warplanes to the Middle East in preparation for another attack on Iraq, and orders U.S. aircraft carrier Enterprise into the Red Sea - that's Star Trek so get down? On Nov. 6 Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussin enacts Flag Law No. 6 of 1996, modifying the secular Arab nationalist flag to add the takbir "Allahu Akbar". On Dec. 10 Iraq begins pumping oil abroad for the first time in six years after the U.N. approves a plan to allow it to sell $1B of oil twice each 6 mo. in order to buy food and medical supplies; Saddam Hussein reopens a 616-mi. pipeline shut down by Turkey in 1990 to pump the oil.
On June 11, 1997 the U.N. Security Council votes to tighten restrictions on Iraq if it doesn't quit blocking U.N. inspectors looking for WMDs, which started in Feb. 1991; on July 1 Richard William Butler (1942-) of Australia becomes head of the weapons inspection team, and on Oct. 6 reports that Saddam Hussein is blocking efforts to inspect germ warfare shells, after which on Oct. 23 the French block an attempt by the U.S., Britain, and seven other countries to keep Iraqis involved from travelling abroad; on Nov. 13 Saddam expels the U.S. members of the team, causing the entire team to withdraw in protest and U.S. Pres. Clinton to threaten military action; after Russian foreign minister Yevgeny Maksimovich Primakov (1929-) intervenes, Saddam agrees to a compromise on Nov. 19, and the inspectors return on Nov. 22, accusing him of using the time to build up his secret stockpiles; on Nov. 25 U.S. defense secy. William Cohen warns that Iraq might possess enough nerve gas VX to kill everyone on Earth, although he admits that 25 countries have or are developing nukes or WMDs. On Nov. 13 Iraq expels U.S. members of the U.N. inspection team mandated to ascertain that Iraq has destroyed all its WMD (weapons of mass destruction: chemical, biological, nuclear, and ballistic arms); the U.S. begins a military buildup in the Persian Gulf.
On Jan. 17, 1998 Sodamn Insane celebrates the 7th anniv. of the start of the Gulf War by threatening to evict all U.N. weapons inspectors from his lovely little garden state of Iraq. In Jan. U.N. weapons inspections in Iraq are blocked after the Iraqis accuse U.S. team head William Scott Ridder of being a spy; inspections are allowed to resume in Feb.; Saddam Hussein blocks inspections again in Aug., then breaks off negotiations in Oct., but relents in Nov. after the U.S. builds up its forces in the region; meanwhile U.S. Rep. (D.-N.Y.) (1975-93) Stephen Joshua Solarz (1940-2010) leads a group of conservatives urging Pres. Clinton to overthrow him. On Feb. 6 Pres. Clinton and British PM Tony Blair warn Saddam Hussein that any more hanky-panky with the U.N. weapons inspectors will likely bring a cowboy, er, military response. On Feb. 18 an audience at Ohio State U. in Columbus gives Madeleine Albright and other U.S. officials a hard time when they attempt to sell the Clinton admin.'s green light on military intervention in Iraq. On Feb. 22 U.N. secy.-gen. Kofi Annan shakes hands with Saddam Hussein on camera after brokering a deal to allow U.N. weapons inspectors to resume working in Iraq - a good time for a human bomb? Furthermore I hope my meaning won't be lost or misconstrued? On Feb. 23 at a press conference in Khost, Afghanistan, fundamentalist (fanatic) Islam's new Robin Hood Osama bin Laden (1957-2011) announces the formation of the World Islamic Front for the Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders, which he says has a duty to "kill Americans and their allies", with a single-minded purpose of driving the U.S. out of the Middle East and destroying Israel; later the real plan to Islamize the entire Earth by violence leaks out?; "In compliance with Allah's order, we issue the following fatwa to all Muslims: The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies, civilians and military, is an individual duty for every Muslim who can, in any country in which it is possible. We with Allah's help call on every Muslim who believes in Allah and wishes to be rewarded, to comply with Allah's order to kill the Americans and plunder their money wherever and whenever they find it. Unless you go forth, Allah will punish you with a grievous penalty, and put others in your place"; Mullah Muhammad Omar puts bin Laden into strict isolation to keep him from carrying out plots against the U.S., and tries to get a ruling by the Afghan supreme court that he is guilty of the U.S. embassy bombings on Aug. 7 in order to turn him over to the govt. of Saudi Arabia?; by 2001 up to 75% of all Muslims sympathize with the idea of supporting "jihad"; meanwhile, the stupid, er, wise Euro and U.S. authorities accept mobs of Islamic immigrants, thinking they can integrate them into their tolerant societies, but only creating a fifth column? - stay tuned? On Apr. 27 the U.N. defies Iraq's threats and votes to extend sanctions because of its blocking of arms inspections. On Nov. 14 Pres. Clinton cancels a military strike on Iraq just hours before it is set to begin after Saddam Hussein sends a vague letter to the U.N. promising what they want to hear, viz., unconditional cooperation with U.N. inspectors, seemingly ending the standoff with Britain and the U.S., but on Nov. 22 Iraqi foreign minister Mohammed (Muhammad) Saeed al-Sahhaf (1940-) (Shiite) announces that the U.N. is a sucker and they renege. The All-American Three Strikes and You're Out? On Dec. 15 chief U.N. weapons inspector, U.N. Special Commission (Unscom) chmn. Richard William Butler (1942-) accuses Iraq of blocking weapons facility inspections, and on Dec. 16 the U.S. and Britain begin air and missile strikes in an effort at long term attrition, targeting Iraqi military-industrial sites from bases in Kuwait and Oman, starting with a 23:00 Baghdad time hail of 200+ Tomahawk missiles (ends Dec. 19); similar crises had been resolved without such strikes in Feb. and Nov.; on Dec. 19 the strikes end, with the U.S. crowing success, causing Iraqi officials to pledge to never allow the return of them *!?*! U.N. arms inspectors over their dead bodies? - be careful what you wish for? In 1998 "Chemical Ali", Ali Hassan al-Majid, Saddam Hussein's right-hand man masterminds the gassing of Kurds in Halabja, Iraq, killing 5K.
|United States of America||William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton (1946-)||Jan. 20, 1993||Jan. 20, 2001|
|United Kingdom||Tony Blair (1953-)||May 2, 1997||June 27, 2007|
|United Kingdom||Queen Elizabeth II (1926-)||Feb. 6, 1952|
|Russia||Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin (1952-)||Dec. 31, 1999||May 7, 2008|
|People's Republic of China||Jiang Zemin (1926-)||1989||2002|
|Canada||Jean Chrétien (1934-)||Nov. 4, 1993||Dec. 12, 2003|
|France||Jacques Chirac (1932-)||May 17, 1995||May 16, 2007|
|Germany||Gerhard Schroeder (Schröder) (1944-)||Oct. 27, 1998||Nov. 22, 2005|
|Spain||King Juan Carlos I (1938-)||Nov. 22, 1975||June 19, 2014|
|Mexico||Ernesto Zedillo (1951-)||Dec. 1, 1994||Nov. 30, 2000|
|Israel||Ehud Barak (1942-)||July 6, 1999||Mar. 7, 2001|
|Egypt||Hosni Mubarak (1928-)||Oct. 14, 1981|
|Iraq||Saddam Hussein (1937-2006)||July 16, 1979||Apr. 9, 2003|
|Papacy||John Paul II (1920-2005)||Oct. 16, 1978||Apr. 2, 2005|
|U.N.||Kofi Atta Annan of Ghana (1938-)||Jan. 1, 1997||Dec. 31, 2006|
On Feb. 24, 2000 after Iraq refuses him entry, Pope John Paul II makes a "virtual pilgrimage" of Old Testament prophet Abraham's city of Ur, using props and videotape, then travels for real to Egypt, where he visits the place believed by many to be the Biblical Mount Sinai, then goes to Bethlehem and Jerusalem in an effort to reconcile all three Abrahamic faiths (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam); too bad, when he visits a Palestinian refugee camp on the West Bank to deplore the plight of the residents, and expresses empathy in English for the hardships of refugee life, his remarks are not translated into Arabic. On Mar. 27 nat. assembly elections are held in Iraq, and surprise, the Ba'th (Nat. Progressive Front) candidates all win, since only they are allowed to run; Saddam Hussein decides to switch from the U.S. dollar to the Euro, pissing off U.S. vice-pres. Dick Cheney and leading to the opinion that it's time for a regime change in Iraq? On June 30 the U.S. claims that Iraq resumed its missile program. On July 6 U.S. gen. Tommy Ray Franks (1945-) succeeds Gen. Anthony Zinny as cmdr. of the U.S. Central Command (until July 7, 2003), overseeing a 25-country region incl. the Middle East, and going on to lead the attack on the Taliban in Afghanistan the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq. On Sept. 4 Iraq violates Saudi airspace with its planes for the first time in 10 years in an obvious attempt to provoke a U.S. response. On Sept. 24 Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein receives a special copy of the Quran written in his own blood, commissioned in 1997 to thank Allah for having escaped unharmed from "a life full of dangers, during which I lost a lot of blood". In Nov. France talks Saddam Hussein of Iraq into defying the U.S. petrodollar hegemony and sell oil for food in euros instead of dollars - the real reason for the Mar. 2003 invasion? On Dec. 31 Saddam Hussein presides over a military parade in Baghdad, dressed in a suit, tie and hat, and fires a rifle with one hand like "The Rifleman", which becomes his image-making move to gun-proud Americans? - like challenging cowboy Bush to a gunfight?
On Jan. 7, 2001 500 Turkish troops push 100 mi. into N Iraq in response to a call for help from the PUK, which is fighting the PKK; 10K Turkish troops have entered N Iraq since Dec. 20. On Jan. 20 Conn.-born pickup truck-riding Tex. ranch owner, oilman, Yale and Harvard grad., F-102 pilot and former Texas gov. George Walker "Dubya" Bush (1946-) (Secret Service codename: Tumbler/Trailblazer) becomes the 43rd U.S. pres. (until 2009) in the 63rd U.S. Pres. Inauguration (2nd pres. son after J.Q. Adams to win the White House, only this one goes two terms and becomes one of the most unpopular presidents in U.S. history; 1st pres. with an MBA degree); the first monkey pres.?; has and his daddy George H.W. Bush have a striking resemblance to British Queen Elizabeth II and/or Prince Charles?; Richard Bruce "Dick" Cheney (1941-) (Secret Service codename: Angler) (whom Bush calls "Big Time") becomes the 46th U.S. vice-pres. (until 2009), the 2nd born in Nebraska (first Gerald Ford); John David Ashcroft (1942-) (former member of the "Singing Senators" with Larry Craig et al.) becomes U.S. atty.-gen. #79 (until Feb. 3, 2005); on Jan. 22 Stephen John Hadley (1947-) becomes deputy U.S. nat. security adviser (until Jan. 26, 2005); Donald Henry Rumsfeld (1932-) becomes U.S. defense secy. #21 (until Dec. 18, 2006), the oldest (69), and earlier the youngest (43) (#13 under Pres. Ford in 1975-7).
On Sept. 11, 2001 (Tues.) the 9/11 Attacks see the New York City skyline changed after 19 lowdown cowardly stinking crazed Satan-controlled Muslim raghead jihad terrorist scumbags (incl. 15 Saudis) hijack four U.S. commercial airliners and take over the unprotected cabins, using flying lessons given them in the U.S. to steer and crash into the twin towers of the World Trade Center (WTC) (dedicated in Apr. 1973), and also the Pentagon; Am. Airlines Flight 11 (Boeing 767) from Boston to Los Angeles hits the North Tower at 8:46:26 a.m. with a direct hit that disables all the elevators; actor Tony Perkins' wife Berinthia "Berry" Berenson Perkins (b. 1948) is on Flight 11; United Airlines Flight 175 (Boeing 767) from Boston to Los Angeles hits the South Tower at 9:02:54 a.m. at an angle, permitting people to escape; Am. Airlines Flight 77 from Washington, D.C. to Los Angeles hits the SW face of the Pentagon at 9:43 a.m. on the 60th anniv. of its groundbreaking; it was really a U.S.-launched missile, and was covered-up?; Pres. Bush first informs the nation of "an apparent terrorist attack on our country" at 9:30 from the school; at 9:45 a.m. the FAA grounds all civilian domestic and internat. flights to/from the U.S., although an El Al (Boeing 747) flight is allowed to take from JFK Airport to Tel Aviv at 4:11 p.m.; commercial flights resume on Sept. 13, followed by private flights on Sept. 14; on Sept. 20 a flight containing Bin Laden family members is allowed to leave the U.S., carrying four Americans; on Sept. 11 NBC-TV commentator Tom Brokaw answers a speculation by Matt Laurer with "This is war. This is a declaration and execution of an attack on the United States", later chanting "War! War!"; "When I saw the second airplane hit, I knew jihad has come to America" (Nonie Darwish); the South Tower implodes at 9:59:04 a.m., followed by the North Tower at 10:28:31 a.m., after the jet fuel ignites tons of paper, which causes internal temps as high as 2K F; Pres. Bush is informed of the South Tower crash at 9:07 a.m. by White House chief of staff Andrew Hill "Andy" Card Jr. (1947-) while visiting with 2nd grade (mainly black) students at Emma E. Booker Elementary School in Sarasota, Fla., and turns red, but stays with the kids, reading aloud from the children's story The Pet Goat (by Siegfried Engelmann and Elaine C. Bruner) with them; United Air Lines Flight 93 from Newark, N.J. to San Francisco carrying 37 passengers and 7 crew crashes at 10:10 a.m. in Somerset County, Penn. (80 mi. SE of Pittsburgh and 150 mi. NW of Washington, D.C.) as the 33 all-American passengers fight back against the four ragheads instead of cowering like sheep, and kick surprised terrorist butt, although too late to prevent the crash; Flight 93 passenger Todd Morgan Beamer (b. 1968) becomes a U.S. hero when he quarterbacks the makeshift anti-raghead team with the all-American words "Let's roll!", which are heard on his cellphone; his sad-proud wife Lisa later founds the charity Heroic Choices; British-born former U.S. Army officer Cyril Richard "Rick" Rescoria (b. 1939), vice-pres. of security at Morgan Stanley (scheduled for retirement at year's end) dies after helping 2.7K coworkers to safety; after rushing in to help not knowing about the impending collapse; 343 firefighters die in the Twin Towers, and firefighter (Argentine native) Sergio G. Villanueva becomes a hero; two Port Authority of N.Y. and N.J. police officers survive the towers' collapse and are rescued from the rubble after 22 hours; 300K are evacuated by boat in lower Manhattan after hundreds of craft answer a Coast Guard call for help "From All Available Boats" and converge on the West Side; 2,976 are killed in the 9/11 attacks, incl. 2,605 in New York City, 125 at the Pentagon (incl. 55 military personnel), and 246 on the four planes, with 24 listed as missing, becoming the most Americans lost on U.S. soil since the Sept. 17, 1862 Battle of Antietam, and the greatest single-day civilian loss of life in the U.S. since the May 31, 1889 Johnstown Penn. Flood; many Palestinians openly celebrate the attack on the Great Satan U.S.; Iraqi pres. Saddam Hussein utters the soundbyte "The American cowboys are reaping the fruit of their crimes against humanity"; the govts. of Cuba, Iran, Libya and North Korea join a worldwide chorus denouncing the attacks; Arab leaders denouncing the attacks incl. King Hussein of Jordan, Egyptian pres. Hosni Mubarak, and Lebanese PM Rafik Hariri; some Muslims around the world express sympathy for the 9/11 victims, incl. a moment of silence at a World Cup match between Bahrain and Iranon Sept. 14, and a candlelight vigil by Palestinians in Jerusalem on Sept. 15 along with another in Tehran; on Sept. 14 Ireland holds a nat. day of mourning, the only country other than the U.S. and Israel to do so; the Taliban in Afghanistan condemns the attacks but denies that Osama bin Laden is behind them; bin Laden also denies involvement, claiming that there is a govt. within the govt. of the U.S. that wants to turn the 21st cent. into a cent. of conflict between Islam and Christianity, suggesting U.S. Jews and intel agencies; the economic repercussions cost the U.S. economy $1T (same as Bush's June 7 tax cut); 40K workers work at "The Pile" at Ground Zero for the next 8 mo., removing 1M tons of rubble, and 69% of them later develop permanent lung problems known as "WTC Cough". On Sept. 11 after watching the 9/11 news on TV, T.L. Winslow (TLW) (1953-) of Denver, Colo. shelves his numerous other careers as computer programmer, engineer, fiction writer et al., and begins full-time work on T.L. Winslow's Great Track of Time, placing it on the World Wide Web on his Web site www.tlwinslow.com, where it first becomes accessible on Google on Oct. 29, until it receives over 100K hits and takes too much time and expense, pulling the plug in May 2003 and continuing to work on it for pub. by traditional channels. In Nov. Pres. Bush signs an executive order making non-citizens serving in the U.S. military on active duty eligible for citizenship; on Nov. 13 he signs another executive order giving the U.S. intel community extensive orders to go after terrorists - jump the border, go to Iraq, lose a leg, get your papers? In 2001 Iraqi nutcase Saddam Hussein's directorate of gen. security reports to him that the TV series "Pokemon" is an Israeli plot to contaminate the minds of Iraqi youths, and that the title is Hebrew for "I'm Jewish".
On Jan. 29, 2002 Pres Bush delivers his 2002 State of the Union Address, calling Iran, Iraq, and North Korea the "Axis of Evil", using the term "weapons of mass destruction" (WMD), and saying that the war on terrorism is "just beginning". In Jan. a high-level intel assessment by the Bush admin. concludes that the sale of uranium from Niger to Iraq was "unlikely" because of a host of obstacles; this report doesn't stop Pres. Bush from claiming that it happened in his 2003 State of the Union Address. In Jan. Bernard Lewis (1916-) pub. What Went Wrong: Western Impact and Middle Eastern Response, which is used as the main intellectual ammo by the Bush admin. to justify invading Iraq, AKA the Lewis Doctrine (an attempt to impose the secular Muslim Kemal Ataturk model), which doesn't help Bush's image in the Middle East because Lewis is a Zionist Jew. In Apr. U.S. gen. Tommy Franks flies into Britain for top secret talks about an invasion of Iraq with defense secy. Geoff Hoon 11 mo. before the real invasion, which doesn't become public until Oct. 2010.
On Sept. 8, 2002 U.S. nat. security adviser Condoleezza Rice (1954-) tells Wolf Blitzer: "There will always be some uncertainty about how quickly he [Saddam Hussein] can acquire nuclear weapons, but we don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud"; on Sept. 10 she tells reporters that "We do know that [Saddam Hussein] is actively pursuing a nuclear weapon." On Sept. 11 the U.S. Congress meets in the restored Federal Hall in New York City to commemorate 9/11. On Sept. 12 Pres. Bush gives an Address to the U.N., hinting loudly that it's time for a regime change in Iraq. On Sept. 17 after an earlier version by Colin Powell's senior aide Richard Haass is rejected by Condoleezza Rice as not "bold" enough, U. of Va. prof. Philip D. Zelikow (1954-), releases Overview of U.S. Nat. Security Strategy Following 9/11; on Nov. 27 the Nat. Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (9/11 Commission) is set up "to prepare a full and complete account of the circumstances surrounding the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks", incl. responses and preparedness, comprised of five Dems. and five Repubs., chaired by N.J. gov. Thomas Kean (ends Aug. 21, 2004); Zelikow is appointed exec dir., uttering the soundbyte "Why should Iraq attack America or use nuclear weapons against us? I'll tell you what I think the real threat (is) and actually has been since 1990 - it's the threat against Israel." In Sept. Pres. Bush's top economic adviser Lawrence B. Lindsey shocks the press with the revelation that the cost of the Iraq War might reach $200B, causing other aides to rebuke him and Bush to fire him 3 mo. later and replace him on Dec. 12 with Stephen Friedman (1937-); by 2006 the war costs over $300B?
On Oct. 7, 2002 Pres. Bush requests the U.S. Senate to give him sweeping military authority to go after Sodamn Insane, saying "We know that Iraq and the al-Qaida terrorist network share a common enemy: the United States of America. We know that Iraq and al-Qaida have had high-level contacts that go back a decade"; he adds "We've learned that Iraq has trained al-Qaida members in bomb-making and poisons and deadly gasses.... Alliance with terrorists could allow the Iraqi regime to attack America without leaving any fingerprints." On Oct. 10 U.S. Sen. (D-N.Y.) Hillary Clinton utters the soundbyte: "In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, incl. Al Qaeda members, though there is apparently no evidence of his involvement in the terrible events of September 11, 2001. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons. Should he succeed in that endeavor, he could alter the political and security landscape of the Middle East, which as we know all too well affects American security"; on Oct. 11 the U.S. Senate votes to give Pres. Bush sweeping authority to use military force in Iraq; her vote later comes back to haunt Hillary in the 2008 pres. campaign. In Oct. a Nat. Intelligence Estimate provided to Pres. Bush by the State Dept. says that "Baghdad has chemical and biological weapons as well as missiles with ranges in excess of U.N. restrictions", and that "Most agencies assess that Baghdad started reconstituting its nuclear program about the time inspectors departed - Dec. 1998"; "If left unchecked, it probably will have a nuclear weapon during this decade"; also, Iraq has "expanded its chemical and biological infrastructure under the cover of civilian production", and renewed production of mustard and sarin gas, and that Iraqi missiles might threaten the "U.S. homeland". On Nov. 8 the U.N. Security Council unanimously approves Resolution 1441, ordering Saddam Hussein to surrender all WMD and permit U.N. weapons inspectors or face "serious consequences" incl. war; on Nov. 9 the Pentagon announces that it is planning to send a force of up to 250K troops to Iraq; the Iraqi Parliament unanimously rejects the resolution on Nov. 12, but reverses itself and accepts the U.N. resolution on Nov. 13, permitting weapons inspectors into the country on Nov. 18. On Nov. 27 Saddam Hussein relents under a U.N. threat of "serious consequences" and allows U.N. weapons experts back into Iraq.
On Jan. 19, 2003 anti-war protests sweep the world as Pres. Bush tries to find an excuse to force U.S. troops into a war with Iraq (not realizing that Iraq is all that is keeping Iran from forming a Shia Sword all the way to Israel?); the admin. denies allegations that Bush is just a puppet of the multinat. oil corps. who want to use an occupied Iraq (home of the second largest oil reserves in the Middle East?) as a base to control Middle East oil (especially untapped Caspian Sea oil), or a puppet of the Zionist regime and Israel, or that the euros versus dollars issue has anything to do with it, but France, Russia, and Germany split with the U.S. and actively discourage U.S. invasion of Iraq as Bush builds up an invasion force that says screw you world. On Jan. 24 the new U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security opens, with Thomas Joseph "Tom" Ridge (1945-) as secy. #1 (until Feb. 1, 2005). The Bush admin. gives us the Plamgate-Uraniumscootergate micro-mini-scandal? On Jan. 29 (Tue.) Pres. George W. Bush gives his 2003 State of the Union Address, uttering the soundbyte "We will prevail" against terrorism, and uttering the "infamous 16 words", claiming that "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa"; the White House later admits that this charge plays a part in the decision to invade Iraq, and that it relied on faulty intel and should not have been in his speech; too bad, Congress had already voted to authorize the use of force in Iraq 3 mo. earlier; behind Bush on the walls of the Congress are all kinds of disturbing Illuminati, Mason, and Satanic symbols, incl. the Pillars of Jakin and Boaz and the good ole ancient Roman fasci; on May 6 New York Times columnist Nicholas Donabet Kristof (1959-) reports that an unnamed U.S. ambassador who had been sent to Niger in 2002 told the CIA and State Dept. well before Bush's speech that the uranium story was bullwhacky; in Nov. 2005 Italian intel officials conclude that a set of documents bolstering the Iraq-Niger link had been forged by an occasional Italian spy; in Jan. 2006 a FOIA lawsuit by conservative Judicial Watch causes the Jan. 2002 Secret Memo by the U.S. State Dept.'s intel bureau (in which the sale was declared "unlikely") to finally be declassified; meanwhile vice-pres. Dick Cheney's chief of staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby (1950-) asks undersecy. of state Marc Grossman to check up on that pesky bigmouth ambassador, and learns that his name is Joseph Charles Wilson IV (1949-), husband of Alaskan-born hot blonde Valerie Elise Plame Wilson (1963-), who since 1985 has been in the CIA and has worked up to station chief and works on the team that has been trying to decide if Saddam Hussein has WMDs, and somebody in the Bush admin. decides on a plan to 'get' Wilson by getting her; on June 11-12 Grossman tells Libby that Plame works for the CIA and that she was involved in planning the Niger trip, which is confirmed by Cheney's top press aide Cathie Martin, who says she got it from CIA spokesman (former U.S. Navy capt.) Bill Harlow; on June 11-12 Cheney confirms Plame's CIA status to Libby; on June 13 Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward interviews deputy secy. of state (2001-5) Richard Lee Armitage (1945-) for a book, and Armitage tells him about Plame working for the CIA; on June 23 Libby meets with New York Times reporter Judith Miller (1948-) and spills the beans to her; on July 6 Wilson pub. an op-ed column in the New York Times criticizing the admin.; on July 7 Libby meets with White House press secy. (2001-3) Ari Fleischer, and spills the beans again, allegedly telling him the info is "hush-hush", which Libby later denies; since both Fleischer and Libby are Zionist Jews, this proves a Zionist conspiracy connected with 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq?; on July 8 columnist Robert David Sanders Novak (1931-) interviews Armitage, who spills the beans to him, causing Novak to obtain confirmation from White House top political adviser Karl Christian Rove (1950-); on July 11 Fleischer again spills the beans to two reporters on a pres. trip to Africa; meanwhile Rove spills the beans to Matthew Cooper (1962-) of Time mag.; on July 14 a syndicated column by Novak spills the beans, citing two unidentified senior admin. officials; later it comes out that Cheney learned about Plame from CIA dir. George Tenet; when it is learned that disclosing a covert agent's identity is a crime and that a criminal investigation was authorized on Sept. 26, the admin. begins stonewalling, starting with Armitage telling investigators that he is the leak, followed on Sept. 29 by the White House denying that Rover, er, Rove leaked Plame's identity to retaliate against her anti-admin. hubby Wilson, despite his admitting to FBI that he had leaked the info. to Novak; too bad, on Oct. 14 and Nov. 26 Libby is interviewed by the FBI, and on Dec. 30 Chicago U.S. atty. Patrick J. Fitzgerald (1960-) (sounds like John Fitzgerald you know who?) is named to head the leak investigation - so get the lady another job and fuggedaboutit? In Jan. Saddam Hussein stuns his top military leaders when he tells them that he has no WMDs after all, and just wanted Iran to think he did to keep them off his back; the leaders are demoralized because they had counted on using gas or germ weapons against the Americans; after he is captured, Saddam repeats this, but adds to FBI agent George L. Piro that he faked having WMDs while in power but planned on developing them incl. nukes within a year; meanwhile Iraqi defector Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi AKA Curveball, who convinced Gen. Colin Powell et al. that Saddam had mobile WMD labs later admits he lied to sucker the U.S. into toppling him.
On Feb. 12, 2003 Donald Rumsfeld utters the immortal soundbyte in a briefing on the Iraqi situation: "As we know, there are known knowns. There are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns." On Mar. 14 U.S. Rep. James P. Moran Jr. steps down as a regional Whip for the House Dems. for making what he called "insensitive" remarks about Jews pushing the U.S. into war with Iraq - but are they true? On Mar. 14-15 the Dixie Chicks (Natalie Maines, Martie Maguire, Emily Robison) are pulled from country music station playlists after lead singer Natalie in a London concert on Mar. 10 comments that she is "ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas", despite an apology on Mar. 14 for being "disrespectful"; the petty viciousness of the backlash from the "American patriots" makes everybody ashamed of lots more people from Texas?; on Apr. 24 Diane Sawyer attempts to rehabilitate the Chix by interviewing them on TV in an Americanized version of the Stalinist show trial, and a nude mag. cover totally patches things up? On Mar. 16 U.S. vice-pres. Dick Cheney utters the soundbyte to reporters that "We will in fact be greeted as liberators... I think it will go relatively quickly... weeks rather than months"; he adds, "We believe (Saddam) has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons" - is that like orange juice? On Mar. 17 after claiming to have exhausted the diplomatic options, Pres. Bush gives Madass Saddam a generous 48 hours to leave Dodge, er, his own country with his sons and heirs. On Mar. 18 British PM Tony Poodle, er, Blair wins the approval of Parliament for joining the U.S. in using force to disarm Iraq despite some defections in his own party; meanwhile, France, Germany, and Russia continue to pooh-pooh them, triggering an anti-French reaction by Americans (who figure that the Frogs owe them for liberating their country in WWII?), causing a movement to change the name "French fries" to Freedom Fries, incl. the cafeterias in the U.S. House office bldgs. The Chimp President Plunges the U.S. Into Lord Knows What? On Mar. 19 after Pres. Bush relies on conclusions by neoconservative Pentagon policy chief (undersecy. of defense for policy) Douglas J. Feith (1953-) that Saddam Hussein is linked to al-Qaida, plus the advice of Jewish-Am. Islam expert Bernard Lewis (1916-) and Shiite Iraqi exile Ahmed (Ahmad) Abdel Hadi Chalabi (1944-2015) ("the George Wasington of Iraq", who later proves to be only it for the Shiites) Operation Iraqi Freedom to disarm Iraq, rid it of them pesky WMDs and force a regime change begins; the same day U.S. Sen. (D-W.V.) (1959-2010) Robert Carlyle Byrd (Cornelius Calvin Sale Jr.) (1917-2010) gives a speech in the Senate, saying "I weep for my country" as the U.S. discards its image of a strong, benevolent peacekeeper and begins the U.S.-Iraq War (ends ?), which becomes the TBI (traumatic brain injury) war, with improved body armor causing the highest injury survival rate in the history of warfare (86%), filling VA hospitals with disfigured and brain-damaged soldiers, who get to enjoy all the new hi-tech prosthetic devices; Britain's Prince Charles secretly lobbies in vain against it; the Bush admin. begins a secret Pentagon program to use retired military analysts to generate positive war news coverage; Iraqi Gen. Babaker Baderkhan Shawkat Zebari is appointed chief of staff of the Iraqi Joint Forces (until ?); the war is a giant mistake as it plays into al-Qaida's hands, eliminating their rival Saddam Hussein, intensifying anti-Americanism, helping them recruit more suicide bombers, and giving them time to destabilize the govt. of Pakistan in order to get their hands on nukes?; after Saddam Hussein's regime falls, the downtrodden Shiites finally get to observe their annual Ashura holiday despite the threat of Sunni attacks as a demonstration of power; meanwhile the 1M Iraqi Christians, which Saddam's regime kept from harm, find themselves in the middle of a world of hurt, and begin fleeing to Syria and Jordan amid mindless hate and murder - Bush's Planet of the Apes? On Mar. 20 the U.S. stages a surgical air strike, using over two dozen cruise missiles on the suspected Baghdad bunker of Big Bad Sodamn Insane; too bad, he is nowhere near the site, triggering massive world protests of the supposed injustice of attacking the murderous sick demented turdball's regime before it can attack the U.S., even though it is the U.S. who is paying and doing all the work, while they benefit; on Mar. 21 (8:09 p.m. local time) the U.S. opens up its promised Shock and Awe (Shock Allah?) phase of the war with a massive hi-tech air strike on Baghdad, inviting eager comparisons with the Nazi Blitzkrieg, even though the idea behind it is to attack only the regime not the subject people; on Mar. 20 a Gallup poll shows that 76% of Americans approve of the decision to go to war; the irrational hate flaring worldwide against the U.S. is so great that the question remains open of whether the entire Islamic world will finally unite in a suicidal religious jihad against the Great Satan of the U.S. and its Western allies, and bring the 14-cent.-long Muslim-Christian-Jewish world religious lifestyle war back, while the atheists, secularists et al. wait in the wings and hope they all give up their ridiculous beliefs of a looming End of the World once and for all? - what you been missing? On Mar. 31 ignoring his apology, NBC fires Peter Arnett for telling Iraqi TV that the U.S. war plan had failed in its initial stages; London's Daily Mirror quickly hires him. On Mar. 30 Donald Rumsfeld utters the soundbyte to reporters, "We know where [the WMDs] are." In Mar. Internat. Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) dir. gen. (since 1997) Mohamed el-Baradei (1942-) tells the U.N. Security Council that the documents claiming to prove that Iraq tried to acquire uranium from Niger are bogus, after which the U.S. tries to get him fired, but can't get enough support from other countries, after which on June 9 Condoleezza Rice meets with him and the U.S. drops its objections, and he is reappointed on June 13; he is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005.
On Apr. 1, 2003 U.S. Special Forces rescue from an Iraqi hospital U.S. Army Pfc. Jessica Lynch (1984-), whose 507th Ordnance Maintenance Co. had been ambushed on Mar. 23 in Nasiriya, Iraq, becoming an overblown media event; everybody's got a theory (she is from Palestine, W. Va., get it?); Mohammed Odeh Al-Rehatef, the Iraqi atty. who helped her escape is granted asylum in the U.S.; following her release from the hospital she returns to W. Va. to fiance Sgt. Ruben Contreras, then later drops him for Wes Robinson, and has a 7 lb. 10 oz. baby girl on Jan. 9, 2007. On Apr. 3 moderate Shiite cleric Abdul Majid al-Khoei returns to his home city of Najaf, Iraq from exile in the U.K; on Apr. 10 he is killed by a mob on the orders of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. On Apr. 6-7 after Saddam Hussein, fearing a Shiite uprising to which he would need to send troops, delays blowing up a key bridge on the Euphrates River S of the city to block their advance, U.S. forces easily raid C Baghdad and encircle the city, finding little resistance; at 2 p.m. on Apr. 7 an airstrike on Sodamn's residential palace in Baghdad is rumored to have killed him and his two devil spawn sons, but actually he is nowhere near the site, as he flees west toward Ramadi with them to escape U.S. forces, staying in a network of safe houses in civilian neighborhoods; on Apr. 7 he happens to be in a safe house only 1.5 mi. from the route taken by U.S. troops on their 2nd Thunder Run into Baghdad; on the night of Apr. 10 the U.S. bombs a bldg. next to a Ramadi house he is hiding in, causing him and his sons Odai and Qusai to split with him the next morning, going to Tikrit and Mosul (home of muslin), where U.S. troops kill them in July; meanwhile English journalist Boris Johnson (1964-) finds a cool leather cigar case in the bombed-out Baghdad villa of deputy PM Tariq Aziz, and decides to keep it, which later causes.Iraq to demand it back after he becomes mayor of London on May 4, 2008, and he finally surrenders it on June 24, 2008. On Apr. 8 a U.S. tank fires on Hotel Palestine in Baghdad, killing Spanish TV journalist Jose Couso Permui (b. 1965); on Oct. 19, 2005 a court in Madrid issues an internat. arrest warrant for the 3-man U.S. Third Infantry tank crew, Sgt. Shawn Gibson, Capt. Philip Wolford, and Lt. Col. Philip de Camp. On Apr. 9 Baghdad falls as Saddam Hussein's army proves to be what he once (1990) called the U.S. army, a paper tiger; the name of Saddam Internat. Airport is changed; too bad, Baghdad has 2M Sunnis and 4M Shiites, who hate each other's guts so bad that civil war soon brews, with the hapless U.S. troops in the middle, and Iran waiting in the wings to back the Shiites, with an obvious plan to exterminate the Sunnis, amalgamate the two countries, get nukes, and then form the main shaft of a spear headed directly into Israel, pushing it into the sea, and leaving the U.S. in the position of picking up refugees like in the days of Dunkirk? - and the Clueless Chimp of the White House unable to face the reality that if he had just left Saddam in power it would have remained stable? On Apr. 11 Donald Rumsfeld is questioned by reporters about widespread looting in Baghdad, and utters the soundbyte "Stuff happens, and it's untidy, and freedom's untidy, and free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things." On Apr. 13 during the confusion of the U.S. invasion the Baghdad Museum is stripped by prof. thieves. On Apr. 13 the U.S. announces the capture of Watban Ibrahim Hasan al-Tikriti, half-brother and adviser to Saddam Hussein. On Apr. 13 7 U.S. POWs, incl. black Army Specialist Shoshana Nyree Johnson (1971-) (first black POW in U.S. history) are released by Iraqi troops near Trikit. On Apr. 15 Abu (Mohammad) Abbas (1948-2004), mastermind of the 1985 PLO Achille Lauro hijacking is captured at his Badhdad home where he had lived for years basking in the glory of an Islamic freedom fighter. On Apr. 20 the U.S. Army takes control of Baghdad from the Marines. In Apr. a stash of foreign currency worth $200M ($100M U.S., 90M euros) is found in a Baghdad neighborhood; it is flown out of Iraq and set to be returned to help rebuild it.
Oh mister bookworm what's the matter? On May 1, 2003 Pres. Bush emerges from a Navy jet clad in a flight suit on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln under a giant "Mission Accomplished" banner, announcing that "major combat operations in Iraq have ended... In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed. The battle of Iraq is one victory in a war on terror that began on Sept. 11, 2001, and still goes on. We do not know the day of final victory, but we have seen the turning of the tide"; meanwhile shooting goes on daily, the country has no basic services, neither Saddam Hussein nor his spooky WMDs have been found, and giant ammounts of weapons and ammo are stolen by insurgents to fight with and make IUDs out of; up to this speech, 139 U.S. soldiers been killed, and three years later the figure increases by 2,258 - if the U.S. had summarily pulled out then and there, Bush would have been right? On May 7 Pres. Bush orders U.S. sanctions against Iraq lifted. On May 10 Shiite leader Ayatollah Sayed Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim (b. 1939) returns triumphantly to his Iraqi homeland after two decades in Iranian exile; on Aug. 29 he is killed along with 84-125 others when a car blomb explodes as he leaves Imam Ali Mosque in Najaf. On May 11 the U.S. declares the Iraqi Ba'ath Party dead. On May 22 the U.N. Security Council gives the U.S. and Britain a mandate to rule Iraq, ending 13 years of economic sanctions. On May 22 John McCain brags about his support for the Bush admin. with the soundbyte: "I voted with the president over 90% of the time, higher than a lot of my Republican colleagues", which is later used against him bigtime when he runs for pres. in 2008. On May 29 Pres. Bush issues the soundbyte to reporters: "We found the weapons of mass destruction." In May U.S. troops in Iraq find a Jewish archive in a flooded basement of Saddam Hussein's Mukhabarat secret police; despite there being only 10 Jews left in Iraq by 2010, the Iraq govt. demands that they be returned.
On June 28, 2003 the toll of U.S. dead since the start of the Iraqi invasion tops 200 - it'll never reach a thousand? In June U.S. Army chief of staff Gen. Eric Ken Shinseki (1942-), the first Asian U.S. gen. retires after telling defense secy. Donald Rumsfeld that it would take several hundred thousand, not 140K soldiers to pacify Iraq; he is replaced by Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez (1951-), the highest-ranking Hispanic in the U.S. Army (until Nov. 1, 2006), who later slams Bush's handling of the Iraq War. On July 5 a bomb blast in Ramadi, Iraq kills seven Iraqi police recruits as they graduate from a U.S.-taught training course. On July 7 U.S. Gen. Tommy Franks, head honcho of the Iraqi invasion retires. On July 14 Iraq's new governing council meets for the first time, and votes to send a delegation to the U.N. Security Council to assert its right to represent Baghdad. On July 22 Saddam Hussein's sons Qusai and Odai are killed in a gun battle with U.S. soldiers. On July 22 Saddam Hussein's sons Qusai and Odai are killed in a gun battle with U.S. soldiers. On July 22-24 the House and Senate intelligence committees issue their Final Report on 9/11, citing countless screwups on the part of U.S. authorities. On July 23 an audiotape purporting to be from Saddam Hussein calls on Iraqis to resist the U.S. occupation - they listen and obey a man On Aug. 7 a bombing outside the Jordanian Embassy in Baghdad kills 19. hiding in a hole? On Aug. 13 Iraq begins pumping crude oil from its N oil fields for the first time since the start of Bush's war. On Aug. 19 a suicide truck bomb strikes U.N. HQ in Baghdad, killing 22, incl. the top U.N. envoy Sergio Vieira de Mello (b. 1948) of Brazil; al-Qaida-connected mastermind Ali Hussein Alwan Hamid al-Azzawi is captured in Iraq in Jan. 2010. On Sept. 14 Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, U.S. military cmdr. in Iraq authorizes the use of loud rock music to break terrorist POWs "to create fear, disorient... and prolong capture shock". On Sept. 17 Spain's leading investigating judge Baltasar Garzon (Garzón) Real (1955-) issues the first indictment against Osama bin Laden for the 9/11 attack. On Sept. 17 Pres. Bush tells reporters "There's no question that Saddam Hussein had al-Qaida ties."
On Oct. 9, 2003 a suicide car bomber at a Baghdad police station kills eight. On Oct. 12 a suicide attack outside a Baghdad hotel full of Americans kills six bystanders. On Oct. 22 Pres. Bush is heckled during a speech to a divided Australian Parliament in which he defends the war with Iraq. On Oct. 25 thousands of anti-war protesters chanting "Impeach Bush!" hold a rally in Washington, D.C. On Oct. 26 a barrage of rockets hits Baghdad's Al-Rasheed Hotel, killing a U.S. col. and wounding 18 others; deputy U.S. defense secy. Paul Wolfowitz (1943-) (Pres. Clinton's atty. in the Paula Jones case) is in the hotel but is unhurt. On Oct. 27 suicide bombers in Baghdad, Iraq strike a Red Cross HQ and three police stations, killing dozens. On Oct. 30 the U.S. House approves an $87.5B package for Iraq and Afghanistan, and on Nov. 3 the U.S. Senate approves it; it becomes a pres. campaign issue when Dem. candidate Sen. John Kerry of Mass. issues the soundbyte: "I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it."
On Nov. 2, 2003 Iraqi insurgents use a shoulder-fired AA missile to shoot down a Chinook heli carrying dozens of U.S. soldiers near Fallujah, Iraq, killing 16 U.S. soldiers and injuring 26. On Nov. 7 a U.S. Black Hawk heli is downed hear Tikrit by an RPG, killing four crew and two passengers from the Dept. of the Army HQ in Washington. On Nov. 7 U.S. Pres. Bush gives a speech to the Nat. Endowment for Dem., in which he claims that the West must share the blame for the "freedom deficit" in W Asia (Middle East), with the soundbytes "Are the peoples of the Middle East somehow beyond the reach of liberty? Are millions of men and women and children condemned by history or culture to live in despotism? Are they alone never to know freedom and never even to have a choice in the matter?", and "Sixty years of Western nations excusing and accommodating the lack of freedom in the Middle East did nothing to make us safe because in the long run stability cannot be purchased at the expense of liberty." On Nov. 15 two Black Hawk helis crash in Mosul, Iraq after colliding while trying to avoid ground fire, killing 17 U.S. soldiers and wounding five. On Nov. 26 Maj. Gen. Abed Hamed Mowhoush, former Iraqi air force cmdr. is killed by suffocation by U.S. troops during interrogation, his head covered with a sleeping bag with an electrical cord wrapped around his neck to create a "stress position"; after a coverup attempt, four U.S. servicemen are arrested, and chief warrant officer Lewis E. Weishofer Jr. (1964-) is convicted of negligent homicide in a 2006 court-martial. On Nov. 27 Pres. Bush sneaks into Iraq to spend Thanksgiving with U.S. troops and thank them for "defending the American people from danger". On Nov. 29 gunmen in Iraq ambush and kill two Japanese diplomats. On Nov. 29 seven members of Spain's military intelligence agency are killed in Mahmudiyah, Iraq. On Nov. 30 Iraqi insurgents stage coordinated attacks throughout the city of Samarra, Iraq, catching U.S. soldiers between Iraq and a hard place. On Nov. 30 two South Korean contractors are killed in a roadside ambush in Iraq.
On Dec. 13/14, 2003 (Fri./Sat.) Saddam Hussein is captured like a rat by elite U.S. Special Ops. unit Task Force 145 in Operation Red Dawn (named after the 1984 film), hiding in a rat hole under a farmhouse in Adwar, Iraq near his hometown of Tikrit; he is armed but offers no resistance, and looks a mental and physical wreck; on Dec. 14 he is displayed on TV screens worldwide looking like a bum saying aah for a flophouse doctor? On Dec. 15 Iraqi leaders celebrate the capture of So Damn Insane, saying that they want to bring him to a quick trial and execute him by summer, but U.S. officials signal that it will be put on the backburner; meanwhile FBI agent George Piro interviews him for 7 mo., getting him to talk and admit that the WMD talk was a bluff aimed at Iran, that the U.N. weapons inspectors dismantled them, and that he never expected a major U.S. invasion, only a 4-day aerial attack like he had survived before. On Dec. 24 a roadside bomb explodes N of Baghdad, killing three U.S. soldiers, becoming the deadliest attack on Americans so far in Iraq following Saddam Hussein's capture. On Dec. 27 coordinated rebel assaults in Karbala, Iraq kill 13, incl. six coalition soldiers. On Dec. 31 a car bomb explodes in a crowded restaurant hosting a New Year's Eve party in Baghdad, Iraq, killing eight Iraqis. In 2003 an effort by the U.S. to rebuild Iraq with 20 planes full of $12B in cash from seized Iraqi assets known as the Development Fund for Iraq is stymied when $6.6B is reported missing; in 2011 it turns out it was safe in the Central Bank of Iraq.
On Jan. 13, 2004 a U.S. Army Apache attack heli is shot down in Iraq, but the two crew members escape injury. The U.S. stinks itself up after supposedly invading Iraq moral grounds? On Jan. 13 U.S. Army Spc. Joseph M. Darby (1979-) of the 800th MP Brigade at Abu Ghraib Prison in Iraq blows the whistle on the first case of U.S. abuse of Iraqi POWs there (many in the previous 3 mo.); on Mar. 20 after an internal Army probe led by Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba (1950-), six soldiers are charged; on Apr. 28 CBS airs disturbing photos of prisoner humilitation and abuse, setting off a public outcry and becoming the turning point in bland public acceptance of the war, and eroding the U.S. moral image in the world; on May 6 Pres. Bush publicly apologizes, followed by Donald Rumsfeld on May 7. On Jan. 17 three U.S. soldiers are killed N of Baghdad, pushing the U.S. death toll in Iraq to the 500 mark. On Jan. 18 a suicide truck bombing outside the HQ of the U.S.-led coalition in Baghdad kills 31. On Jan. 25 the Respect Party (Respect, Equality, Socialism, Peace, Environmentalism, Community and Trade Unionism) is founded in Manchester, England to fight the Iraq War by British Muslim Salma Yaqoob (1971-) et al. On Jan. 26 the White House finally retreats from its confident claims that Iraq had WMDs, and Dems. swiftly seek to make political hay.
On Feb. 8, 2004 Pres. Bush is interviewed on NBC-TV's "Meet the Press", and denies marching America blind into war under false pretenses, claiming that it was necessary because Madman Hussein could have developed a nuke. On Feb. 11 a car bomb at an army recruiting center in Baghdad kills 47 people. On Feb. 14 guerrillas raid a police station W of Baghdad, killing 23 and freeing dozens of prisoners. On Feb. 21 the Internat. Red Cross visits Saddam Hussein in U.S. custody.
On Mar. 2 a series of coordinated blasts in Iraq kills 181 at Shiite shrines in Karbomba, er, Karbala and Bangdead, er, Baghdad during a Shiite Muslim religious festival. On Mar. 8 Iraq's governing council signs an interim constitution. On Mar. 17 a car bomb blows up a 5-story hotel catering to foreigners in the heart of beautiful Baghdad, killing seven. On Mar. 21 the White House disses assertions by Pres. Bush's former counterterrorism coordinator Richard Alan Clarke (1950-) that his admin. had failed to recognize the risk of an attack by al-Qaida in the months leading up to 9/11. On Mar. 23 U.S. defense secy. Donald Rumsfeld and U.S. state secy. Colin Powell testify before the 9/11 Commission, chaired by former N.J. Gov. (1982-90) Thomas Howard Kean (1935-) and former Ind. rep. Lee Herbert Hamilton (1931-), and strongly defend the pre-9/11 actions of the admin. On Mar. 30 Pres. Bush flip-flops and allows nat. security adviser Condoleezza Rice to testify publicly under oath before the independent 9/11 panel. On Mar. 31 four U.S. civilian contractors are killed by insurgents in Fallujah, Iraq; afterwards frenzied crowds drag the bodies out and string two of them from a bridge - for a look?
On Apr. 4, 2004 Baghdad Black Sunday, a U.S. 1st Cavalry Div. patrol assigned to assist with sewage patrol drives into an ambush in a Baghdad alley, suffering their record for single-day casualties as rescue vehicles from nearby Camp War Eagle lack armor plating because the gens. had believed that tanks would appear unfriendly for peacekeepers? On Apr. 9 U.S. SSgt. Matt Maupin (b. 1988) is captured near Baghdad, and used as propaganda by Muslim militants, who release videos that are shown on Al-Jazeera; his remains are discovered in Mar. 2008 on the outskirts of Baghdad 12 mi. from where his convoy was ambushed, and on Apr. 27, 2008 10K attend his funeral in Cincinnati, Ohio. On Apr. 21 five suicide bombers detonate car bombs against police bldgs. in Basra, Iraq, killing 74. On Apr. 27 U.S. warplanes and artillery pound Sunni insurgents in Fallujah, Iraq, followed by Iraqi police moving into the streets to take the city back. On Apr. 28 the first photos of the prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib Prison are shown on CBS' 60 Minutes II. In Apr. Ted Koppel's Nightline gets in trouble when he reads a list of U.S. servicemen and women killed in Iraq, and the Sinclair Broadcast Group accuses him of making an antiwar statement and refuses to carry the program.
On May 2, 2004 insurgent attacks across Iraq kill nine U.S. soldiers, showing that the U.S. is in for a long ordeal in Iraq - keep on the sunny side while fighting for your country? On May 7 the beheaded body of 26-y.-o. Jewish-Am. telecom expert Nicholas Evan Berg (b. 1978) is found in Baghdad; known for traveling unguarded throughout Iraq, he was warned by the FBI shortly before his Apr. 10 disappearance, and turns down a State Dept. offer for a free flight home; on May 11 the Web site of the militant Malaysian Islamist group Muntada al-Ansar uploads a video titled "Abu Musab al-Zarqawi shown slaughtering a Jewish-American"; the govt. immediately shuts the site down, causing terrorists to begin using Abu Musab al-Zarqawi (1966-2006) in their videos as a poster boy for their cause. On May 10 Pres. Bush expresses "deep disgust and disbelief" as he examines new photos and video clips of U.S. soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners while visiting the Pentagon.
One June 3, 2004 CIA dir. (since 1997) George Tenet (1953-) announces his resignation over intelligence lapses about WMD in Iraq, which Pres. Bush uses to excuse himself from repercussions for steamrolling the U.S. into invasion, particularly Tenet's statement that "It's a slam dunk, Mister President" when allegedly asked if Iraq has WMDs; Tenet becomes the longest office-holder in four decades. One June 13 gunmen assassinate a senior Education Ministry official in Iraq. On June 14 a car bomb during rush hour in a busy Baghdad street kills 12, incl. five foreign power plant workers. On June 20 Al-Jazeera airs a videotape from al-Qaida showing South Korean hostage Kim Sun-il (b. 1970) pleading for his life and for his govt. to pull troops out of Iraq; on June 22 he is beheaded, becoming the 3rd in the Middle East in a little over 1 mo. On June 23 the U.S. gives up trying to win a new exemption for U.S. troops from internat. prosecution for war crimes after the Abu Ghraib episode ties their hands. On June 24 coordinated attacks in N and C Iraq kill 89 incl. three U.S. soldiers. On June 27 NATO leaders meeting in Turkey pledge to take a bigger military role in Iraq, causing Pres. Bush to crow that the alliance is ready to "meet the threats of the 21st century". On June 28 at 10:26 a.m. the U.S. hands power over to an interim Iraq govt. led by Shiite PM Iyad Allawi (1945-) and Sunni pres. Ghazi al-Yawer (1958-) two days ahead of schedule to foil sabotage; Adnan Pachachi (1923-) is head of the gov. council; pres. envoy Lewis Paul Bremer III (1941-), top civilian admin. of the U.S.-led coalition flies from Baghdad about two hours after the handover ceremony; new U.S. ambassador John Negroponte (1939-) arrives in Baghdad the same day. On June 29 a roadside bomb in Baghdad kills three U.S. Marines and wounds two more; youthful insurgents celebrate the bombings for the media - we like this so much it's becoming a habit?
On July 1, 2004 the Saddam Hussein Trial begins as he is arraigned on war crimes and genocide charges before a judge in Baghdad, and tells him to stuff it. On July 8 insurgents detonate a car bomb and five mortars at a military station in Samarra, Iraq, killing five U.S. soldiers, one Iraqi guardsman, and three civilians, and wounding 20 U.S. soldiers. On July 22 the 911 Commission Report is issued, dishing out lukewarm blame on U.S. leaders; it finds that 11 Saudi hijackers had travelled to the U.S. via the Dubai airport, and that two of them were UAE citizens, and one had received $100K via the UAE. In July Pres. Bush finally drops his insistence on calling all radical Muslims "terrorists", and begins using the phrase "Islamic militants". On Aug. 25 a U.S. Army investigation finds that 27 people attached to Abu Ghraib Prison either approved or participated in POW abuse.
On Sept. 7, 2004 an AP tally shows that the number of U.S. military deaths in Iraq tops the 1K mark (1003); the Iraqi civilian death toll is estimated at over 10K. On Sept. 10 Osama bin Laden's chief deputy Ayman al-Zawahri claims in a videotape broadcast that the U.S. is on the brink of defeat in Iraq and Afghanistan: "The Americans in both countries are between two fires. If they continue they bleed to death and if they withdraw they lose everything"; the 3rd tape in a row issued by al-Qaida on Sept. 10 - why a day early this time and why no mention of attacks in the U.S.? On Sept. 12 Iraq has a Bloody Sunday as insurgents hammer C Baghdad with mortar and rocket barrages, and nearly 60 people are killed nationwide, incl. 37 in Baghdad. On Sept. 13 U.S. warplanes unleash airstrikes on a suspected terrorist (al-Qaida) hideout in Fallujah, Iraq, killing 20. On Sept. 21 Pres. Bush addresses the U.N. Gen. Assembly, defending his decision to invade Iraq and urging the U.N. to stand united with Iraq's struggling govt. On Sept. 29 British hostage Kenneth John Bigley (b. 1942) appears on an Islamic web site in a video weeping and pleading for his life; on Oct. 7 he pleads for his life again, then minutes later is later beheaded by members of al-Zarqawi's group. On Sept. 30 after a 16-mo. $900M coverup, er, invesigation, the Iraq Survey Group, led by top U.S. arms inspector (since 2004) Charles A. Duelfer reports that no evidence has been found that Saddam Hussein's regime had produced WMDs after 1991; on Aug. 6, 2006 despite a blizzard of publicity a Harris poll indicates that half of Americans still believe WMDs existed in Iraq in 2003.
On Oct. 4, 2004 insurgents unleash a powerful car bomb near the Green Zone (AKA Karradat Mariam) in C Baghdad, symbol of U.S. authority in Iraq, becoming a quantum leap; two other explosions bring the day's bombing total to 24 dead and 100+ wounded. On Oct. 4 Polish pres. (since 1995) Aleksander Kwasniewski (1954-) announces that he is considering withdrawing Poland's 2.4K soldiers from Iraq by late 2005 - faster if we can get away with it? On Oct. 16 Pres. Bush signs the U.S. Global Anti-Semitism Review Act of 2004, ordering the U.S. State Dept. to monitor global anti-Semitism and report annually to Congress. On Oct. 20 U.S. Army Reserve SSgt. Ivan "Chip" Frederick (1966-) of Buckingham, Va. pleads guilty to eight criminal counts for abusing Iraqi detainees at Iraq's Abu Ghraib Prison, saying that the degrading treatment was "for military intelligence purposes"; six other members of his Cresaptown, Md.-based 372nd Military Police Co. are also charged. On Oct. 28 insurgents execute 11 Iraqi soldiers and vow on a Web site that they will avenge the "blood" of woman and children killed in U.S. strikes on Fallujah. On Oct. 30 a suicide car bomber rams a U.S. convoy W of Baghdad, killing eight Marines and wounding nine.
On Nov. 1, 2004 U.S. contract workers Roy Hallums (1948-), Robert Tarongoy of the Philippines et al. are kidnapped in an armed assault on their Baghdad compound; Tarongoy is freed after 8 mo., Hallums on Sept. 7, 2005 after 311 days. On Nov. 7 coordinated attacks on police stations throughout Iraq kill more than 50 people; two dozens Americans are wounded. On Nov. 8-Dec. 23 thousands of U.S. troops attack Sunni insurgent strongholds in the Second Battle of Fallujah in Iraq, scoring a big military V for the U.S. and destroying the city, eliminating the last major guerrilla safe haven in Iraq. On Nov. 13 a U.S. Marine shoots and kills an apparently unarmed wounded Iraqi in a mosque in Fallujah, Iraq, angering Sunni Muslims as a video tape of the incident is shown over and over on Muslim TV; Marines could be heard telling the soldier that the raghead bum was playing dead? - everybody plays the fool sometime, but in Iraq it's one time too many? On Nov. 16 Iraq CARE dir. Margaret Hassan (b. 1945) (abducted on Oct. 19 from her car in Baghdad) becomes the first woman hostage to be killed by the insurgents since the U.S. invasion; so far 243 foreigners and Iraqis have been abducted, 162 freed, 31 missing and 50 killed; another woman, a Polish-Iraqi citizen remains a hostage. On Nov. 19 Iraqi electoral officials announce that they have set the date of Jan. 30 for the country's first dem. elections for the 275-member Nat. Assembly despite all the Sunni violence and boycott threats by Sunni Arab leaders. On Nov. 19 the world's leading economic nations cancel 80% of Iraq's $38.9B debt; Iraq owes another $80B to Arab countries. On Nov. 19 the U.S. House stuns Pres. Bush by killing legislation to reorganize America's intel services after the Pentagon, fearful of losing their turf influence conservative Repubs. to block it; public outcry causes them to about-face on Dec. 7, creating a dir. of nat. intelligence with power over the country's 15 intel agencies, a nat. counterterrorism center, and a civil liberties board to monitor the govt.'s activities; Defense officials are given priority in battlefield areas over spy satellite and other intel. On Nov. 25 Sunni Muslim spokesman urge postponement of the upcoming Jan. 30 Iraqi nat. elections, without effect. In Nov. the San Francisco Chronicle runs a photo of the cigarette-smoking "Marlboro Man", identified only as "a member of Charlie Company" in Iraq during the battle for Fallujah; he turns out to be James Blake Miller from Jonancy, Ky., later being discharged from the Marines with post-traumatic stress disorder; on June 3, 2006 he marries Jessica Holbrook, with readers of the San Francisco Chronicle contributing $15K; he files for divorce on June 26; of course the real Marlboro Man David McLean (-1995) died of lung cancer? In Nov. the Intelligencer, Journal of U.S. Intelligence Studies pub. an article by Mass. Gen. Hospital senior psychiatrist William Henry Anderson warning that the U.S. Muslim body politic contains 100K "zealots" that would have to be exterminated the way the "treatment of cancer requires killing of the malignant cells"; he is ignored until ?
On Dec. 5, 2004 gunmen ambush a bus carrying unarmed Iraqis to work at a U.S. ammo dump near Tikrit, Iraq, killing 17. On Dec. 6 Iraqi militants brazenly roam Baghdad's streets within blocks of the U.S. Embassy and the HQ of Iraq's interim govt., looking to kill any Iraqis working for the U.S.; the U.S. strikes back, but the militants score a publicity coup. On Dec. 10 an Apache heli collides with a UH-60 Black Hawk heli that was on the ground at an air base in Mosul, Iraq, killing two U.S. soldiers and injuring four. On Dec. 12 Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas apologizes for PLO support of Saddam Hussein during his 1990 invasion of Kuwait. On Dec. 15 a bomb targeting prominent Shiite cleric Sheik Abdul Mahdi al-Karbalayee wounds him and kills seven outside one of S Iraq's holiest shrines. On Dec. 19 car bombs go off in a funeral procession in Najaf, Iraq and the main bus station in Karbala (both Shiite holy cities), killing 60 and wounding 120. On Dec. 20 Pres. Bush lets the cat out of the bag in a press conference, admitting that American resolve has been shaken by the carnage in Iraq, bravely blaming it on the performance of U.S.-trained Iraqi troops? On Dec. 21 a crowded dining hall at a U.S. base near Mosul, Iraq is bombed by Abu Omar al-Mosuli, a suicide bomber wearing an Iraqi uniform who slips into the base through a hole in the fence, killing 22, incl. 18 Americans (14 U.S. service members), and wounding 76, upping the ante as elections approach; seven employees of Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR), a subsidiary of Houston-based Halliburton Co. that supplies food service are among the dead; insurgent group Ansar al-Sunnah immediately claims responsibility. On Dec. 22 U.S. defense secy. Donald H. Rumsfeld utters the soundbyte "Their grief is something I feel to my core" in answer to criticism of insensitivity to U.S. troops and their families. When will the Bush admin. give up that old time Iraq and roll? On Dec. 28 at least 54 are killed by car bombs, assassinations, ambushes, and raids on police stations in the sunny Sunni Triangle; in one Tikrit police station insurgents slit the throats of 12 policemen, then blow it up; a suicide bomber in Samarra wounds 10 people at the city center; in Muradiya a car bomb kills five civilians and wounds dozens more; another group claims it executed eight Iraqi employees of a U.S. security co.; the deputy gov. of the Andar province is assassinated near Ramadi; a car bomb in Baqouba kills five Iraqi Nat. Guardsmen and injures 26, while another gunman assassinates a local police cmdr. In 2004 a secret 2004 CIA program to hire Blackwater Worldwide to kill top al-Qaida leaders is begun, staging raids in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2004-6, and not revealed until Aug. 2009.
In 2005 Iraq surpasses Israel as the #1 annual recipient of U.S. foreign aid, followed by Egypt and Jordan, which receive aid on the condition that they maintain peaceful relations with Israel. In Iraq this year 10,593 IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) detonate, causing 64% of all U.S. deaths; meanwhile the U.S. policy is to "de-weaken" the country so that they can eventually pull out. On Jan. 6, 2005 a roadside bomb strikes a Bradley Fighting Vehicle in Bag Ur Dad (Baghdad), killing seven U.S. soldiers, and showing that the insurgents can make big enough bombs to penetrate their best armor - I don't know why you say goodbye I say boom? On Jan. 10 a roadside bomb destroys an armored Bradley Fighting Vehicle in Baghdad, killing two U.S. soldiers and wounding four more (the second such attack in a week); hours earlier gunmen in a passing car assassinate Baghdad's deputy police chief and his son while they drive to work; a suicide bomber blows up a fake police car at a Baghdad police station, killing four officers and wounding ten more; afterwards, two rockets tear a hole in a family home nearby, injuring two; a roadside bombing kills three Iraqi Nat. Guard soldiers and wounds six during a joint patrol with U.S. troops in Mosul; the insurgents give notice that they will station snipers to stalk voters outside polling places during the Jan. 30 elections. On Jan. 13 (night) 28 Iraqi POWs escape en route from the Abu Ghraib Prison to another facility; meanwhile the U.S. Nat. Intelligence Council releases a report saying that Iraq has replaced Afghanistan as the training ground for the next gen. of "professionalized" terrorists. On Jan. 14 an Iraqi military bus is rocketed by insurgents W of Baghdad; a large U.S.-Iraqi force descends on Av Gani, Iraq looking for insurgents, an Iraqi bus collides with a U.S. tank, killing six bus passengers and injuring eight, and a U.S. military judge convicts SSgt. Jonathan J. Alban-Cardenas of murder for the mercy-killing of a 16-y.-o. Iraqi, sentencing him to one year in prison. On Jan. 17 Iraqi expatriates in 14 countries begin registering to vote in Iraq's Jan. 30 elections. On Jan. 17 Sunni insurgents seeking to derail the election kidnap Syrian Catholic archbishop Basile Georges Casmoussa (1938-) in Mosul, and kill more than 20 people in a series of brazen assaults in the flashpoint region N and W of Baghdad. On Jan. 19 Iraqi insurgents set off five car bombs across Baghdad (the first four within a 90 min. span), killing at least a dozen; the first is at 7 a.m. in the Australian embassy, followed a half hour later by one at a police station, then one at a military recruiting center; the fourth is at the Baghdad Int. Airport, and the fifth explodes around noon near a Shiite mosque and bank in the northern part of the city; insurgents in a car also fire on an office of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, killing one member. On Jan. 24 Iraqi authorities announce that Sami Mohammed Ali Said al-Jaaf (AKA Abu Omar al-Kurdi), an al-Qaida lt. arrested on Jan. 15 in Baghdad "confessed to building approximately 75% of the car bombs used in attacks in Baghdad" during the war (32 car bombings). On Jan. 25 a video shows U.S. contractor Roy Hallums (1948-), who was kidnapped in Baghdad the previous Nov. by Iraqi hoodlums looking for ransom pleading for his life; his ex-wife Susan gets Moammar Gadhafi to make a public appeal for his release; he is rescued by coalition troops on Sept. 7. On Jan. 26 a U.S. CH-53E Sea Stallion transport heli crashes in a desert sandstorm in early morning darkness in W Iraq, killing all 30 U.S. Marines and one Navy medic aboard; they had been on a security mission in support of the upcoming election; hours after the crash, Pres. Bush holds the first news conference of his 2nd term (18th overall), pleading for Americans' patience in Iraq, urging Iraqis to defy terrorist threats and vote, and declaring "I firmly planted the flag of liberty" (at a cost to U.S. taxpayers of $1B a week?); later in the day insurgents set off eight car bombs which kill 13 and injure 40, incl. 11 Americans, and carry out a string of attacks on schools slated to be used as election centers; the U.S. death toll for the Iraqi war exceeds 1,400. On Jan. 30 (Sun.) the first Iraqi elections in half a cent. are held in U.S.-occupied Iraq (150K troops) under heavy security from spoilsport insurgents, who kill at least 40 with suicide bombers, and shoot down a British military transport plane, killing 10 as Pres. Bush calls the balloting a resounding success; the majority Sunnis are victorious (only 10% of the Shiites vote); on Jan. 31 spoilsport al-Qaida issues a message promising to "destroy the American game of democracy" in Iraq through holy war - stick with what works?
On Feb. 2, 2005 Pres. Bush delivers his 2005 State of the Union Address, with vice-pres. Dick Cheney looking on as usual, acting oblivious to setbacks in Iraq and uttering the soundbyte "Right now, Americans in uniform are serving at posts across the world, often taking great risks on my orders." On Feb. 8 a suicide bomber blows himself up in the middle of a crowd of army recruits in Baghdad, killing 21 in the city's deadliest attack since the election (see Feb. 11, 2004). On Feb. 13 the final results in the Iraqi elections come in, showing the clergy-backed Shiites and independence-minded Kurds winning. On Feb. 14 Pres. Bush asks Congress to provide $81.9B more for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, making the total price tag for the war on terrorism since 9/11 a whopping $300B. On Feb. 21-22 Pres. Bush visits Brussels for a NATO summit; on Feb. 21 he scolds Russia for backsliding on democracy and urges Mideast allies to take difficult steps for peace; on Feb. 22 he tells reporters, "This notion that the United States is getting ready to attack Iran is simply ridiculous. And having said that, all options are on the table." On Feb. 24 the New York City medical examiner's office announces that it has exhausted all efforts to identify remains of WTC 9/11 victims, the limits of DNA technology having been reached with more than 1,100 of the 2,800 victims unidentified; fewer than 300 whole bodies were recovered; 20K body pieces were found in the ruins, 6K small enough to fit in 5-in. test tubes; over 800 victims were identified by DNA alone; the most matched to one person was over 200. On Feb. 27 Iraqi officials announce the capture of Saddam Hussein's half-brother Ayman Sabawi Ibrahim al-Hassan al-Tikriti (1971-) in Hasakah in NE Syria where he was financing Iraqi insurgents.
On Mar. 1, 2005 2K+ black-clad Iraqis protest outside a medical clinic in Hillah, Iraq (60 mi. S of Baghdad), where a suicide car bomber killed 125 and wounded 130 the day before, chanting "No to terrorism!" On Mar. 2 the number of U.S. military deaths in Iraq reaches 1,500. On Mar. 6 Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena (1948-) claims that U.S. soldiers opened fire on the car carrying her to the Baghdad airport without warning, killing the Italian agent who just won her freedom after 1 mo. in captivity. On Mar. 16 the 275-seat Iraqi parliament is sworn in. On Mar. 20 Iraqi insurgents ambush a U.S. military convoy 12 mi. SE of Baghdad in Salman Pak (al-Salman) military facility near Baghdad, starting a battle that leaves 24 insurgents dead and seven wounded; six U.S. soldiers are wounded. On Mar. 24 hundreds of power workers shouting "No, no to terror!" march in Baghdad to protest attacks on their colleagues.
On Apr. 3, 2005 Kirkuk-born economist Hajim Mahdi Saleh al-Hassani (1954-), a Sunni is chosen to be speaker of the 275-seat transitional nat. assembly in Iraq. On Apr. 4 an explosion in Anbar Province in Iraq kills one Marine, and two U.S. and one Iraqi soldier are killed in a joint attack on insurgents in E Diyala Province; the AP death toll for the U.S. military in Iraq reaches 1,536; on Apr. 5 another U.S. soldier is killed in Baghdad when an abandoned taxi explodes on an expressway. She drives me crazy, I can't help myself, or, Forever and always, I go crazy? On Apr. 6 the 275-member Iraqi parliament chooses Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani (1933-) as pres. #6 (until July 24, 2014), and Baghdad-born Shiite leader Adel (Adil) Abdul-Mahdi (1942-), and interim pres. (Mosul-born Sunni Arab) Ghazi Mashal Ajil al-Yawer (1958-) as vice-presidents, along with Karbala-born Shiite leader Ibrahim al-Eshaiker al-Jaafari (1947-) as PM #1 (until May 20, 2006); they take their oaths on Apr. 7, two days short of the 2nd anniv. of Baghdad's fall to U.S.-led forces; Saddam Hussein watches the action on tape in his Baghdad jail cell as his longtime foes take over his job in Iraq's first dem. govt. in 50 years; the new govt. must draft a new constitution by Aug. 15, submit it to a referendum by Oct. 15, and hold new elections by Dec. 15. On Apr. 9 Pakistani embassy employee Malik Mohammed Javed is kidnapped in Baghdad, Iraq while en route to pray in a mosque by the Omar bin Khattab terrorist group. On Apr. 12 U.S. troops battle arms smugglers near Qaim, Iraq along the Syrian border, killing an unknown number; car bombs in two northern cities kill 10; Fadhil Ibrahim Mahmud al-Mashadani, a member of Saddam's regime is captured on a farm NE of Baghdad. On Apr. 13 insurgents blow up a fuel tank in Baghdad, kill 12 policemen in Kirkuk, and drive a car bomb into a U.S. convoy, killing five Iraqis and wounding four U.S. contract workers on Baghdad's airport road; Indiana man Jeffrey Ake (1958-) of bottled-water equipment maker Equipment Express, who was kidnapped on Apr. 11 is shown at gunpoint on a videotaped aired by Al-Jazeera TV pleading for his life and a $1M ransom; he is never heard from again? On Apr. 13 the U.N. Gen. Assembly after seven years of waffling adopts a Global Treaty to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism, making it a crime to possess radioactive material or weapons with the intention of committing a terrorist act. On Apr. 15 violent demonstrations erupt in Ahvaz, Iran on the Iraqi border after reports circulate of a plan to decrease the proportion of Arabs in the area, causing 20 deaths and 250 arrests; Iran's pop. is 51% Persian and 3% Arab. On Apr. 16 Marla Ruzicka (b. 1976) of Lakeport, Calif., founder of Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict (CIVIC) is killed along with two other people by a car bomb in Iraq; she had successfully lobbied Congress to put millions of dollars in aid into the 2004 foreign aid bill to help Iraqi businesses that had been bombed by mistake. When does a president declare a war bankrupt? On Apr. 20 Iraq announces the recovery of more than 50 bodies from the Rigor Mortis, er, Tigris River, claiming they had been deducted from an area S of Bagdead, er, Baghdad; another 19 bullet-ridden bodies are found in NW Baghdad in a soccer stadium in Hades, er, Hadith. On Apr. 21 a Russian-made civilian Shatoy Mi-8 commercial heli contracted by the U.S. Defense Dept. is shot down by missile fire N of Baghdad, killing 11, incl. six U.S. diplomat bodyguards. On Apr. 21 U.S. ambassador to Iraq (since June, 2004) John Negroponte becomes dir of U.S. nat. intelligence (until Feb. 13 2007). On Apr. 24 Iraqi insurgents score 21 more dead and 73 wounded, plus one U.S soldier, giving them 38 kills for the week, incl. 3 Americans. In Apr. 567 Iraqis are killed, incl. 364 civilians in 34 car bombings, 16 other blasts and 54 other attacks; only 341 Iraqis (incl. 164 civilians) were killed in Mar.
On May 2, 2005 U.S. Pfc. Lynndie England (1983-) pleads guilty at Fort Hood, Tex. to mistreating POWs at Abu Ghraib Prison; Army Reserve Spc. Charles A. Graner Jr. (1968-) (the father of her infant son Carter Allan) was convicted in Jan. and sentenced to 10 years in prison; on May 4 the military judge throws out her guilty plea, saying he is not convinced she knew her actions were wrong; after trying to cop a plea about just wanting to please her soldier boyfriend, on Sept. 26-27 she is found guilty and sentenced to three years on six counts of prisoner maltreatment. On May 4 Pakistani commandos nab senior al-Qaida leader Abu Farraj al-Libbi (a Libyan native), the group's no. 3 operative after a shootout at one of his hideouts. On May 4 a suicide attacker kills 60 and wounds 150 at a police recruitment center in Irbil, Iraq; earlier another bomber kills 11 at an Iraqi army recruitment center in C Baghdad, and two more bombers kill nine policemen in W Baghdad. On May 4 Pentagon analyst Lawrence Anthony "Larry" Franklin (1947-), an Air Force reserve col. who once was the #3 Defense Dept. official is arrested for divulging top secret info. about Iraq to two execs. of the Am. Israel Public Affairs Committte at a lunch in June 2003 in Arlington, Va. On May 5 U.S. Army Brig Gen. Janis Karpinsky (1953-), whose Army Reserve unit was in charge of the Abu Ghraib (absent garb?) Prison is demoted, ending her career; three other more senior gens. are cleared of wrongdoing, while three majors, three captains, two first lts., one second lt., and two chief warrant officers are punished. On May 10 the U.S. Congress approves an additional $82B for the war on terror, bringing the total cost since 9/11 to over $300B - who made the real profits? On May 10 the Iraqi Parliament appoints 55 legislators (44 men and 11 women) to write a new constitution; on June 23 14 more men and two more women are added to give Sunni Arabs more representation; they work on it for a total of 4 mo. using the old U.S. Articles of Confederation and Iraq's interim constitution. On May 11 a suicide bomber in a vehicle swerves in front of a police station in Tikrit, Iraq into a market, killing 31 and wounding 66; meanwhile another bomber blows up while standing in a line outside a police and army recruiting center in Hawija, Iraq, killing 32 and wounding 40. On May 13 U.S. state secy. Condoleezza Rice speaks out against the alleged desecration of the Quran by U.S. troops in Iraq with the soundbyte: "Disrespect for the holy Quran is not now, nor has it ever been, nor will it ever be, tolerated by the United States. We honor the sacred books of all the world's great religions. Disrespect for the holy Quran is abhorrent to us all"; on May 16 Newsweek mag. retracts a story by Michael Isikoff claiming that U.S. military personnel abused the Quran (Koran) and flushed them down the toilet, which caused protests in Afghanistan that killed 15 and injured scores; on May 26 five cases of mishandling Qurans of Muslim POWs at Guantanamo Bay are confirmed, but investigators find no "credible evidence" of flushing one of the giant toilet-chokers down - if she calls it holy one more time I'll scream? On May 15 the bodies of 46 Iraqis shot execution-style are found dumped around an abandoned chicken farm W of Baghdad; meanwhile secy. of state Condi Rice makes a surprise visit to Iraq (her first), telling Shiite leaders in Baghdad to court the Sunnis in writing the new constitution; she also visits the N city of Salahuddin, where she wears a flak jacket as she meets Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani (1946-). On May 23 suicide car bomber explodes outside a Shia mosque in Mahmudiyya, Iraq killing 10; meanwhile a car bomb in a crowded Baghdad commercial district outside a restaurant frequented by police explodes, killing 11 and wounding 110, after which irate Iraqis take it out on police and U.S. troops arriving on the scene, throwing stones at them. On May 26 Iraqi's Shiite majority govt. launches Operation Lightning with 40K troops to crush Sunni, er, insurgents, who lash back with several sustained attacks on several police stations and an army barracks, killing 20+. On May 30 U.S. vice-pres. head, er, Dick Cheney issues a soundbyte that the Iraq insurgency is in its "final throes", which is regularly trotted out against him as the war grinds on throughout his term of office. On May 31 an Italian AB-412 heli crashes 8 mi. S of Nasiriyah, Iraq, killing four aboard; it is listed as an accident. In May the Iraq govt. reports that 434 civilians (85 Iraqi soldiers) were killed, compared to 299 (40) in April.
