KTFA (MilitiaMan, Don961 & Samson)


MilitiaMan:  It is not only about Iraq. The brick thrown into the pond has bigger effects than a pebble…That is to be considered at this stage.

As Petra and I have talked about. The effects of RI’s are global and will need the facilities that are in place to adjust accordingly by the rise in the tide..

All boats rise and fall with the tide. Some that are not tied down properly will not fair so well..

Those that are tied sternly to the bollard, will fair very well to the ebb and flow.. A good thing for us. As we have been secured to the deck of the back bone of the USA.. imo! ~ MM

Don961:  What are the dimensions of the Iraqi prime minister’s visit to Washington?

– 3 Days Ago

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi is preparing for a visit expected next weekend to Washington, in conjunction with an atmosphere of tension and ambiguity that prevails between the two countries, specifically with regard to the US military presence, while observers are likely to top the issue of Iranian influence in Iraq the scene of the talks between the two parties.

A White House statement stated that US President Donald Trump will receive the Iraqi Prime Minister on August 20 to discuss the challenges resulting from the Corona virus epidemic, security, energy and economic issues.

A critical stage

Perhaps the White House’s description of the visit as coming at a critical stage for the United States and Iraq alike, gives the impression that the decision-maker in Washington is seeking to find a decisive solution to the problem of the armed factions loyal to Iran in Iraq, where observers see that this appears as a condition of Washington in providing Support for Iraq, but at the same time it puts Al-Kazemi in front of major challenges that he may not be able to overcome, but another hypothesis indicated by observers is that the role of Al-Kazemi may not deviate from the framework of transmitting messages between Washington and Tehran, in an attempt to formulate understandings between the two parties that may include formulating a type From the settlement inside Iraq.

In the same context, professor of political science at the University of Baghdad, Iyad Al-Anbar, identifies two tracks for the upcoming meeting between Al-Kazemi and Trump. The first is that the Iraqi Prime Minister unilaterally conducts a serious dialogue with Washington to resolve the main files, and gives the impression of the American decision-maker that he is a strong and reliable partner. The second track is for Al-Kazemi to be satisfied with the task of receiving messages, and it is likely that the second track will be the closest.

Al-Ambar believes that “the purpose of the visit to Washington is not only related to the talks between the two parties within the framework of strategic dialogues. Rather, the American president would like to discuss ways to weaken Iran in the region before the next US elections,” noting that “Washington realizes that the dismantling of Iranian influence in the Middle East must To start with Iraq, which was the starting point for the growth of this influence from the ground up.

Al-Ambar added to “The Independent Arabia”: “The American administration wants to know the extent of Al-Kazemi’s ability and willingness to manage the file of the conflict with the armed factions, which seems even without a road map to resolve all these problems.”

Concerning the connection of the early elections file with that visit, Amber notes that “setting the date for elections by Al-Kazemi was an attempt to evade other obligations related to holding the protesters’ killers accountable and restricting weapons to the state’s hands, which might give Washington the impression that Al-Kazemi does not have a vision to resolve these problems. ”

New relationship boundaries

Observers believe that although Al-Kazemi does not intend to enter into an axis hostile to Iran, but he is moving towards trying to draw new boundaries for the relationship with it, and to reinforce the perception that Tehran’s interests in the country are linked to a strong Iraq that is open to the international community, but this matter may collide with the desire of the armed factions. Want to enter as an actor in managing Iraq’s external relations.

Despite the Iranian conviction to give Al-Kazemi a chance, the armed factions continue to hint at the issue of revenge for the assassination of the Iranian Quds Force commander, Qassem Soleimani, and the deputy head of the Popular Mobilization Authority, Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis, in the face of Al-Kazemi, which observers see as part of the carrot and stick game practiced by Tehran.

The writer and journalist Ahmed Hussein says that “the attempt to open up to the Gulf, even if it was limited to cooperation in the energy file, struck a warning bell in Tehran about the possibility that Iraq will give up part of the understandings with it in this context.”

