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News, 30/7-6/8/03 (1) FRIENDS AND NEIGHBOURS * EU Approves Independent Iraq Reconstruction Fund * US bartering arms for soldiers for Iraq * Kuwaiti search team confirms remains of two pows * Gul says National Assembly must approve troops to Iraq * Iraq, Turkey agree to reopen railway * Russia will not insist upon new UN resolution on Iraq * Thieves make off with millions from Iraq's Moscow embassy * Asia trembles as Japan sends troops to Iraq * Arabs say no troops to Iraq BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES * Some of Army's Civilian Contractors Are No-Shows in Iraq * Bids Open for Wireless Service in Iraq * CPA invites applications for commercial air operation in south * U.S. approves Bechtel workplan for Iraq * AICC conference on Iraq reconstruction opens today * American Contractor Killed in Iraq Landmine Blast THE COLLABORATION * Powell OKs $30m for Saddam sons informer * Iraq's council names al-Jaafari as first president * Father and Brother Are Forced by Villagers to Execute Suspected U.S. Informant * In northern Iraq, economic base gets lift from U.S. Army * Baghdad police chief injured in shootout FRIENDS AND NEIGHBOURS http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/WO0307/S00368.htm * EU APPROVES INDEPENDENT IRAQ RECONSTRUCTION FUND Scoop, New Zealand, 31st July Press Release: German Government EU foreign ministers yesterday approved a plan to create a trust fund to assist in the reconstruction of Iraq. At the Council meeting on external relations held in Brussels on July 21 the foreign ministers of EU member and acceding countries approved the plan as proposed by External Relations Commissioner Chris Patten. The trust fund is not to be controlled by the US and British interim administration in Iraq but rather jointly by the United Nations, the World Bank, and other international organizations. German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer welcomed the decision, saying he considers the creation of a reconstruction fund to be a very sensible move. The ministers have not yet spoken about the size of the contributions to be made to the fund. EU foreign ministers also met in separate talks with Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom and his Palestinian counterpart Nabil Shaath to discuss the status of the Middle East peace process. http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/EH01Ak02.html * US BARTERING ARMS FOR SOLDIERS FOR IRAQ by Thalif Deen Asia Times, 1st August UNITED NATIONS - Faced with a rising death toll among its soldiers in Iraq, the United States is trying to "buy" foreign troops for a proposed 30,000-strong multinational force in Baghdad. "When they were seeking UN support for a war on Iraq, they were twisting arms," one Asian diplomat said. "Now they are offering carrots in exchange for our troops." The inducements - including weapons and increased military aid - have apparently been offered to at least three countries whose troops Washington desperately needs to bolster the fledgling multinational force in Iraq and relieve the pressure on US forces in the war-ravaged country. The administration of President George W Bush has intensified efforts to seek troops from India, Pakistan and Turkey in order to bolster a multinational force that now includes troops mostly from former Soviet republics and Latin American nations. The Indian government, which withdrew its offer of 17,000 troops under heavy domestic political pressure, is being lobbied once again with an offer of sophisticated military equipment. The quid pro quo, according to diplomatic sources, is approval of the proposed sale of the state-of-the-art Arrow-2 missile defense system by Israel. Since the US$100 million system includes US components and funding, Israel needs US approval to close the deal. General Richard Myers, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, is now in New Delhi to try to persuade the government of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to change its stance on troops for Iraq. The London Financial Times said on Tuesday that the Bush administration has also pledged to relax the sale of dual-use technology to India in return for that country sending troops to Iraq. France, Germany, India, Pakistan and several other nations have declined to provide troops unless there is a new United Nations resolution authorizing the proposed multinational peacekeeping force in Iraq. But India could change its position, said Professor Stephen Cohen, director of the South Asia program at the Brookings Institution. "For all we know, they are still talking about terms under which India might come," he said in an interview. "That's part of the bargaining game that's going on." Since the war on Iraq began on March 19, at least 247 US soldiers have died. The rising death toll looms as a political liability for Bush, who faces re-election next year. The 150,000 US troops in Iraq are backed by 12,000 from Britain. Among the key countries that have pledged troops for the new multinational force are Spain, Poland, Japan and Ukraine. Washington is also expecting smaller units from Hungary, Romania, Latvia, Estonia, Slovakia, Honduras, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, Mongolia, the Philippines and Nicaragua. It has logistical support from Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and South Korea. The Washington Post reported that some of the countries were providing troops only at a cost to US taxpayers. The Bush administration has agreed to pay $240 million in support costs to the Polish contingent of about 9,000 troops. The costs will cover airlift transportation, meals, medical care and other expenses. The proposed Indian contingent of 17,000 troops would have been the largest single foreign force, exceeding the 12,000 troops from Britain, Washington's main coalition partner in the war against Iraq. But the move to provide Indian troops generated strong political and public opposition in New Delhi, threatening a government that faces elections next year. India's neighbor and foe Pakistan has been offered $3 billion in US aid over the next five years, of which $1.5 billion will be in military aid. And according to the Ankara-based Hurriyet newspaper, the United States has been lobbying the Turkish government for about 10,000 troops for Iraq. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday that the administration was discussing troop deployments both by Pakistan and Turkey. "The Bush administration is doing the right thing in looking for additional help in Iraq," said Natalie J Goldring, executive director of the Program on Global Security and Disarmament at the University of Maryland. "But the US government should be seeking that help through the United Nations. Instead, US political and military leaders are once again trying to buy countries' cooperation with weapons transfers and military aid," she said. Goldring added that there is no evidence that providing India with a missile defense system will decrease the level of conflict in the unstable South Asian region. "Quite the contrary. Past attempts by India or Pakistan to gain military advantage have inevitably been matched or countered by the other country, continuing and often accelerating the already dangerous arms race in that part of the world," she said. At a press conference on Wednesday, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said he believes that the international community is seeking to "internationalize" the Iraqi operations under a UN umbrella. "It is important for them - not just for Europe or India, but also for the region. The Arab states will feel more comfortable" providing troops under UN auspices, he said. The United States has refused to seek approval for a UN peacekeeping force because it might have to concede some of its military authority to the United Nations. Wolfowitz told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that Washington would agree to a UN resolution only if it did not curtail US military authority. RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC * KUWAITI SEARCH TEAM CONFIRMS REMAINS OF TWO POWS RFE/RL IRAQ REPORT Vol. 6, No. 33, 1 August 2003 The remains of two Kuwaiti prisoners of war (POWs) have been verified through DNA testing, a statement by Kuwait's Search and Investigation team announced on 29 July, KUNA reported on the same day. The remains of the man and woman were found in a mass grave in Al-Samawah, Iraq. Both individuals were taken prisoner by Iraqi forces on 2 November 1990. According to KUNA, the number of Kuwaiti POWs found at the gravesite now totals 11. The names of the 11 POWs were listed in the KUNA report, available on the news agency's website (http://www.kuna.net.kw/). (Kathleen Ridolfo) RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC * GUL SAYS NATIONAL ASSEMBLY MUST APPROVE TROOPS TO IRAQ RFE/RL IRAQ REPORT Vol. 6, No. 33, 1 August 2003 Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul has said that the Turkish National Assembly must vote on whether or not that country will send troops to Iraq, NTV reported on 28 July. Gul told the news channel that the decision, which could take a few months, would allow troops to participate in the U.S.-led coalition's efforts to establish security in Iraq. Asked to compare this request to the National Assembly's rejection of a U.S. request before the war, which sought permission to launch military activities against Iraq from Turkish soil (see "RFE/RL Iraq Report," 7 March 2003), Gul said, "It is difficult to tell at the moment [whether the motion would pass]. There is a difference from that time period. At that time there was a war. We were going to war. At the moment, there is no war; there is only a risky region." Gul's comments to NTV came after a meeting with senior U.S. officials in Washington. Gul held a press conference on 24 July with U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell during that trip. Powell told reporters that the United States "would like a decision [from Turkey] as soon as possible," but added that the issue of sending troops "is a judgment for the Turkish government to make." Powell told reporters at the press conference that Gul had assured him that the Turkish government was "actively considering" the U.S. request, and working on it in as "fast a manner as possible." The text of the press conference can be viewed at the State Department's International Information Program's website (http://usinfo.state.gov). (Kathleen Ridolfo) RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC * IRAQ, TURKEY AGREE TO REOPEN RAILWAY RFE/RL IRAQ REPORT Vol. 6, No. 33, 1 August 2003 Iraq and Turkey signed an agreement on 30 July to reopen a railway line between the two states, Reuters reported on the same day. The railway will transport food and reconstruction supplies to Iraq from its northern neighbor. The Baghdad Railway was first constructed in the 19th century to connect vast parts of the Ottoman Empire, and connected Istanbul to the Iraqi capital Baghdad, and to Al-Basrah in the south. For a history of the railway, go to www.trainsofturkey.com. (Kathleen Ridolfo) RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC * RUSSIA WILL NOT INSIST UPON NEW UN RESOLUTION ON IRAQ RFE/RL IRAQ REPORT Vol. 6, No. 33, 1 August 2003 Russian President Vladimir Putin told journalists in Moscow on 29 July that Moscow "does not insist upon a new UN resolution on Iraq," although it continues to believe that one would be desirable, ITAR-TASS reported. "We are all interested in a settlement being achieved as soon as possible," he said. "Russia is prepared to make its contribution to this process and to take part in the restoration of [Iraq's] economy." Putin called for the "enhancement of the United Nations' role" in stabilizing Iraq. Meanwhile, the Foreign Ministry on 29 July issued a statement saying the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq "does not influence the existence of Iraq as a state. Formally, its diplomatic relations with Russia continue." (Robert Coalson) RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC * THIEVES MAKE OFF WITH MILLIONS FROM IRAQ'S MOSCOW EMBASSY RFE/RL IRAQ REPORT Vol. 6, No. 33, 1 August 2003 Three unidentified people broke into the Iraqi Embassy compound in Moscow in the early morning of 29 July and stole nearly $3 million and 100,000 euros ($115,000) in cash, RIA Novosti and other Russian media reported. The intruders reportedly forced an embassy guard to open a safe containing the money. The embassy declined to comment on the incident, except to confirm that police are conducting an investigation. The Iraqi Embassy's activities have been virtually frozen since former Ambassador Abbas Halaf and his senior staff were recalled to Baghdad for consultations in June, newsru.com reported. Interfax reported on 28 July that Halaf would retire from diplomatic service. An embassy spokesman told newsru.com that new instructions from Baghdad are expected within the next few months. (Robert Coalson) BUT GOVERNMENT NEWSPAPER CASTS DOUBT ON ROBBERY REPORTS. The government daily "Rossiiskaya gazeta" on 30 July published a long report calling into question whether the Iraqi Embassy in Moscow was actually robbed on 29 July. According to the earlier reports, three unknown people broke into the embassy at around 2 a.m. local time and forced a guard to open a safe containing more than $3 million in cash. "Rossiiskaya gazeta" notes that the Russian police officer guarding the embassy did not notice anything unusual and wonders why embassy staffers did not notify the police until around 6 a.m. that day. The paper also says no explanation has been offered as to how the security guard was able to open the safe. The paper quoted an unidentified Moscow police officer as speculating that the robbery might have been staged, as no outsider could have expected that such a large sum of cash would be kept in the embassy, which has been virtually inactive since its ambassador and senior staff members were recalled to Baghdad in June. (Robert Coalson) http://www.dailystar.com.lb/opinion/01_08_03_d.asp * ASIA TREMBLES AS JAPAN SENDS TROOPS TO IRAQ by William O. Beeman Lebanon Daily Star, 1st August Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi is pursuing a dangerous political course, supported by the Bush administration. He has committed his nation to military involvement in Iraq and, through this, is trying to erase one of the last vestiges of World War II - Japan's constitutional prohibition against military action on foreign soil. Koizumi's action is problematic on several levels, since Japanese voters opposed the war in Iraq and contest remilitarization. However, it is even more awkward when considering it also paves the way for military action against North Korea. The Japanese prime minister fought fiercely for approval by Parliament of a bill on July 26 that would "allow the dispatch of troops from the Japanese Self-Defense Forces" to Iraq for peacekeeping operations. The controversial nature of the bill was underscored on July 29, during Koizumi's news conference marking the end of the parliamentary session. He backpedaled considerably, pointing out that the bill was "not one that requires the sending of Self-Defense Forces Š it's a bill that allows the dispatch of the SDF." For much of the Japanese public, militarism is the hallmark of an ultra-nationalistic sentiment that led to Japanese involvement in World War II. The Japanese state embodied reverential loyalty to the emperor, who was considered sacred; the "samurai ethic" demanded military readiness in support of both. The fervor engendered by this national sentiment was a powerful motivating force for Japanese troops. Under American direction, the post-war Japanese constitution renounced this militarism, establishing a Self-Defense Force that would never be used for aggressive military purposes. The constitution states in Article 9: "The Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes Š Land, sea and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized." Japanese right-wingers, who are still an important force in political life, have never accepted this provision. They are anxious to see Japan build up its military strength and restore its past greatness. Such desires are countered by equally dedicated Japanese left-wingers, who oppose militarization of any sort. The left has been dominant in recent years, and its opposition to anything that even hints at expanding military power or reviving military sentiment has cost a number of prime ministers their jobs. Koizumi was forced to soft-pedal the bill in the face of widespread public opposition to sending troops to Iraq. In 1992, Japan did pass legislation allowing Japanese troops to join UN peacekeeping operations, and it sent 1,200 soldiers to Cambodia, the first dispatch of Japanese troops abroad since 1945. However the Iraq deployment is different in two ways: First, the troops may actually see combat - a clear violation of the constitution. Second, the operation is not sanctioned by the UN, a key caveat leading to the 1992 deployment authorization. Why, then, has Koizumi taken this risky political path? Japan today is not the Japan of 20 years ago. The economic bubble has burst, and the economy is the dominant worry for most voters. Nothing is more important to resource-starved Japan than ensuring a reliable supply of energy. Japan already gets about half its energy resources from the Gulf, and was a strong customer of Iraqi oil in years past. Japanese companies have invested heavily in Middle Eastern oil facilities, such as refineries. Iraqi reconstruction contracts could greatly help the Japanese economy. A small investment in military operations could yield great benefits in terms of access to oil and lucrative construction contracts. The US, desperate to establish that its occupation of Iraq is the fruit of a coalition effort, would welcome, and reward, Japan's participation. Further on down the road, the US has an incipient problem with North Korea. If things heat up because of Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions, the fact that Japan would have breached its longstanding practice of not committing troops abroad would make it that much easier for it to commit troops to the Korean Peninsula, especially if North Korean actions are seen as threatening to Japan's security. It was reported on March 14 that Japan had warned it would launch a pre-emptive military action against North Korea if it had firm evidence of planning for a missile attack. At that time, Japanese Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba described this as "a self-defense measure." On March 28, Japan launched its first spy satellite. Understandably, both North and South Korea are raising alarms at the possibility of Japan attacking the Korean Peninsula. The Bush administration has strongly approved Koizumi's actions. However, it is unclear how the US will deal diplomatically with other East Asian nations should Japan be remilitarized. Like Korea, those states remember past Japanese military atrocities. Washington, by encouraging increased Japanese military action, may think it has helped solve some of its short-term problems. However, it may also buy a great deal of trouble down the line. William O. Beeman, the director of Middle Eastern Studies at Brown University, teaches the anthropology of Japan. He wrote this commentary for THE DAILY STAR http://www.jordantimes.com/Wed/news/news1.htm * ARABS SAY NO TROOPS TO IRAQ Jordan Times, 6th August CAIRO (AFP) ‹ Arab foreign ministers ruled out a US request to send troops to stabilise Iraq at a meeting here Tuesday and discussed ways to end its occupation, Arab League Secretary General Amr Musa said. "There was an agreement that (sending) Arab forces cannot be considered in the current circumstances," Musa told reporters. "We should work to put an end to the occupation and allow the Iraqi people form a national government," he added. Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammad Ben Mubarak Al Khalifa, who chaired the meeting at the 22-member Arab League headquarters, announced the set up of a seven member committee to follow-up the Iraqi issue, made up of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Syria, Qatar, Jordan and Tunisia. An Arab official explained that the US request of sending troops was "discussed informally and struck off the agenda because there was no hope of reaching a consensus" at the meeting of ministers from 11 states and the Palestinian Authority. He said many members considered sending troops to help the Americans would be tantamount to helping the occupation. Egyptian state-run newspaper Al Ahram on Tuesday ran an editorial along those lines. "Arab nations refuse on principle to play policeman to protect the Americans or quash Iraqi resistance," it wrote. "From the American point of view, it would be ideal to have Arab troops in Iraq... It imply Arab recognition of the occupation to the extent of helping secure its continuation." The Bahraini foreign minister said the Arab League was open to a dialogue with members of the US-sponsored Iraqi Governing Council but did not recognise this body as a legitimate government. The minister circumvented a question on the Arabs' position regarding Iraqi guerrilla attacks targetting US and British forces. "That is an Iraqi matter. We hope and we work for the stability of Iraq and the establishment of a national independent government," he replied. He added that Arab states were "ready to take part in rebuilding the new Iraq in all (economic) fields," insisting that Arabs should not be lagging behind the international effort to rescue the war-ravaged country. An Arab diplomat who requested anonymity said Syrian Foreign Minister Faruq Al Sharaa stressed "the need for a mechanism that allows Arab states to help the Iraqi people get past the crisis." Sharaa "stressed that the Arab League and the United Nations should play a role in solving the Iraqi question through ending the occupation and allowing the Iraqi people govern itself," the diplomat added. The closed-doors meeting gathered the so-called Arab League follow-up committee made up of Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Yemen and the Palestinian Authority. Musa said the ministers also demanded that Israel "implement its commitments" taken under the so-called "roadmap" designed by the United States and the international community to end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES NO URL * SOME OF ARMY'S CIVILIAN CONTRACTORS ARE NO-SHOWS IN IRAQ by David Wood Newhouse News Service, 31st July WASHINGTON -- U.S. troops in Iraq suffered through months of unnecessarily poor living conditions because some civilian contractors hired by the Army for logistics support failed to show up, Army officers said. Months after American combat troops settled into occupation duty, they were camped out in primitive, dust-blown shelters without windows or air conditioning. The Army has invested heavily in modular barracks, showers, bathroom facilities and field kitchens, but troops in Iraq were using ramshackle plywood latrines and living without fresh food or regular access to showers and telephones. Even mail delivery -- also managed by civilian contractors -- fell weeks behind. Though conditions have improved, the problems raise new concerns about the Pentagon's growing global reliance on defense contractors for everything from laundry service to combat training and aircraft maintenance. Civilians help operate Navy Aegis cruisers and Global Hawk, the high-tech robot spy plane. Civilian contractors may work well enough in peacetime, critics say. But what about in a crisis? "We thought we could depend on industry to perform these kinds of functions," Lt. Gen. Charles S. Mahan, the Army's logistics chief, said in an interview. One thing became clear in Iraq. "You cannot order civilians into a war zone," said Linda K. Theis, an official at the Army's Field Support Command, which oversees some civilian logistics contracts. "People can sign up to that -- but they can also back out." As a result, soldiers lived in the mud, then the heat and dust. Back home, a group of mothers organized a drive to buy and ship air conditioners to their sons. One Army captain asked a reporter to send a box of nails and screws to repair his living quarters and latrines. For almost a decade, the military has been shifting its supply and support personnel into combat jobs and hiring defense contractors to do the rest. This shift has accelerated under relentless pressure from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to make the force lighter and more agile. "It's a profound change in the way the military operates," said Peter W. Singer, author of a new book, "Corporate Warriors," a detailed study of civilian contractors. He estimates that over the past decade, there has been a ten-fold increase in the number of contract civilians performing work the military used to do itself. "When you turn these services over to the private market, you lose a measure of control over them," said Singer, a foreign policy researcher at the Brookings Institution, a think tank in Washington. Replacing 1,100 Marine cooks with civilians, as the Corps did two years ago, might make short-term economic sense. But cooks might be needed as riflemen -- as they were during the desperate Battle of the Bulge in December 1944. And untrained civilians "can walk off the job any time they want, and the only thing the military can do is sue them later on," Singer said. Thanks to overlapping contracts and multiple contracting offices, nobody in the Pentagon seems to know precisely how many contractors are responsible for which jobs -- or how much it all costs. That's one reason the Bush administration can only estimate that it is spending about $4 billion a month on troops in Iraq. White House Budget Director Joshua Bolten said this week he could not even estimate the cost of keeping troops in Iraq in fiscal 2004, which begins Oct. 1. Last fall the Army hired Kellogg Brown & Root, a Houston-based contractor, to draw up a plan for supporting U.S. troops in Iraq, covering everything from handling the dead to managing airports. KBR, as it's known, eventually received contracts to perform some of the jobs, and it and other contractors began assembling in Kuwait for the war. But as the conflict approached, insurance rates for civilians skyrocketed -- to 300 percent to 400 percent above normal, according to Mike Klein, president of MMG Agency Inc., a New York insurance firm. Soldiers are insured through the military and rates don't rise in wartime. It got "harder and harder to get (civilian contractors) to go in harm's way," said Mahan, the Army logistics chief. The Army had $8 million in contracts for troop housing in Iraq sitting idle, Mahan said. "Our ability to move (away) from living in the mud is based on an expectation that we would have been able to go to more contractor logistical support early on," Mahan said. Logistics support for troops in Iraq is handled by dozens of companies, each hired by different commands and military agencies with little apparent coordination or oversight. Patrice Mingo, a spokesman for KBR, declined comment. Don Trautner, an Army official who manages a major logistics contract with KBR for troop support in Iraq, said he knew of "no hesitation or lateness" by KBR civilian contractors. "There were no delays I know of," he said, making clear that he did not speak for other contractors. http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/tech/2003/jul/31/073107368.html * BIDS OPEN FOR WIRELESS SERVICE IN IRAQ by Shafika Mattar Las Vegas Sun, 31st July AMMAN, Jordan (AP) - Iraq's U.S.-led administration began taking bids Thursday for three wireless phone networks to serve the war-ravaged country, where the landline phone system is in shambles and temporary cellular service is available only for military, government and aid officials. Some 425 businessmen representing 300 international companies attended a conference Thursday in Amman to discuss the contracts being sought for the mobile phone networks, which are expected to be operating by the end of the year. "Iraq needs a telecommunications system and it needs it now," said Jim Davies, a member of the Coalition Provisional Authority who is advising Iraq's Ministry of Transportation and Communications. Abdul Latif, director of Iraq's state-run General Company for Post and Communications, said Saddam Hussein's regime installed the infrastructure for a wireless network, including towers and fiber-optic lines. But the network could not be developed because of the lack of imported telecommunications equipment under U.N. sanctions imposed in 1990, he said. "Iraq is a big and competitive market now," Latif said. He estimated that Iraq needs around 2 million mobile phones by early next year. An Iraqi businessman in attendance, Musaab al-Windawi, said he hoped Iraqi firms would be among the winning licensees, "because we don't want a foreign company to have complete monopoly over the Iraqi market." Earlier this summer, Bahrain's telephone company, known as Batelco, spent $5 million setting up a wireless network in Baghdad without the permission of the U.S.-led occupation authority. The company began carrying calls for people whose phones use the GSM network standard common in the Middle East and Europe and planned to give free phones to police and emergency crews. But last week, Batelco ceased its service under orders from the coalition authority, which claimed the network was interfering with a temporary, Pentagon-funded system installed in Baghdad by WorldCom Inc.'s MCI division. Other than that service and Kurdish networks in the northern enclaves, Iraq also has a temporary network in the south set up by MTC Vodafone, a Kuwaiti-British partnership. The coalition administration is accepting bids for the mobile phone licenses until Aug. 14, with three companies to be chosen Sept. 5 - one each for Iraq's north, center and south. Installation is to start Sept. 25. Winning bidders will have to put up a $30 million bond, Davies said. The wireless licenses are to last just two years, forcing the network operators to hope for a renewal afterward. RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC * CPA INVITES APPLICATIONS FOR COMMERCIAL AIR OPERATION IN SOUTH RFE/RL IRAQ REPORT Vol. 6, No. 33, 1 August 2003 The CPA issued a notice on 25 July inviting all commercial airlines interested in operating at the Al-Basrah International Airport to file applications by 2 August. The notice is posted on the CPA website (http://www.cpa-iraq.org). According to the notice, the airport will initially allow two round-trip regional flights per day, and one round-trip international flight per day. Each airline chosen by the CPA must be prepared to conduct at least two flights per week, and each airline "must be prepared for a maximum two-hour turnaround without fueling, catering, or other ground services being provided." In addition, "each airline chosen must be prepared to operate without the carriage of cargo into or out of Al-Basrah." Airlines will initially be approved to operate for a period of three months. The approval "may be renewed or revoked [at] the discretion of the CPA. The notice does not indicate when the CPA expects the airport to reopen. Meanwhile, "The New York Times" reported on 29 July that British Airways, KLM Royal Dutch, Lufthansa, and Air France have already applied to operate out of Baghdad International Airport. KLM reportedly already lists Baghdad on its website as a destination, and plans to operate four flights a week beginning on 1 September. "The New York Times" reported that a round-trip fare on KLM from Amsterdam to Baghdad is likely to cost about 990 euros ($1,140) in economy class. Like Al-Basrah, it's unclear when Baghdad International Airport will open. Militants continue to attack coalition military convoys on a near-daily basis on the road leading to the airport, where U.S. forces are stationed. In mid-July there were reportedly two separate incidents in which militants fired a surface-to-air missile at a C-130 cargo plane landing at Baghdad International Airport (see "RFE/RL Iraq Report," 17 July 2003). "We have representatives in Baghdad at this moment looking at all issues like safety," KLM spokesman Bart Koster told "The New York Times" on 29 July, adding, "the [CPA] has said they want to start regular air service as soon as possible. I assume they're in a bit of a hurry. But then again, they want to be assured that the airlines that have expressed interest can operate." The daily reported that the U.S. Transportation Department has approved three U.S.-based airlines to operate in Iraq: Northwest (a KLM partner), and two charter companies. American Airlines, Delta, and United Airlines retain flying rights into Iraq. Those companies have not operated in Iraq since the 1991 Gulf War. (Kathleen Ridolfo) RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC * U.S. APPROVES BECHTEL WORKPLAN FOR IRAQ RFE/RL IRAQ REPORT Vol. 6, No. 33, 1 August 2003 The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has approved Bechtel Group's plans for Iraqi reconstruction, clearing the way for the U.S.-based firm to hire subcontractors for reconstruction projects ranging from repairing bridges to rebuilding schools, LATimes.com reported on 29 July. Bechtel was awarded the 18-month, $680 million contract in April to rebuild a seaport, five airports, various electric power systems, road networks, rail systems, municipal water and sanitation services, school facilities, select government buildings, and irrigation systems. (see "RFE/RL Iraq Report," 23 May 2003). The firm will reportedly make the restoration of power its top priority. Some $230 million, one-third of the contract, will go to the electric system, according to LATimes.com. Some $53 million has been allocated to repair 1,300 schools and health clinics, while $45 million will go to sanitation and water purification projects. Bechtel's website (http://www.Bechtel.com) announced on 17 July that the firm has completed its first project, the four-lane Al-Mat Bridge bypass. Baghdad-based Al-Bunnia Trading Company completed the work; it was the first Iraqi subcontractor signed by Bechtel under the USAID Iraq Civil Infrastructure Contract. "There's only one first," the announcement quoted Cliff Mumm, program director for Bechtel's project team as saying. "It's a milestone for our program, and it's gratifying that an Iraqi company did the design and construction on this work," he added. The Al-Mat Bridge, located along Highway 10, was damaged during Operation Iraqi Freedom. It serves over 3,000 trucks transporting humanitarian aid and goods from Jordan to Iraq daily. The bridge itself will also undergo reconstruction work, which Bechtel says should take about six months. (Kathleen Ridolfo) http://www.jordantimes.com/sun/economy/economy2.htm * AICC CONFERENCE ON IRAQ RECONSTRUCTION OPENS TODAY Jordan Times, 3rd August AMMAN (JT) ‹ Leading Iraqi-American and other key international businessmen are holding Sunday a two-day conference on Iraq reconstruction. Organised by Washington DC-based American-Iraqi Chamber of Commerce (AICC), the event seeks "to help Iraqi firms and individuals to network and develop alliances with US, British and other contractors and business firms," according to a statement by the chamber received by The Jordan Times. President of AICC Sam Kubba told the Jordan News Agency, Petra, the selection of Jordan as venue for the two-day conference stems from the strategic importance of the Kingdom and its worldwide reputation as a credible and trustworthy country, especially in the field of investment. He said the meeting attracts the participation of about 300 key business people and firms representatives from the US, UK, Iraq, UAE, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, India, Singapore and Malaysia, in addition to the host country. Kubba stressed that Jordanian companies will enjoy a preferential treatment in reconstruction projects in the war-stricken Iraq. The AICC was set up earlier this year following the fall of the Iraq regime. Its board includes US figures of Iraqi origin. http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20030806/wl_nm/iraq_dc&cid =574&ncid=1480 * AMERICAN CONTRACTOR KILLED IN IRAQ LANDMINE BLAST by Alastair Macdonald Yahoo, 6th August TIKRIT, Iraq (Reuters) - An American civilian contractor working with the U.S. military was killed in Iraq on Tuesday when his truck detonated an anti-tank mine in the hostile territory around Saddam Hussein's home town of Tikrit. Major Josslyn Aberle of the 4th Infantry Division in Tikrit told Reuters the contractor, who worked for engineering and construction firm Kellogg Brown & Root, was traveling in a military convoy when the land mine exploded. "The employee died as a result of injuries sustained when his truck hit an anti-tank mine while on a routine mail run from central to northern Iraq," Kellogg Brown & Root said. The company, a subsidiary of the Halliburton Co, has been assisting the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on projects including trying to get Iraq's oil export pipeline to Turkey up and running, a key step in the reconstruction of the country. A U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad said the victim was an American. Fifty-three American soldiers have died in a guerrilla campaign against U.S. forces since Washington declared major combat over on May 1, but Tuesday's attack was the first in which a U.S. civilian had been killed in Iraq since Saddam was toppled. Aberle said three rocket-propelled grenades landed inside the main U.S. base in Tikrit Tuesday. Nobody was wounded when the grenades exploded in the sprawling complex, which was formerly one of Saddam's many palaces. There was another RPG attack elsewhere in the town. A senior U.S. officer said it was unclear whether the attacks were coordinated or linked to recent arrests of guerrilla suspects in the area. But a military response was likely. FALLUJA ATTACK A rocket-propelled grenade was also fired at a police station in the restive town of Falluja, 32 miles west of Baghdad. The U.S. military said one soldier from the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment was wounded. A crowd gathered, chanting support for Saddam. "We sacrifice our blood and our souls for you, Saddam," they shouted. The fugitive (news - Y! TV) dictator has so far evaded capture despite a $25 million price on his head. In the capital, assailants threw explosives from a car at soldiers guarding the neighboring Sheraton and Palestine hotels, home to many foreign business people and journalists. No one appeared to be hurt and there was little damage. [.....] THE COLLABORATION http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,1-763009,00.html * POWELL OKS $30M FOR SADDAM SONS INFORMER by agencies and Stephen Farrell Times, 31st July Colin Powell, the US Secretary of State, has approved a $30 million reward to the person who led US forces to Saddam Hussein¹s sons, the State Department said today. Richard Boucher, a spokesman, said that the reward, $15 million for both Uday and Qusay, would be the largest ever paid by the United States under its Rewards for Justice program. He declined to name the recipient but media reports have said he is Sheikh Nawaf al Zaydan Muhammad, a member of Saddam's Albu Nasr tribe and owner of the house where the brothers were killed by US troops. Some say that they saw him moving his wife and daughters out of the building two hours before the Americans arrived, others that he sat drinking tea in a Humvee, his hands free of handcuffs, as the operation continued. The sheikh, 45, moved into the district four to five years ago, having paid around £250,000 to build the largest and most conspicuous house in the neighbourhood. He made no secret of being related to Saddam. A picture of him alongside the former President was on his mantelpiece. Sheikh Shaaher Rashid Hamdoun, a tribal leader who lived across the street, said that Sheikh al-Zaydan was originally from Sinjar, near the Syian border. He profited greatly from Saddam's patronage, Sheikh Hamdoun said, seizing land in areas where Kurds had been forcibly driven out during Saddam's ethnic cleansing of the countryside, and turning himself into a wealthy farmer. But then his older brother, Saalah, fell out with the Albu Nasr and was taken to court accused of falsely claiming to be a member of the tribe. The matter came to Saddam's attention and Saalah was jailed. Sentenced to several years, he served months and was freed last autumn. Sheikh al-Zaydan may have borne a grudge. http://jang.com.pk/thenews/jul2003-daily/31-07-2003/main/main7.htm * IRAQ'S COUNCIL NAMES AL-JAAFARI AS FIRST PRESIDENT News International, 31st July TIKRIT: Iraq's US-picked interim government on Wednesday named the leader of a political party banned during Saddam Hussein's rule to serve as its first president, with eight other members of a joint presidency to serve in a monthly rotation in alphabetical order. The council also lashed out at Amr Moussa, Secretary-General of the Arab League, which has given cautious approval to the council but refused to recognise its authority. The council said it would not send representatives to the Cairo-based organisation, the region's most important political body. "We don't want to go where we are not welcome," council member Naseer Kamel al Chaderchi told Qatar's al-Jazeera television. Ibrahim al-Jaafari, a Shiite Muslim and chief spokesman for the Islamic Dawa Party, will serve as council president for August and be followed by Ahmad Chalabi, a Shiite and leader of the Iraqi National Congress. Next would be Iyad Allawi, also a Shiite and Secretary-General of the Iraq National Accord. The council set the order of service according to an alphabetical listing of first names in Arabic. Each member on the joint presidency will serve for one month. The American-picked council began functioning on July 13 and said its first order of business would be to select a president. But, unable to agree on putting that much power in the hands of any one of the 25 council members, it decided on Tuesday to share the responsibility among nine of them. After it had become clear early on in the council's brief existence that there was no agreement on any one member to serve as president, council sources said, it had been hoped the job would be shared among three members. That too proved impossible and the nine-member presidency became a compromise solution. "The council is made up of different political parties, with different agendas, different ethnic groups. There was no agreement among the members as to the agenda of any one party or among the varying ethnic groups," said Adel Nouri, a senior member of the Kurdistan Islamic Union Party. [.....] http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A10829-2003Jul31.html * FATHER AND BROTHER ARE FORCED BY VILLAGERS TO EXECUTE SUSPECTED U.S. INFORMANT by Anthony Shadid Washington Post, 1st August THULUYA, Iraq -- Two hours before the dawn call to prayer, in a village still shrouded in silence, Sabah Kerbul's executioners arrived. His father carried an AK-47 assault rifle, as did his brother. And with barely a word spoken, they led the man accused by the village of working as an informer for the Americans behind a house girded with fig trees, vineyards and orange groves. His father raised his rifle and aimed it at his oldest son. "Sabah didn't try to escape," said Abdullah Ali, a village resident. "He knew he was facing his fate." The story of what followed is based on interviews with Kerbul's father, brother and five other villagers who said witnesses told them about the events. One shot tore through Kerbul's leg, another his torso, the villagers said. He fell to the ground still breathing, his blood soaking the parched land near the banks of the Tigris River, they said. His father could go no further, and according to some accounts, he collapsed. His other son then fired three times, the villagers said, at least once at his brother's head. Kerbul, a tall, husky 28-year-old, died. "It wasn't an easy thing to kill him," his brother Salah said. In his simple home of cement and cinder blocks, the father, Salem, nervously thumbed black prayer beads this week as he recalled a warning from village residents earlier this month. He insisted his son was not an informer, but he said his protests meant little to a village seething with anger. He recalled their threat was clear: Either he kill his son, or villagers would resort to tribal justice and kill the rest of his family in retaliation for Kerbul's role in a U.S. military operation in the village in June, in which four people were killed. "I have the heart of a father, and he's my son," Salem said. "Even the prophet Abraham didn't have to kill his son." He dragged on a cigarette. His eyes glimmered with the faint trace of tears. "There was no other choice," he whispered. [.....] Residents of Thuluya said they had no doubt about Kerbul. After the operation in the village, dubbed Peninsula Strike, a force of 4,000 soldiers rounded up 400 residents and detained them at an air base seven miles north. An informer dressed in desert camouflage with a bag over his head had fingered at least 15 prisoners as they sat under a sweltering sun, their hands bound with plastic. Villagers said they soon recognized his yellow sandals and right thumb, which had been severed above the joint in an accident. "We started yelling and shouting, 'That's Sabah! That's Sabah!' " said Mohammed Abu Dhua, who was held at the base for seven days and whose brother died of a heart attack during the operation. "We asked his father, 'Why is Sabah doing these things?' " In the raid, three men and a 15-year-old boy were killed, all believed by villagers to have been innocent. Within days, many focused their ire on Kerbul, who had served a year in prison for impersonating a government official and was believed to have worked as an informer after he was released. Young children in the street recited a rhyme about him: "Masked man, your face is the face of the devil." Calls for revenge -- tempered by the fear of tribal bloodletting getting out of hand -- were heard in many conversations. Kerbul's family said U.S. forces took him to Tikrit, then three weeks later, he went to stay with relatives across the Tigris in the village of Alim. As soon as word of his release spread, his brother Salah and uncle Suleiman went there to bring him back. "We sent a message to his family," said Ali, a retired colonel whose brother was among those killed during the operation. "You have to kill your son. If you don't kill him, we will act against your family." His father appealed, Ali recalled, saying he needed permission from U.S. forces. "We told him we're not responsible for this," Ali said. "We told him you must kill your son." Kerbul's body was buried hours after the shooting, his father said, carried to the cemetery in a white Toyota pickup. He said he and Kerbul's brother accompanied the corpse. Salah, his son who fired the fatal shots, said he stayed home. Neither U.S. military officials in Thuluya nor Tikrit said they were aware of the killing. "It's justice," said Abu Dhua, sitting at his home near a bend in the Tigris. "In my opinion, he deserves worse than death." http://www.iht.com/articles/104876.html * IN NORTHERN IRAQ, ECONOMIC BASE GETS LIFT FROM U.S. ARMY International Herald Tribune, from The Associated Press, 1st August ALONG THE IRAQ-SYRIA BORDER: The first train from Syria through northern Iraq to Mosul was a few minutes late, but after more than a year without service, the residents of Rabiyah weren't complaining. The train, consisting of dozens of freight and tanker cars, one sleeper and several passenger cars, resumed service only half-full Wednesday. But it was sold out with goodwill. "It brings us to the future, this train," said Mohsin al-Naif, a leader of the Schamar tribe that has strong ties with Rabiyah, an Iraqi border town of 25,000 residents, and in Syria as well. "We are bound by blood on both sides of the border." "This is like bringing the family together. There is peace here," he said. The train is running again thanks in part to the U.S. Army and its 101st Airborne Division, which oversees a 17,000-square-kilometer, or 6,564-square-mile, region in Iraq's north. The area is a blend of cities like Mosul, 386 kilometers, or 240 miles, north of Baghdad, scattered towns and villages and vast stretches of wheat and barley fields. The people are mainly Arabs, Kurds and Turkoman. Government financing for economic development here was rare in the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War because the area was in the northern no flight-zone set up to protect the Kurds from Saddam Hussein's retribution, said Colonel Michael Linnington, commander of the 187th Infantry Regiment. Soldiers here have made it a priority to secure the region's economic base by spending liberally to improve water wells, rebuild schools and train policemen. "These guys have experienced 35 years of hardship," said Lieutenant Colonel Joe Buche, commander of the 187th's Third Battalion in Rabiyah. "They'd like it to be improved in 35 days." That won't happen given the sheer number of projects that need tending, but there is plenty of money, said Captain Pat Costello, of the 187th. The money is given to area commanders throughout Iraq, Linnington said, and they spend it at their discretion. "It's Iraqi money for Iraqis," said Costello. It comes from Iraqi assets frozen after the Gulf War. Any work done is by local contractors, vetted by area leaders and army officials. The American-led coalition said the train included mainly oil tanker cars that were held in Syria at the start of the war. A coalition official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the return of the cars would allow Iraq's petroleum industry to increase refinery output by one-third. In the nearly three months the regiment has been at work, nearly $1.4 million has been spent in small hamlets and major cities. Potholes are being filled in Mosul, and schools are being repaired in the countryside. Some projects are obvious - like the train and refurbishment of the railway in Rabiyah, Buche said. Others are less visible, like updating antiquated water pumps or trucking in drinking water for families without wells. "It's a big mission," Buche said, as hundreds of local sheiks, the mayor and others scrambled around the crossing between Iraq and Syria. RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC RFE/RL IRAQ REPORT Vol. 6, No. 33, 1 August 2003 * BAGHDAD POLICE CHIEF INJURED IN SHOOTOUT RFE/RL IRAQ REPORT Vol. 6, No. 33, 1 August 2003 Baghdad's chief of police, Brigadier General Ahmad Kazim Ibrahim, and five of his men were injured in a shootout in Baghdad on 26 July, Al-Jazeera reported the same day. The shootout erupted during a raid to arrest individuals suspected of abducting citizens in the Al-Shu'lah neighborhood in the capital. According to Al-Jazeera, Iraqi newspapers have recorded numerous threats against Ibrahim by former regime members. Ibrahim reportedly told SCIRI's Voice of the Mujahidin radio that his forces released eight women and children from captivity in the Al-Sadadah area of Baghdad, the radio reported on 29 July. The captors of the four women and four children are reportedly in police custody. (Kathleen Ridolfo) _______________________________________________ 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 email@example.com All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk