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IRAQ HISTORY, A GUIDE TO UNDERSTANDING TODAY'S SITUATION IN IRAQ
L A May 8th, 2007

IRAQI HISTORY

President Bush and Vice President Cheney deliberately lied to the American People about weapons of mass destruction and Saddam Hussein’s support of Al Quaida in Iraq. Unfortunately IRAQ is now crucial to the USA. As of today May 1, 2007 67% of Americans disapprove of the way the President is conducting the war in Iraq.
IRAQ is now an important country for the American people, and studying its history is crucial to understanding the predicament George Bush Junior has imposed on the American people.

However an analytical study of Iraq encompassing the period before the advent of the Muslim religion on to the present shows that in fact it is not Iraq that is a threat to the USA, it is IRAN.
The study of the History of these two countries that share a long border today but in the past were one country will help understand the difficult situation the United States is in.
Because the USA is in Iraq we will study the interactions between IRAN and IRAQ as well as their religion from the point of view of IRAQ. For ease of understanding we will use the term IRAQ to describe the territory that is roughly modern IRAQ even though it had different names in ancient times

The goal of this analytical history of Iraq is to offer information to the American People that can help them understand the war in Iraq. We will develop in more detail the historical facts that are even today influencing the situation in Iraq.

BEFORE WE ENTER THE REALM OF HISTORY EVENTS IN IRAQ HAVE MADE US AWARE THAT:
FUNDAMENTALIST BELIEVERS IN THE MUSLIM RELIGION DO NOT WANT ANY AMERICANS OR NON MUSLIMS IN THEIR REGION.
AND THAT IRAN IS BENT ON CONQUERING PART OF IRAQ OR THE WHOLE IRAQ.

We are going to add Historical facts to the two elements that have defined Iraq for numerous centuries and are a very important influence today.
PERSIANS AGAINST ARABS
SHIAS AGAINST SUNNIS

It is difficult to forget that Iraq called “the cradle of civilization" was known as Mesopotamia or: " the land between the two rivers" which are the Tigris and the Euphrates. Iraq or Mesopotamia was one of the rare lands in the region with plenty of water and rich soil and could have been described as blessed by the Gods for its riches and cursed by the Gods for the envy it has always triggered from its neighbors. In addition modern Iraq has enormous wealth because it has lot of oil.

One of the most significant elements that underline the war in Iraq today is the Muslim Religion.
The Muslim faith was born and established by the Prophet Mohammad in 622 AD. The Muslim Calendar begins in 622 AD which marks the emigration of Mohammad from Mecca to Medina known as the Hijira. Of course the birth of one of the most important religions in the world is significant, but even more significant to the USA which is enmeshed in at war that involves the two main components of Islam that are the most extreme: The Fundamentalist SHIAS and the Fundamentalist SUNNIS.

The fact that the Muslim Religion fractured into two different factions shortly after the death of the Prophet Mohammad is important because when these fundamentalist Muslims do not kill Americans they kill each other by the hundreds each and every month in Iraq.
At the time of his death the Prophet Muhammad had conquered the Arabian Peninsula and converted the inhabitants of the Arabian to Islam. He was an Arab and almost all of his original followers were Arabs.

His first successor was Abu Bakr his father in law who was named a Caliph which is the equivalent of a governor or king who has absolute power. It was mostly a secular title that also included religious duties. The Caliph was the ruler of all the lands they conquered and controlled. The second Caliph was Umar who succeeded Abu Bakr and achieved the conquest of Iraq which was at that time part of Iran. Iraq was inhabited by Iranians composed of Christians and Jews. Christians were left alone if they agreed to pay a special tax for non-believers.

In the Muslim world but for very rare exceptions one will never know where secular power begins and where religious power begins and which one will dominate the other.
Believing that there was or is some sort of separation of religion and state is one of the main mistakes Americans and Europeans have made in attempting to understand and negotiate with Muslim Arab States.

We enter now a second phase of the Islamic evolution that reverberates today in the massacres that are happening in Iraq between Shias and Sunnis. The origin of the schism is purely and simply a family feud between factions related to Mohammad vying for the power of the Caliphate which controlled the riches and land they controlled. This feud has been painted later with religious connotations but it was a feudal power struggle of similar to the ones that happened in the courts of many European kings.

