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[casi-analysis] casi-news digest, Vol 1 #29 - 7 msgs

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Today's Topics:

   1. News clippings (Hassan)
   2. Iraqi women, children in US custody.. (k hanly)
   3. Bremer vows no Sharia law (k hanly)
   4. Article: Chaos and War Leave Iraq’s Hospitals in Ruins 
   5. Misery in Baghdad's ailing hospitals (Mark Parkinson)
   6. IGC wants to assume sovereignty until elections. (ppg)
   7. Juicy news!! (Hassan)


Message: 1
Date: Mon, 16 Feb 2004 07:14:48 -0800 (PST)
From: Hassan <>
Subject: News clippings
To: CASI newsclippings <>

U.S. May Veto Islamic Law in Iraq

By JIM KRANE, Associated Press Writer

KARBALA, Iraq - The top U.S. administrator in Iraq
(news - web sites) suggested Monday he would block any
interim constitution that would make Islam the chief
source of law, as some members of the Iraqi Governing
Council have sought.

L. Paul Bremer said the current draft of the
constitution would make Islam the state religion of
Iraq and "a source of inspiration for the law" =97 as
opposed to the main source.

Many Iraqi women have expressed fears that the rights
they hold under Iraq's longtime secular system would
be rolled back in the interim constitution being
written by U.S.-picked Iraqi leaders and their
advisers, many of them Americans. U.S. lawmakers have
urged the White House to prevent Islamic restrictions
on Iraqi women.

Asked what would happen if Iraqi leaders wrote into
the constitution that Islamic sharia law is the
principal basis of the law, Bremer suggested he would
wield his veto. "Our position is clear. It can't be
law until I sign it," he said.

Bremer must sign into law all measures passed by the
25-member council, including the interim constitution.
Iraq's powerful Shiite clergy, however, has demanded
the document be approved by an elected legislature.
Under U.S. plans, a permanent constitution would not
be drawn up and voted on until 2005.

Bremer used the inauguration ceremony at a women's
center in the southern city of Karbala to argue for
more than "token" women's representation in the
transitional government due to take power June 30.

"I think it is very important that women be
represented in all the political bodies," Bremer said.

"Women are the majority in this country, in this area
probably a substantial majority," he said, referring
to the Saddam Hussein (news - web sites)'s 1991 purges
of Shiite Muslim men. Those killings left the holy
city of Karbala and other Shiite cities dotted with
mass graves and brimming with thousands of widows.

Bremer and an entourage of reporters flew from Baghdad
into this Shiite holy city in a pair of U.S. Army
Black Hawk helicopters. He toured a women's center
renovated by U.S. and seized Iraqi funds, pausing to
chat with women and girls who were sewing curtains and
surfing the Internet.

In a speech to about 100 women =97 most dressed in
flowing black abayas and some with tattooed chins =97
Bremer cited a 2003 United Nations (news - web sites)
report that found that productivity in Arab countries
was being strangled because women had been kept out of
the work force. Bremer suggested that women's
participation did not run counter to Muslim values.

"Women who can read and write and understand
mathematics are not prevented from being good mothers.
Quite the opposite," Bremer told the gathering. "No
son is better off because his mother and sisters
cannot read."

Nawal Jabar, 44, whose husband was killed in the
Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, said she joined the
women's center to learn a trade.

"Either my mother or my brother has supported me from
time to time since my husband died," Jabar said. "It's
a very bad situation. But I am hoping I can get a job
here so that I can support my kids."

Enshrining women's rights in a constitution could be
difficult. U.S. observers have predicted liberal
reforms introduced in the transitional law could well
be rolled back in a future constitution. Bremer
acknowledged that U.S. influence on an Iraqi
constitution would fade after the June 30 handover.

"There will be a sovereign government here in June.
The Iraqis then will then have responsibility for
their own country," Bremer said. "There's a real
hunger for democracy in this country. It may not look
like American democracy, but there's a real hunger for
it and we're encouraging that."

There are three women on the Governing Council.

Mohsen Abdel-Hamid, the current council president and
a member of a committee drafting the interim
constitution, has proposed making Islamic sharia law
the "principal basis" of legislation.

The phrasing could have broad effects on secular Iraq.
In particular, it would likely make moot much of
Iraq's 1959 Law of Personal Status, which grants
uniform rights to husband and wife to divorce and
inheritance, and governs related issues like child

Under most interpretations of Islamic law, women's
rights to seek divorce are strictly limited and they
only receive half the inheritance of men. Islamic law
also allows for polygamy and often permits marriage of
girls at a younger age than secular law.

In December, the council passed a decision abolishing
the 1959 law and allowing each of the main religious
groups to apply its own tradition =97 including Islamic
law. Many Iraqi women expressed alarm at the decision,
and Bremer has not signed it into law.

Earlier this month, 45 members of the U.S. House of
Representatives signed a letter to President Bush
(news - web sites) urging him to preserve women's

"It would be a tragedy beyond words if Iraqi women
lost the rights they had under Saddam Hussein,
especially when the purpose of our mission in Iraq was
to make life better for the Iraqi people," the letter

Fix what's broken in Iraq
By Ivo Daalder and Anthony Lake, 2/16/2004

DEBATE RAGES over what went wrong in Iraq. More
important is this: how to make Iraq right.The dilemmas
are daunting: How to diminish the Iraqi nationalistic
reaction against American occupation through an early
restoration of their sovereignty without producing
anarchy if we leave too soon? How to reconcile our
stated goal of democracy with the prospect of
electoral dominance by a theocratic Shi'ite majority?
And how to get the help of the United Nations without
giving up the central control upon which Washington
has always insisted? As casualties mount and
differences among Iraqi factions deepen, answers are
urgent. Since the invasion, our approach to post-war
stability has embraced three models.

First: the fantasy of Iraq as France in August 1944.
American tanks would roll through Baghdad to the
welcome of jubilant crowds thankful for their
liberation. The Americans' De Gaulle -- designate
Ahmed Chalabi, provided with his own hastily assembled
militia -- would come to power in a wave of democratic
sentiment which would then transform the whole region,
while American troops marched home.

But as looting spread and Iraq's governing structures
collapsed, it quickly became apparent that Baghdad in
2003 was no Paris in 1944, and Chalabi no De Gaulle.
American troops were left holding the Baghdad.

Thus the next model: Japan, 1945. Democracy would be
imposed by a benevolent American ruler. L. Paul Bremer
III would be Douglas MacArthur, US and allied troops
would maintain order, and nearly $20 billion of our
budget would rebuild the country.

But Iraq was no postwar Japan. We proclaimed Iraqis
liberated, not defeated. Predictably, even those who
most hated Saddam Hussein resented the occupation. As
this resentment spread to America's closest Iraqi
allies, Washington concluded that it lacked the
stomach for a lengthy imperial role -- especially with
our own elections in view.

A third model followed: Afghanistan 2002, except with
the UN given only a marginal role. Sovereignty would
be given the Iraqis by June 30, 2004. New security
forces would maintain law and order, patrol the
borders, and protect critical infrastructure. A
national assembly would be selected to assume power,
write a constitution, and prepare for elections. The
US military would focus on counter-insurgency

This model has also failed. The security problems are
beyond the capacity of hastily trained Iraqi forces.
Politically, Shi'ites, Sunnis, and Kurds are divided
over the formation and functions of the transitional
assembly. The majority Shi'ites insist on electing the
assembly. The Kurds want to maintain their hard-won
autonomy. The Sunnis want to avoid being all-round
losers. And the clock ticks on toward the June 30
deadline for ending the American occupation.

In baseball, it's three strikes and you're out. But
America cannot quit now, with no political solution in
sight. Nor can we extend the June deadline without
deepening Iraqi resentment. So the administration
needs to strike a grand bargain -- with the Iraqis and
with the international community. And its Democratic
critics should make this easier.

The bargain with the Iraqis should give each faction
something. For the Shiites: We would abandon the
current selection process and substitute popular
elections for a national assembly. The assembly would
write a constitution, appoint an interim government,
and then oversee elections for a new government.
Elections for the assembly would be held as soon as
practical, perhaps around the end of this year. For
the Sunnis and Kurds and all Iraqis: a rapid transfer
of sovereignty and appointment of an expanded Iraqi
Governing Council to govern Iraq in the interim, to
finalize a basic law of principles and rights
(including minority rights), and to conduct the
national assembly elections.

The bargain with the international community would
entail transferring international authority in Iraq to
a UN-run Iraq assistance mission. It would help the
Governing Council in elections and aid the interim
government in rebuilding Iraq. A US-led NATO force
would provide security, as authorized by the UN
Security Council, to operate until Iraqi forces could
do so.

All this would entail some loss of face by the
administration, but there must be change. Washington
has neither the competence, the popular mandate within
Iraq, nor the political will to rule there
indefinitely. Yet to walk away, leaving chaos, would
be a strategic and moral disaster.

Critics should help the administration shift course.
However much we may have questioned this undertaking,
the administration did not make a Republican
commitment to Iraq. It is an American commitment.

Ivo Daalder, a coauthor of "America Unbound: The Bush
Revolution in Foreign Policy," is senior fellow at the
Brookings Institution. Anthony Lake, a former national
security adviser, is a professor at Georgetown

=A9 Copyright 2004 Globe Newspaper Company.


US provoked insurgency in Iraq - former UN official

Dubai |By Bassma Al Jandaly and Tanya Goudsouzian,
Staff Reporters | 16-02-2004

The message to neo-conservative policy-makers in
Washington, DC, is clear: Security cannot be achieved
by attacking the symptoms of global discontent over
American foreign policy, according to a former UN

"If you limit your intervention to (attacking the
symptoms), you will never put an end to what we are
now seeing - a rise in protest over the fact that we
are increasingly dominated by a small group of people
who want to tell us how to run our lives," said Hans
Von Sponeck, former UN Assistant Secretary General and
Humanitarian Co-ordinator for Iraq, in an exclusive
interview with Gulf News.

In order to make a significant contribution to a
stable global community, it would make more sense to
"talk about human security, education, health and good
services in our respective countries", he said.

Von Sponeck resigned from his UN post in 2000 because
he felt "the programme I was directing could not do
justice to the needs of the Iraqi people", who were
crippled by the economic sanctions and "exploited for
somebody else's political interest".

As with most critics of America's policies vis-a-vis
Iraq, he believes the current crisis is a result of
short-sightedness on the part of Washington.

"When the war began in March of last year, the Iraqi
people were already in a very precarious state. They
had behind them 13 long years of sanctions; 13 long
years of inadequate supplies for life, food, medicine,
education, water=85 Nothing was the way it had been at
one time in Iraq before 1990. So they were very weak
physically and to some extent mentally," he said.

"After a short war of less than five weeks, there
should have been a massive infusion of electricity
rehabilitation, improvement of water supplies, food
and medicine... None of this happened because while
the Americans were well-prepared to fight the war,
they were totally unprepared to introduce peace." The
question he asks: "Why were they so short-sighted?"

"My answer is they had a totally wrong impression of
the reaction of the Iraqi people. Many Iraqi people
were no doubt happy that the dictator was gone, but
that doesn't mean they were automatically happy to see
foreign troops on their soil.

"And this was the big surprise for the Americans. That
the flowers, the 'salams', did not come. What came
was: 'Thank you, he's gone, but now you can go, too.'
And therefore the preoccupation of the Americans today
is with security... But they do it in such a wrong way
that they create more negative reaction."

When the average Iraqi sees American soldiers
violating basic Iraqi values and norms of behaviour on
a daily basis, it creates a lot of resentment, he

"But the interpretation by the Americans and the
British is that these are leftovers of the Baath
party, leftovers of Saddam Hussain's supporters and
some Al Qaida infiltrators," he said.

While it may have started with "a few loyalists", the
discontent has gained more ground, he explains, when
the people saw there was no promise of normalcy - "no
electricity, no water supply, no allowing their
children to go to school".

Von Sponeck holds the behaviour of the US troops
responsible for spurring people who would never have
objected to a new beginning in Iraq, to reacting

"Today we have chaos. Today we have anarchy. Today we
have even what I never thought could happen: The
possibility of a break-up," he said.

"You have a very well-organised but low-profile Shiite
community with Al Sistani; you have a deeply troubled
Sunni minority that is angry in this
Baquba-Fallujah-Baghdad triangle; you have the Kurds
who have come into this with a huge amount of

He believes the differences between these ethnic and
religious groups are becoming increasingly difficult
to reconcile, which further complicates the return to

Many critics, including Von Sponeck, now argue that
this tragic scenario is "the best evidence that the
work of the UN should have been given a much more
patient hearing, before they decided to ignore the
international community, and go ahead in interpreting
Resolution 1441 in the way they wanted=85"

Von Sponeck also laments that the Arab League and the
UN might have done more to prevent the war. But, he
concedes, "if you have a government like the US that
is so convinced of its moral superiority, so convinced
that it has the military strength to do anything they
consider as correct", efforts might have been futile

"The Americans are, like it or not, a superpower on
their own... And in the Gulf, the Middle East, and
Europe, we are all paying the price now, because the
confrontation that we saw on TV in Iraq is a
confrontation that is spreading globally. There is so
much anti-American attitude all over the place," he

Still, he says the Americans are now beginning to
realise how much more difficult it is to introduce
peace in a country.

"It's easy to win the war, but as one of my countrymen
200 years ago said: 'If you go to war, you must know
what kind of peace you want'... And the Americans
didn't know what kind of peace they wanted," he said.

He refutes Washington's noble assertions that the
purpose of going to war was to uphold democracy and
human rights.

"It's about power, and even if they say every day it's
not about oil, it's also about oil. It's power and oil
and the right to decide who gets these important
energy resources, and that determines what happens in
Iraq," he said.

He says it is up to the governments in Europe and the
Middle East to sound the alarm and to warn "our
American friends" that they are going about things in
a very wrong way.

"This is not the approach that will reduce terrorism.
Don't come up with simplistic explanations, like this
is Al Qaida. What is Al Qaida? Show us there is an
organised Al Qaida structure. There is no organised Al
Qaida structure. This is only in the minds of people
who want to find an explanation for the incredible
mess they have created in Iraq," he said.

"If Europe and the Arab countries continue to keep a
low profile, we will not manage to get the world out
of this very serious confrontation between one group
that has the military and financial means and also the
belief - something new in Western politics - of this
moral absolutism... and a majority of countries that
disagree with that, and don't have the courage to say
it in very strong ways at the political and government
levels, but have other ways of expressing..."

Some may show their displeasure by boycotting this or
that, he says, while others will resort to extreme
expressions of anger in the form of terrorism.

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Message: 2
From: "k hanly" <>
To: "newsclippings" <>
Subject: Iraqi women, children in US custody..
Date: Mon, 16 Feb 2004 12:03:31 -0600

Iraqi women, children in US custody
By Ahmed Janabi

Sunday 15 February 2004, 11:45 Makka Time, 8:45 GMT

The US occupation forces in Iraq have been arresting the wives of suspected
resistance fighters in an attempt to force their husbands to turn themselves

"Surrender, we have your wife." This type of threatening note has been found
at the homes of many Iraqis. According to Aljazeera's reporter in Baghdad,
US forces leave such notes whenever they raid the house of an Iraqi suspect
and find him out.

Scores of Iraqi women are believed to be in jail because US forces suspect
their husbands of being resistance fighters.

Sergeant Robert Cargie of the fourth infantry division in Tikrit denied the

"This is categorically not true. We detain and capture individuals based on
information and intelligence that the person is engaged in some
anti-coalition activity. We target that person regardless of gender and do
our best to capture them."

But Dr Muzhir al-Dulaymi, the spokesman for the League for the Defence of
Iraqi People Rights, told that his organisation had "discussed
the issue of the wives of Iraqi suspects with the US forces.

"We've also discussed the issue of Iraqi child prisoners, who are accused by
the Americans of involvement in Iraqi resistance.

"A committee will be set up with US representation to look at the

Iraqis in Guantanamo

Hundreds of Iraqis demonstrated on Saturday in front of Abu Ghuraib prison,
where thousands of Iraqis are detained. The prison's rehabilitation was one
of the first US achievements in Iraq.

The demonstrators raised banners calling for the immediate release of all
Iraqi prisoners, threatening violence against US occupation forces if their
demands were not met.

"We strongly call for the immediate release of Iraqi women detained by the
US forces. They have committed no crime," a female demonstrator told
Aljazeera's Atwar Bahjat at the demonstration.

"There are 23,000 prisoners in Abu Ghuraib, and 4000 in Um Qasr prison in
southern Iraq, most of them held without charge," al-Dulaymi said. "What is
really worrying us is we have heard unconfirmed reports that the US
authorities in Iraq have moved some Iraqi prisoners to Guantanamo Bay in

Wide resentment

Wide resentment has been increasing among Iraqis who say the US is not
taking enough care in its treatment of Iraqis.

A recent survey carried out by Al-Mustaqil Institute for Management and
Social Studies, in Baghdad, has revealed that 60% of Iraqis reject the US
occupation of Iraq. The percentage was 35% in November 2003.


Message: 3
From: "k hanly" <>
To: "newsclippings" <>
Subject: Bremer vows no Sharia law
Date: Mon, 16 Feb 2004 12:09:52 -0600

Bremer vows no Sharia law in Iraq

Monday 16 February 2004, 18:22 Makka Time, 15:22 GMT

Bremer said Sharia can't be law until he 'signs it'

The top US administrator in Iraq has suggested that he would block any
interim constitution that would make Islam the chief source of law.

Paul Bremer on Monday said the current draft of the constitution would make
Islam the state religion of Iraq and "a source of inspiration for the law" -
as opposed to the main source.

Many Iraqi women have expressed fears that the rights they hold under Iraq's
longtime secular system would be rolled back in the interim constitution
being written by US-picked Iraqi leaders and their advisers, many of them

US lawmakers have urged the White House to prevent Islamic restrictions on
Iraqi women.

Asked what would happen if Iraqi leaders wrote into the constitution that
Sharia (Islamic law) is the principal basis of the law, Bremer suggested he
would wield his veto. "Our position is clear. It can't be law until I sign

Permanent constitution

Bremer must sign into law all measures passed by the 25-member council,
including the interim constitution. Iraq's powerful Shia clergy, however,
has demanded the document be approved by an elected legislature.

Under US plans, a permanent constitution would not be drawn up and voted on
until 2005.

Women's rights are to be
enshrined in future constitution

Bremer used the inauguration ceremony at a women's centre in the southern
city of Karbala to argue for more than "token" women's representation in the
transitional government due to take power on 30 June.

"I think it is very important that women be represented in all the political
bodies," Bremer said.

"Women are the majority in this country, in this area probably a substantial
majority," he said, referring to the Saddam Hussein's alleged 1991 purges of
Shia Muslim men. Those killings left the holy city of Karbala and other Shia
cities dotted with mass graves and brimming with thousands of widows.

Liberal reforms

Enshrining women's rights in a future constitution could be difficult.

Muhsin Abd al-Hamid, the current council president and a member of a
committee drafting the interim constitution, has proposed making Sharia the
"principal basis" of legislation

US observers have predicted liberal reforms introduced in the transitional
law could well be rolled back in a future constitution. Bremer acknowledged
that US influence on an Iraqi constitution would fade after the 30 June

"There will be a sovereign government here in June. The Iraqis then will
then have responsibility for their own country," Bremer said.

There are three women on the Governing Council.

'Principal basis'

Muhsin Abd al-Hamid, the current council president and a member of a
committee drafting the interim constitution, has proposed making Sharia the
"principal basis" of legislation.

The phrasing could have broad effects on secular Iraq. In particular, it
would likely moot much of Iraq's 1959 Law of Personal Status, which grants
uniform rights to husband and wife to divorce and inheritance, and governs
related issues like child support.

In December, the council passed a decision abolishing the 1959 law and
allowing each of the main religious groups to apply its own tradition -
including Islamic law. Bremer has not signed it into law.


Message: 4
Subject: Article: Chaos and War Leave Iraq&#146;s Hospitals in Ruins
Date: Mon, 16 Feb 2004 17:56:12 -0500 (EST)

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Chaos and War Leave Iraq&#146;s Hospitals in Ruins

February 14, 2004

BAGHDAD, Iraq, Feb. 13 - At Baghdad's Central Teaching
Hospital for Children, gallons of raw sewage wash across
the floors. The drinking water is contaminated. According
to doctors, 80 percent of patients leave with infections
they did not have when they arrived.

Doctors say they have been beaten up in the emergency room.
Blood is in such short supply that physicians often donate
their own to patients lying in front of them.

"The word `big' is not enough to express the disaster we
are facing," said Ahmed A. Muhammad, the hospital's
assistant manager.

To be sure, Iraq's hospitals were in bleak shape before the
American-led invasion last year. International isolation
and the sanctions imposed after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait
in 1990 had already shattered a public health care system
that was once the jewel of the Middle East. Crucial
machines stopped working. Drugs were in short supply.

Conditions eased a bit once the United Nations oil-for-food
program started in 1996, but the country still suffered,
especially the children.

But Iraqi doctors say the war has pushed them closer to
disaster. Fighting and sabotage have destroyed crucial
infrastructure and the fall of Saddam Hussein precipitated
a breakdown in social order.

"It's definitely worse now than before the war," said Eman
Asim, the Ministry of Health official who oversees the
country's 185 public hospitals. "Even at the height of
sanctions, when things were miserable, it wasn't as bad as
this. At least then someone was in control."

Occupation authorities insist improvements are coming.

"I've been all around the country and we're better than
prewar levels across the board," said Bob Goodwin, an
American health adviser for the Coalition Provisional
Authority who has been working with the Health Ministry
since last summer.

He said that many hospitals had new generators and new
wiring and that the distribution of medical supplies was
fairer now than it was under Mr. Hussein's clannish rule.

But, he added, "there are so many problems, sometimes it is
hard to stay on top of everything."

"When we took over in April, it was a total system
collapse," he said. "The Health Ministry was literally on

The fire may be out, but Iraqi doctors say their profession
has yet to recover. Hospital administration, which used to
be strictly managed top-down, has atomized into hundreds of
disparate parts.

The violence on the streets has seeped into the wards, with
attacks on staff members and feuds being finished in the

And the list goes on. While Health Ministry officials say
no comprehensive health survey has been conducted since the
war, several doctors here said that infant mortality is up.
Of 48 babies recently brought to the neonatal clinic at
Yarmuk Hospital, 19 died, said Tala al-Awqati, a
pediatrician. "That is twice as many as last year," she

She also said that more women were choosing to give birth
at home, increasing the chances of complications, because
they were frightened of venturing into the streets to
deliver at a hospital.

The Red Cross and the United Nations used to run health
programs in Iraq. But after the headquarters of both
organizations were bombed last year, foreign experts pulled

Doctors also said that the postwar sabotage of the
country's primary pharmaceutical factory in Samarra and the
looting of the central supply depot in Baghdad had depleted
the country of needed supplies.

"Last week a man bled to death right in front of me because
we didn't have any IV's," said Ali Qasim, an emergency room
doctor at Baghdad Central Hospital.

Then there is the experiment with democracy. After Mr.
Hussein's government fell, doctors decided to pick their
own leaders. "They told us this is the democratic way,"
said Dr. Asim, the Health Ministry official. "Now we have
dentists in charge of surgery centers."

Despite signs of a public health crisis, medical experts
here say it is hard to get foreign donors to pay attention.
"Bombs and elections - that's all people on the outside
seem interested in," said Khalil Sayyad, head of the
Baghdad office of M=E9dicos del Mundo, a Spanish organization
working on health projects.

American officials say things will get better. It will just
take time. Last year, $550.6 million was spent on public
health in Iraq, according to the Health Ministry. This
year, it is expected to increase to $1.7 billion, including
nearly $500 million to fix crumbling infrastructure and
build new facilities.

Before the sanctions, Baghdad Central offered 11 gleaming
floors of state-of-the-art health care. Now it is a grubby
expanse of cracked tile, bald hallways and drafty rooms.

Dr. Asim, the Health Ministry official, recently inspected
40 hospitals around the country. "There were days I came
back crying," she said.

Many problems predate the war, like the flowing sewage at
the children's hospital. The hospital sits at a low point
in the city. Whenever sewage backs up, waste pours into the
basement and trickles into the wards.

"Can you hear it?" asked Dr. Muhammad during a recent

The gushing liquid sounded like a fountain.

Doctors said the problem had gotten worse since the war
because of a lack of maintenance.

American officials said they were aware of the hospital's
condition and that the Spanish government had pledged $11
million to fix it.

Upstairs, past the banana peels and crushed cigarettes, is
a ward for treating dehydrated children. Women leaned over
babies with thin faces and wide-open eyes.

"Habibee," said a young mother to a bundled mass. "Don't

Another mother, Sama Hamid, said the hospital used to be
much cleaner. "Nobody has discipline any more," she said.

Outside, an ambulance driver, Mahir Jalal, said he
sometimes ran errands in his vehicle. "If they need me," he
said, "they can find me."

A few months ago, Dr. Hafiz Hussein was signing the death
certificate for a newborn who had just died in his arms
when the baby's relatives stormed into the emergency room.
He said the men grabbed him and hit him in the face about
20 times.

"I felt such shame," Dr. Hussein said. "The child died and
I got beaten in front of my colleagues for it."


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Message: 5
From: "Mark Parkinson" <>
Date: Mon, 16 Feb 2004 23:56:41 -0000
Subject: Misery in Baghdad's ailing hospitals

Misery in Baghdad's ailing hospitals
By Amal Hamdan in Baghdad

Sunday 15 February 2004, 13:23 Makka Time, 10:23 GMT

A child's battle against cancer is always wretched. In Baghdad, where
there is a shortage of chemotherapy treatment, it is hell.

Playing half-heartedly with a toy truck, Ahmad looks not older than
four, but his mother, Lamiaa, says he is eight. Diagnosed three years
ago with leukemia, Ahmad has fought to survive.

Before the US-British invasion in March 2003, chemotherapy treatments
had successfully wiped out the cancer from his bone marrow. He
started receiving a monthly chemotherapy treatment to ensure there
would be no relapse. Lamiaa, a mother of three with a welcoming
smile, said he was on the road to recovery.

Then came the invasion.

Worsening crisis

Suddenly Lamiaa and her husband were unable to reach Baghdad from
their home in Baquba 65km away, because occupation forces were
blocking the roads. When they finally did reach al-Iskan Children's
Hospital in the capital where Ahmad was receiving treatment, they
were told the hospital had almost run out of his medication. Doctors
only option was to cut the treatment by half.

Hospitals are ill-equipped and short of medicines

"What could I do, there was nothing else," says Lamiaa.

Almost one year on, since US and British tanks rolled into Iraq,
tests showed that cancer had invaded 70% of Ahmad's bone marrow. He
is also suffering from infections due to his poor immunity system.

Basic needs

Iraq's hospitals lacked basic medical supplies before the US-led war.
From 1991 until 2003, a stifling United Nations-imposed blanket
embargo meant that hospitals could not get up-to-date equipment or
technology and medicine was limited.

It could hardly have got worse, but it has.

Today, patients at al-Iskan - the city's main pediatric hospital -
have to buy everything, including IV tubes because the hospital does
not have any.

In one of the six beds with cancer patients, 11-year-old Yaman's aunt
Laila says the hospital no longer has syringes to draw blood. When
her nephew needs a blood test to monitor his leukemia, doctors prick
him with a needle and allow blood to drip into a tube.

Lamiaa nods in agreement. "We even have to buy blood transfusions
sometimes and it costs 20,000 dinars," she says, over-whelmed by the
amount. It is the equivalent of about $12, but a small fortune to the
family since her husband has been out of work since the start of the


"He is a high candidate for a bone marrow transplant but we don't
have the facilities," said Dr Qassan Ali Abd, one of Ahmad's doctors.
Chemotherapy after a patient has relapsed is not the best treatment,
but it is the only one currently available to them.

During Eid al-Adha festival, earlier this month, eight children in
the ward had died, he said bitterly.

"It is the same situation since 9 April until now, the same suffering-
for patients and doctors," he said, in reference to the day US and
British tanks rolled into Baghdad last year.

"I expected when the Americans came here that in a month things would
be normal," he said.

The frustrated doctor says he does not expect facilities for bone
marrow transplants within a month, but certainly hopes basic
necessities for the country's main children's hospital to function.

"The country is occupied. It is destroyed. Drug storages were looted
and burnt to the ground"

Dr Qassan Ali Abd,
Iraqi doctor

When asked why there was a shortage of cancer medications, he said:
"The country is occupied. It is destroyed. Drug storages were looted
and burnt to the ground."


Abd has been working at al-Iskan for the past three years. "But I do
nothing. We don't have the facilities," he says. "I read about the
medical developments in America and that's all I can do - read about
them," he said.

Dr Ahmad Abd Al-Fattah, the hospital's assistant manager, admits
specialized treatments, like cancer therapies, are in shortage.
During the crippling UN sanctions, some of the medications were
unavailable not only for financial reasons, but for political ones,
said al-Fattah.

Some of the drug makers were in the United States and United Kingdom
and Baghdad had no access to buying them, he said. However, with the
capture of toppled leader Saddam Hussein, this is changing, said Abd

But the patients and parents on the second floor of al-Iskan hospital
cannot afford to wait anymore for political haggling.

When asked if Ahmad would live, Abd offered a weary look and after a
pause said: "I hope so. I hope they all will."

Mark Parkinson


Message: 6
From: "ppg" <>
To: <>
Subject: IGC wants to assume sovereignty until elections.
Date: Tue, 17 Feb 2004 03:22:10 -0500

Iraqi Panel Pivots on U.S. Plan
Caucuses Rejected For Interim Rule

By Rajiv Chandrasekaran
Washington Post Foreign Service
Tuesday, February 17, 2004; Page A01

BAGHDAD, Feb. 16 -- Most members of Iraq's U.S.-appointed Governing Council
no longer support the Bush administration's plan to choose an interim
government through caucuses and instead want the council to assume
sovereignty until elections can be held, several members have said.

The caucus proposal, which the council endorsed in November, is a
cornerstone of the administration's plan to end the civil occupation of Ira=
this summer. Seeking to lay the foundation for a political system that woul=
shun extremism and keep the country united, the administration had wanted a
transitional government selected by carefully vetted local caucuses to run
Iraq through the end of 2005.