On June 2, 2005 insurgents kill 39 in a series of rapid-fire attacks, incl. 12 at a restaurant in Tuz Khormatu, Iraq; meanwhile Iraq's interior minister claims that the govt. sweep by police and soldiers has captured 700 and killed 28 insurgents. On June 2 a suicide bomber explodes in the remote village of Sa'ud, Iraq (near Balad), killing 10 and wounding 10. On June 6-7 the Hussein Brigade arrests 60 men as part of Operation Lightning in Iraq. On June 7 three explosions in and around Hawija, Iraq kill 34. On June 10 an Iraqi shepherd finds the buried bodies of 20 blindfolded, shot-from-behind Sunni men in the Nahrawan Desert 20 mi. east of Baghdad; 21 men are found slain near Qaim, Iraq on the Syrian frontier 200 mi. W of Baghdad. On June 11 four U.S. soldiers die in two roadside bombings W of Baghdad, bringing the number of U.S. forces killed in Iraq since the start of the war over the 1,700 mark; meanwhile gunmen open fire on a minibus in Diyara, Iraq, killing 11 Iraqi construction workers. On June 11 insurgents working for al-Zarqawi stage a suicide bombing inside the heavily-guarded Interior Ministry HQ in Baghdad, killing three; the attack was aimed at the Shiite-dominated Wolf Brigade. On June 11 French Liberation journalist Florence Aubenas, who had been abducted Jan. 5 in Baghdad is freed, and returns to France on June 12, being greeted by French Pres. Jacques Chirac, and describing her captivity tied-up and blindfolded in a cellar as "harsh"; her Iraqi interpreter Hussein Hanun is also freed. On June 12 Iraqi police find the bullet-ridden bodies of 28 people buried in shallow graves or dumped on the streets in Baghdad. On June 12 three Georgia Army Nat. Guard are seriously wounded in a mortar attack in Mahmudiyah, Iraq. On June 12 Iraqi Wolf Brigade leader Gen. Rashid Flaiyeh narrowly escapes an assassination attempt when mortars rain down on his mother's funeral in N Baghdad, wounding 11. On June 12 four bombs in Ahvaz, Iran kill eight and injure 86, followed hours later by two bombs in Tehran, killing one and wounding four; Iran blames Saddam Hussein supporters. On June 12 the 111-member Kurdish Parliament unanimously elects veteran guerrilla leader Massoud Barzani to be the first pres. of Iraq's N Kurdistan region, which has a 100K-man Kurdish-Peshmerga militia. On June 12 the 50K-capacity Shaab Stadium in Baghdad (the city's biggest sports complex) opens after two years as a U.S. military base, and two elite Iraqi soccer teams, the Zawraa (ancient name for Baghdad) and the Shurta (Arabic for police) play before 2K fans, and Zawraa wins 2-0. On June 12 U.S. Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) says that even though he voted for the Iraq War, "We've done about as much as we can do", and that the reasons for invading Iraq have proved false; he and other lawmakers plan to introduce legislation immediately calling for a timetable for U.S. troop withdrawal - table that? On June 12 U.S. vice-pres. Dick Cheney tells Fox News that there are no plans to close the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay. On June 14 a suicide bomber detonates himself in a crowded bank in Kirkuk, Iraq, killing 23 and wounding 100, becoming the city's worst attack since Saddam's ouster. On June 16 Australian hostage Douglas Wood is freed from a Baghdad home by U.S. troops after 47 days; the captors kept him under a blanket in Arab dress and claimed he was their ailing father. On June 16 a suicide bomber in an army uniform detonates himself in a crowded mess hall in Baghdad, killing 26 Iraqi soldiers; a roadside bomb kills five U.S. Marines near Ramadi; the total kill by insurgents in one day exceeds 50. On June 19 a suicide bomber explodes in a popular Baghdad restaurant during lunchtime, killing 23. On June 20 Pres. Bush attends a joint news conference with European leaders, saying that he is determined to complete the mission of establishing democracy in Iraq to make the world a better place. On June 20 a suicide bomber in Arbil, Iraq kills 15 traffic cops and wounds 100. On June 26 four suicide bombers strike Iraqi police and army forces in a 16-hour wave of violence in Mosul, killing 38; defense secy. Donald Rumsfeld says that the Iraqi insurgency could take as long as 12 years to defeat, with Iraqi security forces, not U.S. and foreign troops taking the lead and finishing the job. In the summer U.S. Army SSgt. Dale L. Horn (1980-) from Fort Walton Beach, Fla. is made an official sheik in the village of Qayyarah, Iraq after helping 30 villages get clean water; other sheiks gave him five sheep and a postage stamp of land to fulfill the requirements for becoming "Sheik Horn"?
On July 2, 2005 Egyptian diplomat Ihab al-Sherif is kidnapped in Baghdad, and is later killed, with al-Qaida's Iraqi wing claiming credit; meanwhile a suicide bomber explodes in a Baghdad police recruiting center, killing 16 and wounding 22. On July 4 Pres. Bush gives a speech in Morgantown, W. Va. defending staying the course in Iraq, saying "The proper response is not retreat, it is courage." On July 10 a suicide bomber detonates at a Baghdad army recruiting center at Muthana Airfield in C Baghdad, Iraq, killing 25 and wounding 47. On July 11 four terror suspects incl. a top al-Qaida lt. escape from a U.S. military jail in Afghanistan; the identity of Omar al-Farouq is acknowledged in Nov.; on Sept. 25, 2006 he is killed during a raid on his home in Basra, Iraq. On July 13 a suicide car bomber in Iraq denotates next to U.S. troops handing out candy and toys, killing 32 children and one U.S. soldier, and wounding 70. On July 16 suicide bomber explodes beneath propane tanker parked near a Shia mosque S of Baghdad, killing 98 and wounding 156. On July 17 an Iraqi Special Tribunal files its first criminal case against Saddam Hussein for a 1982 massacre of Shiites. On July 19 Mijbil Issa and Dhamin Hussein al-Obeidi, two of 15 Sunni Arabs on the new Iraqi constitution drafting committee are assassinated in Baghdad; earlier threats had caused two other Sunnis to resign. On July 21 two Algerian diplomats and their driver are kidnapped in Baghdad, Iraq in the infamous Mansour District, bringing the total to five key diplomats from Islamic countries in less than 3 weeks; victims incl. Ali Belaroussi, chief of the Algerian mission, and Azzedine Ben Kadi; al-Qaida later announces that it killed them. On July 21 the U.S. Treasury Dept. identifies four nephews of Saddam Hussein who they claim played significant roles in supporting insurgents from Syrian bases, all sons of Saddam's half-brother and adviser Ayman Sabawi Ibrahim Hasan al-Tikriti, who was captured in Feb. in Syria. On July 24 a suicide truck bomber denotes outside the al-Rashad Police Station police station in Baghdad, killing 25 and wounding 33; in the night four U.S. soldiers are killed in SW Baghdad by a roadside bomb. On July 26 16 Iraq govt. employees are killed and 27 wounded near Abu Ghraib Prison when gunmen fire at a pair of buses taking them home to Shiite neighborhoods. On July 26 a draft copy of the new Iraqi constitution proclaims that Islam will be the main source of legislation, and that no law will be approved that contradicts "the rules of Islam" - how many infidel U.S. servicemen died for that? On July 29 a suicide bomber at an army recruitment center in Rabi'a, Iraq in N Iraq kills 48 and wounds 58.
On Aug. 1, 2005 Iraq's electoral commission begins registering voters for the upcoming constitutional referendum on Oct. 15 and gen. election on Dec. 15. On Aug. 1 seven U.S. Marines are killed in two separate attacks W of Baghdad, bringing the Iraq War total of U.S. military dead since Mar. 2003 past 1.8K. On Aug. 3 14 U.S. Marines in a 25-ton armored amphibious vehicle (AAV) in Baghdad, Iraq are killed by a huge IED planted under the road, which flips it over and engulfs it in a giant fireball; a civilian translator is also killed, and one Marine wounded (the deadliest roadside bombing suffered by U.S. forces to date in the Iraq war); the town of Brook Park, Ohio (a suburb of Cleveland), home to the 3rd Battalion of the 25th Marines loses all 14, plus five others killed two days earlier on sniper duty. On Aug. 4 al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri releases a videotape (his 7th), claiming that the U.S. will suffer tens of thousands of military deaths in Iraq if it doesn't pull out, along with more bombings in London, and "you will see, God willing, what will make you forget the horrible things in Vietnam"; Pres. Bush replies that this only proves that the U.S. is in a war with "killers" who seek to "impose their dark vision on the world". On Aug. 6 (Sat.) Pres. Bush begins a 1-mo. stay at his Texas ranch, and Calif. mother Cindy Sheehan (1957-), who lost her 24-y.-o. son in Iraq begins a roadside protest outside the ranch, claiming she plans to stay the entire month unless and until Bush meets with her; on Aug. 23 Bush tells the press "I sympathize with Mrs. Sheehan", but thinks that pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq "would send a terrible signal to the enemy"; in July 2006 she buys a 5-acre lot 7 mi. from Bush's ranch for $52.5K with insurance money received after her son was killed in Iraq, and resumes her protests on Aug. 6, 2006, the 1st anniv. of her first protests - Yo, Cindy? On Aug. 9 a suicide car bomber strikes a U.S. convoy waiting at a street intersection in Baghdad, killing seven (one U.S. soldier and six Iraqi civilians) and wounding 90+. On Aug. 9 the U.S. Army announces that it has sacked 55-y.-o. 4-star Gen. Kevin P. Byrnes, cmdr. of Army Training and Doctrine Command over sexual misconduct (adultery) charges. On Aug. 10 insurgents kidnap brig. gen. Khudayer Abbas, a senior Interior Ministry official tied to the paramilitary in Andalus Square in Baghdad. On Aug. 10 four U.S. soldiers in a 10-member patrol are killed by insurgents near Beiji, Iraq 155 mi. N of Baghdad. On Aug. 11 Shiite leader Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim calls for a Shiite federal region in Iraq in three northern provinces, plus Kirkuk, where much of Iraq's oil is located, threatening to defeat the new constitution in the four (out of 18) provinces where they have a majority of the pop. On Aug. 15 drafters of the new Iraqi consitution fail to reach an agreement in spite of strenuous efforts by the U.S. - but Muhammad says? On Aug. 17 Iraq celebrates Three Car Bomb Day as a car bomb explodes near the crowded Nadha bus station in Baghdad, then another explodes as police respond, and a 3rd explodes a half hour later across the street from the al-Kindi Hospital where the injured were arriving by ambulances; the total score is 38 dead and 68 injured, all civilians; meanwhile, the U.S. military death toll reaches 1860. On Aug. 18 a roadside bomb kills four U.S. soldiers in Samarra, Iraq. On Aug. 22 Pres. Bush gives a speech in Salt Lake City, Utah, comparing the fight against terrorism to WWI and WWII. On Aug. 23 the CIA's independent watchdog recommends disciplinary reviews for officials involved in the failed intel efforts before the 911 attacks, incl. former CIA Dir. George Tenet, former clandestine service chief Jim Pavitt, and former counterterrorism center head Cofer Black. On Aug. 24 masked Sunni insurgents attack Iraqi police in W Baghdad with multiple car bombs and small-arms, killing 13 and wounding 43; in S Iraq supporters of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr (1974-) try to repoen his office in Najaf, causing rival Shiites to try to block them, with fights breaking out that kill four and injure 20; fighting then spreads across C and S Iraq incl. Basra. On Aug. 24 Pres. Bush speaks to members of the Idaho Nat. Guard in Nampa, Idaho, saying that as long as he is pres., "We will stay, we will fight and we will win the war on terrorism"; Idaho has the highest percentage of Nat. Guard troops serving in Iraq. On Aug. 24 the Italian Red Cross admits that it had treated four Iraqi insurgents a year earlier with the knowledge of the Italian govt. and hid them from U.S. forces in exchange for the release of kidnapped aid workers Simona Pari and Simona Torretta, who had been abducted on Sept. 7 and freed Sept. 28. On Aug. 26 Uzbekistan's upper house of parliament votes 93-0 to evict U.S. troops from their base in the country to get even for the U.S. criticizing their bloody crackdown on unrest in E Uzbekistan. On Aug. 28 the 71-member Iraqi constitutional committee signs a draft charter over the objections of Sunni Arab leaders. On Aug. 31 thousands of Shiite pilgrims fearing a suicide bomber stampede on the Two Imams Bridge in the N Baghdad neighborhood of Kazimiyah, Iraq, crushing each other or plunging 30 ft. into the Tigris River, killing 953, mostly women and children, leaving thousands of abandoned sandals on the bridge, becoming the greatest loss of life in Iraq since the Mar. 2003 U.S. invasion; they were celebrating the 799 death of the 7th (of 12) imams revered by the Shiites, Imam Moussa ibn Jaafar al-Kadhim; it is not reopened until Nov. 11, 2008. In Aug. a new Nat. Intelligence Estimate claims that Iraq is a decade away from developing nukes, conflicting with testimony in Feb. by Vice-Adm. Lowell E. Jacoby, dir. of the DIA that they are five years away.
On Sept. 14, 2005 (6:30 a.m.) a suicide car bomber kills 80 and wounds 160 near a group of construction workers in a Shiite district in N Baghdad. On Sept. 17 Iraqi pilgrims celebrate the Mid of Shaban in Karbala; meanwhile a car bomb in the Nahrawan district 20 mi. E of Baghdad kills 30 Iraqis and wounds 48; another 10 die in other parts of the country, bringing the 4-day death toll from political violence triggered by a U.S.-Iraqi attack in the Sunni stronghold of Tall Afar to at least 250. On Sept. 18 Faris Nasir Hussein, a Kurdish member of parliament is assassinated 50 mi. N of Baghdad by insurgents, and police find 20 bodies in the Tigris River N of the city, which had been murdered on Sept. 17 as they drove to Baghdad for a Sept. 18 session of the legislature. On Sept. 22 Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Husayni al-Sistani (1930-), Iraq's most powerful Shiite cleric endorses the draft Iraqi constitution. On Sept. 24 tens of thousands, incl. Cindy Sheehan protest against the Iraq War on the Nat. Mall in Washington, D.C.; on Sept. 25 about 400 stage a lame counter-rally; on Sept. 26 370 protesters are arrested in front of the White House during another anti-Iraq War protest, the first being Cindy Sheehan. On Sept. 26 (8 a.m.) Sept. Fun Day in Iraq begins when a suicide car bomber in Baghdad, Iraq kills six and wounds 13 at a police checkpoint guarding govt. ministries; later another suicide car bomber detonates in a convoy carrying Interior Ministry commandos, killing seven plus two civilians; S of Baghdad two bicycle bombings in town markets kill seven and wound dozens; followers of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr ambush an Iraqi patrol in E Baghdad, causing U.S. forces to counterattack during the 90 min. battle in which eight attackers are killed; an armored car in Baghad is robbed of $850K, and two guards are killed. On Sept. 27 Abdullah Abu Azzam, #2 in command of the al-Qaida in Iraq is killed in battle after his high-rise apt. bldg. in SE Baghdad is raided before dawn by troops; a suicide attacker detonates at a police recruitment center in Baqouba, N of Baghdad, killing nine, and gunmen in Baghdad kill four policemen; another suicide bomber is intercepted within 1 mi. of the U.S. embassy in the heavily fortified Green Zone. On Sept. 28 female suicide bomber in drag detonates in a line of army recruits in the Sunni town of Tal Afar, Iraq far, er, near the Syrian border, killing six and wounding 35, becoming the first known Iraqi suicide bomber; al-Qaida claims responsibility for the work of a "blessed sister"; after an Iraq govt. offensive in Tal Afar, Jordan-born Iraqi al-Qaida leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi (1966-2006) declares all-out war on the Shiites, bombing three hotels in Amman, Jordan this year; he is killed by the U.S. on June 7, 2006 N of Baqubah, Iraq, leaving 2nd in command Abu Ayyub al-Masri (1968-2010), who is killed by the U.S. on Apr. 18, 2010 in Tikrit. On Sept. 28 Iraqi police find seven construction workers who had been led away by police impersonators, then blindfolded, bound and shot to death. On Sept. 28 five U.S. soldiers are killed in a roadside bombing during combat in Ramadi, Iraq W of Baghdad. On Sept. 29 (6:45 p.m.) three Sunni suicide bombers detonate simultaneously in the heart of Balad, Iraq 50 mi. N of Baghdad, killing 65 and wounding 80 as part of the all-out war declared by al-Qaida leader al-Zarqawi against the Shiite majority in rocking Iraq. On Sept. 30 the First Bush-Kerry Debate sees Kerry call Iraq an "incredible mess", and Bush say that U.S. troops look at Kerry and wonder, "How can I follow this guy?"
On Oct. 3, 2005 Condoleezza Rice appears on ABC's This Week and defends her characterization of Saddam Hussein's nuclear capabilities in the months preceding the Iraq invasion - aren't you a specialist? On Oct. 4 U.S. Operation River Gate begins in W Iraq (ends Oct. 21) - listen, you made them strong, we'll make them army strong? On Oct. 5 a bomb at the entrance of a Shiite mosque S of Baghdad kills 25 and wounds 87, and U.S. troops capture 35 suspected insurgents in Baghdad. On Oct. 5 Iraqi authorities begin distributing constitution booklets to the public, which Sunnis use for toilet paper, filling trash dumps. On Oct. 6 Pres. Bush gives a speech before the Nat. Endowment for Democracy, citing "steady progress" in the war on terror, and claiming that the U.S. and its allies foiled at least 10 serious al-Qaida plots in the past four years. On Oct. 7 six U.S. Marines are killed in two roadside bomb attacks in W Iraq during a 2-pronged offensive against strongholds along the Euphrates River; in S Iraq British forces heat up their campaign to curb the influence of conservative Shiite militias by arresting 12; in SE Iraq police announce the finding of the bodies of 22 men, mostly Sunnis, who had been abducted in Baghdad in Aug. On Oct. 10 Iraq issues arrest warrants for the defense minister and 27 other officials from the U.S.-backed govt. of former PM Iyad Allawi over the misappropriation of $1B in military procurement funds, most of them fleeing Iraq for Britain after 10 mo. in office, incl. Allawi, Adnan Pachachi, and Ibrahim al-Jaafari; up to $2.3B is stolen from the Iraqi treasury; not that they're alone, as over 1.5M leave the country - I was just taking the ponies out for a ride? On Oct. 10 an open letter by Am. poet Sharon Olds (1942-) to First Lady Laura Bush declining an invitation to the Nat. Book Festival in Washington, D.C. contains the soundbyte: "So many Americans who had felt pride in our country now feel anguish and shame, for the current regime of blood, wounds and fire. I thought of the clean linens at your table, the shining knives and the flames of the candles, and I could not stomach it." On Oct. 11 Iraqi negotiators reach a breakthrough deal on the new constitution, causing at least one Sunni Arab Party, the Iraqi Islamic Party to begin urging support; the deal calls for a commission to consider amendments to be set up by parliament after it is formed in Dec.; too bad, it's too late to modify the millions of copies of free constitutions handed out to the public. On Oct. 15 a referendum on the new Iraqi constitution is held despite Sunni insurgents killing hundreds in the days leading up to it. On Oct. 17 women calling themselves the Granny Peace Brigade are arrested while protesting the Iraq War outside the Times Square military recruiting center by police who accuse them of blocking the entrance; on Apr. 27, 2006 they are acquitted of disorderly conduct in Manhattan Criminal Court by Judge Neil Ross after claiming they were there to enlist themselves but were turned down, and being grannies would have politely let anybody else through, although there was nobody else wanting to enlist? Life after Wife Swap? On Oct. 19 the Saddam Hussein Trial begins on charges of ordering the 1982 massacre of 148 Shiites in the town of Dujail, along with seven co-defendants, Awad Hamed al-Bandar (chief justice of the Rev. Court), Taha Yassin Ramadan (-2007) (vice-pres.), Mizhar Abdullah Ruwayyid) (Ba'th official), Mohammed Azawi Ali Baath (Ba'th Dujail official), Ali Dayih Ali (Ba'th Dujail official), and Barzan Ibrahim (intel chief) (Saddam's half-brother); only Azawi Ali (who sits at the back end of the back row) is acquitted; Saddam refuses to identify himself to the court, saying, "I do not respond to this so-called court, with all due respect to its people, and I retain my constitutional right as the president of Iraq", finally entering a not guilty plea - you bozos captured one of my impersonators? On Oct. 21 Saddam Hussein's Sunni Arab atty. Saadoun Sughaiyer al-Janabi is abducted from his office, them dumped in the street in Baghdad dead with two bullet wounds in the head; meanwhile four U.S. servicemen are killed in insurgent attacks. On Oct. 21 Tex. oil mogul Oscar S. Wyatt Jr. (chmn. of Coastal Corp.) and two Swiss execs are charged with paying millions in kickbacks to Saddam Hussein's regime in the oil-for-food scandal. On Oct. 21 Operation River Gate ends with one U.S. Marine killed near Haqlaniyah as four insurgents are killed and a bunker destroyed. On Oct. 22 U.S. forces kill 20 injurgents and destroy five safe houses in Iraq near the Syrian border. On Oct. 23 a bomb in a residential area of Tikrit, Iraq kills an Iraqi police col. and four children; other attacks in Iraq bring the death toll to 20, with 31 wounded. On Oct. 24 a car bomb explodes near the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad, Iraq, blowing a hole in the protective wall, allowing a 2nd suicide bomber truck to get through, but it gets stuck, blowing up and killing six passersby; the AP counts 1,997 U.S. military deaths in the Iraq War so far, six higher than the official U.S. govt. tally. Keep the pace, you're in the race? On Oct. 25 the U.S. military death toll in the Iraq War reaches 2,000 (incl. 497 Nat. Guard or Reserve troops); the U.S. Senate observes a moment of silence to honor them; 30K or more Iraqis have died in the war, incl. 3,870 in the past 6 mo., but who's counting? On Oct. 25 Iraq's election commission declares that the new constitution was ratified by 79% of the 9.8M voters; only three heavily-Sunni provinces, Anbar (E of Baghdad) (96%), Salaheddin (N of Baghdad) (81%) (Sadam's province), and Diyala (W of Baghdad) (51%) defeat it, but three of the 18 provinces had to defeat it by two-thirds for the constitution to go down. On Oct. 27 Sunni Arab militants kill 14 Shiite militiamen and policemen in a clash SE of Baghdad, Iraq; two U.S. Army soldiers are killed when their convoy hits a roadside bomb in Baghdad; another soldier dies in an ambush 37 mi. N of Baghdad, and four others are wounded. On Oct. 30 Iraqi insurgents kill Ghalib Abdul-Mahdi, brother of Iraq's Shiite vice-pres. Adil Abdul-Mahdi on Palestine St. in Baghdad; the same day police find the bodies of 11 blindfolded, bound and shot men in a village near Baghdad where Sunnis and Shiites clashed three days earlier.
On Nov. 2, 2005 more good news in Iraq as a suicide bomber detonates a minibus in an outdoor shopper-packed market ahead of a Muslim festival in Musayyaib, Iraq 40 mi. S of Baghdad at 5 p.m., killing 20 and wounding 60. On Nov. 5 U.S.-Iraqi troops begin an offensive against al-Qaida militants in Husaybah, Iraq on the Syrian border, a major entry point for foreign insurgents; on Nov. 7 al-Qaida warns the Iraq govt. to halt the offensive within 24 hours or see "the earth... shake beneath their feet". On Nov. 7 a suicide bomber at a checkpoint S of Baghdad, Iraq kills four U.S. soldiers; meanwhile five U.S. soldiers from an elite unit are charged with kicking and punching Iraqi detaineers. On Nov. 7 Pres. Bush holds a news conference with Pres. Martin Torrijos in Panama City, saying "We do not torture" those held in overseas CIA prisons; meanwhile, he supports an effort of vice-pres. Cheney to block a proposed Senate ban on CIA torture, Cheney telling Senate Repubs. on Nov. 1 that it would "tie the president's hands" - both sides of his mouth are working? On Nov. 8 a masked gunman in a speeding Opel assassinates Saddam Hussein's atty. Adel al-Zubeidi in a W Baghdad Sunni Arab neighborhood; Thamir al-Khuzaie, atty. for Saddam's half-brother Barazan Ibrahim is wounded; the first killing of an atty. for Saddam happened on Oct. 20, when his body was found the day after the trial's opening session. On Nov. 9 suicide bombers working for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi carry out nearly simultaneous suicide bombings on three U.S.-based hotels in Amman, Jordan, the Grand Hyatt, Radisson SAS, and Days Inn, killing 58 and wounding 115, incl. 27 West Bank Palestinians, becoming the first time Palestinians have been the target of a suicide bombing, and perhaps sobering them up, causing the Palestinian Authority to condemn Zarqawi, lower flags to half staff, and declare a 3-day mourning period; on Nov. 10 thousands of angry protesters demonstrate throughout Jordan, shouting "Burn in hell, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi!", causing Zarqawi's group to post rare justifications of their attack on the Web: "Let all know that we have struck only after being confident that they are centers for launching war on Islam and support the crusaders' presence in Iraq and the Arab Peninsula and the presence of the Jews on the land of Palestine"; on Nov. 15 11 top Jordanian officials incl. the nat. security adviser resign. On Nov. 10 (9:45 a.m.) a suicide bomber detonates in the Baghdad ? Restaurant favored by police and army recruiters, killing 35 and wounding 25 (al-Qaida takes credit); later a car bomb blows up outside an Iraqi army recruiting center in Tikrit, killing seven and wounding 13, all officers of Saddam's regime invited (up to the rank of major) a week earlier by Iraq's defense minister to reenlist; meanwhile Iraqi troops find 27 decomposing bodies near Jassan, Iraq close to the Iranian border. On Nov. 11 Pres. Bush gives a speech on Veterans Day at Tobyhanna, Pa. Army Depot, lashing out at congressional Iraq War policy critics, calling them "deeply irresponsible"; Sen. John Kerry shoots back, saying that Bush plays "the politics of fear and smear". On Nov. 11 Saddam's #2 man Izzat Ibraham al-Douri, the King of Clubs (#6) in the U.S. deck of cards is reported dead in an e-mail signed by the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party; suffering from leukemia, he had a $10M bounty put on his head in 2003. On Nov. 12 (Sat.) Iraqi police arrest 350+ incl. local officials and Sunny Arab party leaders in a dragnet operation in Baquba, Iraq, drawing criticism that they are trying to intimidate Sunnis from participating in the upcoming Dec. 15 elections. On Nov. 13 Iraqi woman Sajida Mubarak Atrous al-Rishawi (1970-) is arrested, and confesses on Jordanian state TV that she tried to blow herself up along with her husband in the Radisson Hotel on Nov. 9, but it failed to detonate, after which she is convicted and sentenced to death by hanging on Sept. 21, 2006, and recants her confession and appeals, which is denied in Jan. 2007. On Nov. 15 the U.S. Senate votes 79-19 to urge the Bush admin. to publicly explain its strategy for success in Iraq and to begin providing quarterly reports on military ops.; a plan for calling for a phased troop withdrawal is dropped. On Nov. 15 Iraq's PM announces that 173 malnourished, probably tortured detainees were found at an Interior Ministry basement lockup seized by U.S. forces in Baghdad, validating Sunni complaints of abuse by the Shiite-controlled ministry. On Nov. 16 Iraq continues to be a meat grinder as five U.S. Marines are killed in fighting with insurgents nar the Syrian border, and U.S. Army soldier dies of wounds suffered in Big Daddy. On Nov. 17 U.S. Rep. (D-Penn.) (1969-) John Patrick "Jack" Murtha Jr. (1932-2010) flip-flops from being a hawk to calling for an immediate U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. On Nov. 18 U.S. Rep. (R-Ohio) (2005-) Jeannette Marie Hoffman "Jean" Schmidt (1951-) (most junior member of the House) is booed by Dems. after telling them that a Marine col. back home sent a message "Cowards cut and run - Marines never do"; the House then defeats a measure for a quick U.S. Iraqi pullout by 403-3. On Nov. 19 a suicide bomber plows his car into a tent full of Shiite mourners in Iraq, killing 30 - and turning them into what? Had it up to tha' in Iraq, boys? On Nov. 19 U.S. Marines stink up the U.S. name after a bomb rocks their military convoy in Haditha, Iraq, killing Marine Lance Cpl. Miguel "TJ" Terrazas (b. 1985), and causing the rest, led by SSgt. Frank Wuterich (1980-) to shoot and kill unarmed civilians in a taxi at the scene, then go into two homes and massacre up 24 inhabitants; the brass attempts to cover it up until next May, when news leaks happen, and the fit hits the shan. On Nov. 21 a car bomb attack in Baqouba, Iraq kills four and wounds 10 civilians; U.S. soldiers mistakenly fire on a civilian vehicle outside a U.S. base in Baqouba, Iraq, killing two adults and a child. On Nov. 21 Pres. Bush becomes the first U.S. pres. to visit Mongolia (for 4 hours), telling Pres. Nambaryn Enkhbayar that his country has stood with the U.S. as "brothers in the cause of freedom", and telling him "I feel very much at home in your country" because of all the yaks"; Mongolia, which refers to the U.S. as their "third neighbor" sends more troops per capita to Iraq than every country except Britain and Denmark? - for old Genghis Khan? On Nov. 22 a suicide car bomber in Kirkuk, Iraq kills 21 (half of them police) and wounds 24 after his accomplices lure police to the scene by shooting an officer. On Nov. 24 a suicide bomber detonates outside a hospital S of Baghdad while U.S. troops are handing out food and candy to children, killing 30. On Nov. 25 German archeologist Susanne Kristina Osthoff (1962-) and her Iraqi driver are taken hostage in Iraq, and shown on TV footage on Nov. 27 by the German broadcaster ARD; another tape shows four peace activists, an American, a Briton, and two Canadians, all members of the Chicago-based Christian Peacemaker Teams; Osthoff is released on Dec. 18, and claims she had been happy, and had even been given some of the ransom money to pay for her digital camera. On Nov. 27 Senate Armed Services Committee chmn. John Warner (R-Va.) appears on NBC-TV's Meet the Press, suggesting that Pres. Bush should begin FDR-style fireside chats to save his admin. from tanking over the Iraq war, and debates with Sen. Foreign Relations Committee's top Dem., Joe Biden of Del. about whether the U.S. can maintain its baseline troop levels past next year; meanwhile the Pentagon announces that U.S. troop levels will drop from 160K to below 140K after the Dec. 15 Iraqi elections. On Nov. 27 eight Sunni Arab men are arrested by police in N Iraq for plotting to assassinate Raid Juhi, chief investigative judge of the court trying Saddam Hussein, whose trial resumes after a recess of almost six weeks. On Nov. 27 a 5.9 earthquake in S Iran kills 10 and injures 70.
On Dec. 2, 2005 an IED in Fallujah kills 10 and wounds 11 U.S. Marines from Regimental Combat Team 8 based at Camp Lejeune, N.C., becoming the deadliest attack against U.S. troops in Iraq in 4 mo. On Dec. 3 insurgents kill 19 and wound two Iraqi soldiers NE of Baghdad. On Dec. 5 Saddam Hussein puts up a show in court, telling the judge "You cannot continue with this game. Do you want the neck of Saddam Hussein? Then have it"; meanwhile witnesses describe abuse in Dujail, incl. "Hall 63", where a meat grinder is used; Hussein's atty. Gen. Ramsey Clark (former U.S. atty.-gen.) leads a walkout after arguing that the court is illegitimate because it is based on U.S. occupation. On Dec. 8 a suicide bomber in a bus en route from Baghdad to Nasiriyah, Iraq kills 32, making the 3-day suicide bomber death toll in Bagged Dead at least 75. On Dec. 12 Pres. Bush estimates that 30K Iraqis have died in the war, and says that "knowing that I know today, I'd make the decision again" to remove Saddam Hussein. On Dec. 15 parliamentary elections are held for a new govt. in Iraq that is to take power on Dec. 31, and about 11M Iraqis (70% of registered voters) turn out; voters' fingertips are marked with purple dye; after angry street protests and charges of vote-rigging, U.S. and Iraqi officials announce an attempt to form a coalition govt. on Dec. 24. In mid-Dec. the U.S. has 159K troops in Iraq, up from 146.3K in May, and down from 192K in Mar. 2003; Bulgaria and Ukraine begin withdrawing their combined 1,250 troops from Iraq; the so-called coalition of 24 nations supporting the 150K troops of the U.S. consists of 8K troops from Britain, 3.2K from S. Korea, 2.8K from Italy (troop and police trainers), 1.4K from Poland (troop and police trainers), 900 from Australia, 898 from Georgia, 876 from Ukraine, 863 from Romania, 600 from Japan (noncombat troops), 380 from Bulgaria, down to 32 from Macedonia. On Dec. 18 (eve.) for 16 min. Pres. Bush addresses the nation live from the Oval Office for the first time since the beginning of the Iraq War in Mar. 2003 to crow about the successful Iraqi elections and talk about the "path that lies ahead", saying, "we do not create terrorism by fighting the terrorists", adding that the latter "feel a tightening noose, and fear the rise of a democratic Iraq", concluding that he's determined to "finish the job", "doing what is right and accepting the consequences", and exhorting Americans not to "give in to despair, and do not give up on this fight for freedom". On Dec. 18 nearly two dozen die in Iraq from suicide bombings and gunmen as vice-pres. Dick Cheney makes a surprise visit. On Dec. 21 Saddam Hussein claims in court that Americans beat and tortured him and other defendants in prison in an obvious effort to top witnesses who describe his own forces using electric shocks and molten plastic hoses to rip skin off Kurds in Dujail in 1982. On Dec. 26 at least two dozen people incl. a U.S. soldier are killed in shootings and bombings in Iraq; two U.S. pilots are killed when their Apachi heli collides with another heli W of Baghdad. On Dec. 28 inmates at the A'dala Prison in the Baghdad suburb of Kazimiyah, Iraq storm the prison armory and steal an AK-47 rifle, which is used to kill eight and wound one U.S. soldier in a botched escape attempt. On Dec. 31 (New Year's Eve) at least 20 more are killed in Iraq in bombings and shootings; meanwhile U.S. troops shiver through a performance of "American Idol 3" finalist Diana DeGarmo et al. In 2005 a total of 844 (841 according to the AP) U.S. service members are killed in Iraq, compared to 848 in 2004; the number wounded is 9,157, compared to 7,956 in 2004; the total dead since the war began is 2,178, with 15,955 wounded; the bloodiest month in 2005 was Jan., with 107 killed and 500 wounded; the second worst month was Oct., with 96 dead and 603 wounded; more than half of the deaths are caused by homemade, usually roadside bombs. In 2005 former U.S. deputy defense secy. Paul Wolfowitz, who was instrumental in ramrodding the U.S. into the Iraq War ("Im reasonably certain that they will greet us as liberators") becomes pres. of the World Bank, raising eyebrows; he then stinks himself up by promoting his longtime babe Shaha Ali Riza (1953-) to a high-paying job at the state dept., waiting until he takes his new job to give the appearance of avoiding a conflict of interest, but only angering watchdogs, who call for his resignation, which he finally tenders on May 17, 2007.
In 2005 the U.S. launches Operation Avarice (ends 2006), secretly buying 400 Borak chemical warhead rockets from Iraq that they manufactured in the 1980s but hid from inspectors; Pres. Bush fails to declassify the info., allowing his critics to claim that Iraq had no WMDs prior to the U.S. invasion.
In 2006 global terrorism incl. 14K total attacks with 20K killed, incl. 7K attacks in Iraq with 13K killed, with more than 50% of the victims being Muslims; attacks in Afghanistan are up 53% over 2005, while attacks in Europe and Indonesia are down; the Taliban destroys 200 schools and kills 20 teachers this year, driving 200K children from classrooms, then next Jan. announces that it will open its own Islamic Sharia schools in Mar. with $1M funding; the number of Islamic extremist Web sites grows to 4.5K from 12 in 1998. By 2006 there are 23 nations under Muslim Sharia law, who presumably all want to exterminate Israel and bring Jerusalem back into the House of Islam. In 2006 34,452 civilians die in Iraq; 3,301 U.S. soldiers desert in the fiscal year (starting Oct.); hardly any are court-martialed. U.S. tourism figures finally reach pre-9/11 levels (19M). On Jan. 1, 2006 24 are wounded and two rebels are killed in eight car bombings in Baghdad and three in Kirkuk to kick off the Christian New Year Muslim-style; on Jan. 1-7 200 Iraqis and 12 U.S. troops are killed in Iraq to start year running. On Jan. 1 16-y.-o. Farris Hassan (1989-) returns to Fla. from Iraq, where he had been since cutting school on Dec. 11, flying to Kuwait, then Lebanon before flying to Baghdad; his parents, who have been in the U.S. for over 30 years were born in Iraq, making it easy to secure an entry visa; his little experiment with "immersion journalism" gets him worldwide publicity. On Jan. 5 insurgents kill 125 civilians in a crowd of Shiite pilgrims in Karbala, Iraq, and five U.S. soldiers in a line of police recruits in Ramadi. On Jan. 7 28-y.-o. Am. Christian Science Monitor freelance writer Jill Carroll (1977-) is kidnapped in Baghdad, Iraq by the Sunni Revenge Brigades; her interpreter Allan Enwiyah is shot to death; on Jan. 17 Al-Jazeera airs a video in which her abductors give the U.S. 72 hours to free female prisoners in Iraq to prevent her death; five Iraqi women are released on Jan. 26, a week after the deadline, but U.S. officials insist it is unrelated to her; on Jan. 30 Al-Jazeera airs a video showing her weeping and veiled, calling for the release of all female Iraqi prisoners; she is released on Mar. 30 after 82 days and six safehouses. On Jan. 8 a U.S. Army Black Hawk heli crashes E of Tal Afar, Iraq, killing all four crew and eight passengers aboard, bringing fatal heli crashes in Iraq since Mar. 20, 2003 to 23, with a death toll of 144; five other people die in separate attacks in Baghdad. On Jan. 14-15 thousands protest in Pakistan against a Jan. 14 U.S. air strike on the border village of Damadola, Pakistan in a failed attempt to kill #2 al-Qaida man Ayman al-Zawahri, which instead kills 18 civilians; on Jan. 17 Pakistan authorities admit that 4-5 foreign terrorists were also killed, but PM Shaukat Aziz says that attacks inside Pakistan "cannot be condoned"; John McCain apologizes, saying "It's terrible when innocent people are killed", then adds "I can't tell you that we wouldn't do the same thing again." On Jan. 23 Pres. Bush shoots back at critics of his once-secret domestic spying operation, which allows senior NSA officials to approve spying when there is "reason to believe" that al-Qaida is involved, saying it should be termed a "terrorist surveillance program", and asking, "If I wanted to break the law, why was I briefing Congress?" On Jan. 23 Raouf Rasheed Abdel-Rahman (a Kurd) becomes the new chief judge at Saddam Hussein's Kurd genocide trial in Baghdad, replacing fellow Kurd Rizgar Mohammed Amin, who submitted his resignation on Jan. 15 after complaints of failing to maintain control of Sodamn Insane; meanwhile Amin's deputy Saeed al-Hammash, a Shiite is ousted; on Jan. 29 Raouf is given his first test by Sodamn, who chastizes him for removing his half-brother Barzan Ibraham (who calls the court "a daughter of adultery"), then orders all four lead defendants removed and tried in absentia, causing the defense team to walk out; on Feb. 1 Sodam Insane and four other main defendants refuse to attend their trial, which proceeds without them. On Jan. 29 (weeks after being named as Peter Jennings replacement on ABC's World News Tonight Chinese-speaking co-anchor Bob Woodruff (1961-) and Canadian cameraman Doug Vogt (1960-) are seriously injured in Iraq by an IED near Taji, 12 mi. N of Baghdad as they travel with the U.S. 4th Infantry Div. as "embedded reporters", and are evacuated to medical facilities in Landstuhl, Germany; Woodruff, suffering broken bones and traumatic brain injury (TBI) wakes up from a coma after 36 days - and has to be retaught everything like Uhura in Star Trek? On Jan. 30 a video is aired showing al-Qaida's #2 man Ayman al-Zawahri mocking Pres. Bush, calling him a failure, butcher, etc., and calling for an attack "Allah willing, on your own land" - he looks like LBJ with a beard, glasses, and turban?
