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News Analysis September 29, 2003 The Governing Council, in a show of protest against two Arab satellite news channels for inciting terrorist acts, bans them from their meetings. Shot Governing Council member, Akila Al-Hashimi, dies following days in intensive care. The lack of a young Iraqi (60% of Iraq's population is between the ages of 18-35) in the Governing Council, added with the weak representation of women and the now under representation of Iraqi Shia would demand that a young, Shi'i Iraqi woman fill the vacancy. Powell suggests that Iraq's constitution be completed in six months, which is still not quick enough for the French. However, the Governing Council-appointed Preliminary Constitutional Committee estimates the process will require 12-18 months if it is to be done properly, whilst Bremer refuses to set a deadline. On a positive note, Bush is set to let the UN monitor elections in Iraq, a task they can do well. This week also saw the launch of the IPO's Democracy for Iraq campaign, which aims to gather financial support for a political watchdog for Iraq's transition period. Congress members visit Iraq ahead of a vote on Bush's request for $87 billion, as Bremer lobbies hard for US funding for Iraq. Democrats challenge $87 billion Iraq proposal, suggesting it be made in loans, while anti-war activists, looking to help Iraqis as always, lobby Congress to withhold Iraq funds. The Iraq proposal has been made all the more significant as many countries, including Canada, refuse to pledge new Iraq aid. Following a further bomb blast at its headquarters in Baghdad, the UN pulls out of Iraq. This strengthens fears that if the UN were in charge of reconstruction of Iraq, it would be susceptible to retreating in response to terrorist attacks, leaving Iraq at the mercy of Saddam loyalists. The US claims it is speeding up security handover as the border patrol is transferred to Iraqis and US troops work with Iraqi police to seize weapons cache, however, the process of training new police needs to be sped up further. Control of the holy city of Najaf is transferred to Spanish and Latin American troops, in a bid to internationalise the forces in Iraq, as only Japan and Pakistan agree to provide peacekeeping troops, forcing the US to ready fresh troops for Iraq. Syria has offered its troops, however with the majority of foreign terrorists in Iraq originating from Syria, its 'troops' have already caused substantial damage. Despite the slow progress: - a new poll finds that the majority of Iraqis supported the war and want democracy - an Iraqi court holds the first trial since the demise of Saddam - more refugees return to Iraq after years in Saudi Arabia - the economy begins to show signs of stabilisation. News Analysis brought to you by the Iraqi Prospect Organisation. The IPO launched the Democracy for Iraq campaign to gather funds for a political watchdog to monitor Iraq's transition period, see the website for further details: http://www.iprospect.org.uk _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk