" The Dinar Daily ", Saturday, 21 March 2015
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  1. #1

    " The Dinar Daily ", Saturday, 21 March 2015

    The Exchange Rate of Foreign Currency in Economic Feasibility Studies

    Below are the central controls related to the exchange rate of the foreign currency to convert the project inputs and outputs from foreign currency to its equivalent in the local currency, and that is by calculating the net discounted present value standard and the internal return on investments in economic analysis that governs investment projects that costs excess one million dinars.

    Estimate the shadow price of foreign currency:

    1. It is necessary to put central controls to amend the official exchange rate * to reflect the shadow price of the foreign currency, and that is considered one of the necessary requirements to implement the net discounted present value standard and the internal return rate on investment in the economic calculation stated in the instructions, paragraph nine.

    The central controls for adjusting market prices distinguished a group of outputs and inputs traded internationally, where the projects production or usage of them is reflected on the abundance of foreign currency in the economy and thus project outputs or inputs used of such are considered purely foreign currency outputs or inputs.

    * What is meant by exchange rate: the number of units of foreign currency, expressed in dollar per one dinar.In particular the following outputs and inputs of foreign currency were distinguished:

    • Export-outputs.
    • Outputs marketed locally that substitute imports.
    • Imported inputs.
    • Inputs produced locally that usually go to exports.
    • Foreign labor.

    According to the pricing rules the value of the output and input (traded) is calculated using export prices (FOB) and import prices (CIF), according to what is listed in the pricing rules.

    In other words the pricing rules calculate what the project produces from foreign currency (quantity of exports multiplied by the export price (FOB) in foreign currency or the quantity of substitute imports multiplied by the import price (CIF) in foreign currency, as well as what the project uses from foreign currency and imported inputs multiplied by the import price (CIF) in foreign currency …. etc.).

    In a later step, project outputs and inputs must be converted from the foreign currency to its equivalent in local currency (dinars) by using a specific exchange rate for the foreign currency.

    2. Justifications for exchange-rate adjustment: there are a number of important and powerful arguments which support the view that the official exchange rate reduces the real value of foreign currency for purposes of calculating the economic national profitability for investment projects and hence for the purposes of investment planning. It is demonstrated in this context to call for assessing the dinar for less than (3.208) dollar (official exchange rate) when assessing project outputs and inputs of traded goods of exports, substitute imports and imports… etc.

    The justifications to call for the use of an exchange rate that is lower than the official exchange rate are:

    • The use of an exchange rate that is lower than the official rate is the appropriate action at the investment planning level to translate the country’s economic strategy aiming at stimulating central investments in the sectors that encourage the development of non-oil exports, as well as sectors that encourage the expansion of domestic production base in order to reduce imports and compensate it with local commodities. This helps to reduce reliance on foreign exchange earnings from crude oil exports and increases the share of non-oil sectors in the local production.
    • The application of the amended exchange rate on project imported inputs will assist in directing investments away from aggregated sectors dependent on imported inputs and the preference of those sectors that rely on locally produced inputs.
    • The use of the amended exchange rate helps to correct the balance in favor of the traded goods sectors compared to non-traded goods.
    • The real exchange rate has declined rapidly since the early seventies, through rapid rise of the level of prices and local costs which led by the steadiness of the official exchange rate to change in prices and actual local rate costs that gave an advantage for imported goods at the expense of locally produced goods, meaning that it led to deterioration of the competitiveness of alternative replacement goods and export commodities.
    • This action shows that the official exchange rate overestimates the value of the dinar, compared to the foreign currency and from the promoting goods substituting imports and export commodities point of view of.

    And in support to this view is the state’s utilization and in a broad approach to the customs and quantitative protection policies especially for consumer goods, as well as export subsidies that exports have through an amended export exchange rate.

    3. Estimate the amended exchange rate of the Iraqi dinar to be used in technical and economical feasibility studies and for (1.134) dollar per dinar. This price should be approved for 3 years until re-appreciation by the competent authorities.

    The Republic of Iraq – Ministry of Planning


    A "flashback recap" of a Live Q and A Call from about a year ago - on THE DAILY DINAR NEWS BLOG...

    In general terms – there were three main focal points of interest I wanted to cover and then allow listeners to ask whatever questions they liked.

    1) the SIGR report…

    2) the Gold Article…

    3) the IIER report…

    I started the conversation out last night by highlighting how crazy this campaign being fielded to contact our lawmakers and bank CEO’s and tell them how unfair it is they are getting to exchange (exchange is the right terminology BTW – NOT “CASH-IN”) at 32.00 per Dinar and we are not – is. It is nuts.

    Firstly, “they” are NOT being allowed to exchange “early” – or at 32.00 per Dinar. It makes you sound “stark raving MAD” to be caught saying such things. You would be better off barking at the moon. It is demeaning to the validity of a true currency play.

    Secondly, this is entirely the wrong way to approach them. I pointed out on the call that Poppy and I fielded a very successful such campaign a couple of years ago. However, we sat down and came up with a much different approach. It was designed to get answers and to approach our lawmakers with respect and as their constituents. Not like a bunch of lunatics. We had extraordinary participation (because it made sense) and we received a good response from lawmakers. It started the conversation in a reasonable manner.

    I asked one caller – “when was the last time you asked a banker for money and told him how unfair it was if he didn’t give it to you”??? Obviously – we chuckled…

    Another caller asked me if (as DC had relayed) – the “zero’s were raised” and the lower denominations were in circulation??

    I said plainly “no”…lower denominations being in circulation would (at the very least) imply there had been a value change. If there were no value change the lower denoms would not only be of little value, they would be such a hinderance – people might even throw them away just to get rid of them. So no – no lower denoms. I told the caller to check the
    CBI.iq website for “real” info on rate change.

    The “zero’s being raised” or “deleted” – as explained by any reasonable researcher, economist or authority – is simply the process removing the large (3 zero notes) from circulation.

    Referring to an Enorrste post from today on
    THE DINAR OBSERVER DAILY(you may want to put this on your favorites and check in several times a day – we to it often )

    “…I have never found a single article from the CBI or the IMF that equates “delete the zeros” to the idea of “move the decimal point.” Instead, the statements overwhelmingly come out to mean “remove the large notes from circulation.”

