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Context of '1917: British ‘Liberate’ Baghdad; Author Will Draw Parallels to 2003 US ‘Liberation’'

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Henry Morton Stanley has his first meeting with King Leopold II of Belgium. The king has been paying close attention to Stanley’s exploits in the African Congo and is hoping that Stanley will help him establish a colony there. [Hochschild, 1999, pp. 61, 63]

Timeline Tags: US-Congo (1959-1997)

British forces invade Iraq and occupy Baghdad, ostensibly to save the Iraqis from the Ottoman Empire during World War I. In reality, the occupation is at least partly motivated by the desire to secure the Iraqi oil fields for Britain. Lieutenant General Sir Stanley Maude proclaims: “Our armies do not come into your cities and lands as conquerors or enemies, but as liberators. You people of Baghdad are not to understand that it is the wish of the British government to impose upon you alien institutions. It is the hope of the British government that once again the people of Baghdad shall flourish, enjoying their wealth and substance under institutions which are in consonance with their sacred laws.” Author and former CIA agent Larry Kolb will write in 2007: “That sounded a lot to me like the rosy assurances our own [American] leaders gave the Iraqis in 2003 not long after we flattened half of Baghdad and then drove our tanks into what was left of it. But history shows that eventually the British liberators were driven out of Iraq by pissed-off locals, the insurgency. Just as eventually British liberators were driven out of Palestine, by both Jews and Arabs. And just as Napoleon, the liberator of Egypt, had eventually been forced by the locals to abandon the Nile in humiliation. The track record of Western armies fighting local insurgencies is abysmal. If President Bush didn’t know that, surely someone on his staff should have.” [Kolb, 2007, pp. 93-94] Three years later, the British will find themselves battling a fierce insurgency in central Iraq (see Early 1920).

Entity Tags: Stanley Maude, Larry Kolb

Timeline Tags: Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

Three years after Britain declared victory in Iraq (see 1917), their occupational forces are locked in fierce fighting with an Iraqi insurgency that had grown up in the Iraqi city of Fallujah. The British begin a campaign of aerial bombing against Fallujah and Baghdad, and heavy urban assaults in Samarra. [Kolb, 2007, pp. 94]

Entity Tags: Iraq, United Kingdom

Timeline Tags: Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

British generals announce that the insurgency in Iraq (see Early 1920) has been defeated. But former British Army intelligence officer T. E. Lawrence—“Lawrence of Arabia”—disagrees, in a dispatch published by the London Times. “The people of England have been led in Mesopotamia into a trap from which it will be hard to escape with dignity and honor,” Lawrence writes. “Things have been far worse than we have told. We are today not far from a disaster.” Lawrence knows the insurgents—indeed, he had helped train them in the techniques of guerrilla warfare. [Kolb, 2007, pp. 94]

Entity Tags: United Kingdom, Iraq, T. E. Lawrence

Timeline Tags: Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

Mike Grojean.Mike Grojean. [Source: Rice University]A meeting was originally scheduled to take place at this time in an area of the Pentagon that was destroyed when the building was hit and that was, ironically, intended to discuss what to do if a disaster should hit the Pentagon. The meeting was apparently going to take place in the office of Lieutenant General Timothy Maude, the Army’s deputy chief of staff for personnel, on the second floor of the Pentagon. Its participants were going “to discuss contingency plans in the event of a disaster at the headquarters of the US military,” according to the Birmingham Post. “Planners had envisaged a major flood or a hurricane strike on the Pentagon,” the Post will report, but “[n]o one had considered a suicide bombing involving a passenger aircraft.” Those who would have been at the meeting were “supposed to discuss deployment of their small team in times of national emergency, natural or otherwise.” They were also going “to consider the emergency relocation of staff.” The meeting would have been attended by Maude and Major Mike Grojean, leadership policy officer at the Army’s Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel. Whether any other individuals were scheduled to attend is unstated. The meeting, though, was canceled at around 9:30 a.m. due to the attacks on the World Trade Center. At that time, Grojean had been walking down a corridor on his way to the meeting. A colleague of his received a call, informing him that the meeting had been called off, and then shouted down the corridor to Grojean, “Your meeting is canceled.” Grojean therefore turned around and headed back toward his office. [Birmingham Post, 9/11/2003; Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business, 9/9/2011] The time the meeting was scheduled to start at—9:45 a.m.—is just eight minutes after the Pentagon attack took place (see 9:37 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 Commission, 7/24/2004, pp. 10] Maude’s office was destroyed in the attack. [CNN, 9/6/2002] Maude was meeting there with eight members of his staff when the building was hit and all nine men died in the attack. [Goldberg et al., 2007, pp. 36-37] He was the highest-ranking military officer killed in the Pentagon attack. [USA Today, 9/25/2001] Grojean headed to the Army Operations Center in the basement of the Pentagon after the attack and will spend the rest of the day there. [Birmingham Post, 9/11/2003; Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business, 9/9/2011]

Entity Tags: Timothy J. Maude, Michael Grojean

Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline


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