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[ This message has been sent to you via the CASI-analysis mailing list ] http://www.iprospect.org.uk/na23sep.html IPO's Iraq News Analysis September 23, 2004 $3.4 billion out of the $18.4 billion allocated for Iraq's reconstruction by the US Congress has been shifted to security improvement, highlighting the ineffectiveness of re-Ba'athification and Allawi's amnesty to insurgents. The violent hotspot of Fallujah is an example where both tactics have been tried and failed, as it continues to be host to foreign militant Wahabis, Ba'athists and kidnappers. Despite the clear failure of these policies, some in the British Foreign Office are still calling for more power to be returned to a minority 'elite', or as one official called them, "Traditional pillars of power." UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's comments that Iraq may not be able to hold credible elections in January are extremely disappointing. Instead of building expectations of failure the UN should honor its obligations to help prepare Iraq for the first democratic elections. So far the UN has only sent a tiny handful of staff to Iraq to help prepare the country for January. The UN has so far not helped the Iraqi people; it opposed the removal of Saddam and has yet to make any significant contribution to Iraq's reconstruction. If the UN is only going to obstruct Iraq's efforts to democratization then Iraq would be better off if they did not interfere at all. Despite encouraging comments by interim Prime Minister Allawi, President Bush, and Prime Minister Blair that Iraq's elections will be held by the January deadline regardless of the security situation, rumors in Iraq are that these reassurances are for the American public readying for their presidential elections in November and a delay will be announced once US elections are over. If the rumors prove to be true, and delays in the January elections are announced after November 2nd, it could trigger a real crisis across Iraq. When UN election experts concluded earlier this year that elections could be held by December of January, Sayyid Sistani accepted their findings and has been patient on the issue. It would be a grave mistake to disappoint the majority of Iraqi society that has remained peaceful and patient in the anticipation of free elections just because a tiny minority is bent on stopping Iraq's first democratic steps. Hostage takers of two Americans and a British man made the strange demand that all female prisoners in Iraq be released. So far the Americans have been ruthlessly beheaded, and the third man's fate is uncertain. It is likely that such an ultimatum was made in an attempt to win public support in Iraq since the Wahabi terrorists, who have carried out similar executions and bombings against civilians, are deeply resented by most Iraqis. A less likely yet more harrowing explanation is that these terrorists are seeking the expertise of Dr. Germ and Mrs. Anthrax to develop chemical or biological bombs. Should the demands be repeated in future hostage takings then the latter may prove to be more likely. News Analysis brought to you by the Iraqi Prospect Organization: http://www.iprospect.org.uk Promoting democracy for Iraq _______________________________________ Sent via the CASI-analysis mailing list To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-analysis All postings are archived on CASI's website at http://www.casi.org.uk