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Daily dose of Iraqi History (you just might learn something)

Discussion in 'Channel Zero' started by SWIMS, Apr 30, 2004.

  1. SWIMS

    SWIMS Member

    Joined: Aug 25, 2002 Messages: 296 Likes Received: 6
    Daily dose of Iraq History/present (warning:large textual portions)

    -Initial Period of Ottoman Rule In Iraq-
    Ottoman-sunii muslim based secular (religious) empire that began in the 13th century. Beggining in Istanbul (aka Constantinople aka Byzantine), it expanded thruought the Mid-East until it was broken apart by Europeans after WWII. To me there is a certian genious that lays behind Ottoman culture in it's ability to assimilate so many different peoples while retaining a unified Identity.

    Beginning in the early 16th century, Ottoman armies expanded Istanbul’s authority into the Fertile Crescent region. The area stretching between the Syrian Desert, and the Kuhha-ye Zagros began a progressive development the Ottomans initiated in order to create an Iraqi state that could effectively suppress Persian pressure form the east. Over five centuries of influence led to the eventual control of Iraq under direct Ottoman rule based in Istanbul. This paper analyzes the first period of Ottoman Governance lasting from the 1500s when the ottomans entered the region, to the 1831 Tanzimat reforms that restructured the Ottoman government and sent the region into a new period of development. By Defining key events in their relation and effect on larger social themes, the region's gradual transformation into an extremely diverse society that balanced local power with central authority is analyzed.

    Ottoman campaigns reached central Iraq during the 1520-30s, ending three centuries of turmoil under the loose rule of the Persian Safavid Empire. The defeat catalyzed a progressive change to Ottoman Rule that would last until its collapse after WWI. The extent to how legit this rule was fluid as it slowly brought stability. Marking a change away from Persian and Asian influence, the region integrated Anatolian and Mediterranean society into their cultural identity. Today the area is a complex composition of ethnic peoples. Varied religious practice included Shiite and Sunni Muslims, Asian and Indo-Chinese classical practices, Christianity and Judaism.

    Economic production rose as local trade and complex pan-Arab and Asian routes flourished under Ottoman security. Regional trade established the bustling merchant class, whose transported a wide variety of goods ranging from things as common to us as silk, to those less acceptable by our modern culture, such as slaves and migrant. The majority of Iraq local trade was dominated by agricultural produce and a small urban industrial structure, which mainly consisted of textile production. The urban core that controlled the economy consisted of land owning, and merchant families that had spent the previous period fighting.

    The local population initially welcomed the Ottoman’s entrance, especially the Sunni elements that would gain favor under the new regime. This change marked end of three centuries of relative social dilapidation.
    The initial expansion only reached Baghdad and its surrounding areas while the southern regions remained under declining Muntafiq rule that would eventually pass to Sultan Suleiman. Continuing with a high level of autonomy, the local population initially resisted the Ottoman presence and revolts began in the rural areas within ten years. In reaction to taxes, fortifications, and the popular support for self rule the people organize under a Sheikh named Rashidiba Mughamis, his revolt lasted until 1546 when the rural tribes agreed to participate in direct rule. Allowing Ottoman regulation of security and trade, for participation in the local government. The rural population remained resilient to authority, and urban powers allied to limit foreign control in the cities. In Basra and the surrounding areas the local elements would develop the region into a powerful state capable of directly challenging Ottoman rule.

    The Persian-Ottoman treaty of Zuhab in 1639 established a loose border that is similar to what exists today. Annexation of the Kurdish provinces in 1589 led to the establishment of three main territories, called viliets. Based in the cities of Mosul, Basra and Baghdad, each region contained a body of appointed Ottoman rulers from Istanbul, and various local leaders that established the new government. States called sanjaqs were established, ruled by sajaq-beys, they reported to the pasha who was the highest Ottoman official in each of the major regions. The pashas answered directly to the sultan in Istanbul and used a centrally trained slave soldier force to secure the individual regions as a powerful buffers against the opposing Safavid Empire.

    As Ottoman programs started taking shape local power increased, militias developed, and the Janissary army provided the military power that established the Ottomans. By 1530 they directly influenced local government appointments, and began consolidating power by assisting the urban Sunni merchant and intellectual classes that would come to dominate the urban authority. In 1534 Ottoman rule was officially established in Baghdad, and direct authority began. This direct rule was never fully implemented, and the organized local authority would eventually develop into an autonomous government capable of independent rule. While the local officials observed Ottoman authority and participated in the new government, they often came into conflict with its interests and unrest continued to be a common thread in the developing society.

    Three forms of taxation were used to collect revenue in Iraq. A rural tax, based off size and amount produced was used to regulate food distribution. Land owners, and Sheikhs were used as tax collectors, and assumed responsibility of for the regions the represented. The urban areas used a system that taxed commercial transactions and production. Revenue was also taken in the form of import and export taxes that helped regulate the flow of foreign goods and travelers. The Jizya, a religious based tax on non-Muslims focused on the Christian and Jewish groups living in the cities. Baghdad emerged as the central power in the region while the cities of Basra, Mosul, Najaf, Karbala came into the realm of direct Ottoman rule. Each city would retain its own levels of regional identity while incorporating into the Government.