Hussein added to “The Independent Arabia”: “Despite Iran’s understanding of a new approach in Iraq, it will continue to press through its allies regarding the American presence.” It is likely that Tehran will use the constant threat to remove the American forces to obstruct Al-Kazemi’s efforts to formulate understandings with Washington that may. Affect their interests.

Conditions for accepting the results of the negotiations

Although the first round of dialogues resulted in an agreement to reduce the number of American forces in the country and respect the decisions of the Iraqi parliament, the armed factions loyal to Iran seem insistent on including the scheduling of the withdrawal of US forces as a prerequisite for accepting the results of any negotiations between the two sides.

In conjunction with the announcement of the date of Al-Kazemi’s visit to Washington, the leader of the “Asaib Ahl al-Haq” movement, Qais Khazali, in a televised speech, linked the demilitarization of cities and the removal of American forces from the country.

Khazali continued, “We pledge to the leaders of victory (Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis) to expel the American forces from the country,” what observers see as a clear message to Al-Kazemi ahead of the upcoming visit to Washington.

Hussein notes that “Khazali’s statements also fall within the messaging war between Washington and Tehran, and include a clear message to the prime minister that Iraq’s foreign relations must be formulated according to a vision in which the pro-Iranian parties have a decisive word.”

Restoration of the rift between Baghdad and Washington

On the other hand, sources close to Al-Kazemi’s government confirm to “The Independent Arabia” that the visit comes to repair the rift that occurred in the relationship between the two countries during the reign of the resigned Prime Minister, Adel Abdul-Mahdi.

The sources indicate that “the dialogues will include cooperation in the fields of the economy, especially with regard to getting Iraq out of the financial crisis that it is suffering from, as well as solving the electricity crisis,” pointing out that “the Iraqi government is looking forward to Washington’s support to overcome these two problems,” which may be The United States is using it to impose conditions on the Iraqi government regarding countering Iranian influence.

And on cooperation in the security file, the sources indicated that “Al-Kazemi will discuss with Washington the possibility of providing assistance in the context of strengthening the security forces, and intelligence and security cooperation with the American army.”

According to the sources, Al-Kazemi will also discuss ways to reach a final agreement on a gradual withdrawal of US forces.

Al-Kazemi tries to avoid entering the axes of the ongoing conflict in the region, according to the same sources, but it is a test that his predecessor failed, as it seems that this does not appeal to both Tehran and Washington, which are trying to attract Iraq to their fronts.

The sources pointed out that “the dialogues are not related only to the strategic agreement, but to Iraq’s search for a long-term partnership with Washington in economic, security and political issues,” while revealing that “the completion of the second phase of the strategic dialogue will take place on the sidelines of that visit.”

A departure from the policy of the axes

This visit comes after several rounds of clash between Al-Kazemi and the armed factions, the last of which was the arrest of Kataib Hezbollah operatives following what was then called the “Katyusha cell,” but they were soon released, which shows the growing influence of these factions to The limit that puts the Al-Kazemi government in front of a difficult test regarding the possibility of dismantling it, which leads observers to indicate that the visit will be limited to trying to neutralize Iraq from the conflict of axes in the region.

For his part, writer and journalist Mustafa Nasser believes that “Al-Kazemi’s visit to Washington is calculated in terms of timing and arrangement, especially since it came after a visit to Tehran and postponing his visit to Saudi Arabia,” indicating that “the main dimension of that visit is to restore the old approach to Iraq by moving away from the policy of the axes. “.

Nasser continues, “The other dimension of the anticipated dialogue between Washington and Baghdad revolves around the intention of the Al-Kazemi government to reactivate the Strategic Framework Agreement signed in 2010 as a basis for governing the relationship between the two parties.”

