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[casi-analysis] casi-news digest, Vol 1 #93 - 2 msgs

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Today's Topics:

   1. WSJ- U.S. Tightens Grip On Iraq's Future (ppg)
   2. Iraq Says UN Must Reduce Reparations Paid from Oil (Reuters) (Daniel O'Huiginn)


Message: 1
From: "ppg" <>
To: "ppg" <>
Subject: WSJ- U.S. Tightens Grip On Iraq's Future
Date: Mon, 17 May 2004 17:29:47 -0400

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

Behind the Scenes, U.S. Tightens Grip On Iraq's Future : Vancouver Indymedi=

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4/05/135543.php International

                              Behind the Scenes, U.S. Tightens Grip On Iraq=
's Future
                              by Wall Street Journal . Saturday May 15, 200=
4 at 07:25 AM

                                Or 'How Iraq Came To Be Ruled By A Brutal D=
ictator The First Time Around'.

                              Behind the Scenes, U.S. Tightens Grip On Iraq=
's Future

                              Hand-Picked Proxies, Advisers Will Be Given K=
ey Roles In Interim Government
                              Facing Friction Over the Army
                              By YOCHI J. DREAZEN and CHRISTOPHER COOPER
                              Staff Reporters of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
                              May 13, 2004; Page A1

                              BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Haider al-Abadi runs Iraq's =
Ministry of Communications, but he no longer calls the shots there.

                              Instead, the authority to license Iraq's tele=
vision stations, sanction newspapers and regulate cellphone companies was r=
ecently transferred to a commission whose members were selected by Washingt=
on. The commissioners' five-year terms stretch far beyond the planned 18-mo=
nth tenure of the interim Iraqi government that will assume sovereignty on =
June 30.

                              The transfer surprised Mr. Abadi, a British-t=
rained engineer who spent nearly two decades in exile before returning to I=
raq last year. He found out the commission had been formally signed into la=
w only when a reporter asked him for comment about it. "No one from the U.S=
. even found time to call and tell me themselves," he says.

                              As Washington prepares to hand over power, U.=
S. administrator L. Paul Bremer and other officials are quietly building in=
stitutions that will give the U.S. powerful levers for influencing nearly e=
very important decision the interim government will make.

                              In a series of edicts issued earlier this spr=
ing, Mr. Bremer's Coalition Provisional Authority created new commissions t=
hat effectively take away virtually all of the powers once held by several =
ministries. The CPA also established an important new security-adviser posi=
tion, which will be in charge of training and organizing Iraq's new army an=
d paramilitary forces, and put in place a pair of watchdog institutions tha=
t will serve as checks on individual ministries and allow for continued U.S=
. oversight. Meanwhile, the CPA reiterated that coalition advisers will rem=
ain in virtually all remaining ministries after the handover.

                              In many cases, these U.S. and Iraqi proxies w=
ill serve multiyear terms and have significant authority to run criminal in=
vestigations, award contracts, direct troops and subpoena citizens. The new=
 Iraqi government will have little control over its armed forces, lack the =
ability to make or change laws and be unable to make major decisions within=
 specific ministries without tacit U.S. approval, say U.S. officials and ot=
hers familiar with the plan.

                              The moves risk exacerbating the two biggest p=
roblems bedeviling the U.S. occupation: the reluctance of Iraqis to take re=
sponsibility for their own country and the tendency of many Iraqis to blame=
 the country's woes on the U.S.

                              Nechirvan Barzani, who controls the western h=
alf of the Kurdish autonomous region in northern Iraq, warns that the U.S. =
presence in the country will continue to spark criticism and violence until=
 Iraqis really believe they run their own country. For his part, Mr. Abadi,=
 the communications minister, says that installing a government that can't =
make important decisions essentially "freezes the country in place." He add=
s, "If it's a sovereign Iraqi government that can't change laws or make dec=
isions, we haven't gained anything."

                              U.S. officials say their moves are necessary =
to prevent an unelected interim government from making long-term decisions =
that the later, elected government would find difficult to undo when it tak=
es office next year. U.S. officials say they are also concerned that the in=
terim government might complicate the transition process by maneuvering to =
remain in power even after its term comes to an end.