    To impose Ottoman justice in the regions a judge, called a qadi, was sent from Istanbul to enforce Ottoman laws that followed the guidelines known as the sharia, which is the section of the Quran that lays out laws that devout Muslims live by. The various sects of Islam all interpret the text differently, the Ottomans favored the harafi school of thought and applied its interpretation thru ought the empire. Open to personal interpretation, the ottomans promoted a Sunni school of law that assisted in legitimizing their central power while molding to local attitudes. Cases arising over criminal and civil disputes fell under the court's jurisdiction; duties included criminal allegations, marriage laws, and regulation of pricing, and taxation. The qadi were powerful Sunni clerics authorized to enforce the religious law on the land. Due to the diverse background of the region, the judges had to rely heavily on their own opinions in making the laws work. Each qadi was allowed to interpret the sharia laws as he saw appropriate, while keeping it in line with the authority in Baghdad and Istanbul.

    The qadi appointed two local administrators and various subordinates, and together they established new cultural norms that changed the way local population operated. With a government that used religious choice as a main identifying quality, the secular identities remained a unifying factor in the predominantly Sunni urban regions, and the largely Shiite rural areas. The Sunni families dominating urban affairs prospered and helped unify the fractionalized urban and rural groups into a coalition of local representatives that could effectively control the regions by balancing recourses and representation for respect of central authority. This governing body, organized to a new level by the ottomans, successfully included the numerous figures that wielded various forms of power and influence.

    The main governing council was a combination of local and Ottoman officials that advised the pashas and influenced qadi law practices. The group was composed of Aghas, officers in the Janissary army, the local qadi, mufti, sheikhs and Sunni urban merchants and intellectuals, and the various ethnic minorities who were incorporated on a limited level. This council organized the local officials into a governing body whose power was directly tied to the established pasha and his army. The various local groups recognized Ottoman authority because they directly benefited from economic and cultural expansion. Traditional culture remained prevalent in society, and slowly the majority felt that the council was not adequately addressing the needs of its constituents. Factions opposing Ottoman authority began organizing militias and pooling recourses as they planned revolts that would de-stabilize the regions, and allow local leaders to pressure central authority.

    The ascension of shah Abbas in Persia led to an increase of Persian influence in the region that correlated with the organization of the various opposition movements. His campaigns during the beginning of the 18th century extended Safavid rule back to its pre-Ottoman level, with the exception of Iraq. The Ottomans were focusing on European pressures, and due to overexpansion and constant war the central treasury went bankrupt. The newly established government in Iraq fell apart, unable to accommodate the numerous factions it had controlled. With no power to suppress revolts rural conflicts spread to the urban centers. The expanding Shiite empire renewed the flow of religious pilgrims to the area and a sympathetic population in Karbala and Najaf welcomed their arrival.

    As local unrest spread the Janissary authority split into para-military style militias that ruled the streets in a gritty power struggle as they fought with various families, rural tribes, and other organized urban groups, all vying for their own power and authority. In 1619 a Janissary officer named Bakr Sabashi took over Baghdad by consolidating the militias into a system of patronage based alliances that pacified opposing elements, and promoted a strong anti-ottoman message.

    The 1620’s marked the return of an Ottoman force headed for Baghdad. In a change of face, Bakr sent the keys of the city to shah Abbas. For his co-operation in defeating the Ottomans, he would become the new governor of Baghdad after the Safavids had established rule. In 1623 the shah approached the city and again Bakr switched sides leaving the local and Ottoman forces to defend the city. They lost and Bakr was eventually tracked down and executed. As the Persian army took control of the city, Baghdad descended into a level of social anarchy that mirrored previous period of loose rule.
    Abbas instated programs of state sponsored discrimination aimed at the Sunni population, especially the prominent merchant, and land owning families that had gained power and authority under the developing Ottoman rulers. The purges did include the banishment and execution of many prominent Sunni officials, but the discrimination was subject to considerable criticism and resistance from local officials both Sunni and Shiite. The security that the Ottomans brought with them in the form of Janissary authority actively supported the economic and social developments of the Sunni ruling class and in the absence of central authority local leaders’ bridged religious and cultural differences by promoting regional autonomy that better addressed the needs of the local population.

    By the time the Persians arrived to take Baghdad they faced a core identity of people who had come together to resist foreign intervention. Numerous families were not targeted due to their importance in local affairs, and members of the urban elite were backed by the powerful Shiite clerics whose influence increased with the arrival of the Persian conquerors. Ottoman authority in Basra and Mosul was secured by allowing increased local autonomy that prioritized local growth and regional development. The power of the local urban authority was able to stabilize the cities using the Ottoman military for support, while the rural tribes faced little interjection from Ottoman, and urban leaders. As the Sultan initiated campaigns to retake Baghdad, Basra and Mosul were largely run by regional elements that continued to develop a local identity.

    In Basra a legitimate local government emerged that held off the shah thru the 1620’s with the help of local sheikhs and their Shiite tribes. Ottoman pressure on Baghdad overwhelmed the Persians in 1638, ending a series of sieges that destroyed large portions of the city, and decimated the population. The final forty day siege and the chaos that ensued included the massacre of many Persian, and Shiites families who had supported the occupation. Sunni notables were re-instated, and a new pasha and qadi arrived in Baghdad. Ottoman authority further defined their presence by initiating social and economic developments that helped pressure local elements back into the Ottoman structure.

    During the fifteen-year rule of the shah classical Shiite culture re-established itself. A large percentage of the population in the central regions remained sympathetic to Persian rule, and many tribal sheikhs and Urban notables who had lived under the Persians banded together to counteract the Ottoman authority. As the empire’s borders stabilized, the Ottomans were able to focus their efforts on the urban areas of Baghdad and Basra. The internal struggles that emerged involved rural and urban clans resisting foreign, military backed, rule.

    Basra took advantage of its geographical attributes, and its popular resistance to ottoman and Persian rule, to develop into one of the major powers in the region. As an important buffer to the ottomans, the city stabilized itself by bringing the rural tribes under local control with sympathetic leaders who kept the Ottomans involved, but subordinate to local authority. Supported by the local feelings of autonomy, the tribes acted as buffers between the urban zones and Istanbul.

    Sheikhs formed alliances that organized the peasants into effective resistance groups that used unconditional means to disrupt Ottoman power. Sheikh Ibn Ilayan, head of the Jawazir family, launched an organized guerilla campaign against Ottoman supply lines during the period that eventually besieged Basra in 1549 but failed to take the city. His followers continued their resistance until the turn of the century when Ottoman reforms reached the area.

    Basra struggled under the fractionalized and corrupt rule of the groups that relied on patronage and alliances to secure their own power. Slowly the pasha re-established order, but tensions remained high especially in the cities immediate area. The Afrasyabs, a prominent family in the region, consolidated their power and thru alliance and payment to the ottomans emerged as the ruling family. Relying heavily on urban notables, the diverse political culture stabilized the region by carefully balancing conflicting opinions. Dutch and English presence in the region increased, and the English in Basra established a permanent post. Overall, the loosely unified urban and rural areas effectively suppressed Persian influence and incorporated Ottoman security with local autonomy.

    In Baghdad armed militias roamed the streets. Twenty-four governments passed from 1638-1704. As rural revolts spilled into the cities, the Janissaries were unable to hold and split into multiple factions. Nearly half of leaders in this period were killed as new families and clans emerged to take power. The economy fell apart and the city fell into severe decline. The arrival of the plague in 1690 ravaged the population and hampered any reforms. This was a very bad period in Baghdad as inter-fighting ravaged the cities urban areas and floods, disease and drought continually destroyed the rural regions.
    Slowly local trade started to increase and economic and social improvements started taking shape. European pressure on the empire declined, and the sultan strengthened his authority over the Iraqi region. Trade routes were cleared and urban populations grew as people moved back to the cities. Increased settling of the nomadic tribes brought new rural conflicts, and important confederations that would strengthen Iraqi rural culture. To regulate the sheikhs’ power the sultan introduced land reforms that established a new system of taxation. Using the sheikhs and urban land owners as representatives, the rural areas were taxed based on size and production. This conflicted with the communal attitudes of the tribes and made individual taxation very difficult. Although the Ottomans created a system to regulate the land, they empowered the sheikhs and urbanites above their peasants. As constant military and social spending kept taxes high, the life of the peasant remained mainly of a self-sustaining level. At the expense of the peasant, and urban working classes, the urban elite increased their presence in tribal matters.

    As Basra flourished the Afrasiyabs expanded their sphere of influence. By the mid 17th century their expansions began challenge Ottoman rule. Things fell apart when the ruling family lost the support of the urban merchants because of the disruption in the balance between central and local authority. The Ottomans retook the city and banished the Afrasyab pasha. When the rural tribes rallied in support the family returned to power, but only until the Ottomans returned to the city in force and established rule. A powerful resistance that had grown under local rule continued in the rural regions for the rest of the century. The tribes fought against each other as they fell under the control of various urban and rural elements that used the rural region as their battleground.

    During this period large Persian families established their power in the northern regions and in the south around Basra. Supported by rural sympathy, they fostered a Shiite urban society that dominated local politics. The Muntafiq family established their rule in Basra, and a new level of local authority emerged in Mosul. The Ottoman Empire reached from Egypt to Iraq and ruled over one of the most diverse collections of peoples in the world.

    Urban growth fueled economic expansion, and foreign trade increased in the regions. The cities, especially Basra became internationally diverse as more people used the port as an access point to the Indian Ocean. While the majority of European powers were scaling back the English were developing an empire that would span the globe. In reaction to this increase in outside influence Baghdad established stronger ties with Basra. While taxes on outside goods and travelers helped calm tensions a series of Persian wars would decimate the region and prove an important turning point in Southern Iraqi Society.

    In reaction to the flourishing economy and oncoming war Mosul, and Baghdad manufacturing industries boomed. As northern textiles reached increasingly foreign markets, Baghdad’s arms industry expanded to meet the growing military needs. The urban-based landowners who had dominated local policy under the Ottomans now controlled the manufacturing centers, and the dedicated urban working population organized into union type groups that stabilized the dense urban neighborhoods. Taking advantage of the urban stability, intellectuals increased their cultural promotion. Literature and arts increased, and traditional society expanded on its classical roots. In the cities Persian architecture was prominent and an expansion in multi-lingual documentation is found. The majority of the various religions benefited during this period, especially the Jewish and Christian populations. In Baghdad the Jews emerged as bankers, merchants, and foreign intellectuals. Making up 20% of the population by the 19th century, the Jews lived in ethnic quarters in the urban areas. A group of Christians, mainly Armenian, established themselves in Mosul and expanded their theological views in the area by establishing a capuchin church in basra, and a Carmelite mission in Basra in the 1620’s.

    Along with the sizable non-Muslim population in the cities, a foreign merchant class made up of western Europeans, Russians, and Chinese traders inhabited the neighborhoods surrounding the ports and trading posts in the northern and southern regions. As a friend of noted, “It’s Similar to the past composition of the Marine and Bywater neighborhoods in New Orleans, the hoods formed an international district in the cities that increased cultural diversity.” Acting as the Safavid’s long range traders, the foreign merchants slowly settled in Basra and Mosul. As local tensions facing their sympathetic Persian views eased they assimilated into the local economy. The Ottomans welcomed the foreigners to the extent that they helped improve overall stability. As the cities grew under a strong economy, their revenue from foreign trade helped ease the tensions on the rural population.

