Iraq 'Sovereignty'

More Bad News for Bush: Iraqi Support for US Puppet Regime Plummets
Iraq 'Sovereignty'

Reuters: "Support among Iraqis for the U.S.-appointed government in Baghdad has plunged since it was installed this summer, a U.S. survey released on Friday said. The survey brought unwelcome news for the Bush administration as it fights to build stability before elections in January. It also indicated that Iraqis are most strongly influenced by their religious, rather than secular, leaders. The survey, carried out at the end of September, showed popular support for interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi dropped more than 20 percentage points since July. Washington formally handed sovereignty to Iraq at the end of June. Just over 45 percent of those surveyed said Allawi had been effective since taking office in June, down from over 66 percent in July, and support for his government plummeted from 62 percent to 43 percent over the same period. The survey was carried out by the International Republican Institute, a government-funded body that promotes democracy around the world...."

Iraq's Top Shiite Leader Fears Elections will be Delayed or Rigged
Iraq 'Sovereignty'

NYT: "Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Husseini al-Sistani, the nation's most powerful Shiite leader, is growing increasingly concerned that nationwide elections could be delayed...and has even threatened to withdraw his support for the elections unless changes are made to increase the representation of Shiites. Another source close to the electoral negotiations said Ayatollah Sistani had asked Mr. Brahimi to return to Iraq to try to address his concerns. According to people with knowledge of the talks, Ayatollah Sistani is concerned that the nascent democratic process here is falling under the control of a handful of the largest political parties, which cooperated with the American occupation and are comprised largely of exiles. In particular, these sources say, Ayatollah Sistani is worried about discussions now under way among those parties to form a single ticket for the elections, thus limiting the choices of voters and smothering smaller political parties. "

Bush Administration Ignores UN Warnings, Refuses to Call Off Iraqi Elections
Iraq 'Sovereignty'

Despite repeated warnings by the UN that elections held in the midst of chaos and violence would be meaningless, representing only a tiny and well-guarded fraction of the populace (i.e., overrepresenting everyone in the Green Zone), Bush is insisting that Iraqi elections go forward as scheduled. Why? 1. So he can claim he has "brought Democracy" to Iraq as a campaign sales pitch and 2. So he can insure that the US can control the election results by keeping the general public too intimidated to go to the polls. In any case, the action is taken with Bush's best interests in mind - not those of the Iraqi people.

Bush's Puppet Government in Iraq Further Alienates EU Allies by Reinstating Death Sentence
Iraq 'Sovereignty'

Al Jazeera: "Iraq has reinstated the death penalty for murderers and those threatening national security [my, my, that's certainly open to definition, isn't it?!]. 'It is here ready and signed, and on my desk,' Gurgis Sada said on Sunday. 'Yesterday we announced an amnesty. Today the death penalty. Choose one of them.' The US-led occupation authority had abolished the death penalty, which was in place during [Saddam's regime].' The European Union in Brussels has expressed opposition to the reinstatement of capital punishment. 'Close US ally Britain said it opposed the death penalty on principle. 'If the Iraqi government has reintroduced the death penalty we will lobby them to abolish it as we would do with other states that have the death penalty.' "Once again, Bush & pals prove they are driving allies ever further away.

13 Dead in ONE DAY Near Baghdad - So Much for 'Mission Accomplished'
Iraq 'Sovereignty'

Reuters reports "Iraq's police and National Guard killed 13 suspected militants in heavy clashes near Baghdad on Sunday in one of the fiercest battles the fledgling security forces have faced since the handover of sovereignty. The police and National Guard were attacked by rebel mortar fire and rocket-propelled grenades as they provided security to U.S. forces conducting raids near the rebellious town of Buhriz, 55 km (35 miles) north of Baghdad, the U.S. military said. During the fighting, which lasted around an hour, U.S. warplanes patrolled the skies and U.S. artillery guns opened fire to suppress the insurgents' mortar positions, Major Neal O'Brien of the U.S. 1st Infantry Division said. It was one of the first major battles between Iraq's security forces and insurgents since the handover of sovereignty on June 28 to an Iraqi government led by Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, and by far the largest death toll."

Operation Saddam II: Witnesses Say Allawi Executed 6 Prisoners in Cold Blood
Iraq 'Sovereignty'

Sydney Morning Herald reports, "Iyad Allawi, the new Prime Minister of Iraq, pulled a pistol and executed as many as six suspected insurgents at a Baghdad police station, just days before Washington handed control of the country to his interim government, according to two people who allege they witnessed the killings. They say the prisoners - handcuffed and blindfolded - were lined up against a wall in a courtyard adjacent to the maximum-security cell block in which they were held at the Al-Amariyah security centre, in the city's south-western suburbs. They say Dr Allawi told onlookers the victims had each killed as many as 50 Iraqis and they 'deserved worse than death'. The Prime Minister's office has denied the entirety of the witness accounts in a written statement... But the informants told the Herald that Dr Allawi shot each young man in the head as about a dozen Iraqi policemen and four Americans from the Prime Minister's personal security team watched in stunned silence. "

BushAllawi Wants 'Freedom' for Iraqis who Killed Americans
Iraq 'Sovereignty'

AP reports, "Iraq's [Bush-picked] prime minister, less than a week after taking power, may offer amnesty to insurgents and could extend it to those who killed American troops in an apparent bid to lure Saddam Hussein loyalists from their campaign of violence. A spokesman for Iyad Allawi went as far as to suggest attacks on U.S. troops over the past year were legitimate acts of resistance - a sign of the new government's desire to distance itself from the 14-month U.S.-led occupation of Iraq. 'If he (a guerrilla) was in opposition against the Americans, that will be justified because it was an occupation force,' the spokesman, Georges Sada, said. 'We will give them freedom'... 'There is still heavy discussion about this,' said Sada. He said the U.S. Embassy has encouraged Allawi to try creative solutions to end the insurgency as long as they don't infringe on human rights." 864 Americans died - and 16,000 were wounded - and Bush wants AMNESTY for their attackers? Impeach Bush Now!

Beheading Victim's Father Condemns the 'Transfer of Power' as a Sham
Iraq 'Sovereignty'

Sacbee.com: "The father of an American beheaded in Iraq said Tuesday the handover of sovereignty there was a sham and accused President Bush of causing immense pain to thousands of people by going to war. Michael Berg, whose 26-year-old son, Nicholas, was decapitated by militants, said at a news conference organized by the Stop the War Coalition that the transfer was 'nothing more than another nut-and-shell game.' 'We know that the Iraqi people have not had an election yet, so we do not have a democracy over there, we just have a dictatorship of Bush and (Prime Minister Tony) Blair,' he said. 'What kind of stability is there in Iraq when we have to sneak the transfer of power in two days ahead of time for who knows why?' 'People like George Bush and (Defense Secretary) Donald Rumsfeld, they don't see the pain that people have to bear, they don't know what it feels like to have your guts ripped out, and there are so many people,' he said."

Bush's Gains from Phony 'Transfer of Power' Show Will be Over Before the Next Blood Spilled Dries
Iraq 'Sovereignty'

Bloomberg:"[Bush] may gain only a fleeting benefit from yesterday's handover of power to a transitional government in Iraq, unless it leads to a reduction in bloodshed among coalition troops." In which case, the benefit is already over: on June 29, three US soldiers died in a bomb attack in Baghdad. Says Stephen A. Cook, a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, ``People will wake up tomorrow morning, and foreigners are still going to be kidnapped, and people are still going to be beheaded, and there are still going to be car bombs,'' Cook said. ``What America needs to see is their kids not getting shot at, and their kids coming home.'' A NYT poll, obviously conducted so that it would be done and released (June 28) BEFORE the glow could fade, shows Bush gaining on Kerry, tho' not overtaking him, and with his approval rating at an all-time low. We bet this slight gain is already gone.

'New' Iraq Government a Sham Patterned Closely After Despotic British Scheme of 1920s
Iraq 'Sovereignty'

Haifa Zangana writes: "In Iraq we don't just read history at school - we carry it within ourselves. It's no wonder, then, that we view what is happening in Iraq now of "liberation-mandate-nominal sovereignty" as a replay of what took place in the 1920s and afterwards. On April 28 1920, Britain was awarded a mandate over Iraq by the League of Nations to legitimise its occupation of the country. A decision was taken to replace the occupation with a provisional Iraqi government, assisted by British advisers under the authority of the high commissioner of Iraq. Any protest against the British-imposed monarchy was regarded as the work of "extremists". The British retained their power, through military bases, advisers and control of oil. [It was an] oppressive regime...Elections were managed, corruption was widespread, bombing and military force was used against popular uprisings, chemical weapons were used against the Kurds."