                              The fear is not a hypothetical one: The U.S.-=
appointed Governing Council embarrassed and angered the U.S. by publicly lo=
bbying to assume sovereignty this summer as Iraq's next rulers.

                              A Tangled Path to Sovereignty

                              The U.S. has frequently revised its plans for=
 giving power back to Iraqis.

                              . April 2003: With the invasion over, Coaliti=
on Provisional Authority assumes responsibility for the day-to-day administ=
ration of Iraq.

                              . May 12: L. Paul Bremer replaces former gene=
ral Jay Garner as the top American occupation official in Iraq.

                              . July 13: Mr. Bremer hand-picks 25-member Ir=
aqi Governing Council, but they are given little real power.

                              . Sept. 22: Mr. Bremer says U.S. occupation w=
ill continue until Iraqis draft a constitution and elect a permanent govern=
ment, a process likely to take at least two years.

                              . Nov. 15: U.S. officials announce accelerate=
d timetable for transferring sovereignty to an interim Iraqi government sel=
ected by regional caucuses the following summer.

                              . Feb. 23, 2004: U.N. Iraq envoy Lakhdar Brah=
imi rejects caucus plan, sending American officials back to the drawing boa=

                              . April 14: Mr. Brahimi calls for interim gov=
ernment led by a ceremonial president and powerful prime minister; U.S. say=
s it accepts the proposal.

                              . June 30: Interim government scheduled to as=
sume limited control of Iraq; CPA set to formally dissolve.

                              . January 2005: Elections are supposed to be =
held for an Iraqi government that will draft a permanent constitution and p=
repare to assume full sovereignty over Iraq.

                              Source: WSJ research

                              Those concerns are shared by the country's to=
p Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani. With Shiites making up nearly=
 60% of Iraq, Mr. Sistani and his followers don't want important decisions =
made until an elected government -- which he expects Shiites to dominate --=
 takes power.

                              U.S. officials say many Iraqi political leade=
rs also tacitly approve severely restricting the powers of the new governme=
nt, even if they don't say so publicly. "The Iraqis know we don't want to b=
e here, and they know they're not ready to take over," says a State Departm=
ent official with intimate knowledge of the Bush administration's plans for=
 Iraq. "We'd love a welcoming sentiment from the Iraqis, but we'll accept g=
rim resignation."

                              Currently, the Coalition Provisional Authorit=
y, which answers to the Pentagon, has total control of the governance of Ir=
aq. It can issue decrees on virtually any topic, which then immediately bec=
ome law. It will formally cease to exist on June 30. The Governing Council =
exists largely as an advisory body. Its members can pass laws, but the legi=
slation must be approved by Mr. Bremer. The council has no control over the=
 U.S. military, and in practice has little influence on civil matters.

                              It's unclear what powers the interim governme=
nt, which will be set up by United Nations envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, will have=
. It will not control Iraq's security forces or military. In theory, it wil=
l have the ability to enforce and interpret laws on its own, though it will=
 as of now lack the ability to write new ones or make large changes to them=

                              One thing is clear: The government's actions =
are likely to be heavily influenced by dozens of U.S. and Iraqi appointees =
at virtually all levels.

                              In March, for instance, Mr. Bremer issued a l=
engthy edict consolidating control of all Iraqi troops and security forces =
under the Ministry of Defense and its head, Ali Allawi. But buried in the d=
ocument is a one-paragraph "emergency" decree ceding "operational control" =
of all Iraqi forces to senior U.S. military commanders in Iraq. Iraqis will=
 be able to organize the army, make officer appointments, set up new-office=
r and special-forces courses, and try to develop doctrines and policies to =
govern the forces. But they can't actually order their forces into, or out =
of, combat -- that power will rest solely with U.S. commanders.

                              U.S. Maj. Gen. David Petraeus, who participat=
ed in the original Iraq invasion, will soon assume responsibility for train=
ing the new forces. With American commanders retaining the power to order t=
he forces into combat, Mr. Allawi or his successor will be left with only "=
administrative control" of the forces.

