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News, 01-08/05/03 (2) NEW IRAQI DISORDER * Two killed in new Iraq demo shooting * Grenade attack wounds seven U.S. soldiers * Gunmen seize houses in chaotic, violent Baghdad * U.S. forces launch raid in Tikrit * Iraq television building attacked NEW IRAQI ORDER * Reds under the ruins * Garner: Group of 9 will likely lead Iraq [extract] * Baghdad's police chief resigns * KDP head says Peshmerga may merge with Iraqi military * Bush taps antiterrorism advisor as Iraq pro-consul * U.S.-Backed Iraqi Exiles Return to Reinvent Nation * Garner: Group of 9 Will Likely Lead Iraq * US officer's skills pay off as key Iraq city goes to polls today * Baghdad slowly flickering back to life NEW IRAQI DISORDER http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/allnews/page.cfm?objectid=12908278&method=full& siteid=50143 * TWO KILLED IN NEW IRAQ DEMO SHOOTING by Chris Hughes Daily Mirror, 1st May IT started when a young boy hurled a sandal at a US jeep - it ended with two Iraqis dead and 16 seriously injured. I watched in horror as American troops opened fire on a crowd of 1,000 unarmed people here yesterday. Many, including children, were cut down by a 20-second burst of automatic gunfire during a demonstration against the killing of 13 protesters at the Al-Kaahd school on Monday. They had been whipped into a frenzy by religious leaders. The crowd were facing down a military compound of tanks and machine-gun posts. The youngster had apparently lobbed his shoe at the jeep - with a M2 heavy machine gun post on the back - as it drove past in a convoy of other vehicles. A soldier operating the weapon suddenly ducked, raised it on its pivot then pressed his thumb on the trigger. Mirror photographer Julian Andrews and I were standing about six feet from the vehicle when the first shots rang out, without warning. We dived for cover under the compound wall as troops within the crowd opened fire. The convoy accelerated away from the scene. Iraqis in the line of fire dived for cover, hugging the dust to escape being hit. We could hear the bullets screaming over our heads. Explosions of sand erupted from the ground - if the rounds failed to hit a demonstrator first. Seconds later the shooting stopped and the screaming and wailing began. One of the dead, a young man, lay face up, half his head missing, first black blood, then red spilling into the dirt. His friends screamed at us in anger, then looked at the grim sight in disbelief. A boy of 11 lay shouting in agony before being carted off in a car to a hospital already jam packed with Iraqis hurt in Monday's incident. Cars pulled up like taxis to take the dead and injured to hospital, as if they had been waiting for this to happen. A man dressed like a sheik took off his headcloth to wave and direct traffic around the injured. The sickening scenes of death and pain were the culmination of a day of tension in Al-Fallujah sparked by Monday's killings. The baying crowd had marched 500 yards from the school to a local Ba'ath party HQ. We joined them, asking questions and taking pictures, as Apache helicopters circled above. The crowd waved their fists at the gunships angrily and shouted: "Go home America, go home America." We rounded a corner and saw edgy-looking soldiers lined up along the street in between a dozen armoured vehicles. All of them had automatic weapons pointing in the firing position. As the crowd - 10 deep and about 100 yards long - marched towards the US positions, chanting "Allah is great, go home Americans", the troops reversed into the compound. On the roof of the two-storey fortress, ringed by a seven-foot high brick wall, razor wire and with several tanks inside, around 20 soldiers ran to the edge and took up positions. A machine gun post at one of the corners swivelled round, taking aim at the crowd which pulled to a halt. We heard no warning to disperse and saw no guns or knives among the Iraqis whose religious and tribal leaders kept shouting through loud hailers to remain peaceful. In the baking heat and with the deafening noise of helicopters the tension reached breaking point. Julian and I ran towards the compound to get away from the crowd as dozens of troops started taking aim at them, others peering at them through binoculars. Tribal leaders struggled to contain the mob which was reaching a frenzy. A dozen ran through the cordon of elders, several hurling what appeared to be rocks at troops. Some of the stones just reached the compound walls. Many threw sandals - a popular Iraqi insult. A convoy of Bradley military jeeps passed by, the Iraqis hurling insults at them, slapping the sides of the vehicles with their sandals, tribal leaders begging them to retreat. The main body of demonstrators jeered the passing US troops pointing their thumbs down to mock them. Then came the gunfire - and the death and the agony. After the shootings the American soldiers looked at the appalling scene through their binoculars and set up new positions, still training their guns at us. An angry mob battered an Arab TV crew van, pulling out recording equipment and hurling it at the compound. Those left standing - now apparently insane with anger - ran at the fortress battering its walls with their fists. Many had tears pouring down their faces. Still no shots from the Iraqis and still no sign of the man with the AK47 who the US later claimed had let off a shot at the convoy. I counted at least four or five soldiers with binoculars staring at the crowd for weapons but we saw no guns amongst the injured or dropped on the ground. A local told us the crowd would turn on foreigners so we left and went to the hospital. There, half an hour later, another chanting mob was carrying an open coffin of one of the dead, chanting "Islam, Islam, Islam, death to the Americans". We left when we were spat at by a wailing woman dressed in black robes. US troops had been accused of a bloody massacre over the killings of the 13 Iraqis outside the school on Monday. Three of the dead were said to be boys under 11. At least 75 locals were injured in a 30-minute gun battle after soldiers claimed they were shot at by protesters. Demonstrators claimed they were trying to reclaim the school from the Americans who had occupied it as a military HQ. The crowd had defied a night-time curfew to carry out the protest. http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/world/1891691 * GRENADE ATTACK WOUNDS SEVEN U.S. SOLDIERS Houston Chronicle, (from AP), 1st May FALLUJAH, Iraq -- Attackers lobbed two grenades into a U.S. Army compound today, wounding seven soldiers just hours after the Americans had fired on Iraqi protesters in the street outside, a U.S. intelligence officer reported. The incident -- the latest in a series of clashes and deadly shootings involving U.S. troops in Fallujah -- came as President Bush prepared to address to the American public from a homeward-bound aircraft carrier, declaring that major combat in Iraq is finished. None of the injuries to soldiers of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment in Fallujah was life threatening, said Capt. Frank Rosenblatt. The troops inside the walled compound -- a former police station -- opened fire on men fleeing the area, but no one was captured or believed hit, said Rosenblatt, whose 82nd Airborne Division is handing over control of Fallujah to the Armored Cavalry. The attackers' identities were unknown, Brig. Gen. Dan Hahn, chief of staff for the Army's V Corps, said in Baghdad. The attack, at 1 a.m. today, came after soldiers in the compound and in a passing Army convoy opened fire Wednesday on anti-American demonstrators massed outside. Local hospital officials said two Iraqis were killed and 18 wounded. American officers said that barrage was provoked when someone fired on the convoy from the crowd. Wednesday's march was to protest earlier bloodshed Monday night, when 16 demonstrators and bystanders were killed and more than 50 wounded, according to hospital counts. In that clash, an 82nd Airborne company, whose members said they were being shot at, fired on a protest outside a school occupied by U.S. soldiers. Some Fallujah residents said they had heard relatives of victims vow to avenge Wednesday's shootings -- and many in the city have declared they want the American troops to leave. Resistance to American troops is especially sharp in Fallujah, a city of 200,000 people 30 miles west of Baghdad, because it benefited more than most from Saddam Hussein's regime. The regime built chemical and other factories that generated jobs for Fallujah's workers and wealth for its businessmen. Many of Fallujah's young men joined elite regime forces such as the Republican Guard and Special Republican Guard. U.S. military officials met Wednesday with local religious and clan leaders on the security situation. "We asked the commanding officers for an investigation and for compensation for the families of the dead and injured," said Taha Bedaiwi al-Alwani, the new, U.S.