Last Minute Coalition Edicts Force Americanization of Iraq and Guarantees that US Corporations are Above Law
Iraq 'Sovereignty'

No wonder Bush & his Iraq cartel did a rush job on the transfer of power! They wanted to make sure their real agenda would be signed, sealed, and delivered before anyone knew what was happening. Now News24.com reveals: "The US-led coalition has put in place major legal revisions that would force Iraqis to get [American-style] drivers' licences, obey [Americanized] traffic laws, ban certain people from holding office, and place American contractors above the law." Observers think the Americans began shoving the edicts through fast and furious once they knew the occupation would be cut short. International law experts say that the laws and edicts set in place by the Bush administration are illegal - any Iraqis ignoring them, in fact, are actually acting within their rights under international laws.

Bush Has Created a Crisis That Will Require Escalating US Involvement in Iraq
Iraq 'Sovereignty'

By appointing a puppet government in Iraq and creating a constitution in which the Iraqi people and most coalition members had no input, the Bush administration has ignited Iraqi rage and set the stage for escalating, not diminishing, violence as the "sovereignty" date approaches. Now CNN reports that "U.S. military planners are preparing to send possibly as many as 15,000 additional ground troops to Iraq if the level of violence increases. The frequency and intensity of attacks against coalition forces, Iraqi officials and civilians have increased in recent weeks as the June 30 date for the transfer of sovereignty to Iraq nears. In his confirmation hearing before the Senate Thursday, Gen. George Casey -- who will soon take over as the commander of coalition forces -- said U.S. Central Command is working on contingency planning for increased violence." So it's just "Same office, different name on the door."

Bush Plans to Keep US Troops will Stay in Iraq for YEARS by Declaring Endless War
Iraq 'Sovereignty'

Two weeks ago, Bush got a small bump-up in the polls when he convinced many Americans that he was sincere about his handover of power to the Iraqis, and that there was a chance that our troops would be coming home soon (he dangled this carrot by hinting that if the new Iraqi government wanted us to leave, we would). Now the truth comes out: Not only are our troops NOT coming home for YEARS, but the Bush administration refuses to allow the war to end. Infact, "During questioning by the House Armed Services Committee, Wolfowitz said the United States and the new Iraqi government might agree to impose martial law in selected areas of the country. "This is a war," he said." And obviously, Bush plans to keep it that way.

Bush's Coalition: As Remote from Iraqi People as Aliens Touching Down in a Spaceship
Iraq 'Sovereignty'

Independent: "The Green Zone [is] the heavily protected area in central Baghdad where the US-led Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) has its HQ." Barricaded in this artificial environment, the CPA "cut themselves off inside Saddam Hussein's old palace complex. They were as remote from the lives of ordinary Iraqis as if they lived in a Martian spaceship which had temporarily touched down in the centre of Baghdad.This isolation helps explain the CPA's repeated mistakes. When it arrived 14 months ago Iraqis were evenly divided on whether they had been liberated or occupied by the US. The CPA's own poll shows that just 2 per cent of Iraqis say they feel liberated and 92 per cent say they are occupied. The CPA may be the least successful organisation ever created by the US government. It is certainly one of the strangest. "It is really like living in an open prison,' said one CPA official."

Prime Minister Allawi Was a CIA Terrorist
Iraq 'Sovereignty'

"Iyad Allawi, now the designated prime minister of Iraq, ran an exile organization intent on deposing Saddam Hussein that sent agents into Baghdad in the early 1990's to plant bombs and sabotage government facilities under the direction of the C.I.A., several former intelligence officials say. Dr. Allawi's group, the Iraqi National Accord, used car bombs and other explosive devices smuggled into Baghdad from northern Iraq, the officials said... The Iraqi government at the time claimed that the bombs, including one it said exploded in a movie theater, resulted in many civilian casualties... Robert Baer, recalled that a bombing during that period 'blew up a school bus; schoolchildren were killed' ... Dr. Allawi's organization was the only resistance group involved in bombings and sabotage at that time." Bush has handpicked a CHILD-MURDERING TERRORIST to lead Iraq! Where is the outrage???