When the third Caliph Uthman was elected he was opposed by Ali the son of the Prophet Mohammad's daughter. Poorly paid malcontents Bedouin soldiers found a spokesman in the person of Ali. The Caliph Uthman made promises to them that were not kept. Under Ali's guidance they besieged Medina and killed Uthman. Ali then became Caliph.
Muawiya a kinsman of the slain caliph Uthman rebelled against Ali and they clashed in a large battle. On the verge of defeat Muawiya demanded arbitration and Ali accepted by. Part of Ali’s own troops named the Kharajites rebelled against Ali because he had accepted arbitration instead of continuing the battle; then Ali asked them to reunite with him to fight. They refused and he massacred them. This massacre angered most of his troops who deserted him.
The Caliphate was divided with Muawiya Caliph in Egypt and Ali Caliph in Iraq.
Both tried to foment trouble for the other and Ali was assassinated by a Kharajites in 661, and his son died soon after him. It took only 30 years to tear apart the Muslim unity that Ali built.

Ali's death insured his status as a Martyr and Shias means follower of Ali. The Shia declaration of faith is: "There is no God but God; Muhammad is his Prophet and Ali is the Saint of God."

Once Ali was dead Muawiya was declared Caliph of all territories. Ali’s second son Hussein rebelled against Muawiya's son Yazid. Karbala became sacred land for the Shias when Hussein and a small contingent were defeated and massacred. Hussein's head was brought to Yazid.

In 750 a new dynasty the Caliphate of the Abbasids founded Bagdad. The Caliphate was named after Abbas who came from the North and followed the Sunni religion but had ancestral ties with the Shia believers in Baghdad. Abbas’ successor A Mansour made Bagdad the capital and under the rule of the six next Abbasid Caliphs the region was enormously prosperous. One of the Caliphs, Haroun al Rashid, was portrayed in the legend of the one thousand and one nights.

Culture and science were developed in important ways.
The Abbasid Dynasty continued under seven Caliphs until 1250. Starting with the death of Al Mamun in 833 the Caliphs began to lose power and territory. They ended up being figureheads placed for convenience by the Turks - Mameluks, then by Iranians Shias, then by Seljuk Turks.

In 1258 Hulagu Khan the grandson of Genghis Khan came to the Arab Peninsula with his Mongol Army leaving a path of massacres and destruction. Another Mongol Tamerlane continued to destroy and massacre finally devastating the center of advanced culture and the riches that were Baghdad. The prosperous country that was Iraq was transformed and was a collection of poor tribes until 1500

Between 1534 and 1916 Iraq became the battleground between the Turkish Empire and the Iranian Empire, many battles were fought in Iraq, and Iraq and its capital Baghdad were occupied alternatively by the Sunni Turks and by the Shias Iranians further exacerbating the rivalry between the two religious sects.
However the Turks prevailed in the end and established a bureaucracy whose example pervaded in ensuing years.

In 1917 the Turks who were allied with Nazi Germany were defeated by the English Army who conquered Baghdad. The English following a resolution of the League of Nations established a protectorate or a governorship of modern day Iraq.
There were many insurrections some of which were close to being successful but none succeeded, and were repressed by the English. Oil was discovered in Iraq.
Finally, in 1930 a treaty was signed that guaranteed independence in Iraq.
Iraq actually gained its independence in 1933 and was governed by King Faisal followed by King Ghazi. Then infant King Faisal II and his regents ruled a country very much divided by the differing goals of various sects, tribes and ethnicities.

However as has always happened Iraq found a new unity against an old invader.
In order to thwart Iraq’s tendency to ally itself with German in 1941 England invaded Iraq again and set up a monarch who was only a figurehead.
Difficult years ensued but around 1950 oil revenues increased significantly. However the oil revenues were diverted by the extremely corrupt elite setting the stage for an uprising of the masses. Prime minister Nuri Al Said who ruled for a long time become more and more oppressive.

In 1958 a coup led by military commanders proclaimed a Republic. Brigadier Quasim became the leader of Iraq. He was a man of humble origins who increasingly turned to communism. He was killed in 1963, and a succession of military coups and military regimes kept Iraq in a situation of weakness and quasi anarchy.

From 1968 until 1979 we see a concurrent reinforcement of the Baath secular party and the emergence of Saddam Hussein along with the usual tensions in a Military Junta and a strong containment of the Kurds. However Saddam Hussein developed the economy and improved Iraq’s regional stature as well as working on an Iraq - Iran rapprochement.
In 1980 the IRAQI Shias more and more followed the tendencies of the IRANIAN Shias government led by the Ayatollah Khomeini.

In 1980, afraid to lose his dominance over the Shias population who outnumbered his Sunni followers, Saddam declared war on IRAN. The war ended in 1987 in a stalemate after generating more than two million casualties and debilitating the economy.
It is interesting to note that the USSR was the main weapon provider to Iran, but all major European nations and the USA supported Saddam Hussein with money, trade and arms during this war. In the USA side, one of the highest ranking american who went to Bahgdad to shake hand with Saddam Hussein was Dick Cheney.

Not long after in 1990 Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait and was soundly beaten by a real coalition of 28 allied nations led by the USA and fully backed by the UN using the doctrine of overwhelming force designed by Colin Powell. President Bush the elder wise man did not conquered Baghdad or Iraq in its entirety but established a successful policy of containment through the UN.

In 2003 without the backing of the UN President Bush Junior lied to the American People in order to lure them into supporting the invasion of Iraq under the false pretense of Iraq’s possessing weapons of mass destruction which they did not have. President and Vice President Dick Cheney also made the case for the war saying that Saddam Hussein supported Al Quaida terrorists who destroyed New York’s World Trade Center Towers on 9/11. This assumption was also proven to be absolutely false. In addition President Bush called a coalition of the willing a joke of a patchwork of insignificant states but for Great Britain. To make matters worse, President Bush invaded Iraq with 150,000 troops a force small enough to make sure that the war would not be won which is the case as of May 1, 2007.

Below is a timeline for the History buff. It outlines the Ancient History of Iraq or Mesopotamia as the cradle of civilization.
This History of the most ancient civilisation has a couple of jewels worth reading .

Mesopotamia, modern day Iran means the land between two rivers which are the Tigris and the Euphrates.
Mesopotamia is the cradle of civilization where historians believed that human began to form what we call a civilization.
The origins of civilization are dated between 6000 BC and 5000 BC the Sumerians a non- Semitic people began a form of written communication that evolved into cuneiform texts around 2500 BC when the Epic of Gilgamesh was written, a long poem describing the exploits of a hero. The Sumerians also invented irrigation, the wheel, astronomy, arithmetic, and organized religion. They established the first city states and fought each other on a regular basis.
The AMORITES, a Semitic people, succeeded them from 2000 BC to 1600 BC but continued their culture.
One of their Kings Hammurabi established one of the most comprehensive legal codes of his time and established a strong administration that changed the prevailing organization of the city states.

The Hittites reigned in the region from 1600 to 1200 BC by military conquest but left no cultural or monumental imprint

From 1200 BC to 600 BC the Assyrians a people perceived as accomplished but cruel warriors conquered the region and founded Nineveh their capital city.
Their rule was perceived as so cruel that after their demise all their constructions were razed.
Around 539 BC Persians established their domination over ancient Iraq. It was the reign of Cyrus the Great, then Darius then Xerxes then Cyrus the young.
The Persian Empire was the greatest known until that time and Iraq was a province.
The first emperor Cyrus the Great was a follower and promoter of a religion called Zoroastrianism named after its founder Zarathustra.
It is an important religion because it is probably the foundation of Christianity and Islam. Zoroastrianism religion has the god of Evil opposing the god of good in an incessant fight and Cyrus the Great saw that it was his mission to fight against evil, and he was thus the first Crusader with a fierce will to disseminate his religion around the known world.

In 330 the Greek Alexander the Great defeated Darius III at Issus taking control of the Persian Empire including Iraq. Alexander the Great did not impose a harsh rule on his Iraqi subjects and let them follow their religions and customs.

Following Alexander one of his generals founded the Seleucid Dynasty a Persian Greek dynasty that ruled Iran and Iraq from approximatively 312 BC to 247 AD regions of the Empire which were mostly inhabited by Persians at this time.
After the Seleucides came the Parthians and as almost all their archives were destroyed little is know beside the fact that they were implacable warriors as well as feared rulers. They ruled from 247 BC until 228 AD

After the Parthians came the Saasanides an Iranian Dynasty claiming that they were the descendant od the great Persian Emperors such as Darius the Great.
Around these times in Iraq a prophet Mani created a religion which blended Zorostrianism, Judaism, Christianity and Buddhism. The religion was called Manichaeism and one of its fundamental principles is the constant fight between good and evil but evidently the tolerance of other religions, this new religion with a new concept became very popular and temporarily revolutionozed the society until Conservatism took over again..
200 years later during the same dynasty Another prophet Mazlak advocated the abolition of private property, the division of wealth and non violence.
Mazlak had invented socialism 1400 years before Karl Marx
One of their king King Anushiravan developed education, scientific and medical research, and philosophy and literature.
They had a dynasty of thirty kings and it was the longest period when almost all Iraq was ruled by Iranian.
The Sassanides conquered and ruled the region from 227 to 638 AD
If we put together the periods in ancient History and History when Iraq was a province of the Iranian Empire or Iraq was dominated by rulers from Iran we have more than 1000 years of Iranian domination over Iraq.
THAT GIVES THE IRANIAN A STRONG CLAIM TO IRAQI TERRITORIES.

Then we have the advent of Islam.

Eric Lafayette

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VICE PRESIDENT CHENEY READY FOR ASYLUM OR JAIL
Los Angeles, January 29th 2007

Wolf Blitzer’s last interview with Vice President Dick Cheney on January 24, 2007 has confirmed what many of us had already observed in the Vice President’s behavior.

The Vice President’s states of denial and disillusionment have reached the level of insanity.

The observation first came based on the fact that Vice President Cheney’s entourage is made up of courtesans who blindly support him.
An interview with his wife showed that she stands by her man, no matter how wrong he is.
Standing by your man when almost 70% of the nation believes he is wrong shows that the group very close to Vice President Cheney has abandoned rational thinking.
His other closest adviser Mary Matalin has shown an unsurpass ed degree of aggressiveness in defending VP Dick Cheney demonstrating that she supports him blindly as well.

By always agreeing with Vice President Cheney, by always demolishing his critics and by never offering a perspective different from the Vice President’s ideas and supporting him these advisors have contributed to the creation of a monster afflicted with the Idi Amin syndrome.
Idi Amin was a dictator who was so delusional that he believed himself to be above all laws and exempt from all rational behaviors.

One of the elements that tipped observers to Vice President Cheney’s state of denial was learning from his cabinet that when traveling
the Vice President of the USA requested that the TV set in his hotel room be preset to the Fox News Channel.
This is extremely telling.
The Vice President could change the channel when it was not set to the Fox News Channel, but if the set was not programmed to the Fox News Channel he would be exposed to another channel for a few seconds and probably another news channel would give him a view of the world that was in contradiction to his own views that are shared totally by Fox News.
His state of denial is so huge that he cannot stand to be exposed even for a few seconds to a channel other than Fox News, the amplifier and megaphone for the government’s failed policies.
Vice President Cheney finds solace and comfort in the Fox News cable channel, a channel that shares his values.
Fox Channel has been as efficient in its relentless debasing and destruction of the USA as Vice President Cheney has been.

We now know that Vice President Cheney was engaged in character assassination in targeting Valerie Plane's Husband Joseph Wilson.
His unethical, aggressive and unacceptable behavior toward Joseph Wilson and Valerie Plane is totally similar to the character assassination methods used constantly by Fox News Cable anchor men like Bill O Reilly who is an example of the Kings of the Sewer that Vice President Dick Cheney loves reveling in.
Bill O Reilly and Rush Limbaugh have head starts on character assassination, but the Vice President of the USA has caught up with them.
Birds of a feather flock together. Even though it is disgusting for news anchors to engage in character assassination, SUCH BEHAVIOR IS ABSOLUTELY UNFORGIVABLE FOR THE VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
With the power at the disposition of Vice President Cheney if he is even indirectly responsible for leaking the name of CIA undercover agent Valerie Plane then he not only engaged in character assassination, but by pushing to expose an undercover agent to her potential enemies, a pure and simple attempt at physical assassination.

