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[casi-analysis] casi-news digest, Vol 1 #11 - 6 msgs

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Today's Topics:

   1. Bush Was Demanding Excuse To Invade Iraq In January 2001 (cafe-uni)
   2. Treachery: How Iraq Went To War Against Saddam (cafe-uni)
   3. Bechtel wins new contracts in Iraq (k hanly)
   4. What They Don't Want You to Know (Mark Parkinson)
   5. Bush Team Revising Iraq Self-Rule plans (ppg)
   6. Iraq Companies Seek Contracts at Trade Fare Held in Jordan (=?ISO-8859-1?Q?Per_Klevn=E4s?=)


Message: 1
From: "cafe-uni" <>
To: "Casi News" <>
Subject:  Bush Was Demanding Excuse To Invade Iraq In January 2001
Date: Mon, 12 Jan 2004 12:09:14 -0000

> Bush was demanding excuse to invade Iraq in January 2001, says ex-treasur=
> secretary
> By Andrew Gumbel, in Los Angeles
> 12 January 2004
> The Bush administration started making detailed plans for the invasion of
> Iraq within days of coming to office, with the President himself anxious
> find a pretext to overthrow Saddam Hussein, a high-ranking former cabinet
> member said yesterday.
> The revelation is the latest in a string of potential embarrassments for
> White House offered by the former treasury secretary Paul O'Neill, who ha=
> gone on the record for a new book looking at his bumpy two years at the
> centre of US power, The Price of Loyalty.
> Mr O'Neill said invading Iraq was "topic A" at the very first meeting of
> President George Bush's National Security Council, 10 days after his
> inauguration on 20 January 2001, and continued to be an abiding theme in
> follow-up meetings.
> "From the very first instance, it was about Iraq," said Mr O'Neill, who
> a participant in all the meetings and provided voluminous minutes and
> documents to the book's author, Ron Suskind. "It was all about finding a
> to do it. That was the tone of it. The President saying 'Go find me a way
> do this'."
> Mr O'Neill is the first cabinet member to implicate directly Mr Bush in
> planning a war against Iraq so early in his presidency. One of the
> passed to Mr Suskind was a secret dossier from the first few weeks of the
> administration entitled "Plan for post-Saddam Iraq". The disclosure will
> provide further ammunition for to Bush critics who believe the
> administration cynically exploited the 11 September terror attacks to
> an aggressive policy of global military interventionism that
> neo-conservative hawks such as Dick Cheney, the Vice-President, and Donal=
> Rumsfeld, the Defence Secretary, had been advocating for years.
> It makes clear that hints of a link between Saddam and the 11 September
> attacks, repeatedly made by administration officials in the run-up to the
> war but never substantiated, were a political convenience, not the drivin=
> motivation behind the invasion. And it also poses a considerable challeng=
> to the official version of history, which has sought to portray Mr Bush a=
> undergoing a near-religious conversion after 11 September from a meek
> peacetime leader to a man with a global mission to stamp out evil.
> Mr O'Neill, who spoke to CBS's60 Minutes news programme yesterday, said h=
> was surprised nobody at the NSC meetings asked questions such as "Why
> Saddam?" or "Why now?" "For me," he added, "the notion of pre-emption,
> the US has the unilateral right to do whatever we decide to do, is really
> huge leap."
> It has been clear for some time that the neo-conservatives in the
> administration were pushing such unilateralism. Mr Bush came to office
> pledging the opposite - an aversion to so-called "nation-building" and th=
> commitment of US troops to world trouble-spots.
> The former treasury secretary gives a unflattering portrait of the
> in the book and in follow-up interviews, describing him as disengaged fro=
> the issues and apparently uninterested in dialogue with advisers. In
> meetings, Mr O'Neill said, the President was "like a blind man in a
> of deaf people" - having nothing to say and allowing others to fix the
> agenda.
> =A9 2003 Independent Digital (UK) Ltd


Message: 2
From: "cafe-uni" <>
To: "Casi News" <>
Subject:  Treachery: How Iraq Went To War Against Saddam
Date: Mon, 12 Jan 2004 12:12:04 -0000

> The Sunday Times - Review
> January 11, 2004
> Treachery: How Iraq went to war against Saddam
> Eight months after the Iraq war, Ed Harriman solves the great riddle of
> conflict: why did Saddam's vaunted military not put up a fight? The answe=
> lies in a story of betrayal, secret deals and great bravery
> Early on the evening of April 3 last year, the first tank of the American
> invasion force broke through the south perimeter wall of Saddam
> International airport just a few miles outside Baghdad.
> The next morning Colonel William Grimsley, the unit commander, told a
> reporter: "We came in here, busted a hole in the wall . . . Right around
> first light this morning it was as if they woke up and looked around and
> said: 'Holy cow! Where did all these Americans come from?' "
> Grimsley had every reason to be proud. His Abrams tanks and Bradley
> fighting vehicles had stormed 300 miles across Iraq in less than a
> fortnight. Now they were sitting in Saddam Hussein's backyard.
> It was not Grimsley's job to disclose that helicopter-borne US special
> forces had been busy fighting Iraqi troops at the airport before his
> armoured column arrived. And he probably did not know that Iraqi spies,
> trained and financed by the CIA, had infiltrated the airport a fortnight
> earlier. The spies had bribed Saddam's officers at the airport, mapped
> building and passed the details to their American spymasters.
> This was just one incident of the secret war in Iraq - a war of spies,
> bribes and satellite phones that contributed so much to the coalition's
> success, but which still remains largely secret. A six-month investigatio=
> has uncovered a massive coalition spying operation against Saddam before
> war involving hundreds of Iraqi exiles. It has also found that several of
> Saddam's senior generals betrayed him.
> The investigation has laid bare what happened to Saddam's much-feared
> troops, the Republican Guard: they, too, were betrayed by their
> And it has uncovered that Saddam initiated last-minute negotiations with
> White House in the weeks before the war, using a former president of
> as go-between.
> THE countdown to this war was already under way when Tony Blair arrived i=
> Washington on September 7 in 2002 to thrash out tactics with the
> As the two leaders walked from the helicopter on the White House lawn,
> gave a brief press conference.
> Blair was at pains to talk about WMD. "The catalogue of attempts by Iraq
> conceal its weapons of mass destruction, not to tell the truth about it
> not just a period of months but over a period of years. Now that's why th=
> issue's important," he said.
> Yet Blair knew as he spoke on the White House lawn that two days earlier
> first big coalition attack of the coming war had taken place.
> On September 5, British and American aircraft had flattened Saddam's
> airbase, called H-3, in Iraq's western desert. More than 100 aircraft had
> taken part. The raid had destroyed military communications and
> defences as well as Iraqi planes.
> The attack had not attracted much media attention. Ostensibly it had been
> part of enforcing the southern no-fly zone. In fact it had been the
> coalition airstrike since Operation Desert Storm, 11 years before.
> In the wake of Blair's visit, Britain and America mobilised for war.
> Throughout the autumn and winter, airstrikes continued to smash Saddam's
> military infrastructure.
> In Washington there was hot debate about whether to invade Iraq or to
> a coup. Many preferred a coup. "If we'd had a coup we would have got rid
> Saddam and replaced him with another autocratic Arab regime," a senior US
> diplomat who had served in Iraq said. "That would have been better than
> chaos we got now."
> Coup fever seems even to have infected Downing Street. In November 2002,
> Britain's top academic Iraqi experts were summoned to brief Blair.
> They found Jack Straw and a gaggle of Foreign Office officials sitting
> the prime minister around the cabinet table. The first thing Blair said t=
> the academics was: "What do we do after the coup?" They were dumbfounded.
> In the end it had to be war. CIA-backed coup attempts against Saddam had
> failed in the past. The White House also realised that it could not sell =
> coup to the American public.
> As war approached and British and US forces massed on Iraq's Kuwaiti
> several Middle Eastern governments - Jordan, UAE, Saudi Arabia - tried to
> broker deals between Saddam and the Bush administration. They failed.
> Then, in mid-February last year, Saddam broke cover. He got in touch with
> Amine Gemayel, an old contact.
> Gemayel is head of Lebanon's Maronite Christian community. He was
> of Lebanon at the height of its civil war in the mid-1980s, when Saddam
> helped Lebanese Christians under attack from Syrian-backed Muslim
> fundamentalists. At that time Gemayel also enjoyed President Ronald
> support and was on good terms with George Bush Sr and Donald Rumsfeld.
> friendships continue today.
> Gemayel went secretly to Baghdad and met Saddam. After being driven aroun=
> the city, he ended up at a modest house near what was then Saddam
> International airport.
> "When we met he was very, very casual, very nice, very relaxed," Gemayel
> recounts. "And I told him very clearly that in my opinion he needs to
> about a regime change in Iraq. He was completely neutral with no
> Even so, Saddam encouraged Gemayel to go to the United States and talk to
> his friends in the Bush administration.
> Gemayal first went to Houston, where he had friends close to the White
> House. After a few days of meetings and long-distance phone calls he
> in Washington on February 26.
> "In Washington I used the strategy of the 'non-meeting, non-calls'," he
> explains. "You call somebody, it's a non-call because Washington was
> absolutely reluctant to give the impression that a certain kind of
> negotiations are taking place."
> By early March, Gemayel was back in Baghdad. He told Saddam that the Whit=
> House would not budge. Saddam had to agree to resign before anything
> could be discussed. Negotiations before that were out of the question.
> "They want Saddam Hussein to surrender. That's all," says Gemayel. "That'=
> the official position. That we call for the stepping down of Saddam
>  Hussein."
> Saddam would not go.
> "Really, I was afraid," says Gemayel. "Because I knew that the countdown
> began, the war is very, very close."
> Two weeks later, on March 19, Bush went on American television to give
> Saddam and his sons a 48-hour ultimatum to step down. But the secret war
> already begun.
> JUST outside a side garden gate to Syon House, London home of the Duke of
> Northumberland, there is a scruffy white building that looks as though it
> was built in the 1960s. Today it is abandoned. Before the Iraq war it was
> schoolhouse for spies.
> "We came every day for 20 days, all day," says Jabbar al-Khafaji. He and
> fellow students were instructed by CIA officers how to use invisible ink,
> make secret rendezvous, to avoid being followed. They learnt the nuts and
> bolts of spycraft.
> From Amman, the capital of Jordan, Jabbar smuggled Thuraya satellite
> supplied by American intelligence into northern Iraq. "I picked them up
> a woman who came from the American embassy, and then I go to Turkey and
> into Iraqi Kurdistan," he said. Once the phones had been delivered, Jabba=
> and others were at the other end of the line, collecting intelligence fro=
> the spies on the ground and working closely with the Americans.
> Jabbar was a member of the Iraqi National Accord (INA), one of the main
> opposition movements, headed by Ayad Alawi, who today is a member of
> interim governing council. The INA ran a clandestine radio and television
> station in Amman, broadcasting messages via satellite into Iraq,
> sheikhs, Iraqi officers and local leaders not to fight for Saddam when th=
> war began.
> Ahmed Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress (INC), the other American-backed
> Iraqi exile group, was also deeply involved in the secret intelligence
> A senior INC official picked up more than a dozen Thuraya satellite phone=
> in London, intended to be smuggled to the families of some of Saddam's
> leading officers.
> Iraqi lorry and taxi drivers regularly acted as "mules", carrying
> phones and secret messages between Amman and Baghdad. At least three
> were caught and executed as spies.
> There were other dangers. A former CIA officer says that Iraqis with whom
> worked could use their satellite phones only for quick calls in the middl=
> of the night.
> Saddam's secret police vans, fitted with Russian-made telephone tracking
> equipment, prowled the streets of Baghdad's more prosperous
> According to the former CIA officer, some of the best contacts with those
> who betrayed Saddam were made through Iraqi businessmen who had profited
> enormously under his regime and are doing good business with the coalitio=
> forces in Iraq today.
> One of the most dangerous secret operations began on March 12, a week
> Bush's last ultimatum to Saddam, when a former Iraqi soldier, who had bee=
> trained in the United States by the CIA, was sent into Iraq from Kuwait
> a large bundle of dollars, a global positioning system locator and a
> satellite phone. His target was Saddam International airport.
> He teamed up with a major serving in the mukhabarat, Saddam's intelligenc=
> service, who had already secretly gone over to the Americans. Together
> compromised Saddam's defence of the airport.
> "I was able to enter Saddam International airport from all directions and
> gave information to my friends and the coalition forces about how many
> troops there were and the types of weapons to be found," said the former
> soldier.
> "Any Iraqi officer can be bought with any sum of money you want.
> Arrangements or agreements were made with a number of officers in return
> a payment, $10,000, $15,000 or $5,000."
> What they discovered was astonishing. "They had no heavy weapons at the
> airport. There were no more than 92 soldiers there," the former soldier
> said. About 400 yards from the airport they found 36 tanks of Saddam's
> special palace brigade. That was all.
> Saddam's secret police arrested the two men on March 27, a week after the
> war began. They were interrogated and tortured.
> "They tied me upside down by my ankles to a revolving fan and then beat m=
> with sticks," said the former soldier, showing the scars on his back,
> and feet. "But we didn't tell them anything."
> The two men believe they survived only because their jailers fled as the
> Americans entered Baghdad. By then the information they had passed on to
> CIA had proved its worth.
> Knowing that the airport was poorly defended, US special forces were able
> secretly to make short work of its garrison before Grimsley's tanks
> on April 3.
> THIS campaign of spies, bribes and satellite phones also proved to be
> effective strategically.
> At Centcom press briefings in Doha in the United Arab Emirates during the
> war, General Vincent Brooks showed video clips of Iraqi jets on runways
> being attacked by US special forces gunships.
> They appeared to suggest that the Iraqi air force was being destroyed. Bu=
> according to Robert Hewson, an aviation expert who writes for Jane's
> Intelligence Review, the Iraqi aircraft in Brook's video clips were 1950s=
> vintage Hawker Hunters and ancient MiGs. "These aircraft are museum
> they're junk," said Hewson.
> Not junk are 51 of Iraq's best MiG fighters, including three advanced
> Foxbats, "discovered" by Australian special forces shortly after the war
> Al Asad airfield, the home of Iraqi fighter command.
> Had these flown they could have posed a problem to coalition forces. Yet
> they did not fly. Nor was the base bombed.
> As Brigadier Maurie McNarn, the Australians' commander, revealed, the
> coalition had been in touch with Iraqi air force commanders. "We sent the=
> some personal messages saying 'you really don't want to do this'. We got
> some indications back that they didn't want to fight and if they were
> a way out would probably try and take it."
> The air force commanders were not alone. Rumsfeld, the US secretary of
> defence, publicly offered senior Iraqi officers a deal. "You will have a
> place in a free Iraq if you do the right thing. But if you follow Saddam'=
> orders you will share his fate," he said.
> Among those believed to have taken up the offer and betrayed Saddam,
> Mahar Soufiane al-Tikriti figures highly. He was chief of staff of
> elite Special Republican Guard and also one of his close bodyguards,
> of by fellow officers as one of his favourites.
> One of his colleagues, General Mahdi Abdullah al-Douleimi, has described
> Soufiane sent a private letter to other commanders saying he was not goin=
> to fight and would withdraw as American forces approached Baghdad.
> He could have helped the Americans immeasurably. Today he has disappeared=
> He does not seem to have been killed during the war. He is not at his
> mansion alongside the Tigris River. The Americans say he is not in their
> custody nor is he among the CIA's pack of cards of Iraq's "most wanted".
> On April 7 an American Hercules aircraft took off from Baghdad airport,
> first flight to leave after the capture of the capital. On board are
> to have been the most senior Iraqi commanders who had betrayed Saddam,
> whisked to safety and anonymity outside Iraq with their families.
> Ibrahim al-Janabi, a significant figure in the new Iraq, believes that
> Soufiane was one of the "two or three" senior commanders on board.
> Al-Janabi is in a position to know. He is general secretary of the INA an=
> is working closely with the Iraqi interior ministry in purging and
> rebuilding Iraq's intelligence service. He sees nothing unusual with thos=
> who betrayed Saddam being offered protection and new identities.
> "It usually happens in all countries," he explained. "I mean people who
> in the past regime and they have some information and they help you. The
> ideal solution is to let them go outside Iraq with different names,
> different shapes and other things."
> Who else betrayed Saddam? The question goes to the heart of the
> destruction of Saddam's elite Republican Guard and Special Republican
> divisions. Some 120,000 strong, these were Saddam's best equipped and
> trained soldiers. They had the best tanks, artillery and communications.
> the Americans advanced, they were waiting, dug in to well prepared
> along the approaches to Baghdad.
> Yet these key troops were ordered to abandon their posts and manoeuvre in
> broad daylight as the Americans got closer to Baghdad. It was suicidal.
> Without adequate cover or camouflage, entire Republican Guard units were
> destroyed under intense American air bombardment. Some 10,000 soldiers ar=
> estimated to have been killed this way.
> "We couldn't believe it. Our artillery was ready, the tanks, everything
> ready for battle," said Major Amer Na'ama Abed, whose Republican Guard
> gave up good defensive positions south of Baghdad on April 3. "Guns and
> tanks were left in the open. We only carried with us rifles, launchers an=
> guns, which we managed to take in a hurry."
> Today Abed is selling television satellite dishes, living with his wife,
> mother and two small children in a small mud-brick house down one of
> 's narrow, rutted dirt side streets. He and fellow officers believe they
> were betrayed by their commanders.
> Under Saddam, he says, "commanders were paid extraordinary sums of money
> gain their trust and allegiance to the regime. They were given money,
> palaces and land. In my opinion the Americans used the same method. I
> believe that money was the reason why most commanders succumbed".
> As Republican Guard commanders abandoned their positions and the American
> bombs rained down, the surviving troops lost their taste for battle,
> discarded their weapons and uniforms and made their way home as civilians=
> WHAT had Saddam been doing as his commanders betrayed him? Ma'ad al-Nasur=
> was one of the dictator's personal bodyguards, a member of his so-called
> "second circle". He was by Saddam's side until he fled Baghdad. Today he
> in hiding.
> Al-Nasuri says that Saddam took command of the battle for the airport whe=
> the Americans reached it on April 3. He moved his headquarters to the Um
> al-Taboul mosque, a large and palatial building less than six miles from
> airport. Here Saddam had a landline linked directly to his airport
> But his communications were shattered.
> "The information about the airport was confused. Nobody knew what was
> happening," says al-Nasuri.
> Having ordered the execution of one of his Republican Guard commanders fo=
> retreating from battle, Saddam could muster only remnants of the Iraqi
> his poorly trained and ill equipped fedayeen and Arab volunteers.
> On the night of April 4 most of this ragtag army disappeared in a
> American air bombardment of the airport.
> Saddam was at great personal risk. An American tank passed by the mosque
> while he was inside the building. "I still remember the US tank which
> crossed the street in front of the Um al-Taboul mosque while Saddam was
> still in it," says al-Nasuri. "The situation became very dramatic."
> Saddam knew that his commanding officers were getting messages from the
> coalition and suspected he had been betrayed.
> "We knew that the Pentagon had sent many letters to Republican Guard
> commanders to co-operate and not to order their soldiers to fight," said
> al-Nasuri. "Everyone became suspicious."
> With good reason: acting on a satellite phone tip-off, the Americans had
> tried to bomb Saddam on the night the war began.
> On Monday April 7 they received another tip-off that Saddam was headed fo=
> meeting at a house used by the mukhabarat just behind the al-Sa'ah
> restaurant, one of his favourites in Baghdad's Mansour district.
> minutes later the house was destroyed by an American B-1 bomber.
> This time, however, Saddam seems to have gone one better on the American
> spymasters. One of his former senior ministers, who is now in hiding,
> described what happened. Saddam, suspecting he was being betrayed, set a
> trap of his own. He gave orders to meet four of his closest aides at the
> restaurant. Only three of the aides turned up.
> "Saddam and his bodyguards came into this house. He saw that one of the
> officers was missing so he left the house immediately. The house was hit
> directly," said a witness of the incident.
> The missing man, Tahir Jalil al-Habbush al-Takriti, was the head of
> mukhabarat. He has top credentials to be in the CIA's deck of "most
> cards, but he is not among them.
> Saddam left Baghdad in a white Oldsmobile heading for Tikrit, his old
> base, on the morning of April 10, according to al-Nasuri. As the world
> knows, he stayed near Tikrit until being dragged out of a hole just befor=
> Christmas.
> Many of his former cronies and their families have fled Iraq to softer
> billets. Dubai is a popular destination. Naji Sabri, Saddam's foreign
> minister, sought refuge in Austria where he had good relations with J=F6r=
> Haider, the right-wing politician. Saddam's veteran deputy prime minister=
> Tariq Aziz, is thought to be in the United States. His family was flown t=
> Jordan in an American aircraft. One of his sons can now often be found in
> the lounge of a leading hotel in Amman.
> The really big fish, however, the senior commanders who betrayed Saddam
> contributed to the coalition victory, are today in deep cover. They have
> made their contribution. Now it is up to their American spymasters to
> the deal and give them new identities.
> It is probably easier to trace Saddam himself - be he on a US aircraft
> carrier or at America's top secret Indian Ocean base of Diego Garcia -
> it is to track down those who double-crossed him.
> Ed Harriman produced and directed Secrets of the Iraq War, to be broadcas=
> tonight at 11.10pm on ITV1
> Copyright 2004 Times Newspapers Ltd.


Message: 3
From: "k hanly" <>
To: "newsclippings" <>
Subject: Bechtel wins new contracts in Iraq
Date: Mon, 12 Jan 2004 13:09:25 -0600

Bechtel-Parsons win Iraq contracts

by Press, Press
January 7th, 2004

A partnership of giant companies with ties to US officials has been awarded
a $1.8 billion Iraq reconstruction contract. The team of Bechtel National
Inc. and Parsons Corp. won the deal for major reconstruction projects in
Iraq, said Gordon West of the State Department's US Agency for International
Development (AID) on Tuesday.

The two California firms will be responsible for rebuilding Iraq's
electricity and water systems, as well as roads and schools, he said.

But Pentagon and State Department officials acknowledged they had not worked
out a bureaucratic squabble over which agency would ultimately oversee more
than $18 billion in reconstruction funding approved by Congress last fall.

The Bush administration also announced plans to open bidding on an
additional $5 billion in Iraq reconstruction work.

No bid contracts

Bechtel already has a similar reconstruction contract with USAID, which
could be worth up to $680 million by the end of next year. That contract,
unlike the latest one, was not awarded through competitive bidding.

Bechtel executives gave thousands of dollars to President George Bush's 2000
campaign, and two of the company's top executives serve on advisory boards
for the White House and Pentagon.

Democrats have criticised Bechtel's no-bid contract, calling it an example
of Bush administration cronyism. But administration officials insist
politics has had nothing to do with decisions to award contracts.

Parsons has an $89 million contract with the US military to oversee disposal
of Iraqi munitions at three sites. The company also has teamed with Bechtel
to build facilities for the Army to dispose of large portions of the US
chemical weapons arsenal.

Last September, Parsons announced it had hired two former top Energy
Department officials to help the company land Energy Department contracts.

Parsons also hired a recently retired Air Force major general to work in its
defence contracts operation.

More contracts

Retired Navy Adm. David Nash, who oversees reconstruction contracts for the
US-led Coalition Provisional Authority, which reports to the Pentagon, also
announced plans on Tuesday to start the bidding process for an additional 17
Iraq reconstruction contracts worth $5 billion. Nash said he hoped to have
those awarded by early March.

Bidding on the $5 billion in projects had been delayed for more than a month
while administration officials reviewed how to structure them.

For example, because the United States has decided to turn over sovereignty
to Iraqis by this summer, plans to spend $100 million on developing
democracy in Iraq shifted to plans for $400 million in such spending, said
an administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"We wanted to make sure things are correct before we go forward, because
this is a lot of money," Nash said.

Pentagon, USDAID dispute

Part of the review involved a dispute between the Pentagon and USAID-which
is part of the State Department-over which agency would ultimately oversee
Iraqi reconstruction contracts.

That has not been resolved, said Pentagon spokesman Lawrence Di Rita on

USAID Administrator Andrew Natsios said he had had cordial discussions of
the issue with US occupying administrator for Iraq Paul Bremer.

"Are there disagreements over details? Yes, there are, but I have to tell
you, I think sometimes they are a little exaggerated, frankly," Natsios
said. "There has not been very much disagreement with him (Bremer) on any of
this stuff.

"We work for Jerry Bremer. AID in Iraq works for Jerry Bremer," Natsios
said. "He makes the decisions. He gives the orders."

Nash said the CPA was holding $4.6 billion of the $18.6 billion appropriated
by Congress for future Iraqi reconstruction work. Di Rita said that was to
give the United States flexibility to deal with unforeseen developments.

"You can't spend $18.6 billion in six months anyway," Di Rita said.

The United States is continuing its ban on bids by companies from nations
that opposed the Iraq war, Di Rita said. The ban had angered allies such as
France, Germany and Canada whose firms were cut out from the competition.


Message: 4
From: "Mark Parkinson" <>
Date: Tue, 13 Jan 2004 01:15:14 -0000
Subject: What They Don't Want You to Know

12.01.2004 [19:30]

The disaster in Iraq is rotting the Blairite establishment. Blair
himself appears ever more removed from reality; his latest tomfoolery
about the "discovery" of "a huge system of clandestine weapons
laboratories," which even the American viceroy in Baghdad mocked,
would be astonishing, were it not merely another of his vapid
attempts to justify his crime against humanity. (His crime, and
George Bush's, is clearly defined as "supreme" in the Nuremberg

This is not what the guardians of the faith want you to know. Lord
Hutton, who is due to report on the Kelly affair, will provide the
most effective distraction, just as Lord Justice Scott did with his
arms-to-Iraq report almost ten years ago, ensuring that the top
echelon of the political class escaped criminal charges. Of course,
it was not Hutton's "brief" to deal with the criminal slaughter in
Iraq; he will spread the blame for one man's torment and death,
having pointedly and scandalously chosen not to recall and cross-
examine Blair, even though Blair revealed during his appearance
before Hutton that he had lied in "emphatically" denying he had had
anything to do with "outing" Dr. David Kelly.

Other guardians have been assiduously at work. The truth of public
opposition to an illegal, unprovoked invasion, expressed in the
biggest demonstration in modern history, is being urgently revised.
In a valedictory piece on 30 December, the Guardian commentator and
leader writer Martin Kettle wrote: "Opponents of the war may need to
be reminded that public opinion currently approves of the invasion by
nearly two to one."

A favorite source for this is a Guardian/ICM poll published on 18
November, the day Bush arrived in London, which was reported beneath
the front-page headline "Protests begin but majority backs Bush visit
as support for war surges." Out of 1,002 people contacted, just 426
said they welcomed Bush's visit, while the majority said they were
opposed to it or did not know. As for support for the war "surging,"
the absurdly small number questioned still produced a majority that
opposed the invasion.

Across the world, the "majority backs Bush" disinformation was seized
upon =96 by William Shawcross on CNN ("The majority of the British
people are glad he [Bush] came..."), by the equally warmongering
William Safire in the New York Times and by the Murdoch press almost
everywhere. Thus, the slaughter in Iraq, the destruction of
democratic rights and civil liberties in the west and the preparation
for the next invasion are "normalized."

In "The Banality of Evil," Edward S. Herman wrote, "Doing terrible
things in an organized and systematic way rests on 'normalization'...
There is usually a division of labor in doing and rationalizing the
unthinkable, with the direct brutalizing and killing done by one set
of individuals... others working on improving technology (a better
crematory gas, a longer burning and more adhesive Napalm, bomb
fragments that penetrate flesh in hard-to-trace patterns). It is the
function of the experts, and the mainstream media, to normalize the
unthinkable for the general public."

Current "normalizing" is expressed succinctly by Kettle: "As 2003
draws to its close, it is surely al-Qaeda, rather than the
repercussions of Iraq, that casts a darker shadow over Britain's
future." How does he know this? The "mass of intelligence flowing
across the Prime Minister's desk," of course! He calls this "cold-
eyed realism," omitting to mention that the only credible
intelligence "flowing across the Prime Minister's desk" was the
common sense that an Anglo-American attack on Iraq would increase the
threat from al-Qaeda.

What the normalizers don't want you to know is the nature and scale
of the "coalition" crime in Iraq =96 which Kettle calls a "misjudgment"
=96 and the true source of the worldwide threat. Outside the work of a
few outstanding journalists prepared to go beyond the official
compounds in Iraq, the extent of the human carnage and material
devastation is barely acknowledged. For example, the effect of
uranium weapons used by American and British forces is suppressed.
Iraqi and foreign doctors report that radiation illnesses are common
throughout Iraq, and troops have been warned not to approach
contaminated sites. Readings taken from destroyed Iraqi tanks in
British-controlled Basra are so high that a British army survey team
wore white, full-body radiation suits, face masks and gloves. With
nothing to warn them, Iraqi children play on and around the tanks.

Of the 10,000 Americans evacuated sick from Iraq, many have "mystery
illnesses" not unlike those suffered by veterans of the first Gulf
war. By mid-April last year, the US air force had deployed more than
19,000 guided weapons and 311,000 rounds of uranium A10 shells.
According to a November 2003 study by the Uranium Medical Research
Center, witnesses living next to Baghdad airport reported a huge
death toll following one morning's attack from aerial bursts of
thermobaric and fuel air bombs. Since then, a vast area has been
"landscaped" by US earth movers, and fenced. Jo Wilding, a British
human rights observer in Baghdad, has documented a catalogue of
miscarriages, hair loss, and horrific eye, skin and respiratory
problems among people living near the area. Yet the US and Britain
steadfastly refuse to allow the International Atomic Energy Agency to
conduct systematic monitoring tests for uranium contamination in
Iraq. The Ministry of Defense, which has admitted that British tanks
fired depleted uranium in and around Basra, says that British troops
"will have access to biological monitoring." Iraqis have no such
access and receive no specialist medical help.

According to the non-governmental organization Medact, between 21,700
and 55,000 Iraqis died between 20 March and 20 October last year.
This includes up to 9,600 civilians. Deaths and injury of young
children from unexploded cluster bombs are put at 1,000 a month.
These are conservative estimates; the ripples of trauma throughout
the society cannot be imagined. Neither the US nor Britain counts its
Iraqi victims, whose epic suffering is "not relevant," according to a
US State Department official =96 just as the slaughter of more than
200,000 Iraqis during and immediately after the 1991 Gulf war,
calculated in a Medical Education Trust study, was "not relevant" and
not news.

The normalizers are anxious that this terror is again not recognized
(the BBC confines its use of "terrorism" and "atrocities" to the
Iraqi resistance) and that the wider danger it represents throughout
the world is overshadowed by the threat of al-Qaeda. William Schulz,
executive director of Amnesty International USA, has attacked the
antiwar movement for not joining Bush's "war on terror." He says "the
left" must join Bush's campaign, even his "preemptive" wars, or risk
=96 that word again =96 "irrelevance." This echoes other liberal
normalizers who, by facing both ways, provide propaganda cover for
rapacious power to expand its domain with "humanitarian
interventions" =96 such as the bombing to death of some 3,000 civilians
in Afghanistan and the swap of the Taliban for US-backed warlords,
murderers and rapists known as "commanders."

Schulz's criticism ignores the truth in Amnesty's own studies.
Amnesty USA reports that the Bush administration is harboring
thousands of foreign torturers, including several mass murderers. By
a simple mathematical comparison of American and al-Qaeda terror, the
latter is a lethal flea. In the past 50 years, the US has supported
and trained state terrorists in Latin America, Africa and Asia. The
toll of their victims is in the millions. Again, the documentation is
in Amnesty's files. The dictator Suharto's seizure of power in
Indonesia was responsible for "one of the greatest mass murders of
the 20th century," according to the CIA. The US supplied arms,
logistics, intelligence and assassination lists. Britain supplied
warships and black propaganda to cover the trail of blood. Scholars
now put Suharto's victims in 1965=9666 at almost a million; in East
Timor, he oversaw the death of one-third of the population: 200,000
men, women and children.

Today, the mass murderer lives in sumptuous retirement in Jakarta,
his billions safe in foreign banks. Unlike Saddam Hussein, an amateur
by comparison, there will be no show trial for Suharto, who remained
obediently within the US terror network. (One of Suharto's most
outspoken protectors and apologists in the State Department during
the 1980s was Paul Wolfowitz, the current "brains" behind Bush's

In the sublime days before 11 September 2001, when the powerful were
routinely attacking and terrorizing the weak, and those dying were
black or brown-skinned non-people living in faraway places such as
Zaire and Guatemala, there was no terrorism. When the weak attacked
the powerful, spectacularly on 9/11, there was terrorism.

This is not to say the threat from al-Qaeda and other fanatical
groups is not real; what the normalizers don't want you to know is
that the most pervasive danger is posed by "our" governments, whose
subordinates in journalism and scholarship cast always as benign:
capable of misjudgment and blunder, never of high crime. Fueled by
religious fanaticism, a corrupt Americanism and rampant corporate
greed, the Bush cabal is pursuing what the military historian Anatol
Lieven calls "the classic modern strategy of an endangered right-wing
oligarchy, which is to divert mass discontent into nationalism,"
inspired by fear of lethal threats. Bush's America, he warns, "has
become a menace to itself and to mankind."

The unspoken truth is that Blair, too, is a menace. "There never has
been a time," said Blair in his address to the US Congress last year,
"when the power of America was so necessary or so misunderstood or
when, except in the most general sense, a study of history provides
so little instruction for our present day." His fatuous dismissal of
history was his way of warning us off the study of imperialism. He
wants us to forget and to fail to recognize historically the
"national security state" that he and Bush are erecting as a
"necessary" alternative to democracy. The father of fascism, Benito
Mussolini, understood this. "Modern fascism," he said, "should be
properly called corporatism, since it is the merger of state,
military and corporate power."

Bush, Blair and the normalizers now speak, almost with relish, of
opening mass graves in Iraq. What they do not want you to know is
that the largest mass graves are the result of a popular uprising
that followed the 1991 Gulf war, in direct response to a call by
President George Bush Sr. to "take matters into your own hands and
force Saddam to step aside." So successful were the rebels initially
that within days Saddam's rule had collapsed across the south. A new
start for the people of Iraq seemed close at hand.

Then Washington, the tyrant's old paramour who had supplied him with
$5bn worth of conventional arms, chemical and biological weapons and
industrial technology, intervened just in time. The rebels suddenly
found themselves confronted with the United States helping Saddam
against them. US forces prevented them from reaching Iraqi arms
depots. They denied them shelter, and gave Saddam's Republican Guard
safe passage through US lines in order to attack the rebels. US
helicopters circled overhead, observing, taking photographs, while
Saddam's forces crushed the uprising. In the north, the same happened
to the Kurdish insurrection. "The Americans did everything for
Saddam," said the writer on the Middle East Said Aburish, "except
join the fight on his side." Bush Sr. did not want a divided Iraq,
certainly not a democratic Iraq. The New York Times commentator
Thomas Friedman, a guard dog of US foreign policy, was more to the
point. What Washington wanted was a successful coup by an "iron-
fisted junta": Saddam without Saddam.

Nothing has changed. As Milan Rai documents in his new book, Regime
Unchanged, the most senior and ruthless elements of Saddam's security
network, the Mukha-barat, are now in the pay of the US and Britain,
helping them to combat the resistance and recruit those who will run
a puppet regime behind a facade. A CIA-run and -paid Gestapo of
10,000 will operate much as they did under Saddam. "What is happening
in Iraq," writes Rai, "is re-Nazification... just as in Germany after
the war."

Blair knows this and says nothing. Consider his unctuous words to
British troops in Basra the other day about curtailing the spread of
weapons of mass destruction. Like so many of his deceptions, this
covers the fact that his government has increased the export of
weapons and military equipment to some of the most oppressive regimes
on earth, such as Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and Nepal. To oil-rich
Saudi Arabia, home of most of the 11 September hijackers and friend
of the Taliban, where women are tormented and people are executed for
apostasy, go major British weapons systems, along with leg irons,
gang chains, shock belts and shackles. To Indonesia, whose
unreconstructed, blood-soaked military is trying to crush the
independence movement in Aceh, go British "riot control" vehicles and
Hawk fighter-bombers.

Bush and Blair have been crowing about Libya's capitulation on
weapons of mass destruction it almost certainly did not have. This is
the result, as Scott Ritter has written, of "coerced concessions
given more as a means of buying time than through any spirit of true
cooperation" =96 as Bush and Blair have undermined the very
international law upon which real disarmament is based. On 8
December, the UN General Assembly voted on a range of resolutions on
disarmament. The United States opposed all the most important ones,
including those dealing with nuclear weapons. The Bush administration
has contingency plans, spelt out in the Pentagon's 2002 Nuclear
Posture Review, to use nuclear weapons against North Korea, Syria,
Iran and China. Following suit, the UK Defense Secretary, Geoffrey
Hoon, announced that for the first time, Britain would attack non-
nuclear states with nuclear weapons "if necessary."

This is as it was 50 years ago when, according to declassified files,
the British government collaborated with American plans to wage
"preventive" atomic war against the Soviet Union. No public
discussion was permitted; the unthinkable was normalized. Today,
history is our warning that, once again, the true threat is close to

John Pilger was born and educated in Sydney, Australia. He has been a
war correspondent, film-maker and playwright. Based in London, he has
written from many countries and has twice won British journalism's
highest award, that of 'Journalist of the Year', for his work in
Vietnam and Cambodia.

  ????????: John Pilger The New Statesman January 10, 2004 Via

Mark Parkinson


Message: 5
From: "ppg" <>
To: <>
Subject: Bush Team Revising Iraq Self-Rule plans
Date: Tue, 13 Jan 2004 00:32:54 -0500

[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ]

New York Times  January 13, 2004

Bush Team Revising Plans for Granting Self-Rule to Iraqis

ASHINGTON, Jan. 12 - The Bush administration, seeking to overcome new resis=
tance on the political and security fronts in Iraq, is revising its propose=
d process for handing over power to an interim Iraqi government by June 30,=
 administration officials said Monday.

Officials held a round of urgent meetings in Washington and Baghdad in the =
wake of the rejection on Sunday by a powerful Shiite religious leader, Ayat=
ollah Ali al-Sistani, of the administration's complex plans to hold caucuse=
s around the country to select an interim legislature and executive in a ne=
wly self-governing Iraq. Officials say they are responding to the cleric's =
objections with a new plan that will open the caucuses to more people and m=
ake their inner workings more transparent.

Administration officials also expressed concern about a separate part of Ay=
atollah Sistani's statement on Sunday that demanded that any agreement for =
American-led forces to remain in Iraq be approved by directly elected repre=

Those twin setbacks raise questions about who would have to reach an agreem=
ent with the United States that would allow more than 100,000 American troo=
ps to remain in the country after power is handed over to the Iraqis this s=

The administration has not yet begun negotiating such an agreement with its=
 handpicked Iraqi authorities. Such negotiations - in which the American mi=
litary is expected to ask for wide latitude in its counterinsurgency effort=
s - could be much tougher if they have to be carried out with Iraqis who ar=
e directly elected.

Administration officials acknowledged Monday evening that the remarks oppos=
ing the caucus plan from Ayatollah Sistani were a clear rebuff that would n=
ot be easy to overcome. The ayatollah, in a decree issued Sunday, said memb=
ers of the interim legislature must be chosen through direct elections. Adm=
inistration officials had been trying to convince him that such elections w=
ere impractical, but did not succeed.

"We're pushing ahead with this process and trying to deal with Ayatollah's =
concerns," said a top administration official. "We're looking at the same p=
rocess we have, but trying to make it as open, inclusive and democratic as =

Under an agreement reached between the American-led occupation and the Iraq=
i Governing Council, a body of Iraqis handpicked by the occupation authorit=
ies, an elaborate set of caucuses were mapped out in each of Iraq's 18 prov=
inces, which are known as governorates.

Each caucus was to have an organizing committee chosen by members of the Ir=
aqi Governing Council in Baghdad and by others in each of the governorates.=
 The system was so elaborate and complex that some American occupation offi=
cials said it was difficult even for them to figure out.

Now that Ayatollah Sistani has rejected the system as not democratic enough=
, administration officials said they were intensifying efforts in all of Ir=
aq's governorates and in cities and towns to hold local meetings to select =
delegates to the caucuses.

The new hope in Washington, the officials said, was in effect to make the c=
aucus system look more democratic without changing it in a fundamental way.

The administration continues to assert that elections cannot be held in tim=
e for the deadline of June 30, the target date for handing sovereignty over=
 to a new Iraqi interim government. There are no census rolls, voter regist=
ration records or other means to certify a democratic vote, they say.

In addition, the security situation, especially in the Sunni Muslim heartla=
nd in the center of Iraq, is not yet strong enough for an election to be he=
ld, American officials say.

There were signs on Monday that the administration was taken aback by the a=
yatollah's comments on Sunday. For weeks, administration officials had been=
 saying the American occupation leader, L. Paul Bremer III, would be able t=
o persuade the ayatollah to change his mind.

Some officials noted that their negotiations with Ayatollah Sistani have be=
en hampered because the ayatollah will not talk directly with Mr. Bremer, a=
nd so the Americans have had to use multiple emissaries to communicate with=

The ayatollah is a revered religious figure among Shiite Muslims, who make =
up more than 60 percent of Iraq's population. He is also regarded as a poli=
tical moderate, but his refusal to meet with Mr. Bremer or any other Americ=
an occupation figures was testimony to his not wanting to recognize the leg=
itimacy of the American occupation.

A top administration official said recently that various emissaries had con=
veyed messages to and from Mr. Bremer and Ayatollah Sistani, but that proba=
bly only about two-thirds of the messages got through at any one time. Sign=
als were confusing and contradictory, at least in American eyes.

When Ayatollah Sistani suggested that perhaps a neutral authority could cer=
tify that the elections were impractical, as American authorities had insis=
ted, the administration seized on the idea that Secretary General Kofi Anna=
n of the United Nations could fill the bill.

Last week, Mr. Annan passed a message to a group of Iraqi leaders at the Un=
ited Nations. The message was addressed to Adnan Pachachi, the current chai=
rman of the Iraqi Governing Council and a former Iraqi foreign minister who=
 has been leading the negotiations with the ayatollah.

According to people familiar with the letter, Mr. Annan said in it that "wh=
ile it might not be possible to have elections in the time available, never=
theless it was essential to have a process that was fully inclusive and tra=

The Annan letter was transmitted to Ayatollah Sistani by Mr. Pachachi, insp=
iring hope in the administration that it would prove persuasive, administra=
tion officials said. The ayatollah's rebuff was thus seen in Washington as =
a major jolt that forced a rethinking of American plans.

Senator John D. Rockefeller IV, Democrat of West Virginia, was among a smal=
l number of lawmakers involved in intelligence briefings on Monday, and he =
said Monday evening that he did not see how the administration had a choice=
 in the matter.

"Sistani probably isn't going to change his mind, so we're going to have to=
 somehow change our caucus approach or modify it," Senator Rockefeller said=
. "I think that's going to be very hard to pull off by June 30."

Mr. Rockefeller also urged the administration to consider postponing the ta=
rget date for transferring power to Iraqis, but administration officials sa=
id that was not under review.

The negotiations with the ayatollah and the plans for expanding the caucus =
process were proceeding even as an impasse remained on another aspect of th=
e occupation.

In that impasse, the American occupation continues to try to persuade Kurdi=
sh leaders to back off their insistence on one unified Kurdish state compri=
sing three of the governorates and possibly additional territory, including=
 some oil fields.

Kurds, equally adamantly, are demanding that the United States back off its=
 own position. Some Kurdish leaders are threatening to pull Kurdish members=
 off the Iraqi Governing Council, an American official said. Such a move wo=
uld be embarrassing to the United States, which chose the council members l=
ast summer.

Many in the administration expect an accommodation to be made with the Kurd=
s. Indeed, they say that so many Iraqis expect such an accommodation that t=
he likelihood that the United States would bow to Kurdish demands is probab=
ly what emboldened Ayatollah Sistani to take his hard line over the weekend=

[ w.gif of type image/gif removed by -
   attachments are not permitted on the CASI lists ]


Message: 6
Date: Tue, 13 Jan 2004 11:42:46 +0100 (CET)
From: =?ISO-8859-1?Q?Per_Klevn=E4s?= <>
Subject: Iraq Companies Seek Contracts at Trade Fare Held in Jordan

The New York Times
January 13, 2004
Iraq Companies Seek Contracts at Trade Fare Held in Jordan

MMAN, Jordan, Jan. 12 . In an effort to pick up the pace of reconstruction
in Iraq, representatives of more than 300 international companies and
nearly 300 Iraqi businessmen are attending a three-day conference,
Outreach 2004, here to explore possible partnerships.

The Iraqi companies are desperate for business and a chance to revive
their battered country, but in many instances they are thin on capital,
equipment and technology and feel they are getting only the scraps from
the American reconstruction project. The Americans and other foreign
companies have the resources, yet many remain hesitant about setting up
shop in Iraq, still plagued by almost daily violence.

"Our goal is to make sure Iraqis are deeply involved in the reconstruction
of their country," said David Nash, a retired American admiral overseeing
reconstruction programs in Iraq, said of the conference, which ends

The conference is the latest of several such Iraq reconstruction sessions.
Yet none have been held in Iraq, where such a large gathering of
foreigners would make an inviting target for Iraqi insurgents.

The money is starting to flow, though, and the projects, many involving
the restoration of oil facilities and of electrical and water services,
are moving forward, American officials said.

The United States government has authorized spending $18.6 billion over
the next few years, and Mr. Nash will oversee much of that as director of
the Project Management Office for the Coalition Provisional Authority in

Last week the American engineering giant Bechtel National won a contract
that could be worth as much as $1.82 billion. But smaller companies are
focusing on the thousands of more modest projects and subcontracts that
are expected to be available. Col. Anthony Bell, the chief contracting
officer in Baghdad, acknowledged that Iraqi companies had not won large
contracts. But he said they had won nearly two-thirds of the smaller
contracts to date.

A stroll around the cavernous exhibition hall, where companies from 21
countries have set up booths, quickly produced stories of the complicated
rebuilding effort.

Steve Jones, a North Carolina-based vice president with the conglomerate
Ingersoll-Rand, used a laptop computer to show that his company had $19
million in sales in Iraq last year, for equipment ranging from
refrigerated trucks to road-paving machinery.

Ingersoll-Rand's involvement in Iraq's oil industry dates back a
half-century, and the company wants to establish an office in Iraq. Yet no
company official has gone to Iraq since the American forces captured
Baghdad in April, Mr. Jones said, citing the lack of security.

In recent years the company has been working through Cessco, a
Jordanian-Iraqi company, and many Western companies may be looking for
similar arrangements until Iraq becomes more stable.

"I've heard several of our American exhibitors say, `If I go to Iraq, my
wife will divorce me,' " said Tom Kallman, chief operating officer of the
Kallman Group, a New Jersey-based company, which organized the event.

Kellogg Brown & Root, a subsidiary of the American oil services concern
Halliburton, already has a large presence in Iraq.

Security is a constant worry, though, and five of its workers have been
killed, said Tom Crum, the chief operating officer in the Middle East for
Kellogg Brown & Root. Still, he said Iraq is making steady progress.

Predictions of future Iraqi prosperity are small consolation for Abdul
Hakim Ali al-Qaisi, one of four Iraqi brothers, all engineers, who run a
family construction business. The company, Al Qabas Group, was established
in 1961 and collaborated with successive Iraqi governments on large
building projects.

Since the war, the company has handled only odd jobs, like supplying a few
air-conditioners to a foreign contractor.

"The Americans say foreign companies should work with Iraqis, but it
hasn't happened yet," Mr. Qaisi said. "We are one of the largest water
treatment companies in Iraq, and we never heard about the contracts in
this field until the foreign companies had already received them."

Mr. Qaisi viewed the exhibition more as obligation than opportunity. "We
have to be here just to let others know that we have not retired," he

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