Bush 'Bait and Switch' on Kurdish Autonomy may Spur Resignations
Iraq 'Sovereignty'

To insure their support of the war effort, Bush promised the Kurds that they would be given autonomy. Like many Bush "promises," it was just a ploy. Guardian: "Kurdish members of Iraq's government could resign from their posts in response to the failure of the new UN resolution to recognise Kurdish autonomy." The resolution "does not endorse Iraq's interim constitution - agreed in March - which enshrines the principles of federalism and guarantees autonomy for Kurds in three northern Iraqi provinces." Now, "the public works minister Nasreen Berwari, one of the Kurdish officials appointed to the new government, said democracy had been "usurped"."

Iraqis ask: 'Will the Resolution Get us Water and Electricity?'
Iraq 'Sovereignty'

Reuters: "The U.N. Security Council resolution drew few cheers in Baghdad, where sceptical people consumed by security fears and economic hardship said they knew nothing about it. "Is the resolution going to give us electricity or water? I doubt it," Eman Abdullah, a 30-year-old policewoman, [asked].. "We are not involved in any decisions anyway. We are just pawns." The Security Council voted unanimously to adopt a resolution which formally ends the occupation of Iraq on 6/30, passing sovereignty back to Iraqi authorities while allowing U.S. and coalition troops to stay. Some Iraqis say they do not bother following events at the UN, which imposed crippling sanctions on Iraq for 13 years following Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait and is not highly regarded by Iraqis. "What resolution? Anyway we will not have full sovereignty," said Lubna Hassan, a housewife standing near the former U.N. headquarters in Baghdad, which was blown up by a suicide truck bomb last year.

Iraq's New Leaders Lobby UN for Full Sovereignty
Iraq 'Sovereignty'

"Iraq's incoming Foreign Minister arrives in New York today (June 3) to lobby for a Security Council resolution that would put into practice Washington's promise of full sovereignty...aides in Baghdad indicated that his purpose was to erase lingering doubts about what full sovereignty will really mean...Concerns about the credibility of Washington's promise of full sovereignty were also voiced by Ghazi Mashal Ajil al-Yawar, who emerged on Tuesday as the transitional President of Iraq. 'We the Iraqis look forward to being granted full sovereignty through a Security Council resolution to enable us to rebuild a free, independent, democratic and federal unified homeland,' he said." You can always dream.

Bush Pick for new Iraq PM is a Darling of the CIA, Relative of Chalabi, and former Saddam Baathist
Iraq 'Sovereignty'

Now here's a Bush move that is just about as sinister (not to mention idiotic) as his appointment of John "Accomplice in Torture" Negroponte as Iraq ambassaor to the UN! Guess who's been named Iraq's new PM? Iyad Allawi, who is not only a former member of Saddam's Baathist party, but also a relative of Ahmad Chalabi. Worse - far worse - he has long-time ties to the CIA - you know, the same CIA that has been implicated in developing the torture techniques used in Abu Ghraib. The corporate media in the US, of course is trying to hide all this info. Compare this AP news story http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=540&e=3&u=/ap/20040528/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq_prime_minister with the Reuters link. The CIA connection is mentioned in the first line of UK's Reuters, but buried near the end of the article in the AP spin job, which leads with the "rosy info" that Allawi is a "Shiite physician."

Iraqi Governing Council is Dubious of Bush Plan, Citing Lack of Iraqi Input and US Accountability
Iraq 'Sovereignty'

AP: "The president of the Iraqi Governing Council said Tuesday that a U.S.-British blueprint for a post-occupation Iraq submitted to the U.N. Security Council falls short of Iraqi expectations. He said he hoped that input from the Governing Council would be incorporated into the final version of the resolution. In a statement, the Governing Council said it wanted to discuss full Iraqi control of "the activities of the Iraqi armed forces and security forces," as well as over oil reserves and the Iraqi Development Fund, established last year by the United States to use oil revenues to pay for reconstruction. Council member Mahmoud Othman said the Iraqis were frustrated by the absence of Iraqi input in the drafting of the joint U.N. resolution. The Governing Council also objected to provisions making U.S., British and other foreign soldiers immune from prosecution under Iraqi law. "They would not be locally accountable when they do anything wrong," he said.