On Feb. 2, 2006 U.S. defense secy. Donald Runsfeld issues the immortal soundbyte about Muslim jihadists: "They will either succeed in changing our way of life, or we will succeed in changing theirs." On Feb. 2 two car bombs detonate in quick succession in the evening near a crowded market in E Baghdad, Iraq, killing 16 and wounding 90; a roadside bomb strikes a U.S. vehicle S of Baghdad, killing five service members. On Feb. 10 a car bomb outside a Sunni mosque in Baghdad, Iraq kills eight, and gunmen abduct a Sunni cleric. On Feb. 12 the British govt. says it is investigating allegations that British soldiers kicked and beat Iraqi teenagers in an army compound in Basra in 2004 as pub. by the News of the World, showing scenes filmed by a "disgusted whistle-blower", in one of which a soldier shouts "Oh yes! You're going to get it. Yes, naughty little boys." On Feb. 13 a suicide bomber at a bank in E Baghdad, Iraq kills five and wounds 32. On Feb. 15 new images showing Iraqis being abused by U.S. guards at Abu Ghraib Prison in 2003 are broadcast by Australia's Special Broadcasting Service, incl. one group of naked men with bags over their heads being forced to masturbate. On Feb. 18 a U.S. soldier and three Iraqi police are killed in two roadside bomb attacks in Baghdad, along with three other officials in the 2nd attack. On Feb. 20 Afghanistan-born U.S. ambassador Zalmay Mamozy Khalilzad (1951-) warns Iraqi leaders that they risk losing U.S. support unless they establish a nat. unity govt. not controlled by religious crazies; meanwhile a string of Is-Lame (I-Slam?) suicide bombings kills 24, incl. one U.S. soldier. On Feb. 21 a car bomb attack on an outdoor market in a Shiite area of SW Baghdad, Iraq kills 22 and injures dozens. On Feb. 22 a large explosion destroys the Golden Dome of the Shiite Askariya Shrine in Samarra (60 mi. N of Baghdad), raising fears of a religious civil war in Iraq as angry demonstrators cry for revenge, trashing Sunni mosques on Feb. 23 in violence that kills 120, causing the govt. to order a daytime curfew in Baghdad; on Feb. 22 Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, Iraq's most powerful Shiite politician blames U.S. ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad for threatening to cut off support to the Shiite-run Interior Ministry that oversees police because of its sectarian ties; the bombing triggers a cycle of Hatfield-McCoy retaliations for the rest of the year; on Aug. 2, 2007 Golden Mosque attack mastermind (al-Qaida cmdr.) Haytham Badri (Sabi) is killed during a U.S. air assault on his home in the Banat Hassan area 65 N of Baghdad. On Feb. 28 68 die in Sunni-Shiite strife across Baghdad in 65% Shiite, 32% Sunni Iraq, which is tilting toward civil war daily; meanwhile Pres. Bush seems unconcerned, telling ABC News' Elizabeth Vargas that he had talked with Iraqi leaders and they are cool. On Feb. 28 prosecutors in Baghdad present documents showing that Saddam Hussein approved the executions of 140+ Shiites in the 1980s; on Mar. 1 Saddam Hussein admits in court to ordering the death of the 148 Dujail Shiites, but points out that as they were given due process of law before execution, it was all legal - as if anybody cares by now?
The U.S. manufactures its own cartoon controversy? On Mar. 2, 2006 students protest over the Mar. 1 suspension of Jay Bennish, a geography teacher at Overland H.S. in Aurora, Colo. for giving a class lecture on Feb. 2 (the day after Bush's State of the Union address) calling the U.S. "probably the single most violent nation on planet Earth" and comparing Pres. Bush to Hitler "in tone", then inviting students to think for themselves and respond; the dimwitted administrators actually try to make something out of it after student Sean Allen makes an MP3 recording and shops it around, getting it played on a local radio talk station, taking official action and bringing it on themselves, showing the limits of their own education? On Mar. 2 the AP pub. figures obtained from the Iraqi Health Ministry putting the 2005 civilian death toll at 4,024, more than twice as many as the 1,222 police and 473 soldiers killed. On Mar. 7 Munsuf Abdallah Khalidi, a news anchor on Sunni-run Baghdad TV in Iraq is shot and killed by terrorists. On Mar. 9 4-star Gen. John Philip Abizaid (1951-) (highest-ranking U.S. gen. of direct Arab descent, known as the "Mad Arab"), top U.S. cmdr. in the Middle East (July 7, 2003 - Mar. 16, 2007) tells Congress that Sunni-Shiite violence is more of a threat than the insurgency; when pressed by Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W. Va.), Donald Rumsfeld reveals that a civil war would be initially handled by Iraqi security forces; in 2004 Abizaid used the term Long War to describe the war on Islamic insurgents, which he expects to last from 50-80 years, and which is adopted by the Bush admin. On Mar. 9 the U.S. military announces that it will begin moving the 4,537 prisoners of Abu Ghraib Prison in W Baghdad (out of 14,589 total U.S. prisoners in Iraq) to a new facility at Camp Cropper near the airport within 3 mo., then turn over the old facility to the Iraqis - so they can use it to torture Americans? On Mar. 10 Pres. Bush's approval rating drops to 37%, only 11 points higher than Tricky Dicky Nixon's in Mar. 1974; Clinton's lowest rating was 57% in Nov. 1997, Raagan's 65% in Nov. 1985, and Ike's 58% in Nov. 1957. On Mar. 10 the body of Tom Fox (b. 1951), the lone American among four Christian Peacemaker activists kidnapped a year earlier in Iraq is found; a video dated Feb. 28 shows the other three appealing for their release, Canadians James Loney (41) and Harmeet Singh Sooden (32), and Norman Kember (74) of Britain; British special forces and the U.S. military rescue them on Mar. 23; Kember's attitude after his rescue irks British army head Gen. Mike Jackson, who says "I am slightly saddened that there doesn't seem to have been a note of gratitude for the soldiers who risked their lives." On Mar. 11 (Sat.) Amjad Hameed (b. 1960), dir. of Iraq's public TV channel Al-Iraqiya is shot and killed along with his driver as he heads to work in C Baghdad, bringing the total of journalists killed in Iraq since the U.S. invasion to over 70, and bringing calls for new laws permitting journalists to carry firearms. Iraq's Anatomy on Web-TV? On Mar. 12 after a planned attack near their checkpoint, four members of a family in Mahmoudiya, Iraq (20 mi. S of Baghdad) are murdered, and 14-y.-o. Abeer Qassim al-Janabi (b. 1992) raped and murdered by five U.S. soldiers from the 502nd Infantry Regiment, incl. St. Paul E. Cortez (1986-), Pfc. Jesse V. Spielman, Pfc. Steven Dale Green (1984-), Spc. James P. Barker, and Pfc. Bryan L. Howard; on July 4 Iraqi lawmakers blast the U.S. and demand justice after the Mujahedeen Army reports the incident on a Web site; Green is arrested in N.C. after being discharged for a personality disorder; eight soldiers from the 101st Airborne Div. in Evansville, Ind. end up being court-martialed on murder charges; Cortez and Spielman are charged with the death penalty; on Feb. 22, 2007 Cortez gets 100 years (eligible for parole in 10 years) in exchange for testifying against the others; on Aug. 24, 2007 Spielman gets 110 years.; on May 7, 2009 Green is convicted of rape and four murders, and given life after a jury gets hung over the death penalty. On Mar. 13-14 Iraqi authorities discover 87 executed corpses in the Shiite neighborhood of Kamaliyah in E Baghdad, and another 55 are recovered elsewhere in the city as the country edges toward civil war. On Mar. 14 Iraqi security officials announce that they have foiled a plot to put 421 al-Qaida men at guard posts in Baghdad's 2-sq.-mi. Green Zone on the W bank of the Tigris River, who were to then storm U.S. and British embassies; only one more bureaucrat's signature was required to hire them. On Mar. 15 Saddam Hussein testifies in Baghdad for the 1st time in his trial, using the photo op to call on Iraqis to stop killing each other and "resist the invaders and their backers". On Mar. 15-16 (night) U.S. troops execute 10+ Iraqi civilians incl. an infant in Ishaqi, Iraq, then try to cover it up with an airstrike. On Mar. 16 the U.S. begins Operation Swarmer, sending 1.5K Iraqi and coalition troops in 50 helis into Salahuddin Province in the largest air assault in nearly three years. On Mar. 16 Iraq's new 275-member parliament is sworn in, incl. 130 from the Shiite United Iraqi Alliance, 55 from Sunni parties, 53 from the Kurdish Alliance, and 37 from secular and minority parties. On Mar. 16 Iran offers for the first time to enter into talks with the U.S. aimed at stabilizing Iraq - at a slightly smaller size of course? On Mar. 19 global protests mark the 3rd anniv. of the Iraq War. On Mar. 20 residents of Haditha, Iraq 140 mi. NW of Baghdad give new details about U.S. troops entering and shooting and killing 15 members of two families after a roadside bomb kills a U.S. Marine on Nov. 19, 2005. On Mar. 21 Pres. Bush holds a press conference, admitting that U.S. forces will remain in Iraq after his term expires, and quashes questions by veteran reporter Helen Thomas (1920-), who believes he railroaded the U.S. into the war, saying "To assume I wanted war is just flat wrong"; "I'm optimistic we'll succeed; if not, I'd pull our troops out"; he then admits that he has spent his 2004 reelection victory capital on the war. On Mar. 21 Sgt. Michael J. Smith (1981-) of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. is found guilty at a court-martial of 6 of 13 counts for tormenting POWs with his snarling black Belgian shepherd at Abu Ghraib Prison, competing with a comrade to make the Iraqi prisoners soil themselves, and having his dog lick peanut butter off the genitals of a male soldier. On Mar. 21 100 masked Sunni Mujaheddin Shura Council gunmen storm the Muqdadiyah Prison near the Iranian border of Iraq 60 mi. NE of Baghdad, killing 20 policemen and freeing all 33 inmates, incl. 18 insurgents; 10 gunmen are killed. On Mar. 21 Iraqi interim PM Ibrahim al-Jaafari says that he hopes that "the formation of the new government does not last beyond April". On Mar. 21 Thailand-born former Army pilot Ladda "Tammy" Duckworth (1968-), who lost both legs in Iraq wins the Dem. nomination for an Ill. seat in Congress, later losing by 2% of the vote to State Sen. Peter Roskam, who ran unopposed in his primary. On Mar. 24 a Pentagon report is released claiming that Russia collected info. about U.S. troop movements and battle plans at the outset of the U.S. invasion of Iraq by tapping U.S. military sources, then passed it to Saddam Hussein; Russia denies it. On Mar. 28 masked gunmen kidnap 24 Iraqis from three businesses in Baghdad, and make off with tens of thousands in cash. On Mar. 30 Iraqi soccer star Manar Modhafar is gunned down in Baghdad. On Mar. 31 a mortar shell explodes on a street in N Baghdad, Iraq, killing three women in their homes. In Mar. U.S. fatalities in Iraq are 31, the lowest number since Feb. 2004; in Apr. the number exceeds 40 by mid-mo. In Mar. a U.S. jury orders Mike Battles and his partner Scott Custer to pay $10M for swindling the U.S. govt. over Iraqi rebuilding projects.
On Apr. 4, 2006 the Iraq govt. files new charges against Saddam Hussein, Ali Hassan Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti (1941-2010) ("Chemical Ali") and five others for killing an estimated 180K Kurds in N Iraq in 1987-8. On Apr. 6 a car bomb in Najaf, Iraq kills at least 10 and wounds 34 near the Imam Ali Shiite mosque at the entrance to a cemetery. On Apr. 9 (Sun.) Iraqi Shiite lawmakers neet on the 3rd anniv. of the fall of Baghdad to U.S. forces as Iraqis observe Freedom Day; meanwhile at least 15 are killed, incl. eight suspected insurgents shot by U.S. soldiers in a pre-dawn raid N of Baghdad; meanwhile Egyptian Pres. Hosni Mubarak says that Iraqi Shiites are more loyal to Iran than Iraq. On Apr. 14 U.S. defense secy. Donald Rumsfeld gives an interview on Al-Arabiya TV, rejecting calls from six retired U.S. generals, Maj. Gen. John Batiste, Maj. Gen. John Riggs, Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni, Maj. Gen. Charles Swannack, Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton, and Marine Lt. Gen. Gregory Newbold to resign; Pres. Bush then backs him up, saying "He has my full support"; on Apr. 18 Rumsfeld suggests that calls for his resignation were caused by controversial changes he made at the Pentagon, such as cancelling favored Army weapons, appointing a retired gen. as Army chief of staff, and naming Marine generals to posts usually held by Army officers (James Jones for NATO command, James Carthwrite to head the U.S. Strategic Command, Peter Pace to be chmn. of the JCS), saying "The president knows... there are no indispensible men. He knows that I serve at his pleasure." On Apr. 15 the U.S. military announces two more U.S. Marines killed and 22 wounded in Anbar Province in W Iraq. On Apr. 17 a lunchtime car bomb kills seven and injures ? in Baghdad, Iraq as Shiite politicians meet to replace PM Ibraham al-Jaafari with another Shiite. On Apr. 20 Iraqi PM Ibraham al-Jaafari bows to Sunni and Kurdish opposition and quits - did he keep his health benefits, and do you think his stress headaches will go away? On Apr. 23 three U.S. soldiers are killed in the Baghdad area of Iraq by insurgents who fire mortars near the Defense Ministry; 27 Iraqis are killed in Iraq violence. On Apr. 24 a wave of seven car bombs across Baghdad, Iraq kills 10 and wounds 76, while another 30 are killed or found murdered aross lovely Iraq. On Apr. 25 Abu Musab al-Zarqawi appears on a video posted on Web, mocking the U.S. military in Iraq for suicides, drug-taking and mutinies, and warning of attacks to come; the first video to clearly show his face? On Apr. 26 Nouri Kamel Mohammed Hassan al-Maliki (1950-) becomes acting PM of Iraq, followed by official PM on May 20 (until ?), reverting to his birth name after using the nome de guerre of Jawad al-Maliki during Saddam Hussein's reign; a sister of new Sunni vice-pres. Tariq al-Hashimi is killed in a drive-by shooting as she leaves her home in SW Baghdad, along with a bodyguard. In Apr. a total of 952 are killed in war-related violence in Iraq, incl. 686 civilians, 190 insurgents, 54 police and 22 Iraqi soldiers.
On May 1, 2006 Pres. Bush gives a White House speech on the the 3rd anniv. of his "mission accomplished" speech, saying that a "turning point" has arrived with the establishment of a permanent govt. in civil war-ready Baghdad, which is "more determined than ever to succeed"; meanwhile Rumsfeld and Rice stand by his side, trying to figure out how to put a spin on the future reality show? - two civil wars to go, and one to stay? On May 4 Donald Rumsfeld gives a speech at the Southern Center for Internat. Studies in Atlanta, Ga., and is accosted by four protesters, then accused by former CIA analyst Ray McGovern of lying to get the U.S. into the Iraq War. On May 6 a British military heli is shot down at 2 p.m. by a missile in Basra, Iraq, killing five soldiers, followed by several hundred young Shiite men arriving to celebrate and attack British troops, causing a firefight which kills six children and injures 46. On May 7 three car bombs detonate within 30 min. of each other in Baghdad and the Shiite holy city of Karbala, Iraq, killing 16 and injuring dozens. On May 8 at least 34 are killed in Iraq, incl. one U.S. soldier and five civilians in C Bagghdad killed and 10 wounded by a car bomb. On May 11 seven U.S. service members die in Iraq, incl. four Marines who drown when their tank rolls off a bridge near Karmah, Iraq, a suburb of Fallujah; an 8th death from May 9 is also announced. On May 14 two car bombers tear into a C checkpoint for Baghdad's airport and detonate, killing 14 and wounding 16, becoming the first bomb attack aimed at the airport in nearly a year; meanwhile another 18 are killed and 60 wounded in other attacks in Iraq - where's my head? On May 16 gunmen in the Shiite commercial district of Al Shaab in N Baghdad wound five guards, and then a car bomb explodes after rescuers arrive, killing 19 and wounding dozens. On May 18 a bomb in Iraq kills four U.S. soldiers and their Iraqi interpreter, and another two dozen Iraqis die in violence across the country. On May 22 Saddam Hussein's female defense atty. Bushra al-Khalil is pulled from the courtroom for arguing with chief Judge Raouf Abdel-Rahman. On May 25 Pres. Bush and British PM Tony Blair hold a press conference in the White House East Room, looking like "yesterday's men", according to former British diplomat Jonathan Clarke. On May 28 Sheik Osama al-Jadaan, a pro-U.S. Sunni chief who sent fighters to help U.S. troops battle al-Qaida in W Iraq is assassinated in Baghdad; meanwhile nine are killed and 35 wounded across the lovely paradise. On May 29 (U.S. Labor Day) three dozen are killed in Iraq, incl. two CBS News crew members and a U.S. soldier; CBS correspondent Kimberly Dozier is seriously wounded; 71 U.S. journalists have now died in the Iraq War, compared to 63 for the Vietnam War, 17 for the Korean War, and 69 for WWII; meanwhile Pres. Bush gives his Memorial Day Message at Arlington Nat. Cemetery, saying "I am in awe of the men and women who sacrifice for the freedom of the United States of America", and claiming that the best way to honor the dead is by "defeating the terrorists... and by laying the foundation for a generation of peace". On May 30 car bombs in Shiite areas of Iraq kill 54 and injure 120. On May 31 Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki declares a state of emergency in Basra after violence around the country kills 25 and wounds dozens, promising an "an iron fist against... those who threaten security".
On June 3, 2006 four Russian diplomats are abducted in Iraq by al-Qaida gunmen, and are later killed. On June 4 Sunni gunmen stop two minivans N of Baghdad and kill 21 Shiites (incl. 11 students) "in the name of Islam" after separating out Sunnis. On June 5 gunmen in police uniforms raid bus stations in C Baghdad, Iraq, kidnapping 50. On June 6 Iraq PM Nouri al-Maliki promises to release 2.6K POWs by June 30 to promote "reconciliation and national dialogue"; on June 7 the first batch of 594 is freed, followed on June 11 by 230 more. 666 is now a punchline for filthy lucre? On June 6 (6-6-6) (Rev. 13:18) another Millennium Fever Date comes and goes, but watch anybody who was born on this date very closely? - 1966 was a false 6-6-6, but this one is true? The Bush admin. finally gets the Devil, only a day late? On June 7 U.S. Task Force 145 scores a direct hit on a safe house 1.25 mi. N of Hibhib outside Baqouba, Iraq occupied by 39-y.-o. irhabi (terrorist) Abu Musab al-Zarqawi "the Beheader" with two 500-lb. bombs dropped by F-16 fighters, killing him along with adviser Abu Abdul-Rahman and four others (two men, a woman and a child); but not immediately for Zarqawi, as he tries to escape from his stretcher before croaking 52 min. after the bombing; within a few hours U.S.-Iraqi forces, using captured computer disks conduct 17 raids in and around Baghdad, yielding a "treasure trove" of intel, followed by 425 more, capturing or killing 104 terrorists; at least 40 are killed in Baghdad after a rash of bombings; the publicity causes the elite force to change its name?; on June 15 the Iraq govt. releases a transcript of a document found in al-Zarqawi's hideout that describes the "current bleak situation" of al-Qaida in Iraq. On June 12 a new Security Plan for Baghdad is announced; meanwhile a car bomb in Baghdad kills five, and the Shiite Revenge begins. On June 13 Pres. Bush stages a surprise 5.5-hour visit to Iraq to make hay out of the al-Zarqawi thingie; PM Nouri al-Maliki announces an extended 6 a.m. curfew starting June 14, and orders a joint mission to deploy 75K Iraqi and U.S. troops in Baghdad. On June 14 Pres. Bush, back in Washington, D.C. calls an Iraqi pullout "bad policy" and election-year politicking, saying "It will endanger our country to pull out of Iraq before we accomplish the mission." On June 15 the U.S. Congress pauses for a minute of silence to recognize the 2,500th U.S. military death in the Iraq War as part of a day-long debate, with six Dem. senators voting to withdraw troops by year's end, incl. Ted Kennedy (Mass.), John Kerry (Mass.), Robert Byrd (W.V.), Barbara Boxer (Calif.), Russ Feingold (Wisc.), and Tom Harkin (Iowa). On June 16 a shoe bomber targeting a Shiite iman who criticized al-Zarqawi blows himself up inside of the Buratha Mosque in Baghdad, killing 13. On June 16 Pres. Bush and Repub. Rep. Dave Reichert drive by a school bus in Seattle, Wash., and the 43-y.-o. driver gives Bush the finger, causing him to be fired; on Nov. 3 he files a union grievance pleading wrongful termination; meanwhile on June 16 vice-pres. Cheney and his two sons are walking with their two sons to a piano camp in Beaver Creek, Colo. when Steven Howards (former dir. of the Denver Metro Air Quality Council) chances by, and tells him "Your policies in Iraq are reprehensible", then moves on, only to be handcuffed minutes later by Secret Service agent Virgil D. "Gus" Reichle Jr., who asks him, "Did you assault the vice president?", then takes him to jail; in Oct. he sues Cheney in federal court in Denver, Colo. after his charges are dismissed by a judge on July 10. On June 19 the grisly, tortured, beheaded, booby-trapped remains of two missing Americans, Pfc. Kristian Menchaca (b. 1983) of Houston, Tex. and Pfc. Thomas L. Tucker (b. 1981) of Madras, Ore. are found in Baghdad a few mi. from where they disappeared on June 16 in an attack near Yousifiyah in the Sunni Triangle, which killed Spc. David J. Babineau (25) of Springfield, Mass.; a Web site posting claims that new Iraq al-Qaida leader Abu Hamza al-Muhajer did it personally; 8K U.S. and Iraqi troops searched for them, killing two insurgents and detaining 78. On June 19 the prosecution of Saddam Hussein, his half-brother Barzan Ibrahim (intel chief), Taha Yassin Ramadan (vice-pres.) and Awad Hamed al-Bandar (chief of jusice of the Rev. Court) finishes, demanding the death penalty, saying that So Damn Insane showed "no mercy", and that "Even the trees were not safe from their oppression", causing Saddam to mutter "Well done". On June 19 a suicide bomber detonates in a Baghdad restaurant 400 yards from the main gate of the Green Zone at lunchtime, killing 23; another bomber detontes during morning roll call outside a traffic police HQ in the Kurdish city of a Irbil, wounding 50; meanwhile 1K U.S. and Iraqi forces take part in Operation Spear and Operation Dagger in rural Anbar Province, which began June 17 and June 18, respectively. On June 19-23 at least 25 people are executed gangland-style in Mosul, Iraq. On June 25 Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki unveils a 24-point Nat. Reconciliation Initiative offering amnesty to insurgents under certain conditions; a bomb in a plastic bag explodes in one of Baghdad's main markets in the al-Shurja Souk, killing 6 and injuring 17. On June 26 bombs at markets in two Iraqi cities kill at least 40 hours after lawmakers announce that seven Sunni Arab insurgent groups have offered the govt. a conditional truce. In June an avg. of 100+ civilians a day are killed in Iraq, incl. nearly 6K for May-June.
On July 1, 2006 a giant car bomb explodes in an outdoor market in a Shiite district of Baghdad, Iraq, killing 66 and injuring 100 - watching you terrorists grow and go through the changes in your life? On July 12 gunmen seize two dozen Shiites from a bus station in Baghdad, Iraq in a predominantly Sunni area, then kill them and dump their bodies in a nearby village. On July 16 a suicide bomber detonates inside a cafe packed with Shiites in Tuz Khormato, Iraq 130 mi. N of Baghdad, killing 26 and injuring 22. On July 17 Shiite gunmen massacre 50 in a market in Mahmoudiya, Iraq; reprisals kill at least 19 more. On July 18 a Sunni driver in Iraq lures Shiites to his van by promising jobs, then blows it up, killing 53. On July 23 (Sun.) bombs in Baghdad and Kirkuk, Iraq kill 62 and wound 200+. On July 23 Saddam Hussein is hospitalized on the 17th day of a hunger strike and fed with a tube; Saddam is striking to demand better security for his defense team, three of whom have been assassinated since the trial began, the last being Khamis al-Obeidi on June 21. On July 27 rockets and mortars kill 31 in an upscale mostly Shiite area of Baghdad (high class Shiite?), collapsing an apt. house; a car bomb explodes in the commercial and residential district of Karradah, Iraq, wounding 150. On July 28 a bomb explodes between a Sunni mosque and youth center in Baghdad, Iraq during Friday prayers, killing four and wounding nine. On July 29 four U.S. Marines from Regimental Combat Team 7 are killed in Anbar Province in a Sunni Arab insurgent stronghold W of Baghdad, while a U.S. F-16 drops two precision-guided bombs on a bldg. near Baghdad believed to be used by militants.; on July 31 a car bomb in Mosul explodes on a passing police patrol, killing three officers and three civilians. On July 31 gunmen in military fatigues burst into the offices of the Iraqi-Am. Chamber of Commerce and a nearby mobile phone co. and seize 26 in the upscale Karradah Shiite area of Baghdad; four Iraqi soldiers are killed in a suicide bombing in N Iraq, the first-ever in the Kurdish-ruled province of Dahuk. In July a Scrips Howard and Ohio U. poll finds that more than one-third of Americans believe that federal officials assisted in the 9/11 attacks or purposely took no action to stop them so that the U.S. could have an excuse to start a war in the Middle East. In July the civilian death toll in Iraq (3.5K) exceeds the entire war before that; the total of killed and wounded in the Battle of Baghdad reaches 22K by mid-Aug.
On Aug. 1, 2006 Iraq starts out a new month of killing with more than 70 killed, incl. 20 Iraqi troops, a U.S. soldier, and a British soldier. On Aug. 2 bomb blasts in a soccer field in the mostly Shiite district of Amil in W Baghdad kills 11 young people. On Aug. 3 top U.S. cmdrs. tell Congress that civil war in Iraq is a "possibility" (Gen. Peter Pace); meanwhile Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton calls on defense secy. Donald Rumsfeld to resign. On Aug. 6 (night) a suicide bomber detonates among mourners at a funeral in Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit, Iraq, killing 10 and injuring 22; meanwhile three U.S. soldiers are killed in a roadside bombing SW of Baghdad. On Aug. 7 a U.S.-Iraqi attack on a Shiite military stronghold in Baghdad, Iraq kills three, incl. a woman and child, causing Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki to criticize it, saying it could undermine his efforts at nat. reconciliation. On Aug. 9 a string of bombings in the center of Baghdad kill at least 20 and wound 60. On Aug. 10 a Sunni Jamaat Jund al-Sahaba (Arab. "Soldiers of the Prophet's Companions") suicide bomber detonates outside Imam Ali Mosque in Najaf, Iraq (Iraq's holiest Shiite shrine), killing 35 and wounding 122. On Aug. 13 prominent British Muslim leaders pub. an Open Letter to Tony Blair, saying that his policy on the Middle East and Iraq offers "ammunition to extremists" and puts British lives "at increased risk". On Aug. 13 (eve.) a series of explosions in a Shiite neighborhood of Baghdad causes a battle between the U.S. military and Iraqis over who caused them, the U.S. blaming them on a gas line blast and the Iraqis on car bombs and rockets. On Aug. 20 rooftop snipers kill 20 and wound 300 white-shrouded Shiites as they throng around the Shrine of Imam Moussa Kadhim (d. 799) in the Kazimiyah neighborhood of N Baghdad, in what appears to be the opening of a civil war; on Aug. 21 (Mon.) Pres. Bush holds a press conference, sticking to his optimism of a democratic Iraq without a civil war, and insisting on the need for Iraq to "succeed" for U.S. security, saying, "We're not leaving so long as I'm president"; meanwhile Sen. Joe Lieberman calls on defense secy. Donald Rumsfeld to resign, but sticks to his pro-Iraq War policy, saying that the U.S. cannot "walk away" from the Iraqis; meanwhile Sen. John McCain of Ariz. says he won't campaign against his friend Lieberman in Del. On Aug. 21 Saddam Hussein's Genocide Trial (his 2nd trial) begins, with witnesses giving tear-jerking stories of how Kurds were treated like garbage, causing Saddam Hussein to bark at the prosecutors and refuse to enter a plea; on Aug. 22 Najiba Khider Ahmed (1965-) testifies about the Apr. 16, 1987 poison gas attack on Basilan and Sheik Wasan: "I saw 8-12 jets... There was greenish smoke from the bombs. It was as if there was a rotten apple or garlic smell minutes later. People were vomiting... We were blind and screaming. There was no one to rescue us, just God." On Aug. 22 Iraq War hawk Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) says the Bush admin. misled Americans into believing it would be "some kind of day at the beach", and "it grieves me so much that we had not told the American people how tough and difficult this would be". On Aug. 25 Iraqis loot Camp Abu Naji, a vacated British military base, embarrassing the govt. On Aug. 27 bomb attacks and shootings across Iraq kill dozens despite everything the U.S. and the Iraq govt. can do. On Aug. 30 a series of explosions in Shiite neighborhoods in E Baghdad kills 43 and wounds 200; bringing the death toll in Iraq since Aug. 27 to 300+.
On Sept. 3, 2006 Iraqi nat. security adviser Mouwaffak al-Rubaie announces the arrest of Hamed Jumaa Farid al-Saeedi, AKA Abu Humam and Abu Rana, calling him the #2 man in the Iraqi al-Qaida, which the latter denies on Sept. 4. On Sept. 4 police in Baghdad find the bodies of 33 tortured, blindfolded men scattered across the city; meanwhile seven coalition forces die in combat, and Iraqi Olympic soccer star Ghanim Ghudayer is kidnapped. On Sept. 4 Nabeel Ahmed Issa Jaourah, from Rusaifa near al-Zarqawi's hometown of Zarqa in Iraq opens fire on Western tourists at the Roman ruins in C Amman, Jordan, wounding six. On Sept. 5 Pres. Bush links those who underestimate terrorists to those who underestimated Hitler and Lenin, and accuses Dems. of being soft on terrorism, causing them to accuse him of making the U.S. less safe with his Iraq War. On Sept. 6 Pres. Bush acknowledges that the CIA runs secret overseas prisons, and says that 14 suspects have been transferred to Guantanamo Bay for trials; the CIA program "has helped us to take potential mass murderers off the streets before they were able to kill"; meanwhile the Revised Army Field Manual is released (an update of the 1992 vers.), specifically barring torture and degrading treatment of POWs. On Sept. 7 Iraq takes control of its armed forces command from the U.S. On Sept. 11 the U.S. commemorates the 5th anniv. of 9/11, and Pres. Bush gives a prime-time speech, which is later criticized for using the 9/11 attacks to bolster support for the Iraq War; meanwhile al-Qaida releases three videos lionizing themselves as men "who changed history". On Sept. 12 Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki visits Iranian pres. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Tehran, and is gifen a red carpet reception in his office; al-Maliki spent part of his exile from Iraq during Saddam's rule in Iran. On Sept. 13 Adnan al-Dulaimi, leader of Iraq's biggest Sunni Arab group, the Iraqi Accordance Front calls on Shiite PM Nouri al-Maliki to disband militias after police announce the finding of 65 tortured bodies in and around Baghdad. On Sept. 14 chief judge Abdullah al-Amiri (Shiite) gets in a pissing contest with Saddam Hussein in his Baghdad genocide trial, and ends up saying "you are not a dictator", causing Saddam to reply "Thank you". On Sept. 14 the U.S. military announces four U.S. soldiers killed and 25 injured in Iraq, incl. six killed by a car bomb in a soccer field in Fallujah, Iraq. On Sept. 17 six car bombs in Kurkuk, Iraq kill 24 and wound 84; meanwhile the U.S. military in Iraq imprisons AP photographer Bilal Hussein for being a security threat for 5 mo. sans charges or public hearing. On Sept. 19 Pres. Bush gives an Address to the U.N. Gen. Assembly, claiming that the U.S. is not in a "war against Islam", saying "This propaganda is false and its purpose is to confuse you and justify acts of terror. We respect Islam"; Iranian pres. Ahmadinejad is nearby but snubs the speech; on Sept. 20 Venezuelan pres. Hugo Chavez hams it up by calling Bush a "diablo", saying "the devil came here yesterday... as if he were the owner of the world", adding "In this very spot it smells like sulfur still", accusing the U.S. govt. of "domination, exploitation and pillage of peoples of the world"; "We appeal to the people of the United States and the world to halt this threat, which is like a sword hanging over our head"; U.S. ambassador John Bolton comments "Too bad the people of Venezuela don't have free speech"; in Oct. his behavior costs his country Argentina's seat on the U.N. Security Council. On Sept. 24 Chris Wallace interviews former U.S. pres. Bill Clinton on News Sunday, and gets defensive when asked about why he didn't kill Osama bin Laden, saying he came closer to killing him than Bush did: "No, I didn't get him, but at least I tried". On Sept. 27 Nancy Pelosi utters the soundbyte "It is the most closed and corrupt Congress in history, being a rubber stamp for the Bush administration"; on Oct. 12 she says "He is in denial" about Iraq; on Oct. 30 she adds "Their approach comes down to this: The terrorists win and America loses".
On Oct. 2, 2006 Iraqis display a picture of a smiling Buddy Christ which they said was left by U.S. troops after an Oct. 1 raid in Sadr City, Baghdad; the U.S. military denies it. On Oct. 3 U.S. Gen. Barry McCaffrey says that the Iraq War has left the U.S. military in critical condition, put it in danger of "breaking", and claims it has $61B in equipment shortages; he also says that two-thirds of the 14 U.S. Army brigades in Iraq "are not ready to fight". On Oct. 9 the brother of Iraq's Sunni Arab vice-pres. is assassinated, becoming the 3rd of his four siblings he loses this year. On Oct. 12 gunmen dressed as police storm a new satellite TV station in Baghdad, Iraq and kill 11 employees two days before its debut. On Oct. 12 a Web site alleges that seven NFL football stadiums in the U.S. will be hit with radiological dirty bombs over the weekend on Oct. 18, causing the Homeland Security Dept. to alert stadium owners; the feds later say it is a hoax, and arrest Wisc. grocery store clerk Jake Joseph Brahm (1985-), who pleads guilty to violating the paranoid U.S. Patriot Act. On Oct. 13 British Gen. Sir Richard Dannatt (1950-), its top military cmdr. says that Britain should withdraw its troops from Iraq "sometime soon", contradicting PM Tony Blair, who said that retreat from Iraq would be "a craven act of surrender". On Oct. 17 U.S. forces are called back to patrol the streets of the predominantly Shiite city of Balad, Iraq after five days of sectarian all-new-Ugly-Betty slaughter kill 95, which begin with the killing of 17 Shiite workers on Oct. 13, and the Iraqi 4th Army fails to stop it and fighting spills over into nearby Duluiyah, a Sunni city across the Tigris River on the E side. On Oct. 17 Pres. Bush signs the U.S. John Warner Defense Authorization Act, authorizing interrogation and prosecution of terror suspects, and amending the Possee Comitatus Act to read: "The President may employ the armed forces to restore public order in any State of the United States the President determines hinders the execution of laws or deprives people of a right, privilege, immunity, or protection named in the Constitution and secured by law or opposes or obstructs the execution of the laws of the United States or impedes the course of justice under those laws"; HR 4986: Nat. Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 repeals the changes, reverting back to the 1807 Insurrection Act, but Pres. Bush attaches a signing statement that he doesn't feel bound by the repeal. On Oct. 17 10 U.S. troops are killed in Iraq, followed by another on Oct. 18, bringing the Oct. death toll to 70, the highest since Nov. 2004 (137). On Oct. 17 Pres. Bush signs the 2006 U.S. Military Commissions Act, establishing procedures for the use of military commissions to try alien unlawful enemy combatants engaged in hostilities against the U.S. On Oct. 18 Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki meets with Shiite leader Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani and anti-U.S. cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, leader of the Mahdi Army, Iraq's most feared militia; meanwhile one of al-Sadr's district chiefs is arrested, causing a Shiite protest, and foreign minister Hoshyar Zebari blames U.S. officials for the chaos from the way they ran Iraq before the new govt. took control. On Oct. 19 a suicide car bombing near Kirkuk, Iraq kills eight and wounds 70, while a total of 66 are killed and 175 wounded around Iraq; meanwhile the U.S. military finally concedes that it has failed to stem the tide of bombings and tortures in Baghdad despite a 2-mo. effort with 12K new U.S. and Iraqi troops, with U.S. Maj. Gen. William B. Caldwell IV announcing that they are rethinking (oxymoron?) their strategy. On Oct. 22 former Iraq finance minster Ali Allawi appears on CBS-TV's 60 Minutes, alleging that up to $800M meant to equip the Iraqi army has been stolen by former officials, calling it "one of the biggest thefts in history"; meanwhile shoppers buying sweets for the feast marking the end of Ramadan are targeted by insurgents, killing 44. On Oct. 25 Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki gets angry at the U.S. for asking his govt. for a timetable to curb violence, and also vents anger at a joint U.S.-Iraqi raid in the Baghdad slum of Sadr City, where he derives a lot of support; meanwhile Pres. Bush tells the press that he still thinks the U.S. must come, er, win before it pulls out. On Oct. 29 Sunni Arab gunmen kill 23 police in Iraq, incl. 17 in one attack in Basra; meanwhile 2K Shiites demonstrate in Sadr City against U.S. forces "sieging" their district looking for a kidnapped comrade; meanwhile Saddam Hussein's chief atty. warns of worsening violence and chaos across the Mideast if he is sentenced to death. On Oct. 31 Mass. Sen. John Kerry puts his foot in his mouth when he tells a group of Calif. students that those who don't study hard and do their homework and make an effort to be smart could "get stuck in Iraq"; after Sen. Hillary Clinton and other Dems. distance themselves and Pres. Bush demands an apology, he apologizes on Nov. 1, saying he meant to say "You end up getting us stuck in a war in Iraq - just ask President Bush". In Oct. a total of 96 U.S. troops die in Ramadan-celebrating Iraq (107 in Jan. 2005, 135 in Apr. 2004, 137 in Nov. 2004).
On Nov. 2, 2006 a Website approved by Pres. Bush containing an archive of 48K boxes of documents seized in Iraq since the Mar. 2003 invasion is shut down after a dozen documents detailing Iraqi plans for a nuke are discovered. On Nov. 3 at 6:30 a.m. anti-Iraq War protester Malachi (Mark David) Ritscher (1954-) publicly immolates himself in Chicago, Ill. in front of morning commuters in front of a video camera, saying "If I am required to pay for your barbaric war, I choose not to live in your world." On Nov. 5 the verdict in Saddam Hussein's first trial comes in, and as he trembles but remains defiant he is sentenced to death by hanging, causing celebrations by Shiites and protests by Sunnis, who vow to avenge him with their blood; "Today we witnessed a landmark event in the history of Iraq" (Pres. Bush). On Nov. 7 the Iraq govt. charges 57 members of the Shiite-dominated Iraqi police force, incl. a gen. with the torture of hundreds of detainees at Site No. 4 prison in E Baghdad after finding the bullet-riddled bodies of 15 death squad victims floating in the Tigris River S of Baghdad. On Nov. 8 (within hours of the Dem. triumph in the nat. elections) Pres. Bush announces his acceptance of the resignation of unpopular (patsy?) defense secy. Donald Rumsfeld in favor of former CIA dir. (CIA man since 1966) and Texas A&M U. pres. Robert Gates (1943-), and holds a press conference where he calls the election a "thumping", and admits to misleading the public when before the election he left the impression that Rumsfeld would be in to the end, saying that he didn't want to inject it into the campaign; when asked if the election results will cause him to pull out of Iraq, he replies "I'd like our troops to come home too, but... with victory"; speculation is rife that if had ditched Rummy weeks before the election they wouldn't have lost the Senate; meanwhile activist Cindy Sheehan leads about 50 protesters to a White House gate to deliver anti-war petitions, and is arrested; on Dec. 6 Gates is approved by a 95-2 Senate vote. On Nov. 9 Iraq's health minister Ali al-Shemari gives a new estimate of 150K Iraq civilians killed in the 44-mo. Iraq War, tripling previous estimates; meanwhile Donald Rumsfeld acknowledges that progress has not been going "well enough or fast enough", and when asked to grade his performance says "I'd let history worry about that". On Nov. 12 159 are killed in Iraq, incl. 35 men blown up while waiting to join the police force, and 50 bodies found behind an electrical co. in Baqouba, causing Shiite PM Nouri al-Maliki to promise to reshuffle his cabinet and blaming the Sunnis for the violence; meanwhile Saudi Prince Naif says that a fence is being built along the frontier to keep its youth from going to Iraq to join the insurgents. On Nov. 16 Harith al-Dari, grandson of Sheikh Dari, who became a big Sunni hero in Iraq for assassinating a mean British army officer in 1920 becomes the most wanted man in Iraq after the Iraq govt. puts out an arrest warrant for him. On Nov. 19 three car bombs explode in a bus station in SE Baghdad, Iraq, killing 11 civilians and injuring 40; meanwhile the Iraqi deputy health minister is kidnapped from his Baghdad home. On Nov. 20 a series of attacks in Baghdad, Ramadi, and Baqouba in Iraq kill 25, and the bodies of 75 tortured Iraqis are found. On Nov. 20 Iranian pres. Ahmadinejad invites Iraq and Syria to a weekend summit in Tehran; meanwhile Syrian foreign minister Walid Moallem visits Baghdad, restoring diplomatic relations after a quarter cent. On Nov. 23 civil war gets just a tad closer in Iraq as Sunni insurgents attack the Sadr City enclave of Muqtada al-Sadr, setting off five bombs and firing mortars, killing 215 and wounding hundreds, becoming the deadliest sectarian attack since the U.S. invasion; the Shiites quickly strike back, lobbing 10 mortar shells at the Sunni Abu Hanifa Mosque, killing one, and 8 shells at the offices of the Assoc. of Muslim Scholars, top Sunni org. in Iraq, followed by more barrages on Sunni neighborhoods, killing 10 and wounding 21 - and Bush says he's gonna wait till the midnight hour? On Nov. 23 Lt. Col. Steven Lee Jordan (1956-), who ran the U.S. interrogation center at Abu Ghraib Prison is charged with 12 counts carrying 42 years for allowing the prison misconduct to happen, becoming the highest level patsy so far in the scandal. On Nov. 24 the small Mustafa (Sunni) Mosque in Baghdad, Iraq is attacked during Friday midday prayers by 50 unarmed men wearing mostly black uniforms and some with ski masks, chanting "We are the Mahdi Army, shield of the Shiites", followed by backups who blast the mosque with RPGs, then drag six worshippers outside and burn them with kerosone. On Nov. 27 Iraqi pres. Jalal Talabani meets with Iranian pres. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Tehran to seek his help in stopping the looming civil war, and Ahmadinejad pledges support, saying he will "stand next to its brother Iraq and will do all it can to strengthen security in Iraq"; meanwhile Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki asks the U.N. Security Council to extend the mandate of its 160K multinat. force in Iraq, which it votes to do unanimously on Nov. 28, while Britain announces that it will withdraw thousands of its 7K military personnel by the end of 2007, and Poland and Italy also announce impending troop withdrawals. On Nov. 29 former U.S. secy. of state Henry Kissinger says on a London TV interview that military victory in Iraq is no longer possible, and that the U.S. must enter into dialogue with Iraq's neighbors incl. Iran to make progress. On Nov. 31 Pres. Bush rejects the idea of a quick troop withdrawal from Iraq, while Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki says his country's forces will be ready to take over by June 2007.
On Dec. 3, 2006 a triple car bomb in a food market in a Shiite area of C Baghdad kills 51 a day after a U.S.-Iraqi raid against Sunni insurgents in a nearby neighborhood. On Dec. 5 secy. of defense nominee Robert Gates tells the Senate that he doesn't believe the U.S. is winning the war in Iraq, but adds, "we are not losing", and that U.S. forces remain undefeated in battle; meanwhile a memo by Donald Rumsfeld two days before he resigns calls for a change of plan in Iraq - what Hitler said at Stalingrad? On Dec. 6 the 10-member bipartisan Iraq Study Group, led by former U.S. secy. of state James A. Baker III and former Ind. Rep. Lee H. Hamilton recommends a change in course to the new "primary mission" of training Iraq security forces, and pullout of most (75K) combat troops by spring 2008, but no timetable for troop withdrawals, stressing the need for more aggressive diplomatic efforts in the Middle East; the little problem that Iraq security forces are forever split between Sunni and Shiite, so that training more would be tantamount to arming both sides of a future civil war is conveniently ignored?; it also recommends a U.S. troop surge in Afghanistan, reinvigoration of the Arab-Israeli peace process, and a diplomatic engagement of Iran and Syria; on Dec. 7 Pres. Bush, backed by PM Tony Blair nix the report, refusing to endorse a major troop withdrawal and objecting to talks with Iran and Syria; meanwhile the report reveals that millions of dollars are being funneled from Saudi citizens to Iraqi Sunni insurgents, who have purchased Russian Strela shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles. On Dec. 9 Ayman Sabawi Ibrahim al-Hassan al-Tikriti, half-nephew of Saddam Hussein, who is serving a life sentence for bomb-making escapes from a prison in N Iraq with help from a police officer (until ?); on Dec. 18 Ayham al-Samaraie, former electricity minister and dual U.S.-Iraqi citizen being held on corruption charges escapes with help of Blackwater Worldwide private security guards who used to work for him, and ends up in Chicago, Ill.; although arrest warrants have been issued for 90 former officials, incl. 15 ex-Cabinet ministers, he was the only Iraqi official convicted and jailed on corruption charges. On Dec. 10 Donald Rumsfeld, who is still defense secy. until Dec. 18 makes a surprise visit to Assad Air Base in Iraq's Anbar Province; meanwhile Iraqi pres. Jalal Talabani criticizes the Iraq Study Group's report as "an insult to the people of Iraq", saying that increasing the number of U.S. troops training its forces would undermine his country's sovereignty. On Dec. 12 U.S. Lt. Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, multi-nat. corps cmdr. #2 in Iraq (Jan. 2006-July 2008) says that curbing unemployment and improving services are needed to reduce violence, and that military muscle cannot win the war alone; meanwhile two car bombs targeting laborers in Baghdad kill 63, and 50 men are found bound and shot to death. On Dec. 17 gunmen in Iraq army uniforms kidnap 25 employees at Red Crescent offices in downtown Baghdad, later releasing six hostages; a car bomb in Mahmoudiya (20 mi. S of Baghdad) injures four; 36 tortured corpses are found in the Baghdad area by police. On Dec. 18 Robert Gates is sworn in as U.S. defense secy., saying that failure in Iraq would be a "calamity" that would haunt the U.S. for years, but that "All of us want to find a way to bring America's sons and daughters home again." On Dec. 21 radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr agrees to allow his supporters to rejoin the Iraq govt., ending a 3-week boycott. On Dec. 24 Iraq interior minister Jawad al-Bolani admits that a total of 12K Iraq police have been killed since Saddam's ouster, but says "When we call for new recruits, they come by the hundreds and by the thousands". On Dec. 25 hundreds of British and Iraqi soldiers rescue 127 prisoners from Jameat Police Station in Basra, Iraq which had been infiltrated by militias; gunmen rob a bank in Basra of $740K; a car bomb at a market and a suicide bomber on a bus in Baghdad kill 14 and wound 33 civilians, and police find 40 bodies; meanwhile the U.S. military death toll in Iraq reaches 2,974, compared to 2,976 for the 9/11 attacks. The year 2006 ends with two final thoughts? On Dec. 26 Iraq's highest court rejects the appeal of Saddam Hussein (b. 1937) and orders him to be hanged within 30 days; thousands of requests stream in to be the lucky guy who throws the lever on him; he is held at Camp Cropper near the Baghdad airport; not wasting any time, on Dec. 30, hours after the U.S. gives custody of him to Iraqi authorities, he is hung like a dog ; it takes 20-30 min. for the heart to stop beating after the brain dies, so they leave him up while filming and releasing a video; state-run Iraqiya TV runs a screen legend reading "Saddam's execution marks the end of a dark period of Iraq's history"; his last words are "Long live Moqtada al-Sadr"; on Dec. 27 a Nov. 5 farewell letter by Saddam is posted on the Internet, saying "Here, I offer my soul to Allah as a sacrifice, and if he wants, he will send it to heaven with the martyrs", and calling for an end to sectarian hatred in a united war against the U.S.; on Dec. 28 two half-brothers visit Saddam's cell and take his personal belongings and his will; meanwhile on Dec. 26 former U.S. pres. Gerald R. Ford dies like a trooper at age 93, and the U.S. seizes the opportunity to show off how white is right one more time with a super-elaborate memorial to contrast the honor given this Dudley Doright, Christian hetero white all-American male with the hanging of the dark-complected Iraqi Dog, starting with Pres. Bush declaring Jan. 2 (Tues.) as a nat. day of mourning; one little kink?) on Dec. 27 the Washington Post reports that Ford questioned the Bush admin. rationale for the U.S. invasion of Iraq in July, 2004 interviews with Bob Woodward that he granted on condition that they be released only after his death; on Dec. 30 (after being transported in a Lincoln?) Ford's casket is placed outside the door of the U.S. House of Reps. (first time ever for a U.S. pres.); in June 2009 documents are declassified showing that Saddam told the FBI before he was hanged that he had allowed the world to believe he had WMDs in order to keep from appearing weak to his real enemy Iran - meaning that the U.S. barrelled into Iraq for nothing, and ended up helping Iran more than they could have hoped? Make that three thoughts? On Dec. 31 the official U.S. Operation Iraqi Freedom military death toll reaches 3K, incl. 62 women, compared to 2,973 victims in the 9/11 attacks; 61.1% were KIA, 35.6% from IEDs, 3.2% from suicide; more than a third were killed in Anbar Province (1,111) and Baghdad (683). In 2006 the U.S. Army and Marine Corps adopt the Counterinsurgency Field Manual (pub. in June), which teaches that insurgencies can't be defeated without protecting and winning over the gen. pop., ignoring the lessons of the Hundred Years' War?
By 2007 the exodus of refugees from Iraq reaches 2M, with 50K more a mo. heading away from the insanity. In 2007 suicide bombers conduct 658 attacks worldwide, incl. 542 in U.S.-occupied Iraq and Afghanistan, double last year's total; the first known suicide attack was in 1983 (U.S. Embassy in Beirut), and by the end of this year 1,840 incidents kill more than 21,350 and injure 50K, with 86% of incidents occurring since 2001, and the highest annual numbers in the past four years. In Jan. 2007 the U.N. estimates that at least 35K Iraqis have been killed each year since the U.S. Iraq War started in 2003. On Jan. 3, 2007 Iraqi authorities report the arrests of three men suspecting of baiting Saddam Hussein and/or shooting cell phone videos of his hanging, which show him acting courteous and dignified in an obvious attempt at becoming a martyr. On Jan. 7 Iraqi troops launch a push to oust militias and pacify Baghdad as violence kills 17 across Iraq. On Jan. 10 Pres. Bush delivers an Address to the Nation, admitting he made a mistake, but not that kind of mistake, only not having enough troops, saying he will add 21.5K new soldiers to Iraq immediately, with 17.5K going to Baghdad and the rest to Anbar Province, raising the troop count to 153.5K, compared to the peak of 159K in Jan. 2005; the U.S. is also committing $1B to rebuild the infrastructure, matched with $10B by the Iraqis; Dem. leaders say they will force lawmakers to vote on his proposal for a troop surge to put them on record; meanwhile Grandma Pelosi announces a smoking ban in the Speaker's Lobby just off the House floor. On Jan. 13 AP reports that Pres. Obama is going to ask Congress for an additional $13B for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, on top of the record $708B Pentagon budget, making him the first pres. whose defense budget exceeds $700B. On Jan. 15 Saddam Hussein's chunky half-brother Barzan Ibrahim al-Hasan al-Tikriti (b. 1951) is executed, the hangman's noose severing his blacked-hood head after he falls through a trap door - nobody asked me about wanting a Diet Pepsi? On Jan. 15 a suicide bomber slams into an Iraqi army patrol in Mosul, Iraq, killing seven and wounding 40. On Jan. 16 (3:45 p.m.) twin car bombs detonate at Al-Mustansiriya U. in Baghdad as students line up for the ride home, killing 65. On Jan. 17 U.S. defense secy. Robert Gates calls for 2K-3K more GIs for Afghanistan and 21.5K for Iraq; meanwhile Lawrence B. Wilkerson (1945-), chief of staff for U.S. secy. of state Colin Powell tells the BBC that Iran offered to help stabilize Iraq after the U.S. invasion in return for lifting sanctions and helping it fight the Mujahedeen-e Khalq, but that vice-pres. Dick Cheney turned them down, despite warnings that Iran was moving to the far-right, which proved true when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took power. On Jan. 18 U.S. and Iraqi forces arrest Sheik Abdul-Hadi al-Darraji, top aide to Shiite cleric boos Muqtada al-Sadr in Baghdad. On Jan. 20 a U.S. Black Hawk heli crashes NE of Baghdad, Iraq, killing Colo. native Col. Brian D. Allgood (b. 1960); after three more helis "crash" in two weeks, and an insurgent Web site airs footage giving it away, the U.S. admits on Feb. 4 that they were actually shot down with new anti-aircraft weapons received by Sunni militants. On Jan. 20 Iraqi militants dressed as Iraqi soldiers enter a U.S. military compound in Karbala and kidnap and kill four U.S. soldiers, a 5th one being killed in the firefight; Iranian involvement is suspected, as relation for the arrest of five Iranians by U.S. troops in N Iraq. On Jan. 22 two car bombs in a C Baghdad market kill 88. On Jan. 23 Pres. Bush gives his 2007 State of the Union Address, starting off by addressing "Madame Speaker" Nancy Pelosi, and remarking that her congressman father would have been proud; he then sticks to his old Iraq policy, saying, "Our country is pursuing a new strategy in Iraq and I ask you to give it a chance to work", then proposing a $7.5K tax deduction for expanded health insurance coverage and a 20% cut in gasoline consumption within a decade by using more ethanol and biofuels; meanwhile new Pelosi sits hovering over his shoulder, and a dozen Congress members in the audience have announced or are considering a run for pres.; the Dem. reply is given by Sen. Jim Webb of Va., a Vietnam vet who switched from the Repub. party last year, who says "Not one step back from the war against international terrorism. Not a precipitous wihdrawal that ignores the possibility of further chaos. But an immediate shift toward strong regionally based diplomacy, a policy that takes our soldiers off the streets of Iraq's cities and a formula that will in short order allow our combat forces to leave Iraq"; Osama bin Laden's deputy Ayman Muhammad Rabaie al-Zawahiri (1951-) of Egypt (a follower of Sayyid Qutb of Egypt, who executed by Gamal Abdel Nasser, while Osama is a follower of 18th cent. Arabian fanatic Mohammad Ibn Abd al-Wahhab) mocks Bush's plan to send a "surge" of 21.5K troops, telling him to send "the entire army"; meanwhile New York City 9/11 responding policeman Ceasar Borja (b. 1954) dies 2.5 hours before his son Ceasar Borja Jr. attends the Bush speech with Sen. Hillary Clinton to symbolize the health problems of 9/11 workers. On Jan. 23 a Blackwater Worldwide heli is shot down in C Baghdad in a Sunni neighborhood, killing five civilians aboard. On Jan. 25 after televised squabbling, the Iraqi Parliament approves a new security plan giving PM Nouri al-Maliki more authority. On Jan. 28 Iraqi troops backed by U.S. forces in tanks and helis (so the official version goes) kill at least 250 insurgents hiding in a date palm orchard during a 15-hour battle near the Shiite holy city of Najaf, Iraq; one U.S. heli is shot down, and two U.S. soldiers are killed. On Jan. 28 Saddam Hussein's cousin "Chemical Ali" Hussan al-Majid acknowledges in court that he gave orders to destroy scores of villages during Baghdad's anti-Kurd campaign during the 1980-8 Iran-Iraq War, which killed 100K+ Kurds - way to go? On Jan. 28 Hillary Clinton makes her first pres. campaign swing through Iowa, giving a speech in Davenport, saying that Pres. Bush has made a mess of Iraq and that it's his responsibility to "extricate" the U.S. from it before he leaves office, and that it would be "the height of irresponsibility" to pass the war along to herself, er, the next pres.; meanwhile rumors surface that her Saudi-raised Muslim head of staff Huma M. Abedin (1976-) is having a lezzie affair with her. On Jan. 29 the deputy gov. in Najaf Province, Iraq announces that his intel forces had infiltrated the Shiite Soldiers of Heaven and thwarted a major attack planned for that night, the eve of chest-beating forehead-slashing Ashura, the holiest Shiite celebration; bloodletting is banned in Lebanon and Iran, but that doesn't stop them? In Jan. U.S. military experts announce that after the Iraq War ends the U.S. must spend $75B to rebuild the military and $24B to rebuild the Nat. Guard.
On Feb. 1, 2007 Gen. George Casey, outgoing top U.S. gen. in Iraq tells the press that Pres. Bush has ordered thousands more troops into Iraq than needed to stop violence in Baghdad; he is being confirmed as U.S. Army chief of staff, and being replaced in Iraq by Lt. Gen. David Petraeus. On Feb. 1 a pair of suicide bombers detonate in a crowded outdoor market in Hillah, Iraq, a Shiite city S of Baghdad, killing 45 and wounding 150. On Feb. 5 Pres. Bush sends a $2.9T budget to Congress, and asks for an additional $100B for Iraq and the war on terrorism on top of the $70B already sought, for a grand total of over $500B for the war that Donald Rumsfeld said would cost only $50M. On Feb. 6 a leaked cockpit video reveals an exchange between two U.S. pilots of the 190th Fighter Squadron (based in Boise, Idaho) who kill British soldier Lance Cpl. Matty Hull (1976-2003) and wound four others in Basra, Iraq on Mar. 28, 2003 after mistaking their bright orange "friendly" markers with rockets; the military had tried to cover it up. On Feb. 9 U.S. defense secy. Robert Gates claims that serial numbers found on bombs used by Iraqi terrorists prove they were manufactured in Iran. On Feb. 11 Australian PM John Howard criticizes U.S. Dem. pres. candidate Barack Obama, saying his plans for Iraq "encourage those who wanted to completely destabilize and destroy Iraq", causing Obama to fire back "It's flattering that one of George W. Bush's allies feels obliged to attack me." On Feb. 13 Lt. Gen. Abboud Gambar, cmdr. of Baghdad security announces that Iraq wil close its borders with Syria and Iran for 72 hours to help end you know what you know where. On Feb. 13 the U.S. House debates a Dem. resolution to "disapprove of the decision of Pres. George W. Bush announced on Jan. 10, 2007 to deploy more than 20,000 additional U.S. combat troops in Iraq"; "No more blank checks", declares Speaker Nancy Pelosi; on Feb. 16 it passes 246-182. On Feb. 19 insurgents stage a bold daylight attack against a U.S. combat post N of Baghdad, striking with a suicide car bomb then firing on soldiers pinned down in a former Iraqi police station, killing two soldiers and wounding 17. On Feb. 21 British PM announces a new timetable for withdrawal of British troops in S Iraq, with 1.5K to return home in several weeks, and a total of 3K by the end of 2007; Denmark and Lithuania are also bugging out, leaving Bush's "coalition of the willing" in the lurch. On Feb. 22 South Korean businessman Tongsun Park (1935-) is sentenced to five years in prison for taking $2M to work on Iraq's behalf in the U.N. oil-for-food program. On Feb. 22 the U.S. military announces discovery of a car bomb factory in Iraq with propane tanks and chlorine cylinders after three chlorine attacks in Feb. piss them off. On Feb. 22 British officials announce that 22-y.-o. Prince Harry ("2nd Lt. Wales") will fight for his country, setting out in May-June with his regiment for a 6-mo. tour, incl. Iraq, becoming the first British royal to see combat since his uncle Prince Dndrew flew as a Royal Navy pilot in the 1982 Falklands War; his daddy Prince Charles also served in the navy, along with his grandfather Prince Philip; Queen Elizabeth II was a driver in the Women's Auxiliary Territorial Service in WWII; 24-y.-o. Prince William is also in his Blues and Royals regiment, graduated from Sandhurst in Dec., and is set to begin 5 mo. of army training in Mar. On Feb. 24 a suicide truck bomber kills 39 near a Sunni mosque in Habbaniyah, Iraq 50 mi. W of Baghdad after the imam of the mosque spoke out against extremists in a sermon on Feb. 23. On Feb. 25 a female suicide bomber in Baghdad uses a charge packed with ball bearings to kill 41 at the Shiite Mustansiriyah U. On Feb. 26 Iraq Shiite vice-pres. Adel Abdul-Mahdi narrowly escapes assassination after a blast in a govt. meeting hall which kills 10 and wounds him; on Feb. 27 an explosion outside the main U.S. military base in Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan kills 23 and wounds 7 during a visit by U.S. vice-pres. Dick Cheney; al-Qaida leader Abu Laith al-Libi is suspected as the mastermind. On Feb. 27 Bob Woodruff's prime-time documentary To Iraq and Back shows he's back - now an enemy sleeper robot? On Feb. 28 a car bomb in the mixed neighborhood of Baiyaa, Iraq in W Baghdad kills 10 and wounds 20.
On Mar. 4, 2007 Iraqi and British troops storm the office of an Iraq govt. intel agency in Basra, Iraq, discovering about 30 prisoners, some showing signs of torture; meanwhile more than 1K U.S. and Iraqi soldiers move into Sadr City, meeting no resistance; meanwhile the U.S. Senate is busy rewriting the measure that allowed Pres. Bush to invade Iraq in 2003 to limit the mission to counterterrorism efforts. Welcome to the Martha Stewart club not? On Mar. 6 Lewis "Scooter" Libby is found guilty of four felony counts of felony lying and obstruction of an investigation, based mainly on the testimony of NBC-TV "Meet the Press" journalist Tim Russert, putting a cloud over his ex-boss vice-pres. Dick Cheney, who says he is "very disappointed with the verdict"; Libby becomes the highest-ranking White House official to be convicted of a felony since the 1980s Iran-Contra Affair; a handwritten note by Cheney introduced into evidence hints that he believed Libby was being sacrified to protect other White House officials; Pres. Bush says he respects the decision, but "was saddened for Scooter Libby and his family"; juror #9 Denis Collins (a journalist) says that there was a "tremendous amount of sympathy" for him and he was probably a fall guy, but was clearly guilty of the charges; on June 5 he is sentenced to 30 mo. in prison; on July 2 at 5:25 p.m., after much speculation and snide comparisons to Clinton, Bush commutes his prison sentence, but keeps him on 2-year probation and makes him pay the $250K fine. On Mar. 8 the U.S. Congress passes a plan calling for troop pullouts from Iraq beginning in Sept. and completed by next Mar. On Mar. 10 Iran and Syria join the five permanent U.N. Security Council members U.S., Britain, France, Russia, and China in a regional security conference in Baghdad. On Mar. 15 a roadside bomb in Shiite E Baghdad kills four U.S. soldiers and wounds two; a high tech bomb is found at the site, causing the U.S. military to blame Iran. On Mar. 17-18 protests throughout the U.S. against the Iraq War bring out the loonies and the hip on both sides. On Mar. 18 (Sun.) U.S. authorities announce that Sunni insurgents killed six U.S. troops in Iraq over the weekend, and a 7th dies from non-combat injuries. On Mar. 19 a Sunni bombs a Shiite mosque in Baghdad, Iraq, killing eight. On Mar. 19 a poll by ABC News et al. shows that the optimism among Iraqis throughout the war has dissolved, with only 18% having confidence in coalition troops. The insurgents begin penetrating the holy Green Zone? On Mar. 22 a Katyusha rocket fired from a Shiite area of the E bank of the Tigris River hits near the office of PM Nouri al-Maliki, 50 yards from visiting U.N. Secy.-Gen. Ban Ki-moon in Baghdad's Green Zone, causing him to duck just minutes after al-Maliki said that the city is "on the road to stability"; meanwhile the U.S. military announces the capture of Qais al-Khazaali and his brother Laith al-Khazaali, who they claim are behind a Jan. sneak attack that killed five U.S. soldiers in Karbala. On Mar. 23 (10:30 a.m.) Iran's Rev. Guards capture 15 British sailors and marines from the frigate HMS Cornwall at gunpoint in Iraqi waters the Persian Gulf near the Shatt al-Arab waterway, claiming they were in Iranian waters, causing a British protest; meanwhile the Iranians force the Brits to apologize on TV for being in Iranian waters; on Apr. 4 they are released suddenly Pres. Ahmadinejad, who awards medals to his own men. On Mar. 23 the U.S. House by 218-212 votes to set a date of Aug. 31, 2008 to pull troops out of Iraq; Pres. Bush dismisses it as "political theater" and says he will veto it. On Mar. 23 an "inside job" suicide bomber detonates among worshippers at the home of Iraqi deputy PM Salam Al-Zubaie, seriously wounding him and killing nine. On Mar. 25 roadside bombs kill five U.S. soldiers in Iraq, incl. four in a single strike in Diyala (NE of Baghdad); two Iraqi soldiers die in a bombing at an Iraqi army checkpoint in Baqouba, and 29 more are killed or are found dead; meanwhile Barack Obama says that the war is diminishing America's standing in the world and diverting millions that should be spent at home - er, if the tax outlays are approved for the different purposes first? On Mar. 27 a rocket attack in the Green Zone in Baghdad kills a U.S. soldier and a U.S. contractor. On Mar. 27 the Dem.-controlled Senate votes 50-48 to incl. a non-binding amendment to an Iraq spending bill calling for withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq by next Mar. On Mar. 29 the U.S. Senate approves the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Iraq by Sept. 1, 2008 by a 51-47 vote, becoming the first time it stands up to the Bush admin. on the Iraq war; Repubs. Chuck Hagel of Neb. and Gordon Smith of Ore. vote with the Dems., and Joseph Lieberman of Conn. votes with the Repubs.; meanwhile more than 120 are killed in Iraq in five suicide bombings, mainly by Sunnis in Shiite neighborhoods, and 140+ are killed in the once-touted success story city of Tal Afar as a Shiite payback; the day's highlight occurs in the Shaab neighborhood of E Baghdad, where a man detonates in a crowded street market just after sundown, killing 60, mostly women and children.
On Apr. 1, 2007 U.S. Sen. John McCain visits Shorja Market in Baghdad accompanied by 100 soldiers in armored Humvees along with attack helis, then later brags that it was "like a normal outdoor market in Indiana in the summertime"; meanwhile at least two dozen are killed in Iraq the same day, incl. four U.S. soldiers; Shorja, the city's oldest and largest market, has been bombed at least 6x since last summer. On Apr. 2 a suicide truck bomber kills 15 in a Kurdish neighborhood of Kirkuk, Iraq, incl. a newborn girl and a U.S. soldier, and wounds nearly 200. On Apr. 6 an al-Qaida suicide bomber smashes a truck loaded with TNT and chlorine gas into a police checkpoint in Ramadi, Iraq, killing 27. On Apr. 12 (6:54 p.m.) a suicide bomber hits the Iraqi Parliament Cafeteria in the Green Zone in Baghdad, killing a lawmaker. On Aug. 14 the 2007 Yazidi Communities Bombings sees four coordinate suicide bomb attacks in the Yazidi Kurd towns of Aahtaniya and Jazeera near Mosul Iraq, which kill 500+ and injure 1.5K+, becoming the deadliest attack since last Nov. 23, when 215 were killed in Sadr City, and the deadliest terrorist attack in modern history after 9/11; meanwhile dozens of uniformed gunmen in 17 official vehicles storm the Oil Ministry compound, taking the deputy oil minister and four others hostage, and a suicide truck bomber destroys Thiraa Dijla Bridge on the main highway to Mosul; five U.S. troops are killed in a CH-47 Chinook heli crash near Taqaddum Air Base, plus four more elsewhere in combat; meanwhile 16K U.S. and Iraqi soldiers go after militants in the Diyala River Valley N of Baghdad, further herding them towards the Yazidis and other Kurds. On Apr. 15 six blasts rock Baghdad, killing 45, showing the Iraq govt. up, and causing cabinet members who are followers of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadra to announce their resignation. On Apr. 18 Sunni insurgents stage four bomb attacks in Baghdad, killing 183, becoming the bloodiest day since the 30K U.S. troop surge 9 weeks earlier; the net result is to turn Baghdad from a Sunni to a Shiite city? On Apr. 22 gunmen shoot and kill 23 members in Baghdad of the ancient Kurdish Yazidi sect, which worships an angelic figure that Christians and Muslims consider to be the Devil. Show us you're our star? On Apr. 23 Dem. leaders agree to pass legislation requiring the first U.S. combat troops to pull out of Iraq by Oct. 1, with a goal of a complete pullout within 6 mo. (Apr. 1, 2008); if Pres. Bush can't certify that the Iraq govt. is making progress, troop withdrawal will be moved up to July 1; after the pullout Pres. Bush will be allowed to keep some troops in Iraq to protect U.S. personnel, train Iraqi security forces, and fight terrorists; Bush is given the bill to sign on May 1, the 4th anniv. of his "Mission Accomplished" speech, and he vetoes it (his 2nd veto, compared to 37 for Clinton, 44 for his daddy GHW Bush, 78 for Reagan, 31 for Carter, 66 for Ford, 43 for Nixon, 30 for LBJ, 21 for JFK, 181 for Ike, 250 for Truman, and 635 for FDR), publicly denouncing it is "a prescription for chaos and confusion... we must not impose... on our troops", and that "it makes no sense to tell the enemy when you plan to start withdrawing", causing Sen. majority leader Harry Reid to reply "The president may be content with keeping our troops mired in the middle of an open-ended civil war, but we're not and neither are most Americans", and Nancy Pelosi to add "The president wants a blank check; the Congress is not going to give to give it to him." On Apr. 23 Iraqis protest in Baghdad over a U.S. plan to erect walls between warring neighborhoods, and PM Maliki promises he will stop their construction. On Apr. 23 a suicide car bombers kills nine U.S. soldiers and wounds 20 in an attack on Task Force Lightning soldiers in Diyala Province, Iraq. On Apr. 24 two dump trucks smash into an outpost in the Sunni town of Sadah, Iraq in Diyala Province, defended by U.S. 82nd Airborne Div. paratroopers, killing nine and injuring 20; al-Qaida claims the use of one truck to smash through barriers and a second to ram and drag it before exploding is a "new method" to kill GIs. On Apr. 24 Kevin Tillman (younger brother of Pat Tillman) and Jessica Lynch testify before the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Govt. Reform that the military and admin. created a false hero story about Pat and Jessica to push the Iraq War, and covered up the real facts that the first was killed by friendly fire and the second didn't go down firing at the enemy, and wasn't a "Rambo from West Virginia", and had no bullet wounds, but that her roomate Lori Piestewa, who died in the ambush is a real hero. On Apr. 28 U.S. Gen. William Eldridge Odom (1932-2008) delivers a Radio Address on Iraq, saying that the CIC has "gone AWOL". On Apr. 30 Gen. Sir Richard Dannatt, head of the British army announces that Prince Third-in-Line Harry will serve with a combat unit in Iraq, where he will lead a 12-man team in four armored recon vehicles from his tank; on May 16 Dannatt changes his mind, citing threats to him and his battle group, which is hailed as a big V by insurgents in S Iraq, who call it a chicken play after the capture of the British sailors by Iran. In Apr. the U.S. military death toll in Iraq is 104, the deadliest since Dec. 2006 (112).
On May 1, 2007 Iraqi al-Qaida leader Abu Ayyub al-Masri (1968-) is gunned down by rivals at a bridge near Lake Tharthar N of Baghdad, Iraq; on May 3 al-Qaida operative Muharib Abdul-Latif al-Jubouria is killed in Iraq. On May 2 a rocket attack in the Green Zone in Baghdad kills four Asian contractors working for the U.S. - living in the Wild, Wild West? On May 3 after the Bush admin. long resists talks with both Syria and Iraq, U.S. secy. of state Condoleezza Rice meets with Syrian foreign minister Walid Moallem in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, and tells him of U.S. concerns about his porous border with Iraq ; "It's a start", says Moallem; on May 4 Iraq wins a promise from Arab countries in the Sharm El-Sheikh conference to stop foreign militants from joining the insurgency. On May 5 conservative former 8-year Tenn. Repub. Sen. Fred Dalton Thompson (1942-) of "Law & Order" and "Hunt for Red October" acting fame gives a smooth Southern drawl speech at the Lincoln Club in Orange County, Calif., saying that he believes the U.S. should stay in Iraq as long as there is a chance of bringing in a new series, er, stability, adding that otherwise "we are going to leave an area of the world that becomes more and more nuclear" because if Iran gets a nuke other nearby countries will follow suit, and noting al-Qaida's stated intention to "put a mushroom cloud over an American city"; he also says that the 12M illegals in the U.S. don't bother him as much as the next 12M who will come; he announces his pres. candidacy on Sept. 5 on The Tonight Show. On May 6 the U.S., Egypt, Iran, the U.N. Security Council et al. hold a conference in Baghdad, Iraq; meanwhile two suicide bombers in Hilla, S Iraq kill 77+ Shiite pilgrims. On May 9 an explosion rattles the U.S. Embassy in the Green Zone in Baghdad, Iraq while vice-pres. Cheney is visiting. On May 10 Bush's poodle, British PM Tony Blair announces that he will step down on June 26; on May 17 he visits the White House, where Pres. Bush pats him on the back. On May 12 7 U.S. soldiers are ambushed near Youssifiyah in the Triangle of Death 20 mi. SW of Baghdad, killing four plus an Iraqi translator; three soldiers are taken hostage, causing a massive manhunt. On May 15 Pres. Bush nominates Lt. Gen. Douglas E. Lute (1953-) as the "war czar", his asst. adviser on Iraq and Afghanistan (until ?) - Cool Hand Lute? On May 19 former pres. Jimmy Carter tells the Ark. Dem.-Gazette: "As far as the adverse impact on the nation around the world, this administration has been the worst in history"; after Pres. Bush calls his remarks "increasingly irrelevant", he backs down, saying "I wasn't comparing the overall administration, and I was certainly not talking personally about any president. I think this administration's foreign policy compared to President Nixon's was much worse", but not the worse in history. On May 19 an explosion in the Green Zone in Baghdad in the British Embassy compound just before the arrival of PM Tony Blair wounds one. On May 25 Pres. Bush signs a bill financing the Iraq War after the Dem.-controlled Congress caves in and gives up trying to tie the money to U.S. troops - it's not over, you're not the only one? On May 25 radical Shiite Madhi Army leader Muqtada al-Sadr makes his first appearance in the pulpit of Najaf Mosque in Baghdad 14 weeks after fleeing to Iran. On May 27 U.S. fores free 42 kidnapped Iraqis, many of them tortured from an al-Qaida hideout N of Baghdad, Iraq. On May 28 the U.S. and Iran hold their first diplomatic meeting in 27 years in Baghdad, with U.S. ambassador Ryan Crocker and Iranian ambassador Hassan Kazemi Qomi talking about Iraqi security for four hours, and Iran agreeing to stop arming and financing militants. On May 29 full-time anti-war protester mom Cindy Sheehan submits her resignation to the Am. people in her online blog, saying "Good-bye America... you are not the country that I love and I finally realized no matter how much I sacrifice, I can't make you be that country unless you want it. It's up to you now"; on the way from her property in Crawford, Tex. to the airport to return to native Calif., she tells the AP "I've been wondering why I'm killing myself and wondering why the Democrats caved in to George Bush"; in July she announces plans to seek House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's congressional seat in San Francisco unless she introduces articles of impeachment against Bush by July 23 - 12 months same as cash? On May 30 the Bush admin. announces that it plans to allow nearly 7K Iraqi refugees to settle in the U.S. by the end of Sept.; since the war began in 2003, less than 800 have been admitted. In May Time mag. pub. its List of the 100 Most Influential People in the World, snubbing Pres. Bush, who made all three previous eds., with deputy managing ed. Adi Ignatius explaining "His position on Iraq has cost him support in his own party. To a certain point, he sort of reached a lame-duck status." In May 1,949 civilians die in Iraq, along with 127 police officers and 47 soldiers. In May the approval rating of U.S. Pres. Bush sink to 29%, lowest in U.S. history; it rises to 33% in June - highest for an escaped zoo chimp?
