Are Conditions Conducive For An RV Event? Part 1 of 4
Post By Oldwazhisname
" For me, the information that makes the most sense is to meticulously connect a narrative of what has happened and what is happening from a big picture stand point."
October 1, 2015 oldwazhisname's blog
September 2015 Status of Iraq – Are Conditions Conducive For An RV Event?
The collapse in the value and any subsequent revaluation of the Iraq Dinar (“IQD”) is inextricably linked to the overthrow of the Saddam Regime of Iraq and the subsequent reconstruction and restoration of the country of Iraq.
Only the most ardent conspiracy theorists and cynical detractors of US politics assert that the invasion of Iraq was motivated by reasons other than threats to the security and the interests of the US and its allies around the world.
Those who assert that a predetermined plan for a revaluation of the IQD was a primary motivating factor of this costly and risky endeavor are blind to the obvious and numb to common sense.
In its simplest form, the invasion of Iraq occurred in a post-9/11 environment during a time when the US invaded Afghanistan to overthrow the Taliban regime (a Sunni dominated government) that provided a safe-harbor to Al-Qaeda (a Sunni militant terrorist organization).
President Bush’s Administration based its rational for the invasion of Iraq primarily on a false narrative that Weapons of Mass Destruction existed in Saddam’s Iraq (similarly, a Sunni dominated government) but correctly identified the potential threat of Iraq harboring Al-Qaeda terrorists.
Fast forward today and we see the existential presence of an Al-Qaeda offshoot (ISIL) heavily dominated by former Saddam regime loyalist (military and intelligence personnel).
The value of a given country’s currency is but one metric of that country’s overall situation. As Iraq has had its overall political, cultural, economic, military and social structures essentially wiped out, not just from the invasion but the cumulative effects of a 25 year rule by the dictator, Saddam Hussein, the natural expected consequence would be a devaluation of the country’s currency.
In order for a concomitant rise in the value of the IQD nearly the entire infrastructure of Iraq has or must be in process of being rebuilt. This has proven itself to be a tenuous and difficult process such that no one, including and especially those tainted by investment in a hoped for revaluation of the IQD, can predict with any certainty its final outcome.
It is my basic premise that any IQD revaluation is completely dependent upon Iraq restoring a relative level of functionality and prosperity while achieving an overall level of stability: not only politically and culturally but economically.
It is my belief that any RV event will only happen once whatever level of stability that is needed has happened and any source that asserts another “trigger” (person, circumstance, country or entity) is misinformed, misguided or is pursuing another agenda that won’t yield fruition that you and I hope for.
In this vein, I think that it is prudent for any intelligent seeker of truth in this investment to have at his/her disposal a broad historical perspective on what has happened, an honest appraisal of the current situation and some expectation of what remains to be done.
That is what I hope to accomplish with this discussion. I want to give in very broad terms what has happened (with enough detail “color” to make a point) and an accurate representation of what actually is presently happening.
To be honest, I have also inserted certain opinions about matters where I have deemed them relevant. I have presented them in three broad areas: political/military, Iranian influences and economic/monetary.
My hope is once I’ve addressed the political/military, Iranian and economic/monetary situation in Iraq, it should be very apparent for us truth seekers of where we are in the process and to be able to come to some logical conclusions about where we are versus what needs to happen between now and our hoped for event. Although I will leave that final conclusion up to you (Let The Chips Fall Where They May!).
I am hoping it will also give us some idea of how close we are and therefore some sense of timing of this hoped for event. Not wanting to draw anyone into yet another false hope/conclusion, I have included some of my own thoughts and the rationale for them for your benefit.
Caveat: This is Just One Guy’s Honest Opinion
This piece is being written to help others to navigate through this investment and to give to you an honest and careful appraisal of what has happened, how to approach this with greater clarity, who you can trust and what to expect.
I have stitched together some of the most important articles and intelligence reports currently available to give that honest historical narrative of what has happened in Iraq since the Second Iraq Invasion. I have offered my opinions about these matters.
By doing so, it would be my hope to help some of the less experienced and less sophisticated to make some better informed decisions about this investment and to change bad behaviors that may have you fouled up.
If I am able to help some escape from the grip of the unrealistic expectations and get to solid ground from where you can decide for yourself how to move forward; such would be the best I could hope for. (Although with no disrespect intended, I have listened to enough Q&A calls and been on enough chat rooms to know there is a vast number in Dinarland who don’t have a clue and will never have a clue – it’s really sad.)