-recognized mayor of Fallujah. Al-Alwani and other Iraqis also asked that U.S. troops be redeployed outside the city center. A U.S. paratrooper company has already left one school where it was staying, which was the focus of Monday's protest. Residents told reporters they were troubled by soldiers looking at Fallujah women, and some believed the Americans' goggles or binoculars could "see" through curtains or clothing. In a radio broadcast today, the commander of U.S. ground forces in Iraq urged citizens to help move the country forward by going back to work, stopping looting and cooperating to improve postwar security. Lt. Gen. David McKiernan made the statement through Information Radio, the U.S.-led coalition's radio station, which is being broadcast across Iraq. "I call for putting an end to all acts of sabotage and criminal acts including plundering, looting and attacking coalition forces," he said in remarks read by an announcer in Arabic. "I also expect the support and backup of Iraqis to restore stability in their country." The coalition-run radio has been running frequent announcements exhorting Iraqis to accept U.S. forces, and warning any foreign fighters in Iraq to leave or face arrest. McKiernan also said that any checkpoints not supervised by coalition forces are unauthorized. [.....] http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/2003-05-04-houses-baghdad_x.htm * GUNMEN SEIZE HOUSES IN CHAOTIC, VIOLENT BAGHDAD by Paul Wiseman USA TODAY, 4th May BAGHDAD Three nervous, middle-aged Iraqis pulled up to the U.S. Army checkpoint in a dusty red Volkswagen Passat. They climbed out of the car and approached Staff Sgt. Dennis Snyder, who was standing behind a coil of razor wire in blazing heat beneath a brilliant blue sky. Members of the al-Zubeidi family say this house was confiscated from them during Saddam Hussein's regime. Now, they're moving back in. The three Iraqi men needed help. They said two gunmen had just occupied an empty house in the Qadisiya neighborhood nearby, moving in with one woman and four children and threatening to kill anyone who questioned what they were doing. Snyder, 25, had heard it all before. Thugs and opportunists are seizing houses across the Iraqi capital sometimes simply moving into abandoned homes, other times ousting families at gunpoint in another sign of the chaos gripping Baghdad following the collapse of Saddam Hussein's government. The sergeant promised to dispatch U.S. troops to investigate. The specter of gunmen seizing houses is perhaps the No. 1 threat to security and public confidence in Baghdad. "Before, we knew our neighbors," says Am Ahimid, 50, a housewife in Baghdad's affluent Jadiriya neighborhood, where intruders have been occupying homes left empty by families fleeing the war to Jordan or Syria, or by Saddam loyalists running for their lives. "Now, we are scared to see these new neighbors. Where did they come from? We don't know," Ahimid says. Soon, the U.S. troops should be able to turn over some of their policing chores to the capital's police. Hundreds of Baghdad officers returned to their posts Sunday, when they answered a call from U.S. authorities to help restore order to the capital. But the officers, wearing new uniforms that bear no resemblance to those worn during the Saddam Hussein era, expressed concern about whether they'll get paid and whether they'll be outgunned by looters and thugs. There is no way to quantify the extent of the property-grab problem, but it is widespread. Residents in Baghdad's middle- and upper-class neighborhoods say squatters or gunmen have claimed homes on their streets. In some apartment complexes, dozens of units abandoned by families during the war have been taken over by strangers. The land and property grabs also will present a huge headache when the next Iraqi government tries to sort out who owns what in the capital. The intruders are helped by the breakdown in law and order since the government collapsed, by the cover of darkness in streets that until recently had no electricity and by the destruction of property records in the looting and burning of government offices. Snyder says some charlatans have even tried to get U.S. troops to evict legitimate occupants from their homes, falsely accusing them of being intruders. An investigation usually clears things up. "You could tell by the pictures on the walls that the people already in the house were the ones who owned it," Snyder says. U.S. authorities say different types of people are behind the land grabs: Poor or opportunistic Baghdad residents trading up to a better life by occupying the empty apartments and homes of the rich and powerful who fled during the war, perhaps for good. Figures from the past suddenly reappearing to reclaim property they say was confiscated from them years, even decades, ago by Saddam's regime. Gunmen from political groups, some allied with the United States, seizing houses that belonged to Saddam's cronies or his government. Out of work for months, former military police officer Khalil Ibrahim, 33, could no longer afford the $50-a-month rent in his working class neighborhood here. So when Saddam's personal guards fled Baghdad before the U.S. military onslaught, leaving behind their spacious flats along the Tigris River, Ibrahim knew what to do: He packed up his wife and his 7-year-old son and moved into a two-bedroom apartment rent-free. For the first time, his son has a room of his own, and the family is enjoying the riverside view once available only to Saddam's inner circle. His new neighbors are all squatters from Baghdad's working class. Many have hung white flags outside their apartments to claim ownership. When the father of one of the former tenants showed up to reclaim his son's apartment, the squatters shoved him out the door and shouted that the new Iraq didn't need Saddam loyalists. Nidal Abis, 40, a housewife who occupies one of the riverside flats with her unemployed husband and five children, says she has no intention of leaving. "If they want to kill me, I will die here," she says. Under Saddam's regime, those who fell into disfavor were often banished from the capital and their property confiscated by the government and sold. Now, the old owners are starting to return to the capital from Kurdish territory in northern Iraq, from Iran and from points beyond and they want their property back. Trouble is, the current occupants have lived there for years and have paid for the property. Adel Murad, a leader of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), lost his childhood home in Baghdad nearly three decades ago after his father was assassinated by the regime. Now, he's back after being banished to northern Iraq. "There are other people in my house," Murad says. "I told them, 'Stay in my house two to three months until you find a new house.' " (There are widespread reports, however, of PUK gunmen trying to seize houses forcibly.) The sudden reappearance of long-forgotten property owners is creating havoc. In Baghdad's main market, Fatah al-Beldoui, 35, had the misfortune of paying two years' rent on his shop (about $1,200) in advance at the beginning of 2003. Then a man showed up from Iran after Saddam's regime fell, claimed the property was rightfully his and forced al-Beldoui's landlord to flee at gunpoint. Now, al-Beldoui reckons he has lost the advance payment and possibly the right to lease the storefront where he has been selling candy, toothpaste and other convenience items since 1992. "I look to God for help," al-Beldoui says, rolling his eyes toward the sky. Armed anti-Saddam groups such as the PUK are cruising the streets of the capital and trying to force their way into the abandoned homes of former top officials. They say they are aiding the search for fugitive leaders of the fallen regime, but their thuggish behavior is terrifying the neighbors. The U.S.