What we know now is that he was trying to harm Valerie Plane’s husband Joseph Wilson as much as he could, and he made that abundantly clear to his staff and employees who were sent on a mission to harm Joseph Wilson and may have decided that one of the best ways to harm Joseph Wilson was to harm his wife Valerie Plane.
Best case scenario for Vice President Cheney is that by relentlessly pushing to harm Joseph Wilson he motivated his staff to harm anybody close to Joseph Wilson and of course his wife would be the best target because she was at his mercy and at the mercy of his staff.
Worst case scenario Vice President Cheney through his closest henchmen or henchwomen directed the revelation of Valerie Plane’s identity as a covert CIA agent.
By acting in this fashion directly or indirectly the closest adviser to the President and the second most powerful person in the USA betrayed a soldier of the USA setting her up as a target for potential enemies.

The Constitution of the USA is very well designed however we have seen in the past with President Nixon and now President Bush and Vice President Cheney that a mockery can be made of the Constitution of the USA by those in the highest offices.
Will Vice President Cheney be successful in being above the law in his abuse of power? We will see in the following months if the trial of his assistant, Scooter Libby, will reveal the depth of the illegal and unethical conduct the Vice President has been engaged in.
This will be a very important test for American Democracy.


Best regards
Eric Lafayette

Our website about History of Democracy and News on Iraq is: http://www.fordemocracy.com
Our website about Environment and The path to the Iraqi war is: http;//www.alltheperspectives.com
E-mail address: ericlafayette@fordemocracy.com

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LAWFUL LIMITED MILITARY ACTION VERSUS TOTAL WAR

LA, 02/20/2003

The USA is a nation of Laws, some people could say a Nation of Lawyers. The obligation to go through the law is repeated and enforced from childhood to death on all Americans.

All civilized Nations are aiming towards a world were conflicts will be regulated and solved by following the rule of, in case of world crisis, international law and the center of this process is the United Nations.
President Bush and his close advisers in the beginning regarding the crisis with Iraq were vehemently opposed to go through the United Nations thus showing a profound contempt for international law .
The United Nations always try to solve problem by avoiding war. President Bush wanted this war so badly that he took the risk to shun the United Nations which is the organization responsible in solving crisis by law and by legislation

. He also with his policy turned against America, USA most important allies

To President Bush defense, in the past the United Nations have shown very often a weakness trend that led to inefficient results.

In any case however the first step should have been to go to the United Nation and explain the problem. On the contrary President Bush had to be dragged kicking and screaming by Colin Powell towards a path that led to consult the United Nations.
Why such an attitude and such a desire for war? One explanation resides in President Bush fears not to be reelected for a second term and a desire to finish the business his father has not finished.

What should the government of a Nation of law and lawyers had done with the Iraqi crisis? The Iraqi contrary to the previous golf war had not attacked any of the US allies. It is not a clear and immediate danger.

First the USA through the United Nation should have had Saddam Hussein indicted as a war criminal

Second and above all the prosecutors in that case the USA should have gone from the beginning towards the United Nations and say:
The UN passed an ordinance ( a law), a judgement that says that IRAQ must disarm and allow inspection of this disarmament.
Iraq is in complete violation of the Law because the inspectors are not even in Iraq anymore. Countless resolutions have been passed but none is enforced.
Is the United Nations ready to agree that it is necessary to enforce their own laws and judgements.
The Inspector regime due to obstruction of Iraq has failed to destroy Iraq illegal weapons.
The task of the UN is now to destroy these weapons.
The intelligence community can locate a number of site where weapons are located.
The intelligence community can locate a number of site were weapons could be located
The intelligence community has located a number of site were there is a small chance that weapons are located.

We the United Nations in the last 12 years have gone to extreme length to disarm Iraq through the UN inspectors. Iraq has rejected this peaceful avenue.
It is necessary that the law be applied thus we have to destroy the sites we believe contain illegal weapons.
Because Iraq refused to cooperate and renegade on his word to help destroy these weapons we have to destroy them with the means that are left to us.

It then becomes a Police operation on behalf of the United Nations. Instead of destroying the illegal weapons from the ground through the Inspectors, the UN planes will bomb them in order to destroy them.

Saddam Hussein has shown without any doubt that without the physical threat of force he will not disarm.

Only the visible and tangible preparation for war by the USA led him to accept Weapons inspectors.
Now we are in an inspection process that seems to work not perfectly but reasonably well.

Unfortunately the whole diplomatic process leading to the inspection process was a case in point of what not to do.
Instead as described above the USA should have presented its case to the United Nations and advocate for a police like operation and in the process would have  kept all his allied on board.

The UN will warn in general terms the Iraqi population and the Army that anybody working on, with, or near illegal weapons will be in danger to die because all suspect sites will be bombed including Saddam Hussein Palaces which are used from time to time to store weapons of mass destruction.

Cruise missiles and bombs will be released everyday in a small scale, about 10 to 20 a day, everyday until all suspected sites and their illegal weapons are destroyed or Saddam Hussein is ousted by his own people.
Many variations can be on the table if Saddam accept after an extended period of bombing the return of the Inspectors in the actual format or in a more developed format.

It is a modern version of siege warfare.

It has to be done with a surrounding of the border of Iraq with on one hand refugee camps and on the other hand patrol borders to arrest the ruling class escaping with weapons they can transfer to other countries.

It has to be done in the spirit of a law enforcement agency who is enforcing a court judgement.
Minimizing collateral civilian damages but destruction of all weapons and arrest of the criminals.


Basically it was a FOUR STEPS DISARMAMENT PROCESS.

         1) Go to the UN ask for enforcement of the destruction of the weapons of mass destruction by bombing the sites where they are suspected to be and at the same time indict Saddam Hussein as a war criminal.
         2) As Saddam Hussein continue his deception, start bombing his palaces which are or were hiding weapons of mass destruction and all other suspected sites.
        3) Continue pushing Saddam opposition to overthrow him and pushing his military to defect.
        4) Then and only then if nothing above worked start a Full Scale War.

                 If you analyze what the USA have done they did it upside down starting with the last step and putting it as the first step and then working their way backward. Strange vision for a foreign policy

It has to be shown to the world that Saddam Hussein does not deserve a full scale war. A full scale war will be perceived by the Muslim world as worth fighting against the USA and it is bestowing on Saddam Hussein too much of an Honor to deem him worth of a full scale war.
On the contrary an every day bombing of Saddam sites suspected of harboring weapons of mass destruction should be labeled as a simple police operation that will not even distract the USA everyday life and above all their economy.
It is the best way without any doubts to show the overwhelming superiority of the USA to the Arab world and North Korea. The USA will be sending the following message: We destroyed the illegal weapons, we followed the guidance of the United Nations all that without even breaking a sweat. That is the right message to send.
Terrorists action will increase but during and after a full scale war terrorism actions will increase even more and our allies will not be as willing to help.

It demands however a lot more intelligence, political talent, patience and courage than to go with a huge army and smash everything that moves regardless of the feelings and interests of his closest allies in and out the region and regardless of the consequences after the war. Unfortunately the latest is President Bush administration's way.

BOTTOM LINE
It would have been better in the beginning and not now and I emphasize not now because a major mess has already been created if the crisis had been treated with the UN as a Police operation. A police operation with relentless daily bombing and an army sitting outside Iraq to capture in their net the bad guys would have done the job. An army which would not have had to enter combat but which presence is necessary.
Destroying the illegal weapons is the task.
Due to President Bush lack of basic understanding of the art of warfare which is first and above all to win while shedding the less blood possible on your side and laying the premises for a better situation after the war we seem to be on our way to an unnecessary war which we will win but will turn 80% of the world against us and take us back to solving crisis by waging war first and then going backward.


Remember: after the Tragedy of 9/11/2001, 80% the People of the world were the friends of the USA, today 80% of the People of the world are unfriendly to the USA and it is President Bush policy that created that state.


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