But with Iraqi religious leaders demanding that voting occur much sooner --
and with a growing expectation here that the United Nations will call for
elections by the end of this year or early next year -- a majority of
Governing Council members have quietly withdrawn support for the caucus

"The caucuses are pretty much dead now," said Ghazi Yawar, a Sunni Muslim
council member. Until recently, Sunni Arabs and Kurds, who make up 12 of th=
council's 25 members, had been the strongest proponents of the caucuses. Bu=
in recent days, several Sunni members have joined majority Shiites in
opposing the U.S. transition plan.

Another Sunni member, Sameer Shaker Sumaidy, said that abandoning the caucu=
system and transferring sovereignty to the council on June 30 -- the date b=
which the administration has promised to hand over power -- now "makes the
most sense." A senior Kurdish leader and council member, Jalal Talabani,
said on Sunday that he, too, wants the council to assume sovereignty until
elections can be convened.

The loss of support for the caucuses poses a complex challenge for the U.S.
occupation authority. The council is made up of some of the country's key
political leaders. "It's hard to imagine pulling off the caucuses without
the Governing Council," one U.S. official said. "What happens when these
people -- people we selected -- say they do not support the process? It
can't work."

Senior U.S. officials said the council's motives were largely selfish. With
elections likely by early next year at the latest, sovereignty could give
council members unrivaled political influence in the months before the vote=
allowing them to engage in patronage and skew balloting rules.

U.S. officials say that an interim government selected through local
caucuses, even if participation is limited, would create a more
representative and accountable group of Iraqis than the council, whose
members were handpicked by L. Paul Bremer, the U.S. administrator of Iraq.
The Bush administration hoped that caucuses would allow new political talen=
to emerge and challenge the clique of former exiles who now effectively
control the council.

The council's rejection of the caucuses is emerging as the most serious
dispute between members and the occupation authority, placing the Bush
administration in the awkward position of criticizing a group it assembled
last summer and touted as the "most representative governing body in Iraq's

"The Governing Council has been an effective body during this phase, but is
it the appropriate body to hand over total sovereignty to?" a senior U.S.
official asked. "Is it sufficiently representative? Who is it accountable
to? Will it be viewed as legitimate by the Iraqi people?"

The council members said the caucus system was too controversial and
laborious, particularly if elections were to be held by the end of the year=
"If it's only for six months, it's not worth it," Yawar said.

The administration's plan calls for caucuses to be held in each of Iraq's 1=
provinces. Fifteen-member selection committees, chosen by the Governing
Council and local councils, would screen participants.

"The caucus system seems to be so cumbersome and so hard to wrap your mind
around that I'm not sure the idea has much legs anymore," said Feisal
Istrabadi, a top aide to Adnan Pachachi, one of the council's five Sunni

Almost all council members had endorsed the caucus plan when it was propose=
by Bremer in a private meeting on Nov. 15. But support among Shiites began
to erode after the country's most influential Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatolla=
Ali Sistani, rejected the plan as "illegitimate" soon thereafter and called
for the interim government to be selected through direct elections before
the June 30 handover of sovereignty.

U.S. officials contend it would be impossible to hold elections before June
because Iraq lacks adequate security, an election law, voter rolls and
polling equipment.

Even so, Sistani's demand -- and the resulting lack of Shiite political
support -- stalled implementation of the caucus plan and led the Bush
administration to invite a team of U.N. experts, led by former Algerian
foreign minister Lakhdar Brahimi, to determine whether early elections woul=
be feasible. Brahimi and his team left Iraq over the weekend after spending
a week meeting with political, religious and social leaders.

Brahimi indicated last week that he believed nationwide, direct elections
could be held late this year, according to people who met with him. Althoug=
Shiite leaders would prefer elections to be held sooner and rival Sunni
leaders want them to be held later, both sides appear to be willing to
embrace the idea of elections at the end of the year, several Sunni and
Shiite leaders said.

With expectations running high that Brahimi will support the idea of
elections later this year or early next year, Sunni members have been
backing away from the caucuses. Talabani, the Kurdish leader who hosted the
Nov. 15 meeting in his palatial riverfront villa and had been a staunch
supporter of the caucus proposal, said on Sunday that "elections are the
best way to express the opinions of the Iraqi people."

Ahmed Chalabi, a moderate Shiite who has been an ally of many in the Bush
administration, also has rejected the caucus plan, calling for elections
before June. If that does not occur, an official of Chalabi's Iraqi Nationa=
Congress said, the organization would also support a handover of sovereignt=
to the Governing Council.

Daniel Senor, a spokesman for Bremer, said the occupation authority was
"open to clarifications and elaborations to the process." Anticipating a
recommendation for year-end elections, senior U.S. officials in Baghdad and
Washington are frantically trying to assemble a set of contingency plans.
Among the options they are considering is a radically revised version of th=
caucus proposal. They also are weighing whether to simply hand over
sovereignty to the Governing Council, either in its present form or as an
expanded body that may be regarded by Iraqis as more representative and
legitimate. But expanding the council could prompt disputes among Sunnis,
Shiites and Kurds -- all of whom want to increase their share of seats.

"There are no good options for us," one American involved in the political
transition said. "Every choice has deep flaws."

Asked about the possibility of transferring sovereignty to the council,
Bremer said Monday that he was looking at ways "to broaden the
representation in the political process" but wants to see Brahimi's report
before making any decisions.

Some council members contend the best option would be to expand the council
and revamp its leadership structure, scrapping a system of nine rotating
presidents for a sole prime minister. "We're not ready to govern the countr=
in our present shape," Yawar said. "But we can make ourselves ready."

=A9 2004 The Washington Post Company


Message: 7
Date: Tue, 17 Feb 2004 00:56:53 -0800 (PST)
From: Hassan <>
Subject: Juicy news!!
To: CASI newsclippings <>,0,73=

Start-up Company With Connections
U.S. gives $400M in work to contractor with ties to
Pentagon favorite on Iraqi Governing Council

By Knut Royce
WASHINGTON BUREAU; Tom Frank contributed to this
article from Baghdad.

February 15, 2004

Washington - U.S. authorities in Iraq have awarded
more than $400 million in contracts to a start-up
company that has extensive family and, according to
court documents, business ties to Ahmed Chalabi, the
Pentagon favorite on the Iraqi Governing Council.

The most recent contract, for $327 million to supply
equipment for the Iraqi Armed Forces, was awarded last
month and drew an immediate challenge from a losing
contester, who said the winning bid was so low that it
questions the "credibility" of that bid.

But it is an $80-million contract, awarded by the
Coalition Provisional Authority last summer to provide
security for Iraq's vital oil infrastructure, that has
become a controversial lightning rod within the Iraqi
Provisional Government and the security industry.

Soon after this security contract was issued, the
company started recruiting many of its guards from the
ranks of Chalabi's former militia, the Iraqi Free
Forces, raising allegations from other Iraqi officials
that he was creating a private army.

Chalabi, 59, scion of one of Iraq's most politically
powerful and wealthy families until the monarchy was
toppled in 1958, had been living in exile in London
when the U.S. invaded Iraq. The chief architect of the
umbrella organization for the resistance, the Iraqi
National Congress, Chalabi is viewed by many Iraqis as
America's hand-picked choice to rule Iraq.

A key beneficiary of both the oil security contract
and last week's Iraq army procurement contract is Nour
USA Ltd., which was incorporated in the United States
last May. The security contract technically was
awarded to Erinys Iraq, a security company also newly
formed after the invasion, but bankrolled at its
inception by Nour. A Nour's founder was a Chalabi
friend and business associate, Abul Huda Farouki.
Within days of the award last August, Nour became a
joint venture partner with Erinys and the contract was
amended to include Nour.

An industry source familiar with some of the internal
affairs of both companies said Chalabi received a
$2-million fee for helping arrange the contract.
Chalabi, in a brief interview with Newsday, denied
that claim, as did a top company official. Chalabi
also denied that he has had anything to do with the
security firm.

Today security in the oil fields remains problematic;
the number of guards is being raised from 6,500 under
the original contract to 14,500, and so many changes
are being made to the contract that the Coalition
Provisional Authority, which governs Iraq, now says it
may have to be rebid.

Erinys Iraq came into being last May, after the
U.S.-led invasion. Saboteurs had started blowing up
oil pipelines and attacking other petroleum
facilities, plunging Baghdad and other Iraqi cities
into darkness. Blackouts and fuel shortages remain

The authority solicited bids on the pipeline security
contract in July. Just two weeks later, the contract
was awarded to Erinys Iraq.

A founding partner and director of Erinys Iraq is
Faisal Daghistani, the son of Tamara Daghistani, for
years one of Chalabi's most trusted confidants. She
was a key player in the creation of his exile group,
the Iraqi National Congress, which received millions
of dollars in U.S. funds to help destabilize the
Saddam Hussein regime before the coalition invasion
last year.

The firm's counsel in Baghdad is Chalabi's nephew
Salem Chalabi.

The seed money to start Erinys came from Nour, formed
in May in the United States, according to David Braus,
Nour's managing director.

Nour's Web site says that it is a collaborative
"arrangement" involving a Farouki family company,
HAIFinance Corp., and a Jordanian venture called the
Munir Sukhtian Group.

Braus said Nour arrived in Iraq "with an intention of
investing funds in the country as opposed to picking
up government contracts."

But it has nevertheless won government contracts. Nour
was the self-described "sponsor" of a consortium of
nine companies that won a fixed-price contract of
$327,485,798 to provide the Iraqi army with weapons,
trucks, uniforms and other equipment. At least three
of those companies, including Erinys, have financial
ties to Farouki.

One of the 18 losing bidders, the large Polish defense
contractor Bumar PHZ - whose bid was more than $200
million higher - cried foul, publicly charging that
Nour's bid was suspiciously low and that the firm had
no experience in the arms trade, as stipulated in the
authority's request for bids. Bumar asked the
authority to explain how it selected Noor. And Polish
prosecutors are now investigating a tiny company that
is part of Noor's consortium in the contract,
Ostrowski Arms, because it is not licensed to export

Farouki, who founded Nour, is a Jordanian-American who
lives in northern Virginia. He and his wife are
prominent socialites in the D.C. area and frequently
attended White House affairs during the Clinton

Farouki's many companies have done extensive
construction work for the Pentagon over the years.

The Iraqi contracts appear to be his first ventures
into security and military hardware.

Though some of Erinys' principals have a background in
oil field security work in Africa and Colombia, the
company itself had no experience in the field. The
Pentagon's request for proposals required competing
companies to list five contracts "of the same or
similar type to demonstrate previous experiences."

Farouki's businesses received at least $12 million in
the 1980s from a Chalabi-controlled bank in
Washington, D.C. The Jordanian government says that
bank was part of a massive embezzlement scheme
perpetrated by Chalabi on a bank he owned in Jordan.

Chalabi, despite his status in Iraq as a possible
future leader of the country, is still wanted in
Jordan after being convicted and sentenced in absentia
on bank fraud charges, Jordanian officials in
Washington said.

In a brief interview in a Baghdad parking lot, Chalabi
denied receiving any fees from Erinys. "I have no
involvement in Erinys," he said. "I have no financial
relationship with Farouki." Asked about his former
bank's loans to Farouki, he replied, "Farouki's my

And Farouki, reached by phone recently in Cairo,
described Chalabi as a "great [Iraqi] patriot." He
denied that Chalabi had received any fee or that he
has had any role in the company. "There's no basis, no
substantiation whatsoever" for those claims, he said.
He said that Chalabi was too busy as a statesman and
politician to be involved in business activity.

Erinys guards are being recruited from the ranks of
the Iraqi Free Congress, the militia loyal to
Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress, Daghistani
acknowledged to Britain's Financial Times in December.

This concerns Ayad Allawi, who runs the interior
ministry in the U.S.-appointed interim Governing
Council. He publicly criticized Chalabi in Iraq in
December for allegedly undermining central authority
by helping create a private military company for the
Erinys contract. Oil field security, Allawi said,
should be the responsibility of the state.

Asked how much influence Chalabi had in the decision
to award the contract to Erinys Iraq, Sam Kubba,
president of the American Iraqi chamber of commerce, a
congressional candidate in Virginia and a businessman
with extensive connections in Iraq, said, "100 percent
... and you can quote me on that."