    Also – this recent internal memo put out by Wells Fargo is likely “push back” from this recent campaign. I pointed out that Pinnacle Bank published an article by an “affiliate” in their internal publication and then “highlighted it” in a similar internal memo a couple of years ago. It is just a defense mechanism. I’m sure Wells is tired of having their name dragged through the “internet rumor mill”. This is highly likely the reason for their vigorous denials about handling it in the future. They get so many useless calls – it isn’t worth the headache. Can you blame them??

    Further, for any bank, lawmaker, adviser or official to state the “Dinar is a scam” is nearly as foolish as some of the internet “Gurus”. It is the official currency of a COUNTRY. I pointed out (below) the post from yesterday’s
    – highlights page 94 of the quarterly SIGR report to THE US CONGRESS in April of 2012…
    __________________________________________________ _____________


    We are seeing and hearing that the inflation rate is still climbing and they are pushing to get us our money?? This report is from page 84 of the massive SIGR report.

    BGG ~
    This is a screen shot from the “Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction” – Apr 2012, quarterly report to Congress. For members of our Government to say they have no idea what is going on here – means they haven’t read some very basic documents presented them.
    __________________________________________________ ______________

    I pointed out (last night) this is a highly speculative investment. We are, in no way, guaranteed anything. However, this SIGR report gives us some valuable insights…

    1) This is information given to the US CONGRESS on a quarterly basis… I find it hard to believe such an information source would intentionally mislead Congress. They tend to frown on such behavior. Which goes directly to the validity of this adventure – against all advice from Wells Fargo or other such naysayers.

    2) It points out there having been a legitimate “plan” – or time frame in motion…having been projected to be done in 2013. We are obviously in “over time” now.

    3) It gives us an idea as to who is in charge…the CoM – or Council of Ministers. Who do they answer to?? Maliki. Period. When is he likely to push this forward?? Historically – he has been a “weak Dinar” policy advocate. However, rumor from his own inner circle admits he can’t win a third term in office without some currency reform.

    I fully expect him to use every tool in his “wheel house” to win – his recent moves in Anbar and the disputed territories prove as much. Currency reform has to be a “biggie”. Though this WAS their thinking a couple of months ago – there is no promise it is still part of their political calculus. We shall see.

    4) Though no guarantee of the actual future plan they wind up engaging – this report points out an increase in value that would have taken the Dinar from “one-tenth of a cent” to a value “of slightly less than $1″..

    __________________________________________________ ______________


    Coins put on the market !!

    Nora Albjara member of the committee of economy and investment in the House of Representatives revealed that the central bank completed its preparations for the issuance of metal coins of seven small groups, in conjunction with the implementation of the project to delete the three zeroes from the paper currency is currently in circulation.

    She said in her statement Albjara "The project will take between four and five years, and which will be the launch of the categories of small coins gradually."

    He predicted the financial expert Hilal Taan inflation rate declines, with the issuance of metal coins of small denominations in the daily financial transactions, remarkable that 3% of the value of inflation in Iraq due to the presence of large cash block.

    The economic expert on behalf of Jamil Anton, noted that he may not find metal coins accepted by a lot of Iraqis, especially young people, due to the existence of an entire generation of Iraqis had not trading coins due to stop use since the early nineties of the twentieth century



    CBI is preparing to issue a monetary metal parts

    Metal coins from the category of 25 fils were in circulation until the nineties of the last century

    Nora Albjara member of the committee of economy and investment in the House of Representatives revealed that the central bank completed its preparations for the issuance of metal coins of seven small groups, in conjunction with the implementation of the project to delete the three zeroes from the paper currency is currently in circulation.

    She said in her statement Albjara Radio Free Iraq, "said the project will take between four and five years, and which will be the launch of the categories of small coins gradually."

    He predicted the financial expert Hilal Taan inflation rate declines, with the issuance of metal coins of small denominations in the daily financial transactions, remarkable that 3% of the value of inflation in Iraq due to the presence of large cash block.

    The economic expert on behalf of Jamil Anton, noted that he may not find coins accepted by a lot of Iraqis, especially young people, due to the existence of an entire generation of Iraqis had not trading coins due to stop use since the early nineties of the twentieth century.



    Another "FLASHBACK"...

    Economists Divided Over Deletion Of Zeros

    By Amina al-Dahabi for Al-Monitor.

    The Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) has been attempting to delete three zeros from the Iraqi currency since 2003. This project has raised many concerns among the Iraqi public and within the business community, and Iraqi economists are divided…

    …Haider al-Abadi, the head of the Iraqi parliamentary Finance Committee, told Al-Monitor that while deleting zeros from the current currency is possible, this has been postponed until after parliamentary elections. He noted that studies are being carried out to ensure that, following the currency change, counterfeiting is limited and that Iraqis don’t go back to trading in the old currency.

    The step to delete zeros from the currency has been postponed several times, leading the parliamentary Economic Committee to demand that the CBI accelerate this project, as Al-Sharqiya reported. In a news conference held July 6, the Economic Committee confirmed that the deletion of zeros will lead to an increase in the value of the Iraqi dinar and will have positive repercussions, including a reduction in unemployment and poverty rates in the country.


    Crush Expected When Kuwaiti Banks Reopen Today

    March 24, 1991|From Reuters

    KUWAIT CITY, Kuwait — Thousands of Kuwaitis are expected to jam the country's banks today when they open for the first time since the end of the Iraqi occupation.

    Customers will be allowed to withdraw funds and to swap pre-invasion money for a new currency issued to make more than $1 billion in pre-invasion dinars stolen by the Iraqis worthless.

    "We expect a rush of people," said Issam Asousi, an executive with the Bank of Kuwait. He said it could be a chaotic first week because customers have a lot of questions about their accounts.

    Kuwaiti banks continued operating during the seven-month Iraqi occupation under managers brought in from Iraq, but they have been closed since the U.S.-led alliance ousted the Iraqi army from Kuwait a month ago.

    When the banks reopen today, customers will be able to withdraw up to 4,000 Kuwaiti dinars, equivalent to about $14,000 at pre-invasion exchange rates from their accounts, and to exchange a like amount for foreign currency.

    Balances of customers' accounts will go back to what they were on Aug. 1, a day before the invasion.

