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[casi-analysis] Iraq News Analysis: Dec 23, 2003

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News Analysis
December 23, 2003

- The significance of Saddam's capture does not rest in the information
obtained from him but rather the affect it has had in releasing millions of
Iraqis from the disabling fear that has prevented them from standing up to
Ba'athi loyalists. After the fall of Saddam's regime the Coalition failed to
roundup members of the Mukhabarat and Amin, who were the backbone of the
former dictatorship, and such a mistake has seen Iraq destabilized and
terrorized, with recent attacks killing 17 Iraqis and blowing up an oil
pipeline. The momentum gained from Saddam's capture should be utilized to
rectify this failure by arresting all members of the Mukhabarat and Amn -
vetting them later - to give ordinary Iraqis the confidence to take an
active role in building a new, brighter prospect for Iraq. The Coalition's
shortcoming in this regard has seen Iraqis beginning to take matters into
their own hands and eliminating their former oppressors.

- As Bush and Blair both clear the path for an Iraqi trial, the Iraqi
Governing Council is expected to appoint some 20 judges to investigate
Saddam-era crimes. The trial of Saddam in Iraq by Iraqis is vital for the
country's rehabilitation and will give closure to the darkest chapter in
Iraq's history. It is insensitive to the victims of Saddam to demand
anything other than an Iraqi trial and several experts have commented that
it is presumptuous and arrogant of the world to think that Iraqi judges are

- After visiting several European countries to discuss reducing Iraq's
crushing debt, Baker is due to travel to Asian countries in the coming week.
Putin has told a delegation of Governing Council members that Russia is
prepared to cut Iraq's debt to his country by half. While this may be an
encouraging start, Iraqis should not be expected to pay for the financing of
Saddam's oppression of Iraqis and his many wars.

- The Iraqi Foreign Minister addressed the UN Security Council and blasted
them for abandoning Iraqis for decades under the rule of Saddam and warned
them against abandoning the Iraqi people again. Annan demands a clear role
for the UN in Iraq, yet states that it is too dangerous for the UN to return
to Iraq, instead working out of bases in Cyprus and Jordan.

- Kurdish members of the Iraqi Governing Council have submitted a request to
establish a federal system for Iraq and for several key provinces to be
handed over to Kurdish control based on figures from the 1957 census. Such a
maneuver poses the following problems:

- Such a decision is the sole responsibility of the Constitutional Assembly,
due to be appointed by general elections. Attempts by non-elected groups to
take away this power is undemocratic and sets a dangerous precedent.
- The proposal effectively calls for redrawing of provincial boundaries.
This would sow the seeds of conflict for years to come as it will
undoubtedly divide families, friends and neighbors.
- One of the duties of the Constitutional Assembly will be to carry out a
detailed census to aid in the writing of a new constitution. Decisions of
the structure of the state cannot be based on decades-old information, which
would only create tension and conflict, but should be based on on-the-ground

News Analysis brought to by the Iraqi Prospect Organisation:
See updated information and pictures from debates at universities in

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