-backed Iraqi National Congress (INC), for instance, has sent teams of Kalashnikov-wielding men volunteers recruited from Iraq's exile community in camouflage pants to occupy dozens of properties across Baghdad. Sometimes, the U.S. Army has to kick the INC men out. Friday, a team of four INC militants approached the house of the son of Baath Party official Latif Nusayyif Jasim. (No. 37 on the U.S. list of the 55 most-wanted Iraqi leaders). The militants ordered a security guard to flee or die and then moved in. U.S. troops were sent to the scene and ousted the intruders without resistance. The INC men, convinced they had U.S. backing, couldn't understand why they were under arrest. "We just wanted to take care of this house," said one of the detained gunmen, Ali Hammed, 25, a Shiite. Hammed had been living in exile in Iran when he heard INC leader Ahmad Chalabi's call for volunteers, he said, and now he's here. Army Ranger 1st Sgt. Jeff Moser of Detroit tried to explain to the gunmen why it wasn't a great idea for armed men to be prowling through residential areas and breaking into houses. "We want to make sure the families in this neighborhood do not get bothered by guns," Moser said. Some neighborhoods are fighting back on their own. In the affluent Mansour area of west Baghdad, worshipers from the local mosque are protecting the home abandoned by the director of Iraq's intelligence service, Tahir Jalil Habbush (No. 14 on the most-wanted list). The imam, Waleed al-Azawi, 34, sent a mosque guard who took along his family to live inside the mansion, which is designed to resemble a 13th-century fortress and has gardens behind dust-colored stone walls. Imam al-Azawi also set up a medical clinic inside an adjoining home that belonged to Habbush's son. Despite his service in Saddam's regime, Habbush is revered in Mansour as a pious man and a generous benefactor: The local mosque, built two years ago and financed entirely with Habbush's personal money, bears his name. Local residents have put an Arabic slogan in white paint on the home's gate: "This house is under the protection of the people who belong to the mosque." When INC and PUK gunmen tried to break in, neighbors some armed with handguns forced them away. The PUK gunmen threatened to use their satellite phones to call in a U.S. airstrike. Neighbors just laughed. Mostly, though, Baghdad residents are relying on help from thinly stretched U.S. military forces. Four hours after the three men in the red Passat registered their complaint with Staff Sgt. Snyder, a team of nine U.S. soldiers moved in on the house that had been occupied in the Qadisiya neighborhood. Some troops watched the house from a distance, and when they saw the women and children move into a side room on the first floor, they stormed the building, surprising the two gunmen as they came downstairs. One gunman made the mistake of trying to wrestle with Army Spc. Tony Semeatu, a burly 25-year-old American Samoan, and was subdued with one punch. The other gave up without a struggle. The two men's hands were tied in nylon bonds that tighten when prisoners struggle. The women and children were released, the two men taken into custody. They had a Kalashnikov, ammunition, igniters for rocket launchers (harmless by themselves) and uniforms bearing the red triangular insignia of the Iraqi Republican Guard. The house was returned to its owner, a prosperous lawyer. U.S. troops say they are willing to evict armed intruders, but they are reluctant to get involved in property disputes they're in no position to mediate fairly. Sgt. 1st Class Mike Shirley, 36, of Tulsa, says: "We don't want to play police force." NO URL * U.S. FORCES LAUNCH RAID IN TIKRIT by Kathleen Ridolfo RFE/RL Iraq report, Vol. 6, No. 21, 7 May 2003 U.S. forces launched a raid in deposed Iraqi President Hussein's hometown of Tikrit on 2 May, AP reported. One Iraqi was killed and approximately 20 detained in the raid, in which a dozen buildings were reportedly stormed. Troops found several weapons and about $3,000 hidden in several houses, according to AP. U.S. Lieutenant Colonel Phil Battaglia, commander of the 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, which conducted the raid, told AP, "Some of these guys are continuing to terrorize people out there, and that's going to take a while to work through." The Iraqi was reportedly killed when he tried to take a rifle away from a U.S. soldier. The Tikrit raid was the second in as many days. NO URL * IRAQ TELEVISION BUILDING ATTACKED by Kathleen Ridolfo RFE/RL Iraq report, Vol. 6, No. 21, 7 May 2003 The building that temporarily houses Iraq Television was attacked by unidentified gunmen, who destroyed the studio and stole equipment, according to a 5 May Al-Jazeera report. The channel was to begin six hours of daily transmission after several weeks off the air. An unidentified man told Al-Jazeera that television employees had requested protection for the building, saying, "We want only an approval by the U.S. forces to arm some young men who have expressed their readiness to volunteer for free to protect this institution." Al-Jazeera reported that some employees and managers had to collect equipment in order to operate Iraq Radio. NEW IRAQI ORDER http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/EE02Ak05.html * REDS UNDER THE RUINS by Paul Belden Asia Times, 1st May BAGHDAD - He still calls himself Abu Ayad, but that's only because old habits die hard. "It's my secret name," he explains with a smile, wiping his professorial spectacles against the sleeve of his neat, nerdy, button-down yellow shirt. This secret-named, hardened political fighter is, it turns out, a shy man at heart. Shy - but not embarrassed. The name and the reason behind it, may seem to be holdovers of a different era, but they were once the dead-serious necessities of political activism in this land where even the suspicion of such an undertaking was enough to get one arrested, tortured, killed. Such is the fate Abu Ayad has no reason to doubt befell the two nephews he has not seen in 25 years, and it is the fate that almost befell him, too, when his party was outlawed in 1979 and he was forced to flee in his socks to Syria. But now the setting sun pours mellow light into his brand-new party headquarters - the swept-clean foyer of an otherwise blasted building on Baghdad's riverside Sharia Abu Nuass that a month ago housed the local Mukhabarat (intelligence service), a touch he savors - and the man calling himself Abu Ayad leans back, crosses his legs and takes a deep, gratifying hit off a borrowed Gauloises. "Call me Malik," he says, exhaling smoke into a slanting beam to set off a celebratory display of red-gold images that dance across the airborne screen. He's not trying to hide anything. Not anymore. Far from it. The political slogans splashed across the front exterior wall of the building in which he sits - "Free Country, Happy People" and "Organize for the Unity of the People of Iraq", among others - are impossible to miss from the road out front. They're printed on posters tacked to the wall, and scrawled directly onto the yellow-brick facade in a cursive Arabic script that stretches as high and wide as the human arm can swing a can of spray paint. Spray paint colored red, of course - for this is the Baghdad party headquarters of the Iraqi Communist Party, come home and back to life after decades of exile and disrepair, and now determined to snatch power from under the treads of American tanks. A lovely thought, is it not? The potential for irony delights. By any means necessary? By no means. "Oh no!" he says, his hand in the air. "Enough. No more guns. We need democracy here." So no guns, then, but flyers galore. These means he has, by the boxful, and intends to use. Also stickers and slogans and symbols and signs. There are stacks of these sitting on a broken-down desk, the only furniture in the room other than a line of beat-up vinyl-seated kitchen chairs, and they're printed and ready for national distribution. The distribution chain, he says, is already in place; Baghdad's first postwar newspaper, the ICP's "People's Path", is on the street as we speak. "We already have headquarters set up in all the major cities," Malik says. "And we are ready to move." He sees his job over the next months and years as trying to persuade the people of Iraq that it is possible to forge a middle path between kick-the-poor capitalism American style and kill-the-poor statism Saddam-style. What he represents isn't really communism any more, but more a soft, leftward-leaning blend of principles deriving from a concern for society's weakest and specifics deriving from various West European socialist experiments-in-progress. The most important planks in his current platform, he says, would include an open, democratic process; a federal union; separation of church and state; and - most importantly, in his view - a ban on foreign financial support for Iraqi political parties. In fact, to enforce this ban, "there should be government funding for all parties and candidates in Iraq", he says. Asked to point to a specific existing model that he would use as a guide for building a government, he mentions Sweden. At the moment, it's a little difficult to look around this still-burning war-torn city of tanks and Kalashnikovs and imagine it ever turning into some kind of new Stockholm. But then, it's also a little difficult to look around and imagine it turning into a new Kansas City or a new Des Moines. If Jay Garner can dream big, so can Malik. And anyway, he is nothing if not persistent, a characteristic he shares with his party, whose most potent symbol at the moment is the number "69". This number, woven artistically into many of the wall posters that the party is now passing out and putting up around town - one poster features a flying dove, another a worker's hammer - refers to the age of the party, which was founded on March 31, 1934, by Yosif Salman Yosif (secret name "Fahad" or "Leopard"). Yosif, who now serves the party as an iconic figure, was publicly hanged in 1949 by the government of Nuri Pasha as-Said, then controlled by the British. But the party lived, going on to support the revolution of 1958 when a military coup toppled the monarchy and brought to power a republic headed by Brigadier General Abdel Karim Kassem. The 1950s had seen fierce political warfare between the Arab Nationalist Party and the ICP, a war both ended up losing when the Arab Socialist Ba'ath outfit seized power briefly in 1963. Both Kassem and Salaam Adel, who was then the leader of the ICP, were killed in the chaos. In 1979, when Saddam assumed the presidency, one of his first steps was to outlaw the ICP, forcing its leadership - including a then 30-year-old Malik - to flee the country, dispersing to Syria, Sulaimaniya in Kurdish Iraq, London or Moscow. That didn't stop the jockeying for power and influence among political Iraqi exiles, a battle which intensified after 1991. Malik tried his best to use the American lever to unseat Saddam, but never to the point of supporting occupation of his country. "In 1993, I went to the US ambassador in London and said, 'Why not brand Saddam like an international criminal? After all, he dried the marshes, he used chemical bombs, he has proved himself an international criminal.' But they said they didn't do that sort of thing." Now, he thinks the Americans are making a grave mistake by not internationalizing the situation in Iraq. "We need support from other countries, but what kind of support? - that is the question," he says. "We need the United Nations to help us, not just America." He takes offense at the idea that Iraqis are somehow too ignorant to figure out how to build a democracy on their own without an American overseer. "I have relatives who are poor farmers, and even when I was a child, six or seven years old, I remember that everyone would listen to the news and talk about politics all the time. This is who we Iraqis are." Indeed, as we are talking, a tall loud man dressed in an expensive suit comes striding into the foyer, looking for an argument, and finding one. His name is Majid, and he is a university professor at Saddam University, and he wants to know about the party's position on the role of America on rebuilding Iraq. The debate surges and flows in Arabic, and eventually draws in another party activist, a man named Ehsan, who finds himself defending the party's failure to call for an immediate American withdrawal from Iraq. He's not exactly pro-invasion: "If the world had only used United Nations Resolution 688 as its basis for dealing with Saddam, this problem could have been solved without so much killing," he says. "I think the American regime and English regime want more than Iraq - they want division among the Arab states, and they want to draw a new map." But that isn't good enough for Majid, who says the party must prove its relevance and independence by refusing to work with any American-imposed provisional government. Who would have thought that a communist party in Iraq would be in a position of losing support by being perceived as too pro-American? After Ehsan leaves, Malik mentions that when the US Congress passed the Iraqi Freedom Act in 1999, it explicitly listed only two (of about 70 that were jockeying for influence then) of the Iraqi exile parties that could not receive American funding. One was the religious al Dawa party; the other was the Iraqi Communist Party. "I think we may want to put that on our banners if we want to win any elections," he says with a sigh. http://www.salon.com/news/wire/2003/05/05/iraq_9/index.html * GARNER: GROUP OF 9 WILL LIKELY LEAD IRAQ by Charles J. Hanley Salon (AP), 5th May [.....] He also announced the release of Mohammed Mohsen al-Zubaidi, an exile who was detained April 27 by U.S. forces after he put himself in charge of Baghdad. Al-Zubaidi was released after 48 hours on condition that he not resume his activities. Al-Zubaidi, unknown in Baghdad before Saddam's regime fell last month, suddenly proclaimed himself mayor several days after the regime collapsed. The United States had accused al-Zubaidi of writing letters to utility plants ordering them to await his instructions before restarting operations and firing some employees of the government electricity company. Al-Zubaidi has made no public appearances since his release. [.....] NO URL * BAGHDAD'S POLICE CHIEF RESIGNS by Kathleen Ridolfo RFE/RL Iraq report, Vol. 6, No. 21, 7 May 2003 The newly appointed chief of police in Baghdad, Zuhir al-Naimi has resigned, Reuters reported on 3 May. U.S. forces spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Alan King said that al-Naimi stepped aside to open the way for a younger man, according to Reuters. Al-Naimi was appointed on 24 April, and was responsible for the recovery of some $380,000 in cash and 100 kilograms of gold in the capital city. NO URL * KDP HEAD SAYS PESHMERGA MAY MERGE WITH IRAQI MILITARY