Unconventional thinking about the Middle East.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Alleged 'Plotters' Arrested in Baghdad

The New York Times is reporting that 35 Iraqi officials from the Ministry of Interior had been arrested in a move to thwart a Ba'athist plot. It is also getting top billing on Drudge. The story was first carried by the Iraqi media.

Of course, I'm always happy when Ba'athists get busted.

But one of the lead conspirators is supposed to be Gen. Ahmad Abu Ragheef (spelled "Abu Raqeef" in the story) who serves as the head of internal affairs at the ministry, weeding out the corrupt cops, the militia members and Al-Qaeda infiltrators.

I've met Gen. Abu Ragheef on a number of occasions, he's a nice man, from a prominent family, who is as far from Ba'athist conspiracies from anyone I know. He also seems to be squeaky clean, and performs his job properly, which is why he's made so many enemies. He was arrested by U.S. troops not too long ago on trumped up charges, and I wouldn't be surprised if these latest accusations turn out to be more of the same.


The Interior Ministry put out a statement denying the arrest of Abu Ragheef, or that he was involved with the group that was arrested. Thanks also to the commentator who pointed out that the Times later corrected its story about Abu Ragheef's arrest.

Not only that, but it seems that Abu Ragheef is a member of the committee investigating these arrested officers, so whoever told the Times that Abu Ragheef was one of the arrested officers must have been actively spreading disinformation. Thus the Times' source may be connected to the conspirators. Ba'athists had developed, and continue to operate, sophisticated disinformation channels that target foreign journalists (...Michael Ware comes to mind...), so it won't be much of a suprise if that is how and why Abu Ragheef's name got into the story.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Between the possibilities that, 1. Maliki arrested these folks on trumped-up charges; or 2. the charges are real, there's not much room for other possible explanations. In either case it seems that folks praying for the success of Iraqi freedom should be very concerned. 35 officials? This could be the worst news since the bombing of the Shia mosque, but a different kind of evil - an evil that threatens the stability of free government, now that its security is mostly gained.

2:13 AM, December 18, 2008

Anonymous C. Jordan said...

Thank you Nibras,

After seeing the headline on Drudge, i knew i could come here for some sobriety.

My gut tells me Iraq is too far along for any kind of Coup attempt.

6:42 AM, December 18, 2008

Anonymous msl said...

This update appeared in the
An earlier version of this article incorrectly reported that one of the Iraqi officials arrested was Gen. Ahmed Abu Raqeef, the ministry’s director of internal affairs.

7:34 AM, December 18, 2008

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8:42 AM, December 18, 2008

Anonymous gj said...

Please keep us updated on this one Nibras.

11:59 AM, December 18, 2008

Anonymous ECH said...

The problem is this is just as likely a play for power by others in the Iraqi Army and government as it is an actual coup plot.

1:06 PM, December 18, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dr. Kazimi, the full candidate lists are available by province here.


Your rundown after the initial publishing of the lists was superb. Interested in any observations you might have, particularly on Baghdad.

4:44 AM, December 22, 2008

Anonymous George said...

Can you elaborate on how Michael Ware is targetted by Ba'athists? I always thought he was one of the most brave and knowledgeable journalists who reported on Iraq.

3:42 AM, December 23, 2008

Anonymous israeli patriot said...

Has the Israeli lobby got you locked up in a box? Where is your allegiance? To Iraq, the U.S., or Israel? It's not so clear....

10:09 AM, January 02, 2009

Anonymous John Wilpers, Global Blog Coordinator said...

Dear Mr. Kazimi,

My name is John Wilpers. I am the Global Blog Coordinator for GlobalPost, a new international news organization set to launch on Jan. 12 (see www.globalpost.com).

You may have received an e-mail from me or one of my interns last month, but I am so interested in getting your RSS feed onto GlobalPost that I thought I would risk being redundant with another letter.

My job is to build a list of blogs that will appear on GlobalPost where we will have approximately 65 correspondents in some 46 countries. We are looking for enlightening, informative posts from bloggers writing (in English) in those countries.

I am pleased to extend an invitation to you to have the most recent post of "Talisman Gate" included on the Iraq page of GlobalPost.com as part of our “Global Blogs” service.

After reviewing thousands of blogs worldwide, we have found "Talisman Gate to be one that is thought provoking and gives readers your unique perspective on what life is really like in Iraq.

The way it would work if you accept our invitation is that we would use your RSS feed to place your most recent post on your personal page on GlobalPost.com. We would point back to your actual blog for comments and for archives, hopefully driving lots of traffic to your site. Each time you write a new post, it would replace the older one so only one post would appear on GlobalPost.com.

By appearing on Global Post’s exciting new international news website, your words, viewpoints, and pictures would gain worldwide exposure. Your posts would not only appear instantly on globalpost.com but also possibly on the sites of our partners, including the Huffington Post (7.8 million U.S. and 9.7 million global monthly unique visitors) and other news and information websites.

You don’t need to do anything differently. We do request that you consider pointing back to us from your blog (we will send out logos shortly for your consideration).

You should know that we have a few guidelines that we observe here at Global Post:

1) We do not publish racist, sexist, or misogynist comments (unless those comments are the subject of the post).
2) We do not publish obscene language or photos. While we recognize that obscenity can be difficult to define, we know it when we see it and we will let you know if we think you have crossed our line.
3) We do not permit plagiarism. Any work taken from another source must be attributed to that source.
4) We do not publish libelous or slanderous language.
5) We do not tolerate repeated errors of fact or misrepresentations of facts or quotes.
6) We do not publish work inciting violence.

Failure to observe these guidelines would result in the removal of your blog from GlobalPost. We would contact you, of course, to discuss the post in question.

Because we have a broad multicultural audience holding every conceivable political and religious viewpoint, we want to respect their views while also possibly challenging them. We will host controversial work. We will encourage robust debate of the hottest topics. We will not stifle discussion, only abuse of people, belief systems, and laws.

We hope these guidelines are acceptable to you.

I look forward getting your permission to put your RSS feed on our site. Please reply to: jwilpers@globalpost.com. Thank you!


John Wilpers

PS If you choose to accept our invitation and would like a photo and a short biography to appear on GlobalPost, please send both to me with your confirmation e-mail or at some time shortly thereafter.

Global Blog Coordinator
The Pilot House
Lewis Wharf
Boston, MA 02110

6:48 AM, January 05, 2009

Anonymous Abu Bakr said...

Mr. Kadhimi, we haven't heard from you in a long time. Maybe you are on vacation? Juan Cole, my favorite blogger who is the world's greatest Iraq expert, is also not posting. Maybe you are with him doing first hand Iraq research in Mexico, enjoying some nachos and smacking a pinata?

4:21 AM, January 06, 2009

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Anonymous amagi said...


It is my understanding that all the major news bureaus have either closed or are in the process of closing their Iraq news desks, with the exception of McClatchy.

Here is Leila Fadel, McClatchy Baghdad Bureau chief's spin on things these days:


Given that this is the only comprehensive report that we have at the moment, and the only one we are likely to receive until after provincial elections, how accurate is the picture she paints, in your opinion?

That, and, dammit, we could use some election coverage, sir.

12:36 PM, January 13, 2009

Blogger Jaguar b. p. said...

after provincial elections

What elections, why are you all talking about this? How is this supposed to be important, it's completely irrelevant nonsense.

The important things are: Will the occupation withdraw in the first 24 months of Obama, and will there ensue a civil war in Iraq.

And not "elections"; nobody cares what some zoo animals are circling on a piece of paper.

11:01 PM, January 13, 2009

Anonymous amagi said...

Come now, Nibras! Predictions! We want predictions!

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