On June 2, 2007 saboteurs bomb a vital bridge link to Baghdad, and Turkish troops mass for a possible strike across the Iraqi border into the Kurdish region to attack anti-Turkish Kurdish guerrillas, causing Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki to say "We won't allow it to be turned into a battleground". On June 10 a suicide bomber takes down a section of the Checkpoint 20 highway bridge outside Mahmoudiya, Iraq (20 mi. S of Baghdad), killing 20 policemen and wounding 10; meanwhile a suicide bomber kills 15 in a police facility in Tikrit, Iraq; on June 11 al-Qaida bombers driven from Baghdad by the 4-mo.-o. U.S. security operation blow up a bridge over the Diyala River in Baqouba, Iraq, capital of Diyala Province 60 mi. N of Baghdad, causing traffic to have to divert to a road running through al-Qaida-controlled territory. The Iraq govt. settles into Three Stooges comedy shorts? On June 11 Iraqi physician Mahmoud al-Mashhadani (1948-), leader of the 44-member Sunni Accordance Front bloc, and known for slapping a fellow lawmaker and hurling insults is ousted from his post as speaker of the 275-member Shiite-dominated legislature, causing him to call it "an illegal decision made by a juvenile house", and digging into Shiite PM Nouri al-Maliki and Sunni Kurd pres. Jalal Talabani as "much worse" and "even worse because he does nothing" - nyuk nyuk nyuk? On June 13 insurgents blow up the two minarets of the Shiite Askariya Shrine in Samarra, Iraq (60 mi. N of Baghdad) for the 2nd time in a year (1st time Feb. 2006), taking out the twin minarets overlooking the kaput Golden Dome, sparking Shiite wrath causing four Sunni mosques in Baghdad to be attacked, and a curfew to be called; meanwhile U.S. Maj. Gen. Martin Dempsey tells a news conference that one in six Iraqi policemen trained by U.S. forces has been killed, wounded, deserted, or disappeared. On June 20 the Assembly of Muslim Jurists in Am. (AMJA) issues a fatwa prohibiting Muslims from providing food and supplies to U.S. and allied troops working in Muslim countries incl. Iraq and Afghanistan. The Blair era is over, and is replaced with a new one with Brains and Balls? On June 24 Scottish finance minister Gordon Brown (1951-) takes control of Britain's governing Labour Party, saying that Britain would "learn lessons that need to be learned" after Tony Blair's support of the Bush Iraq War, and that his new foreign policy will "reflect the truth that to isolate and defeat terrorist extremism now involves more than military force", saying "It is also a struggle of ideas and ideals that in the coming years will be waged and won for hearts and minds here at home and round the world"; Harriet Ruth Harman (1950-) is elected as his deputy, and calls for the govt. to apologize for its mistakes over the Iraq War; Brown adds that he will maintain Britian's strong relationship with U.S. pres. George W. Bush; on June 27 Blair steps down, and Brown takes over as British PM (until May 11, 2010) (Elizabeth's 11th PM), and names Alistair Darling (1954-) as finance minister (chancellor of the exchequer), and pro-U.S. David "Brains" Miliband (1965-) as the 2nd youngest foreign minister in British history; his wife is a U.S. citizen; husband-wife team Edward Michael "Ed" Balls (1967-) (not to be confused with the writer Edward Ball) and Yvette Cooper (1969-) become secy. of state for children, schools, and family, and housing minister; David Miliband's younger brother Edward Samuel "Ed" Miliband (1969-) is named minister for the cabinet office; Tony Blair takes a new job as Middle East peace envoy to the internat. diplomatic Quartet, the U.S., the EU, the U.N., and Russia. On June 24 Saddam's cousin Hassan al-Majid AKA Chemical Ali is sentenced to hang for the massacre of 180K Kurds; his trial began on Aug. 21. On June 25 a suicide bomber strikes the Mansour Hotel outside the Green Zone in C Baghdad, Iraq, killing 13, incl. four Anbar tribal chiefs allied against al-Qaida, and wounding 27, pissing off PM Nouri al-Maliki, who says "We are sure that this crime will not weaken the will of Anbar sheiks". On June 26 U.S. Sen. (R-Ind.) (1977-) Richard Green "Dick" Lugar (1932-), ranking Repub. on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee breaks ranks with Pres. Bush on the Iraq War, saying "In my judgment, the costs and risks of continuing down the current path outweigh the potential benefits that might be achieved", and that the standing of the U.S. in the world could be irreparably eroded if it doesn't change its strategy soon; other Repub. Sens. chime in support of him as the White House tries to stifle them. On June 28 a car bomb explodes in a bus station in W Baghdad in a Shiite neighborhood of Iraq, incinerating about 40 minibuses and killing 22 - buy one get one free? In June 1,227 Iraqi civilians are killed, along with 190 police officers and 31 soldiers, the lowest since the start of the Baghdad security operation in mid-Feb.
On July 7, 2007 (Sat.) a truck bomb in the public market in Armili, Iraq N of Baghdad in an area of Turkoman Shiites kills 155 and wounds 265; on July 8 a bomb strikes a truckload of new Iraqi soldier recruits on the outskirts of Baghdad, killing 15 and wounding 20, the whole weekend causing Shiite and Sunni politicians to call on Iraqi civilians to forget the security forces and take up arms to defend themselves, and White Officials to admit that the last pillars of support among Senate Repubs. for Bush's Iraq strategy are collapsing, and that Bush is under pressure to announce a gradual withdrawal from the high-casualty parts of Baghdad at least; on July 9 Iraqi foreign minister Hoshyar Zebari warns the U.S. that an early withdrawal could bring on an all-out civil war and that it has the responsibility of supporting the current govt.; he also claims that Turkey has massed 140K troops near the border; meanwhile a progress report on Iraq concludes that the U.S.-backed Iraq govt. has not met any targets for reform, causing Bush's center to continue crack; meanwhile the price tag on the Iraq War is $450B, plus $12B a mo. On July 10 a USA Today/Gallup poll gives Pres. Bush a 29% approval rating, down from 33% a mo. earlier, with 62% of Americans saying he made a mistake sending U.S. troops to Iraq, and 70% favoring withdrawal of most forces by Apr.; meanwhile Bush says that the U.S. will be able to pull back troops "in a while", but asks Congress to wait until Sept. to pass judgment; meanwhile Bush nemesis Cindy Sheehan and supporters begin a 13-day caravan and walking tour starting at her war protest site near Pres. Bush's Crawford, Tex. ranch, arriving in Washington, D.C. on July 23, demanding Bush's impeachment, after which Sheehan quits the Dem. Party for caving in to him, and announces her candidacy as an independent for the San Francisco seat of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for not introducing articles of impeachment against the bum. On July 10 a dozen mortars or rockets are launched into the Green Zone in Baghdad, Iraq, killing three, incl. an American, and wounding 18. On July 10 John McCain accepts the resignations of two top aides and elevates a 3rd to campaign mgr. as his maverick pro-Iraq War candidacy auto-scoops. On July 21 a U.S. military attack in Husseiniya, Iraq, 20 mi. N of Baghdad kills six and wounds five insurgents, according to the official version, but witnesses claim U.S. helis attack 3 hours during a 4-hour period in "a war against civilians inside their houses", killing at least 18, incl. women and children, and wounding 21.
On Aug. 1, 2007 the Iraqi Accordance Front, the largest Sunni Arab bloc quits the Iraqi cabinet; meanwhile insurgent attacks kill 142. On Aug. 6 U.S. Army Cpl. Kareem Rashad Sultan (b. 1987), who joined to prove that not all Muslims are fanatics is killed by an IED in Baqubah, Iraq, and is buried in Arlington Nat. Cemetery after being awarded a Purple Heart and Bronze Star; Colin Powell later praises him in his endorsement speech of Barack Obama; the first Muslim U.S. soldier to die in combat? On Aug. 11 a roadside bomb in Iraq kills Qadisiyah Province gov. Khalil Jalil Hamza and police Maj. Gen. Khalid Hassan. On Apr. 14 four suicide bombers in NW Iraq kill 175 and wound 200 Yazidi Kurds, becoming the deadliest attack since last Nov. 23, when 215 were killed in Sadr City; meanwhile dozens of uniformed gunmen in 17 official vehicles storm the Oil Ministry compound, taking the deputy oil minister and four others hostage, and a suicide truck bomber destroys Thiraa Dijla Bridge on the main highway to Mosul; five U.S. troops are killed in a CH-47 Chinook heli crash near Taqaddum Air Base, plus four more elsewhere in combat; meanwhile 16K U.S. and Iraqi soldiers go after militants in the Diyala River Valley N of Baghdad, further herding them towards the Yazidis and other Kurds. On Aug. 15 ethnic cleansing attacks kill 500 members of the Kurdish Yazidis combo Jewish-Christian-Muslim-Zoroastrian sect in Qahataniya, Iraq; there are a total of 100K believers in Iraq. On Aug. 15 New York City police commissioner Raymond Walter Kelly (1941-) utters the soundbyte "The Internet is the new Afghanistan", citing its use by al-Qaida for recruitment and training, taking advantage of the lack of Westerners who can understand Arabic. On Aug. 28 two rival Shiite militias run by Muqtada al-Sadr and the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council shoot it out in Karbala, Iraq, killing 51. On Aug. 30 anti-U.S. cleric Muqtada la-Sadr takes his Shiite Mahdi Army out of action for 6 mo. to overhaul it - overhaul the Shiite out of it?
On Sept. 3, 2007 (Labor Day) Pres. Bush makes a surprise visit to Iraq and holds an 8-hour meeting with Iraqi leaders at a military base in Anbar province in a Sunni area, raising the possibility of U.S. troop cuts if security continues to improve, stealing the thunder from the Dems.; his previous trips were Thanksgiving 2003 and June 13, 2006; meanwhile the British abandon Basra, their last outpost in Iraq. On Sept. 10 MoveOn.org runs a full-page ad in the New York Times assailing U.S. Gen David Petraeus, calling him "General Betray Us" on the day he begins his testimony in front of the U.S. Congress. On Sept. 14 London-based Opinion Research Business pub. an estimate of 1.2M total war casualties in Iraq since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion; the techniques used are Alice in Wonderland moose hockey? On Sept. 16 the Blackwater Massacre sees guards working for Blackwater Worldwide shoot at Iraqi civilians as they try to drive away from Nisoor Square in Baghdad, murdering them at will, killing 14 and wounding 18, then trying to cover it up until U.S. soldiers arrive and find the corpses unarmed, causing Pres. Bush to begin seeking a way to expel them from Iraq; on Dec. 8, 2008 five guards surrender to authorities to face criminal charges; Blackwater is banned from Iraq, and changes its name to Xe; too bad, in Aug. it is revealed that Blackwater operatives were allowed to remain armed in Iraq under the name "U.S. Training Center"; on Mar. 2, 2009 Blackwater founder Erik D. Prince (1969-) resigns, and on Aug. 3 a former Blackwater employee and ex-Marine submits testimony linking him to murders to obstruct a federal investigation into the massacre, and alleges that Prince, a fundamentalist Christian "views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with elmiminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe".
By Oct. 1, 2007 news of yet more terrorist attacks in Iraq get so boring and monotonous that they are no longer worth listing except as yearly statistics? On Oct. 3 Polish ambassador to Iraq Gen. Edward Pietrzyk (1949-) is wounded in a roadside bomb attack in Baghdad; his driver is killed. On Oct. 4 car bombs and IEDs kill top Shiite official Abbas Hassan Hamza of the mixed Iskandariyah district S of Baghdad and Sunni Sheik Muawiya Naji Jbara. On Oct. 8 a suicide bomber crashes his truck into a police station in Baghdad, Iraq, killing 13; other car bombings in Iraq kill 11 more. On Oct. 8 British PM Gordon Brown announces that troops in Iraq will be cut from 5.5K to 2.5K by spring. On Oct. 18 U.S. Rep. (since 1973) Fortney Hillman "Pete" Stark Jr. (1931-) (D-Calif.) blasts Pres. Bush on the House floor, uttering the soundbyte "You don't need money to fund the war on children, but you're going to spend it to blow up innocent people, if we could get enough kids to grow old enough for you to send to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the president's amusement"; after the Repubs. try to make him apologize, a CNN poll shows 88% think there's no reason he should. On Oct. 21 the U.S. military claims it killed 49 militants in a dawn raid in Sadr City, while Iraqi oficials whittle it down to 15 incl. three innocent children - yawn? On Oct. 22 Turkey builds up its troops on the Iraq border after Kurdish guerrillas kill 12 Turkish soldiers and capture eight. On Oct. 23 a U.S. heli opens fire on five men seen planting roadside bombs in a Sunni area N of Baghdad, Iraq, then continues to fire after they run into a home, killing 11 incl. five women and a child.
On Nov. 7, 2007 American and Iraqi officials announce that the drop in violence in Iraq ccaused by the U.S. troop increase has caused 46K refugees to cross back over the border. On Nov. 10 a gun battle between rival Sunni insurgents outside Samarra, Iraq kills 20. On Nov. 12 U.S. congressional Dems. pub. The Hidden Costs of the Iraq War, which concludes that the economic cost to the U.S. of the Iraq and Afghan Wars so far totals approx. $1.5T. On Nov. 16 U.S. Senate Repubs. block a bill by Dems. that would release $50B for the Iraq War, tied to troop withdrawals beginning within 30 days, causing Dem. leaders to announce that they will sit on Pres. Bush's $196B request for war spending until next year. On Nov. 17 30+ bodies are found in an unfinished house in W Baghdad, Iraq in the heavily Sunni Hur Rijab section of the Dora neighborhood. On Nov. 19 Iraqi troops detain 43, most of them Sri Lankans in a convoy run by a U.S.-contracted firm after an Iraqi woman is wounded in a Baghdad shooting involving their vehicles. On Nov. 21 a suicide car bomber kills six and wounds 22 in a police checkpoint outside the courthouse in Ramadi, Iraq.
On Dec. 5, 2007 U.S. defense secy. Robert Gates visits Baghdad to meet with Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki, and tells reporters in the Green Zone that safety and security for Iraq are within reach; too bad, minutes before he says this, a car bomb in nearby Karrada (a middle-class area with Christians) kills eight and injures 38, becoming the deadliest Baghdad blast since Sept. On Dec. 6 a Los Angeles Times poll finds that nearly six out of every 10 U.S. military families disapprove of Pres. Bush's job performance and the way he has run the war, and say it was not worth the cost - so why did they go if they weren't drafted? On Dec. 20 a suicide car bomber in the Shiite town of Kaanan, Iraq in Diyala Province NE of Baghdad kills a U.S. soldier plus at least 18 civilians. On Dec. 22 David Michael Satterfield (1954-), senior adviser on Iraq to Condoleezza Rice tells reporters that the Iranian govt. has decided to rein in the violent Shiite militias it supports in Iraq "at the most senior levels", which explains the sharp decrease in roadside bomb attacks over the past several mos. On Dec. 25 two suicide bombings N of Baghdad kill 24 and injure 100.
On Jan. 8, 2008 Bill Clinton makes a remark that Barack Obama's solid past opposition to the Iraq War is "the biggest fairy tale I've ever seen", and is jumped on by the PC police, who stretch it into the very idea that a black can be a U.S. pres., with black S.C. rep. James Clyburn saying on Feb. 11 that he might end his neutrality because of the comment. On Jan. 9 the U.S. military reports nine U.S. soldiers killed in the first two days of a new offensive against al-Qaida in Diyala Province, Iraq NE of Baghdad. On Jan. 16 a female Shiite suicide bomber kills nine Shiites and wounds 15 in a marketplace in Khan Bani Saad, Iraq in S Diyala Province during the nutso self-flagellating Ashura rites of the Shiites (11th female suicide bomber in last 4.5 years), causing a retaliatory attack on Jan. 17 by a Sunni a suicide against a nearby Shiite mosque, killing 11 and wounding 15; meanwhile the U.S. offensive in Diyala rages on. On Jan. 21 a suicide bomber detonates inside a funeral tent in Baghdad, Iraq, killing 18; his target, a security official escapes unharmed - it's all just a little bit of history repeating? On Jan. 21 Iraq adopts a new Iraqi Flag that keeps the green Takbir ("Allahu Akbar" motto) but dispenses with Saddam Hussein's three green stars. On Jan. 22 a suicide bomber pushing a cart attacks a high school in Baqubah, Iraq N of Baghdad, killing a bystander and injuring 21; initial reports that the bomber was female prove false - it was found sticking in what? Staying al-i-i-i-i-ve? On Jan. 28 U.S. Pres. Bush delivers his lame duck 2008 State of the Union Address, citing the successful surge in Iraq (30K new troops, plus the 90K-man Sons of Iraq (formed in summer 2006), former insurgents now on the U.S. payroll to protect neighborhoods and provide intel) and touting a $150B economic stimulus package of tax rebates while vowing to veto any spending bill that doesn't cut the number and cost of congressional earmarks; he pushes renewal of his No Child Left Behind Act and for permanent extension of the Anti-Terrorism Law, and claims that it's his goal to arrange a deal between Israel and the Palestinians by the end of his presidency, warning that the U.S. will confront Iran if it messes with its troops; Barack Obama snubs a handshake offer from Hillary Clinton, giving mixed explanations. On Jan. 28 a roadside bomb blast in Mosul, Iraq kills five U.S. soldiers, after which gunfire is sprayed at the rest of the unit from a mosque, and the perps flee.
On Feb. 3, 2008 the U.S. military announces that an errant airstrike SE of Baghdad, Iraq killed nine civilians (incl. a child) and wounded four (incl. two children). On Feb. 5 Super Tuesday puts half of the states up for grabs in the U.S. pres. race; John McCain is a big winner (9 states), wrapping up half the delegates he needs for nomination; Hillary Clinton picks up 9 states, incl. N.Y., Calif., and Mass., but remains only slightly ahead of Barack Obama, who wins the South (13 states total); white evangelical Christian Mike Huckabee sweeps the South plus W. Va., threatening to put deep-pockets Mormon Romney out of the race, and on Feb. 6 he drops out, saying "If I fight on in my campaign all the way to the convention, I would forestall the launch of a national campaign and make it more likely that Senator Clinton or Obama would win, and in this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign be a part of aiding a surrender to terror" - duh, a President Lucas McCain would bring on WWIII because he was tortured in the Hanoi Hilton and programmed to be the Manchurian Candidate, or at least isn't all there mentally and will crack under pressure, nuking China without warning to get even for all those bad times and nightmares? On Feb. 12 the bullet-ridden body of Iraqi journalist Hisham Muchawat Hamdan (b. 1980) is found in Baghdad; meanwhile police search for two CBS journalists kidnapped in Basra near the Sultan Palace Hotel, and dozens of Iraqi lawmakers walk out to stop a nat. budget and other laws from being passed. On Feb. 21 Turkish forces began incursions into N Iraq to take on Kurdistan Workers' Party insurgents; on Feb. 27 U.S. defense secy. Robert Gates warns them to wrap up in the next few days; on Feb. 29 Turkey declares that it has achieved its goals, but on Mar. 5 their warplanes and artillery blast some more guerrillas 15 mi. across the Iraqi border. On Feb. 27 the U.S. dollar drops to an all-time low against the Euro of 66 cents; meanwhile Fannie Mae of the U.S. reports a $3.55B loss for the last quarter of 2007; meanwhile Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz and Harvard U. prof. Linda Bilmes pub. The Three Trillion Dollar War, claiming that the Iraq War has cost the U.S. guess how much?
On Mar. 4, 2008 the U.S. military announces the crash of an Iraqi heli in N Iraq that killed a U.S. soldier and seven others. On Mar. 6 two bombs in the Shiite Karada district of Baghdad, Iraq kill 55 and injure 131 in a busy shopping mall, ruining all the talk of emerging from the doldrums of war. On Mar. 7 (7:00 a.m.) a suicide bomber at a police compound in Mosul, Iraq kills four and wounds 17. On Mar. 9 Spanish Socialist PM (since 2004) Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero wins reelection, an endorsement of his actions of pulling troops out of Iraq, legalizing same-sex marriages and on-demand divorce. On Mar. 15 the 5th anniv. of the U.S. Iraqi War sees total U.S. troop casualties total 29,320 wounded in action and 3,987 KIA; on Mar. 19 clueless Pres. Bush defends the war again, claiming that "the world is better" and the U.S. is safer because of him, er, it. On Mar. 17 it's happy St. Patty's Day in Iraq as a female Sunni suicide bomber in Karbala, Iraq kills 43 in front of a Shiite mosque, while another 29 are killed in other attacks, incl. six youths from mortar rounds at a soccer field in E Baghdad, and two U.S. soldiers in a roadside bombing N of Baghdad; the violence was obviously meant to greet U.S. vice-pres. Dick Cheney and pres. candidate John McCain, who tout recent security gains and reaffirm their long-term commitment. On Mar. 19 (5th anniv. of the U.S. Iraq War) Pres. Bush's approval rating hits a new low of 31%, down 40 points from the start of the war, echoing the drop in LBJ's approval rating during the Vietnam War (74-35); not phased, Bush says "Defeating this enemy in Iraq will make it less likely we will face this enemy here at home", and "We're helping the people of Iraq establish a democracy in the heart of the Middle East. A free Iraq will fight terrorists instead of harboring them". On Mar. 22 it's Happy Easter to the U.S. as a roadside bomb kills three U.S. soldiers N of Baghdad, bringing the Iraq War death toll to 3,996. On Mar. 26 the Iraq govt. expands its anti-militia offensive against Shiite militias in 70% Shiite-controlled Basra, with the U.S. (which claims it was not given advance notice) providing air cover and advisers, giving Shiite groups 72 hours to surrender; too bad, when that doesn't work, the deadline is extended by more than a week; when that doesn't work 1K U.S. and Iraqi forces are called in to take on the 60K Mahdi fighters of Muqtada al-Sadr in the Shiite slum of Sadr City (pop. 3M); a ceasefire begins on May 11.
On Apr. 5, 2008 Syrian Orthodox priest Father Youssef (Faiz Abdel) is killed in Baghdad, becoming the 2nd senior Christian priest killed in Iraq this year. On Apr. 8 U.S. Gen. David Betrayus, er, Petraus tells Congress that there will still be 100K troops in Iraq at the end of the Bush admin., pissing them off. On Apr. 10 the Bush admin. defines a Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Deterrent Doctrine, incl. retaliation through resort to all available options incl. nukes on "those states, organizations, or individuals who might enable or facilitate terrorists in obtaining or using weapons of mass destruction"; it is gutted by Pres. Obama in 2010. On Apr. 13 the govt. of Iraq sacks 1.3K soldiers and policemen who had deserted during recent fighting against Shiite militias in Basra. On Apr. 14 British journalist Richard Butler is rescued 2 mo. after being kidnapped in Basra, Iraq while on assignment for CBS News; meanwhile car bombings and other attacks in Iraq kill 22. On Apr. 17 British PM Gordon Brown visits Washington D.C. and meets with pres. candidates John McCain, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama, and talks about the "special relationship" between the U.S. and U.K.; meanwhile his relationship with Bush is frosty, although he adds "The world owes president George Bush a huge debt of gratitude for leading the world in our determination to root out terrorism." On Apr. 17 yet another suicide bomber gooes kablooey in Albu Mohammad, Iraq (90 mi. N of Baghdad) at the funeral of two Sunni tribesmen who fought al-Qaida, killing 50. On Apr. 19 Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr (1973-) issues a "final warning" to the Iraq govt. to halt the U.S.-backed crackdown or he will declare "open war until liberation"; meanwhile U.S. keeps attempting to clear a no-man's zone between Sadr City and the Green Zone in Baghdad, complete with a Berlin-style wall, and the Iraq govt. announces successes in Basra; after Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki tells al-Sadr to disband his Mahdi Army or face a ban from politics, al-Sadr calls him a U.S. sellout. On Apr. 21 Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki appeals for support from his Arab neighbors, calling on them to open embassies and forgive Iraqi debts. On Apr. 21 U.S. defense secy. Robert Gates calls on the U.S. Air Force to send more Predator drones to the battlefield in Iraq to spot attempts at planting roadside bombs, complaining that they are "stuck in old ways of doing business". On Apr. 22 a suicide bomber explodes his truck at a checkpoint near the W Iraq city of Ramadi, Iraq, a former al-Qaida stronghold, killing two U.S. Marines and wounding three, not counting civilians (one killed, 24 injured). On Apr. 26 after U.S. Army Rangers of Co. A 2nd Battalion, 75h Regiment in UH-60 Black Hawks land in a grassy field in rural Iraq and are ambushed by insurgents, Spc. Joe Gibson defeats a suicide bomber with his bae hands, becoming a hero and earning a silver star. On Apr. 27 Shiite militants hammer the U.S.-protected Green Zone in Baghdad, Iraq with rockets and mortars during a sandstorm, pissing-off the U.S. military; on Apr. 28 militants kill four U.S. soldiers in Baghdad with rockets and mortars as they try to push Shiite fighters farther from the Green Zone and out of range; too bad, after a 4-hour battle that kills 28 in Sadr City, some residents claim that the U.S. was killing civilians not militants. On Apr. 30 the U.S. troop death toll for Iraq is announced as 50, a 7-mo. high, with more than half in Baghdad.
On May 1, 2008 two suicide bombers attack a wedding caravan in the market district in Dayala Province NE of Baghdad, Iraq, killing 35 and wounding 65, incl. the bride and groom. On May 3 the U.S. military fires guided missiles into Sadr City, Iraq, goofing up and hitting a building 55 yards from a hospital, wounding 23. On May 9 a U.S. soldier is caught using a Quran for target practice, causing a protest in Herat, leading him to be disciplined and removed from Iraq, while his cmdr. kisses a new copy before giving it to tribal leaders in Radwaniyah on May 17 and Pres. Bush apologizes on May 20 to PM Nouri al-Maliki - he should order all Qurans confiscated and burned if he had any guts? On May 14 suicide bombers hit a funeral W of Baghdad plus an Iraq army post S of Baghdad, killing 21. On May 15 John McCain predicts that the U.S. will be out of Iraq by 2013 and that Osama bin Laden won't be a threat, but declines to set a timetable. On May 19 Barack Obama responds to criticism by John McCain that he has "reckless" judgment on foreign policy for wanting to talk with Iran, saying that the Iraq War has made Iran stronger; he then goes defensive on ABC News, warning the media to lay off his wife Michelle - or I'll make her wear her veil in public? On May 20 (dawn) Iraqi troops enter Sadr City in E Baghdad, with Shiite militia fighters offering virtually no resistance. On May 25 U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Patrick Driscoll issues a soundbyte at a news conference that the militants in Iraq "are off-balance and on the run", although al-Qaida remains a "very lethal threat"; meanwhile the 300 attacks by militants in the previous week are the fewest since 2004, compared to 1.6K nearly a year ago. And in the continuing story of Allah the God of Love and his prophet Badass M? On May 29 a suicide bomber wearing a military uniform detonates in Sinjar, Iraq in NW Iraq among a group of police recruits, killing 16, causing the Iraqi interior minister to remove the police chief.
On June 3, 2008 Barack Obama makes history by becoming the first African-Am. U.S. pres. delegate for a major political party, reaching the 2,118 delegates needed despite Hillary Clinton winning the 2008 South Dakota Dem. Primary by 55%-45% and not conceding until June 7, when she finally gives up trying to figure out how to strongarm him into a vice-pres. nomination and throws her support behind the Man, saying that electing him will achieve her goals of universal health care, a strong economy, and the end of the Iraq War, while calling her 18M primary twats, er, votes "18 million cracks in the glass ceiling" (I'd like to view that ceiling?); Obama also wins the 2008 Mont. Dem. Primary by 56%-41%; virtually all of Africa (not just his daddy's home country of Kenya) goes er, ape-shit with happiness at the big news?; before giving a speech in St. Paul, Minn. to celebrate his V, Obama exchanges a fist bump with wife Michelle, which Fox news anchor E.D. Hill calls a "terrorist fist jab", causing her show to be canned; meanwhile John McCain gives a speech in Kenner, La., claiming that he has stronger credentials to be an independent agent of change than Obama, and a Pew Research Center Poll indicates that only 49% of independents have a favorable impression of Obama now, vs. 62% in Feb. On June 4 a truck packed with rockets blows up in a Shiite area of Baghdad, Iraq, killing 18 and wounding 75. On June 5 a top Turkish gen. admits that Iran has been carrying out coordinated strikes with his troops on Kurdish rebels in N Iraq, becoming the first admission of such cooperation. On June 17 (Sun.) a car bomb in a busy commercial street in a Shiite area of Baghdad, Iraq kills 51 and wounds 35, becoming the worst blast in the city in over 3 mo.; the U.S. military accuses Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, saying he is trying to rekindle the Shiite-Sunni violence. On June 24 a bomb explodes inside the district council bldg. in Sadr City, Iraq, killing 10, incl. four Amricans; Iraqi officials call it an inside job and finger the Shiite guard force. On June 29 an exploding twa, er, female suicide bomber goes off before she can reach her destination, a Sunni council 60 mi. NE of Baghdad, Iraq, becoming the 20th-something female suicide attack this year (vs. 8 in 2007). On June 30 Pres. Bush signs a bill providing $162B for the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars; meanwhile the U.S. military absorbs $400M a mo. increase in fuel costs, and Iraq opens internat. bidding for eight huge oil and gas fields which they hope will double production by 2013 to 5M barrels.
On July 1, 2008 three Iraqi Shiite officials claim that Lebanese Hezbollah instructors trained Shiite militiamen in camps in S Iraq until 3 mo. ago; on July 2 British PM Gordon Brown proposes making it a crime to join or support Hezbollah. On July 6 insurgent attacks in Baghdad and elsewhere in Iraq kill 16 and injure 15 one day after PM Nouri al-Maliki declares that terrorism has been defeated; meanwhile the UAE cancels $4B in debt owed by Iraq and restores full diplomatic relations. On July 27 the U.S. military admits that its soldiers killed three innocent civilians last mo. after opening fire on a car on the high security Baghdad airport road in Iraq. On July 28 suicide bombers, incl. at least three women hit Shiite pilgrims in Baghdad and Kurdish protesters in Kirkuk, Iraq, killing 57.
On Aug. 5, 2008 the U.S. Govt. Accountability Office reports that Iraq could have a $79B budget surplus this year. On Aug. 14-16 suicide bombers in Iraq strike Shiite pilgrims headed for Karbala for three days in a row.
On Sept. 1, 2008 the U.S. formally returns control of formerly nasty Anbar Province in Iraq to the Iraq govt. On Sept. 4 U.S. SSgt. Kennith Mayne (b. 1979) of Arvada, Colo. is killed outside Baghdad, Iraq in his Humvee by a roadside bomb two hours after talking to his mother on the phone. On Sept. 6 YACB (yet another car bomb) explodes in I Reek in the NW city of Tal Afar, Iraq, killing six and wounding 50. On Sept. 13 gunmen abduct and kill four employees of an Iraqi TV station in Mosul, Iraq as they film a program about Ramadan. On Sept. 14 three roadside bombs in Jalawla, Iraq (60 mi. N of Baghdad) kill five in an Iraqi police convoy. On Sept. 18 a U.S. Chinook CH-47 heli accident in S Iraq kills seven GIs.
On Oct. 9, 2008 a bomb in Baghdad kills Iraqi lawmaker Saleh al-Auqaeili (b. 1967), former spokesman for Muqtada al-Sadr. On Oct. 11 Iraqi officials admit that 3K Christians have fled Mosul to escape Muslim extemist attacks in the past week; on Oct. 24 thousands more Christians flee Mosul, causing the U.N. to send relief. On Oct. 26 a U.S. Cobra heli attack on a bldg. in Syria near the Iraq border kills eight, incl. a top al-Qaida operative, pissing off the Syrian govt., which on Oct. 28 closes the Am. School and U.S. cultural center in Damascus.
Another I-remember-where-I-was moment for Americans? On Nov. 4, 2008 (Tues.) with the tanking U.S. economy widely blamed on the Repub. Party, and Obama (campaign slogans: "Change we can believe in", "Yes we can", "No drama") running the best-financed pres. campaign in U.S. history ($745M vs. $350M in contributions) ($11 for each Obama vote) after flip-flopping on a promise to take only govt. funding from Sept. on, while McCain kept his promise and had to stop taking contributions in Sept. after accepting $84.1M in public campaign money (spending $150K on clothing for Palin) (while Obama raises $150M in Sept. alone), the 2008 U.S. pres. election is a V for Barack Obama over John McCain (131M of 197M eligible voters vote) (52.9%-45.7%, 365-173 electoral votes, 28-22 states, 69.5M vs. 59.9M votes) (most votes in history, vs. 62M for Bush in 2004) (first pres. candidate two split the electoral votes of Neb.), marked by joyful tearful celebrations in the streets all over the U.S., esp. by blacks, with only 43% of white voters voting for him, although 60% of Obama supporters are white, and only 74% of the voters in the election are white, and Obama gets 40% of the white men; 95% of black voters go for guess who (don't call it a racist vote, it's a spiritual thing, a first, it's history?), 67% of Hispanic voters, and 78% of Jewish voters (vs. 74% for Kerry in 2004), who were treated to "The Great Schlep", in which Jews flew to Fla. to talk their Jewish grandparents into voting for him; young voters go for Obama 2-1, and the Repub. turnout is the lowest since 1976; for the first time, young black voters ages 25-44 have the highest percentage turnout (64%, vs. 62.2% for white, 47.3% for Asian, and 47.7% for Hispanic); Obama wins contested states Penn., Ohio and N.M., which swings it; the Sarah Palin chess move fizzles with women, as 56% go for McCain-Palin, incl. 82% of Hillary Clinton voters; and Joseph Biden becomes the first Roman Catholic vice-pres. to be elected; a record 70M watch election returns on TV, culiminating with the sight of a 125K (240K) crowd at Grant Park off Lake Michigan in Chicago, Ill. gathering to hear his victory speech, where he utters the soundbytes "Change has come to America", "If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer", and "The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even in one term. But, America, I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there"; McCain gives a concession speech which shows his big heart, with the soundbytes "The American people have spoken, and they have spoken clearly", "This is an historic election, and I recognize the special significance it has for African-Americans and for the special pride that must be theirs tonight", "I wish Godspeed to the man who was my former opponent and will be my president, and I call on all Americans, as I have often in this campaign, to not despair of our present difficulties, but to believe, always, in the promise and greatness of America, because nothing is inevitable here"; he promised his daughters Malia Ann and Sasha a new puppy if he won, making a big deal about it; 106-y.-o. African-Am. Ann Louise Nixon Cooper (1902-2009), who knew MLK Jr. and voted for him in Oct. and was called by him specially is given special notice in the speech, then dies on Dec. 21; the U.S. enters a new era where the young and the increasing numbers of non-whites can swing nat. elections, the culmination of decades of mass brainwashing for the equality of races by Jewyweird, with Obama being their rabbit, a political Sidney Poitier (who always had to be apolitical, asexual to white people and help them out), only now he gets to be political, as long as it's on the left, and has to have a supporting cast of whites and Jews; the grate powah of Hollyweird was rolled out bigtime to elect Obama, evidenced by daytime TV shows "Oprah Winfrey", "The View" et al., plus nighttime shows such "24" (featuring black pres. David Palmer, played by Dennis Haysbert), and "Saturday Night Live", which pulled out all stops to caricature Sarah Palin as an unqualified nitwit; too bad, he has to give his victory speech behind a bulletproof screen, as white supremacists blow their gaskets and vow to kill him; the Obama V causes a massive positive reaction worldwide, changing America's failing image instantly; meanwhile the V causes a run on gun stores as a belief he will outlaw guns spreads (he has promised to outlaw automatics), and Roman Catholic priest Jay Scott Newman of Greenevile, S.C. warns parishoners to refrain from receiving Holy Communion if they voted for Obama because he supports abortion, and claims that voting for him "constitutes material cooperation with intrinsic evil"; in the days before his inauguration the U.S. liberal media began painting his legacy as the new Abraham Lincoln; too bad, I-shake-my-little-tush-on-the-catwalk Obama is what they used to call a mulatto, half-and-half, which until modern times neither the white nor black communities would accept, but luckily he looks more black than white (them ears, them ears), and the black community enthusiastically claims him as their own, although he has no Am. slave ancestry like other U.S. black leaders, and the warm misty feeling even white Ams. have for him conveniently glosses over the massive failure of African-Ams. in crime, education and economic status; meanwhile many Americans are scared of Obama because of his prior alignment with radical extremists, covered-up background, and Socialist leanings; a 100% black slave-descended U.S. pres. still may not happen in their lifetimes, stay tuned? - and where is "there"? On Nov. 13 pranksters distribute thousands of free copies of the New York Times with a prank headline that the U.S. Iraq War and Afghanistan War have ended; it is actually dated July 4, 2009 and describes the Obama Utopia with nat. health care, a rebuilt economy, higher progressive taxes, a nat. oil fund to study climate change et al. On Nov. 19 al-Qaida deputy Ayman al-Zawahri posts a letter on the Internet insulting Barack Obama, calling him, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice "house Negroes" - duh, he's da head of da house now? On Nov. 27 the Iraq govt. agrees to allow U.S. troops to stay three more years.