                              Meanwhile, the media and telecom commission M=
r. Bremer created will be able to collect media licensing fees, regulate te=
levision and telephone companies, shut down news agencies, extract written =
apologies from newspapers and seize publishing and broadcast equipment.

                              One of the new watchdog agencies, the Office =
of the Inspector General, will have appointees inside every Iraqi ministry =
charged with combating malfeasance and fraud. Appointed to five-year terms,=
 the inspectors will be allowed to subpoena witnesses and documents, perfor=
m forensic audits and issue annual reports.

                              The other watchdog, the Board of Supreme Audi=
t, will oversee a battery of other inspectors with wide-ranging authority t=
o review government contracts and investigate any agency that uses public m=
oney. Mr. Bremer will appoint the board president and his two deputies. The=
y can't be removed without a two-thirds vote of Iraq's parliament, which is=
n't slated to come into existence until sometime next year.

                              Few of the positions have been filled so far,=
 but officials at the CPA and the Governing Council say they expect to name=
 the new officials within weeks. The advisers inside the ministries are lik=
ely to be almost exclusively American, while the inspectors and members of =
the various new commissions will all be Iraqi. Individual ministers can dis=
miss their advisers, but many U.S. officials assume they'll be reluctant to=
 do so for fear of antagonizing the U.S.

                              The nerve center of the U.S. presence in Iraq=
 will be a massive new embassy. CPA officials recently decided that most em=
ployees of the new embassy will remain in a former palace used by Saddam Hu=
ssein even though the building is seen by many Iraqis as a symbol of Iraqi =
sovereignty. The embassy needs the space: It will ultimately employ approxi=
mately 1,300 Americans, as well as 2,000 or more Iraqis. The current occupa=
tion authority employs 1,500 people.

                              The U.S. plans to convert a nearby building i=
nto the formal embassy that incoming U.S. ambassador John Negroponte can us=
e for ceremonial functions. In an unusual move, two of Mr. Negroponte's top=
 deputies will also have ambassadorial rank. James Jeffrey will become the =
deputy chief of mission at the embassy. Blunt and often profane, Mr. Jeffre=
y, a former Army special forces officer, is currently the ambassador to Alb=
ania and has held senior posts in Turkey and Kuwait. Ron Newman, currently =
the ambassador to Bahrain, also has a military background and is likely to =
join the embassy in Iraq in a senior position such as defense attach=E9.

                              The U.S. push to continue guiding events in I=
raq has been led by the State Department, where officials have grown convin=
ced that placing the country under full Iraqi control now would plunge it d=
eeper into violence and political turmoil, according to people familiar wit=
h the matter.

                              U.S. officials had once talked of occupying I=
raq for several years, a period more in keeping with the precedent set by t=
he seven-year occupation of Japan after World War II. Last November, howeve=
r, the White House accelerated the timetable. Despite a wave of bombings th=
e previous month, the administration believed the insurgency was limited to=
 a small number of what Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld called "dead-ende=

                              The Bush administration also felt Iraq's Sunn=
i minority, which had controlled Iraq under Mr. Hussein, had been neutraliz=
ed by the disbanding of the army and the firing of tens of thousands of gov=
ernment officials. Iraq's Shiite majority was seemingly unified behind Mr. =
Sistani, who counseled his followers to cooperate with the coalition. And I=
raq's ethnic Kurds, who controlled the country's north, had moderated their=
 long-held demands for full independence.

                              Many of those assumptions haven't yet panned =
out. Sunnis angry over their forced disenfranchisement have put up a stiff =
resistance to the U.S. occupation in cities like Fallujah, and Iraq's fledg=
ling security forces have been unable or unwilling to help fight them. Thou=
sands of Shiites have taken up arms against the U.S. under the flag of Muqt=
ada al Sadr, an anti-American cleric once dismissed by Washington as a bit =
player in Iraq.

                              The Kurds, meanwhile, remain deeply wary of j=
oining up with the rest of the country. With the violence surging in recent=
 weeks, the State Department official with knowledge of the administration'=
s plans says the U.S. "realized that what we put on the table in November w=
asn't flying."

                              U.S. officials settled on making an array of =
appointments intended to allow them to influence the interim government. Th=
e CPA official charged with setting up the new embassy, John C. Holzman, do=
wnplays the possibility of disputes, and says the role of the advisers will=
 change after June 30 because they will no longer be answering to an occupa=
tion authority with full authority over Iraq.

                              "There will be a huge difference because we'r=
e not going to be issuing orders anymore," he says. "We won't be the sovere=
ign here anymore."

                              But many Iraqis and Americans concede that fr=
iction is all but inevitable. If recent events are any indication, the most=
 serious disagreements between the U.S. and the new government could arise =
over the best strategy for fighting the ongoing insurgency. When fighting f=
lared in Fallujah and Najaf, U.S. commanders ordered newly trained Iraqi un=
its into combat alongside American forces, but the Iraqis proved largely in=
effective. Many units deserted entirely, while others joined the insurgents=

                              It's also unclear if Iraqi political leaders =
will want local units to fight -- especially if the enemy is other Iraqis. =
The U.S. decision to use heavy weaponry like helicopter gunships against ta=
rgets in Fallujah caused the resignations of two Iraqi political leaders wh=
o had been appointed by the U.S. almost a year earlier, and sparked searing=
 denunciations of the coalition by numerous other Iraqi officials. The Iraq=
is insisted on a nonviolent solution to the dispute and accused the U.S. of=
 acting with a heavy hand and causing needless civilian casualties.

                              If the U.S. pressed ahead with the offensive =
anyway, it would risk embarrassing the new government and persuading ordina=
ry Iraqis that the body is powerless. But if it gave in, American commander=
s could find themselves hamstrung in the fight against insurgents.

                              --Bill Spindle contributed to this article.

                              Write to Yochi J. Dreazen at yochi.dreazen@ws= and Christopher Cooper at

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Message: 2
Date: Tue, 18 May 2004 11:34:31 +0100 (BST)
From: Daniel O'Huiginn <>
Subject: Iraq Says UN Must Reduce Reparations Paid from Oil (Reuters)
Iraq Says UN Must Reduce Reparations Paid from Oil
Tue May 18, 2004 04:37 AM ET

By Khaled Yacoub Oweis

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - An Iraqi delegation will travel to the United Nations
on Wednesday to demand full control of the country's oil revenues and a
cut in war reparations imposed on Iraq.

"Iraq must have a say in the next U.N. resolution," Deputy Foreign
Minister Hamid Bayati told Reuters on Tuesday.

"We will negotiate on the basis that Iraq must be fully in charge of its
resource wealth and the five percent of oil revenues we pay must be
reduced further," he said in reference to reparations for the 1990
invasion of Kuwait.

Iraq has paid around $20 billion of reparations of an estimated $300
billion. A U.N. resolution a year ago reduced war reparations from 15
percent of oil proceeds to five percent.

Bayati said Iraq should not be held accountable now for wars waged by
Saddam Hussein in which the people had no say and for which they suffered
and had paid enough already.

"Iraq seeks to cancel debt and reparations incurred by Saddam. The next
sovereign government will be under domestic pressure to do the same,"
Bayati said six weeks before the U.S.-led occupiers are due to hand over
formal sovereignty.

Iraqi officials say the reparations, estimated to be largely owed to
Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, are unfair.

They say these countries benefited by producing more oil when Iraq was
prohibited from exporting any from 1990 to 1996 under an economic embargo.

Iraq exported 3.2 million barrels per day before the 1990 Gulf War, but
exports are now down to 1.8 million bpd as the crippling embargo limited
the country's ability to maintain the infrastructure.

Under last year's U.N resolution, Iraq's oil revenues are deposited in a
Federal Reserve Bank of New York account controlled by the United States.

The next Iraqi government is expected to have control of expenditures, but
U.S. officials want an international board monitoring the accounts to
remain in place.

Iraqi crude oil sales since last year's U.S.-led invasion reached more
than $9 billion, which were deposited in the Development Fund for Iraq.

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