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[casi] IPO Iraq News Analysis: September 29, 2003

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
- 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:

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