    The level of tolerance was directly tied to the importance of stability in the region. The tolerance of Shiite Muslims in the Sunni society has always been essential to peace in Iraq. Sunni Islam was the official state religion, and Shiites were openly persecuted in other parts of the empire including Egypt and Syria. In Iraq, the Persian threat forced the ottomans into a system of loyalty for tolerance. Culturally mixed neighborhoods existed in the cities that supported ties based on social development in place of religious affiliation.

    The nature of things in the south shifted as the local population supported strong anti-Ottoman attitudes. Sympathetic government officials gave into local pressure for self-rule. The mujtahids, powerful Shiite clerics who imposed their own interpretation of Quranic laws, rivaled Sunni qadi courts. The mujtahids were a powerful sign of self-rule that strengthened local support for self-rule. An orthodox following emerged, and a combined Persian and Ottoman attack on mystic religions continued thru the period. The public observance of the Shiite martyr Ali Hussein was enabled by the increased Shiite power. A strong Shiite presence during this period flourished, especially in the south were local rule was supported by economic and social support.
    Istanbul became increasingly weary of local autonomy, and sent Hasayn pasha, a trusted aid of the sultan, to Baghdad to re-assert Ottoman central control. He brought with him an army of Georgian Mamluks, mostly children, who were trained in Ottoman government and military schools. Hasayn was given tenure, and was succeeded by his son who ruled until 1747. The new foreign slave soldiers allowed the ottomans to control the territory with an army that was loyal to the sultan, and did not have to use major conscription of the local populations in times of peace. This factor meant that the local people could more effectively contribute to the society without gaining power thru military dominance.
    As Hasayn legitimized the central rule in Baghdad Mamluk power grew. The southern and northern tribes were pacified in a series of campaigns that proved the Mamluks worth as soldiers. The Ottomans supported their power, using them as the reform agent in re-establishing direct control. As the new ruling classes become increasingly dominant in local politics under Istanbul’s authority, large social projects helped gain the support of the people. The Janissaries were brought under control and assimilated back into the military. Projects including the rebuilding of Sunni and Shiite shrines, the clearing of rivers and irrigation canals and general construction helped rebuild the cities, mainly Baghdad which had suffered repeated natural and human disasters.

    Hasayn Pasha’s son chose a Georgian bride establishing the Mamluks as supreme rulers. The new dynasty would support a power structure that began the formation of the modern state. The Mamluks would rule the region for nearly a century and cause profound changes in the way urban and rural society developed.
    In 1947 Suleiman became ruler of the Mamluks. Ottoman attention was directed at European issues leaving the ruling families free to secure power in the region. Recognizing Ottoman legitimacy by keeping the sultan on money and in prayers, they remained loyal to Istanbul who still heavily influenced the region. From 1780-1802 Suleiman the Great ruled at the height of Mamluk power with an Army of 12,500 slave soldiers, and a conscription pool of up to fifty thousand recruits. Mamluks dominated local politics, but never assimilated into mainstream society largely do to their ethnic and religious backgrounds. They did determine local policy and gained widespread support for their economic and social projects.

    Following the collapse of the Safavid Empire in 1722, Hasayn Pasha launched a series of military campaigns against the declining rule of shah Nadir. From 1732-42 Iraq became the front line in the war and the cities found themselves increasingly reliant on their own recourses for defense and survival.

    In the south, Karim Khan terrorized the countryside and besieged Basra for three years, followed by three years of occupation. All of this was compounded by a plague that killed nearly one third of Basra’s population. A large number of urbanites migrated to Kuwait and the southern regions of the Arabian Peninsula. As the 19th century approached, the Ottomans were ill prepared to fill the void created by the Mamluk’s eventual decline. While Mosul enjoyed their local family based rule, Basra was lying in the wake of foreign occupation and social anarchy. The Mamluks were too weak to resist Baghdad’s fall into fractional rule as new leaders exploited opportunities to gain power. Out of the confusion the Dawud pasha, leader of a powerful Mamluk family emerged as the ruler in Baghdad.

    Dawud pasha suppressed the violent rebellion and formed a central government dominated by the foreign ruling class. British economic influences also pressured the govt. to distance itself from Ottoman authority, and French officers were brought in to re-structure the army. The Janissaries were again incorporated back into the army, and new levels of local control in foreign policy were attained. Encouraged by European influence, the Iraqis developed economic policy that favored local interests over the Ottomans.

    At the same time new technologies brought a sharp rise in agricultural and manufacturing production. The textile industry supported urban growth and the first printing press was established along with art centers, and schools. In 1723 British merchants in Basra set up a permanent trading house to help increase their local influence, and to secure a stopping point on the way to India. This marked the establishment of a permanent British presence in the region. Expanding their influence thru ought the 18th century; the British began providing security for the merchants, and a consulate position was secured in the Dawud's court in Baghdad. By the 1820’s this advisor was one of the most powerful men in Iraq. Acting on English Economic interests his ideas did not always agree with the local rulers, but he commanded enough power to influence central policy decisions.

    By the 1830’s the Dawud family started declining and the sultan sent an army to re-take Baghdad. As the local population braced for war a devastating flood ripped thru the city. (Quote Abdullah) The ensuing plague killed up to 1500 people a day, as anarchy descended upon the region. As the Ottoman army approached the city the Dawud pasha was forced to surrender under pressure from local leaders who welcomed the ottomans arrival, and the stability it brought. This marked the end of Mamluk rule, and on a larger level the entrance of Iraq into a new period of direct influence from Istanbul.

    The sultan’s army stopped in Mosul on its way to Baghdad, ending a century of relative autonomous self-rule in the northern territory. The Mamluks, unable to support the urban elites who favored the lower taxes, more laxative central policies, and organized military that the Ottomans provided, assimilated into the urban mix. The change was openly greeted by the predominately Sunni urban ruling class that looked to benefit by the arrival of the Sultan.

    The presence of the Ottoman army in Baghdad re-activated two main themes in Iraqi society. The growing power of the empire increased Istanbul’s control of local politics, contrasted the rise of the region into the increasingly European dominated world economy. The Mamluks had established an autonomous state that had a regional identity powerful enough to resist Ottoman and Foreign intervention. As Shiite power came under increasing pressure from the Sunni urbanites, many of the Persian families organized a resistance that brought Shiites elements together in a challenge against the re-established Ottoman authority. Finding support in the progressive elements of Islamic society, large numbers of Iraqi’s, including the large Persian Shiite population that settled in the region in the early 17th century, remained opposed to Ottoman rule.

    A spike in nomadic settlement, focused in the southern and central regions, increased rural influence on Basra, and Baghdad. Dominated by Shiite nomadic and rural tribes from the Arabian Peninsula, and Iran, the settlers migrated towards cities of Baghdad, Karbala, and Najaf affecting Shiite attitudes across the religious sect’s large range of influence. During periods of stable Ottoman-Persian relations, Shiite pilgrims would travel from the rest of the world to pay tribute to the numerous shrines that observed the saints of Shia Islam established in numerous Iraqi cities.

    Many of the pilgrims settled after arriving, and a large Indian population dominated the non Arab and Persian foreign quarters in the central Shiite cities. By the 20th century Karbala and Najaf contained a large foreign presence including some 5,000 Indians. Supported by the Awadh (ouhd) state in northern India, the pilgrims and their gifts came under the favor of the local mujtahids. Leading up to the 1860’s the population slowly established itself in the two municipalities. During this period the British annexed the Awadh state into the newly est. Indian British state. Violent suppression of the ensuing Indian mutiny created large refugee populations that looked for a new place to settle.

    The Nawarabs, the ruling family of the Awudh state, fled to Karbala with their followers. The families remained vigilant in their observance of religious customs and supported their landless constituency. Creating a large pauper population, the majority of the new inhabitants relied on their prominent leaders for support and means to live by. While recourses were available a religiously observant population of foreign pilgrims increased local Shiite power, and cultural influence. By the second generation the ruling Indian families had started joining the middle class, and were increasingly unable to support the large pensions and allowances that enabled their followers to live.

    Third generation Indians established a small middle class, but the majority of them were forced to assimilate into the working poor. Britain ultimately outlawed the charitable funds sent to the mujtahids, and the local Shiite shrines were effectively cut off from Indian support. The Indian population now relied on local inclusion for survival.

    The 19th century was a period of increased control in the north. As Istanbul pushed it’s authority in Mosul by pacifying the urban families, continuous suppression of rebellions in the rural areas eventually quelled the region. The Yazids, often a target of the Ottomans for their religious practices, were eventually forcibly settled outside of Mosul. Increased pressure from Independence movements in Egypt, and Syria fueled the resisting elements in the Northern territories, but they never formed into a cooperative revolt against the Ottomans. Pan-Arab and Pan-Islamic threads started reaching between the various local governments under an opposing common identity. The resisting factions benefited from the increasingly pressed Ottoman rulers, which by the end of the century were more reliant on local actors for stability.

    The Young Turks revolution in Istanbul in 1801 marked the re-organization of the empire. Local rule would re-shape itself as new reforms altered the power structure. An important part of the Ottoman Empire, Iraqi’s directly governed their territories, and shaped public policy in accordance with their interests.
    The progressive development of the region that began with the campaigns of Suleiman in the early 16th century had come to a turning point by the 1850’s. By the end of the 1700s Mamluks ruled the cities and established authority that began to organize the region into a self-ruling body that would respect Ottoman interests. The urban elite that emerged under this new stability formed a core urban identity that fostered economic growth and social development. Prominent urban landowners, merchants, religious figures, and tribal leaders acted as representatives for the various groups that inhabited the three main regions and their surrounding areas. Appointed officials from Istanbul established themselves in the cities and included the various members into a centrally regulated system of self-rule that distributed power and recourses to the various groups that settled within the empire.
    Istanbul imposed security and authority with Janissary armies, and professional civil servants sent to govern the regions. The dominating military presence pacified urban militias, and undertook constant rural patrolling that checked tribal disruption. The diverse social elements were slowly brought under the pasha’s authority as the cities expanded under secure borders, and economic growth.

    Slowly fostering the development of society, the Ottomans conquered the urban areas and sent officials who could delegate power to the population according to Istanbul’s wishes. On the rural level, land reforms created a system of taxation that incorporated the tribes by making the Sheikhs responsible for taxation in exchange for regulated representation. The tribes maintained their traditional practices and religious views, while recognizing the Ottoman, and local authority. This development was gradual, and went thru many changes over the three centuries. As prominent Sunni urbanites took over urban politic Shiite culture remained resilient to Ottoman authority. Centered in the shrine cities of Karbala and Najaf, a portion of the population remained sympathetic to Persian rule. Core government unified the population by supporting a ruling class that wielded enough economic and political clout to bring the rural tribes into under governing authority. Traditional practices continued, but were now connected to urban stability. When the cities resisted Ottoman rule the eventual reorganization, often made by military means, started in the urban areas and moved inward. The Sheikhs were forced to be active in central government if they wanted control of their lands. The connection developed the local identities that organized the people above religious and class distinctions, into a local autonomous population that effectively resisted direct foreign authority.

