U.S. Fumbling Postwar Plan

Category: Middle East, World Affairs Topics: Ahmed Chalabi, Iraq Views: 4208

U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Jay Garner, with Mohammed Shafik Saadullah, a Kurdish guerilla member. July 15, 1991

If concern is growing that ideological convictions at the Defense Department resulted in costly miscalculations regarding the war in Iraq, even greater alarm is warranted by glaring missteps in the preparation for what comes after the war.

Take, for instance, the political profile of the man tapped to lead the occupation, retired Lt. Gen. Jay Garner.

Garner's stated opinions on Middle Eastern politics make him singularly unsuitable for the indescribably sensitive task of being the first U.S. administrator of a large Arab country. In 2000, Garner signed a statement backing Israel's hard-line tactics in enforcing the occupation of the Palestinian territories of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

This statement, which was organized by the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, a think tank close to the Israeli far right, praised the Israel Defense Forces' "remarkable restraint in the face of lethal violence orchestrated by the leadership of a Palestinian Authority" and advised the strongest possible American support.

Anyone with the slightest knowledge of Arab politics knows that any association between an American occupation of Iraq and Israel's occupation of Palestinian lands poses great danger. It is guaranteed to breed deep resentment and bitter opposition, especially as U.S. checkpoints in Iraq begin to look increasingly like those in the West Bank.

Persistent reports in the British and American press suggest that Garner will be in charge of 23 ministries, each headed by an American with Iraqi advisors. Not only will this look and feel like a colonial administration, the identity of some of the Iraqi advisors rings alarms.

Most disturbing is the role apparently planned for Ahmad Chalabi, head of the Iraqi National Congress, a U.S.-created opposition group based in London with no visible presence or support in Iraq. He is extremely popular with the neo-conservatives in and around the administration, including Vice President Dick Cheney and Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz.

In the Middle East, however, Chalabi is also known for swindling tens of millions of dollars from a bank he headed in Jordan. In April 1992, he was sentenced in absentia to 22 years' hard labor on 31 charges of embezzlement, theft, misuse of depositor funds and speculation with the Jordanian dinar. For many months this man has been demanding that Washington appoint him prime minister of Iraq. It is cold comfort indeed to learn that he will be Garner's "advisor" at a ministry of finance.

Other early signs for how the administration of Iraq will function are equally not encouraging.

The management of the port of Umm al Qasr, one of the few places in Iraq under complete Western control, has produced a split between British and American authorities. The British view is that the Iraqi manager, who has been in his position for years, is capable of doing the job. Our government insisted, however, in providing a lucrative contract to run the port to Stevedoring Services of Seattle.

Australia has expressed concern that its existing wheat contracts with Iraq will be transferred to U.S. interests.

This appears to be the pattern set for most such arrangements in Iraq, with not only allies, the United Nations and major nongovernmental organizations frozen out of the process but with local Iraqis as well, in favor of American corporations.

Some NGOs, of course, will be present in Iraq, and one of the first to announce its intention to follow in the footsteps of the invasion force is the evangelical organization led by Franklin Graham. Graham, who has repeatedly insisted that Islam is a "very evil, wicked religion," will hardly be a reassuring presence to ordinary Iraqis.

The behavior of some of our troops has also provided ominous signs of political problems to come. Gestures such as naming Army bases in Iraq after Exxon and captured airstrips "George W. Bush International Airport" do not convey a message of liberation.

Between Garner, Chalabi, Stevedoring, Graham and "Camp Exxon," not to mention the checkpoints, the prospects for winning the hearts and minds of Iraqis seem dim indeed.

Hussein Ibish is communications director for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.

Source: LA Times

  Category: Middle East, World Affairs
  Topics: Ahmed Chalabi, Iraq
Views: 4208

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Older Comments:
i only wanna tell the muslim ummah that the reason why we are lacking behind is that we dont know how to distinguish between muslim ,kafirs and inbetween that is monafiqs.if we take them any more with we will be digging our own grave
.these shias are kafir they have proved in afganistan now in iraq,they are the by product of jews,they have created the problem from the bigning,the famous statment of imam abbu hanifa:who ever have dought that they are not kafirs is himself commiting kufr

I just add one point to look at the who is comming to take over Iraq(INC).
INC(Iraqi National Congress)representative Entifadh Qanbar (WA DC Director)was invited to speak IPAC (Israel Political Action committee)in Atlanta. Ahmed Chelabi,President of NIC has 10 years old relationship with Jewish Institute for National Security Affair(JINSA).See color picture of Mr.Ahmed Chelabi with JINSA advisory board Chairman David Steinmann at


There is only one game in town, you are a player or a ball. Unless you have your own game plan.

In response to mr Tullo's cmmnts; I do aggree with you that Saddam is responsible for thousands of deaths, but if you wish to pass judgement , please do not omit to take into account of Western Powers in "Aiding & Abeting".It is an equal crime to aid and abet a criminal as it is to commit the offence. Sadam would have lost the Iran War if he was not helped primarily by the US. The US sold the majority of all chemical agents to Iraq, which Sadam first used on the Irani's and then on the KUrds. At the time no sanctions were imposed on Iraq by the US, it was not in her interest to do so.

On your second point about Arabs killing more of themslevles than others, Do you know anything about history??? More americans died in the civil war than any other conflict, americans killing americans. Also I think you have never heard the policy of divide and rule.

The geographical map of the entire Middle East was drawn up by the Anglo French after the WW1, with the emphasis on dividing Arab unity and creating conflicting states based on nationalistic views. None of these countries are strategically independed due to the boundaries created by civil servants in the UK at the time.

I really think you should invest some time in looking at the history of the region and you might begin to understand the underlying problems. But then again you can take the ignorant view that might is right.

