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By Yasser Alaskary
May 11, 2003

  • Major changes are made to the US team in Iraq after it becomes apparent that they were prepared for what did not happen and unprepared for what did. This included Barbara Bodine who, seemingly insensitive to the will of Iraqis, reinstated several top Ba'athists in Baghdad. It is believed the shake-up, which includes the appointment of Paul Bremer, is aimed at settling the dispute between the Pentagon and the State Department.

  • The Leadership Council, formed in Arbil earlier this year by the then Iraqi opposition groups, is to be expanded to represent more Iraqis. However, the council still under-represents some major sectors of Iraqi society, most notably Iraqis from inside Iraq, such as those who rapidly organised themselves around local mosques to provide services and protection for locals. An exiled Iraqi Shi'i cleric returns to Iraq calling for democracy.

  • After lifting its own sanctions, the US presents a draft resolution to completely remove UN sanctions and phase-out the oil-for-food programme. The draft resolution is expected to undergo revision, as compromises and agreements are made, before being passed by the Security Council.

  • In a bid to inject much needed justice, Iraqi courts were opened in Baghdad to begin trials of the Saddam Regime for crimes against the people of Iraq. However, the horrors of Iraq's secret tales continue to be uncovered as more mass graves are found in ever larger numbers.

  • In promising signs for Iraq's stability and future, the first commercial flight arrived in Baghdad from Amman and oil exports should start next month. Plans are being discussed to deal with Iraq's massive debt, which was incurred by Saddam Hussein and is probably the biggest stumbling block for Iraq's prosperity.
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