by Kathleen Ridolfo RFE/RL Iraq report, Vol. 6, No. 21, 7 May 2003 Mas'ud Barzani, head of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), told CNN Turk in Baghdad on 6 May that Kurdish peshmerga forces would be dissolved once the Iraqi military is reestablished. "As soon as a government is formed and the state institutions are established, then naturally there will be a single [Iraqi] army," Barzani said, adding, "There will be no need for the special security forces, the militants. Our peshmergas will become part of the Iraqi national army when an agreement is reached on the principles." He did not elaborate on what those principles might be, but Barzani was adamant that the Kurds do not intend to secede from Iraq. "We have no secret agenda such as establishing an independent Kurdistan," he said, noting also that Iraqi Kurds do not pose a threat to Turkey. Turkey has long feared that Iraqi Kurds would attempt to form an independent Kurdish state in northern Iraq. Such a move would trigger instability among Turkey's Kurdish population, who have long sought their own independence. In a related development, Barzani met with Jay Garner, head of the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance (ORHA), in Baghdad on 5 May to discuss an interim Iraqi leadership. Barzani emerged from the meeting telling reporters, "The meeting was very successful," the KDP newspaper "Khabat" reported the same day. "In addition to the preparations for holding a broad conference in Baghdad, issues related to the establishment of the provisional government and urgent steps to fulfil the security and administrative vacuum until the formation of the government, were discussed," according to the same report. http://www.wsws.org/articles/2003/may2003/brem-m03.shtml * BUSH TAPS ANTITERRORISM ADVISOR AS IRAQ PRO-CONSUL by Bill Vann World Socialist Website, 3rd May The Bush administration has selected of L. Paul Bremer, the former "counter-terrorism ambassador" of the Reagan administration, to become the top US official overseeing the creation of a new puppet regime in Iraq. Media reaction to the announcement has focused almost entirely on the internecine disputes between the State Department and the Pentagon. Most press reports have asserted that with the ascendancy of a former career diplomat, Secretary of State Colin Powell has scored a victory against his powerful rivals headed by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. There no doubt exist bitter divisions within the administration over strategy and tactics in Iraq. It became increasingly clear, moreover, that retired Lieutenant General Jay Garner, selected by Rumsfeld to head a Pentagon-controlled Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance, was far out of his depth in attempting to forge a US-controlled "transitional government" in the face of massive popular opposition. Yet Bremer's selection is significant above all for what it reveals about the nature of the regime that Washington is seeking to create. The question must be asked: what precisely are this man's qualifications to oversee the Bush administration's purported goal of establishing "a government of, by and for the Iraqi people?" While Bremer served for 23 years as a career State Department diplomat, he has enjoyed the closest ties to the right wing of the Republican Party for at least two decades. In 1981, then President Ronald Reagan's Secretary of State Alexander Haig appointed him as his special assistant in charge of the department's "crisis management" center. Four years later, he was named ambassador-at-large for counterterrorism, responsible for developing and implementing US policies to combat terrorism. It was during this period that Washington labeled the African National Congress of South Africa and virtually every other national liberation movement as "terrorist" organizations. It was on Bremer's watch that the Reagan administration ordered US warplanes to carry out a terrorist bombing of Libya killing 40 civilians, including the adopted daughter of the country's leader Muammar Gaddafi. In an earlier version of "preemptive strike," the administration described the bombing raid as "self-defense against future attack." After leaving the State Department, Bremer joined Kissinger Associates, the consulting firm headed by former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, where he was named managing director. Among the principal clients of the firm are US multinationals seeking assistance in penetrating foreign markets. In 1996, Bremer drafted an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal entitled "Terrorists' friends must pay a price," in which he called for the Clinton administration to deliver ultimatums to and then launch unprovoked military attacks against countries throughout the Middle East. The countries that he said should be targeted included Libya, Syria, Iran and Sudan. Curiously, Iraq was omitted. In 1999, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives placed Bremer in charge of a commission on terrorism, largely as a means of goading the Clinton administration on issues of national security. In October 2001, he became the chairman and CEO of the Crisis Consulting Practice of Marsh Inc, a subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies that advises corporations on threats of terrorism and other potential crises. In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Bremer became increasingly involved as an advisor to the administration. He headed a panel on counterterrorism formed by the Heritage Foundation, a right-wing think tank close to the Bush White House. His principal advice consisted of ending restrictions on the CIA going back to the 1975 Church Commission, which investigated the agency's involvement in the assassination of foreign leaders and the overthrow of elected governments. He also called for the lifting of rules requiring CIA agents in the field to obtain permission from higher-ups in the agency before placing known killers on the agency's payroll. Earlier this year, Bremer participated with ex-CIA Director James Woolsey in a "teach-in" organized by a group called "Americans for Victory over Terrorism" and the UCLA student Republicans. It was at that conference that Woolsey, a close associate of Bremer, described the ongoing "war on terrorism" as the "fourth world war," predicting that it would last far longer than either World War I or World War II. "Over the decades to come," he said, "...we will make a lot of people very nervous." Referring to various Arab leaders, he added, "We want you nervous. We want you to realize now, for the fourth time in a hundred years, this country and its allies are on the march." Woolsey, one of the most vociferous proponents of the US war on Iraq, is reportedly been considered for a leading role as well in the Iraqi "reconstruction" operation. Deflating the widespread reports about Bremer's appointment representing a victory for Powell and "moderation," the Washington Post noted: "But Bremer, 61, is described as a hard-nosed hawk who is close to the neoconservative wing of the Pentagon. He is supported by Rumsfeld and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz, officials said, and White House aides said the appointment affirms Bush's satisfaction with Pentagon control over Iraq until a new government is in place." So what are Bremer's qualifications? He is a figure whose entire career is bound up with, on the one hand, national security, intelligence and US military aggression; and, on the other, servicing the needs of US-based multinational corporations. Nothing could more clearly define the type of regime that Washington aims to establish in Iraq. Its overriding task will be to ruthlessly suppress the mass opposition of the Iraqi people and facilitate the looting of the country's wealth by the US banks and big business. General Garner, meanwhile, will reportedly stay on, reporting to Bremer. He is supposedly