The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[casi] [Fwd: [ARTICLE] Self Rule Plan for Iraq postponed, NYT]

-------- Ursprüngliche Nachricht --------
Betreff: [ARTICLE] Self Rule Plan for Iraq postponed, NYT
Datum: Sat, 17 May 2003 10:19:12 +0200
Von: KRGinGermany <>
An: "ax.sternberg" <>

Office Berlin: Please, forward to Iraq discussion group at and casi from my private account. - A.

Dear List,

to me personally, this seems reasonable, and at least it saves those
opposition leaders chosen in London some time ago and by Grner more
recently to constitute a provisional government, from becoming a scape
goat or blame committee, although some of the leaders present seemed to
dutifully express their deception; at least the Kurdish leadership (s)
should be relieved to have got rid of this premature burden. Instead,
why not take part in concrete stabilizing measures, as suggested in a
further mail to the list. I am not sure myself, and I hear already the
cries from patriots and Baathis alike that the neocon-empire is now
showing its true Leo-Straussian face. - The delay will permit to more
constructively involve the Communists and of course the Shiite forces in
government building what otherwise might have appeared like a conspiracy
of Kurdish forces with ominous opposition forces mounted in the last
London conference.



May 17, 2003
The New York Times
In Reversal, Plan for Iraq Self-Rule Has Been Put Off

BAGHDAD, Iraq, May 16  In an abrupt reversal, the United States and
Britain have indefinitely put off their plan to allow Iraqi opposition
forces to form a national assembly and an interim government by the end
of the month.

Instead, top American and British diplomats leading reconstruction
efforts here told exile leaders in a meeting tonight that allied
officials would remain in charge of Iraq for an indefinite period, said
Iraqis who attended the meeting. It was conducted by L. Paul Bremer, the
new civilian administrator here.

Mr. Bremer, who was accompanied by John Sawers, a British diplomat
representing Prime Minister Tony Blair, told the Iraqi political figures
that the allies preferred to revert to the concept of creating an
"interim authority"  not a provisional government  so that Iraqis
could assist them by creating a constitution for Iraq, revamping the
educational system and devising a plan for future democratic elections.

"It's quite clear that you cannot transfer all powers onto some interim
body, because it will not have the strength or the resources to carry
those responsibilities out," The Associated Press quoted Mr. Sawers as
saying. "There was agreement that we should aim to have a national
conference as soon as we reasonably could do so."

One Iraqi who attended the meeting said Iraqi opposition leaders
expressed strong disappointment over the reversal.

The decision comes at a time when Washington and London have been taking
new steps to restore law and order in Iraq, cope with the devastation of
civilian institutions and halt the looting and violent crime.

These conditions have emboldened former opposition figures to move
rapidly into the political vacuum in Iraq, and former members of Saddam
Hussein's government and the Baath Party to blame the allies for
fomenting collapse, unemployment and suffering among the population.

In a step calculated to combat any resurgence of Baath Party influence
here, Mr. Bremer today issued an order banning up to 30,000 top-ranking
members "from future employment in the public sector."

"By this means, the coalition provisional authority will ensure that
representative government in Iraq is not threatened by Baathist elements
returning to power and that those in positions of authority in the
future are acceptable to the people of Iraq," Mr. Bremer said in a

Today's decision to extend allied control indefinitely over the
governing of Iraq was conveyed to Iraqi political figures as the United
States and Britain worked assiduously at the United Nations to win broad
international consensus for a resolution to lift economic sanctions on
Iraq, in order to begin selling oil to finance reconstruction.

In seeking support, the allies are facing demands for a greater United
Nations role in shaping postwar Iraq, including a setting of the terms
by which an "interim authority" would make the transition to
democratically elected government.

"They want broader support because they are desperate to get the oil
pumping," said an Iraqi who attended the meeting. Mr. Sawers, who is
Britain's outgoing ambassador to Egypt, spoke of the need to complete
the "tactical" measures of re-establishing legal and social institutions
before vesting a government with sovereign control.

The Iraqi who attended the meeting added that the decision also appeared
to reflect apprehensions in the Bush administration, and more intensely
in London, that the former Iraqi opposition forces are still a disparate
group and that the Kurdish leaders as well have yet to coalesce into a
ruling body.