Researcher and academic Basil Hussein considered Al-Kazemi’s visit to Washington “an important step towards opening up Iraq to the international environment,” describing that visit as “the end of estrangement and stagnation in the relationship with Washington, which lasted for about three years,” adding to “The Independent Arabia” that “the visit schedule It gives the impression that several files will be dealt with, foremost of which is the American presence in Iraq.

Commenting on the visit’s coincidence with Khazali’s recent statements, Hussein clarifies that “the state’s policy and its foreign decision should be limited to those who officially represent it, and not be affected by the will of the parties or militias.”

Ahmed Al-Suhail

Arabic Independent   LINK

Samson:  Why has invested in Iraq become a gateway to corruption?

12th August, 2020
With every economic crisis in Iraq, the decision-making circles in the country repeat the talk about the need to correct the general economic situation, and to attract foreign and local investments in order to start reconstruction and provide job opportunities for young people. However, the Iraqis realize every time that these calls hardly find an application on the ground. Because of conflicting laws, as well as corruption and administrative bureaucracy.

In 2006, Iraq witnessed the approval of the first investment law, No. (13), which is the establishment of the National Commission for Investment, which branches out bodies in all Iraqi provinces, and is concerned with bringing local and international investments in order to improve the country’s services and infrastructure and create job opportunities for Iraqis, who have been suffering for decades The unemployment rate is the highest in the region.

According to many experts, this law did not achieve any goal it was legislated for, including the former director of the Nineveh Investment Authority, Muwaffaq Younis, who confirms that since the legislation of Law No. (13), most Iraqi ministries have opened departments concerned with investment in order not to give investment agencies a chance. To acquire the investors, which leads to the withdrawal of the rug from their ministries. Yunus explains this by saying, “The work of investment agencies is summarized in accordance with Law (13) that the state provides suitable land for projects in exchange for the investor to work to establish and operate the Iraqi labor without the state paying a penny,” pointing out that “the investor, according to the law, reviews the Single Window Department.” Within the Investment Authority, which takes care of all procedures without referring to any other ministry.

As for the legal expert, Amir al-Da’ami believes that the reason for the collapse of the investment or (its death) – as he put it – is due to the weakness of the state and the failure to impose its prestige, as the parties and militias seize the lands without being monitored or censored, and without the opportunity for investors.

Al-Daami believes that the problem is not related to the investment law and its contradiction with other laws as much as it relates to the state’s ability to control, as any foreign investor cannot obtain any investment license without paying royalties and bribes to parties and ministries, which leads to his escape due to the absence of any guarantees or To protect the money that will be spent, taking into account that investment agencies are divided between parties according to quotas in place for years.

Legislative defect and despite the passage of 14 years since the approval of the Iraqi Investment Law, there is hardly any foreign investment project in the country. The Iraqi investor Dhakwan Al-Saffar believes that the problem of Iraq is the legislation that does not facilitate the entry of investors into the country, in addition to the country’s lack of legislation for the work of foreign banks, and the absence of a banking system that facilitates banking operations. Al-Saffar pointed out that the laws in Iraq are interpreted according to the whims of officials, which leads to the dispersion of the investor between 16 ministries and governmental institutions, he said.

In turn, the deputy of the Parliamentary Legal Committee, Rashid Al-Azzawi, says that the investment law in Iraq is faced by many obstacles, the first of which is the conflict of this law with other investment laws in the ministries of the state, although the Investment Law (13) has priority according to its legislation, in addition to the investment law itself. It does not protect the investor’s money (Iraqi and foreign), and the law requires the investor’s financial disclosure. Al-Azzawi – who used to work as an investor before becoming a parliamentarian – asserts that investment in Iraq will not see the light unless the state controls all the major joints; Such as border crossings, taxes and customs, as well as transparency of work and facilitating procedures through the application of electronic governance.

With regard to the allocation of lands, Al-Azzawi reveals that most of the lands in the country are seized by influential people and parties, and therefore they seized the lands through investment, then sold investment licenses without implementing any valuable project, considering that working in single window sections is just an ink on paper. He noted that the ministries that own lands suitable for investment projects refuse to offer them as investment opportunities within investment agencies, and it was necessary that Law (13) include transferring their ownership to investment agencies in order to reduce all these obstacles. Mwafak Younes reveals more details about the land problem, which he described as one of the biggest obstacles facing investors in Iraq, and the ministries that have investment and land-owning departments such as the ministries of municipalities and finance have damaged the investment and lost the investor’s compass by exploiting these lands to finance some of their institutions. It works on the principle of self-financing and government at the same time, as well as increasing cases of corruption when the investor reviews them.

Iraq suffered heavy losses as a result of a conflict of investment (13 Law) with other laws, according to a member of the Committee on Economy and Investment in Parliament MP Nada Shaker Jawdat. The Iraqi MP confirms that investment in Iraq has been absent since 2003, and that the country has lost great opportunities that would have been able to advance in reality through reconstruction and job creation. Jawdat indicated that there is a hegemony of personalities, parties and militias that prevents sober investment companies from getting an opportunity to enter the field of investment in the country. It cites as an example the bad reality of electricity in the country, despite the state’s spending of more than $ 65 billion since 2003 without a clear impact, as well as the presence of import agencies and “mafias” working on the continuation of Iraq in its consumption status and excessive import that will not succeed with it. investment. Nada Jawdat drew attention to the experiences of successful Arab countries in investing, such as Jordan and Egypt, which believes that all investment opportunities in them are presented transparently with the completion of all their procedures before they are put forward, pointing out that Iraq still adopts complex paper procedures and the old banking system, as well as corruption in the billions.

For his part, economist Mazen Al-Ashiker believes that what is known as the one-window principle stated in Investment Law No. (13) has given priority to the law in completing investment transactions within only two weeks, and through the Investment Authority in each governorate. However, the reality indicates otherwise, as the investor has to complete all his transactions by reviewing all ministries related to land ownership or official approvals in ministries of finance and municipalities, and thus the law has been emptied of its economic content. Al-Ashiker believes that the only way to rebuild Iraq is through the establishment of a reconstruction board, which must be in accordance with the principle of participation, and that investment agencies should be attached to it, with the need for a global accounting firm to undertake all monitoring, auditing, and periodic reports. Al-Ashqir cites the experiences of countries that went through the Iraqi experience, such as Japan and Germany after World War II, in which the reconstruction councils succeeded in rebuilding them from the rubble, indicating that all parties are against the formation of the reconstruction council, which, if applied, the investment budgets of the ministries will end, thus these parties lose their shares. In the field of project referral and land allocation.

A member of the Parliamentary Legal Committee, Rashid Al-Azzawi, believes that the only hope for activating the investment is to amend his law and cancel what is opposed to it in a way that protects the investor and his money, as well as the need to announce all available investment opportunities transparently, after completing all its procedures with the renewal of the Iraqi banking system, which he described as “worn out, which Depends on outdated mechanisms and concluded by stressing that Iraq does not have any strategic investment plan that specifies what the country needs in terms of projects as well as getting lost in work.

With regard to profit and loss, journalist Ahmed Al-Obeidi confirms that the Iraqi state has spent hundreds of millions of dollars in financing investment agencies, including buildings, furniture and salaries, but the number of licensed investment projects, which are estimated at about 1500, have only been implemented by a small number throughout the country.   LINK

Samson:  A high-ranking employee in Al-Rafidain guides Al-Kazemi to lost Iraqi funds

13th August, 2020

Directed a high-ranking employee at Al-Rafidain Bank guides Al-Kazemi to wasted Iraqi funds that will keep him away from salary deductions.

Her letter was titled “Instead of debt drowning,” in which she asserted that if non-oil revenues had arrived properly to the state treasury, oil would have been a secondary resource for the Iraqi people and not a major resource.

Below is the text of the message – to you, the full text of the message: –

Mr. Prime Minister, Mustafa Al-Kazemi, the respected … If the corrupt, who penetrate into state institutions, are hiding from you the real state revenues, then we as a people chose to help you and we were looking for them. To uncover corruption and waste of public money, as follows:

Instead of drowning in debt instead of borrowing and looking for confused, urgent and ill-considered solutions to solve the problem of the economic and financial crisis in Iraq and drowning Iraq in debts that have no way to escape from them, as long as the spoilers are fun in its institutions, so you must first correct the course of the financial policies of previous governments and the manipulation of their officials with the nation’s capabilities and revenues The state, starting with correcting the relationship with the Kurdistan region and controlling all parties’ sects over the sources of their financial income ..

* Instead of dumping the Iraqi citizen with external and internal debts, its money went and is still going into the pockets of the corrupt; We have discussed for you some outlets of waste and systematic theft, and we would like to draw your attention to the huge and enormous revenues hidden inside Iraq!

** We as a people and you know – with certainty – that the Iraqi Ministry of Oil supplies its refineries with one million barrels of oil per day. This is what was mentioned by more than one official, especially MP Adnan Al-Zarfi, with documents in one of his television interviews.
** Of course, this oil is refined inside the refineries, and a barrel of oil is converted into 100 liters of gasoline or 100 liters of gasoline to be supplied to gas stations, and it becomes the following: –

1,000,000 barrels of oil x 100 liters of gasoline or kerosene = 100,000, One hundred million liters of benzene or kerosene.

One liter of very regular gasoline and kerosene is sold inside Iraq at 450 dinars.
Eden, the state’s import of petroleum products (petrol – kerosene) only per day:
100,000,000 liters x 450 dinars = 45,000,000,000 billion dinars per day.

And its monthly incoming:
45,000,000,000 billion dinars x 30 days = 1,350,000,000,000 trillion dinars per month.
And it becomes its annual imports of oil derivatives :
1,350,000,000,000 trillion dinars x 12 months = 16,200,000,000,000 trillion and two hundred billion dinars annually and Iraq’s imports of oil derivatives (gasoline and kerosene) only.

* Where does this huge, hidden amount go, which is ignored by all the ministers who have succeeded the ministries of oil and finance, the majority of MPs and officials? And all of them did not dare to open this topic at all!

This amount, O Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, is sufficient to pay the salaries of all Iraqi employees from first to tenth grade for a period of two years.

** Do you have the courage to be honest with us and tell us about this enormous amount, where it is going?

** Not to mention the revenues of gas, jet petrol, white oil and black oil.

Not to mention the non-oil revenues that cover the salaries of employees for years and provide services to all cities, governorates and state sectors?

** Is it not time for you to transparently tell your people about their lost and healthy (stolen) financial resources that the parties plunder through their workers in state institutions? Yes their workers. And I don’t say responsible; Everyone asks and is waiting for your answer: –

  1. Where are the revenues of the General Tax Authority ?!
    2. Where are the revenues of the Ministry of Communications and Mobile Phone Networks ?!
    3. Where are the revenues of the Communications and Internet Networks Commission ?!
    4. Where are the revenues of the border crossings and customs departments at all ports ?! In our turn, we ask: Why open 24 border outlets in Kurdistan, of which one dinar has not entered the state, while it is closed in the center and south out of fear of the transmission of the Coronavirus epidemic ?!
    5. Where are the revenues of Iraqi airports and airlines ?!
    6. Where are the revenues of the Municipality of Baghdad ?!
    7. Where are the revenues of the real estate registration departments throughout Iraq ?!
    8. Where are the revenues of the public traffic departments ?!
    9. Where are the revenues of the Ministry of Electricity ?!
    10. Where are the revenues of the water and sewage departments throughout Iraq ?!
    11. Where are the revenues of the Ministry of Health ?!
    12. Where are the municipalities’ revenues in all governorates of Iraq ?!
    13. Where are the revenues of the Ministry of Agriculture ?!
    14. Where are the revenues of the Ministry of Water Resources ?!
    15. Where are the state real estate rents ?!
    16. Where are the revenues of ships and ships transporting oil ??

