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By Yasser Alaskary
October 13, 2003

  • There has been a significant change in policy in Washington regarding Iraq:
    • Bush seems to have given up once more on the UN as he fails to mention the UN in his weekly radio speech and gives Powell and the UK a final chance to try and save the resolution on Iraq. Instead, the US is looking to bypass the UN by asking countries directly for troops, as has been the case with Turkey. Currently the Turks are at odds as to where they will be based in Iraq, wanting to cover the entire north, whereas the US is insisting Turkey take the Sunni-Arab north-west, including patrolling the porous Syrian border, thereby minimising any friction with the Kurds, who are predominantly in the north-east.
    • In what appears to be the final settlement of the ongoing wrangling between the Pentagon and State Department, which has significantly delayed progress in Iraq, the White House takes a direct role in running Iraqi affairs by the appointment of Condoleezza Rice to lead the newly formed Iraq Stabalisation Group.

Bush feels he can get enough support to go it alone without the UN and maintain US commitments in Iraq, as the US administration launches a PR campaign to win public opinion on Iraq.

  • A suicide bomb at the Baghdad Hotel, which houses several Governing Council members, and an earlier assassination attempt at a Muslim cleric in the Ministry of Religious Affairs demonstrates that now Iraqis are becoming the main targets. The methods used make it more likely that these are Wahabi fundamentalists from outside Iraq, believing these to be acts of martydom, and not Saddam loyalists who are secular. These groups are clearly aiming to impede Iraq's progress and transition towards democracy.

  • On a positive note, progress has been made as:
    • Iraq's Communications Ministry awards three wireless licenses to Arab consortia, all of which include Iraqi firms. This demonstrates the degree of autonomy the Iraqi Interim Authority has.
    • A key House of Representatives panel is set to reject efforts to make part of the US $87 billion into a loan, which Iraq would have had to pay back in the future.
    • Iraqi police are set to begin to patrol Tikrit, giving Iraqis greater responsibility for security.
    • A project has begun to restore the wetlands in southern Iraq, which were drained by Saddam in one of the greatest humanitarian and ecological disasters in recent history.

 

© 2007 Iraqi Prospect Organisation
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