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Re: [casi] Half a million ... or 200?

Dear Hassan and list,

The phones you talk about were also given to NGOs. Occupation Watch has 2 of
these phones (your pal Nermin Mufti runs that), we only have one.

Baghdad Democracy Promotion (BDP) project is completely different to Iraq
Democracy Watch, and both are still available on the website . The BDP project proposed to set
up newsletters and debating societies in Baghdad universities, requiring
around $32k, and we received a grant from DAI back in September and the
project is in full swing - 6 issues have been published and 3 debates have
taken place in the universities of Mustansiriyah and Baghdad. Iraq Democracy
Watch is a completely different project that aims to set up a political
watchdog to monitor the transition period and will run for 2 years. The
budget for this project is obviously much higher, and we are still in the
process of attempting to get financial backing for the project.

I think Iraq's progress is being delayed by Ba'athis inside Iraq, and
sometimes outside, becoming more confident and working in many ways to
re-establish the intimidation and fear that existed under Saddam, and to
rubbish any critism of the acts of the former regime. In Baghdad University,
a couple of students who wrote articles about their suffering under the
former regime have been physically intimidated by sons of Ba'athis - and one
of them was so scared he quit the newsletter team.

I am glad to say though, that organisations like the IPO are expanding in
Iraq. The IPO now runs most of its operations inside Iraq, and the
organisation in run completely by Iraqis who have always lived inside Iraq,
and contains a rich mix of people - as was demonstrated by the report they
compiled on the consitution.

Best wishes,
ps- Hassan your surveillance skills are letting you down, haven't had a
refresher course since April?
----- Original Message -----
From: "Hassan" <>
To: "CASI" <>
Sent: Thursday, December 11, 2003 10:35 AM
Subject: Re: [casi] Half a million ... or 200?

Dear Ghazwan and List,

I am sure we will have a reply from the IPO sometime,
explaining that they are not "remotely" counting the
people demonstrating in Baghdad as Ghazwan stated.
They will insist that they have an Office in Baghdad,
chaired by a Mr. Sabah Muhsin.
That may be the case, but a look at the IPO's post
will reveal the following:

>Baghdad:Mr. Sabah Muhsin, Baghdad IPO Chairman: +1
914 360 5278<

Mr. Muhsin's phone number is a S. New York exchange
For those who do not know why that is so, there is an

The Coalition/occupation forces have supplied
officials working with them (deans of universities,
high officials, etc..) with mobile phones with a New
York number, because the telephone network in Iraq was
destroyed and contacts are impossible. This way, these
persons can be reached at any time.
Now why would a NGO of young Iraqis be given such a
phone by the Americans??

A visit to the site of IPO will also reveal a project
they have been promoting called the "Baghdad Democracy
Promotion" project. The PDF document lists the same
mobile phone number of its Chairman. It states that
the document is an updated version dated July 2003.
That is NOT TRUE...

At least, up until 26 October 2003, the project was
listed on the IPO website under the name "Iraq
Democracy Watch", with only the name of the IPO,
without any Baghdad address. The IPO was asking for
contributions to its campaign.

The most strange thing about this is not the change of
name or address, but the change to the budget of the
In the original budget, the total was $520,030 over a
period of three years. In the new version the total is
$32,619 over a period of 13 weeks. No contributions
are being asked for anymore. Has the IPO perhaps
received the necessary funds??

The most interesting thing is the salaries. Originally
the IPO had planned paying its two staff members
$2500/month!! The secretary would have received a
salary of $1250. In the new budget, they are paying 20
coordinators $2/each/day..
Those of you who know Iraq's conditions will also know
that a salary of a doctor in Iraq now is $180. Ibrahim
al-Ja'farai, head of the Da'wa Party and member of the
IGC, said on TV that their salaries at the IGC were
$1500/month. Now why would a student receive a higher
salary than a member of the IGC??

Unfortunately, the IPO has removed the original
proposal from their web page, otherwise list members
would have seen the amount of "care" for democracy and
for the suffering of the Iraqi people in that
I made these remarks to a member of this list in
private correspondence on 28/29 October 2003. It is up
to him to decide whether or not he will identify
himself and confirm what I said.

I make these remarks to show list members the nature
of some of those behind posts. I ask Mike Lewis if his
statement regarding Tom's mass graves issues applies
here to IPO posts, and would he agree with me if I
borrow from him here: "I regard IPO's whole history of
postings as an abuse of the current terms of the CASI
list, and urge the moderator to prevent any postings
in a similar vein." ??

One further point to Ghazwan: there is seemingly a
tendency among some in the UK to believe more in
British Iraqis than Iraq's Iraqis. For example: on
October 24, there was a seminar; the first in a series
of the CAMBRIDGE IRAQ SEMINARS, to discuss strategies
for assisting the reconstruction of Iraq. The speakers
- HIND MAKIYA, who hasn't lived in Iraq for over 30
years, and who is the sister of Kan'an Makiya.
- YASSER ALASKARY, who has NEVER lived in Iraq.
- DR AUGUSTA MCMAHON, about whom I have no

How would those persons know what is best for Iraqis?
Or is the criteria perhaps their British passports??


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