Iraq is a country endowed by God with riches and a multitude of resources, not a country on the sidelines. Its internal income can overcome the greatest crises in countries and all its children can live with dignity and with dignity.

It is time for you to stop wasting Iraqi money in each of the following angles:

  1. Auction for selling the currency at the Central Bank of Iraq; Iraq’s annual losses from it are estimated at 4 billion dollars!
    2. Two billion dollars lost annually in the commissions of the Ministry of Commerce!
    3. The staggering budgets of the two endowments: Shiite and Sunni!

What is important is that if these revenues were properly received to the state treasury, oil would have been a secondary resource for the Iraqi people and not a major resource ??   LINK

Samson:  Parliamentary Finance: Iraq loses $ 10 billion annually for these reasons?

13th August, 2020

A member of the House of Representatives for the Parliamentary Finance Committee, Jamal Cougar, said, Thursday, that Iraq is losing $ 10 billion “annually” due to corruption in the border outlets.

Cougar said, “Iraq loses nearly $ 10 billion annually due to corruption operations at border crossings and the control of parties and their military elements on the borders and all commercial activities.”

He added, “The estimates that we have monitored in the Finance Committee indicate that the revenues of the Iraqi border crossings amount to 16 billion dollars annually, but what amounts to the state treasury is less than 6 billion dollars, and this disparity between the total revenues compared to what reaches the state treasury causes an economic disaster,” And perhaps the disclosure of these files will lead to the return of protests in the Iraqi street.”

He pointed out, “The prime minister’s actions and media speeches will put the government in a position of serious confrontation with the military elements that will not surrender by relinquishing their profits from these border outlets, even if the confrontation is with weapons and threatening officials in the control committees who oversee customs duties at the border crossings.”   LINK


Samson:  The Turkish lira is approaching a record low

13th August, 2020
The Turkish lira is heading towards a record low on Thursday after Finance Minister Barat Albayrak played down the importance of currency fluctuations and emphasized its competitiveness.

Turks have flocked to buy foreign currency in recent weeks and analysts have called for tougher measures, such as an official tightening of monetary policy, to stabilize the market and confront deeper economic problems.

The lira weakened slightly to 7.3400 against the dollar by 0930 GMT. It hit a record low of 7.3650 on Friday, down 19 percent against the US dollar since the start of the year, making it one of the worst performing emerging market currencies.

Albayrak told CNN Turk on Wednesday evening that the lira “will fall and rise”, adding that competitiveness is more important than the exchange rate level. He indicated that the economy may contract by up to two percent this year.    LINK


Samson:  Kuwait: We stand with Iraq in all the measures it takes to preserve its security and stability

13th August, 2020

The Kuwaiti Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that it stands with Iraq in all the measures it takes to preserve its security and stability.

The ministry stated in a statement, “The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Acting Minister of Defense Sheikh Ahmed Nasser Al-Muhammad Al-Sabah today made a phone call with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Iraq, brother Fuad Hussein, where he reiterated Kuwait’s support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq.”

According to the statement, Al-Sabah affirmed, “The State of Kuwait stands by Iraq in all the measures it takes to preserve its security and stability, while condemning any external aggressions and rejecting Turkish military interventions in Iraqi lands, based on its principled and steadfast position rejecting any interference affecting the sovereignty of any of the countries.” Sister Arab.” Al-Sabah expressed his “sincere condolences to the Iraqi military martyrs who died as a result of the attack, and wished a speedy recovery for the wounded and injured from this attack.”

For his part, the Iraqi Minister of Foreign Affairs expressed his deep thanks and appreciation for the principled position of the State of Kuwait, which reflects the nature of the fraternal relations established between the two brotherly countries and their keenness on the obligations of neighborhood and their rejection of any external aggression.   LINK