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[casi-analysis] casi-news digest, Vol 1 #69 - 10 msgs

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Today's Topics:

   1. Robert Fisk-Live interview (
   2. Moderates vs. Islamists (Mark Parkinson)
   3. CPA memo (George Issa)
   4. Chalabi nephew heads Saddam Trial (k hanly)
   5. Why Honduran troops are pulling out (k hanly)
   6. New Ambassador to Iraq (k hanly)
   7. One US hostage thousands of Iraqis held.. (k hanly)
   9. Wolfowitz and Straw on 30 June 'handover' (Voices in the Wilderness (UK))


Message: 1
Date: Tue, 20 Apr 2004 17:20:25 EDT
Subject: Robert Fisk-Live interview

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

Iraq power handover 'a fraud'

Reporter: Tony Jones

TONY JONES: Back now to the day's developments in Israel and Iraq.

The assassination of Hamas leader Dr Abdel-Aziz Rantissi at the weekend has
unleashed rage and fury on the streets of Gaza just days after President George
W Bush backed Israel's sovereignty over West Bank settlements in return for a
total pull-out of settlers from the Gaza Strip.

In Iraq, meanwhile, troops from Spain are preparing to go home just as
America has announced the death of its 700th soldier in fighting there.

Well, joining me now is Robert Fisk.

He's a correspondent for the British newspaper the 'Independent' and is a
25-year veteran of reporting from the Middle East.

Robert Fisk, thanks for joining us.


TONY JONES: Let's start with Iraq if we can and the immense problems the
United States now faces in handing the country back to Iraqis.

Just to start with that, anyway.

The June 30th deadline now looks like it's going to be postponed.

What will be the consequences if it is?


The handover is basically a fraud.

The governing council, which is appointed by the Americans, and which is the
Iraqi Government at the moment would merely be handing over to another group
of American-picked Iraqis.

They're not democratically elected, the new institution, whatever it is.

We don't even know what it's going to be.

I notice that when President Bush gave his press conference three days ago,
he said that Mr Brahimi was working on that, referring to Lakhdar Brahimi, the
former Algerian foreign minister who's special envoy to Iraq for the UN's Kofi
Annan, but Mr Brahimi found that quite a surprise.

He's not trying to put together a future government - he's trying to arrange
elections and that may not be until next year.

Even if there was a democratically elected government to hand over
sovereignty to, which is there not, the sovereignty doesn't mean anything because under
the laws that Paul Bremer, the US proconsul in Baghdad has already enacted for
post June 30, all the Iraqi security forces will be commanded by United
States officers, so that's not a handover of sovereignty.

TONY JONES: The Americans obviously were putting a lot of faith in Mr Brahimi
performing some kind of miracle.

You think that's not going to happen.

Could, however, the United Nations be under much more pressure now to get
seriously involved in perhaps taking over the administration of Iraq?

ROBERT FISK: Well, the poor old UN.

You know, when we wanted to rush into war, we batted the UN donkey around the
ear and told them it wasn't standing up enough and now we're trying to drag
the old UN donkey to save us in Iraq because after all we realise it's all gone

I don't think that the UN is going to go into Iraq on June 30.

I cannot see the end, or the depth, to which the current bloodshed is going.

I can't see a way out at the moment.

Ultimately, I think it will have to be - if it's not just going to be an
abandoned Iraq with Iraqis trying to run it, I think it would be - it has to be
Arab force, an Arab league force.

We're going to have to see Syrians in there, Emirates, the Saudis, Egyptians,
but even that will start to fracture and fragment across the Arab world in
the Middle East.

I simply can't see a way out, when you build a war on illusions and fantasies
and you don't get international mandate to run it, then your occupation will

The British occupation in Iraq took three years to fail between 1917 and

It took us, the British, three years to unite the Shiites and the Sunnis
behind us.

It's quite an achievement - the Americans have managed to unite the Shiites
and the Sunnis against them in just one year.

TONY JONES: I'll come specifically to that possibility in a moment.

First, let's look at the immediate crisis faced by the US administrator, Paul
Bremer, in Najaf.

The Americans have already said they're going to kill or capture Moqtada

What will happen if they go into Najaf with guns blazing?

ROBERT FISK: I don't think they will.

I think that there's a kind of discontinuation of serious political relations
between Bremer and the US military.

Because what Bremer says and sometimes what Bush says doesn't bear any
relation to what people like Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt, the deputy chief of US
operations in Iraq, or General Sanchez for that matter actually say.

I don't think Bremer ordered anyone to arrest or kill, certainly arrest but
not necessarily kill, Moqtada al-Sadr.

But the direct result of what the Americans have said is quite simple.

Shiites, who would never have dreamt of supporting Moqtada al-Sadr, are now
prepared to fight the Americans if they come into Najaf.

Of course, the Americans have boxed themselves in.

First of all, they were going to go into Fallujah and capture the men, the
terrorists - everyone's a terrorist if you fight the Americans - who had so
brutally murdered those four American mercenaries three weeks ago but they're not
Fallujah, they realise they've killed so many Iraqis, at least 600, many of
them women and children, that they simply can't go on.

Now they're standing around Najaf with what?

2,500 troops.

You can't conquer a city of so many Shiites with 2,500 troops.

It's going to need a massive bombardment.

To do that to the major Shiite shrine in the world, one of the major Shiite
shrines, it's unthinkable.

I think the Americans have reached a point where they can't do much more
militarily and politically they finished quite a while ago.

It's a terrible, terrible situation but mostly, remember, for the Iraqis.

They're doing more dying than our soldiers are doing.

TONY JONES: What role then do you think the old Ayatollahs, particularly
Sistani, are going to play as this situation starts to play itself out around

ROBERT FISK: Well, Sistani, you see, still hopes that if there is a future
administration the Shiites will basically run it.

They are the majority population.

They are 60 per cent of the population of Iraq.

He doesn't want to do anything which is going to allow the Sunnis to come
back and run the country as they did under Kassim, Saddam, the Ba'ath Party and
so on.

There's going to come a time and he's beginning to speak much more harshly -
when he's not going to be able any longer to hold back an overall Shi'ite
resistance against the United States.

He's not going to be able to do it.

If the Americans do try to enter the holy city of Najaf, they're in the
suburbs at the moment but they're nowhere near the shrines, if they do try to
enter, then I think Sistani will have to call for a war against them.

He'll be finished if he doesn't.

TONY JONES: This is before the war, you predicted on this program, you
predicted a likely civil war in Iraq if the invasion went ahead.

The Americans are now saying that the thing they most fear as you started
referring to at the beginning of this interview is a temporary alliance between
the Shiites and the Sunnis and some of the American analysts are pointing to
what happened in Lebanon when the Sunnis and Shia got together to push the
Israelis out.

They're saying that's the analogy they most fear, not Vietnam but Lebanon?

ROBERT FISK: The Americans have got it wrong.

As so often happens in the Middle East, the Sunnis played no part in throwing
the Israelis out of Lebanon.

That's what the Shiites did and the Sunnis did very little about the

It was basically a Shi'ite resistance on its own that threw the Israelis out
of Lebanon.

I think, although unfortunately my prediction of serious resistance more than
a year ago is proving tragically to be correct, I think I was probably wrong
in saying there would be a civil war.

The only people who are talking about civil war at the moment in Iraq are the
Americans and the British and the Western journalists who suck up their lines
and push it back out as their own analysis.

I haven't actually met an Iraqi who wants a civil war or who's talked about a
civil war.

There's never been a civil war in Iraq.

I rather suspect that this danger of civil war - and I'm guilty before the
war quite rightly predicting there might be --is being pushed out by the
Americans and the British in order to frighten the Iraqis into obedience.

"If you don't put your guns, down look what might happen, you'll have civil

I think the reason why they're wrong and why I was wrong is that they never
appreciated that the Iraqi tribal system covers both communities - many Shiite
tribes also are Sunnis, they're in the same tribes.

I went out the other day - and this is an interesting example, to go to the
funeral of a doctor, of a Sunni, who had been murdered almost certainly by a
Shiite gang of gunmen.

When I said, "What does this make you feel about your neighbours?", they
said, "Nothing.

"They're our friends and our comrades and our neighbours."

"Because," he said "our tribes include the Shiites."

The brother of the doctor said, "Look, my wife is a Shiite.

"Want do you want me to do?

"Go and kill her?

"Because my brother was killed by a Shiite?

"No, we will not have a civil war."

So I think possibly there will not a civil war and I think it is becoming
highly provocative of the occupying power to constantly talk about it in this way
as if they almost want a civil war.

If we journalists started talking it about after the occupation we would have
called irresponsible by the occupying power.

So why are they suddenly talking about civil war now?

TONY JONES: Going back to what you said at the beginning of the program and
as a summary of what you just told us, are we likely to see a temporary
alliance between the Shia and the Sunni to throw the Americans out?

ROBERT FISK: I think it's going that way.

We're not yet at a serious alliance.

After all the British are in Basra, a major Shiite city and compared to the
Americans there is some violence but compared to the Americans they're getting
off lightly.

This at the moment, remember, is primarily an anti-American resistance.

Although, we know the Italians have been attacked, the Spanish have been
attacked and are leaving, the British have been a little bit attacked, it is
primarily an anti-American resistance.

But if the Shiites do join in full it will become an anti-Westerner
resistance just as the whole hostage-taking fiasco is turning into an anti-Western

But, again, I stress there have never been a civil war in Iraq and I think
that the tribal system there which is everything, unfortunately, that stands
against the possibility of democracy, the tribal system might save Iraq from
that, if in the end we have to go and leave Iraq with our tail between our legs
which of course Mr Bush has no intention of doing because he wants to win an
election in November.

TONY JONES: Let's move to the other flash point.

We've just seen the assassination of yet another Hamas leader and only days
before that Ariel Sharon was cutting a deal in Washington with the President to
allow effectively the cessation of West Bank settlements.

Those two things, how do they fit together and what's the future hold do you
think, at least the immediate future, in that part of the Middle East?

ROBERT FISK: Well, let's bring Iraq and the Palestine-Israeli conflict

They have one thing in common - they are about occupation.

President Bush in his letter to Sharon, PM Sharon of Israel, has effectively
said, he has said in fact, that there is no obligation on Israel withdrawing
to the '67 borders which they were behind prior to the '67 Middle East war
which means that the whole of UN Security Council resolution 242, the fundamentals
of peace has been overruled by the Bush Administration.

Now, it is apparently legitimate for the reality of the statements to be
accepted so that land taken from Arabs illegally under international law for Jews
and Jews only by the Israelis, that's now OK around Jerusalem.

Well, what we're dealing with here, and with Hamas which is an extremely
brutal organisation - let's not get romantic about it - both with the Palestinians
and with the Iraqis two groups of people who say, "We will not be occupied by
other people, we want to keep our land."

Whether you are talking about the Palestinians who say, "We'll accept the
Palestine, 22 per cent of Palestine left as opposed to all of Palestine including
what is now Israel, or whether you're talking about the extremists and
whether you're talking about Iraqis who don't really want warfare in their streets
but hate the occupying power, what we're dealing with in the Middle East is two
occupying forces coming up against an unstoppable opposition.

The brutality that that can give way we saw in Fallujah with the murder of
the four American mercenaries and their mutilation and we've seen it again with
the massive causalities the marines have inflicted on the people if Fallujah.

But if you want to know how bad it can get, go back to the French war in
Algeria from 1954 to 1962, it has followed identical patterns - the French put
settlements in or the French said, "We will crush any opposition."

It started off low yield - bombs beside the road, a bomb in front of a train
then it went on to kidnapping then it went onto bombs in discos, the same as
pizza houses or the same as hotels in Baghdad, and then it escalated to mass
killings in the cities of Algeria and, of course, it ended with a humiliating
French retreat which changed French history forever.

TONY JONES: Robert Fisk on that rather grim note we will have to leave it.

We thank you once again for coming in to talking to us tonight.


Message: 2
From: "Mark Parkinson" <>
Date: Tue, 20 Apr 2004 23:12:01 +0100
Subject: Moderates vs. Islamists

Here's Hiwa again. Notice the "US occupation" in quotes at the end.
He worked for Newsnight at the BBC and now he's Coordinating Editor
for IWPR's Iraq Project Team funded mainly by Britain's Department
for International Development (DFID).

By Hiwa Osman

The United States declared a truce, and the possibility of talks with
the thugs and terrorists in Iraq are understandably welcome by Iraqis
who want to save civilian lives.

    But some Iraqi leaders, who two weeks ago were condemning the
terrorists, today seem to be bowing to perceived popular sentiment
and have begun to protest the tough U.S. response.

    When a car bomb explodes, these leaders scream that the United
States is not tough enough with the terrorists. But when the United
States gets tough, they are the first to criticize the United States
for being too harsh.

    This flip-flopping may legitimize radical and violent elements in
the long run and undermine the more moderate and democratic currents
in society.

    The military campaign would be more effective if Iraqis had stood
up and taken the lead in the operation against the Sadr militias and
the terrorists of Fallujah. But instead, Iraqi Governing Council
members began to mediate, and the new Iraqi Army refused join in the
operations. They have proven incapable of confronting radicals who
have no clearly articulated goal but to destabilize the country.

    In taking the soft approach, Iraqi leaders may be paving the way
for these radical elements to become part of post-sovereignty
politics, however limited their popular support.

    They do not represent more than a few Iraqi people. And if not
defeated now, they will be able to leverage themselves into the
political process as legitimate players. Iraq cannot afford to have
these violent and anti-democratic elements in strong political

    It is distressing for all of us to watch the Iraqi death toll
climb, but people will realize the importance of an iron-fisted
policy when it comes to elections and they want to exercise their
right to vote free from coercion and fear.

    Radicals are already on the offensive. They are issuing threats
via leaflets and acting on those threats against Iraqis who have any
dealings with the coalition. These are not the actions of people who
anyone would want participating in the political arena. This
intimidation will only increase if they are not stopped.

    If the Sadr forces and the foreign terrorists of Fallujah survive
this battle, the fight against them in a post-sovereignty Iraq will
be impossible. They are supported by the autocratic Arab regimes, the
Iranian theocracy next door and a small portion of a confused public,
misleadingly presented by Arab satellite channels as the majority of
the Iraqi public.

    Iraq is not only Fallujah; the people of Iraq are not only
Muqtada al-Sadr supporters. Despite Arab television rhetoric, a few
thugs taking over a couple government buildings and holy sites does
not represent an Iraqi uprising. A few terrorists using civilians as
human shields do not make a popular resistance to occupation.

    The Iraqi public, reacting to images of civilian deaths, may be
demanding the United States end its operations today. But like all
people, the Iraqi public has a short memory. When the next car bomb
goes off, all eyes will turn once again to Fallujah, and they will
demand tougher security measures by U.S. forces.

    Iraqi leaders should not allow popular emotions to overwhelm
them. Leaders should lead and not be led, especially in times of
national crisis.

    They have to decide whether or not they want these terrorist
elements to remain in their society. If not, then they will have to
stand tall and make courageous decisions to support the U.S. military

    In choosing to mediate rather than to denounce, Iraqi leaders
legitimize violence as a political tool in a country that is trying
to leave its bloody past behind and move toward a democratic and
peaceful future.

    Concern for civilian lives is one thing, but mediating to keep
the radicals afloat is another. At the end of the day, the battle is
not between the Iraqi people and the "U.S. occupation." It is between
radical and moderate Iraqis.

    Hiwa Osman is a Baghdad-based journalist.

Mark Parkinson


Message: 3
From: "George Issa" <>
To: <>
Subject: CPA memo
Date: Wed, 21 Apr 2004 21:36:50 +1000

I think you will be interested in reading this memo written in March by a
U.S. government official as an e-mail, summing his views made in the field
for a senior CPA director. It details political corruption among
American-appointed Iraqi politicians, the lack of electricity, the influenc=
of Iran, and the proliferation of militias:

Below is the full text of the memo as posted on the above website. There is
also a comment made by Jason Vest on The VILLAGE VOICE who appears to be th=
first who got hold of that memo at

George Issa

Text of Redacted Memo by U.S. Official in Iraq Posted

[Below is the full text of the redacted memo upon which Jason Vest=92s Apri=
20 article prepared for the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies (AAN) i=
based. AAN=92s original intention was to withhold the release of the full
memo, as it includes a section with new and useful leads on corruption in
the United Nations Oil-For-Food Program that Jason Vest was working on
developing as a separate story. However, given the high degree of reader
interest and number of media queries the current story has generated, we
have decided to go ahead and release the memo. It was originally sent as an
e-mail and was received by Vest with the headers redacted.=97 Editor]



I want to emphasize: As great as the problems we face, and the criticisms
back home, and mindful of the sacrifice that almost 600 Americans have made=
what we have accomplished in Iraq is worth it. While Iraqis joke, =93Americ=
go home =97 and take us with you,=94 the gratitude which they express is si=
and unsolicited, and not limited to a single political class. The political
bickering back in the United States has worried Iraqis, who fear that a
Kerry victory will mean an American withdrawal, short-term civil war, and
long-term empowerment of the most radical elements of society throughout th=
Islamic world. Nevertheless, several Iraqi political movements have begun
reaching out to Senate Democrats to keep their bases covered.

I have conflicting impressions of where Iraq is going. It is easy to see
progress in Baghdad. Driving from Jadriya to Mansour around 7 p.m. on March
4, shops were bustling. Women and girls, some with hair covered and others
not, crowded shops selling the latest fashions from Italy via Lebanon, cell
phones and electrical gadgets, fancy shoes, and cell phones. Baghdadis are
out and about, looking more self-assured. Gone is the confusion that
permeated Iraqi society in the aftermath of Saddam=92s fall. Shwarma and ic=
cream shops do a booming business, and families patronize restaurants.
Twenty-somethings and teenagers meet in internet cafes. The internet cafes
that we see from the roadside on the main streets are just the tip of the
iceberg; many mahalla have their own internet cafes set off in alcoves off
side streets. Even in poorer areas like Baghdad al-Jadida, new plastic sign=
plaster the sides of buildings. Pundits and others harp on lack of security=
but shopkeepers pile electrical appliances, clothes, bicycles, and other
goods on the street. New cars crowd the street, as well as older models lon=
forbidden (Saddam used to forbid cars of a certain year from entering
Baghdad). Car dealerships continue to open around the city. Traffic police
go through the motions, but remain too fearful to enforce regulations.

Street lights function irregularly and traffic lights not at all, but
private investors have brought in generators so that shops can function
after dark. Electricity in Baghdad is fluctuating between three hours on an=
off, in rotation, and four hours on and off. There is no consistency.
Despite assurances to the contrary, neither the CPA nor the Ministry of
Electricity publishes a schedule of power cuts and rotations. It is now
starting to get hot. I hope that the Ministry of Electricity will be ready
for the summer. You can=92t run an air conditioning unit on a household
generator, and the demand this year will be greater than ever before becaus=
of the influx of new appliances. If we are basing our goal on last year=92s
figures, we are going to come out flat.

Despite the progress evident in the streets of Baghdad, much of which
happens despite us rather than because of us, Baghdadis have an uneasy sens=
that they are heading toward civil war. Sunnis, Shi=92a, and Kurd
professionals say that they themselves, friends, and associates are buying
weapons fearing for the future. CPA is ironically driving the weapons
market: Iraqi police sell their =93lost=94 U.S.-supplied weapons on the bla=
market; they are promptly re-supplied. Interior ministry weapons buy-backs
keep the price of arms high.

The frequent explosions, many of which are not reported in the mainstream
media, are a constant reminder of uncertainty. When a blast occurs,
residents check their watch. If it=92s on the hour, chances are that it=92s=
controlled explosion destroying confiscated ordnance. The explosions are
frequent. Twice in recent days, nearby explosions woke me up. I was staying
with friends on the opposite side of the Mansour district when a loud
explosion rattled the windows =97 apparently when rockets hit the nearby ph=
exchange. Given that I had gone to sleep at around 3 a.m., it had to be big
to wake me. (As an aside, most Iraqi politicking occurs between 9 p.m. and =
a.m., and so if CPA bases its cables on Governing Council meetings and an
occasional dinner with primary actors, it is missing a great deal.) This
morning, I heard a loud blast at 8:40 a.m. My guards told me I slept throug=
an explosion a bit earlier.

We have made the most progress in Baghdad; the south may be calm, but it
seems the calm before the storm. Iranian money is pouring in. British polic=
is to not rock the boat, and so they do nothing that may result in
confrontation. This is a mistake. We are faced with an Iranian challenge.
Whether Iranian activities are sanctioned or not by the Iranian actors with
which the State Department likes to do business should be moot, since those
Iranians who offer engagement lack the power to deliver on their promises.
In Bosnia and Afghanistan, we were likewise challenged by the Iranians. In
both cases, the Iranians promised their intentions were benign. In Bosnia,
we rolled up the Qods Force anyway, and Bosnia has remained pro-Western in
its orientation. In Afghanistan, we wrung our hands and did little, worried
that the Iranians might respond to confrontation if we did anything to
enforce our word. This projected weakness. Today, Iran holds as much
influence over Western Afghanistan than at any time since after the
Anglo-Persian War of 1857. That said, I do not think that a deliberate
bombing such as we saw in Karbala or Khadimiya will be the trigger for a
civil war. Rather, I worry about deeper conflicts that revolve around
patronage and absolutism. Bremer has encouraged re- centralization in Iraq
because it is easier to control a Governing Council less than a kilometer
away from the Palace rather than 18 different provincial councils who would
otherwise have budgetary authority. The net affect, however, has been
desperation to dominate Baghdad, and an absolutism borne of regional
isolation. The interim constitution moves things in the right direction, bu=
the constitution is meaningless if we are not prepared to confront

Throughout Iraq, we are handicapped by our security bubble. Few in CPA-
Baghdad get out of the Green Zone anymore, at least outside the normal
business of going to their respective ministries, etc. Most drivers work
during the day, but not in the evening hours when Baghdad is most alive. Th=
U.S. Government has spent millions importing sport utility vehicles which
are used exclusively to drive the kilometer and a half between the
Convention Center and the Palace. We would have been much better off with a
small fleet of used cars, and a bicycle for every Green Zone resident.

CPA=92s isolation will get worse with the transfer to the State Department.
The job of Regional Security Officers [RSOs] is to ensure safety and
minimize risk. In the view of most RSOs, the best assurance for safety is t=
not leave the Green Zone. This is the same policy which the British now
apply for their CPA personnel. The irony is that the Green Zone is less tha=
secure. Despite the success of the Information Collection Program in rollin=
up Baathist and Salafi cells targeting Americans, large concentrations of
Americans and Brits do make tempting artillery targets. While managing the
risk from the Baathist remnants, we may leave ourselves vulnerable to other
risks. Our screening for Iranian agents and followers of Muqtada al-Sadr is
inconsistant at best. The isolation is two-sided: Iraqis realize that the
entrances to the Green Zone are under surveillance by bad-guys, and they
also fear that some of the custodial staff note who comes and goes. No one
prevents people from entering the parking lot outside the checkpoint to not=
license plate numbers of =93collaborators.=94 Perhaps the paranoia is justi=
perhaps it is not. But, the net effect is the same, as a segment of Iraqi
society seeks to avoid meeting Americans because they fear the Green Zone.

The use of Personal Security Details [PSDs] also handicaps our ability to
report on certain key trends, especially in the south and south- central.
PSDs are necessary for protection, but they hamper communication with
ordinary people. It is ingrained in the Iraqi psyche to keep a close hold o=
their own thoughts when surrounded by people with guns. Even those willing
to talk to Americans think twice, since American officials create a
spectacle of themselves, with convoys, flak jackets, and fancy SUVs. No one
in Hilla, Nasriya, or Basra can surreptitiously complain, for example, abou=
Iranian influence to Americans or British officials in CPA-SC or CPA-S when
they feel that all eyes =97 including those of people reporting to the
Iranians =97 are watching them. Likewise, no one in Baquba can complain of =
presence of Baathists when they feel that Americans=92 ability to be
inconspicuous may bring them personal harm. Iraqis fear entering the
headquarters of provincial CPA offices when they perceive, as in the north,
that many of the guards and translators report to regional oligarchs.

How to balance out the need for security with the need to get an accurate
on-the-ground report? We need to send out people to rove and who approach
the streets with a fresh outlook. It may not look pretty on an
organizational chart, but it works. We have people in OSD who speak Farsi
and/or Arabic but who are prevented from even visiting. There is an
unfortunate trend inside the Pentagon where those who can write a good memo
are punished by being held back from the field, despite the fact that three
weeks=92 experience could bolster their ability to serve the Pentagon
hierarchy and write an informed memo, position paper, or answer accurately =
snowflake. Three weeks is enough to get a sense of the lay of the land,
especially for those whose language ability is far better than mine. We hav=
all heard that the job of an OSD desk officer is to sit at our desks, in
case we are needed on any particular day. More often than not, we sit idle,
even when superiors tell others we are busy. OSD harms itself, and its
constituent members=92 individual credibility when it defers all real world
experience to others. There is not a single person I know working in OSD wh=
has any other goal than to serve the best they can. Some people have chosen
not to go to Iraq for reasons that are known only to them, but others very
much want to come to Iraq, but are prevented by superiors who have
misinformed leadership that people want to stay put. This is simply not
true, and is a factor in the poor morale which afflicts the Pentagon.

Allowing reporting outside the compartmentalization which both the State
Department and CPA crave would not compromise security. There is security i=
anonymity when not tied to a specific area. In my case, outside of Iraqi
Kurdistan, I need not fear being recognized on the street. Unlike many
members of our provincial governorate teams, I do not let the mayors and
governors I visit put me on local television. When the television cameras
appear, I tell the governor or mayor that I cannot appear. Not only does
this increase my own security but it also creates a bit of a mystique which
allows me to better function in the eyes of some Iraqi officials.
Ironically, allowing a portion of political officers to roam would not
create any more administrative chaos as that which already exists. One CPA
official, who will remain anonymous, drew an apt metaphor: Watching CPA
handle an issue is like watching six-year-olds play soccer. Someone kicks
the ball, and one hundred people chase after it (hoping to be noticed),
without a care as to what else happens on the field.

On a micro-level, avoiding the media is my way of addressing what I see as =
failure in our strategic communication, which tends to promote American
individuals above Iraqis. Iraqis present at the 4 a.m. conclusion of the
Governing Council deliberations on the interim constitution were mocking Da=
Senor=92s request that no one say anything to the press until the following
afternoon. It was obvious to all that an American wanted to make the
announcement and so take credit. Our lack of honesty in saying as much
annoyed the Iraqis. Iraqi politicians are savvy enough to understand
political posturing, but resent the condescension of our press operation.
The resulting press, not only in al-Mutamar and az-Zaman, but also in The
New York Times and The Washington Post, focused on Iraqis, and not on U.S.
actors. It is what we should have been aiming for all along.

The interim constitution has been quite a success. I can be quite cynical
about most Iraqi politicians, but I do think that it=92s hard to not give
Ahmed Chalabi credit for getting the deal we got. When I see the results of
his maneuvering and coalition building, I wonder how much farther we could
have gotten if so many in the U.S. government had not sought to undermine
him at every possible opportunity. Of course we could have gotten a better
deal had we come in and used our momentum, but the importance of momentum i=
international relations is something neither the interagency process, nor
the CPA, nor the Pentagon fully grasps. If they did, we would not waste tim=
changing =93happy=94 to =93glad=94 oblivious to the fact that Iraq does not=
on Washington time.

I had dinner with Chalabi the evening after the constitution was announced,
after he returned from a visit to Khadimiya (the evening before the
bombing). He was extremely happy with the deal Iraqi liberals and the Unite=
States got.

Then again, as I wrote in a memo earlier this week to some of you, the
interim constitution is just an exercise in Governing Council and CPA
masturbation if not enforced. The fact that we do nothing to roll up Muqtad=
al-Sadr=92s Jaysh al-Mahdi which is running around Najaf, arresting and
torturing people, and trying Iraqis before their own kangaroo courts signal=
to Iraqis that we lack seriousness. It also telegraphs weakness not only to
Muqtada al-Sadr, but also to others who realize they cannot win legitimacy
through the ballot box, and therefore will seek to grab it through violence=
Yes, we would have violence for two or three days after arresting Muqtada
(whom, after all, has had murder charges leveled against him by an Iraqi
prosecutor), but that would subside. Since so many of us have gone through
it, allow me a metaphor to the small pox vaccine: Getting the vaccine
results in a pustule which is unpleasant, but the vaccine also prevents the
potential of thousands of other pustules. Arresting Muqtada would signal
weakness, and would make other populist leaders think twice.

Our failure to promote accountability has hurt us. If we fail to fire
corrupt ministers, we promote an air of unaccountability. Bremer=92s less t=
subtle threats have aggravated the situation. Whenever Bremer repeats that
he has the power to veto what he does not like, he gives a green light for
Governing Council members to pursue their most populist demands, knowing
they can build constituency without ever having to face the consequences.

Iraqi politicians, ordinary Iraqis, and U.S. contractors have the sense tha=
Bremer=92s goal is to leave Iraq with his reputation intact. He therefore
hesitates to take tough but necessary decisions, instead hoping to foist
them onto his successor or international organizations. Success should not
be seen as the state of Iraq on June 30, but rather the state of Iraq on
July 31, September 30, or November 30. It is essential we transfer
sovereignty to an Iraq built upon the strongest possible template. We need
to use our prerogative as occupying power to signal that corruption will no=
be tolerated. We have the authority to remove ministers. To take action
against men like [REDACTED] would win us applause on the street, even if
their GC sponsors would go through the motions of complaint. The alleged
kickbacks that [REDACTED] is accepting should be especially serious for us,
since he was one of two ministers who met the President and had his picture
taken with him. If such information gets buried on the desks of middle-leve=
officials who do not want to make waves, then short-term gain will be
replaced by long-term ill.

We also share culpability in the eyes of ordinary Iraqis. After all, we
appointed the Governing Council members. Their corruption is our corruption=
When [REDACTED] work to exclude followers of other trends of Shi=92a politi=
thought from minister and deputy minister positions, Iraqis blame Bremer,
especially because the Governance Group had assured Iraqis that their
exclusion from the Governing Council did not mean an exclusion from the
process. As it turns out, we lied. People from Kut, for example, see that
they have no representation on the Governing Council, and many predict civi=
war since they doubt that the Governing Council will really allow elections=

In retrospect, both for political and organizational reasons, the decision
to allow the Governing Council to pick 25 ministers did the greatest damage=
Not only did we endorse nepotism, with men choosing their sons or
brothers-in-law; but we also failed to use our prerogative to shape a syste=
that would work. It is true that several Governing Council members have rea=
constituencies, for example, [REDACTED], but what we ignore is that these
constituencies are not based on ideology, but rather on the muscle of their
respective personal militias and the patronage which we allow them to
bestow. We have bestowed approximately $600 million upon the Kurdish
leadership, in addition to the salaries we pay, in addition to the USAID
projects, in addition to the taxes which we have allowed them to collect
illegally. I spent the night of March 3 and morning of March 4 watching The
Godfather trilogy on DVD with an Iraqi Kurdish contact who had ridiculed me
for never having before seen any of the films. The entire evening was spent
discussing which Iraqi Kurdish politicians represented which character. It
is telling that it=92s remarkably easy to do =97 it was even easy to identi=
[REDACTED] in the film.

Patronage and oligarchy are the same the world over. Abdul Aziz Hakim
receives support from the Iranian government, which long was his host. The
ironic thing is that, with proper funding of Iraqi liberals, we could have
helped advance them much farther than we did. It is a lesson the Supreme
Leader understands in Tehran, Shaykh Zayid understands in Abu Dhabi, and
Crown Prince Abdullah understands in Saudi Arabia.

It would be a very grave mistake to transfer authority to the United
Nations. Kofi Annan once said that =93Saddam Hussein is a man I can do
business with.=94 Not only can we expect such a tape to be aired often on
Iraqi television, but also we can expect further revelations that Kofi Anna=
was speaking literally and, not just figuratively. I spent a great deal of
time with Claude Hankes-Drielsma, chairman of Roland Berger Strategy
Consultants, when he was in Baghdad earlier this week. Many of you may
remember him from his service with the 1985 South African debt commission,
and as an investigator who exposed the Nobel Foundation scandal several
years back. He is currently serving as advisor to the Finance Committee of
the Governing Council, in which capacity he is organizing the audit of the
UN oil-for-food system. Already, the audit has uncovered serious wrongdoing
in banks, and discrepancies of billions of dollars. Anger is rising at just
how little Iraq got for its money under UN auspices, when the UN oversaw
contracts that inflated prices and delivered substandard if not useless
goods. While the Western press has focused on officials like Benon Sevan
who, according to documents, received discounted oil, the real scandal
appears to be in some of the trading companies which would convert such oil
shares to cash. For example, Sevan cashed his oil share with a Panamanian
trading company, which, it turns out, was controlled by Boutros-Boutros
Ghali. This scandal is going to run deep, and will likely erupt prior to th=
U.S. presidential election. Senior UN officials know that an independent
audit is being conducted, and are not cooperating. It would be a shame if i=
turns out we knew about this, and yet did nothing to ensure that key UN and
bank documents were not shredded. Regardless, to allow the United Nations t=
again loot Iraq will be problematic at best.

A real problem remains the lack of security over Iraq=92s borders. I do not
believe those up high fully understand the problem. When I first returned t=
the Defense Department in November, the first assignment I had was to answe=
a snowflake about how we are securing Iraq=92s borders. It came less than t=
weeks after I was stopped by an illegal PKK checkpoint about 20 kilometers
from the Iranian border. I answered the snowflake honestly, but was told to
elaborate on the procedures in place. The problem was that no one was
following procedures. That CPA had a Border Enforcement policy is completel=
irrelevant. It is too easy to say the borders are indefensible. After all,
while sanctions smuggling did occur, it is undeniable that a crumbling
Baathist regime did better than have we. There are military roads along the
frontiers, even in mountainous terrain. Infiltrators may not have nefarious
purposes for entering the country =97 some may simply want to go on pilgrim=
while avoiding the excessive tax and license fees which the Iranian regime
charges. However, if we want to truly secure the border, we need to deploy
far greater numbers than we have now, jail anyone caught taking bribes, and
imprison any infiltrators for more than a year to send the signal to
neighboring countries that such behavior will no longer be tolerated.
[REDACTED] might be politely told that his job is as much to reform the
foreign ministry and set it back on its feet instead of just seeing how muc=
he can eat at a succession of state banquets.

Lastly, before I sign off, our diplomats fear using leverage. It is much
nicer to sleep at the resort [REDACTED] appropriated for his own personal
use when you don=92t have to listen to him harp and complain. Likewise, it =
better to keep [REDACTED] a happy drunk than an angry drunk. If our
diplomats and CPA officials feel uncomfortable being bad cop, it is
essential that people in Washington play the role. [REDACTED] and
[REDACTED], for example, are much more compliant when their checks are
=93delayed=94 or fail to appear. The same is true with other Governing Coun=
members. The key is subtlety. They will figure out the connection on their
own; they need not have it pointed out by Bremer or Greenstock in a way tha=
will cause them to dig in their heels.

If anything significant occurs in my final week in Iraq, I will send it
along, but otherwise, thanks for putting up with my diatribes and large

Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
Checked by AVG anti-virus system (
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Message: 4
From: "k hanly" <>
To: "newsclippings" <>
Subject: Chalabi nephew heads Saddam Trial
Date: Wed, 21 Apr 2004 11:52:08 -0500

Revealed: man in charge of trying Saddam


Key points

. Tribunal to try Saddam Hussein is announced.
. Charges to be determined by the court and prosecutors.
. Lawyer Jacques Verges has agreed to help run Saddam's defence.

Full story: IRAQI leaders have established the tribunal of judges and
prosecutors that will try Saddam Hussein and other members of the former
Iraqi regime, it was announced last night.

Saddam will be tried by seven judges appointed by Salem Chalabi, the genera=
director of the tribunal, who is the nephew of Ahmad Chalabi, the head of
the Iraqi Governing Council (IGC) Iraqi National Congress (INC), said
Entefadh Qanbar, a spokesman for the INC.

Mr Chalabi, a lawyer educated in the United States, has also appointed four
prosecutors to direct the case against the former Iraqi leader.

The tribunal, which has a budget of $75 million (=A341.4 million) for the n=
financial year, will also prosecute any members of Saddam's regime who are
charged, Mr Qanbar added.

A date has yet to be set for the trial of Saddam, who was captured by US
troops in December and has since been held at an undisclosed location in or
near Baghdad.

Charges against the former leader and his officials will be determined by
the court and prosecutors, Mr Qanbar said, adding that more judges will be
hired for the tribunal.

However, before any trial begins, the judges and prosecutors will undergo
extensive training, including in international law, war crimes and crimes
against humanity.

Since the fall of Saddam's regime, some 300,000 bodies have been found in
mass graves, victims of his regime's persecution of political enemies, Kurd=
and Shiite Muslims, and other groups, US officials say. The Iraqi military
also used chemical weapons against troops and civilians during the Iran-Ira=
war in the 1980s and during a Kurdish uprising.

To help to prepare charges, a team of 50 prosecutors, investigators and
support staff from the US justice department began flying out to Iraq last
month to assemble war crimes cases against Saddam and others in his regime.

The unit will sift through thousands of pages of evidence and provide a
road-map to help the tribunal.

The team includes lawyers, FBI agents, US Marshals Service members and
others involved in the federal criminal justice system, said a senior
justice department official.

Mr Chalabi led a team of Iraqis on a visit to international courts in the
Netherlands last month to study how war crimes trials are conducted there.

After that visit, Mr Chalabi told the New York Times newspaper that the
Iraqi tribunal would prosecute lower-ranking suspects before trying Saddam.

The Scotsman revealed last month that the French lawyer Jacques Verges has
agreed to help run Saddam's defence.

Known for defending controversial clients, including terrorists and a Nazi
leader, Mr Verges said he had received a letter from the former dictator's
family requesting that he take on the role, and had agreed to do so.

He added that he hoped to take Saddam's case to the International Criminal
Court at The Hague in the Netherlands. However, with the appointment of an
Iraqi tribunal, this now seems unlikely.

Yesterday's announcement came as Baghdad was hit by more violence.

Guerrillas attacked the capital's largest prison with mortar shells, killin=
22 prisoners suspected of belonging to the anti-US insurgency or Saddam's
former regime, in what a US general says may have been an attempt to spark =
riot against their guards.

Ninety-two prisoners were wounded in the attack, 25 of them seriously, said
Colonel Jill Morgenthaler, a US military spokeswoman.

In Mosul, a roadside bomb exploded as a US military convoy passed by,
killing one soldier and wounding four others, the military said. Three Iraq=
civilians were also wounded.

But in the restive city of Fallujah, the fragile peace continued.

Iraqi security forces, wearing flak jackets and carrying weapons, moved bac=
into the city as part of an agreement between US officials and local leader=
aimed at ending the hostilities.

Some 200 members of the Iraqi security forces had returned to their jobs by
yesterday afternoon.

This article:

Saddam Hussein's capture:


  Electronic Iraq

  FCO - Policy towards Iraq

  Government dossiers on Iraq

  Iraq Daily (World News Network)

  Iraq Today

  Iraq Watch

  UN - Office of the Iraq Programme



Message: 5
From: "k hanly" <>
To: "newsclippings" <>
Subject: Why Honduran troops are pulling out
Date: Wed, 21 Apr 2004 14:11:19 -0500

The Arabs of Latin and South America

What the U.S. Doesn't Understand About Honduras Pulling Its Troops Out of

Professor Sam Hamod, Ph.D.

04/20/04 "ICH" -- It's true that George Bush had never traveled outside the
U.S. before he became president. He thought he knew something about Mexico,
but it took little time for his visits with Presidente Fox of Mexico and
that was dispelled.

Now, Bush is losing troops from Spain and Honduras. " Honduras," everyone

"Why Honduras?"

Once again, it shows that few in America know much about Latin American
culture, money and politics. Actually, there are very powerful Arabs in all
walks of life and politics in Honduras, and there have been for decades;
just as they are powerful in Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil and many other
South American and Latin American countries.

Most of the time, these Arabs, most of whom are Lebanese or Palestinian, are
of Christian origin-with a few Muslims scattered among them. But, on the
whole, as in Mexico, whose richest man, Mr. Slim, is Lebanese, the
Christians fit into the societies better because they were often Catholic,
and this fit with the Catholicism of the Americas. They also often married
women from the countries in which they settled, and their children were au
natural in those countries. Because of their natural entrepreneurial nature,
the Lebanese usually became wealthy, but because of their social nature and
their sense of civic involvement, they became involved in politics-if not
out front, then behind. Most of the time these men tended to be in the
conservative parties, preferring to protect their wealth and the upper

But somehow, with his brutal behavior in Iraq, a country that had many
Christians who originated there, and because of its kinship with Lebanon,
the Arabs in Honduras and in other countries in South America got fed up and
decided to speak up against Bush. The same thing had happened earlier in
Mexico, but I did not write about it because it had not become widespread.

Then, the next bad move Bush made was this past week when he gave Sharon the
green light to kill at will in Palestine-to take land from the Christians as
well as Muslims and to isolate the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the
Church of the Nativity. These moves angered the Christian Arabs of South
America because they saw it as an insult to their religion and their
heritage in the Arab world-all to be given carte blanche to an Israeli whom
the saw as a Hitler figure. Many of the Jews and Arabs in South America are
friends, and the Jews of that area have never been big supporters of Israel
as have the American Jewish leaders. So, the Arabs decided to use their
financial and political power in Honduras, and now the Honduran troops are
being called home.

The Arabs of Honduras had been supportive of taking Saddam out, but they did
not bargain for the American brutality in Fallujah or Baghdad-with American
troops shooting up ambulances and keeping people from hospitals, But, the
Bush pandering to Sharon was the last straw.

Bush will have a hard time getting support from Latin and South America from
now on because of his policies; the Arabs, many of whom are the wealthiest
citizens of those countries, have had enough of Bush and his policies, and
they 'll stand against him and his ways.

Sam Hamod is an expert on the Middle East, Islam and the Arabs in the world;
he is the former Director of The Islamic Center of Washington, Dc; founder
of 3rd World News:

Professor at Princeton, Michigan, Iowa and Howard; editor of He may be reached at

C sam hamod, april 19, 2004

The Arabs of Latin and South America

What the U.S. Doesn't Understand About Honduras Pulling Its Troops Out of

Professor Sam Hamod, Ph.D.

04/20/04 "ICH" -- It's true that George Bush had never traveled outside the
U.S. before he became president. He thought he knew something about Mexico,
but it took little time for his visits with Presidente Fox of Mexico and
that was dispelled.

Now, Bush is losing troops from Spain and Honduras. " Honduras," everyone

"Why Honduras?"

Once again, it shows that few in America know much about Latin American
culture, money and politics. Actually, there are very powerful Arabs in all
walks of life and politics in Honduras, and there have been for decades;
just as they are powerful in Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil and many other
South American and Latin American countries.

Most of the time, these Arabs, most of whom are Lebanese or Palestinian, are
of Christian origin-with a few Muslims scattered among them. But, on the
whole, as in Mexico, whose richest man, Mr. Slim, is Lebanese, the
Christians fit into the societies better because they were often Catholic,
and this fit with the Catholicism of the Americas. They also often married
women from the countries in which they settled, and their children were au
natural in those countries. Because of their natural entrepreneurial nature,
the Lebanese usually became wealthy, but because of their social nature and
their sense of civic involvement, they became involved in politics-if not
out front, then behind. Most of the time these men tended to be in the
conservative parties, preferring to protect their wealth and the upper

But somehow, with his brutal behavior in Iraq, a country that had many
Christians who originated there, and because of its kinship with Lebanon,
the Arabs in Honduras and in other countries in South America got fed up and
decided to speak up against Bush. The same thing had happened earlier in
Mexico, but I did not write about it because it had not become widespread.

Then, the next bad move Bush made was this past week when he gave Sharon the
green light to kill at will in Palestine-to take land from the Christians as
well as Muslims and to isolate the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the
Church of the Nativity. These moves angered the Christian Arabs of South
America because they saw it as an insult to their religion and their
heritage in the Arab world-all to be given carte blanche to an Israeli whom
the saw as a Hitler figure. Many of the Jews and Arabs in South America are
friends, and the Jews of that area have never been big supporters of Israel
as have the American Jewish leaders. So, the Arabs decided to use their
financial and political power in Honduras, and now the Honduran troops are
being called home.

The Arabs of Honduras had been supportive of taking Saddam out, but they did
not bargain for the American brutality in Fallujah or Baghdad-with American
troops shooting up ambulances and keeping people from hospitals, But, the
Bush pandering to Sharon was the last straw.

Bush will have a hard time getting support from Latin and South America from
now on because of his policies; the Arabs, many of whom are the wealthiest
citizens of those countries, have had enough of Bush and his policies, and
they 'll stand against him and his ways.

Sam Hamod is an expert on the Middle East, Islam and the Arabs in the world;
he is the former Director of The Islamic Center of Washington, Dc; founder
of 3rd World News:

Professor at Princeton, Michigan, Iowa and Howard; editor of He may be reached at

C sam hamod, april 19, 2004


Message: 6
From: "k hanly" <>
To: "newsclippings" <>
Subject: New Ambassador to Iraq
Date: Wed, 21 Apr 2004 14:25:43 -0500

Web Exclusives
Editor Matthew Rothschild comments on the news of the day.

April 20, 2004

Negroponte, a Torturer's Friend

Bush's announcement that he intends to appoint John Negroponte to be the
U.S. ambassador to Iraq should appall anyone who respects human rights.

Negroponte, currently U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., was U.S. ambassador to
Honduras in the 1980s and was intimately involved with Reagan's dirty war
against the Sandinistas of Nicaragua. Reagan waged much of that illegal
contra war from Honduras, and Negroponte was his point man.

According to a detailed investigation the Baltimore Sun did in 1995,
Negroponte covered up some of the most grotesque human rights abuses

The CIA organized, trained, and financed an army unit called Battalion 316,
the paper said. Its specialty was torture. And it kidnapped, tortured, and
killed hundreds of Hondurans, the Sun reported. It "used shock and
suffocation devices in interrogations. Prisoners often were kept naked and,
when no longer useful, killed and buried in unmarked graves."

The U.S. embassy in Honduras knew about the human rights abuses but did not
want this embarrassing information to become public, the paper said.

"Determined to avoid questions in Congress, U.S. officials in Honduras
concealed evidence of human rights abuses," the Sun reported. Negroponte has
denied involvement, and prior to his confirmation by the Senate for his U.N.
post, he testified, "I do not believe that death squads were operating in

But this is what the Baltimore Sun said: "The embassy was aware of numerous
kidnappings of leftists." It also said that Negroponte played an active role
in whitewashing human rights abuses.

"Specific examples of brutality by the Honduran military typically never
appeared in the human rights reports, prepared by the embassy under the
direct supervision of Ambassador Negroponte," the paper wrote. " The reports
from Honduras were carefully crafted to leave the impression that the
Honduran military respected human rights."

So this is the man who is going to show the Iraqis the way toward democracy?

More likely, as the insurgency increases, this will be the man who will
oversee and hush up any brutal repression that may ensue.

-- Matthew Rothschild


Message: 7
From: "k hanly" <>
To: "newsclippings" <>
Subject: One US hostage thousands of Iraqis held..
Date: Wed, 21 Apr 2004 23:57:26 -0500

One US Hostage - and 20,000 Iraqi Hostages

by Aaron Glantz
Private First Class Matt Maupin assigned to the U.S. Army Reserve's 724th
Transportation Company based at Bartonville, Illinois, became the first
prisoner taken by Iraqi insurgents since the fall of Saddam Hussein.

The U.S. military is currently holding more than 20,000 Iraqis behind bars -
most of them taken during house to house searches by the U.S. military.

Take the village of Abu Siffa, an hour's drive north of Baghdad. Cattle
graze on the side of the road and date palms sway in the wind. The mighty
Tigris flows nearby.

Rejan Mohammed Hassen stands in front of the rubble that was her house and
recalls the night last summer when the U.S. Army took her sons and destroyed
her house.

"Early in the morning they took us from the home and asked us to stand
around," she recalls. "When we questioned them, the Americans started to
beat the women. After that, two tanks came to our house and started to shoot
using the machine-gun on top of the tank and then two missiles from the head
of the tank."

By the time the U.S. Army left Abu Siffa an hour later, 73 men from the
village had been rounded up, including all four of Rejan Mohammed Hassen's
sons. Villagers say the U.S. troops did not find the arms caches they were
looking for, but the soldiers did confiscate several trucks and large sums
of cash.

Nine months later, 15-year-old Ahmed Itar Hassen is one of only two
villagers to have emerged from custody. He was finally released without
being charged with any offence.

"For the first six days we were all staying in an open field surrounded by
razor wire," he says. "There was no tent and no mat under us and we were
exposed to the sun and the rain."

He says the soldiers provided no toilet facilities, leaving the men to
relieve themselves in the open. "It was impossible to sleep," he recalls.
"The American soldiers threw pebbles at us all night long."

Eventually, Ahmed says he was transferred to Baghdad's Abu Grahb prison.
There he was held in solitary confinement - in a 3-foot by 4-foot cell used
to keep political prisoners during the reign of Saddam Hussein. He says he
was not allowed outside to exercise, to see his family or a lawyer.

"At night they threw a dog in the cell to frighten me," he says. "We call it
a wolf- dog, the big police dog. A soldier just put it in my cell every

Ahmed says the dog was taken away after he complained to a Red Cross
observer who came to his cell.

Human rights groups say incidents like those at Abu Siffa happen far too
often during the occupation.

A report released by Amnesty International catalogues 15 confirmed incidents
of house demolition and notes regular reports of torture and beatings
perpetrated against prisoners in U.S. custody. The report also alleges that
prisoners are subjected to sleep deprivation, hooding, and bright lights.

Sa'ad Sultan Hussein, lawyer with the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Ministry for
Human Rights says the occupation force has promised to allow his agency to
open an office at Abu Grahb, but so far they have only given his teams
guided tours of the prisons.

"I have only seen what they wanted me to see," he admits. "We didn't enter
the interrogation room. We were not allowed to witness any interrogations."

Sa'ad Sultan Hussein says the occupying forces are currently holding about
15,000 prisoners at Abu Grahb, the vast majority for supposed political

An additional 7,500 prisoners are being held at a joint Anglo-American
prison in the southern port city Um Qasr. That prison was built to hold
prisoners of war (POW) last year.

It has been a year since 70-year-old Boyadin Sayid Jassem last saw his son
Riyad, who was conscripted into the Iraqi army to fight the U.S.-led
invasion. He says Riyad was last seen at a battle in al-Yusufia, 15 miles
south of Baghdad.

"A friend of my son told me that my son was wounded and that the Americans
picked him up and took him," he says. "But to where nobody knows."

Boyadin Sayid Jassem quakes as he speaks. He says he visited every U.S.
prison in the Baghdad area before hearing about the POW prison at Um Qasr.

"I went to Um Qasr," he says. "I described the situation, and when they
checked in their computer they told me my son's name is in their record. So
I asked them 'where is he?' and they told me 'we can't tell you now because
of the security situation'."

Among those believed to be in the custody of the U.S. military is the eldest
son of Hussein Salem Khleff. On April 6 last year during the middle of the
war Hussein's entire family was fleeing the front in their mini-bus down a
main road south of Baghdad.

"We were surprised by the American forces," he relates. "They just started
shooting. My brother was on top of the trailer carrying a while flag of
peace. A bullet hit his leg. The American forces came towards us and then
the Americans climbed on the trailer. When they saw that a bullet hit his
leg they called for a medic."

After half an hour a U.S. medical helicopter came and took his son away. It
was the last time Hussein saw him.

"They told me we are heading for Baghdad, but when he gets well we will
bring him to the same place he was wounded," Khleff says. "I have searched
for him at every American base. Nobody can tell me where he is."

A year after his son disappeared, Khleff has given up on formal processes.
He has taken to posting photos of his missing son on lamp posts around
Baghdad. He has asked Arab satellite TV stations like al-Jazeera to show the
photo on a regular basis. So far, nothing has worked.

"The major problem that Iraqi people suffer from is random capture by the
U.S. military," says Sa'ad Sultan Hussein. "They are disappeared and no one
can tell where they are or the reason for their capture. They even don't
allow the families to visit them, and the Geneva Convention says they must
allow the families to visit."

U.S. soldiers serving as prison guards at Abu Grahib refused to comment.
They said the only officers authorised to comment were at the U.S. military
base Camp Victory, formerly Saddam Hussein International Airport. Senior
officers there were unavailable.

(Inter Press Service)


Message: 8
Date: Thu, 22 Apr 2004 09:24:13 +0100
From: "Nicholas Gilby" <>
To: <>

For Immediate Release
Sarah Miller-Davenport
(212) 548-0378/

NEW YORK, April 21, 2004-

The monitoring group in charge of overseeing Iraq's oil revenues has
less than three months to account for billions of Iraqi funds spent by
the Coalition Provisional Authority, said a report by the Open Society
Institute's Iraq Revenue Watch project. The report, Racing the Deadline:
The Rush to Account for Iraq's Public Funds, warns that the
International Advisory and Monitoring Board (IAMB) cannot provide
accurate accounting for this money unless it is able to work beyond June
30th, when the Coalition Provisional Authority is scheduled to hand over
power to an Iraqi interim government.

"There is not enough time left to cram in an audit of more than a year's
worth of expenditures, many of which have not been accounted for," said
Svetlana Tsalik, director of OSI's Revenue Watch.

It took months of wrangling to determine the terms of reference for the
IAMB, which was created by a United Nations Security Council resolution
in May 2003 to oversee the management of the Development Fund for Iraq
(DFI), the main repository for Iraq's oil revenues. The Coalition had
been reluctant to hand over broad auditing authority to the IAMB-whose
members consist of the UN, the World Bank, the International Monetary
Fund, and the Arab Development Fund-but finally agreed to such a
provision in October.

Substantial amounts of money have passed through the DFI. Under the
Coalition Provisional Authority, $6.9 billion in crude oil export
revenues, $3.8 billion in frozen and seized assets from Saddam Hussein's
regime, and $4 billion in leftover UN Oil for Food Program funds have
all been transferred into the DFI. To date, the Coalition has spent over
$7 billion in DFI funds on infrastructure, administration, security and
other projects, without any independent monitoring or supervision.

Since the IAMB began work in December, it has expressed concern over the
use of DFI funds to pay for a contract awarded to Halliburton with no
competitive bidding. The IAMB has also urged the Coalition Provisional
Authority to begin metering extracted Iraqi crude oil immediately.
Currently, they are unable to determine what amounts are smuggled prior
to reaching refineries, shipping terminals, and pipelines.

Racing the Deadline calls on the UN Security Council to extend the
Board's mandate as long as necessary to complete a full audit of the
Development Fund for Iraq under Coalition management. The report also
urges the IAMB to provide opportunities for Iraqis to participate in the
Board's work on an equal footing with the current members. "Iraqi
partnership in the IAMB is crucial to the legitimacy of the Board's
conclusions and the continuity of its work," said Tsalik.

The report can be found at

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Message: 9
Reply-To: <>
From: "Voices in the Wilderness \(UK\)" <>
To: "Voices UK" <>
Subject: Wolfowitz and Straw on 30 June 'handover'
Date: Thu, 22 Apr 2004 10:39:23 +0100

[A] Limited Iraqi Sovereignty Planned: Coalition Troops Won't Answer to
Interim Government, Wolfowitz Says, Washington Post, 22 April 2004
[B] Excerpt of interview with British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, Today
Programme, 22 April 2004

Couple of interesting statements on the 30 June 'handover.' According to
Paul Wolfowitz the Iraqi Interim Government will have 'no authority over
U.S. and coalition military forces already there'. Meanwhile the British
Foreign Secretary Kack Straw told the Today programme that he 'thought' that
the IIG could 'technically' kick US/UK forces out of Iraq if they so
desired. I wish they'd get their stories straight before they go in front on
the media!

As far as I can make out there's no basis for Straw's assertion in the
Interim Constitution, which grants US forces permission to remain in Iraq
'until ratification of a permanent constitution and the election of a new
government pursuant to that new constitution.' Wolfowitz seemed to assent to
a slightly stronger formulation the the IC text however, agreeing that 'the
military decisions continue to reside *indefinitely* in the control of the
American commander' (emphasis added). That this is the true position can
hardly be doubted.

Best wishes,


[A] Limited Iraqi Sovereignty Planned
Coalition Troops Won't Answer to Interim Government, Wolfowitz Says

By Josh White and Jonathan Weisman
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, April 22, 2004; Page A25

The new Iraqi interim government scheduled to take control on July 1 will
have only "limited sovereignty" over the country and no authority over U.S.
and coalition military forces already there, senior State and Defense
officials told Congress this week.

In testimony before the Senate and the House Armed Services committees,
Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz and Undersecretary of State Marc
Grossman said the United States will operate under the transitional law
approved by the Iraqi Governing Council and a resolution approved by the
U.N. Security Council last October. Both those provisions give control of
the country's security to U.S. military commanders.

Whereas in the past the turnover was described as granting total sovereignty
to the appointed Iraqi government, Grossman yesterday termed it "limited
sovereignty" because "it is limited by the transitional law . . . and the
U.N. resolution."

Under the current plan, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan's special adviser,
Lakhdar Brahimi, will appoint a temporary government that will run Iraqi
government agencies for six months and prepare the way for January 2005
elections of an assembly that will select a second, temporary government and
write a constitution.

Wolfowitz described the July 1 government as "purely temporary" and there to
"run ministries . . . but most importantly, they'll be setting up
elections." In addition he said, the government will run the police force
"but in coordination with Centcom [the U.S. Central Command], because this
is not a normal police situation."

"So we transfer sovereignty, but the military decisions continue to reside
indefinitely in the control of the American commander. Is that correct?"
Sen. John W. Warner (R-Va.) asked the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,
Gen. Richard B. Myers, on Tuesday. "That's correct," Myers replied.

"Sovereignty is not something we can, or want, to take back," Wolfowitz said
yesterday, outlining efforts to develop a large, new armed force there. "The
security of Iraq . . . will be part of a multinational force under U.S.
command, including Iraqi forces."

Wolfowitz's comments came as he and Myers conceded that war costs in Iraq
are rising, and senior House Republicans pledged to give the military more
money this year, whether or not the Bush administration asks for it.

Wolfowitz, under questioning before the House committee, said that as of
January, the United States was spending $4.7 billion a month, and he noted
that "there may be a bump up" because of the 20,000 more troops currently
there. Myers told the panel that intense combat, higher-than-expected troop
levels and depleted military hardware "are going to cost us more money."

About $700 million in added troop costs have been identified, and Myers said
the service chiefs have identified a $4 billion shortfall.

"We thought we could get through all of August," Myers said. "We'd have to
figure out how to do September. . . . We are working those estimates right

"And we've got to take a look and see if we have the wherewithal inside the
[Defense Department] budget," he added.

Armed Services Chairman Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) replied, "The committee, I
think, General, is inclined to help you perhaps more than has been suggested
by the Pentagon."

But military officials, defense contractors and lawmakers from both
political parties say an emergency infusion of cash will be needed far
sooner -- perhaps by midsummer. Members of Congress pleaded yesterday with
the administration to be more forthcoming.

"The administration would be well served here to come forward now, be honest
about this, because the continuity and the confidence in this policy is
going to be required to sustain it," Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) said.

Strains on the war-fighting budget put the White House on the defensive,
with administration spokesman Scott McClellan insisting yesterday that the
troops have the necessary resources even as he left open the possibility
that more money might be coming this year. President Bush's budget for the
fiscal year that begins Oct. 1 contains no money for military operations in
Iraq, and his budget director has said a request for additional funds will
not come until January at the earliest.

McClellan said the White House has "assurances from Pentagon officials that
the resources they have at this time are more than enough to meet their
needs." Bush has said that troops in Iraq will get all the resources and
support they need.

Myers focused for the first time on a dilemma the occupation authority
created by pushing creation of a 40,000-member Iraqi army, without realizing
that it should not be used for meeting the security problem. "We don't want
to go back to the old ways of the Iraqi army where they were used for
internal security and some of the atrocities," Myers said.

Therefore, he said, some money for further army spending is being
transferred to police, border security and the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps. It
was one brigade of the new Iraq army that refused to join U.S. Marines
fighting in Fallujah.

Wolfowitz noted that the Iraqi police appear to be doing better, but the
example he used also shows the weaknesses. He said that during the uprising
in Baghdad's Sadr City area last month about 140 AK-47s were taken from the
newly trained police and "all but 62 have been recovered."

He also reported that at one police station in a better part of Baghdad "a
majority have performed reasonably well" except when faced with
"overwhelming force." In that case, he said, "some significant fraction just
took off."

Grossman said it will cost State almost $1 billion to staff and protect the
new U.S. Embassy in Baghdad that will take over for the CPA on July 1.
Grossman noted that his department plans for 1,000 Americans in the embassy
and not 3,000, as had been projected.

Staff writer Walter Pincus contributed to this report.

22 APRIL 2004

John Humphreys: Transfer of power sounds as if it is a very seminal moment
indeed. In reality it's not quite clear what is going to change then, is it?
We don't even know quite whom we're going to be handing over power to, nor
what power the new power will have.

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw: Well can I say that the answer to your
question is it's both a seminal moment but also day by day on the ground
obviously the transition will be gradual. The seminal moment will come on
June the 30th when the legal power will move from the coalition, the
occupiers - the United States, the United Kingdom and the other coalition
forces - because that is in law what we are at the moment, to the sovereign
people of Iraq as represented by a transitional government. Now, so that's
one thing that will happen.

Humphreys: Can I just clear up a point on that one then specifically on the
legal powers. So would they therefore, would the new authority have the
power, the new government have the power to say we don't want British and
American troops here, we'll kick them out

Straw: Well technically I think they could but I don't think for a second
they're going to because they know that the US, UK and other coalition
forces - and there are over 30 countries contributing to forces on the
ground - are critical to maintaining security and working alongside the
emerging Iraqi security sector, the police and the Iraqi army and other
security forces

Humphreys: But taking their orders, they will continue, obviously  British
and American troops will continue to take their orders from British and
American commanders controlled by British and American politicians.

Straw: In day to day terms yes. One of the issues whcih has to be resolved
in the discussions with the Iraqi Governing Council, it's always been there
and will be reflected in the United Nations Security Council Resolution - as
it already is, let me say, in resolution 1515 [he probably means 1511, 1515
is about Israel-Palestine - Gabriel] - is the status of forces, the outside
forces, which remain in Iraq but as I say it will be in one sense a very
important and profoundly seminal moment ...

Humphreys: But in that sense - sorry, just to finish that point - in that
sense it will not be seminal, they will still be regarded by those who want
to get rid of them and go round blowing them up, they will still be regarded
as occupation forces, occupying forces and therefore the root cause - one of
the root causes - of the violence that we're seeing will continue after June
the 30th, nothing will have changed.

Straw: Well, if you're saying to me they'll still be - are likely to be -
some insurgents and terrorists who are determined to disrupt whoever is in
charge in Iraq, yes you'll be right about that but my own judgement is that
these people are desperate to prevent a handover of power because they don't
wish Iraq to be in the hands of the Iraqi people, they have opposed that in
the past and Iraq suffered grievously from 35 years of Saddam's tyranny and
they don't wish also there to be the beginnings of a democratic and
representative government in Iraq which could be a beacon not only for the
Iraqi people but also people in the wider Arab world.

Humphreys: But it is hard to see quite what will change on June the 30th,
isn't it, in terms of the security - and without security they have nothing.

Straw: Well, first of all, do not underestimate the importance of the legal
change because symbols matter hugely to people, they matter to countries and
to nations and ending an occupation seems to me to be of symbolic, huge
importance ...

Humphreys: But we won't be, that's my point

Straw: Well, John, in legal terms we will. Now of course you're right to say
and this is why I say that there are two answers to the same question ... In
legal terms and symbolic and political terms, we will be ending the
occupation - power will be in the hands of Iraqi representatives. In terms
of what difference does that make on the ground, of course as between the
30th June and the 1st July for most people in Iraq my guess is not a lot -
and it certainly remains the case that after the 30th June, and here you're
entirely right, we will face similar security challenges today, although the
environment in which we'll be working will gradually become different

Humphreys: So it's reasonable to assume then that we will be there for a
very long time - ten years our representative in Iraq suggested. Should we
not also be sending more troops as the Americans are doing?

Straw: I'm not going to put a time scale on it. What I've certainly said is
that we have got no plans whatever to withdraw now and it's likely that
we'll be there for at least a couple of years, could be longer ...

Humphreys: Could be ten, couldn't it.

Straw: Well, I'm not going to speculate on the the total number. In terms of
the troop numbers  - the troop numbers are kept under review, the Prime
Minister made this clear yesterday in the House of Commons and if there is a
need for more troops to be sent then I'm quite sure that my colleague Geoff
Hoon, the Defence Secretary, will arrange for that to happen ...

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