    Clients will not be able to exchange Iraqi currency issued during the occupation, when Baghdad pegged the rates of the strong Kuwaiti dinar to the far less valuable Iraqi dinar.

    The new Kuwaiti money will be exchanged for old at a one-to-one rate.


    BGG ~ Thanks to wmawhite for some facts on the subject.

    Hi BGG,

    Just thought I would drop you an email. I listened to the call, and was interested in what was said about Kuwait, if I may - I will add my 2 cents worth.

    You were spot on with what you said, I have a close friend who's father made a killing on the KWD. He bought from people who had fled the country and he paid pennies on the dollar (we are in Australia). He took the chance that Iraq would be kicked back out and he was right.

    When the money was reinstated, he exchanged it for AUD at a rate in the mid 3s. The interesting thing about it is, Iraq invaded in November 1990 (I think), they were kicked back out at the end of Feb 1991, the banks reopened with a brand new KWD in late March, that's not a bad time frame to get a currency designed, printed and made ready to use, also the time that the old KWD was valid was initially only for 2 months, then extended to 6, so it was valid until Sept 1991, interesting I think.

    Also the other thing that seems to be a "fact" in Dinar land is Bill Clinton used the Kuwait RV to pay off the debt. However, Clinton was not President in 91, he did not take office until 93, even I know that and I am an Aussie.

    Anyway thanks for the site and enjoy listening to your calls.

    Kind Regards,

  2. #2

    Re: " The Dinar Daily ", Saturday, 21 March 2015


    US dollar USD 1166.000 1164.000

    US dollar USD 1166.000 1164.000
    Euro EUR 1230.946 1230.331
    British pound GBP 1724.048 1723.186
    Canadian dollar CAD 913.435 912.978
    Swiss franc CHF 1160.314 1159.734
    Swedish krona SEK 134.077 134.010
    Norwegian krone NOK 141.716 141.646
    Danish krone DKK 164.876 164.793
    Japanese yen JPY 9.605 9.600
    Drawing Rights
    SDR 1596.487 1595.689

    Indicative rates - 21.03.2015


  3. #3

    Re: " The Dinar Daily ", Saturday, 21 March 2015

    National reconciliation in Iraq remains elusive

    The latest statement on the “national reconciliation” in Iraq was made by Vice President Iyad Allawi on March 2, 2015, in which he noted, “A true reconciliation should include all parties except for the ones who have Iraqi blood on their hands.”

    Summary⎙ Print Since the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, the national reconciliation project has been subject to several interpretations, as the separation between the innocent and “those who have Iraqi blood on their hands” is still ambiguous.

    Author Mushreq AbbasPosted March 20, 2015

    TranslatorCynthia Milan

    This expression has been repeated several times by Allawi himself, as well as different political, intellectual, tribal and religious leaders since 2003. It has been repeatedly associated with ambiguity concerning who should and should not be included in the reconciliation. Strangely enough, despite holding hundreds of meetings and conferences on the issue, no party has been able since 2003 to form a clear legal basis to determine who has Iraqi blood on their hands and who is innocent.

    The concept of national reconciliation was proposed by Iraqi politicians in the first months of the US occupation of Iraq in 2003. Back then, it concerned specific parties such as the former Baathists, the former Iraqi army officers and the security apparatus members of the former Saddam Hussein regime. This concept sought to resolve the repercussions of the decision made by US civil administrator Paul Bremer to disband the Iraqi army — which some say partially led to security instability — the security apparatus and other institutions.

    Reaching reconciliation at that early stage was possible. It could have been based on separating the pillars of the Saddam regime from the security and military institutions, and on reintegrating former Baathists into society.

    However, since no Iraqi party took the initiative to implement the mechanisms of reconciliation at that early stage, and since the US troops did not adopt effective programs for the national reconciliation, a more complex political environment was created. In parallel, armed Sunni and Shiite groups emerged. They raised the banner of resisting the US occupation and attracted many former soldiers and security officers. Simultaneously, al-Qaeda, as well as several Salafist jihadist groups, were expanding in Iraq.

    At the same time there was general talk about a national reconciliation, but this time it included the armed groups that participated in the civil war and fought the US troops.

    The first attempt to determine the parties concerned with the national reconciliation and its mechanisms was sponsored by the Arab League. The latter held a conference in Cairo in November 2005, which was attended by representatives from all political Iraqi parties, including the armed groups.

    The conference discussed the distinction between insurgents who took up arms against US troops to “resist the occupation” and those who have Iraqi blood on their hands.

    However, the conference failed to produce honest, realistic and legal answers, and only launched slogans of national reconciliation. A few months later, the situation in Iraq began to go downhill. With the attack on Samarra’s Askariya shrine in February 2006, the civil war broke out, in which all Sunni and Shiite armed forces — such as the Islamic Army in Iraq, the 1920 Revolution Brigade and Jaysh al-Mahdi — participated. Talk about the parties involved in the national reconciliation became more ambiguous and the expression “who has Iraqi blood on their hands” included the ones involved in the civil war in addition to the Baathists and former army members.

    In October 2006, a second attempt to achieve reconciliation was made; a conference for Sunni and Shiite clerics was held in the holy city of Mecca. It was concluded by the signing of what was known as the “Mecca Document,” which prohibited bloodshed and called for taking initiatives for social reconciliation. However, no one, not even those who signed it, abided by the document.

    Since internal and regional efforts failed to ensure reconciliation on the basis of “transitional justice,” the United States established al-Sahwa (the Awakening) forces in 2006, which fought al-Qaeda. Many fighters who joined the groups defected from al-Qaeda and from armed Sunni groups that fought the US troops during their invasion of Iraq.

    The US vision to form al-Sahwa forces could have been invested in a reconciliation project based on this fact, as those targeted by the reconciliation stood against al-Qaeda in Iraq. However, this did not happen and the al-Sahwa mission was later derailed in different ways: through wide arrest campaigns and the state’s withholding of fighters’ salaries. The repeated and pointless questions by the political and intellectual elites regarding the failure of the reconciliation resurfaced, while former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki continued to reiterate throughout his years in office (2006-2014) that the national reconciliation had achieved its objectives — mainly achieving civil peace, which did not happen in Iraq.

    Reality proved that reconciliation was never reached in Iraq. Neither the government nor any party seriously and honestly sought to achieve it. The parties concerned were never adequately determined and the reconciliation was never serious about establishing transitional justice, neither after the occupation of Iraq in 2003 nor after the civil war in 2006.

    Reconciliation was not reached even after the Sunni demonstrations against Maliki’s government around the end of 2012.

    After the Islamic State (IS) took over vast lands in Iraq, occupying several cities on June 9, 2014, the concept of national reconciliation became more complex than ever. It is no longer limited to procedures and government resolutions to resolve the issues of the former army, the disbanded institutions and the ambiguous laws. All these measures will not result in solutions for the post-IS elimination stage and after the Iraqi government is able to regain the regions it had lost.

    Any national reconciliation project proposed today should deal with the actual circumstances of 2015, not only with the situation in 2003 or 2006.

    The political and government parties in Iraq are asked to give clear answers to how they are going to handle what IS leaves behind. There are hundreds of thousands of people who were ruled by the group over the past months and tens of thousands of people who joined the military or civil institutions with which IS conducted the affairs of the areas it occupied. The separation between the ones who collaborated with IS and the innocents is a complicated process, especially since the Iraqi government did not develop such a process, and did not think of laws that could achieve justice in the post-IS stage.

    On March 1, Iraqi parliament speaker Salim al-Jubouri said that the doors of reconciliation are open to everyone “except the ones who collaborated with IS.”

    Iraqi political circles are asked today to find an accurate legal definition for the expression, “except the ones who collaborated with IS,” who should be legally held accountable. Political representatives should also find ways to integrate the innocent people into the reconciliation project. This definition is as necessary as defining the expression “except the ones who have Iraqi blood on their hands.”


  4. #4

    Re: " The Dinar Daily ", Saturday, 21 March 2015

    Petraeus: The Islamic State isn’t our biggest problem in Iraq

    By Liz Sly March 20 

    Gen. David H. Petraeus, who commanded U.S. troops in Iraq during the 2007-2008 surge, was back in that country last week for the first time in more than three years. He was attending the annual Sulaimani Forum, a get-together of Iraqi leaders, thinkers and academics, at the American University of Iraq - Sulaimani in northern Iraq’s Kurdistan region.

    [Read: Five things Petraeus thinks about the future of the Middle East]

    In his most expansive comments yet on the latest crisis in Iraq and Syria, he answered written questions from The Post’s Liz Sly, offering insights into the mistakes, the prosecution and the prospects of the war against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, which he refers to by its Arabic acronym, Daesh.

    How does it feel to be back in Iraq after four years away?

    Iraq is a country I came to know well and the place where I spent some of the most consequential years of my life. So it has been a bit of an emotional experience to return here after my last visit in December 2011 as director of the CIA. I was very grateful for the chance to be back to see old friends and comrades from the past.

    That said, it is impossible to return to Iraq without a keen sense of opportunities lost. These include the mistakes we, the U.S., made here, and likewise the mistakes the Iraqis themselves have made. This includes the squandering of so much of what we and our coalition and Iraqi partners paid such a heavy cost to achieve, the continuing failure of Iraq's political leaders to solve longstanding political disputes, and the exploitation of these failures by extremists on both sides of the sectarian and ethnic divides.

    Having said that, my sense is that the situation in Iraq today is, to repeat a phrase I used on the eve of the surge, hard but not hopeless. I believe that a reasonable outcome here is still achievable, although it will be up to all of us — Iraqis, Americans, leaders in the region and leaders of the coalition countries — to work together to achieve it.

    You oversaw the gains of the surge in 2007-08. How does it make you feel to see what is happening today, with ISIS having taken over more of Iraq than its predecessor, AQI [al-Qaeda in Iraq], ever did?

    What has happened in Iraq is a tragedy — for the Iraqi people, for the region and for the entire world. It is tragic foremost because it didn't have to turn out this way. The hard-earned progress of the Surge was sustained for over three years. What transpired after that, starting in late 2011, came about as a result of mistakes and misjudgments whose consequences were predictable. And there is plenty of blame to go around for that.

    Yet despite that history and the legacy it has left, I think Iraq and the coalition forces are making considerable progress against the Islamic State. In fact, I would argue that the foremost threat to Iraq’s long-term stability and the broader regional equilibrium is not the Islamic State; rather, it is Shiite militias, many backed by — and some guided by — Iran.

    These militia returned to the streets of Iraq in response to a fatwa by Shia leader Grand Ayatollah Sistani at a moment of extreme danger. And they prevented the Islamic State from continuing its offensive into Baghdad. Nonetheless, they have, in some cases, cleared not only Sunni extremists but also Sunni civilians and committed atrocities against them. Thus, they have, to a degree, been both part of Iraq's salvation but also the most serious threat to the all-important effort of once again getting the Sunni Arab population in Iraq to feel that it has a stake in the success of Iraq rather than a stake in its failure. Longer term, Iranian-backed Shia militia could emerge as the preeminent power in the country, one that is outside the control of the government and instead answerable to Tehran.

    Beyond Iraq, I am also profoundly worried about the continuing meltdown of Syria, which is a geopolitical Chernobyl. Until it is capped, it is going to continue to spew radioactive instability and extremist ideology over the entire region.

    Any strategy to stabilize the region thus needs to take into account the challenges in both Iraq and Syria. It is not sufficient to say that we’ll figure them out later.

    [Related: ‘Daesh’: John Kerry starts calling the Islamic State a name they hate]

    What went wrong?

    The proximate cause of Iraq’s unraveling was the increasing authoritarian, sectarian and corrupt conduct of the Iraqi government and its leader after the departure of the last U.S. combat forces in 2011. The actions of the Iraqi prime minister undid the major accomplishment of the Surge. [They] alienated the Iraqi Sunnis and once again created in the Sunni areas fertile fields for the planting of the seeds of extremism, essentially opening the door to the takeover of the Islamic State. Some may contend that all of this was inevitable. Iraq was bound to fail, they will argue, because of the inherently sectarian character of the Iraqi people. I don’t agree with that assessment.

    The tragedy is that political leaders failed so badly at delivering what Iraqis clearly wanted — and for that, a great deal of responsibility lies with Prime Minister Maliki.

    As for the U.S. role, could all of this have been averted if we had kept 10,000 troops here? I honestly don't know. I certainly wish we could have tested the proposition and kept a substantial force on the ground.

    For that matter, should we have pushed harder for an alternative to PM Maliki during government formation in 2010? Again, it is impossible to know if such a gambit might have succeeded. But certainly, a different personality at the top might have made a big difference, depending, of course, on who that individual might have been.

    Where I think a broader comment is perhaps warranted has to do with the way we came to think about Iraq and, to a certain extent, the broader region over the last few years. There was certainly a sense in Washington that Iraq should be put in our rearview mirror, that whatever happened here was somewhat peripheral to our national security and that we could afford to redirect our attention to more important challenges. Much of this sentiment was very understandable given the enormous cost of our efforts in Iraq and the endless frustrations that our endeavor here encountered.

    In retrospect, a similar attitude existed with respect to the civil war in Syria — again, a sense that developments in Syria constituted a horrible tragedy to be sure, but a tragedy at the outset, at least, that did not seem to pose a threat to our national security.

    But in hindsight, few, I suspect, would contend that our approach was what it might — or should — have been. In fact, if there is one lesson that I hope we’ve learned from the past few years, it is that there is a linkage between the internal conditions of countries in the Middle East and our own vital security interests.

    Whether fair or not, those in the region will also offer that our withdrawal from Iraq in late 2011 contributed to a perception that the U.S. was pulling back from the Middle East. This perception has complicated our ability to shape developments in the region and thus to further our interests. These perceptions have also shaken many of our allies and, for a period at least, made it harder to persuade them to support our approaches. This has been all the more frustrating because, of course, in objective terms, we remain deeply engaged across the region and our power here is still very, very significant.

    Neither the Iranians nor Daesh are 10 feet tall, but the perception in the region for the past few years has been that of the U.S. on the wane, and our adversaries on the rise. I hope that we can begin to reverse that now.

    What are your thoughts when you see Qasem Soleimani, the IRGC's Quds Force commander who funded and armed the militias who blew up U.S. troops and shelled the U.S. Embassy while you were in it, taking battlefield tours like you used to?

    Yes, "Hajji Qasem," our old friend. I have several thoughts when I see the pictures of him, but most of those thoughts probably aren't suitable for publication in a family newspaper like yours. What I will say is that he is very capable and resourceful individual, a worthy adversary. He has played his hand well. But this is a long game, so let’s see how events transpire.

    It is certainly interesting to see how visible Soleimani has chosen to become in recent months — quite a striking change for a man of the shadows.

    Whatever the motivations, though, they underscore a very important reality: The current Iranian regime is not our ally in the Middle East. It is ultimately part of the problem, not the solution. The more the Iranians are seen to be dominating the region, the more it is going to inflame Sunni radicalism and fuel the rise of groups like the Islamic State. While the U.S. and Iran may have convergent interests in the defeat of Daesh, our interests generally diverge. The Iranian response to the open hand offered by the U.S. has not been encouraging.

    Iranian power in the Middle East is thus a double problem. It is foremost problematic because it is deeply hostile to us and our friends. But it is also dangerous because, the more it is felt, the more it sets off reactions that are also harmful to our interests — Sunni radicalism and, if we aren't careful, the prospect of nuclear proliferation as well.

    You have had some interactions with Qasem Soleimani in the past. Could you tell us about those?

    In the spring of 2008, Iraqi and coalition forces engaged in what emerged as a decisive battle between the Iraqi Security Forces and the Iranian-supported Shiite militias.

    In the midst of the fight, I received word from a very senior Iraqi official that Qasem Soleimani had given him a message for me. When I met with the senior Iraqi, he conveyed the message: "General Petraeus, you should be aware that I, Qasem Soleimani, control Iran’s policy for Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Gaza, and Afghanistan." The point was clear: He owned the policy and the region, and I should deal with him. When my Iraqi interlocutor asked what I wanted to convey in return, I told him to tell Soleimani that he could "pound sand."

    If you look back at what happened when the surge of U.S. troops under your command turned the tide of the war, is there anything you would have done differently? What are your regrets?

    There are always actions that, with the benefit of hindsight, you realize you misjudged or would have done differently. There are certainly decisions, in the course of my three deployments to Iraq, that I got wrong. Very candidly, there are several people who are causing enormous harm in Iraq today whom I wish we had taken off the battlefield when we had the chance to do so. Beyond that, there certainly were actions taken in the first year in Iraq, in particular, that made our subsequent effort that vastly more difficult that it needed to be. But those are well known.

    What would be (or is, assuming people must be asking) your main advice on how best to prosecute the war against ISIS now?

    In general terms, what is needed in Iraq at this point is all of the elements of the comprehensive, civil-military counterinsurgency campaign that achieved such significant progress during the Surge, with one huge difference — that Iraqis must perform a number of the critical tasks that we had to perform. Iraqis must, for example, provide the "boots on the ground," albeit enabled by advisers and U.S. air assets, with tactical air controllers if necessary.

    If the Iraqis cannot provide such forces, we should increase efforts to develop them. Iraqis must also be the ones who pursue reconciliation with Sunni leaders and the Sunni Arab community. We may help in various ways, but again, sustainable results can only be achieved by Iraqis — who clearly have the ability to do so, even if the will is sometimes not fully evident.

    In more specific terms, I would offer the following:

    First, it is critical that Iraqi forces do not clear areas that they are not able or willing to hold. Indeed, the "hold" force should be identified before the clearance operation begins. This underscores the need for capable, anti-Daesh Sunni forces that can go into Sunni-majority areas and be viewed as liberators, not conquerors or oppressors.

    Second, the Iraqi forces that conduct(s) operations have to demonstrate much greater care in their conduct. I am deeply concerned by reports of sectarian atrocities — in particular by the Shiite militias as they move into Sunni areas previously held by the Islamic State. Kidnappings and reprisal killings, mass evictions of civilians from their homes — these kinds of abuses are corrosive to what needs to be accomplished. Indeed, they constitute Daesh’s best hope for survival — pushing Sunnis to feel once again the need to reject the Iraqi forces in their areas. The bottom line is that Daesh’s defeat requires not just hammering them on the battlefield, but simultaneously, revived political reconciliation with Sunnis. Iraq’s Sunnis need to be brought back into the fold. They need to feel as though they have a stake in the success of Iraq, rather than a stake in its failure.

    Third, as I explained earlier, we need to recognize that the #1 long term threat to Iraq’s equilibrium — and the broader regional balance — is not the Islamic State, which I think is on the path to being defeated in Iraq and pushed out of its Iraqi sanctuary. The most significant long term threat is that posed by the Iranian-backed Shiite militias. If Daesh is driven from Iraq and the consequence is that Iranian-backed militias emerge as the most powerful force in the country — eclipsing the Iraqi Security Forces, much as Hezbollah does in Lebanon — that would be a very harmful outcome for Iraqi stability and sovereignty, not to mention our own national interests in the region.

    Fourth, as long as we are talking about difficult problems, there is Syria. Any acceptable outcome [in Syria] requires the build-up of capable, anti-Daesh opposition forces whom we support on the battlefield. Although it is encouraging to see the administration's support for this initiative, I think there are legitimate questions that can be raised about the sufficiency of the present scale, scope, speed, and resourcing of this effort. It will, for example, be impossible to establish a headquarters inside Syria to provide command and control of the forces we help train and equip as long as barrel bombs are dropped on it on a regular basis.


  5. #5

    Re: " The Dinar Daily ", Saturday, 21 March 2015

    This Newroz the flames glow brighter
    By Benjamin Kweskin

    Today’s Newroz holiday, as Kurds celebrate the flowering of spring and usher in their New Year, comes at a time important for its additional message: the victory of light over darkness, freedom over tyranny.

    Many people are wishing the people of Kurdistan “Happy Newroz” at this time, and in many communities across the world they are celebrating with elaborate gatherings and the sharing of songs, dances, wonderful homemade food and beautiful traditional clothing with their families in event halls and outside in nature. Many communities will celebrate or mark this occasion in defiance of their oppressors, a symbolic gesture proving that their culture, way of life and traditions will remain.

    Indeed, both Kurdish political and military muscle has proved stronger than imagined. True, the price paid thus far has been high, with a current estimated number of fallen Peshmerga over 1,000. However, fires during Newroz continue to burn. It has become clearer that time is not on the side of the enemies, and the clock is ticking faster and faster for those that would see these flames extinguished.

    Both Kurdish political and military muscle has proved stronger than imagined.

    The perennial motto of Kurds is that they have “no friends but the mountains.” However, if one takes a step back, looking at the larger picture, it appears that Kurds have many friends now. The amount of interest in Kurds and Kurdistan has exponentially increased over the last year, particularly since August 2014, when the plight of the Yezidis on Mount Sinjar (Kur/Shingal) became headline news the world over.

    Using the internet as a barometer of such interest, online searches for “Kurdistan” or related keywords have skyrocketed since then, and it seems everyone is writing and speaking about Kurdistan. This initial interest has led to greater support, which continues to grow in many different ways: through humanitarian assistance, political engagement and military equipment.

    Here are few choice examples of how much has changed since August 2014 and the beginning of the fight against the so-called Islamic State (ISIS): The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has gained more international and regional recognition and credibility, as have Kurds in Rojava (Western or Syrian Kurdistan). Despite missteps and differing political and ideological differences, both entities have largely come together in an unprecedented way to fight true enemies – ISIS -- repudiated by 99 percent of Kurds from Afrin to Mahabad. The world has taken notice that Kurds in Rojava and within the KRG have sheltered Yezidis, Christians and others, acknowledging that this is a clear and genuine departure from the actions of much of the Middle East that surrounds them.

    Ordinary citizens, activists, non-government organizations, and government officials across the world have stood up and implored their governments to do more to help Kurdistan in their fight against extreme jihadism. In the US, the list of senators and congress people continuing to pressure President Barack Obama grows by the week, urging him to directly arm Erbil as soon as possible -- an unprecedented shift in US-KRG relations and, hopefully, a sign of further engagement toward military cooperation.

    The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has gained more international and regional recognition and credibility, as have Kurds in Rojava.

    Overall, more than 50 countries -- an astounding number in and of itself -- have supplied Kurdistan with humanitarian and military aid. Though this still does not meet the complete needs of the Peshmerga, the symbolism is loud enough for many to recognize that Iraq prior to 2014 and certainly prior to 2003 will never return, and that Baghdad is seen as inept at best, unable to secure the country through its own armed forces.

    Moreover, the KDP (Kurdistan Democratic Party) and PUK (Patriotic Union of Kurdistan) have been scratched off the US Tier III terrorist list, and recently a delegation from the PYD (Democratic Union Party) from Rojava arrived in the US capital.

    Living in Kurdistan last year, there was a feeling spreading across Southern (Iraqi) Kurdistan: of confidence and defiance. It was as if the collective whole knew that the old Iraq would not -- or could not -- return. This sentiment reached Rojava, and it is less and less likely Syria will be recognizable once the bloodied dust of the civil war has faded. Hopefully, soon this renewed sense of self-confidence will also pervade and spread throughout North and East Kurdistan (Turkish and Iranian Kurdistan). Sykes-Picot is no more.

    When I was in Akre last Newroz I sensed the time of the Kurds was upon us, the warmth emanating from the flames on top of the mountains comforting this dream that soon the largest ethnic group in the Middle East will rightfully gain an independent state of its own and self-determination will become realized by millions.

    Though I am physically far from Akre this Newroz, nevertheless the fires will somehow glow brighter. Biji Kurd u Kurdistan!