Under Bush's Plan, Iraq Will be as 'Sovereign' as a Dog on a Leash
Iraq 'Sovereignty'

Bush has made a huge show of "granting Iraq sovereignty." But, as laws of war expert Sir Adam Roberts observes, "Under well-established laws relating to occupations, Iraqi sovereignty was always vested in Iraq - and not in the US and its coalition, which, as the occupying power, merely exercised a temporary administrative role." As to whether Iraq will become "officially sovereign" after July 1, says Roberts: "Critics may view the situation as comparable to that of "independent" satellite governments under axis domination before the second world war, as described by George Kennan in a 1939 report on Slovakia to the US state department: "In internal matters, it has exactly the same independence as a dog on a leash. As long as the dog trots quietly and cheerfully at his master's side - and in the same direction - he is quite free; if he starts out on any tangents of his own, he feels the pull at once."

Bush's Feel-Good Iraq Plan Versus Reality: an Anti-B.S. Guide
Iraq 'Sovereignty'

Cheryl Seal writes: "Tonight (5/24), Americans will be presented with Bush's "vision" for Iraq, a speech that should be retitled, "What the White House Wants You to Believe This Week." Various previews of the content of the speech have indicated that the "vision" is simply business as usual for Bush. Business as usual being, of course, hiding beneath a thin PR veneer constructed of half-truths and corporate doubletalk glued together by feel-good platitudes. Based on the "talking points" expected to be presented, here's an "anti-B.S." guide to Bush's Iraq plan."

How Can Iraq Be 'Sovereign' With 14 US Military Bases?
Iraq 'Sovereignty'

Pepe Escobar writes, "Iraqis also know that 14 US military bases are already under construction, enough to accommodate the (for the moment) 110,000 American soldiers who will stay in Iraq until at least 2007. No sovereign Iraqi government has approved the construction of these bases. Kimmitt - the No 2 Pentagon man in Iraq, and the one who launched total war on Fallujah - said the bases are "a blueprint for how we could operate in the Middle East". A ring of US military bases throughout what the Pentagon calls the Greater Middle East is a key element of the neo-conservative-driven strategy to control world energy resources as the way to control the destiny of America's economic rivals - the European Union and Northeast Asia."

Does Bush Really Want 'Sovereignty' for Iraq? All Iraq Oil is Under US Control Until New Government is in Place
Iraq 'Sovereignty'

Reuters: "Iraq's oil revenue is under U.S. control and will remain so until a 'representative' government is in place as stipulated by a U.N. resolution last year. Most of the oil revenue in the 2004 budget was spent on paying government salaries so far." Iraq has now rejected a scheme guaranteed to perpetuate US control even beyond the power transfer: mortgaging the oil industry to the hilt: "Iraq has lost the only short-term option to finance oil projects by scrapping a $1.4 billion borrowing plan, raising more doubt about its ability to sustain output, industry insiders said on Friday. The occupied country has quietly rejected the debt offer from a U.S.-led banking consortium, which involved mortgaging oil exports, as consensus is lacking on how to invite foreign companies and political instability discourages investment."

Iraqis Infuriated by New Flag That Was Designed in London
Iraq 'Sovereignty'

Independent: "For many Iraqis it was the final insult. Again and again they expressed outrage yesterday that Iraq's United States-appointed and unelected leaders had, overnight, abolished the old Iraqi flag, seen by most Iraqis as the symbol of their nation, and chosen a new one. 'What gives these people the right to throw away our flag, to change the symbol of Iraq?' asked Salah, a building contractor of normally moderate political opinions. 'It makes me very angry because these people were appointed by the Americans. I will not regard the new flag as representing me but only traitors and collaborators.'" In a classic example of Bush hypocrisy, the US-led coalition had the words "God is Great," which appeared on the old flag, removed. Meanwhile, Bushies back home keep pushing to force the US to KEEP reference to God in America's symbols.