    The fertile basin that encompasses Iraq has been a multicultural society since its settlement bymesopotamian nomadsin the 6th century BC (date is fucked I think). Authority and rule, especially foreign based, molded to fit the social and cultural norms. Periods of strong local power, and times of complete anarchy made imposing foreign government near impossible. When the Ottomans arrived they were able to secure power because they eliminated local organized military by keeping the Janissary armies in the cities, directly connecting urban security to Istanbul’s power. The few Professional civil servants sent to impose direct rule initially rose up thru the Ottoman ranks before being sent to the Iraqi territories. Their loyalties rarely came under question, and supported their reputation for being obedient to Istanbul’s commands. This small body of beaurocrats and soldiers organized the local population in a way that tolerated various cultural differences, supported a doctrine that favored the urbanized Sunni families, and secured borders while fostering economic and social growth. In times of high production local revenue pacified Istanbul, and funded local social projects that helped gain the popular support of the people. Iraqi’s continued to progressively develop their multicultural society after the Ottomans arrival in the early 16th century. As Ottoman rule established itself, the three viliets organized into a self-governing coalition that addressed the fluctuating needs of its population and the demands of the Sultan in Istanbul. :confused: :king: :confused:
  2. ClueTwo

    ClueTwo Veteran Member

    Joined: Nov 30, 2001 Messages: 9,030 Likes Received: 123
    I need double spacing..This is close to impossibe to read like this...
  3. PalestineOne

    PalestineOne Senior Member

    Joined: Mar 25, 2004 Messages: 1,177 Likes Received: 0
    thats waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay to long
  4. SWIMS

    SWIMS Member

    Joined: Aug 25, 2002 Messages: 296 Likes Received: 6
    Good stuff on today


    Iraq's Transition: On a Knife Edge

    Baghdad/Brussels, 27 April 2004: Fundamental change in Iraq is needed soon if the widening gap separating the occupation's governing institutions from the Iraqi people is to be narrowed and a spreading insurgency is to be overcome. 30 June will be an essential turning point, though it will not bring the full transfer of sovereignty that many Iraqis expect.

    Iraq's Transition: On a Knife Edge,* the latest report by the International Crisis Group, recognises that the options available in Iraq today are few and bad, a measure of the staggering misjudgements that have plagued U.S. post-war management from the start. The broad plan sketched out by UN Special Adviser Lakhdar Brahimi, the apparent willingness of the U.S. to delegate at least some political responsibility to the UN, and the decision to loosen the de-Baathification decree are all steps in the right direction. Huge challenges remain, and although 30 June was initially an arbitrary deadline, it now represents a key opportunity to be seized, as long as it is defined properly.

    "The fiction that 30 June will be about 'transferring sovereignty' should be given up", says Joost Hiltermann, Middle East Project Director for ICG. "As a legal matter, sovereignty is already vested in the Iraqi state and 'embodied' in its interim institutions, as provided by UNSCR 1511. But as a practical matter, the sovereign power exercised by the new Iraqi government will remain incomplete".

    The answer is not to scrap the 30 June date, as some have suggested, but to redefine what will happen on that day, and the lead up to it, as a serious redistribution of power -- more substantial even than the present Brahimi plan proposes -- between the U.S., the UN and the new Iraqi institutions. Four interrelated steps are required.

    First, political responsibility should be handed over to the UN, acting through a Special Representative empowered to break deadlocks within or between Iraqi institutions. Secondly, a Provisional Government of technocrats should be appointed by the UN Special Representative, marking a clear break in character and membership from the Interim Governing Council. Thirdly, to widen political participation, a National Conference of Iraqis should be convened to elect a Consultative Assembly, which would vote on the composition of the government and could block any decrees that it passes. Fourthly, security arrangements should be redefined by a Security Council Resolution which re-authorises the U.S.-led Multinational Force from 30 June 2004 until an elected government takes office and decides on its future, but which also requires joint approval from the U.S. command and the Iraqi Provisional Government for major offensive operations.

    What Iraqis should be getting after 30 June, is more power -- and the space to create a more inclusive and cohesive polity -- but still necessarily incomplete sovereign power until proper general elections are held. To minimise the friction associated with such a transition, residual civilian powers should be exercised during the transitional period by the UN, not the U.S.

    "With each false start and failed plan, realistic options for a successful and stable political transition have become narrower and less attractive", says Robert Malley, Middle East and North Africa Programme Director at ICG. "Getting it right this time is urgent and vital. There may not be any opportunities left".


    Contacts: Andrew Stroehlein (Brussels) 32 (0) 485 555 946
    Jennifer Leonard (Washington) 1-202-785 1601
    To contact ICG media please click here
    *Read the report in full on our website: http://www.crisisweb.org/

    The International Crisis Group (ICG) is an independent, non-profit, multinational organisation, with over 100 staff members on five continents, working through field-based analysis and high-level advocacy to prevent and resolve deadly conflict.


    Iraq's Transition: On a Knife Edge


    The situation in Iraq is more precarious than at any time since the April 2003 ouster of the Baathist regime, largely reflecting the Coalition's inability to establish a legitimate and representative political transition process. The broad plan sketched out by UN Special Adviser Lakhdar Brahimi, the apparent willingness of the U.S. to delegate at least some political responsibility to the UN and the decision to loosen the de-Baathification decree are all steps in the right direction. But critical questions remain both unanswered and, in some cases, unasked.