in charge of repairing Iraq's infrastructure and seeing to humanitarian needs. He has repeatedly insisted, however, that the country faces no real problems. "There is no humanitarian crisis ... and there's not much infrastructure problem here, other than getting the electrical grid structure back together," he told reporters earlier this week. Garner argued that, instead of worrying about the Iraqis, the US media should join him in a triumphalist celebration of the war. "We ought to be beating our chests every day," he said. "We ought to look in a mirror and get proud and stick out our chests and suck in our bellies and say: 'Damn, we're Americans!'" Shortly after Garner made these remarks, a coalition of eight major international relief organizations issued a statement implicitly criticizing apparent US indifference to a major humanitarian crisis developing in the country. The statement said in part: "Already under severe strain and under-resourced before the war began, hospitals, water plants and sewage systems have been crippled by the conflict and looting. "Hospitals are overwhelmed, diarrhea is endemic and the death toll is mounting. Medical and water staff are working for free, but cannot continue for long. Rubbish, including medical waste, is piling up. Clean water is scarce and diseases like typhoid are being reported in southern Iraq." Garner and the US occupation forces are deliberately covering up this crisis in an attempt to stifle any questioning of US activities in Iraq and to prevent any international agencies from getting in the way of the fulfillment of US war aims. The general began his military career as a US Army "advisor" supervising the "strategic hamlet" program during the Vietnam War in which tens of thousands of Vietnamese peasants were forced off their land and driven into concentration camps surrounded by barbed-wire. In a recent interview with the New York Times, Garner commented: "If President Bush had been president we would have won" the Vietnam War, adding that the US could have invaded the North. This is the face that America is presenting to the people of Iraq. The task of Bremer and Garner is to quickly patch together a figurehead Iraqi regime made up of corrupt ιmigrιs, former Ba'athists and anyone else who can be bought. The job of this regime will be to legitimize continued US military occupation and the takeover of the country's oil industry by US corporations. The conditions and rights of the Iraqi people will count for nothing. Instead, those in charge are determined to mete out unrestrained repression and violence to enforce American colonial domination. http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=68&ncid=716&e=17&u=/nyt/2003 0503/ts_nyt/u_s__backed_iraqi_exiles_return_to_reinvent_nation * U.S.-BACKED IRAQI EXILES RETURN TO REINVENT NATION by Douglas Jehl Yahoo, from The New York Times, 3rd May ARLINGTON, Va., May 3 Munther al-Fadhal believes that there is no place for religion in a new constitution for Iraq. He favors the establishment of relations between Iraq and Israel. He even thinks Iraq should outlaw the death penalty. Such an agenda might not seem surprising in Washington or in Sweden, Dr. Fadhal's temporary home. But in Iraq, even after Saddam Hussein, and in much of the Arab world, it is very radical indeed, challenging deeply felt views about Islam, Israel and Arab autonomy. And yet, this very weekend, Dr. Fadhal is beginning a trip home to Iraq to try to put his ideas in place. As the designated senior adviser to the Iraqi Justice Ministry, he will be one of the leaders of a 150-strong team of exiles plucked by the Pentagon from posts in America and Europe to help shape the new Iraq. A look at the team, assembled in a mere two months by Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz, shows how boldly the United States is trying to import secular, democratic notions to an Iraq whose political future remains the subject of profound division and flux. It also underscores some of the considerable risks involved. "Maybe in five or six years they'll understand that this guy is a good guy," Dr. Fadhal said the other day over lunch near the Pentagon, referring to himself. More immediately, though, he said he expected that Iraqis who stayed behind through Mr. Hussein's rule will view him with hostility, not just as an import but "as an agent or a spy." As a precaution, he said, he has arranged for six Kurdish bodyguards to meet him in Baghdad, to supplement his American military guards. Pentagon officials have described the team of advisers, which works from United States government-financed offices in suburban Virginia and is called the Iraqi Reconstruction and Redevelopment Council, as primarily administrators whose job will be to smooth a transition to an Iraqi-led authority by resuscitating moribund ministries and restarting basic services. "It's an enormously valuable asset to have people who share our values, understand what we're about as a country, and are in most cases citizens of this country, but who also speak the language, share the culture and know their way around Iraq," Mr. Wolfowitz said in a telephone interview. He said the Iraqi advisers would not play political roles. "They are going to give us technical advice," he said. But some Iraqi exile leaders say the creation of the team was too narrow and overly influenced by the views of Mr. Wolfowitz and fellow conservatives, who have espoused a vision of bold change in Iraq. "This is insulting," said Imam Husham al-Husainy, an Iraqi Shiite leader who runs the Karbalaa Islamic Education Center in Detroit, which is aligned with the Supreme Council on Islamic Revolution in Iraq, a group that is based in Iran and has so far kept at arm's length from the American government-building effort. "We don't follow others," Imam Husainy said in dismissing as "yes men" the members of the Pentagon-assembled team. "Where is the democracy if you're just dictating our ideas? That's not democracy. Don't impose it on us." Certainly most of the advisers espouse liberal, secular ideals that are at odds even with those of many other Iraqi exiles as well as powerful forces inside Iraq. The leader of the group is Emad Dhia, a 51-yeer-old engineer and pharmaceutical executive on leave from Pfizer in Ann Arbor, Mich. Among the other important advisers are Dr. Fadhal, a legal scholar and author of a draft Iraqi constitution, and Khidhir Hamza, a nuclear scientist who, with help from the Central Intelligence Agency in the 1990's, became one of Iraq's most prominent defectors. The seeds for the exiles' team were planted at a reception that Mr. Wolfowitz attended in Washington last fall, Pentagon officials and the exiles say. There, Joanne Dickow, an Iraqi American aide to Spencer Abraham, the energy secretary and former senator from Michigan, heard Mr. Wolfowitz talk about his hope of enlisting Arab-Americans in his campaign to rally sentiment against the Iraqi rulers. The aide encouraged Mr. Wolfowitz to make contact with Iraqi-Americans in the Detroit area, home of the nation's largest Iraqi community. After a flurry of meetings in the Detroit area between Iraqi exiles and Pentagon officials, the plans for the group were devised at a February meeting at the Pentagon and cemented after a rally in Detroit on Feb. 23 at which Mr. Wolfowitz was the leading attraction. The team was assembled over the next two months, in a round-the-world burst of telephone negotiations and voice-mail messages left by Mr. Dhia. By the middle of this coming week, at least two dozen exiles will be installed in key temporary posts advising Jay Garner, the retired lieutenant general who has been the country's day-to-day administrator, and L. Paul Bremer, the retired State Department official who is expected to be appointed Iraq's senior American overseer. Some American officials openly hope that some of the Iraqis will stay on even longer to serve under the transitional government that Iraqi