Laith Kubba, a senior program officer at the National
Foundation of Democracy who helped Chalabi found the
Iraqi National Congress, said Chalabi's influence over
Coalition Provisional Authority contracts was "immense
... especially on security contracts." Laith Kubba is
a second cousin of Sam Kubba.

Even with the infusion of additional guards, security
has been tenuous, with weekly attacks on pipelines and
installations slowing oil exports and forcing Iraqis,
who sit atop the world's second largest oil reserves,
to line up for hours at gas stations. Erinys Iraq's
CEO was shot and gravely injured recently, and several
employees have been killed.

A veil of secrecy imposed by the authority in the
awarding of the contract makes it difficult to
reconstruct what happened. The project was probably
flawed from the start because of inefficiency by
contracting officials and heavy influence from Chalabi
and his associates, industry and business officials

An industry official who knows and respects Erinys
Iraq's senior managers said Chalabi "got his
contractor to win that award ... Chalabi is backing
Erinys big time." This official, whose company has
several security contracts in Iraq, said that Erinys
initially "had a hard time getting people and a hard
time getting equipment" but was now learning from

"They [the authority] didn't have a clue" of what was
needed, said this official, who considered bidding and
drafted an internal plan that would have cost more
than three times what the authority wanted to pay.
But, he said, his firm concluded that whatever the
Coalition Provisional Authority was willing to accept
was unrealistic and "had no chance of success."

DynCorp, which is training Iraqi police under a
$50-million contract, did make an offer. A DynCorp
official said that his company's bid was three times
higher than Erinys'. But unlike Erinys' proposal, he
said, his firm included helicopter surveillance, which
is costly. "There's no way in this godly earth that
you can surveil the pipeline with people in vehicles,"
which Erinys proposed, the DynCorp official said.

Long after awarding the Erinys contract, the authority
came to the same conclusion. It recently awarded a
$10-million contract for helicopter surveillance of
the pipelines to Florida-based AirScan Inc. And it
acknowledges the original contract awarded in August
for $39,454,896 a year over two years and for hiring
and training 6,500 guards was inadequate. It said it
had since modified the contract to provide for the air
surveillance and to increase the force. At the same
time, the authority acknowledges that so many
modifications are being made that it "could require
[the contract] to be recompeted."

In brief e-mailed responses to Newsday questions, the
Coalition Provisional Authority insisted that the
contract with Erinys was aboveboard and was awarded on
technical merit and cost considerations only.

The July 25 authority solicitation for bids provided
no detail of what would be required to provide
security for Iraq's "multibillion dollar oil
infrastructure." It did, however, ask that the bidder
submit "a list of five (5) contracts of the same or
similar type to demonstrate previous experience." Yet
Erinys had never handled a job as large and
complicated as this one, and its partner, Nour, has
never worked in the security area.

Industry sources and contract experts said Erinys may
have bid low because it expected contract
modifications to bring in additional fees. "It's the
oldest game in the Middle East," said a former senior
Reagan administration official and businessman who
specializes in the region. "... The contractor is
insured by his patron. 'Low ball,' he's told. 'Don't
worry about it.'"

The official who considered bidding but worried that
the authority "didn't have a clue" said that Iraq is a
war zone and therefore, "I don't know if 65 million"
guards can secure the 4,000 miles of pipelines.
"You've got to make nice with the local people, go to
the local tribal leaders and hire his guys," he said.

Farouki and Nour's managing director, David Braus,
referred all questions about the operation to Jonathan
Garratt, one of Erinys' managers in Baghdad. After an
initial early morning call to Newsday when the
reporter was not at the office, he did not return
further calls and e-mails.

Braus said Chalabi was not involved in Erinys, but
added, "In order to operate in Iraq our people down
there have had relations with all former opposition
groups." He said it was "absolutely untrue" Erinys had
hired Iraqi Free Congress militiamen as security

One large firm does not believe the contract will be
rebid. Kroll, the risk consulting and investigative
firm, is negotiating with Nour and Erinys to take over
the Iraq operation, sources said.

How a Kroll buyout would affect Chalabi is unclear. A
U.S. intelligence official said Chalabi was "clearly
looking to make money" now that he has returned to
Iraq after living in exile for the past five decades.
While declining to address the Erinys contract, the
official said that Chalabi is "interested in
establishing businesses that will benefit him, his
associates and his party, the INC."

Chalabi helped influence the Bush administration's
decision to invade Iraq even as he remained a fugitive
from a 1992 criminal conviction in Jordan on charges
of embezzling millions of dollars from his Petra Bank,
which collapsed in 1989. Other Chalabi family
enterprises, all financially interlocked, also
succumbed that year.

While Chalabi's banking empire crumbled, it provided
millions of dollars in loans to construction firms
owned by Farouki, bankruptcy records show.

Farouki's own businesses were going through bankruptcy
proceedings in the late 1980s when he borrowed heavily
from the Washington-based Petra International Banking
Corp., which was managed by Chalabi's nephew Mohamed
Chalabi. Farouki's companies had construction projects
for the Pentagon and State Department in Europe, the
Middle East and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Petra International was an Edge Act bank in Washington
that was owned largely by the Petra Bank in Jordan. An
Edge Act bank is not permitted to conduct general
banking activities but can make international business
loans. Mohamed Chalabi is a son of Ahmed Chalabi's
oldest brother, Rushdi, who was a cabinet minister in
Iraq before the toppling of the monarchy.

Jordanian authorities have complained that much of the
Petra funds they claim was siphoned off the Amman bank
ended up at Petra International. By May 1989, three
months before Jordan seized Petra Bank, the bankrupt
Farouki companies owed Petra International more than
$12 million, court records show. Farouki's wife,
Samia, and Mohamed Chalabi also were officers of a
Virginia firm that folded in 1995, according to public

Laith Kubba, who helped his cousin Ahmed Chalabi form
the Iraqi National Congress but has since had a
falling out, said Farouki became part of Chalabi's
closely woven business network some time in the '80s.
"Back in 1988-91, when I worked with Chalabi on the
INC, I was aware of the people who were his
confidants, close to him, and I know Huda Farouki was
one of them," Kubba said.

Tom Frank contributed to this article from Baghdad.
Copyright =A9 2004, Newsday, Inc.

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