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] News, 30/7-6/8/03 (1)

News, 30/7-6/8/03 (1)


*  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


*  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


*  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.
*  In northern Iraq, economic base gets lift from U.S. Army
*  Baghdad police chief injured in shootout


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.

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.


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 ( (Kathleen Ridolfo)


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

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 ( (Kathleen Ridolfo)


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 (Kathleen Ridolfo)


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)


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,
reported. Interfax reported on 28 July that Halaf would retire from
diplomatic service. An embassy spokesman told that new
instructions from Baghdad are expected within the next few months. (Robert

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)

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

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

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

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



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

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

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.

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

"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

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.


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
( 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

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)


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, 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 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 ( 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)

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

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.

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

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


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


THE COLLABORATION,,1-763009,00.html

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

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

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

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.

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.


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

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

"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

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.

"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."

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.

RFE/RL IRAQ REPORT Vol. 6, No. 33, 1 August 2003

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
To contact the list manager, email
All postings are archived on CASI's website:

[Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]