1. The question of assigning a leader to the Iraqi Governing Council.
2. The question of assigning oil revenues.
3. Added during the event: The Security Situation, especially the assassination of Chelabi and Salim
1. Resolves that the IGC will have a presidency of three that will:A. Cast its vote as one in all IGC voting, B. Hold a veto subjected to 2/3 over rule, C. Be called the "Interim presidents of Iraq", D. Will present IGC decisions to the US administration;
2. States that this council shall have: A. A rotating vice president in addition to the one who will be selected by the council, B. Rotation shall take place every 45 minutes till a session is adjourned;
3. Resolves that voting will take place as follows: A. Each will have three votes secretly, B. The votes will be weighted 3,2,1 respectively, C. The presidents will be selected by highest totals, D. If there is a tie, the council will have a vote on the third member, E. Everyone must vote, F. All ballots will be read out loud and circulated, G. All ballots will be unsigned and destroyed after the election.
4. Further creates the position of Interim Vice-President as follows: A. The Vice-President will not be part of the leadership vote, B. The interim vice-president will reside over the session, C. The interim vice-presidency will continue as rotating chair.
Lewis Paul Bremer III, also known as Jerry Bremer, (born September 30 was named Director of "Office for Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance" Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance for post-war following the 2003 invasion of Iraq to replace Jay Garner. He arrived in Iraq on May 11
Born in Hartford, Connecticut, Bremer was educated at Phillips Academy and at Yale University BA (earning a in 1963) and went on to earn a Masters of Business Administration from Harvard University in 1967. That year he joined the Foreign Service as Officer General in Afghanistan, later continuing his education at the Institute d'Etudes Politiques of the University of Paris, where he earned a Certificate of Political Studies (CEP). He was also assigned in Blantyre Malawi as Economic and Commercial Officer from 1968 to 1971. During the 1970s Bremer held various domestic posts with the State Department , including posts as assistant to Henry Kissinger from 1972-76. He was Deputy Chief of Mission in Oslo from 1976-79, returning stateside to take a post of Deputy Executive Secretary of State where he remained from 1979-81. In 1981 he became Executive Secretary and Special Assistant to Alexander Haig. Ronald Reagan appointed Bremer as Ambassador to the Netherlands in 1983 and Ambassador-at-Large for Counterterrorism in 1986. Bremer retired from the Foreign Service in 1989 and became managing director at Kissinger Associates, a worldwide consulting firm founded by Henry Kissinger. More recently he has been employed as Chairman and CEO of Marsh Crisis Consulting, a risk and insurance services firm which is a subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc.
Bremer was appointed Chairman of the National Commission on Terrorism by House Speaker Dennis Hastert in 1999. In late 2001, along with former Attorney General Edwin Meese Bremer co-chaired the Heritage Foundation 's Homeland Security Task Force, which created a blueprint for the White House's Dept. of Homeland Security
For two decades Bremer has been a regular at Congressional hearings and is recognized as an expert on terrorism and internal security. Bremer is married to the former Frances Winfield, and they have a son and a daughter. In addition to his native language English, Bremer speaks, French, Norwegian, and German.
B. Position as administrator of Iraq
Following the removal of Jay Garner as civilian administrator of Iraq, Bremer was appointed as the chief U.S. executive authority in the country. Unlike Garner, Bremer was not a military man, and as a result was expected to bring unique political and diplomatic skills that many had accused Garner and other military leaders of lacking. Though Garner's experience was largely praised, Bremer's appointment was criticized by some
human rights groups, who note that while chairing the National Commission on Terrorism, Bremer advocated relaxation of guidelines which restrict working with individuals and groups who have a record of human rights abuses.
As administrator of Iraq, Bremer's job is to oversee the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq until the country is deemed to be in a state in which it can be once again governed by Iraqis. Upon the advice of his subsidiaries, Bremer is empowered to issue decrees to modify Iraq's society and infrastructure. Some notable decrees have included his outlawing of the Ba'ath Party, removing all restrictions on freedom of assembly, and establishing a Central Criminal Court of Iraq. On July 13 Bremer approved the creation of an Iraq Interim Governing Council as a way of "ensuring that the Iraqi people's interests are represented."
The council members were appointed by Bremer, and were chosen from prominent political, ethnic, and religious leaders who had opposed the government of Saddam Hussein. Though the council was given several important powers, such as the appointment of a cabinet, Bremer retained veto power over their proposals. Bremer's office is a division of the United States Department of Defense, and as Administrator he reports directly to the United States Secretary of Defense
Issue # 1: The issue of the delegations of oil revenues:
Paul Bremer said that "oil revenues are 100 percent of our budget". He also stated in a press interview on July 31 that it could take $50 billion to $100 billion to reconstruct Iraq, and a $1.6 billion plan to rehabilitate Iraq's oil industry was agreed to in late June. Bremer suggests that that some of the money from the oil revenues should be shared with Iraqis through a system of dividend payments or a national trust fund to finance public pensions. He told members of the World Economic Forum, who gathered at a Dead Sea resort to discuss Iraq and other Middle East issues, that Iraq would need a "humane social safety net" to ease the transition from the centrally planned, socialist system of former president Saddam Hussein to a free-market economy. "Iraq's resources cannot be restricted to a lucky or powerful few," Bremer said. "Iraq's natural resources should be shared by all Iraqis."
Bremer said one option would pay Iraqis annual dividends based on the year's oil sales, a system used in Alaska. Another option, he said, would be to deposit the oil revenue into a trust fund to create a social security system. Either way, he said in a speech at the conference, "every individual Iraqi would come to understand [that] his or her stake in the country's economic success was there to see."
Issue #2: The issue of assigning a leader to the council:
In late June 2003 the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) halted all local elections in Iraq and self-rule in provincial cities and towns, opting instead to appoint mayors and administrators. Many of those to be appointed are former Iraqi military leaders. CPA head L. Paul Bremer was reported to have recently said in an interview that there is "no blanket prohibition" on self-rule, adding, "I'm not opposed to it, but I want to do it [in] a way that takes care of our concerns...Elections that are held too early can be destructive. It's got to be done very carefully."
The United States-led Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) plans to transfer power to an Iraqi government on 30 June 2004 and the current 25-member Governing Council will be dissolved. Some of the Governing Council members are already assuming other responsibilities while other members will no doubt be called upon to participate in various State institutions. The transitional government would be "led by a Prime Minister and comprising Iraqi men and women known for their honesty, integrity and competence, and that there would also be a President to act as Head of State and two Vice-Presidents. A large national conference will be held to promote national reconciliation and consensus. Such a gathering could be held in July 2004 and aim to elect a consultative assembly to serve alongside the caretaker government until the January 2005 elections.
The council was formed on Sunday, July 13, and met for the first time. It will nominate ministry heads and form commissions to advise on a range of issues including education, telecommunications and the private sector, according to Paul Bremer, the chief U.S. administrator in Iraq. Earlier this month, Bremer told reporters that the council members were being selected among local, regional and party leaders after consultations with a wide array of officials across the country. It is not yet clear whether the council will have a presidency and what form that presidency would take. A key task will be setting up a constitutional convention of about 200 people who will draft a document and submit it to popular approval in a referendum. The council's composition reflects the country's ethnic, religious and political groups, who may have difficulty reaching agreement, analysts said.
Adnan Pachachi, 80, a former Iraqi foreign minister and ambassador to the United Nations in the late 1960s who now heads the Independent Iraqi Democrats party. Pachachi commands respect among ordinary Iraqis for never having joined either the U.S.- funded opposition or Saddam Hussein's Baath Party, and is in media reports as a potential council leader. ``Maybe I am the least objectionable'' among Iraq's onetime opposition leaders, he said in an interview last week at the spacious Baghdad villa he works from. Pachachi can be critical, speaking of U.S. ``negligence and incompetence'' in the immediate aftermath of the war. ``Iraqis are anxious to manage their own affairs as soon as possible,'' he told participants at the World Economic Forum in Jordan in June. Still, Pachachi says it will take the country at least a year to hold elections and form a new government. Until then, he says, U.S. forces will have to stay on to keep the peace.
Massoud Barzani, 57, leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, Iraq's largest and oldest Kurdish party. Since 1991, Barzani and his archrival Jalal Talabani have run autonomous Kurdish governments in the former U.S.-monitored no-fly zone. Born in the Soviet-sponsored Kurdish republic of Mahabad, briefly set up inside Iran, Barzani has led the KDP since the 1979 death of his father, Mullah Mustafa Barzani. While he wears the Kurds' traditional checkered headdress and baggy trousers, Barzani ``never carries a gun: he organizes things from a distance, like a president,'' says nephew Saywan Barzani. Barzani has survived assassination attempts and lost family members to the fight against Hussein. He nevertheless appealed to Hussein in 1996 for help in winning back the town of Erbil, which was falling to Iranian forces allied with Talabani. Barzani favors a federal government and parliament, and aims to keep running daily operations in Kurdistan, leaving management of Iraq's energy resources, finances, defense and foreign affairs to the central authorities.
Jalal Talabani, 70, leader of Iraq's other main Kurdish party, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. The PUK has run part of northern Iraq since 1991, keeping a base in Sulaimaniyah, and, like Barzani's KDP, drawing revenue from road tolls. In over two decades as the PUK chief, the gregarious Talabani has repeatedly switched allies, leading Kurds to nickname him ``the fox: you never know which way he's going to go,'' said Gareth Stansfield, an Exeter University research fellow who knew Talabani while a researcher and political adviser in Iraqi Kurdistan. A Baghdad University law graduate who dabbled in journalism, Talabani joined the Barzani-led KDP in his teens, then broke away to form his own party in the late 1970s, sparking an enduring feud with the Barzanis. Analysts say his more pragmatic approach to Kurdish nationalism stands him in good stead with the U.S. and may secure an important role for the PUK in Iraq's future government.
Abdul Aziz Al Hakim, 50, of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, brother of SCIRI's leader Ayatollah Mohamad Baqir Al Hakim, who returned to southern Iraq earlier this year after more than two decades in exile in Iran. Himself a mid- ranking cleric, or hojatoleslam, Al Hakim is a representative of the Shiites, who make up two-thirds of Iraq's population but have been excluded from government for nearly a century. In the past 20 years, he has led SCIRI's military wing, or Badr Brigade, infiltrating Iraqi territory and blowing up the interior ministry in the 1980s. A Farsi speaker with no knowledge of English, Al Hakim is described by fellow Iraqi Shiites as a pragmatist and a tough negotiator who could help allay fears of a fundamentalist takeover. The party has endorsed democracy, and is part of the council. ``We are Iraqis, and as Iraqis, we can't hand government to anybody,'' says SCIRI's London representative Hamid Al-Bayati.
Hamid al-Jaafari, leader of the al-Daawa party, an Iraqi Shiite party that has distinguished itself from SCIRI by remaining more independent of the Iranian government. Al-Jaafari headed the London branch of al-Daawa until a few months ago. In a December 2001 interview with Lebanon's ``Daily Star,'' after the U.S. had ousted Afghanistan's Taliban leadership, al-Jaafari warned that a similar attack on Iraq might fail, because ``history has shown that bombing, destruction and sanctions do not lead to'' the regime's ``collapse, but further compound the suffering of the Iraqi people.'' Still, al-Jaafari traveled to the U.S. in January to meet U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, marking the party's first- ever contacts with the U.S. administration, just two months before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. Al-Jaafari, who in April refused to attend a U.S.-sponsored forum of Iraqi leaders on charges it favored some over others, is now a member of the governing council.
Ahmad Chalabi, 58, leader of the Iraqi National Congress, a U.S.-backed opposition party. Born into a wealthy Shiite family, Chalabi fled Iraq after the 1958 coup d'etat and settled in Lebanon after obtaining degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Chicago. In the late 1970s, he founded Petra Bank in Jordan, which later collapsed and led to his sentencing in absentia to 22 years of forced labor. From 1991, Chalabi, who set up shop for a time in northern Iraq with U.S. help, was ``an untiring spokesman for the effort to overthrow Saddam Hussein,'' said Martin Indyk, a former U.S. assistant secretary of state now at Washington-based research center the Brookings Institution. The ex-banker, currently working out of Baghdad villas that once belonged to Baath regime dignitaries, has the Pentagon's backing, analysts say, and says his group helped retrieve artefacts looted from the Baghdad Museum, though some ordinary Iraqis interviewed in Baghdad last week said he lacks legitimacy because he has been living abroad and has been linked to Americans for most of his life.
Iyad Alawi, head of the Iraqi National Accord. Once a high- ranking official in Saddam's Baath Party, Alawi defected in 1976 and set up the Jordan-based INA, a cluster of former Iraqi generals and exiled Baath officials. Starting in the early 1990s, the INA received U.S. money and backing, based on the premise that a coup from inside was the best way to topple Saddam, according to former U.S. administration officials. The INA attempted one in 1996 that was foiled and its perpetrators crushed by Hussein. A neurologist by training, Alawi ``is an intelligent guy with huge organizational skills,'' says Shiite independent Mowaffak Al- Rubaie, who is himself a member of the governing council and ran against Alawi in elections for the student association when they were both medical students in Baghdad. While Chalabi will want to rid Iraq of any remnants of the Baath party, Alawi will probably strive to work with reformed Baath officials, analysts say.
1. Samir Shakir Mahmoud (Sunni). Mr Mahmoud belongs to the al-Sumaidy clan which believes its origins can be traced back to the Prophet Muhammed. He is described as both a writer and an entrepreneur.
2. Sondul Chapouk (Turkmen) Ms Chapouk is one of just three women on the council. She is a trained engineer and teacher, as well as being a women's activist.
3. Ahmed Chalabi, Iraqi National Congress (Shia) Mr Chalabi is the leading figure in the Pentagon-backed INC, which he founded in 1992. It is thought he is viewed with suspicion by some Iraqis due to his proximity to the US administration and to the fact that he has been absent from Iraq for the best part of 45 years.
4. Naseer al-Chaderchi, National Democratic Party (Sunni) Leader of the NDP, Naseer al-Chaderchi is also a lawyer who lived in Iraq throughout Saddam's regime.
5. Adnan Pachachi, former foreign minister (Sunni) Mr Pachachi served as a minister from 1965 to 1967 before Saddam Hussein's Baath Party came to power. He is a nationalist with a secular liberal outlook. He is thought to be particularly favoured by the US Department of State.
6. Mohammed Bahr al-Ulloum, cleric from Najaf (Shia) [ABDULRAHMAN AL-SHATTI] A highly respected religious scholar viewed as a liberal. He fled Iraq in 1991 after several members of his family were killed by Saddam Hussein's regime.
7. Massoud Barzani, Kurdistan Democratic Party (Sunni Kurd) Mr Barzani has led the KDP through decades of conflict with the Iraqi central government and with local rivals, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (see below). He commands tens of thousands of armed militia fighters, known as peshmerga, and controls a large area of north-western Iraq.
8. Jalal Talabani, Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (Sunni Kurd) The veteran Kurdish leader is a lawyer by training. He split from the KDP in 1975 to form the PUK, which controls the south-east of northern Iraq.
9. Abdel-Aziz al-Hakim, Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution (Shia) ASOUSI Number two in the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (Sciri), the sheikh is the brother of the council's leader Ayatollah Mohammad Baqer al-Hakim, who wants an Islamic regime in Iraq. He has returned to Iraq after 20 years in exile. Read more: Key Shia leader returns to Iraq
10. Ahmed al-Barak, human rights activist (Shia) Mr al-Barak is the head of the union of lawyers and human rights league in the central city of Babylon.
11. Ibrahim al-Jaafari, Daawa Islamic Party (Shia) Mr al-Jaafari is the spokesman for Daawa, one the oldest of the Shia Islamist movements. The party was banned in 1980 and he fled the country.
12. Raja Habib al-Khuzaai, southern tribal leader (Shia) Ms al-Khuazaai is in charge of a maternity hospital in southern Iraq. She studied and lived in Britain in the 1960s and 1970s, before retuning to Iraq in 1977. Little is known about her political allegiances.
13. Aqila al-Hashimi, foreign affairs expert (Shia) Ms Hashimi is a former diplomat who worked in the foreign ministry under Saddam Hussein. She holds a doctorate in French literature.
14. Younadem Kana, Assyrian Democratic Movement (Assyrian Christian) Mr Kana is an engineer who served as an official for transport in the first Kurdish regional assembly and then as a trade minister in the regional government established in Erbil.
15. Salaheddine Bahaaeddin, Kurdistan Islamic Union (Sunni Kurd) Mr Bahaaeddin founded the union in 1991 and became its secretary general three years later. It is the third most powerful force in Kurdish-dominated northern Iraq.
16. Mahmoud Othman (Sunni Kurd) Mr Othman held various posts in the Kurdistan Democratic Party in the 1960s before moving to London. There he founded the Kurdish Socialist Party.
17. Hamid Majid Mousa, Communist Party (Shia) Mr Mousa has been the secretary of the Iraqi Communist Party since 1993. An economist by training, he lived for several years in northern Iraq after the 1991 Gulf War.
18. Ghazi Mashal Ajil al-Yawer, northern tribal figure (Sunni) Mr al-Yawer is a civil engineer who spent 15 years based in Saudi Arabia. He is a close relative of Sheikh Mohsen Adil al-Yawar, head of the powerful Shamar tribe, which comprises both Sunnis and Shia.
19. Ezzedine Salim, Daawa Islamic Party (Shia) Mr Salim is the head of the Daawa Islamic Party, and is based in Basra.
20. Mohsen Abdel Hamid, Iraqi Islamic Party (Sunni) A prolific author on the Koran, Mr Hamid is the secretary general of the Iraqi Islamic Party - the Iraqi branch of the Muslim Brotherhood.
21. Iyad Allawi, Iraqi National Accord (Shia) Mr Alawi set up the Iraqi National Accord in 1990. His group consists mainly of military and security defectors and for many years supported the idea that the US should try to foster a coup from within the Iraqi army. Its failure to engender this meant it became overshadowed by Mr Chalabi's INC.
22. Wael Abdul Latif, Basra governor (Shia) Mr Latif has served as judge since the early 1980s and is currently deputy head of the Basra court. He was imprisoned for one year under the regime.
23. Mouwafak al-Rabii (Shia) A British-educated doctor who lived for many years in London. He is also the author of a book on Iraqi Shia and a human rights activist.
24. Dara Noor Alzin, judge A judge who was condemned to three years in jail under Saddam Hussein for ruling that one of his edicts on confiscating land was unconstitutional. He served eight months of his sentence before being released under general amnesty in October 2002.
25. Abdel-Karim Mahoud al-Mohammedawi, Hezbollah from Amara (Shia) Mr al-Mohammedawi has spent much of his life leading a resistance movement against Saddam Hussein in the southern marshes. He spent six years in jail under the regime.
A. Brief Sketch
Ahmed Chelabi is an exceptional figure and also an extremely controversial one. A doctor, a businessman, and a politician, he's the kind of aristocratic, well-educated man that would, under normal circumstances have enjoyed various positions with a monarchical state. The violent destruction of the Iraqi monarchy changed Chelabi's destiny, but not his talents or his ambition. Chelabi seeks to gain by election something of what his class lost via Iraq's left-wing revolution.
Chelabi was born in Iraq in 1945 of Shia ancestry of an old aristocratic family. With the overthrow of the monarchy, his wealthy family fled the country. Subsequently, he lived in Lebanon, the UK, Jordan, and, most importantly, the USA. He received his education at MIT, earning a doctorate in mathematics. Subsequently, he taught mathematics at prestigious Chicago University before turning his hands to business and politics.
In the late 1980s, Chelabi opened his own bank in Jordan, Petra Bank. The Bank prospered, but Chelabi, always something of a show-off, ran into trouble. In 1990, with Jordan's dinar in free fall due to the recession brought on by the Iraqi defeat, the government required all banks to increase their dollar reserves. All banks, except the Petra, complied, partly as Chelabi, in a show of bravado had purposely sold dinar. The party ended with Chelabi fleeing the country and the State taking over the bank.
However, as often appears in Chelabi's story, alternative versions appear of the same event. Chelabi claims that his bank was involved in American-sponsored covert operations and actually not only funding an Iraqi opposition, but also tracing the funds of Saddam Hussein. He claims that political pressures from Saddam forced the Jordanian government to act. In 1992, the Jordanian government convicted him "in absentia" to 22 years of prison. However, Price Abdullah himself smuggled Chelabi out of the country. Chelabi claims that the Jordanian government holds records that can clear his name.
After a return to the States, Chelabi next emerged as a politician. He enlisted a group of American neo-conservative supporters in the USA. He charmed them with his vision of a democratic, pro-business, pro-Israel state which might lead to Middle Eastern reform. This lead to the creation of the INC which, at various time, received American money. The Clinton government remained very unconvinced. In particular, Chelabi could never get either the State Department or the CIA to sign on to his schemes. Congress, notably Republican, remained more interested in Chelabi than did the Democratic administration.
In 1995, Chelabi actually tried to persuade the CIA to give him money and limited troop support in his bid to set up a "mini-state" in Northern Iraq. At the last minute, the CIA backed out, fearing another "Bay of Pigs." Somewhat to everyone's surprise, the INC proceeded without this backing. The venture depended, in part, on the continued support of the two Iraqi Kurd groups, the PUK and KDP, whom he persuaded to agree to a peace. With headquarters in Irbil, Chelabi set up his mini-state and followed his plan of trying to show the Iraqis that Saddam could be overthrown.
Reports of Chelabi's success are disputed. He claims an entire division went over to his side and that with even minimal American money the venture would've proceeded. Eventually, the KDP, when Saddam sent crack troops into the North to oust the INC, switched sides. Chelabi's group fled with the approach of Saddam's attack.
In 1999, again back in the United States, Chelabi was accused of misappropriating INC money. Chelabi claims that the same people who let his venture die in 1996, the State Department and the CIA, led the accusations for reasons of their own. Regarding the money's "mysterious" origins and disappearance, Chelabi said: "Damn right! It was covert money!" Meanwhile, Chelabi's plan for a limited landing of troops, which would lead to Saddam's overthrow, was ridiculed in the prestigious Foreign Affairs.
The ascension of a new administration changed Chelabi's fortunes, as did the September 11th bombings. The very people who liked Chelabi the most, such as Daniel Pearl and Dick Cheney, now headed the government. In the period prior to the Iraq invasion Chelabi's group provided key intelligence to the coalition some of which, such as the WOMD information, clearly did not reach international standards. Chelabi blames the WOMD information not on his group but of course, on the hostile CIA. Now that the information about the Oil for Food program has become public, Chelabi's reputation may improve somewhat.
With the United States victory, Chelabi's star rose even more. He triumphantly announced his return to Iraq. Few ordinary Iraqis, however, put much faith in Chelabi, and he was voted the "least popular" member of the IGC. Many saw Chelabi as nothing more than a rich foreigner or, more ominously, a puppet of the Americans and Israel. The fact that Chelabi had courted the American Jewish lobby to garner support did not help here. Also, most Iraqis knew him from the failed Petra Bank which, undoubtedly, Saddam had spun in a particular way. Still, despite his allegedly stick fingers, the IGC put him in charge of the finance committee.
More recently, however, some of Chelabi's moves annoyed the Americans. For example, he visited Iran and spoke to Khomeini and Khatami, moves, which make perfect sense but led some to say he betrayed vital American military operations. The State Department recently announced its plans, suggested by UN administrator Lakhdar Brahimi, to keep everyone in the current IGC out of the future government. This would not only exclude Chelabi, but the majority of the council, the exiles. Still, one could hardly count out Ahmad Chelabi.
B. Friends and Enemies Within Iraq
Chelabi has a vast number of friends and an even longer list of enemies. One can start with General Barzini. Barzini criticized Chelabi's adventure in Northern Iraq as "unrealistic." Chelabi did not counter measure for measure, preferring to call the KDP "uninvolved," but the KDP actively aided the Iraqis in getting rid of the INC.
One can add to this Talebani and the PUK. When Chelabi became more and more the choice of American commentators, the PUK, KDP, and INA aligned to try to offer an alternative. They tried to deride his visions as unrealistic. Obviously, their experiences in Northern Iraq led them to know Chelabi well, perhaps too well.
To this, one can add Iyad Alawi, leader of the Iraqi National Accord. Alawi once ranked high in the Saddam government, and he leads a group of exiled Baathists and generals. For a long time, the CIA backed his efforts to overthrow Saddam through a military coup. Unlike Chelabi, he would view de-Baathification with a lot more negative view than would Chelabi.
One can hardly consider Chelabi, also, as exactly a friend of the religious elements in Iraq. Despite his Shia background, Chelabi comes from the old, aristocratic classes. Like those classes, and the democratic elements he courts, Chelabi believes in a secular Iraq. This makes him the enemy of the many prominent clerics such as Sistani, Hamad Al-Jaafar, and Al-Hakim, the leader of SCIRI.
Further, to the average Iraqi, Chelabi doesn't represent much to which they can identify. As one official stated, "He won't be able to walk in the Iraqi street," Chelabi, in contrast, says the average Iraqi may not know him, or only know Saddam's distorted version, but they agree with him in wanting democracy, freedom, and free enterprise.
For friends, one must largely stick to the other INC officials, themselves exiles like Chelabi. Also, Chelabi exudes a certain "charm factor," which might bring him more supporters.
C. Friends and Enemies Outside of Iraq
Perhaps most significantly, Chelabi enjoys more friends outside of Iraq than inside.
In particular, individuals of a certain Republican right-wing mindset believe heavily in Chelabi. These include the Reagan-favorite Heritage Foundation. This includes ideologue Daniel Pear, Michael Rubin, Paul Wolfowitz, and Donald Rumsfield. The current US administration invested heavily in his vision of a democratic, businesslike, pro-American Iraq. The current problems in Iraq are eroding away some of this support.
Outside of the US, he also enjoys a few friends. The Jordanian Crown Prince, brother of the King of Jordan, remains a believer in Chelabi. Some suggest that, given the correct direction of the wind, King Abdullah may pardon Chelabi.
Recently, Chelabi visited Iran, a move questioned by many Americans and Iraqis. It makes sense, though, that as his American support started to lose its ardor, Chelabi would like for other sources of support. His relationship with Iran, however, remains a question-mark, particularly given that Iran funds far more dangerous groups, such as SCIRI and the Mahdi Militia. It may be attempting to play every angle, like Chelabi.
Within the United States, Chelabi has ample enemies. Particularly, the State Department and perhaps the CIA remain skeptical, as does the entire Democratic party, in general. As Chelabi himself states, State is more interested in peace than anything else, not exactly tonic to a man committed to, first, overthrowing Saddam and then radicalizing the Iraqi economy. His condemnation of the CIA is more problematic. While State can, and has, often followed a different policy than the government; the CIA is more of a tool, even if it's an uncontrollable one.
The Issue of Iraqi Oil
Chelabi favors de-nationalization. As a businessman, he wants the oil industry sold off. He has not commented negatively on a plan circulating among Americans to divide the industry into three companies, north, south, and Kirkuk, with oil services, such as Haliburton provides, to be run by independent companies. Naturally, American conservatives and oilmen such as Cheney and Bush like this approach not only for dishonest reasons but also because it fits in with their general conservative, pro-business attitude.
On the other hand, Chelabi is no fool. He clearly recognizes that this move would make him extremely unpopular unless done in the most clever way. Thus, if done, itíd be done in such a way that seems very nationalistic. While he might argue that his method finally IS in the best interests of the nation, heíll undoubtedly realize that may not seem that way. Here, again, his recent visits to Iran may be important. Not only will that distance him from Israel and the American right, but may suggest future oil company cooperation with Iraq. If anything, it suggests his short-run position is probably more flexible than his prior statements when he was trying to enlist support among the Americans.
B. The Leadership Issue
Chelabiís position on leadership is clearer than that on probably anything else. He has endeavored to clear his name and take the role as the "best candidate." At one time, he enjoyed the support of the Americans. Now, this is not so certain. As a politician, Chelabi has shown almost a mathematicianís skill at avoiding errors of large magnitude. Thus, for example, he did not condemn the KDP though it mustíve been a terrible temptation to do so. In fact, he doesnít condemn anyone who could potentially be of use later.
Chelabiís path to the "top" is relatively clear. It lies through empowerment of the IGC. Once it has the influence and legitimacy of a governing body, then its decisions will become national decisions. Then, heíll effectively, BE the leader, like Ahmad Kharzai in Afghanistan, elections or not. After that, elections will largely be a foregone conclusion. It was Chelabi, after all, who, acted for the IGC, went to Falluja. Heís also gone to great lengths to defend Paul Bremer. This is because, unlike the others, his own legitimacy largely stems from the IGC, not his INC which is essentially of no use any more. Thus, examine his comments and explanation of the Iraqi resistance. He does not blame the Iraqis, but essentially their past leaders. Also his comments show that he thinks that the US would do better to hide the true facts of occupation, preferable behind the IGC: 2004.
"The Irqai people do not understand occupation. The Iraqi people do not want to be occupied, and the mistake initially was in not creating a provisions government that would be an ally of the US in the war against the terrorist, fascist Baathist regime of Saddam Hussein."
His defense of the IGC is obvious in his most recent statements on the legitimacy of Iraqi Governing Council and upon the rumor that the US will exclude IGC members:
"The governing Council consists of leaders of the Iraqi people. Nobody can exclude them from the government of Iraq."
Several statements can show the true Chelabi. For example, on the one hand, he is for taking a "firm stand" on terrorism. Yet, notice that his statement has the effect of making the IGC, not the Americans, the more powerful:
"The issue of terrorist must be dealt with firmly. We must work very hard to avoid loss [to terrorists] of lifeÖ.But the fighters, nobody can bind the fighters. They are Baathists of high rank, and there are members of the Zarqawi group and Al-Qaeda. There is no negotiation with them.
Chelabi disdains the cult of personality of Saddam. Yet his comments also suggests that he thinks his own unpopular image is not so surprising or any particular hindrance to his leadership:
"The Iraqi people never had a personality that galvanized them, and around which they gathered throughout the eight decades of history," he says.
A true measure of Chelabiís skill and ambitions is in response to the surprising American decision to bring back certain Baaíth members into the government and army. Chelabiís strongest credential comes from his anti-Baath credentials. In response to Brahimiís sudden prominence and apparent goals to deny IGC members participation in the government, Chelabi commented by linking him with Baaíthists:
"Brahimi is an Algerian with an Arab Nationalist Agenda. He is already a controversial figure.."
Yet, Chelabi had the skill not to imply that Bremer, his sometime ally, had turned against him. Note how the following statement not only reinforces Bremer but asserts, again, some of the legitimacy of the IGC:
"But I want to clarify that Bremer has not changed the de-Baathification policyÖ.We (merely) came to an agreement to speed up the appeals process."
Reading Chelabiís speeches, one often gets the incorrect impression that the Americans run to him for approval, not the reverse. This idea obviously advances hi agenda.
Thus, one can conclude that ideally Chelabi would want to lead the council. Further, heíd want the council to become either the government or progenitor of the government. If he himself did not become president, he would want a place-keeper. Someone who is a non-entity but still asserts the will of the Council.
Iraqis, Salaam Aleikum and Welcome Iraqis:
I call you Iraqis because, my friends, you are Iraqis. That is the one thing that unites us and, indeed, the one thing that Saddam could never take away from us.
Yes, to remember the Saddam era, indeed, is to remember loss. All of here lost something from those dark days of the Baath. Some lost their brothers, like Abdul Hakim, others lost trust in their countrymen, like Mr. Barzani. Me, I lost my good name to Saddamís slanderers, but more importantly I lost many friends who died in Irbil fighting for our freedom. Yes all of lost something and each of us, in his own way, tried to fight back. The true tragedy is that Saddam often used us to fight one another.
My fellow Iraqis, now is the time to stop fighting. It is time for us to work together to build an Iraq that has never been, one that is democratic, fair, and tolerant. The kind of Iraq in which your children can be proud to call themselves citizens, instead of ashamed. The kind of Iraq in which whether youíre Shia, Sunni, or Christian, Turkomen or Asssyrian, you know that your rights as an Iraqi will never be violated and your children will not have to worry that youíll disappear some night into the hands of the secret police tend up plowed under a field.
My fellow Iraqis, the time to start is now, and the place is here. This Council can show, not only Iraqis, but the free world, that Iraqis can govern their own country. We can show that we donít work for the government of Iraq; we ARE the government of Iraqi.
Thatís why this Council needs strong leadership. We need someone with experience and intelligence.We need someone who will not shy away from the tough issues or look to his own interests first or to those of his clan or faction. We need someone who is willing to say "yes" to the Americans, but not afraid to say no. However, most important of all, we need, as president, someone who will remind of what we are all: Iraqis!
Shukran and Thank you!
Ahmed al-Barak is a human rights activist. A Shia, he is a graduate of the Law Faculty, Babel University and a graduate of the College Management and Economy, Baghdad University. He is also one of tribal leaders of Al Bu Sultan tribe. His sister Affra al-Barak has recently been released from an Iraqi prison, where she has spent the past seven years. She and the other al-Barak sister, Sawsan, are now working towards improving the lot of Iraqi women in the post-Saddam era. Ahmed al- Barak is the general coordinator for the Human Rights Association of Babel and the general coordinator for the Bar Association in Babel.
The British Government has begun discussions with the United States about reinstating the death penalty in Iraq to curb growing lawlessness. Ahmed al-Barak, a human rights lawyer who is a member of the council, said: "We are suffering from serious crimes now and the penalty must be execution. For hurting the coalition, hurting the Iraqi people, hurting Iraq and its infrastructure, there must be capital punishment." Mr al-Barak supports the death penalty for first-degree murder, rape, attacks on coalition forces, acts of sabotage against oil and water pipelines and for those who collude in such crimes.
As Shia, al-Barak faces animosity from the Sunnis, the Turkmen, and the Christians, and has some support from his fellow Shias. However, as a human rights activist, he is interested in equal rights for all the different identities in Iraq. He is also particularly friendly with Jalal Talabani, because of the relationship between al-Barak's sisters and Talabani's neice, the co-founder of the Iraqi Women's High Council.
Information about the Human Rights Association and the Bar Association is unavailable.
Issue #1: The Question of Assigning a Leader to the Iraqi Governing Council:
I believe that the leader chosen must represent all Iraqi people, must keep in mind the differences in their identities, and must be willing to give them all their rights. The Iraqi people have suffered enough at the hands of unfair leaders. They deserve to have their voices heard and their dues given.
To be a leader of the Iraqi Governing Council is to be a leader in Iraq, a country that has been ripped apart by the conflicting wishes of men. As such, the leader must be able to join them together, to mend this broken country, to create one Iraq and one people of Iraq. It will take courage, determination, and faith. It will take a leader who deeply believes in the existence of Iraq and what it means to its people.
Issue #2: The Question of Assigning Oil Revenues:
Oil production after Saddam's regime has been gradually increasing. Damage to wells, gathering facilities, refineries, and mainline transport facilities slowed the production in the beginning. A substantial share of Iraq's current oil production is needed to meet domestic requirements, leaving relatively little for export in the immediate future. The Iraqi people need the oil to provide occupations, financial support, and a future. As they export it, they receive more money with which they are able to rebuild the country. Without it, Iraq is doomed.
The oil must remain in the control of the people. Private, local businesses, or even governmental companies, can benefit more from the oil revenues than outside forces need. More importantly, they have a right to it, something any other country or institution will never have.
Gathered by: Dr. Daniel R. Fruit
A. Mohmmad Baqr Al-Hakim
Bombing could lead to anarchy, reports Anton La Guardia
With his black turban and greying beard, Muhammad Baqr al-Hakim was often regarded as Iraq's version of Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini - a charismatic, exiled cleric who preached Islamic revolution.
But since his momentous return to Iraq from Teheran last May, the Shi'ite cleric became a central element of America's strategy to remake Iraq after Saddam Hussein.
Ayatollah Hakim's followers make up the best-organized faction in the turbulent world of Iraqi Shi'ism, which has already seen the murder of one prominent cleric and the attempted assassination of a revered grand ayatollah.
Despite his alliance with Iran - or perhaps because of it - Ayatollah Hakim's support for the coalition was essential, by encouraging patience among the Shi'a and winning the acquiescence of Teheran.
Before the war Ayatollah Hakim's faction took part in talks between Iraqi opposition groups and senior US officials.
After the conflict, he demanded that coalition soldiers leave Iraq quickly, but pragmatically agreed to co-operate with the allies. His brother, Abdel-Aziz, is a member of the US-appointed Iraqi governing council.
Just minutes before the explosion that killed him and scores of other people at the gates of the Imam Ali mosque yesterday, Ayatollah Hakim delivered a sermon at Friday prayers denouncing attacks against coalition forces.
Since the fall of Saddam in April, hit-and-run attacks against US forces have been largely concentrated within the so-called "Sunni Triangle". These were blamed on Saddam loyalists and foreign Islamic extremists.
Now the murder of Ayatollah Hakim risks sparking off what the coalition has long dreaded: anarchy among Iraq's Shi'a majority. If such a political storm does develop, American and British forces could easily become the lightning rods attractinShi'ite fury.
Ayatollah Hakim's followers - and even strongly pro-American leaders such as Ahmad Chalabi - were quick to blame the US for failing to provide enough security around Najaf.
Ayatollah Hakim was not the most senior religious authority in Najaf. But as the son of the late grand Ayatollah Muhsin al-Hakim he was a scion of an important Iraqi Shi'a dynasty, and he was a central political force.
Imprisoned and tortured by Saddam's henchmen in the 1970s, Ayatollah Hakim fled to Iran in 1980, shortly before Saddam launched the ill-fated invasion of his neighbour. Eighteen of his close relatives were subsequently executed by the Baghdad regime.
He set up the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (Sciri) and, with Iran's assistance, a military wing known as the Badr Brigade.
Sciri yesterday blamed the attack on Saddam loyalists seeking to undermine the coalition by making Iraq ungovernable.
It is possible, however, that Ayatollah Hakim fell victim to violent rivalry among Shi'a factions.
US and British intelligence agencies will be looking for any evidence of involvement by outsiders, such as Syria and hardline Iranian factions, who may have an interest in ensuring that the allies fail. But even the most cynical of neighbouring regimes may think twice about the political risk of being discovered organising carnage at one of the holiest Shi'a shrines.
BlackJade writes: "The title "Charismatic cleric was central to US strategy" hits the nail right on the head. As the Bush administration scrambles to pick up the pieces and tries to salvage the US-SCIRI pact for governing the Shi'ite sectors of US-occupied Iraq, it will be harder to explain the "image of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in Baghdad" as Iran's "interference." Just to recap the US pact with Hakim & Iran, which also involved Kuwait, a virtual US protectorate: U.S. Is Wooing a Shiite Exile to Rattle Iraq
The ayatollah is an Iraqi Shiite who has been living in Tehran for more than two decades. He is backed by the Iranian government, the one that President Bush has derided as part of an "axis of evil." His father once gave sanctuary to Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the fiery anti-American cleric who later rose to power in Iran's 1979 revolution. Still, the United States and the Shiite cleric are in the process of forging a political alliance of convenience. It is an arrangement that is strongly supported by Kuwait, Washington's staunchest Arab ally in its campaign to dislodge President Saddam Hussein......"
The history of Hakim, his relatives and the SCIRI is part of the historic feud between the secular Saddam regime and the Khomeini-led Shi'ite theocracy of Iran. Leading Shiite Cleric Returns From Exile:Iran Ally Focuses on Need for Self-Rule "Since fleeing the holy city of Najaf for Iran 23 years ago, Hakim has been closely aligned with and supported by Iran's Islamic government and the clerics who lead it, including the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, whom Hakim thanked for his support over the years.
Hakim established his own large militia in Iran, known as the Badr Brigade, composed not only of infantry but heavy artillery and tanks. Members of the brigade have been pouring into Iraq, though they have not come as an organized army.....Moreover, Hakim took the side of Iran during the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, which taints him in the view of some more secular Shiites."
In fact, SCIRI's leader Ayatollah Muhammad Baqr al-Hakim "was the late Ayatollah Khomeini's choice to head an Islamic Republic of Iraq."
B. Massoud Barzani
Massoud Barzani was born the same day that the KDP was founded: on August 16, 1946.
In his words "I was born in the shadow of Kurdish flag in Mahabad and I am ready to serve and die for the same flag".
Massoud Barzani was born in Mahabad when his father, the late General Mustafa Barzani, was Chief of the military of the Kurdish Republic of Mahabad declared in Iranian Kurdistan. When the Republic fell, Mustafa Barzani went to USSR with five hundred of his devoted followers. Massoud Barzani with the rest of the family and thousands of Barzani clan members returned to Iraq. They were promptly deported to the southern parts of the country.
An avid pupil, Massoud Barzani began his primary education in Arabic. Prior to the overthrow of Iraqi monarch in 1958, he and his family were moved to Baghdad. The new Republic of General Abdulkerim Qasim welcomed Mustafa Barzani and his followers back to Iraq. Massoud Barzani was twelve years old when he was finally reunited with his father.
Over time, the family moved back to their home village of Barzan. They found their homes in ruins. Not long after, the Iraqi government resumed its repression against the Kurdish people. Left with no other alternatives, Mustafa Barzani and the KDP launched their armed struggle in 1961 to defend the rights of the Kurds.
At the age of sixteen, Massoud Barzani sacrificed his education and joined the Peshmerga forces. The young Barzani was deeply influenced by valour, leadership skills and compassion of his late father. Massoud Barzaniís experiences in the rugged mountains of Kurdistan were to provide him with the mettle and leadership skills that were to later propel him to the helm of the Kurdish movement.
It was not long before the KDP leadership began to notice the younger Barzaniís qualities. It came as no surprise when he, together with his late, elder brother Idris took part in the delegation, which signed the now defunct autonomy deal with Baghdad in March 1970.
When the Iraqi government reneged on its pledges once again, the Kurdish armed struggle resumed. Once again Massoud Barzani took part at the side of his father till the end of the movement in 1975.
When KDP re-organised itself in 1976, Mustafa Barzani was in USA for medical treatment and his son Massoud accompanied his father. Towards the end of 1978, he survived an assassination attempt in Vienna while returning to Kurdistan. He assumed a leading position in the KDP with his brother Idris and other key figures. After the death of Mustafa Barzani in March 1979, Massoud was elected as the new president of the KDP in the 9th Party Congress. Since then he has been re-elected as the Partyís President in three other general congresses.
Although Barzani did not have the opportunity to complete his education, his keen interest in reading, writing and studying political and military strategy has helped him abreast of international developments. His love for reading and football is well known.
He is married and has eight children. He speaks Kurdish, Arabic, Persian and English.
His book titled "Barzani and the Kurdish Liberation Movement" was published in Arabic and in three volumes.
In his words "It is a great honour to serve my people and the KDP. I hope to continue the policy and the works of its founder, Mustafa Barzani for peace, liberty and democracy."
Masud Barzani continued his father's work for the creation of an independent Kurdish state in the Kurdish dominated areas of principally their homeland, Iraq. At the time of writing this article, he is the real leader of a large Kurdish area with Irbil as the main city, but it has not yet been defined as a state.
He is in an alliance with Saddam Hussein's regime in Baghdad, yet he does have agreements with his main Kurdish enemy, Jalal Talabani of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK).
C. Youndanem and the Assyrian Christians
AM - Wednesday, 27 August , 2003 08:22:00
Reporter: Geoff Thompson
HAMISH ROBERTSON: The US-led Coalition in Iraq has passed a grim milestone this morning. More American troops have now died in the four months since the end of major combat than were killed during the six weeks of the war. The death of a US soldier yesterday by a home made bomb brings to 62 the number of US troops killed in hostile actions since May the 1st.
Although Washington has justified the war in Iraq as part of its global war on terror, members of Iraq's interim civilian administration, the Iraqi Governing Council, are now arguing that it's the presence of US forces in the country which is turning Iraq into a magnet for foreign terrorists.
In a statement to Iraq Press, the Democratic League for Iraqi Christians said the governing council is broadly representative and a first step towards restoring democracy and government in Iraq. But it said the selection of the Christian representative in the 25-member council does not reflect the situation on the ground as far as Iraqi Christians are concerned. The council includes 13 Shiite Muslims, 5 Sunni Muslims, 5 Kurds, 1 Christian and 1 Turkmen.
The League said in the statement that the Christian representative belongs to "a particular ethnic group" whose members are a minority when compared with other factions. The Christian representative, Younadem Kana, is from the Assyrian Democratic Movement. An engineer who served as an official for transport in the first Kurdish regional assembly, Kana belongs to the Assyrian Nationality whose members still follow the old Nestorian Church.
The largest Christian group in the country are the Chaldeans, who split from the old church in the sixteenth century and embraced the authority of the Pope in Rome. Christian clergy say at least 4 per cent of Iraq's 24 million people are thought to be Christian. After decades of discrimination, the Christians want to have a say in the creation of the new Iraqi government and a role in running the country. Tens of thousands of Christians fled Iraq during the 35-year-long reign of Saddam Hussein's Baath party.
The Baathist Party came to power in Iraq through a military coup on July 17,1968, under the leadership of General Ahmad Hassan Al-Bakr and his nephew, Saddam Hussein , both men of the town of Tikrit. This town had a long and distinguished history as an Assyrian Christian center. This heritage no longer remains: indeed it ended during the sixteenth century when the last Christians were induced to convert to Islam, although the history of conversion goes back to the 12th century. Because the Christian history of Tikrit is well known, and the origins of its inhabitants are from Assyrian areas, many Assyrians consider the Tikritis related in customs. But the unspoken hopes for sympathy toward Assyrians, during the initial period of relative ethnic goodwill expressed by the Baathist regime came as prelude to darker days.
One of the first conciliatory moves toward Assyrians that the Baathists made was to persuade the Patriarch to return for a visit to a country from which he had been banned and stripped of citizenship in 1933. While well received, the Patriarch refused the offer to make his See in Baghdad once more and returned to the United States. In need of a credible Assyrian leader through whom Baghdad could deal with the Assyrians, now in full collusion with the Kurdish Democratic Party in rebellion against Baghdad, the following year, in 1972, it turned to a hero of 1933, Malik Yacu d-Malik Ismael who was living in Canada. This leader too refused to incite the Assyrians against the Kurds. The Baathists acknowledged cultural rights for what they labeled "Syriac-speaking" people in which they included "Assyrians, Syrians and Chaldeans." The Baathists refused to extend the term proposed by Assyrians worldwide, and thus have steadfastly refused to recognize Assyrians as the third ethnic minority in Iraq. Instead they referred to Malik Yaqu as head of a religious sect, which he never was. He died under unexplained circumstances in Iraq. From this period forward, the Baathists have begun a heavily enforced policy of Arabization against the Assyrians. The cultural rights too turned out to be mere paper propaganda after the end of the Kurdish rebellion in 1975.