political leaders themselves are trying to assemble, under American and British supervision, with a target date now set for late this month or early June. The roots of the exiles' team led back to the Iraqi Forum for Democracy, an organization that Mr. Dhia co-founded in 1998. Composed mostly of secular professionals from across the spectrum of Iraq's Shiite, Sunni, Kurdish and Christian populations, the group's declared mission has been "to promote democracy and democratic values for Iraq by peaceful means." Dr. Maha Hussein, a Detroit-area oncologist and professor at the University of Michigan who now heads the group, helped link up Mr. Wolfowitz and Mr. Dhia, but she emphasized that members of the organization now working for General Garner were "working in their personal capacity," although the group was supportive of their efforts. Some Iraqi-American critics said they were troubled by the speed of the process. "Many of us are really upset that we didn't know about this," said Raz Rasool, who fled Iraq in 1998 and is a member of the advocacy group Women for a Free Iraq. "They started this two months ago and we read about it just this week." In the interview, Mr. Wolfowitz took issue with the idea that the selection process had in any way been improper. "What we're saying is they share our values, so we shouldn't be dealing with them?" he said. Still, the Pentagon has kept the Iraqi exile operation under close wraps, although officials say their motivation is to provide security. During their time in the Washington area, Mr. Dhia, who returned to Baghdad late last month, and other members of the team have lived and worked in apartments and offices paid for by the United States government, and received salaries and pocket money paid by American taxpayers. Before heading to Baghdad, each member of the team has been required by the Pentagon to undergo several days of training at American military bases, to learn how to protect themselves against possible attack. Dr. Fadhal, for one, is stopping at Fort Hood, Tex., beginning today before heading on to Kuwait or Baghdad probably late next week, although the timing of that trip remains unsettled. In Baghdad, Dr. Fadhal said, the team will live and work in compounds guarded by American soldiers. But technically, they are working for SAIC, a defense contractor, and their heavily guarded offices outside Washington have been equipped with telephone numbers and e-mail addresses that betray no hint of a Pentagon link. Most members of the team have post-graduate degrees, many from American universities, according to Pentagon officials and the exiles themselves. A substantial number are naturalized citizens of the United States or European countries. While some are well known, many others are well not. Among the latter group, Mohammad Ali Zainy, an American citizen designated as senior Iraqi adviser to the Ministry of Oil, held only a mid-ranking position in that ministry before he fled Iraq in 1982. Now 64, he worked in Colorado as an oil company executive and energy consultant before joining the Center for Global Energy Studies in London, where he has been analyst for several years. If nothing else, said Julian Lee, an associate at the energy studies center, Dr. Zainy deserved the Pentagon's nod simply for being so "willing and keen to go back." Dr. Hamza, also 64, on the other hand, is a nuclear physicist who became well known in the West after he fled Iraq in 1994, first to Libya and then to the United States. His six months of experience in 1987 as director of Iraq's efforts to develop nuclear weapons made him valuable to the C.I.A., which, after rebuffing his initial attempts, ultimately helped Dr. Hamza and his family resettle in the Washington area. David Albright, a former United Nations weapons inspector who is president of the Institute for Science and International Security, an advocate of the inspections, worked closely with Dr. Hamza in the late 1990's, but describes him as becoming sharply critical of the process. He said Dr. Hamza believed that the inspections threatened to undermine his goal of ousting Mr. Hussein. "If the inspections work, then the regime change can't happen,' " Mr. Albright says Dr. Hamza told him. Dr. Fadhal, 52, who left Iraq after the 1991 Persian Gulf war, was a law professor in Baghdad who had drawn attention to himself by criticizing Iraq's occupation of Kuwait. He fled first to Jordan and then to Sweden, where he and his family now live. He was among 32 Iraqi exiles who helped to prepare a State Department report last year on the future of Iraq. In that role, he prepared a draft of an Iraqi constitution, a task that he said he hoped to complete on behalf of a future Iraqi transitional government, among other tasks. "I will take care of the Ministry of Justice in Iraq, and abolish all of Saddam's legal system," he said, "to create the new legal system toward democracy that will accept human rights, that will fight corruption in Iraq, and create new laws to build democracy." A Shiite Muslim whose family is from the holy city of Najaf, Dr. Fadhal now describes himself as a secularist who believes that Islam should play no role in that Iraq's constitution. That would set a future Iraq apart even from pro-Western Arab countries like Egypt, where the Constitution describes Islam as the principal source of the country's laws. In that regard, Dr. Fadhal's views are more secular than those of most Iraqi opposition groups, and go beyond even the most recent stance taken by the Bush administration. The White House said last month that it would not allow Iraq to become a theocratic state like Iran, but could endorse what it called an "Islamic democracy" for the country. Ultimately, Dr. Fadhal said, he would prefer for family reasons to work abroad for a new Iraqi government perhaps as its ambassador to Sweden or to a United Nations organization in Geneva. He would not rule out serving as a future Minister of Justice, but said he recognized that he and other exiles would face high hurdles. "I have a dream," he said, "to build in Iraq a civil society, a democracy, like Switzerland or Sweden. But now there is chaos and risk from Islamic fanatic groups, and from the Baath Party and from the Arab terrorists who supported the Hussein government. "The Iraqi people have been brainwashed," Dr. Fadhal said, "and it is our responsibility to build a new brain." http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/w-me/2003/may/04/050408840.html * GARNER: GROUP OF 9 WILL LIKELY LEAD IRAQ by Charles J. Hanley Las Vegas Sun, 4th May BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - A council of up to nine Iraqis will probably lead the country's still unformed interim government through the coming months, the American civil administrator said Monday. Retired Lt. Gen. Jay Garner also said he expects the newly appointed L. Paul Bremer, former head of the State Department's counterterrorism office, to take charge of the political process within the U.S. postwar administration. "What you may see is as many as seven, eight, nine leaders working together to provide leadership," Garner said. He added, though, that he didn't know how the collective leadership would function specifically. The Iraqi leaders Garner referred to were Massoud Barzani; leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party; Ahmad Chalabi of the Iraqi National Congress; Jalal Talabani of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan; Iyad Allawi of the Iraqi National Accord; and Abdul Aziz al Hakim, whose elder brother heads the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq. The five met several times late last week, and at least one meeting was attended by White House envoy Zalmay Khalilzad. Garner said the group would probably be expanded to include, for example, a Christian and perhaps another Sunni leader. Bremer is expected to arrive in Iraq by next week, Garner said. "He will get more involved in the political process. I'm doing all of it and don't want to do all of it. ... We really need a dedicated effort," on the political side, Garner said. He said the appointment of someone such as Bremer had been planned all along and that he was intended to be here temporarily. "I'll stay a while. There's got to be a good handoff," he said. Garner spoke as he prepared to leave for a one-day trip to Basra, where he will be visiting a school, a hospital and an oil refinery and will be conferring with a local sheik. As his Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance works with the occupying U.S. military force to restore order in Baghdad, Garner said the coming weeks will be crucial to such efforts. "The month of May is a key month for getting all the public services stood up or at least with a good prospect of being stood up and getting the law enforcement system back," Garner said. He said one disappointment thus far has been his operation's inability to inaugurate an extensive television and radio broadcast system for Iraq. The satellite TV service broadcasting so far has been available to only a few Iraqis. "We haven't done a good job," Garner said. "I want TV going to the people ... with a soft demeanor, programs they want to see." http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/125/nation/US_officer_s_skills_pay_off_as_ key_Iraq_city_goes_to_polls_today+.shtml * US OFFICER'S SKILLS PAY OFF AS KEY IRAQ CITY GOES TO POLLS TODAY by Paul Watson Boston Globe, from Los Angeles Times, 5th May MOSUL, Iraq - Major General David Petraeus was fresh from battling north through much of Iraq last week when he walked straight into the minefield of Iraqi politics. His soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division took control of Mosul just days after US Army Special Forces and Marines killed at least 12 Iraqi civilians during two days of unrest in the city center, apparently sparked by a local power struggle. Petraeus then turned a city on the verge of a blood bath into one preparing for an election today, the first postwar vote of its kind in a major Iraqi city. He did it by convincing local leaders who have never known democracy that it's better to be on the inside talking, and compromising, than outside shouting and throwing rocks. The plan calls for a convention of 217 delegates, representing various ethnic, religious, tribal, and political groups, to choose a 23-member city council to govern Mosul until Iraq has its first free elections, Petraeus said. The city council will elect a mayor from among four candidates cleared by the US military after background checks confirm they don't have blood on their hands from service in Saddam Hussein's regime. ''There's reaching out across the table,'' Petraeus said before one of many meetings with contenders for power last week. Without a break, Petraeus and his troops have gone from fighting a war to the ''nation building'' that the US military normally loathes. Soldiers trained to hit the enemy hard and fast from above suddenly are mediating heated Iraqi political disputes in the looted remains of the Mosul governor's building. Petraeus, 50, seems to relish the challenge. The tough-as-nails soldier is cerebral, a graduate of the US Military Academy at West Point who earned a doctorate in international relations from Princeton University. So far, the combination has proved a charm in Mosul, a 6,000-year-old city that has a centuries-old tradition of producing top military officers. Since he took charge of one of Iraq's most complex, and potentially dangerous, cities, Petraeus has mediated with local politicians, tribal leaders, religious clerics, and even former members of Hussein's toppled regime. He has won over skeptics, including Arab nationalists, who insisted they would boycott what they saw as a US plot to install a puppet administration. The followers of the late Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, known as Nasserites, now say they will send delegates to today's vote. Petraeus immediately calmed tensions in Mosul by ordering soldiers to be more low-key than the Marines, who antagonized many in the city by flying large US flags from their vehicles. Then he called Mosul's main political rivals together and persuaded them to begin getting along. ''We are trying to shape something close to real democracy,'' said Ayad Hamdany, who leads one of three main factions that were locked in a dangerous power struggle when the 101st Airborne arrived. He refers to Petraeus with respect as ''the American leader.'' ''For history, I should mention that the American leader made a great effort to reach our goal,'' Hamdany said. ''He was very patient and tolerated our differences.'' Petraeus has experience dealing with lethal political systems. He helped prepare Haiti and Bosnia for elections after US-led troops restored peace. He is in charge of one of Iraq's most difficult cities, where most everything is disputed, even the size of the population. Mosul is officially Iraq's third-largest city, but claims to be the second-largest, and has 2 million to 4 million people. The majority is Arab, from the Sunni Muslim minority that dominated Iraq under Hussein. Mosul also has large minorities of Kurds, Christian Assyrians, and ethnic Turks, called Turkomans. Two main Kurdish factions - the Democratic Party of Kurdistan and rival Patriotic Union of Kurdistan - wield significant power through their Arab proxies. The Kurds' history of infighting is seen as a long-term liability. They fought a four-year civil war, and although they have bottled up their animosities under US pressure, they also have been stockpiling heavy weapons seized from the Iraqi army. If either side feels cheated, there is a risk that they might fight again. http://www.dailystar.com.lb/05_05_03/art16.asp * BAGHDAD SLOWLY FLICKERING BACK TO LIFE Lebanon Daily Star, 5th May BAGHDAD: Efforts to restore basic services and refashion a government in Iraq inched forward Sunday amid warnings by international groups that the country was still ripe for a humanitarian disaster and a day after Poland said a multinational force plans to deploy this month to try to stabilize the country. Iraq's American administrators appointed two Iraqi oil officials and a retired American oil executive to head the Oil Ministry, a spokesman for the rebuilding team said Sunday. Thamer Abbas al-Ghadban, who was general director of the ministry's studies, planning and follow-up departments, will be the ministry's chief executive officer, according to John Kincannon, a spokesman for the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance. Ghadban's deputy will be Fadhil Othman, a former Iraqi oil executive who has spent recent years in exile, Kincannon said. The head of the ministry's advisory board will be Philip J. Carroll, a retired chief executive of Shell Oil Co. Shell Oil Co. is the US arm of London-based Royal Dutch-Shell Group. The United States is treading carefully as it appoints overseers for Iraq's government operations, and nowhere is perhaps more sensitive than the oil sector. Many Iraqis say they believe American occupiers have designs on the country's oil. Washington also appointed a new head of Iraq's Health Ministry on Saturday and gave a first batch of its employees $20 each to return to work. The US Civil Administration named Ali Shnan al-Janabi to run things. "I ask all Health Ministry employees to come back to work because your country needs you," said Steven Browning, who is the administration's representative to the Health Ministry. The notice naming Janabi was Public Notice No. 1 from the civil administration. "Healthcare is a high priority," Browning said. A few minutes after Browning spoke, US soldiers opened a gray footlocker filled with $120,000 in large, plastic-encased bricks of ones, fives and 10s to pay healthcare workers, most of whom have received no salaries for months. [.....] _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk