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Re: [casi] Pentagon investigating bribes in Iraq

>the reason is that it was the IGC that came up with
the plan and they sent bremer to washington to get
agreement, the US administration then decided to spin
the story as if the plan had originated from

Wishful thinking perhaps, or the usual

Reuters reported today on a statement by Sayyid Ali
al-Sistani, the highest Shi’a cleric in Iraq, in which
he “criticized U.S. plans for transfer of power to
Iraqis as incomplete and paying too little heed to
Islam.” If Sayyid Ali al-Sistani and Sayyid Abdul-Aziz
al-Hakim (member of the IGC) both call the plans “U.S.
plans”, then I will take their words...

Here is the full article from Reuters:

Iraq's Top Shi'ite Criticizes U.S. Political Plans
Wed November 26, 2003 10:38 AM ET
By Andrew Hammond

NAJAF, Iraq (Reuters) - Iraq's top Shi'ite religious
authority has criticized U.S. plans for transfer of
power to Iraqis as incomplete and paying too little
heed to Islam, a Shi'ite politician said Wednesday.

Resistance from the cleric, Sayyid Ali al-Sistani,
could lead to rejection by many of the Shi'ite Muslims
who make up 60 percent of Iraq's population. But
Sistani appeared to have stopped short of any outright
dismissal of the program.

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, speaking hours
after guerrillas fired rockets at the Baghdad
coalition compound where he was staying, said the
plans for transfer of power by July 2004 and polls by
the end of 2005 would only improve security.

As U.S. forces keep up the search for Saddam, a
military spokesman said they had detained a wife and
daughter of Izzat Ibrahim al-Duri, the second
most-wanted man in Iraq, who has been accused of
coordinating anti-U.S. attacks.

Lieutenant Colonel William MacDonald, spokesman for
the 4th Infantry Division in Saddam's hometown of
Tikrit, said the two women, along with a son of
Ibrahim's doctor, were caught during a raid in the
town of Samarra Tuesday morning.

MacDonald said there was no indication the former
Iraqi general was in the area at the time. Last week,
U.S. forces put a bounty of $10 million on the head of
Ibrahim as they stepped up the hunt for a man seen as
one of Saddam's closest henchmen.

In the holy city of Najaf, Abdul-Aziz Hakim of the
Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, or
SCIRI, said Sayyid Ali al-Sistani, widely revered as
Iraq's most influential Shi'ite leader, believed the
new U.S.-backed roadmap was flawed.

Hakim told a news conference he had met Sistani, who
rarely makes public pronouncements on politics, to
discuss the plan.

"He didn't find anything that assures Islamic
identity," Hakimn said. "There should have been a
stipulation which prevents legislating anything that
contradicts Islam in the new Iraq."


"He expressed concern about real gaps, which must be
dealt with or the plan will lack the ability to meet
the hopes of the Iraqi people. It diminishes the role
of the Iraqi people in the process of transferring
authority to Iraqis," Hakim said.

Hakim is a member of the U.S.-appointed Iraqi
Governing Council and SCIRI has cooperated with the
occupying powers in Iraq, drawing criticism from some
Straw acknowledged that security conditions remained
difficult in Iraq, where insurgents have killed 184
U.S. soldiers since Washington declared major combat
over on May 1, according to the latest Pentagon toll.

"I'm absolutely sure that a more rapid political
process will assist the security situation," he told a
news conference.

He said he had been unaware of the attack on the
coalition compound where he was staying, which set
sirens wailing.

"Attack. Take cover. This is not a test," a
loudspeaker blared as the rockets struck. Flares lit
up the night sky and U.S. helicopters clattered

In October, guerrillas rocketed a strongly fortified
hotel inside the compound where U.S. Deputy Defense
Secretary Paul Wolfowitz was staying. One U.S. soldier
was killed.

A spokesman for the U.S. 1st Armored Division said at
least two rockets had been fired in Tuesday's attack
in Baghdad, but caused no casualties. Two Iraqi police
were wounded in a separate rocket-propelled grenade
attack near a petrol station.

Straw said he could give no date for the withdrawal of
British troops from Iraq pending negotiations with
Iraqi authorities on the future status of foreign

"We will stay as long as the Iraqi government and
people want us to stay and there is a job for us to
do," he declared.

Britain, the main U.S. military ally in the war that
toppled Saddam, has 9,800 troops based in southern

Straw, who arrived in Baghdad Tuesday night for talks
with U.S. officials and members of the Governing
Council, also alluded to a danger that Iraq could

"The key question is to move power from where it is
now, formally with the coalition, to the Iraqi people
as quickly as possible to ensure that the integrity of
Iraq remains," he said. (Additional reporting by
Joseph Logan in Baghdad)

© Reuters 2003. All Rights Reserved.

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