    The history of post-Saddam Iraq is one of successive, short-lived attempts by the U.S. to mould a political reality to its liking. With each false start and failed plan, realistic options for a successful and stable political transition have become narrower and less attractive. Getting it right this time is urgent and vital. There may not be many, or any, opportunities left.

    In undertaking his mission, Brahimi inherited several stark and in some ways conflicting political constraints: the U.S. commitment to "transfer sovereignty" to an unspecified Iraqi body by 30 June 2004; the unrepresentative character of the existing Iraqi institution, the Interim Governing Council; the absence for the foreseeable future of a credible and reliable Iraqi security force and therefore the need for a continued U.S.-led force; strong objection by the most influential Shiite representative, Ayatollah Sistani, to endowing any non-elected government with genuine authority; and the practical impossibility of holding national, democratic elections before January 2005.

    Added together, these factors lead to two clear conclusions: first, fundamental change is needed soon if the growing vacuum separating the occupation's governing institutions from the Iraqi people is to be narrowed; and secondly, whatever happens on 30 June will at best involve a delegation of something far less than full sovereign powers to a body falling far short of being representative.

    The answer is not to scrap the 30 June date, as some have suggested, but to redefine what will happen on that day, and the lead up to it, as a serious redistribution of power -- more substantial even than the present Brahimi plan proposes -- between the U.S., the UN and the new Iraqi institutions. Four interrelated steps are required:

    Political responsibility for the transition should be handed over to the UN, acting through an appropriately empowered Special Representative. Before 30 June 2004, that empowerment should involve the capacity to appoint a provisional government (subject to later rejection by the proposed Consultative Assembly: see further below). After 30 June, it should involve certain residual powers to supervise the political process; break a deadlock between Iraqi institutions; act as a check on Iraqi executive decisions that may exceed its limited mandate; or, in the event a very broad consensus exists among Iraqis, approve of amendments to the Temporary Administrative Law (TAL).
    The UN, worried that it lacks the capacity and fearing that it would be setting itself up for failure, is manifestly reluctant to play this latter role. However, the post-30 June Iraqi provisional government clearly will not be exercising full authority; nor do Sistani and others want it to. The powers vested in the Special Representative would be those, and only those, needed to maximise stability and the prospects of national, democratic elections in January 2005. The UN would enjoy far greater legitimacy than the U.S. in fulfilling this role. Even so, such powers ought to be used extremely sparingly and cautiously. The real check on governmental decisions is likely to come from its multi-headed structure (president, vice-presidents and prime minister), and due deference should thus be accorded Iraqi governmental actions.

    A provisional government of technocratic experts should be appointed by the UN Special Representative, marking a clear break in character and membership from the Interim Governing Council. This government would be essentially a caretaker one, charged with running day-to-day affairs, focusing on public order, economic reconstruction and public services, and preparing general elections with the UN Special Representative's advice and assistance. Many Iraqis fear that those in charge today will do everything they can to perpetuate their rule tomorrow and that unelected politicians will take decisions with long-lasting impact. Limiting to the degree possible the participation of partisan, political leaders in the provisional government, strictly confining its powers and providing UN oversight will help assuage those fears. In presenting the outlines of his plan, Brahimi endorsed this view, speaking of a caretaker government composed of people of competence and integrity.
    To widen political participation, a National Conference of Iraqis should be convened, which would elect a Consultative Assembly. At a minimum, the Consultative Assembly should have the power to reject the composition of the new government and any decrees that it passes. Should the Assembly reject the government, the UN Special Representative would be tasked with proposing another; should the Assembly reject a government decree and, after resubmission in a modified form, reject it again, the Special Representative would step in as an arbiter to overcome the deadlock.
    Since the ouster of the Baathist regime, Iraq has lacked any sense of political cohesion. As the U.S. has sought to micro-manage the political process, individual groups have at best struck separate agreements with the Coalition. The proposed National Convention could be an important first step toward creating a sense of collective ownership, and elaboration of a common political platform that eschews violence and commits participants to work for a democratic political system. Religious and tribal Sunni leaders as well as followers of Moqtada al-Sadr, who have felt excluded, will need to be brought in, regardless of their opposition to the occupation.

    In Brahimi's proposal, both the National Conference and the Consultative Assembly it elected would come into being only after creation of the provisional government. This is cause for understandable concern among some Iraqis: hand-picking a government and depriving these bodies of any role in its establishment risks undermining their credibility even before they have begun. But Brahimi is justifiably worried that reversing the sequence may unduly delay establishment of a government and overly politicise it.

    Security arrangements should be redefined by a Security Council resolution which re-authorises the U.S.-led multinational force from 30 June 2004 until an elected government takes office and decides on its future but requires joint approval from the U.S. command and the Iraqi provisional government for major offensive operations. While an international force presence is an indispensable necessity during the transition period, recent events in Fallujah and elsewhere have made clear that major offensive operations are potentially counterproductive unless undertaken with significant local support. If 30 June is to involve any power shift at all back to the Iraqis, and not be totally empty and cosmetic, some element of control over major security decisions must be involved. Clearly, operational matters involving force protection and responses dictated by immediate events must continue to remain the sole r esponsibility of the U.S. command. But where strategic choices are involved, and the multinational force is acting after deliberation, it is both possible and necessary that operations be jointly approved. And the only body capable in practice of giving that approval -- until general elections are held -- will be the provisional government.
    The fiction that 30 June will be about 'transferring sovereignty' should be given up. As a legal matter, sovereignty is already vested in the Iraqi state and 'embodied' in its interim institutions, as provided by UN Security Council Resolution 1511. But as a practical matter, the sovereign power exercised by the new Iraqi government will remain incomplete, and to pretend otherwise could do lasting damage to the very notion of sovereignty in Iraqi eyes. What Iraqis should be getting after 30 June, is more such power -- and the space to create a more inclusive and cohesive polity -- but still necessarily incomplete sovereign power until proper general elections are held. To minimise the friction associated with this necessarily incomplete power transfer, residual civilian powers should be exercised during the transitional period by the UN, not the U.S.