The fear is that a divided or weak interim government will not be able
to withstand the intense and at times conflicting ethnic and religious
pressures that have tended to divide Iraq instead of cementing it together.

"I don't think they trust this group to function as a political
leadership," said the Iraqi political figure who attended. "And for us
it is very difficult to participate in something that we have no control
over. We don't want to be part of the blame committee when something
goes wrong."

Opposition leaders were "very respectful" to Mr. Bremer and Mr. Sawers,
a participant said, "but I think everyone was also pretty forceful about
the need to have full sovereignty for the Iraqis." A question they kept
posing, he added, was, "Do you want to run this place, or should we?"

No date was set for creating an interim authority, and no details about
its powers and functions were discussed in the meeting, the Iraqis said.
Mr. Bremer said he would meet with the opposition leaders for further
discussions in two weeks.

"They retracted what they said before," an Iraqi political figure said.
The provisional government idea is gone, he said. As for the idea of
convening a national assembly to select a government, he said, "there is
no such thing anymore."

Today's decision was a disappointment for the former opposition forces
and their supporters in the Pentagon and the Congress, where officials
had been pressing for an early turnover of sovereign power to a
government formed by the opposition groups.

On April 28, the United States and Britain sponsored a political
gathering of about 300 Iraqis and supported their call for a national
conference to meet by the end of May to select a transitional
government. Zalmay Khalilzad, who has served as President Bush's envoy
to the Iraqi opposition, was a co-chairman of the April meeting, but did
not return to Iraq for tonight's meeting.

On May 5, Jay Garner, the civilian administrator who preceded Mr.
Bremer, said the core of a new Iraqi government would emerge this month.
"Next week, or by the second weekend in May, you'll see the beginning of
a nucleus of a temporary Iraqi government, a government with an Iraqi
face on it that is totally dealing with the coalition," General Garner
said during a visit to Basra.

At that time, he said he expected such a government to include figures
like Ahmad Chalabi of the Iraqi National Congress, Ayad Allawi of the
Iraqi National Accord, the Kurdish leaders Massoud Barzani and Jalal
Talabani, and Abdul Aziz al-Hakim of the Supreme Council for the Islamic
Revolution in Iraq.

Since then, the group of former exiles and their Kurdish allies has
expanded their leadership council to include another Sunni Muslim leader
and another Shiite Muslim leader.

The Iraqi figures were also surprised by the reversal since it appeared
in recent weeks that Pentagon officials had persuaded the White House
that the best course was to turn over power as quickly as possible to
opposition forces.

But as the breadth of systemic breakdown in Iraq has become more
visible, a counterargument has grown  that the failure of the
opposition to make the transition to a viable government would reflect
poorly on the allied victory over Mr. Hussein and add to instability.

General Garner attended tonight's meeting but spoke very little,
participants said. He was accompanied by Ryan Crocker, a deputy
assistant secretary of state.

Attending from the Pentagon was Walter Slocombe, who has been given the
assignment to examine the growing problem of how to get under control
the military forces that each of the main opposition leaders now
controls in Iraq. He is said to be working on a plan to meld them into a
national security force, a task that would require Kurdish leaders to
give up control over their armies.

The opposition leaders were also asked to meet on Tuesday with Lt. Gen.
John Abazaid, deputy to Gen. Tommy Franks, the overall American
commander in the Middle East and South Asia, to discuss how the
opposition groups can contribute to improving security.

All of the Iraqi figures were pleased with Mr. Bremer's decision on
dismantling the Baath Party. Nonetheless, Mr. Bremer reserved the right
to himself to make exceptions to the ban in cases where the knowledge
and expertise of a former Baath official might be essential to
government functions, where the person's prior membership in the party
was deemed nonthreatening and where a renunciation of Baath principles
had been secured.

Ihre bevorzugten Shops, hilfreiche Einkaufs-Hilfen und großartige
Geschenk Ideen. Erleben Sie das Vergnügen online einzukaufen mit

Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
To unsubscribe, visit
To contact the list manager, email
All postings are archived on CASI's website:

[Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]