I will share with you some of my mistakes so you can understand that I have been where many of you are. If you want to better understand about the IQD investment, I invite you to read this and see what it does for you.
I bought my first dinar in 2011, but the story of my involvement in this investment begins before that. I am and have been a banker for 35 years. I had heard of this investment before 2011. I thought people who invested in it were being scammed and I used to say as much when I needed an example of a financial scam.
One day, when I said that in a meeting with a client, and made a disparaging remark about people who hold IQD, another banker and long-time friend of mine later asked me why I said that and I told him it was just another example of people who lacked sophistication in financial matters who had been talked into a bad investment scheme.
When he told me he was invested, I was very surprised. Within a few months I found out several other friends were also invested. One of them told me why he had invested and told me why an RV (the term most often used to denote a change in monetary value of the IQD, as in ReValuation”) would happen (much of it now I suspect as not true) and I decided, “what the heck”, and bought a very small amount in early 2011.
He would periodically tell me about how it was about to revalue and once in a while I would piggyback on his purchase and buy a little more. Coming into the end of 2011 (when the exit of US troops from Iraq was happening) there was a lot of hype as to why this was about to revalue and I bought more.
I had heard all of the reasons why this was going to happen during this time and I am afraid I got sucked into it. I was listening to PTR and a handful of other hype-gurus during that time and bought into the stories every week or two that it was going to happen and would get really excited about every big event that was about to happen trusting the guru-intel that this would surely usher in the event.
Finally in the later part of 2012, I decided to do a better job of finding sources for my insight and began to try different web-sites and call-in conferences. BGG, Randy Koonce, Wang Dang, Dinar Alerts and others were my regulars.
I began to read carefully articles and read some of the source documents (the Future Of Iraq Project document and others). Slowly I became more educated and took the time to know the players and the events. I paid attention to certain key articles and became more thoughtful about what the news was really saying.
I studied US government assessment documents and tried to piece together a better understanding of how events had unfolded to gain better perspectives. (In business, I learned one of the most valuable things you can have is a good perspective on matters. It really helps to make better decisions.)
I learned to turn the BS sifter way up and discern what an “expert” may really be saying. I learned which guru-types to completely disregard as liars and con-men, which ones to listen to for perspective and which ones were honest information brokers.
The Straight Scoop On What Has Taken Place In Iraq
The following is a brief history (the next section extends for many pages) of what has happen inside of Iraq over the last 10 years and is vital to understanding where we are and where we are going. It dispels so many of the false narratives out there that have become the source of frequent false pronouncements of what will happen.
If you are like me and have followed this for a few years and went through those days when we were told that the RV would happen imminently when certain things happened:
like it would happen when the US military exited Iraq;
that it would happen very shortly because Maliki was going to complete his government;
that it would happen during a GCC Conference held in Iraq or a banking conference held in London;
that it would happen when Abadi came into office and so many others.
We also were fed many false narratives that were to be milestone events, like the false narrative in 2012 that Talibanni was going to call for a vote of no confidence to remove Maliki, that certain neccesary laws were going to be shortly passed, etc.
Now we know that most of those storylines were false, the basic understanding of them was deeply flawed, and we were continually fed a false hope for our hoped for RV. Read and see what I mean. I can support nearly all of this with documentation from solid sources.
The Government and Military Situation in Iraq
Lead up to and Initial Post-War Reconstruction Efforts
Saddam Hussein was an iron fisted “secular” dictator of Iraq until 2003 when a Coalition Force routed him in a lightning fast 20 day operation from invasion until the fall of Baghdad.
This was partially paved ahead of time by secret CIA efforts to arm and organize the Peshmerga forces in the north and pre-negotiated surrender terms with Iraqi military leaders rather than fight (sound familiar?).
Although Saddam was “secular” in his religious stance, he was a Sunni and his Baathist Party was the political elite ruling Iraq for years. Saddam followed in the tradition of a number of Middle East Strongmen who were despotic leaders but came under the umbrella of their Islamic faction: Saddam Hussein – Sunni, Muammar Ghaddafi – Sunni, Bashar al-Assad – Shia, Abdullah II of Jordan – Sunni and the house of Saud – Sunni.
Shortly after the invasion, the multinational coalition created the Coalition Provisional Authority (“CPA”) as a transitional government of Iraq until the establishment of a democratic government. The CPA was originally headed by Jay Garner, a former U.S. military officer, but his appointment lasted only until May 2003, when President Bush appointed L. Paul Bremer.
On May 16, 2003 on his first day on the job Paul Bremer issued CPA executive order No1 to exclude from the new Iraqi government and administration members of the Baathist party. This eventually led to the removal of 85,000 to 100,000 Iraqi people from their job, including 40,000 school teachers who had joined the Baath Party in previous years simply to keep their jobs.
U.S. Army General Sanchez called the decision a “catastrophic failure”. This decision continues to plague the unification of Iraq to this day and is a key part of why the Amnesty Law is both necessary and an ongoing problem to get passed by Parliament. CPA director Paul Bremer signed over sovereignty to the appointed Iraqi Interim Government, in June 2004. Bremer served until the CPA’s dissolution in July 2004.
The Iraqi Interim Government head of government was Prime Minister Iyad Allawi and his deputy was the influential and charismatic Barham Salih. The ceremonial head of state was President Ghazi Mashal Ajil al-Yawer.
They were all sworn in on June 28, 2004, with Paul Bremmer giving Iraqi chief justice Midhat Mahmoud (yes, this is the same corrupt Supreme Court Justice that has issued numerous Maliki favorable rulings and arrest warrants)the legal documents instituting the hand-over.
Allawi’s short period in office was marked by much controversy including closing newspaper offices and issuing arrest warrants for political foes including Ahmed Chalabi.
The Iraqi Transitional Government was the government of Iraq from May 2005, when it replaced the Iraqi Interim Government, until May 2006, when it was replaced by the first permanent government. It had been approved by the transitional Iraqi National Assembly, which had been elected in January 2005.
It operated under the Law of Administration for the State of Iraq for the Transitional Period, and its main functions were to draft a permanent Constitution of Iraq and to form a transitional government.
The President under this period was Jalal Talibani, Prime Minister was Ibrahim Jaafari and the vice Presidents were Adil Abdul Mahdi and Ghazi al-Yawar. During this time, al-Maliki was an obscure Member of Parliament.
During Jafari’s short tenure as Prime Minister, ethno-sectarian tensions spiked catastrophically. With Hussein’s criminal excesses still fresh in their minds, Iraq’s new Shia Islamist leaders concocted retribution schemes against Sunnis, resulting in horrifying episodes of torture, rape and other abuses.
Displaced Baath Party members launched a bloody insurgency, while al-Qaeda recruited young men to stage suicide and car bombings, kidnappings, and other terrorist attacks in a bid to foment chaos.
The beginning of 2006 was marked by government creation talks, growing sectarian violence, and continuous anti-coalition attacks.
Sectarian violence expanded to a new level of intensity following the al-Askari Mosque bombing in the Iraqi city of Samarra, in February 2006. The explosion at the mosque, one of the holiest sites in Shia Islam, is believed to have been caused by a bomb planted by al-Qaeda.
Although no injuries occurred in the blast, the mosque was severely damaged and the bombing resulted in violence over the following days. Over 100 dead bodies with bullet holes were found on a single day in February, and at least 165 people are thought to have been killed.
In the aftermath of this attack the U.S. military calculated that the average homicide rate in Baghdad tripled from 11 to 33 deaths per day. In 2006 the UN described the environment in Iraq as a “civil war-like situation”.
Putting The Rookie, Maliki, In Charge
Washington decided that change at the top was essential. After the December 2005 parliamentary elections, U.S. Embassy officials combed the Iraqi elite for a leader who could crush the Iranian-backed Shia militias, battle al-Qaeda, and unite Iraqis under the banner of nationalism and an inclusive government.
The local US presence, Jeffrey Beals and Ali Khadery, were urging the American leadership that the only Iraq politician with any chance to win support from all Iraqi factions — and who seemed likely to be an effective leader — was Nouri al- Maliki.
They argued that he would be acceptable to Iraq’s Shia Islamists, around 50 percent of the population; that he was hard-working, decisive and largely free of corruption; and that he was politically weak and thus dependent on cooperating with other Iraqi leaders to hold together a coalition. Although Maliki’s history was known to be shadowy and violent, that was hardly unusual in the new Iraq.
U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad encouraged Iraq’s skeptical but desperate national leaders to support Maliki. Leading a bloc with only a handful of parliamentarians, Maliki was initially surprised by the American entreaties, but he seized the opportunity, becoming prime minister in May, 2006. He vowed to lead a strong, united Iraq.
Never having run anything beyond a violent, secretive Shia Islamist political party, Maliki found his first years leading Iraq enormously challenging. He struggled with violence that killed thousands of Iraqis each month and displaced millions, a collapsing oil industry, and divided and corrupt political partners — as well as delegations from an increasingly impatient U.S. Congress.
Maliki was the official ruler of Iraq, but with the surge of U.S. forces in 2007 and the arrival in Baghdad of Ambassador Ryan Crocker and Gen. David Petraeus, there was little doubt about who was actually keeping the Iraqi state from collapse.
Crocker and Petraeus met with the prime minister several hours a day, virtually every day, for nearly two years. They coordinated political, economic and military policies, seeking to overcome legislative obstacles and promote economic growth while pursuing al-Qaeda, Baathist spoilers and Shia Islamist militias.
The United States was compelled to mediate among the Iraqis because they felt that the country would become stable only with united and cohesive Iraqi leadership, backed by the use of force against violent extremists.
One of the biggest breakthroughs of this era was the Awakening movement, in which, thanks to long negotiations, Sunni Arab tribal and Baathist insurgents turned their guns away from U.S. troops and pointed them toward al-Qaeda, thereby reintegrating into the Iraqi political process.
Initially hostile to the idea of arming and funding Sunni fighters, Maliki eventually relented after intense lobbying from Crocker and Petraeus, but only on the condition that Washington foot the bill.
He later agreed to hire and fund some of the tribal fighters, but many of his promises to them went unmet — leaving them unemployed, bitter and again susceptible to radicalization.
We can see the seeds of Maliki’s style of ethnic discrimination being established at this time, as there seemed to be less and less pressure from the Americans to change this dysfunctional style of leadership. These early success would no doubt embolden him later.
Settling into power by 2008, and with the northern half of the nation becoming pacified, Maliki was growing into his job under the tutelage of weekly videoconferences with President George W. Bush.
During these intimate gatherings, Maliki often complained of not having enough constitutional powers and of a hostile parliament, while Bush urged patience and remarked that dealing with the U.S. Congress wasn’t easy, either.
Over time, Maliki helped forge compromises with his political rivals and signed multibillion-dollar contracts with multinational companies to help modernize Iraq. It is understandable that Dinarland had a lot of hope during these improving years for a successful RV outcome.
Prone to conspiracy theories after decades of being hunted by Hussein’s intelligence services, Maliki was convinced that his Shia Islamist rival Moqtada al-Sadr was seeking to undermine him. So in March 2008, Maliki led an Iraqi army charge against Sadr’s Mahdi Army in Basra.
With no planning, logistics, intelligence, air cover or political support from Iraq’s other leaders, Maliki picked a fight with an Iranian-backed militia that had stymied the U.S. military since 2003.
General Petraeus ordered an admiral to Basra to lead U.S. Special Operations forces against the Mahdi Army to rescue Maliki’s butt from near certain failure and possible death. Maliki kept urging American airstrikes to level entire city blocks in Basra; but the American military would not cooperate with that indiscriminate destruction.
But it is easy to see how Maliki thought about taking on insurgent civilian dissent to the government. Pay close attention to the detail that Iran was backing the Shia cleric, Sadr and picking a fight with the Americans. More on this detail later.
Although it was a close call, Maliki’s “Charge of the Knights” succeeded. For the first time in Iraq’s history, a Shia Islamist premier had defeated an Iranian-backed Shia Islamist militia. Maliki was welcomed in Baghdad and around the world as a patriotic nationalist, and he was showered with praise as he sought to liberate Baghdad’s Sadr City slum from the Mahdi Army just weeks later.
Buoyed by his win in Basra, and with massive U.S. military assistance, Maliki led the charge to retake Sadr City, directing Iraqi army divisions over his mobile phone.
Through an unprecedented fusion of American and Iraqi military and intelligence assets, dozens of Iranian-backed Shia Islamist militant cells were eliminated within weeks. This was the true surge: a masterful civil-military campaign to allow space for Iraqi politicians to reunite by obliterating the Sunni and Shia armed groups that had nearly driven the country into the abyss.
By the closing months of 2008, successfully negotiating the terms for America’s continued commitment to Iraq became a top White House imperative. But desperation to seal a deal before Bush left office, along with the collapse of the world economy, weakened our hand.
In an ascendant position, Maliki and his aides demanded everything in exchange for virtually nothing. They cajoled the United States into a bad deal that granted Iraq continued support while giving America little more than the privilege of pouring more resources into a bottomless pit.
President Bush made a final trip to Iraq, where he was attacked with a pair of shoes at Maliki’s news conference celebrating the signing of the bilateral agreements.
Comments may be made at the end of Part 4 Thank You Part 2