    So far, the Iraqi people have been virtual observers to a pas-de-deux between the Coalition Provisional Authority and the Interim Governing Council: if they are not truly involved in the process, they can hardly be expected to defend it. The fact that Iraqis who heretofore had not supported either Moqtada al-Sadr or the insurgents in the so-called Sunni Triangle joined or tacitly backed the April uprisings gives credence to the notion that as long as basic grievances are not addressed, and a far wider spectrum of Iraqis is not included in the political process, violence will increase rather than diminish.

    The options available today are few and bad, a measure of the staggering misjudgements that have plagued U.S. post-war management from the start, and there is no guarantee that even these steps can stem Iraq's descent toward instability and civil war. Nor is there any guarantee that this approach will find takers. The Bush administration may resist yielding ultimate control over developments in Iraq just when its electoral fortunes may turn on them. With anger spreading and strong-arm military operations in Fallujah, Sadr City and elsewhere likely to generate tomorrow's even stronger-willed insurgency, the UN may baulk at getting dragged into what it once was kept out of, and a growing number of countries may be tempted to follow Spain and leave the Coalition rather than strengthen it.

    But a U-turn from a stubborn administration, and engagement from a sceptical international community, may represent the last remaining chance of success.


    To the United States, Other Coalition Members and the UN Security Council:

    1. Agree as soon as possible to a new Security Council resolution that would vest primary authority and responsibility in a UN Special Representative to advise, assist and oversee the political transition, with powers as here defined.

    2. Give the Special Representative, for the period prior to 30 June 2004, the powers to:

    (a) appoint a provisional government to hold office until general elections, empowered to conduct day to day administration and, with the advice and assistance of the Special Representative, prepare those elections; and

    (B) approve the Annex to the Transitional Administrative Law.

    3. Give the Special Representative, for the period after 30 June, the powers to:

    (a) convene a National Conference and oversee its election of a Consultative Assembly;

    (B) propose a new provisional government in the event that the Consultative Assembly rejects the one initially appointed;

    © break any deadlock within government institutions (should the Assembly reject a government decree and, after resubmission in modified form, reject it again);

    (d) reject any decisions of the provisional government which exceed its caretaker mandate; and

    (e) assist Iraqi authorities to organise elections in January 2005 (including elections to the National Assembly, and regional elections in Iraqi Kurdistan to the Kurdistan National Assembly, and local elections).

    4. Renew authorisation for a multinational force led by the U.S., whose mandate would expire upon the establishment of an elected government but which could then remain should that government so request, and encourage member states to contribute to the multinational force and provide adequate security for a UN presence.

    5. Limit the mandate of the multinational force by requiring it to consult with and have the approval of the provisional government for major offensive operations, while leaving to the military command sole responsibility for operational matters involving force protection and responses dictated by immediate events.

    To the (Newly Appointed) United Nations Special Representative:

    6. On or before 30 June 2004, after consultation with a broad range of Iraqis, appoint a provisional government whose members are non-partisan and technocratic, with choices made on the basis of competence rather than sectarian or ethnic affiliation, and avoiding as much as possible current members of the Interim Governing Council when appointing the prime minister, president, and vice presidents.

    7. Oversee the convening of a broadly based and inclusive National Conference that would aim at including all components of Iraqi society that pledge to work together for the common goal of managing the transitional period until the general elections, building a democratic Iraq and forswearing violence; and that would elect a Consultative Assembly.

    8. Consult broadly and transparently in the process of putting together the National Conference in coordination with a preparatory committee, taking into account the need to:

    (a) include Iraqis who have been excluded and have expressed their opposition to the occupation, such as religious and tribal Sunni Arab leaders, former Baathists and the Shiite urban underclass to whom Moqtada al-Sadr appeals; and

    (B) build on the fledgling local structures established by the Coalition Provisional Authority at the municipal and governorate levels and to give adequate weight to grass-roots forces, above all business and professional and trade associations, as well as other civil society representatives such as human rights and women's movements.

    9. Make clear that the Transitional Administrative Law is an interim document governing the transitional period only; should members of the National Conference want to amend it, the UN Special Representative would make the final decision, taking into account the degree of consensus, the impact on Iraq's stability and the high presumption against amendment.

    10. Facilitate the establishment of the Consultative Assembly elected by the National Conference, whose powers would include:

    (a) endorsing the composition of the provisional government (should the vote be negative, the UN Special Representative would be charged with nominating an alternative government and submitting this for Assembly approval); and

    (B) rejecting decrees of the caretaker government (should it vote against a decree, the government would have the opportunity to submit it in amended form; should it again be rejected, the UN Special Representative would break the deadlock as he or she sees fit).

    To All Iraqi Political Actors:

    11. Accept the Transitional Administrative Law as an explicitly interim document governing the transitional period only, and make a public pledge to abide by it during this period; contemplate amendments to it only if there is a broad consensus among all constituencies.

    Baghdad/Brussels, 27 April 2004