On Dec. 3, 2008 a new U.S.-Iraq Security Agreement is announced, to take effect Jan. 1, with Gen. Ray Odierno, the top U.S. cmdr. in Iraq telling his troops that they will have to start obtaining warrants before searching homes and detaining suspects. On Dec. 11 a suicide bomber at a restaurant in Kirkuk, Iraq during a meeting of Sunni Arabs and Kurds kills 55 and injures 109, demonstrating the fun future of the Iraq govt. after a U.S. pullout. On Dec. 14 (Sun.) Pres. Bush makes a surprise state visit to Iraq to crow about his success, saying "The war is not over but it is decisively on its way to being won" (4,209 U.S. military dead, $576B spent, 150K troops remaining in Iraq); too bad, during a press conference Iraqi reporter Muntadar al-Zaidi (1979-) hurls his shoes at him (a gesture meaning he's lower than dirt), with the soundbyte "This is a farewell kiss, you dog"; Bush, who displays quick reflexes in ducking the missiles, later jokes "It was a size 10"; a new folk hero is born?; too bad, on Dec. 22 Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki claims he was put up to it by an unnamed militant known for slitting throats; on Mar. 12, 2009 he is sentenced to three years to cheers for being a hero; he could have gotten 15 years - Rosa Klebb in "From Russia With Love"? On Dec. 17 Iraqi officials announce the arrest of 35 Iraq Ministry of the Interior officials for planning a coup; meanwhile British PM Gordon Brown announces that British troops will withdraw from Iraq before June 1, and Iraqi speaker Mahmoud al-Mashhadani resigns amid debate about a bill to order the withdrawal of all non-U.S. forces by July 31 along with another debate on a Shiite motion to discuss the case of shoe-tosser Muntadar al-Zaidi.
In 2009 the U.S. deploys 75K airborne drones and 12K unmanned vehicles in Iraq, and the USAF trains more pilots for unmanned than manned aircraft this year for the first time. On Jan. 1, 2009 the U.S. officially gives control of Iraq to the Iraq govt., handing over the Green (Internat.) Zone in Baghdad. The first 99-44/100% pure president, a combination Lincoln, FDR, JFK, MLK Jr., and Gandhi, plus a disturbing Play-Do makeup incl. doses of Osama bin Laden, Idi Amin, Dorothy Gale from Kansas, and the Wizard of Oz from Emerald City? On Jan. 20 (Tue.) 6'1" 170-190 lb. Hawaiian-born (Kenyan-born?) Harvard Law School grad. (black) (lefty) (Christian) (closet Muslim?) (closet Marxist?) Barack (Arab. "blessed") Hussein (Arab. "handsome") Obama (Kenyan "crooked") II (1961-) (Secret Service codename: Renegade) (known for saying "Well, Look" at the start of his answer to questions, along with "Let me be clear" and "Make no mistake") becomes Dem. U.S. pres. #44 (until ?) (first African-Am. and first urban pres.) (1st U.S. pres. to have Internet access at his desk, have a BlackBerry, and use email daily) (3rd U.S. pres. to win the Nobel Peace Prize) (a stooge of the Zionist Illuminati?) (11th U.S. pres. to grow and/or use cannabis after Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Jackson, Taylor, Pierce, Lincoln, JFK) is inaugurated before a record crowd; Richard Tosaw, a lawyer from Modesto, Calif. sells 4K $20 printed cardboard periscopes called Obama-Scopes that "make you two feet taller" and help improve one's view of the proceedings; First Lady Michelle Robinson is given the Secret Service codename Renaissance; Joseph Robinette "Joe" Biden Jr. (1942-) (Secret Service codename: Celtic) becomes the 47th U.S. vice-pres. (until ?) (first Roman Catholic vice-pres.); First Lady is Princeton-educated Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama (1964-) (Secret Service codename: Renaissance); first children are Malia Ann Obama (1998-) (Secret Service codename: Radiance) and Natasha "Sasha" Obama (2001-) (Secret Service codname: Rosebud); Second Lady is Jill Tracy Jacobs Biden (1951-) (Secret Service codename: Capri); First Dog is Bo Obama (2008-) (Portuguese Water Dog or Portie), a gift from Sen. Edward Kennedy and his wife Victoria "Vicki" Kennedy, and named after R&B singer Bo Diddley; Obama takes his oath of office on the same velvet-bound Bible used at his hero Abrahama, er, Abraham Lincoln's first (1861) inaguration before a record 1.9M crowd, who brave 17F weather (no arrests?); the inaugural theme is "A New Birth of Freedom", a phrase taken from Lincoln's Nov. 19, 1863 Gettysburg Address allegedly to celebrate the 200th anniv. of his birth year. In Jan. an election in the N Iraqi province of Nineveh gives control to Sunni Arabs, pissing off the Kurds, who fight the election and refuse to recognize the new govt.'s sovereignty; on May 8 new gov. Atheel al-Nujaifi is prevented from entering Kurdish-controlled Bashiqa NE of Mosul by Kurdish troops, causing him to turn back.
On Feb. 5, 2009 elections in Iraq give Shiite PM Nouri al-Maliki a big V over the Sunnis and violent Shiites. On Feb. 9 a car bomber in Mosul, Iraq hits a U.S. patrol and kills four GIs; meanwhile on Feb. 10 another car bomber in guess-where Mosul, Iraq wounds three policemen. On Feb. 24 Obama admin. officials announce that Obama plans to order all U.S. combat troops to be withdrawn from Iraq by Aug. 2010, slipping his campaign promise by 3 mo. and pissing off anti-war activists who voted for him. On Feb. 27 Pres. Obama gives a speech at Camp Lejune, N.C., telling U.S. Marines that he'll withdraw all combat troops from Iraq by Aug. 2010 and the rest by Dec. 2011, with his strategy based on the "achievable goal" of a "sovereign, stable, and self-reliant" Iraq.
On Mar. 5, 2009 a car bomb in a crowded livestock market in Hillah, Iraq S of Baghdad kills 12 and injures dozens. On Mar. 8 Pres. Obama announces that 12K U.S. soldiers will leave Iraq by Sept.; meanwhile the acne eruption keeps on as yet another suicide bomber in Bag Dead kills 30+. On Mar. 10 a suicide bomber in a market in Abu Ghraib, Iraq in W Baghdad attacks a group of Shiite and Sunni tribesmen and police officers, killing 133. On Mar. 15-21 more than 500 protests against the Iraq War are held, complaining that Pres. Obama is stalling in his promise to pull out. On Mar. 20 the 6th Anniv. of the U.S. Invasion of Iraq sees Sadrists burn U.S. flags and call for immediate pullout - they don't believe them Enzyte ads? On Mar. 31 yet another suicide bomber in Iraq strikes Mosul, Iraq, killing seven and wounding 25, most of them police officers; meanwhile a weekend Sunni uprising in Baghdad bodes poorly for the future of a U.S. pullout, and Britain hands over control of oil-rich S Iraq to the U.S.
On Apr. 1, 2009 (April Fool's Day) new U.S. pres. Barack Hussein Obama bows to Saudi King Abdullah at the G20 summit in London, a giant protocol no-no and a terrific insult to his own office, probably an instinctive reaction, he won't do it again?; Saudi Arabia is known for their mutawas (morality police), who throw women into medieval dungeons and beat and gang-rape them for daring to drive a car or go out in public without a male escort, great ally the U.S. has there - imagine any preceding president doing it even to a good monarch? On Apr. 10 a suicide bomber at a police station in Mosul, Iraq kills five U.S. soldiers and two policemen, and injures dozens, incl. 17 policemen and a U.S. soldier. On Apr. 11 a suicide vest bomber in Al-Iskandariya, Iraq 24 mi. S of Baghdad kills nine and injures 31 members of the anti-al-Qaida Sunni Sons of Iraq movement; meanwhile another suicide bomber in Jbala, Iraq 35 mi. S of Baghdad kills nine and wounds 30. Take our word for it, and ci ya later? On Apr. 16 Memos on Torture, a "Holy Grail of torture documents" written by CIA inspector gen. John Helgerson in 2004 during the Bush years describing inhumane torture techniques used by the CIA are pub. after the agents involved are shielded from prosecution; the CIA admits to destroying 12 tapes of particularly devilish interrogations, plus 80 others they claim weren't so bad; a 2005 Justice Dept. memo shows that they gave Abu Zubaydah 83 waterboardings in Aug. 2002 alone, all of which pisses off lawmakers into calling for more extensive inquiries into the Beat the Bush admin., incl. calls for prosecution anyway, causing Obama on Apr. 21 to say he'll have the new U.S. atty.-gen. look into it, and recommend Congress to set up an independent commission rather than a congressional panel; too bad, ex-vice-pres. Dick Cheney steps in, delaying the declassification of the document until ?. On Apr. 20 a suicide bomber in Baqouba, Iraq wounds eight U.S soldiers - I'll be baaaq? On Apr. 23 two suicide bomb attacks in Iraq kill 70; meanwhile the Iraqi govt. finally captures al-Qaida leader Abu Abdaullah al-Rashid al-Baghdadi, leader of the Mujahideen Shura Council, who claims to be head of the Islamic State of Iraq, and shows photos on Aug. 28 to prove it. On Apr. 23 AP announces that it has computed that at least 110,600 Iraqis have been killed in the Iraqi War since 2003. On Apr. 24 two female Sunni suicide purse bombers kill 66 and injure 120+ (incl. 80 Iranian pilgrims) outside the Shiite Imam Mousa al-Kazim Tomb in Kazimiyah, Iraq. On Apr. 25 Obama's secretary, er, U.S. secy. of state Hillary Clinton makes a surprise visit to Baghdad, Iraq, and holds a town hall style meeting in the U.S. embassy, promising the Iraqi people that the Obama admin. will, er, won't abandon them as the U.S. begins pulling out troops; meanwhile four suicide bombings in the last two days kill 160+. On Apr. 26 Iraqi PM (since May 20, 2006) Nouri al-Maliki (1950-) denounces a predawn U.S. raid in S Iraq that killed two Iraqis, vowing to prosecute the soldiers involved, becoming the first such call.
On May 2, 2009 a Sunni Iraqi soldier opens fire on U.S. troops, killing two near Mosul before being killed - let me do the work, you just get well? On May 20 a car bomb explodes in an ice cream parlor in a Shiite neighborhood of N Baghdad, Iraq, killing 34 and wounding 72.
On June 10, 2009 (9 a.m.) yet another car bomb in Bathaa, Iraq in S Iraq kills 30 and wounds 65. On June 22 30+ are killed across Iraq, making the weekend total top 100 a week before the June 30 deadline for U.S. troop pullout from urban areas. On June 30 Iraq celebrates Sovereignty Day as U.S. troops pull out of major cities, but remain available to back Iraqi troops up, with PM Nouri al Maliki uttering the soundbyte "Those who think that Iraqis are unable to defend their country are committing a fatal mistake"; Pres. Obama hails the authority transfer in the East Room of the White House, predicing more violence, with the soundbyte "There are those who will test Iraqi security. I'm confident that those forces will fail. The future belongs to those who build, not those who destroy"; meanwhile a bomb in the Kurdish sector of Kirkuk, Iraq kills 25 and wounds 40; on July 2 the first roadside bomb in post-U.S. Baghdad explodes near an Iraqi army patrol, killing one Iraqi soldier and wounding two soldiers and eight civilians; on July 7 bomb attacks in Baghdad and N Iraq kill 41; meanwhile Kurdistan pushes for a new constitution in defiance of Baghdad, claiming land and oil. On July 11 insurgents detonate bombs in Baghdad and Mosul, Iraq, killing six and wounding 67. On July 21 bombs kill 21 and wound dozens in Baghdad, Ramadi, and Baqubah, Iraq. On July 31 bombs explode near five Shiite mosques around Bag Dead during prayer services, killing 29 followers of anti-U.S. cleric Moqtata al-Sadr, who accuses the Iraq govt. of being behind it; between June 30 and Aug. 11 566 Iraqis have been killed, mostly Shiites; meanwhile longtime region underclass Shiites are talking their followers into showing retraint by not responding with violence?
On Aug. 10, 2009 yet more bombs hit Shiite areas of Baghdad, Iraq, killing 33 more, bringing the total to 100+ in four days in Irock. On Aug. 13 25K demonstrate in Copenhagen, Denmark over the forced deportation of a group of 121 Iraqi refugees, who were arrested by the police as they took refuge in Brorson Church the previous night. On Aug. 19 a series of explosions kills 75+ and wounds 300+ in C Baghdad, Iraq, becoming the deadliest day since U.S. troops left in June, and showing that without the U.S. the Iraq govt. is doomed?
On Sept. 10-11, 2009 inmates at Abu Ghraib Prison in Iraq riot, demanding better living conditions. On Sept. 12 police in Baghdad, Iraq find a bomb hidden inside a Quran outside the Musa al-Khadim Shiite mosque; meanwhile two bombs go off near another Shiite mosque. On Sept. 16 the U.S. military announces the closing of Camp Bucca, a large prison in S Iraq, turning it over to the Iraq govt., who takes custody of all but 180 of the detainees. On Sept. 28 the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan is greeted with a string of bombings that kill 18 across Iraq, targeting Iraqi security forces, incl. a suicide bomber who slams his tanker truck into a police post in Ramadi (70 mi. W of Baghdad), killing seven and wounding 16. On Sept. 30 U.S. Gen. Ray Odierno tells Congress that 4K troops will be withdrawn from Iraq by the end of Oct. as part of the plan to get them all out by Sept. 2010.
On Oct. 11, 2009 a string of car bombings kill 19 in Iraq's Anbar Province that was once the scene of intense fighting and is now supposed to be a showcase for restored peace. On Oct. 13 the Pentagon announces that it has met all of its annual recruiting goals for the first time since the establishment of the all-volunteer force in 1973 as the bad economy causes youth to sign up by the hundreds of thousands even as they know they will go to war. On Oct. 14 jewelry thieves rob three stores in Baghdad, Iraq in broad daylight, killing eight and wounding nine; at least they aren't terrorists? On Oct. 16 an Allah Akbar suicide bomber hides in a Sunni congregation in a mosque in Tal Afar, Iraq, then sprays them with gunfire and blows up, wounding 95 and killing 15+ incl. the imam, who had spoken out against al-Qaida. On Oct. 25 two al-Qaida suicide car bombs detonate in front of the Iraq Justice Ministry and another govt. bldg. in Baghdad, Iraq, killing 155 and wounding 520, becoming the worst terrorist attack in two years (summer 2007); blast walls had been removed from the road a few weeks earlier; on Oct. 28 dozen of Iraqi security officials are arrested for collusion with the bombers - once the U.S. completely pulls out, total civil war?
On Nov. 4, 2009 U.S. Army SSgt. Amy C. Tirador (b. 1980) of Albany, N.Y. (an interrogator) is shot in the back of the head and murdered in Kirkush, Iraq in a secure area of the base; the govt. covers it up by calling it a "non-combat related incident". On Nov. 16 Shiite insurgents dressed in military uniforms kill at least 12 in a pre-dawn attack in the Sunni village of Zauba, Iraq W of Baghdad. On Nov. 24 the U.K. begins the Chilcot Iraq War Inquiry going back to 2001, chaired by Sir John Chilcot; gen. Sir Michael Rose calls for Tony Blair to stand trial for war crimes; former U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix said that Pres. George W. Bush and Tony Blair behaved like 17th cent. witch hunters in their willingness to oust Saddam Hussein, and "misled themselves and then they misled the public", showing "very bad judgment". On Nov. 25 a double bombing in Karbala, Iraq injures 25 civilians gathering for the 4-day Shiite holiday of Eid al-Adha starting on Nov. 27. In Nov. Exxon Mobil and Occidental Petroleum become the first U.S. oil cos. to reach production agreements with the Iraq govt. since the 2003 invasion.
On Dec. 8, 2009 (10:15 a.m.) Bloody Tuesday in Baghdad, Iraq sees a string of five bombings that kill 127 and wound 450; al-Qaida later claims responsibility for this attack plus the Aug. 19 attack, and threatens more to come. On Dec. 11 Muntader al-Zaidi, who became a celeb when he threw his shoes at Pres. Bush a year ago, has a shoe thrown at him by journalist Khayat, who says "Here's another shoe for you". On Dec. 11 oil cos. from China, Russia, Malayasia, Angola, and Europe beat out U.S. cos. for Iraqi oil exploration and development contracts, getting only one out of 10. On Dec. 14 a BBC-TV interview with former British PM Tony Blair is broadcast, in which he admits that he would have supported the 2003 invasion of Iraq even if he had known they didn't possess WMDs, saying "It was the notion of him [Saddam Hussein] as a threat to the region, the fact of how that region was going to change whilst he was there", causing calls for him to be prosecuted as a war criminal; USAF Lt. Gen. James R. Clapper (1941-) claims that Iraq sent its WMDs to Syria in the weeks before the 2003 invasion, which is later backed up by satellite photos of a 200 sq. km area near Masyaf in NW Syria? On Dec. 14 a confidential U.S. diplomatic cable says that Iran has assassinated 180 Iraqi pilots who flew sorties against it during the Iran-Iraq War; revealed by WikiLeaks in Nov. 2010. On Dec. 16 human rights group Iraq Body Count lists the civilian death toll in Iraq for 2009 at 4,497, lowest since the 2003 invasion; the 2008 toll was 9,226. On Dec. 17 U.S. officials admit that Iraqi militants have been using the $26 SkyGrabber software program to intercept live video feeds from U.S. Predator drones, but claim they've fixed the problem with encryption. On Dec. 18 Iranian forces sneak into Iraq at dawn and occupy a well in the East Maysan Oil Field; after an uproar, they withdraw. On Dec. 24 as Shiite Muslims prepare to celebrate Ashura on Dec. 28, five attacks in and around Baghdad and Karbala in Iraq kill 27 and wound 100+, incl. Iraqi Brig. Gen. Talib Khalil; too bad, since Ashura falls near Christmas, Christians who happen to live around them are treated like merde, and are afraid to celebrate Christmas. On Dec. 28 Christian girl Sarah Edmond Youhanna is kidnapped by an Islamic group at the U. of Mosul in Iraq as a warning to all Christians to leave Iraq. On Dec. 31 U.S. federal judge Ricardo M. Urbina dismisses charges against five Blackwater Worldwide security guards accused of killing 14 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad in 2007, saying that the govt. improperly used their statements.
On Jan. 1, 2010 the U.S. military celebrates their first month without a combat death in Iraq since the start of the war in 2003. On Jan. 6 a U.S. military convoy travelling in the wrong lane hits a passenger van in Hillah, Iraq S of Baghdad, killing five Iraqis and injuring seven Iraqis and three U.S. soldiers. On Jan. 7 a series of five bomb attacks on police in Hit, Iraq 120 mi. W of Baghdad kill eight and injure 10. On Jan. 12 Iraqi forces bring parts of Baghdad to a standstill with a crackdown on insurgents, arresting 25 and seizing 880 lb. of explosives, claiming to stop a terrorist plot. On Jan. 12 TLW pub. his Winslow Plan to Defeat Islam, calling for all non-Muslim nations to unite, occupy, and disarm Muslim nations, then take the children away and raise them without seeing a Quran or a mosque before releasing them back into society on probation - nobody listens until ? On Jan. 14 the Iraq govt. bans 570+ candidates from the Mar. 7 election, 400 of whom are discovered to be Sunnis, pissing off Sunni politicians, who blame Shiite-run Iran, and causing U.S. vice-pres. Joseph Biden to rush to Baghdad to try to make them reconsider, telling them there will be no Baathist coup attempt following U.S. withdrawal, after which on Feb. 3 they flop and allow them to run, but they drop out anyway on Feb. 20, blaming Iranian influence on the vetting panel that blacklisted hundreds of candidates. On Jan. 14 (5:30 p.m.) three explosions rock the Shiite holy city of Najaf, Iraq 90 mi. S of Baghdad, becoming the first in the city since 2006; remnants of the Baath Party are blamed, causing provincial council member Jawad al-Garawi to vow to purge them from police and govt. positions. On Jan. 25 Saddam Hussein's cousin Chemical Ali (Ali Hassan al-Majid) (b. 1941) is hung; meanwhile three big car bombs rock Baghdad hotels, killing 36 and ending a 6-week lull; on Jan. 26 another suicide bomber detonates in a police crime lab outside the Interior Ministry, killing 21 and injuring 80. On Jan. 29 former British PM Tony Blair defends the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, saying that after 9/11 the game rules changed, and Saddam Hussein had to be disarmed or removed, saying "This isn't about a lie, or a conspiracy, or a deceit, or a deception, this is a decision, and the decision I had to take was, given Saddam's history, given his use of chemical weapons, given the over 1 million people whose deaths he caused, given 10 years of breaking U.N. resolutions, could we take the risk of this man reconstituting his weapons program? I believed... that we were right not to run that risk", adding that he was convinced that Sodamn Insane had WMDs at the time.
On Feb. 1, 2010 a female suicide bomber in Baghdad, Iraq in the middle of a procession of pilgrims in the well-named Shiite Boob al-Sham area kills 41 and wounds 106. On Feb. 2 top Pentagon officials tell the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee that they are scaling back the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy, no longer aggressively pursuing disciplinary action against gay service members who are outed by 3rd parties, with JCS chmn. Adm. Mike Mullen saying that lifting the ban is "the right thing to do"; Ariz. Sen. John McCain comes out against the idea, telling them to "Keep the impact it will have on our forces firmly in mind"; Mullen also tells the committee that the next 12-18 mo. will be critical in reversing the momentum gained by the Taliban in Afghanistan, adding "Our future security is greatly imperiled if we do not win the wars we are in", asking for $192B for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for the next 18 mo., $33B to be used to send 30K more troops to Afghanistan by fall. On Feb. 3 a bomb outside a girls school in Timergara, Pakistan kills three U.S. soldiers; the Taliban claims responsibility and threatens more attacks on Americans; another motorcycle bomb in Kerbala, Iraq kills 20+ Shiite pilgrims. On Feb. 5 a twin car bombing targeting Shiite pilgrims in Karbala, Iraq S of Baghdad kills 32 and wounds 154; two bombs more targeting Shiites in Karachi, Pakistan kill 22 and wound 50. On Feb. 12 Iraqi security forces backed by U.S. troops raid suspected members of an Iranian-backed terrorist group, killing five. On Feb. 19 the Obama admin. announces that it's giving the Iraq War the new name Operation New Dawn to reflect the reduced U.S. role. In Feb. the Pentagon spends $6.7B on Afghanistan, compared with $5.5B on Iraq, putting Afghanistan on top for the first time; the cumulative cost for both wars is greater than $1T.
On Mar. 3, 2010 triple suicide bombers in Baqouba, Iraq kill 32 in advance of the Mar. 7 elections, incl. police and at a hospital. On Mar. 7 (Sun.) elections in Iraq see 55% turnout, despite violence, incl. 136 attacks and 100 projectiles and 13 bombs in Baghdad that kill 37 and injure 89; secular candidate Ayad Allawi (1945-) wins by two seats, signaling a V for secularism, although in 2004 he was PM of the interim govt. and viewed as a puppet of the U.S.; Shiite PM Nouri al-Maliki demands a recount; Allawi is alleged to have murdered six restrained men in 2004 while U.S. and Iraqi guards watched in shock. On Mar. 28 (7 a.m.) several bombs explode in Qaim, Iraq (200 mi. W of Baghdad) near a house linked to Sunni politician Sheik Murdi Muhammad al-Mahalawi (supporter of Ayad Allawi), killing five and wounding 26.
On Apr. 2, 2010 Islamic gunmen dressed as soldiers execute 24 in Hawr Rijab, Iraq in a Sunni area - the religion of peace is baack? On Apr. 4 three embassies in Iraq are bombed by suicide bombers, incl. the Iranian and German embassies and Egyptian consultate, killing 41 and wounding 237. On Apr. 4 Iraqi police arrest three doctors and others in Mosul on charges of plundering body organs incl. kidneys. On Apr. 13 James Carafano of the Heritage Foundation criticizes Pres. Obama, saying that his cutting of conventional military capabilities and talk of pullouts from Iraq and Afghanistan is creating a dangerous environment vis a vis Iran. On Apr. 18 (night) al-Qaida in Iraq leaders Abu Ayyub al-Masri and Abu Omar al-Bahgadi are killed by U.S. forces in their safe house near Tikrit. On Apr. 20 the Pentagon delivers its first Report to Congress on Iran's Military, saying that Iran is increasing its paramilitary Qods force in Venezuela (first official warning of Iranian paramilitary activities in the Western Hemisphere) while covertly supplying munitions to Taliban and other Islamic insurgents in Afghanistan and Iraq. On Apr. 21 Iraqi and U.S. officials announce that an Iraqi security force under PM Nuri Kamal al-Maliki's command held hundreds from N Iraq in a secret prison in Baghdad and tortured dozens until the U.S. intervened in Mar. and al-Maliki played dumb and closed it. On Apr. 23 a series of bombs in Shiite mosque areas of Baghdad, Iraq, incl. Sadr City kill 72; bombs in W Iraq in Sunni areas kill eight; on Apr. 25 Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr (1974-) calls on believers to join the Iraqi authorities to "defend their shrines, mosques, prayers, markets, houses and their towns", but not give the U.S. an excuse to postpone their withdrawal. In Apr. Iraqi police and veterinarians begin killing stray dogs in and around Baghdad, killing 58K by mid-July.
On May 1, 2010 two bombs near buses carrying Christian students in Mosul, Iraq planted by Sunni insurgents kill one bystander and injure 100. On May 10 insurgent attacks across Iraq kill 84+. On May 14 three suicide bombers at a sports field during a soccer game in the Shiite town of Tal Afar, Iraq in N Iraq kills 10+ and wounds 120. On May 14 after leaders Abu Ayyub al-Masri (Abu Hamza al-Muhajir) and Abu Omar al-Baghdadi are killed, an al-Qaida group in Iraq names new war minister al-Nasser Lideen Allah Abu Suleiman, and threatens Shiites with "dark days covered in blood". On May 14 British MP Stephen Timms is stabbed by British Muslim Roshanara Choudhary (1989-) for supporting the U.S. war in Iraq; she had been watching videos by Am. radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki. On May 15 a spokesman for radical anti-U.S. cleric Moqtada al-Sadr announces that he won't stop Iraqi PM Nuri al-Maliki from keeping his job despite his not meeting a demand to release 2K of his followers; meanwhile former PM Iyad Allawi says that if violence continues in Iraq, civil war looms. On May 18 authorities in Baghdad, Iraq announce that they will enclose the city with a 15-ft. wall to keep suicide bombers out, and are already constructing eight gateways. On May 19 Dutch officials announce that terrorism suspect Abdullah Azam Saleh al-Qahtani, who was arrested in Iraq made comments leading them to believe that Islamic terrorists are planning an attack on Dutch or Danish fans at the World Cup in South Africa. On May 21 (eve.) an al-Qaida in Iraq suicide bomber in a pickup truck explodes in a commercial strip in the Shiite town of Khalis, Iraq in Diyala Province N of Baghdad, killing 21+ and wounding 50+ after the roof of a cafe collapses and other catch fire, burning victims. On May 25 gunmen rob a row of goldsmiths in Baghdad, Iraq in broad daylight, making off with gold and cash after killing 14. On May 27 the Obama admin. pub. its first formal Declaration of Nat. Security Goals, which break with the Bush policy and formalize Obama's new folly, er, approach that the U.S. is not at war with Islam, only al-Qaida and affiliates, and incl. the soundbyte "The burdens of a young century cannot fall on American shoulders alone. Indeed, our adversaries would like to see America sap our strength by overextending our power"; for the first time homegrown terrorists will be targeted; the report's main author is deputy nat. security adviser Ben Rhodes.
On June 6, 2010 a car bomb explodes outside a police station in Al-Amil, Iraq near Baghdad, killing six. On June 6 JCS chmn. Adm. Mike Mullen says that al-Qaida in Iraq has been "devastated" by its string of recent setbacks. On June 11 a suicide car bomb in Jalawla, Iraq 70 mi. NE of Baghdad hits a joint U.S.-Iraqi patrol, killing two U.S. and three Iraqi soldiers. On June 13 attackers in military uniforms storm the Central Bank of Iraq, causing a standoff that kills 15 and wounds 50. On June 19 Turkish warplanes attack Kurdish rebels in N Iraq, killing 12. On June 20 (11 a.m.) twin car bombs explode outside the state-run Trade Bank of Iraq in Baghdad, killing 27 and wounding 55. On June 27 CIA dir. Leon Panetta says that the last time the CIA had good intel on the location of Osama bin Laden was in "the early 2000s", and that there are less than 100 al-Qaida still in Afghanistan after they moved to the tribal areas of Pakistan; he also admits that sanctions won't dissuade Iran from trying to get nukes. On June 29 a series of bombings and shootings in Iraq kill 13, incl. an Iraqi army gen., four policemen in Beiji, Iraq 155 mi. N of Baghdad, and a 9-y.-o. girl. By the end of June 422 are killed and 1.1K+ are wounded in the N province Nineveh, Iraq, 3x the death doll in the Sunni Anbar Province.
On July 3-4, 2010 U.S. vice-pres. Joe Biden visits Iraq to try talking them into picking a new PM; too bad, his visit is marred by nearby explosions, along with suicide bombers in Mosul and Ramadi who kill four and injure 25. On July 7 a Sunni suicide bomber at a police checkpoint in a crowd of Shiite pilgrims to the gold-dome shrine of Kadhimiya in Bagdhad, Iraq kills 28+ and wounds 81; on July 7 another bomb targeting Shiite pilgrims in Baghdad kill seven, and a returning pilgram is shot dead outside Kirkuk. On July 13 news from Iraqi civilians that Iranian trucks filled with missiles have recently passed through Iraq en route to Syria surface. On July 13 U.S. Army Gen. Ray Odierno warns reporters that Iranian-supported militants might try to attack U.S. soldiers as they try to leave Iraq this summer. On July 14 the U.S. hands over Tariq Aziz and 28 other officials of Saddam Hussein's regime to the Iraq govt. On July 15 Pres. Bush's top political adviser Karl Rove says that his biggest mistake was not fighting back against the Dems. who accused Bush of lying to support the Iraqi invasion. On July 16 a fire in the 5-story Soma Hotel in Sulaimaniyah in N Iraq kills 29, nearly half foreigners. On July 18 yet another suicide bombing in Radwaniya, Iraq SW of Baghdad kills 48+, most of them members of the formerly (until 2006) pro-al-Qaida Sunni Awakening militia who are waiting in line for their paychecks. On July 21 an al-Qaida in Mesopotamia car bomb in crowds near a Shiite mosque in Abe Sayeda, Iraq kills 13 and wounds 24. On July 22 a rocket attack at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad in the Green Zone kills three guards and wounds 15 incl. two Americans; meanwhile Iraqi officials disclose that four al-Qaida suspects escape from a prison that the U.S. handed over to their control a week earlier; on July 23 al-Qaida in Iraq claims responsibility for suicide recent suicide bombings in Qom and elsewhere, saying it hopes they will inspire others to martyrdom. On July 26 the road used by Shia pilgrims to Najaf in Karbala, Iraq is hit by twin car bombs, killing 19. On July 26 the U.S. Defense Dept. announces that it can't account for $8.7M of $9.1B in Iraqi oil revenue entrusted to it from 2004-7. On July 27 the House passes a $59B war funding bill by a 308-114 vote, with 102 Dems. voting against, revealing a split with Pres. Obama.
On Aug. 5, 2010 Tariq Aziz, leading lt. of Saddam Hussein accuses the U.S. of "leaving Iraq to the wolves", calling Pres. Obama a hypocrite who promised "to correct some of the mistakes of Bush" and is about to "leave Iraq to its death". On Aug. 7 a power generator explosion in Basra, Iraq kills 25+. On Aug. 16 5 mo. after an inconclusive vote the party that won the most seats in Iraq's Mar. election suspends talks on forming a coalition. On Aug. 17 a suicide bombing among Iraqi army recruits outside the army's 11th div. HQ in downtown Baghdad, Iraq kills 51 and wounds 119. On Aug. 23 Iraq announces that it is tightening security around oil installations after news that al-Qaida plans to attack them when U.S. forces leave. On Aug. 25 a string of attacks against the Iraqi govt. kills 43. On Aug. 28 the Iraq govt. goes on high alert against terrorist attacks as the U.S. combat mission winds down. On Aug. 31 (10:45 a.m.) Pres. Obama gives a Speech to the Troops at Ft. Bliss Army Base in El Paso, Tex., thanking them for making the U.S. safer, and uttering the soundbyte that his coming evening speech won't be a "victory lap, it's not going to be self-congratulatory"; it contains the soundbytes "As we wind down the war in Iraq, we must tackle those challenges at home with as much energy, and grit, and sense of common purpose as our men and women in uniform who have served abroad", "They have met every test that they faced. Now, it's our turn"; he also announces new loosened rules on export of sensitive military and other technology; at ? p.m. Pres. Obama gives his End of the U.S. Mission in Iraq Speech, with the soundbyte "Tonight I am announcing that the American combat mission in Iraq has ended", announcing the End of Operation Iraqi Freedom, which began 89 mo. earlier on Mar. 20, 2003 and totalled 4,421 killed (incl. 3,492 in combat and nine civilian DOD employees), one every 15 hours; the deadliest mo. was Nov. 2004 (139 troops killed); the deadliest period was Oct. 2006-June 2007 (805 troops killed); only 18 killed this year; the last brigade team, the 4th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Div. left on Aug. 18, after which the troop level fell below 50K on Aug. 24, down from a max of 165K in 2007; meanwhile a Gallup Poll reveals that more Iraqis approved of U.S. leadership under Bush than Obama, by 35% to 33%, and another Iraqi poll shows that almost 60% don't want U.S. soldiers to leave now, and 53% oppose Obama ending the combat mission; meanwhile a CBS Poll shows that 70% of Americans approve of Obama's decision.
On Sept. 1, 2010 the U.S. draws down to 50K troops in Iraq. On Sept. 3 Turkey grants limited military concessions to the U.S. to use its territory, allowing them to move technical and logistical military equipment while withdrawing from Iraq; in 2003 it refused to allow U.S. troops to invade Iraq via its SE border. On Sept. 5 an early morning car bomb at a military HQ in Baghdad, Iraq kills 12 and wounds 20, and is followed by a 2.5 hour gun battle as two men in explosive vests slip into the old defense ministry bldg. and throw grenades at Iraqi soldiers until they are killed. On Sept. 5 Iranian pres. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visits Qatar, and utters the soundbyte "The U.S. and the Zionist entity will not be able to hit Iran right now. This is a wish... Any Israeli attack against Iran means the elimination of the Zionist entity from the world map"; meanwhile it is revealed that at least five Iranian cos. in Afghanistan have a $1K bounty on the head of any U.S. soldier killed by a Taliban member, also paying them monthly salaries of $233 and offering them $6K to blow up a U.S. military vehicle, and that Hezbollah is hitting U.S. targets in Iraq as a subcontractor for Iran and Syria. On Sept. 7 the govt. of Iraq announces the return of hundreds of Iraqi antiquities from the U.S.; meanwhile 632 pieces repatriated last year are announced as missing. On Sept. 21 a bomb explodes in a crowd watching a military parade in Mahabad in NW Iran in a Kurdish area near the Iraq-Turkey border, killing 12 and injuring dozens. On Sept. 24 Hamas PM Ismail Haniya appears on Al-Jazeera TV and reaffirms support for the "Iraqi resistance", with the soundbyte "The Quran is our constitution, Allah is our destination, the Prophet Muhammad is our leader, Jihad is our path, and death for the sake of Allah is our most supreme desire." On Sept. 25 a shipment of 8,080 computers worth $1.8M for schoolchildren in Babil (Babylon), Iraq that arrived at the main seaport in Feb. officially disappears. On Sept. 27 WikiLeaks suffers a mass defection after founder Julian Paul Assange (1971-) refuses to cancel an Oct. release of 392K more classified U.S. documents from the Iraq War.
On Oct. 1, 2010 Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr publicly backs struggling Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki in a bid to give his own anti-U.S. bloc political legitimacy. On Oct. 4 Iraq raises its proven oil reserves figure by 25% to convince OPEC to grant it a higher output quota in an effort to match the clout of #1 producer Saudi Arabia. On Oct. 14 a new U.S. military tally claims that 77K Iraqis were killed from Jan. 2004 to Aug. 2008, disputing the Iraq govt. tally of 85,694. On Oct. 17 a jewel heist in Baghdad, Iraq sees three shop owners, two robbers, and three security personnel killed. On Oct. 19 Iranian pres. Imadinnajacket greets Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki in Tehran, congratulating him on his 2nd term, and telling him to "get rid of America". On Oct. 22 WikiLeaks releases 400K U.S. intel reports on the Iraq War, becoming the largest intel leak in U.S. history, with Daniel Ellsberg uttering the soundbyte "I've waited 40 years for this"; the reports expose a longstanding Iranian war on the U.S., and that Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki ran his own private army. On Oct. 26 Iraq War protester Paeter Gray throws his shoes at former Australian PM John Howard on Australian TV. On Oct. 27 an online report by the U.S. Inspector Gen. admits that the U.S. Dept. of Defense got $9B+ from the sale of Iraqi oil to be used for reconstruction, but has lost the documentation for $8.7B of those funds. On Oct. 31 Islamic gunmen take dozens of hostage in a Christian infidel church in Baghdad, Iraq, threatening to kill them unless al-Qaida POWs are released, after which police storm it, and two attackers set off explosive vests, resulting in 36 hostages and 17 security officers along with five gunmen killed and 75 wounded, who killed the two priests the moment the police stormed the bldg; the Islamic State of Iraq (al-Qaida in Iraq) claims responsibility, posting on their Web site that "The Mujahedeens raided a filthy nest of the nests of polytheism, which has been long taken by the Christians of Iraq as a headquarters for a war against the religion of Islam", tying the attack to claims that the Coptic Church in Egypt is holding women who have converted to Islam, causing the Egyptian govt. to beef up security for them; Iraqi Christian archbishop Athanasios Dawood calls on Iraqi Christians to leave the country. On Oct. 31 Saudi King Abdullah calls on the leaders of Iraq to meet in Riyadh, and is overwhelmingly rejected.