  6. #6

    Re: " The Dinar Daily ", Saturday, 21 March 2015

    Parliamentary Legal: political disputes delayed the adoption of the law of parties

    Information / special / ..
    Legal Committee confirmed on Saturday that the differences between the political blocs delayed the adoption of the law of parties, excluded approval during the current phase.
    She Paradise by Ibtisam al-Hilali told / information / "There are major differences between the political blocs on the political parties law, which led to disable read the second reading and approval, during the previous meetings of the Council."
    She added that "the adoption of the law of parties in the current phase is very unlikely, not to the heads of blocs agree on a formula of law, as well as having a great objections to some of the paragraphs of the law."
    The House of Representatives completed the first reading of a law on political parties, but the differences on some paragraphs prevented the


  7. #7

    Re: " The Dinar Daily ", Saturday, 21 March 2015


    Saleem al-Jubouri: Maliki trial can not rule out future

    Date: 21/03/2015 11:12Information / Baghdad / ..The head of the House of Representatives Saleem al-Jubouri, the Sabbath, it does not preclude the trial of former Prime Minister and Vice President Nuri al-Maliki in the future, at the same time pointing out that it is now Matrouh.
    Jubouri said in an interview with the newspaper "Al-Watan" Saudi Arabia, seen by / information /, that "there is an ongoing follow-up of any cases of corruption in the reign of al-Maliki or the current era, there are special departments control corruption sequence at any time," adding that "there are a waste of billions of budget in the past decade will be followed retroactively, and those involved will be held accountable. "
    When asked about the validity of the trial of Nuri al-Maliki to the presence of systematic violations in his government, al-Jubouri, stressed that "this is not on the table now is not unlikely in the future."
    On the other hand, said al-Jubouri that "the world does not have his or her duties after the fall of dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003, and has not duties towards Iraq for the establishment of a pluralistic democratic system, to preserve the dignity and security of the Iraqis, leaving a lot of joints and gaps in the building of the Iraqi state, and therefore there is a high beams on The international community, and the head of the United States of what happened and is currently happening in Iraq. "



    Speaker: do not rule out a future trial Maliki

    • March 21, 2015, 12:16

    BAGHDAD - ((eighth day))
    The head of the House of Representatives Saleem al-Jubouri, the Sabbath, it does not preclude the trial of former Prime Minister and Vice President Nuri al-Maliki in the future, at the same time pointing out that it is now Matrouh.
    Jubouri said in an interview seen by ((eighth day)) that "there is a continued follow-up of any cases of corruption in the reign of al-Maliki or the current era, there are special departments control corruption sequence at any time," adding that "there are a waste of billions from the budget in the contract the last will be followed retroactively, and those involved will be held accountable. "
    When asked about the validity of the trial of Nuri al-Maliki to the presence of systematic violations in his government, al-Jubouri, stressed that "this is not on the table now is not unlikely in the future."
    On the other hand, said al-Jubouri that "the world does not have his or her duties after the fall of dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003, and has not duties towards Iraq to establish a democratic and pluralistic system, to preserve the dignity and security of the Iraqis, leaving a lot of joints and gaps in the building of the Iraqi state, and therefore there is a high beams on The international community, and the head of the United States of what happened and is currently happening in Iraq ". (AA)



    In order for an expert ((eighth day)): Maliki will be judged by the "penalty"

    • March 21, 2015, 13:37

    BAGHDAD - ((eighth day))
    Stressed expert astronomer Omar Abdel Rahman, the former Prime Minister and current Vice President Nuri al-Maliki will be judged by the "death".

    Abdul Rahman said in a statement ((eighth day)) that

    "the Supreme Judicial Council will issue a ruling in the coming days as the" death penalty "on Maliki

    because of charges of corruption and what happened from security breaches in the country and Maakbha of events in the country went to hell.

    The expert astronomer Omar Abdel Rahman issued an annual forecast and check by 70%. (AA)




    Blind Sheikh

    His American fatwa had terrible repercussions.

    Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, a.k.a. the blind sheikh, was, in an important sense, the ideological architect or the spiritual guide of 9/11. Rahman’s directives made their appearance at an unusual event held at one of bin Laden’s bases in eastern Afghanistan on May 26, 1998, the first, and last, press conference ever given by Al Qaeda’s leaders. “I could see a plume of dust coming, then I saw three cars coming, and these hooded guys escorting Osama,” recalls a journalist who attended. Bin Laden sat down at a table with his lieutenants and spoke of good things to come. Eleven weeks later, two U.S. embassies in Africa were bombed within ten minutes of each other. At the time, Sheikh Rahman was in federal prison in Minnesota for his role in inspiring plots to attack Manhattan landmarks including the United Nations building. But two of his sons were at the press conference. One of them said that “the U.S. prison authorities are not treating Father well … They are killing him slowly.”
    The sons also passed out a colorful plastic laminated card of Arabic script with a picture of a Muslim cleric praying in a prison cell. It proclaims: “A fatwa of the captive Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman … To all Muslims everywhere: Destroy their countries. Tear them to pieces. Destroy their economies, burn their corporations, destroy their businesses, sink their ships, and bring down their airplanes. Kill them in the sea, on land, and in the air.”
    The fatwa was signed, “Your brother Abdel Rahman, from inside American prisons.” It was the first by a religious scholar calling for attacks inside America and led directly to 9/11.


    Fight and win paradise

    february 4, 2014 0
    SPIRITUAL LEADER: Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman – referred to by international media as The Blind Sheikh – is imprisoned in the USA. The sheikh is the former spiritual leader of Egypt’s largest Islamic extremist fundamentalist group Jamaa Islamiyya. Here photographed during a news conference in Jersey City. When the sheikh fell sick in December 2006, FBI warned that the death of the sheikh could lead Al-Qaeda to launch terror attacks against the US in reprisal. PHOTOS: Don Emmert/AP and Hate Speech Int.
    A recruitment brochure provides a unique glimpse into the world of jihadist headhunters, who lure young fighters to the Syrian civil war by quoting a charismatic blind sheikh imprisoned in connection with the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
    Kjetil Stormark
    The brochure from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is full of verses from the Quran. The front page is covered with images of bullets and a masked, young man dressed in black, wearing a military vest and posing with an AK-47 assault rifle.
    “The battlefields of jihad are calling you,” it says.
    A copy of the brochure obtained by HSI reporters in Syria contains text written by Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, 75, the former leader of al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya. Commonly called “The Blind Sheikh”, he is serving a life sentence in North Carolina on a conspiracy conviction stemming from the FBI investigation into the 1993 World Trade Center bombing in New York. He has been imprisoned in the United States since 1996.
    In the recruitment brochure, ISIL has apparently made use of an old text written by Abdel-Rahman, even though the sheikh has no known association with ISIL or other militant Islamist groups in Syria. ISIL emerged during the Iraq War and has expanded into Syria.
    “I have not seen the brochure before, but it is most likely an old publication by the Egyptian Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman,” says research fellow Truls Tonnessen at the Terrorism Research Group (TERRA) at the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment, adding: “The brochure is released as part of ISIL’s series of ideological texts mainly written by former leading members of ISIL, but who have been killed.”
    A call in the name of faith
    The leaflet, which urges Muslims to trade their worldly life for paradise, opens with the sheikh explaining the core responsibilities of the faithful.
    “Our most Blessed and exalted Lord says: ‘O ye who believe! Shall I lead you to a bargain (trade) that will save you from a grievous penalty? That ye believe in Allah and His messenger, and that ye fight in the cause of Allah, with your property and your persons: That will be best for you, if ye but knew! He will forgive you your sins, and admit you to gardens beneath which rivers flow, and to beautiful mansions in gardens of eternity. That is indeed the supreme achievement,’” the brochure reads.
    The sheikh continues:
    “Jihad in the name of Allah is the highest pillar of Islam. Islam strongly encourages the implementation of this command, and equally strongly warns against disregarding it. (…) The verses in our beloved Holy Book show us that the greatest trade a Muslim can advocate is Jihad in the name of Allah; it is the Lord of all existence who reveals this to us, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, He who created all souls and who provides all fortune. He rewards us with paradise for this trade: ‘Verily, Allah has purchased (rewarded) the souls and monies of the believers, those who fight in the name of Allah, who kill and are killed.’ This trade is all profit and no loss. It is nothing but advantage and no harm or doom can come of it. Allah reveals it to us in a manner pleasing to the soul, through a call in the name of faith: ‘O ye who believe! Shall I lead you to a bargain (Trade) that will save you from a grievous penalty?’”
    ISIL and other groups have repeatedly called for Abdel-Rahman’s release from US prison. From time to time, militant Islamist groups have also suggested kidnapping westerners in order to exchange them for his release.
    Up to 11,000 recruits
    In December, the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR) in London published a report in which it was estimated that up to 11,000 non-Syrians (including almost 2,000 western Europeans) had travelled to Syria to fight. The intelligence and security services of many western countries fear that young militant Islamists and jihadists will seek to plan and carry out terror acts when they return to their home countries.
    Read the estimate from ICSR here. The report was developed on the basis of more than 1,500 sources, and provides updated and detailed numbers for most European countries.
    Many of the fighters have been recruited through friendship circles and the Internet. Many others have been influenced by brochures like the one HSI has obtained.
    Tonnessen, whose research specialities are Syria and Iraq, says photographs and live images posted online are most important method for recruiting new jihadist warriors to the war in Syria.
    “Propaganda material issued on the Internet, including pictures of dead or wounded Syrians, is the most important method used for recruitment of foreign fighters to these groups,” he says. “Some of the groups are also active on social media, such as Facebook and Twitter where they release some of their propaganda and give general advice on how to travel to Syria.”
    Tonnessen points out, however, that not all foreigners will be allowed to join ISIL and other radical groups in Syria.
    Recruitment networks in various countries in the West and in the Middle East play a key role in clearing people before they travel to Syria to volunteer for fighting in ISLI, the Al Nusra Front and similar groups.


    Last edited by sczin11; 03-21-2015 at 11:34 AM.

  8. #8

    Re: " The Dinar Daily ", Saturday, 21 March 2015

    Parliamentary Foreign Abadi calls to urge Washington to support Iraq in earnest

    BAGHDAD / Source News / .. called the Committee on Foreign Relations parliamentary member Imad Yako Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to claim the United States when he visited Washington more effective in the war against Daash support.

    He told Yako / Source News / "The Abadi should call Washington when he visited them to support Iraq seriously because there are many notes on the United States in this aspect."
    He added that "Iraq had hoped more support from the United States because the current support is not enough, not what he wishes of the Iraqi people", and expressed his regret "because Washington now take sectarian rhetoric and a way to pass policies in the country while we crossed this step to at infinity."

    He noted that "the United States has taken a negative attitude of the army and the popular crowd and this is not the right thing."
    He stressed "the need to urge Washington to change its view of the hot Iraqi Files".

    A spokesman for the Information Office of the Prime Minister Saad al-Hadithi, recently the Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi will visit Washington around the middle of next month at the invitation of his US President Barack Obama, noting that al-Abadi will discuss during the visit to strengthen its military support of the United States offer to Arac.anthy / p


  9. #9

    Re: " The Dinar Daily ", Saturday, 21 March 2015

    Abadi: Iraq will emerge from its crisis stiffer promises

    BAGHDAD / Source News / .. The prime minister Haider al-Abadi Iraq exposure to many challenges that require concerted efforts to address them all.

    He said in a statement that Iraq "will come out of these challenges and risks the stronger."

    At a time when al-Abadi's office announced the planned visit by the Prime Minister to Washington to discuss the developments of the war in Iraq. "
    He is scheduled to Abadi, looking in the United States during his visit, which will be conducted by the middle of next month at the invitation of his US President Barack Obama, the prospects of cooperation between Baghdad and Washington and enhance military support which the United States and the international coalition offer to Iraq at this stage to meet the security challenges and strengthen momentum victories finally achieved against al Daash Alarhabiy.anthy / p


  10. #10

    Re: " The Dinar Daily ", Saturday, 21 March 2015

    UN hails' commitment Baghdad and Erbil oil the Convention

    [COLOR=#000000 !important][/COLOR]
    [COLOR=#000000 !important]BAGHDAD / Source News / .. praised the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations in Iraq, Georgi-Posten, the announcement, Finance Minister Hoshyar Zebari receipt of the Kurdistan Regional Government, the amount of $ 420 million from the federal government from oil revenues.[/COLOR]
    [COLOR=#000000 !important]Posten said in a press statement received by the Agency / Source News / copy of it on Saturday, "confirms the transfer of funds carried out by the central government to the Kurdistan Regional Government, that both sides are committed to the implementation of the oil agreement signed in December of last year."[/COLOR]
    [COLOR=#000000 !important]He called on both sides to "move forward in a spirit of cooperation itself, with respect to the full implementation of the Convention in the interest of Iraq and the Iraqi people," .anthy / p


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