On Nov. 2, 2010 (Tues.) a wave of Islamic terror hits Iraq, Greece, and Germany, incl. a parcel bomb delivered to German chancellor Angela Merkel, 10 bomb blasts in Shiite public places in Iraq that kill 64 and wound 360, and more bomb blasts at embassies in Athens. On Nov. 7 Islamists murder two more Christians in Iraq, incl. Louay Daniel Yacoub (b. 1961). On Nov. 11 the Sunnis walk out of the Iraqi parliament after the pres. gives Shiite PM Nouri al-Maliki the nod to form a new govt. On Nov. 16 an Iraqi Christian and his 6-y.-o. daughter are killed in a bombing in Mosul, Iraq; on Nov. 15 two Christian men are killed in their homes by intruders; on Nov. 17 Iraqi pres. Jalal Talabini advises Christians to seek refuge in Kurdistan in N Iraq until the govt. can guarantee their security; on Nov. 22 two more are murdered in the Sina'a neighborhood of Baghdad; on Nov. 25 the Vatican holds a mass in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome to commemorate the 58 killed in Baghdad in Oct.; in the Obama era of covering-up everything bad about Islam, the world doesn't seem to notice the systematic Muslim jihad on Iraqi Christians? On Nov. 25 (Thur.) (Thanksgiving) the London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Hayat claims that WikiLeaks documents show that NATO member Turkey allowed weapons to be smuggled to al-Qaida forces in Iraq. There are no bathrooms out there, you know? On Nov. 28 250K embassy cables, some as recently as this Feb. are released by Julian Assange's WikiLeaks revealing a long list of U.S. foreign strategies and secrets, incl. spying on allies, messages from Saudi King Abdullah calling on the U.S. to "cut off the head of the snake" with an air strike on Iran, and warnings from Israel that Iran is close to getting nukes; it also reveals that Iran had used Red Crescent to smuggle weapons and agents into Lebanon, and reveals that "Saudi donors remains the chief financiers of Sunni militant groups like al-Qaida"; Iranian officials lied to the IAEA about their nuclear plants; the Saudi king urged the U.S. to implant chips in Gitmo inmates to track them "like horses, falcons"; Arab leaders called Iranian pres. Madmaninastraightjacket "evil" and an "existential threat"; Afghan Pres. Hamid Karzai pardoned cops caught dealing drugs incl. heroin, repeatedly threatened to join the Taliban; Armenia sent arms to Iran that were used to kill U.S. troops; future pope Benedict XVI wanted Muslim Turkey kept out of the EU; the U.S. set up an intel unit in Barcelona, Spain after calling Catalonia "the greatest center of radical Islamist activity in the Mediterranean"; U.S. diplomats conclude that Britain made "little progress" in fighting Islamists after the 7/7/2005 London Bombings despite investing considerable time and resources; Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi told U.S. defense secy. Robert Gates in Feb. that no one could stop Israel from attacking Iran if it feels an existential threat; Sudanese pres. Omar al-Bashir has stuffed up to $9B in U.K. banks; a survey of 30 univs. in Britain found that 32% of Muslim students support killing for Islam, and 40% want Sharia law; Israeli Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi told a U.S. Congressional delegation in late 2009 that Israel was preparing for a large war against Hamas or Hezbollah; the U.S. fears that Saudi Arabia has overstated its oil reserves by 40% (300B barrels); Turkey allowed the U.S. to use its Incirlik airbase as a refueling stop despite official denials; U.S. atty.-gen. Eric Holder promises to prosecute anybody who broke U.S. law by leaking secret diplomatic cases, and U.S. Rep. Peter King (in line to be the next House Homeland Security Committee chmn.) calls for Assange to be prosecuted under the U.S. Espionage Act and for WikiLeaks to be designed as a foreign terrorist org.; Sarah Palin disses the Obama admin.'s handling of the documents release as "incompetent"; Watergate figure G. Gordon Liddy calls for Assange to be put on the U.S. kill list like Anwar al-Awlaki.; after Amazon shuts down their site, they get new hosting from Banhof, which is located inside a Cold War bunker in a Swedish mountain; on Dec. 9 Russia chimes in, suggesting that Assange be awarded a Nobel Peace Prize; the leaked cables spark the revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt, and Yemen? On Nov. 30 Iraqi security forces foil a plot to bomb the French embassy in Baghdad, arresting 12 suspected al-Qaia members connected with the Oct. 31 church assault. In Nov. Sweden decides to send Kurdish lesbian couple Pari and Dilsa back to Iraq, despite facing execution for homosexuality.
On Dec. 5, 2010 Islamics murder yet two more Christians in Iraq, an elderly coupe in Baladiyat, Iraq in E Baghdad. On Dec. 12 a suicide bomber outside govt. offices in Ramadi, Iraq, kills 17 incl. women and elderly waiting to collect welfare checks. On Dec. 14 Ayad Allawi, head of a Sunni-backed political party joins the Shiite-led govt. of Iraq, ending months of near-anarchy. On Dec. 16 some of the last sanctions on Iraq from the Sodamn Insane era are lifted. On Dec. 18 the Iraqi parliament lifts a ban on three Sunni politicians, clearing the way for a unity govt. On Dec. 23 after repeated Muslim attacks, hundreds of Iraqi Christians flee N to the semi-autonomous Kurdish town of Ankawa. On Dec. 25 52-y.-o. Iraqi farmer Al-Najem Ambagui (1958-) hands his 19-y.-o. daughter Shakhla in Mandali in Diyala Province after discovering that she had joined al-Qaida and was planning a suicide bombing.
On Jan. 8, 2011 Shiite Iraqi cleric Moktada al-Sadr celebrates his return after three years of voluntary exile in Iran with a speech in Najaf in support of the U.S.-supported Iraq govt. while calling for U.S. troops to leave; too bad, he makes his support of the govt. conditional on its effectiveness. On Jan. 14 12 al-Qaida militants walk out of a prison in Basra, Iraq dressed in police uniforms. On Jan. 15 a Muslim jihadists smuggles live bullets into a training exercise in Mosul, Iraq, and kills two U.S. soldiers; meanwhile a group of jihadists enter the Rabi'a Hospital in Mosul and shoot and seriously wound a Christian doctor. On Jan. 18 a suicide bomber in the Sunni town of Tikrit, Iraq N of Baghdad blows up in a crowd of aspiring police recruits, killing 50+ and wounding 150. On Jan. 26 Lauren Booth, sister-in-law of former British PM Tony Blair turns against him and says he should be tried for war crimes over the invasion of Iraq. On Jan. 31 the Arab Spring begins in Baghdad, Iraq as 100 march in Firdos Square, and 100 more march in Tahrir Square near the Green Zone.
On Feb. 9, 2011 a suicide bomber posing as a dairy deliveryman strikes a Kurdish security HQ in Sulaimaniyah, Iraq, killing seven and wounding 80. On Mar. 29 uniformed jihadists in military trucks blast their way in a provincial govt. HQ in Tikrit, Iraq, killing 55+ and injuring 95. On Apr. 7 the Iraqi army clashes with the People's Mujahedeen, an Iranian exile group at Camp Ashraf N of Baghdad, killing 33, then blocks humanitarian aid. On Apr. 8 1K non-Iranian Shiite clerics and students from Qum, Iran demonstrate outside the U.N. HQ and Saudi embassy in an attempt to get the Iranian govt. to support the protesters in Bahrain, shouting Death to America and Death to the Saud Family; meanwhile demonstrations are held in several Iraqi cities calling for the departure of PM Nouri Al-Maliki, and an end to corruption. On Apr. 15 protests by Sunnis in Ahwaz, Khuzestan, Iraq result in 12+ killed. On Apr. 24 an Islamist bomb at Sacred Heart Church in Karradah, Baghdad wounds three civilians and three policemen. On Apr. 28 a Sunni suicide bomber kills 10 in the Imam al-Hussein Mosque in Baladruz in C Iraq 50 mi. NE of Baghdad.
On May 3, 2011 the Ansar al-Jihad al-Alami (Arab. "helpers of the global jihad") send a message to jihadist forums around the world to prepare a jihad against the "Zionist-Crusader alliance" for the killing of Osama bin Laden; its head is Abu Suleiman al-Naser (al-Nassir) of al-Qaida in Iraq. In May Iraqi Muslim immigrants Waad Ramadan Alwan and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi are indicted by the U.S. govt. for trying to obtain and ship Stinger missiles and money to al-Qaida in Iraq.
On July 10, 2011 U.S. defense secy. Leon Panetta says that weapons supplied by Iran have become a "tremendous concern" for the U.S. in Iraq, which saw more combat deaths of U.S. troops in June than in any mo. since June 2008. On July 16 Iranian forces begin shelling the self-ruled Kurdish region of N Iraq, displacing 200+ families. On July 31 Hezbollah announces that it has carried out 19 operations against U.S. forces in Iraq.
On Aug. 2, 2011 (5:30 a.m.) a bomb at a Christian church in Kirkuk, Iraq injures a priest and 19 others, and damages 40 homes. On Aug. 9 radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr calls on U.S. troops to pull out of Iraq on his Web site. On Aug. 15 bombs in a dozen cities in Iraq kill 60+ incl. seven Sunnis who used to be aligned with al-Qaeda but turned on them, who are pulled from a mosque in Baghdad by gunmen who execute them. In Aug. zero U.S. troops are killed in Iraq, the first time since Mar. 2003.
On Sept. 3, 2011 Iranian pres. Madman Imadinnajacket meets with Qatari emir Hamad bin Jassem al-Thani, during which the emir gives him a request by Pres. Obama to obtain his consent to maintaining 15K troops in Iraq for another two years, along with a request to stop hostile operations against U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, to which Madman replies that if Syria is attacked, "the first missile will fall on you." On Sept. 8 after exposing the regime of PM Nouri al-Maliki for foisting fear a la Saddam Hussein, Iraqi journalist Hadi al-Mahdi is assassinated at his home. On Sept. 29 a suicide bomber near a bank where policemen are picking up their salaries in Kirkuk, Iraq kills two and wounds 60. On Sept. 30 a car bomb at a Shia funeral in Hilla, Iraq 57 mi. S of Baghdad kills 18 and wounds several.
On Oct. 1, 2011 control of U.S. forces in Iraq switches from the military to the U.S. State Dept. On Oct. 4 all of Iraq's political parties but the Sadrists agree to keep U.S. trainers past the 2011 withdrawal deadline, but don't grant them immunity from prosecution as requested by the U.S.; Sadrist leader Moqtada al-Sadr announces that starting on Jan. 1 he's reviving his Mehdi Army to exterminate all of the 3K-4K U.S. soldiers remaining in Iraq. On Oct. 8 bombs strike two oil pipelines in S Iraq, causing temporary production halts. On Oct. 12 a slew of coordinated bomb attacks targeting police in Iraq kills 25 and wounds dozens. On Oct. 13 two bomb blasts in Baghdad, Iraq kill 16. On Oct. 17 a bomb near a liquor store in Baghdad, Iraq kills seven and injures 18. On Oct. 21 Pres. Obama triumphantly announces the Iraq pullout by the end of the year, with the soundbyte "After nearly nine years, America's war in Iraq will be over"; on Oct. 23 retired Army gen. John M. Keane (author of the 2007 troop surge) calls the plan an "absolute disaster" that puts Iraq at risk of an Iranian "strangling"; meanwhile the Obama admin. begins planning for a military buildup in the Persian Gulf - you can be my wing man anytime? On Oct. 24 a YouGov-Cambridge Poll conducted in July finds that 73% of Iraqis believe that it is likely that Iran will act aggressively toward Iraq after the U.S. troops leave in Dec.; 51% say that the security situation within Iraq will worsen. On Oct. 27 (7 p.m. local time) twin bomb blasts in Baghdad, Iraq kill 18 and injure 37. On Oct. 27 Saddam Hussein's home region of Salahuddin N of Baghdad declares regional autonomy in Iraq. On Oct. 30 a twin bombing at a music store in a Shiite neighborhood of Baghdad, Iraq kills 32 and wounds 71. On Oct. 30 Iranian pres. Madman Imadinnajacket hails the U.S. troop exit from Iraq as a "golden" victory.
On Nov. 1, 2011 Turks and Kurds clash in Paris, France, wounding 15; meanwhile Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu urges Iraqi Kurds to cooperate with Turkey in fighting the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), saying otherwise Turkey has the right to invade Iraqi territory to prevent attacks on Turkish targets. On Nov. 3 a triple bombing in oil hub Basra, Iraq kills eight and wounds dozens. On Nov. 6 a series of blasts at a market in Baghdad, Iraq kill six. On Nov. 29 U.S. vice-pres. Joe Biden visits Baghdad to mark the end of the war in Iraq. In Nov. Exxon Mobil signs an oil-gas exploration deal with the autonomous Kurdistan Regional Govt. (KRG), pissing off Iraq, which threatens to cancel its contract to develop the 8.7B barrel West Qurna Phase One oilfield in S Iraq.
On Dec. 1, 2011 Turkey begins a drive against Kurdish rebels in Iraq (ends ?); on Dec. 28 Turkish warplanes bomb rebels in Kurdistan, Iraq, mistakenly killing 35 civilians. On Dec. 2 Muslim clerics whip a mob into attacking 15 liquor stores, two massage parlors, and two hotels in Zakho, Iraq in the Kurdistan region. On Dec. 5 three bombs explode in crowds of Shiite Ashura pilgrims in Hilla, Iraq, killing 22, mostly women and children, and wounding 60. On Dec. 12 Pres. Obama holds a Ceremony to Mark the End of the Iraq War in the White House along with Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki, with the soundbyte that the U.S. left Iraq with "heads held high", saying that "history will judge" if it was a "dumb" war, with the soundbyte: "Everything that American troops have done in Iraq, all the fighting and all the dying, the bleeding and the building, the training and the partnering, all of this has led to this moment of success. Now, Iraq is not a perfect place. It has many challenges ahead, but we're leaving behind a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq, with a representative government that was elected by its people"; he also unveils his Iraqi Interactive Timeline on the White House Web site; the U.S. military officially ends the Iraq War (begun in 2003) on Dec. 15, after spending $806B on it, and suffered 4,487 dead and 32,226 wounded, plus hundreds of thousands of mental casualties; too bad, al-Maliki starts moving a little to swiftly to consolidate his power, arresting hundreds of former Sunni Baath Party members and evicting Western cos. from the Green Zone, and on Dec. 19 putting an arrest warrant out on Sunni vice-pres. #1 of Iraq (since Apr. 22, 2006) Tariq al-Hashimi (al-Hashemi) (1942-) for allegedly running death squads, warning that if Sunnis seek autonomy "rivers of blood" will flow, signaling a Shiite coup and making a mock of U.S. pontifications about a Western-style democracy. On Dec. 17 the last U.S. troops leave Iraq, with only 200 remaining in Baghdad for training and protection of embassy personnel; actually 8K remain in the Kurdistan region? On Dec. 21 Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki drops a bomb with the announcement that he's ready to turn Iraq over to Shiite rule. On Dec. 22 a wave of 16 bomb attacks in mostly Shiite neighborhoods of Bagdead, Irock kill 69 - Iraq is on the verge of civil war? On Dec. 25 two mortars hit the 3K-person Camp Ashraf, Iraq 40 mi. from Baghdad, home to the dissident People's Mujahideen Org. of Iran (PMOI) days after the Iraq govt. extends a year-end deadline camp closure date. On Dec. 30 hundreds of Sunni Muslims in Baghdad celebrate the withdrawal of U.S. forces near the Abu Hanifa Mosque in Azamiyah; Shiites don't join them; on Dec. 31 all U.S. troops must be withdrawn from Iraqi territory per the Status of Forces Agreement signed by U.S. pres. George W. Bush. On Dec. 31 Iraq PM Nouri al-Maliki declares Iraq Day marking the U.S. pullout and calling for the country to unite; meanwhile Sunnis in Shiite neighborhoods begin getting nervous and moving.
On Jan. 5, 2012 a wave of bombings in Shiite areas of Baghdad, Iraq kill 73 and wound scorses, incl. 44 killed and 81 wounded at a police checkpoint W of Nassiriya. On Jan. 9 (eve.) three car bombs in Baghdad, Iraq aimed at Shiites kill 17+; on Jan. 12 Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan warns Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki that this actions in removing Sunnis from the govt. are retreating Iraq from democracy; on Jan. 14 al-Maliki criticizes Turkey for its "surprise interference" in its internal affairs. On Jan. 14 a Sunni suicide bomber detonates among a group of Shiite pilgrims near Basra, Iraq, killing 53. On Jan. 15 Sunni suicide bombers in military uniforms attack a mainly Shiite police HQ in Ramadi, Iraq, killing 10. On Jan. 17 Iraq accuses Turkey of meddling with Iraqi politics. On Jan. 17 Iraq's Shiite-majority cabinet suspends Sunni Iraqiya bloc ministers after they boycott it to protest the arrest warrant for Sunni vice-pres. Tareq al-Hashemi. On Jan. 18 two Katyusha rockets are fired at the Turkish embassy in Baghdad, Iraq; one hits, causing no injuries. On Jan. 24 a wave of car bombings in Baghdad, Iraq kills 14 and wounds 70+; this makes 170+ killed since Jan. 1 after U.S. soldiers left on Dec. 18. On Jan. 27 an al-Qaida suicide car bomber at a Shiite funeral procession in Baghdad, Iraq kills 33 in an effort to provoke a counterattack by Shiite militias on Sunnis. On Feb. 23 a series of attacks across Iraq kill 60+ and injure 200+. On Mar. 21 reports that Islamists in Iraq are killing Emos (Westernized youths) by crushing their skulls with cement blocks to terrorize them. On July 23 a coordinated series of 37 attacks in Iraq against the Iraq security force and Shiite communities kill 116 and injure 299, becoming the greatest death toll since the May 2010 U.S. withdrawal; ISIS claims responsibility.
On Jan. 3, 2014 an al-Qaida force captures Fallujah, Iraq; on Jan. 5 U.S. secy. of state John Kerry utters the soundbyte: "This is a fight that belongs to the Iraqis … We are not contemplating returning. We will help them in their fight, but this fight, in the end, they will have to win and I am confident they can." On Jan. 11 four detained Shiite Iraqi soldiers are murdered by the Sunni Al Dalim tribe in Anbar Province, Iraq, increasing sectarian tensions. On Jan. 13 a car bomb on a crowded street in Baghdad, Iraq during a visit by U.N. secy.-gen. Ban Ki-moon kills six and injures 13. On Mar. 9 a suicide minibus at a crowded security checkpoint in the Shiite town of Hillah, Iraq kills 42 and injures 57. On Apr. 25 the Deputies Committee of senior U.S. policy officials meets in Washington, D.C. to discuss the deteriorating situation in Iraq; meanwhile the U.S. quietly expands the number of intel officers in Iraq - it's safe to dance? On June 6 two ISIS (ISIL) car bombs in Shabak, Iraq (E of Mosul) kill 25 and injure 35; on June 6 Iraqi troops repel an ISIS assault on Mosul, Iraq; on June 9 after the 30K-man U.S.-trained Iraqi army cuts and runs, 2K ISIS militants led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi overrun parts of Mosul and seize the provincial govt. HQ along with $429M in gold and a large store of weapons incl. 2.3K Humvees, causing PM Nouri al-Maliki to ask parliament to declare a state of emergency while thousands flee; on June 10 ISIS captures Mosul; on June 11 ISIS abducts 49 members of the Turkish consulate, while occupying Tikrit; on June 12 ISIS issues a decree ordering unmarried women into "sex jihad" with the fighters; on June 12 Iraqi Kurds seize control of Kirkuk while ISIS rebels advance toward Baghdad and Iraqi troops cut and run, causing Pres. Obama to consider air-drone strikes and other aid short of troops, while Iran sends 150 elite Rev. Guard troops to defend Baghdad, and on June 13 Iraq's top Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali Al Sistani issues a call to Iraqis to take up arms against the Sunni rebels; on June 13 (Fri.) Pres. Obama gives a press conference outside the White House with his big heli in the background, saying that the U.S. won't send troops to Iraq because the Iraqis must take full responsibility for their own security, with the soundbyte "We can't do it for them", although he is looking at a "range of options"; on June 15 a video is pub. showing Shiite Iraqi soldiers rounded up and shot Nazi-style in Salahuddin Province N of Baghdad, pissing-off Shiites and pumping them up to resist; meanwhile 440K+ are displaced by the fighting in Anbar Province.
On June 21, 2014 ISIS captures the oil refinery in Baiji, Iraq, Iraq's largest, which supplies 320K barrels of oil a day, and one-third of its fuel oil. On June 21 the Pentagon declassifies a report from the Nat. Ground Intelligence Center, which contains the soundbyte: "Since 2003 Coalition forces have recovered approximately 500 weapons munitions which contain degraded mustard or sarin nerve agent. Despite many efforts to locate and destroy Iraq's pre-Gulf War chemical munitions, filled and unfilled pre-Gulf War chemical munitions are assessed to still exist" - Bush didn't lie, he just withheld intel even though it made him look like an ass? On June 22 Pres. Obama gives a speech defending his handling of the Iraq crisis, saying that he rejects a "whack-a-mole strategy" for fighting Islamist extremists. On June 23 U.S. secy. of state John Kerry visits Baghdad, and meets with Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki, urging him to give more govt. power to Sunnis before the Sunni insurgency "sweeps away hopes for lasting peace". On June 28 the Iraqi army claims to rout Sunni militants in Tikrit, Iraq; the rebels deny it. On June 29 (1st day of Ramadan) the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria/Levant (ISIS/ISIL) releases an audio message by Abu Muhammad Al-'Adnani declaring a new Islamic caliphate under the name Islamic State (ISIS) (Daash), with leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi (Ibrahim Awwad Ibrahim Ali al-Badri al-Samarrai) (1971-) as caliph, ordering all Muslims to pledge allegiance "so that you may return to [the position] you once held for ages", becoming the first such declaration in the Arab world since the fall of the Ottoman Empire, announcing "the end of Sykes-Picot"; on July 1 Al-Baghdadi announces that all Muslims capable of immigration to the Islamic State are required to do so; meanwhile the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights announces that ISIS crucified eight rebel fighters in Aleppo Province, Syria on June 28 for being too moderate; on June 30 the Islamic State raises its flag in Tell Abyad, Syria near Akcakale, Turkey; at the start of Ramadan Adnani announces a plan to reconquer Spain by 2020. On June 29 an annual rally by 30K held by the Nat. Council of Resistance of Iran in Villepinte, France calls for regime change in Iran, backing the dissident Mujahedin-e Khalq opposition group. In June violence in Iraq kills 2.4K.
On July 1, 2014 the first session of the Iraqi parliament since Apr. sees Sunni Muslim and Kurdish members walk out. On July 2 Iraqi Shiite PM Nouri Al-Maliki offers amnesty to Sunni tribes who "return to their senses", but refuses to step down. On July 8 Iraq U.N. ambassador Mohamed Ali Alhakim circulates a letter with the news that "armed terrorist groups" have seized a former chemical weapons facility NW of Baghdad. On July 9 Iraqi officials discover 50 mainly blindfolded bodies of men aged 25-40 in an agricultural area outside the Shiite city of Hillah, Iraq 60 mi. S of Baghdad. On July 12 gunmen attack two apt. bldgs. in Zayouna, Baghdad, Iraq killing 33 incl. 29 women. On July 18 after ISIS captures Mosul, Iraq, Christians begin fleeing after an ultimatum to leave or convert to Islam, causing Chaldean Patriarch Louis Sako to utter the soundbyte: "For the first time in the history of Iraq, Mosul is now empty of Christians"; deputy dir. Zuhair Shurba announces that fleeing Christians can find refuge in the Shrine of Imam Ali in Karbala. On July 20 the deadline for reaching a deal on Iran in the P5+1 negotiations. On July 24 gunmen attack a prisoner convoy N of Baghdad, Iraq, with 52 prisoners and eight soldiers killed in the gun battle. On July 24 ISIS blows up the 8th cent. B.C.E. Mosque of the Prophet Younis (Jonah) in Mosul, Iraq. On July 31 in an unprecedented move, six top grand ayatollahs announce public support for Iraqi Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Sistani, indirectly calling for PM Nouri Al-Maliki to go take a liki, er, hiki.
On Aug. 5, 2014 after a month-long siege to starve them out, causing some women to throw their children from the top of Sinjar Mt., ISIS fighters begin exterminating thousands of 30K heterodox Muslim Yazidis trapped on Mt. Sinjar, Iraq, incl. a smattering of Christian families; on Aug. 6-7 200K Christians flee the Nineveh Plain in Iraq; on Aug. 7 calling the situation "close to a humanitarian catastrophe", Pres. Obama authorizes air drops to save the Yazidis, authorizing air strikes on "barbaric" ISIS to protect the Kurdish city of Erbil (Irbil); on Aug. 8 (6:45 a.m.) the first U.S. airstrike is performed against ISIS positions near Erbil; on Aug. 9 Pres. Obama utters the soundbyte that the airstrikes may continue for months; on Aug. 13 after sending in advisors along with humanitarian food-water airdrops, the Pentagon announces that the Mt. Sinjar siege is over, stopping the rescue mission. On Aug. 7 ISIS captures the Kurdish-held city of Qaraqosh, Iraq, Iraq's largest Christian city (pop. 50K). On Aug. 10 U.S. Sen. (R-S.C.) Lindsey Graham utters the soundbyte that it isn't enough for Pres. Obama to provide limited military aid to Iraq, because if he doesn't crush ISIS now "then he will have committed a blunder for the ages." On Aug. 11 Pres. Obama calls to offer his support to Haider Al-Abadi (1952-), the nominee to take over as PM of Iraq, urging him to form an inclusive govt. along with Sunnis and Kurds. On Aug. 13 the U.N. declares the situation in Iraq a Level 3 Emergency. On Aug. 14 clashes between ISIS and Iraqi troops W of Baghdad, Iraq kill at least four children. On Aug. 15 after giving them option of converting to Sunni Islam or dying, ISIS kills 80 Yazidis in Sinjar, Iraq. is pub., calling for use of deadly force on peaceful protesters? On Aug. 16 U.S. planes carry out air strikes in N Iraq near the ISIS-held Mosul Dam, with Iraqi and Kurdish Peshmerga forces following up, capturing it on Aug. 17. On Aug. 18 Pres. Obama announces that the U.S. won its mission in Iraq, and is only sending a token force to kick the butts of the "savages" in asshole, er, ISIL (ISIS). On Aug. 18 Pope Francis endorses the use of force to stop Islamic militants from attacking religious minorities in Iraq, but leaves it to the internat. country to decide how, adding that it is legitimate to "stop the unjust aggressor", but that "to stop" doesn't mean "to bomb". On Aug. 24 (eve.) after 2K Christian families abandon Bartella, Iraq to join 60K Christians who also fled there, a bomb explodes in a busy thoroughfare in Erbil, Iraq, becoming the Islamic State's first attack, shocking the city. On Aug. 30 the U.S. launches air strikes at ISIS fighters sieging the ethnic Turkmen town of Amerli, Iraq, creeping from its original mission of protecting U.S. personnel in Erbil.
On Sept. 10, 2014 Pres. Obama gives his ISIS Speech, outlining his plans for air strikes in Syria and deployment of 475 more military advisers in Iraq (joining the 1K+ already there), but denying that the U.S. is renewing the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, saying that the U.S. is building a global coalition to "degrade and ultimately destroy" ISIS, which won't incl. Syria ("an Assad regime that terrorizes its own people"), warning that "eradicating a cancer" like Isis will be a long-term challenge even at the risk of some U.S. troops, with the soundbyte: "This is a core principle of my presidency: If you threaten America, you will find no safe haven", and adding that the er, crusade "will not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil", asking Congress for $500M to train and equip anti-Assad and anti-ISIS Syrian rebels, with Saudi Arabia agreeing to host their training camps. On Sept. 18 ISIS stages an unsuccessful attack on Adala Prison in Kadhmiya, N Baghdad, Iraq, and another in the Iskan neighborhood of Baghdad, home of the offices of the Shiite Badr Org.
In Jan. 2015 violence in Iraq kills 1,375 and injures 2,240.
On Feb. 4, 2015 after soldiers protest, NBC News anchor Brian Williams admits to making up a story that he was in a U.S. heli that was attacked by RPGs in Iraq in 2003, when he actually was safe in another heli; on Feb. 7 he takes a temporary leave of absence; on Feb. 10 he is suspended without pay for 6 mo. On Feb. 17 Iraqi police chief Col. Qasim al-Obeidi announces the burning alive of 50 people by ISIS in Hit, Iraq 85 mi. W of Baghdad. On Feb. 25 videos are released showing ISIS destroying the Mosul Museum in Iraq, smashing priceless Assyrian antiquities; meanwhile in Feb. Iraq's Nat. Museum in Baghdad reopens after 15K items were stolen in 2003.
On Mar. 1, 2015 Iraq announces that it has sent 27K troops to retake Tikrit from ISIS.
In Apr.-May 2015 the U.S.-Iraqi Mosul Offensive by 20K-25K mainly Iraqi and Kurdish troops takes on 1K-2K ISIS fighters, who took Mosul last June; too bad, after criticism about giving the plan away in Feb., the offensive is suspended indefinitely at the end of Feb.
On May 3-9, 2015 Iraqi Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani visits Pres. Obama at the White House, requesting assistance in fighting ISIS.
On May 11, 2015 former Fla. gov. Jeb Bush gives an interview to Megyn Kelly of Fox News, saying that he would have authorized the invasion of Iraq, but once Sodam Insane was removed there wasn't enough focus on security. On May 14 after Iraqi troops drop their weapons and run, allowing them to rearm, ISIS begins occupying Ramadi, Iraq 70 mi. from Baghdad, capturing the police HQ and the Ramadi Great Mosque, taking the whole town by May 17; the U.S. allowed ISIS to capture it?; on May 21 Pres. Obama utters the soundbyte: "We're not losing the war against ISIS" - no, but it is winning? On June 3 U.S. Gen. John Allen praises a new fund set up by UAE and Germany to restore infrastructure in parts of Iraq cleared of ISIS. On June 8 Pres. Obama attends the G-7 Summit in Kruen, Germany, uttering the soundbyte: "We don't yet have a complete strategy" for fighting ISIS "because it requires commitments on the part of the Iraqis." On June 11 after 4.5K U.S. coalition air strikes, ISIS releases a 29-min. propaganda film celebrating the first anniv. of the capture of Mosul, Iraq, which it considers the founding moment of the caliphate. On June 17 the U.S. House votes 288-139 votes down a resolution to remove U.S. armed forces from Iraq and Syria by Dec. 31. On June 17 the U.S. House votes 288-139 votes down a resolution to remove U.S. armed forces from Iraq and Syria by Dec. 31. On June 29 UNESCO condemns ISIS for its "barbaric assaults" on World Heritage sites in Syria and Iraq, saying that they may amount to war crimes.
On July 4-17, 2015 five U.S. air strikes on ISIS in Iraq and Syria result in the death of only two civilians and injures to four more, with USAF Col. Pat Ryder calling Operation Inherent Resolve (begun Aug. 2014) the most precise aerial campaign in history. On July 6 45 ISIS terrorists are killed by food poisoning after taking their Iftar meal in Mosul, Iraq. On July 6 Pres. Obama gives a press briefing about the ISIS, uttering the soundbyte: "So the additional steps I ordered last month, we're speeding up training of ISIL forces including volunteers from Sunni tribes in Anbar Province", after which the White House Web site changes ISIL to Iraqi. On July 17 an ISIS suicide bomber in a cut-rate ice truck at a hot crowded mostly Shiite market in Khan Bani Saad, Iraq kills 115 and injures 100+. On July 19 a string of bomb explosions incl. two suicide attacks in Shiite neighborhoods Baghdad, Iraq kill 21 and injure 62. On July 24 after agreeing to open its S air bases to the U.S., the Turkish Air Force launches its first attack ISIS targets in Syria, with the intention of clearing a 60-mi. buffer zone along the border to use as a "safe zone" for displaced Syrians; on July 25 they bomb Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) positions in N Iraq, causing the Kurds to claim that the war on ISIS is a screen for attacking them; on July 30 after a Turkish soldier is killed by ISIS forces in the border town of Suruc, Turkey pounds ISIS positions. On July 25 two suicide bombers at a crowded swimming pool in Tuz Khurmatu, Iraq (110 mi. N of Baghdad) kill 12 and injure 45, mainly Turkmeni Shiites. On July 28 NATA hlds an emergency meeting and announces full support for Turkey in its fight against ISIS in Syria and Iraq; several nations urge Turkey not to squeeze the Kurds.
On Aug. 2-3, 2015 Yazidis hold rallies in Germany, Iraq, France, Switzerland, Armenia et al. to protest and stop genocide by ISIS in Iraq. On Aug. 13 (early a.m.) a truck bomb in a market in the Shiite-majority Sadr City area of Baghdad, Iraq kills 38 and injures 74; ISIS claims responsibility. On Aug. 16 days after Turkey agrees to allow the U.S. to launch air strike against ISIS in Syria from Incirlik AFB, the U.S. announces that it's pulling its Patriot missile systems out of Turkey out of concern for Turkish bombing of Kurds in Iraq. On Aug. 18 ISIS #2 man Fadhil Ahmad al-Hayali (Hajji Mutazz) is killed by a U.S. air strike near Mosul, Iraq along with ISIS media operative Abu Abdullah. On Aug. 27 a 6-man ISIS suicide assault on a military HQ near Ramadi, Anbar Province, Iraq kills senior Iraqi gens. Abdel Rahman Abu Raghif and Safin Abdel Majid.
On Oct. 5, 2015 a series of car bombings across Iraq kills 63 and injures dozens.
On Jan. 10, 2016 the U.S. military blows up a bldg. full of ISIS money in Mosul, Iraq. On Jan. 17 the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, Iraq confirms that "several" Americans have gone missing. On Jan. 18 the Iraqi govt. announces thei killing of ISIS 2nd deputy Assi Ali Mohammed Nasser al-Obeidi in an air strike in Barwana (E of Haditha), Iraq. On Jan. 19 the U.N. Assistance Mission for Iraq announces that the Iraq War has killed 18.8K and injured 36.2K civilians since the start of 2014, internally displacing 3.2M. On Jan. 20 the Pentagon announces that satellite photos confirm that ISIS has destroyed the 1,400-y.o. St. Elijah's Monastery in Mosul, Iraq, the country's oldest, with U.S. Col Steve Warren calling it "a battle of savagery against decency". In Feb. 670 people incl. 400+ civilians are killed in Iraq. On Mar. 2 the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee passes a bipartisan resolution declaring ISIS to be guilty of genocide "against Christians, Yezidis, and other religious and ethnic minorities in Iraq and Syria". On Mar. 6 a suicide bomber at a security checkpoint S of Baghdad, Iraq kills 47 and injures dozens. On Mar. 9 Repub. pres. candidate Donald Trump gives an interview to Anderson Cooper of CNN, uttering the non-PC soundbyte: "Islam hates us... there's a tremendous amount of hatred there", replying to Cooper's question if he thinks the hatred comes from Islam itself with the soundbyte: "You're gonna have to figure that out, okay? We have to be very vigilant. We have to be very careful, and we can't allow people coming into this county who have this hatred of the United States"; he adds that Pres. Bush's invasion of Iraq was the "worst decision in the history of the United States". On Mar. 12 (early a.m.) two ISIS chemical attacks in Taza, Iraq (near Kirkuk) kill a 3-y.-o. girl and injure 600, causing hundreds to flee. On Mar. 19 a lucky Katyusha rocket strike by ISIS kills U.S. soldier SSgt. Louis F. Cardin of Temecula, Calif. at Firebase Bell near Makhmur (45 mi. SE of Mosul) in N Iraq, becoming #2 since Aug. 2014; on Mar. 21 ISIS stages another attack on the base. On Mar. 25 an ISIS suicide bomber at a soccer stadium in Iskanderiyah, Iraq (30 mi. S of Baghdad) kills 29 and injures 60. On Apr. 4 suicide bomber inside a restaurant in Dhi Qar Province, Iraq s of Baghdad kills 14+. On Apr. 30 ISIS car-bombs an open air market filled with Shiites E of Baghdad, Iraq, killing 21 and injuring 42; on May 1 two car bombs in Samawah, Iraq kill 31 and injure dozens. On May 23 the Iraqi army launches a major assault on Fallujah, Iraq. On June 3 ISIS burns 19 young Yazidi girls alive in iron cages in Mosul, Iraq for refusing to become sex alaves. On June 26 Iraqi lt. gen. Abdul-Wahab al-Saadi declares Fallujah, Iraq to be "fully liberated" from ISIS. On July 2 (night) a suicide truck bombing in the busy Karrada neighborhood of Baghdad, Iraq kills 200 and injures 147. On July 3 (a.m.) a massive suicide bombing in C Baghdad, Iraq kills 250, becoming the deadliest since the 2003 invasion. On July 6 the 2.6M-word Chilcot Report, chaired by Sir John Chilcot (1939-) is pub., giving the results of the Iraq Inquiry announced on June 15, 2009 by PM Gordon Brown, detailing all the blunders made by the British govt. in the Iraq War in 2003-9 but clearing PM Tony Blair of crimes. On Aug. 10 a Repub. House task force pub. a report claiming that the U.S. Central Command doctored reports on progress against ISIS in Syria and Iraq to make a rosier picture, but stops short of blaming the White House.
On Feb. 23, 2017 U.S.-backed Iraqi forces retake the airport in Mosul, Iraq from ISIS. On Feb. 27 after Pres. Trump gives them 30 days, the Pentagon announces their new plan to "soundly and quickly" defeat ISIS, shifting from flushing ISIS out of safe locations in an attrition fight to surrounding them in their strongholds and annihilating them. On June 30 Iraqi forces recapture the ancient mosque in Mosul where ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Bahdad made his first public appearance three years earlier. On July 10 the White House announces the liberation of Mosul, Iraq from ISIS control by Iraqi and U.S. forces. On Oct. 5 U.S. officials announce the capture of Hawija, Iraq, the last major Iraqi town held by ISIS. On Oct. 16 the 2016-7 Battle of Mosul to retake Mosul, Iraq from ISIS in Iraq begins with the Iraqi gov. offensive named Operation We Are Coming, Nineveh, becoming the world's largest single military operation since the 2003 Iraq invasion; it ends next July 20 after 9 mo. 4 days.
On Feb. 5, 2018 an Iraqi govt. spokesman announces to the AP that U.S. troops have started to draw down from Iraq after Baghdad's declaration of victory over ISIS last year. On May 1 a police station in Mosul, Iraq is attacked; on May 2 a terrorist shooting N of Baghdad kills and injures several civilians.