For a country that prides itself on right of freedoom of speach, your entire news organisation only has one voice and if anyone dares to question they are deemed unpatriotic. Don't be bought into this PR propgnda!!!

Plenty Muslim leaders never follow what they teach... many of them have selfish ambitions, yeah sure, they react on violent situations easily for show off. but uniting muslims ? hmm... questionable... I think there are some things to consider:
1. Do you live harmony with your own family?
2. Do you treat your brothers and sisters right?
3. Do you love ur neighbor or hate them ?
4. Does your muslim leaders care about you ??

Oh man, Plenty of Muslims has already been awaken long time ago!. but some of them already dead. I don't like to talk about world unity, if i we can't even unite with our own family members.

It's much easier to rally in front of media and burning flags. but unity within muslims ?... sheesh! most of muslims doesn't even know their koran. You can ask a muslim guy, why do you want to become a muslim, he may tell u something like, "I got to marry that pretty muslim girl, thats why!"

'SARS is more dangerous to Westerners since the hoses of their noses are smaller'

to mr.Tullo,
we just implementing the Newton's Law in implementory of Physic, nothing more!


I must say that the war which started in Iraq without Legal authorization from United Nations will wake the entire Muslim Nation. It is not Operation 'Iraqi Freedom' it is Operation 'Iraqi Invasion'.
So it does not matters now who will run the post War Iraq as everyone knows it will be colonial state of USA. What matters here for the Muslims is when will we wake up and realize that what happened in Iraq can happen to any other 'Muslim' state? When will we make our countries united under the Flaq of ISlAM. When will we be united? As United We Stand and Divided We Fall? This Nation (I mean Muslim) nation should wake up now as if we dont sooner USA will attack another country. One must ask how can muslims be awaken? The answer is simple the moment we will start adhering to the teachings of the BOOK of ISLAM which is Holy QURAN, Allah blessings will come. Then no one will be able to conquer us as then We will be making progress in science and Technology needed to strengthen our countries by making scientists, arms, economists, engineers and at the same time we will be united under the FLAG OF ISLAM. The saying of the Holy Prophet Muhammed (Peace be Upon Him)is that Muslims are like one body when one part of the body hurts the whole body feels the pain. We are feeling pain our dear Iraqi brothers. Sooner Allah's victory will come, as even Iraq looses this war Muslims have won. They have realized who their real enemy is. Sooner Americans will leave Middle East with their faces full of shame.


This was posted from Mr. Ehtaramul Haq

"now it is for all the muslims to unite & kill this insane , son of a bitch , America . And time is not far when each & every person in America & Europe will beg for mercy , & the whole world will watch the might of Islam . Allah will bury all the infields"

I really do love the peaceful message Islam spreads, just makes my heartache.

We invaded Iraq because after 9/11 Islam waged war on America. Therefore we as Americans are faced with either fighting back or routinely get killed by relgious zealots. Americans chose the first option. I know the writer wants everyone to believe that the Iraqis are puting up some massive resistance. But the fact remains we entered their country, decimated their Army, and are now strolling through their capital in about 2 weeks. It's a route to say the least. Whether or not they find W.M.D is really pointless. Once they found Ansar Al-Islam terrorist trainging camp and demolished it, that legitimized the war for me. The Midlle East used to be the center of civilization, intellectualism, science, mathematics. Unfortunately you have let religous zealots, and corrupt mullahs, to destroy your society. But if your blaming America for your ills makes you sleep better at night go ahead. A better option is probably take a little responsibility for your station in life. Get out of the coffee shop, stop shaking your fist at the T.V. and do something to change your station that doesn't involve blowing up school children or families with the cowardly act of suicide bombings.

ELO FROM C said:
Who would want to colonize Iraq. It's such a wasteland. We don't wanna be the there. I don't know anyone who would want to move to the Middle East, and be around so many religious nuts. Oil? I live in Texas. We've got more oil here than we know what to do with it. USA doesn't buy oil from the Middle East. Only Europe and Japan does.

To Mr. Holmes.
Guess who was on the side of the Axis. The Palestinians. Yes, they sided with Hitler and the bunch. Unfortunately, a lot of countries sided with Italy and Nazi Germany. And today, a lot of people are siding with Iraq. Its quite clear. Of course there are differences, but there is one fundamental they all share, they were all dictatorships. I know you want to blur the lines of morality, but you have to face the facts. I know you want to hate america, i know you are bitter and resentful, but you have to face the facts

To muslim sister:
Perhaps I seem a little arrogant, but that is because i have to defend my country from so many bitter angry people. What the USA is doing to Iraq is nothing that Saddam had done to Iraq. He killed not hundreds, not thousands, but millions during his regime and during the Iran Iraq war. Where is the outrage? Where is the anger. Arab's biggest enemies are themselves. They have always killed each other. ...

To nuur, muslem sister, and mr. homes,

I know you all hate America. I know you are all filled with rage, jealousy, and anger. It's because the USA is so successful. I know that angers you. That's why you are so fixated on us. Never in my life do I talk about Jordan or Syria, I could care less about those countries, but you guys always talk about the USA constantly. But you have to understand how we got so successful. We didn't get successful by retreating into a cave and reading the Koran.

And please don't tell me how immoral the USA is. It's the old "WE ARE MORE MORAL THAN YOU" argument. That's just childish. There are no perfect countries. Every country, USA, Iceland, Iraq, China, they all have done misdeeds and terrible things in their past. What is important is that they change for the better. The USA has changed for the better. The Arab countries have not. MODERNISE!!!!!

Elo, isn't it time for you to see that this war isn't to free the Iraqi people rather colonias their country???1+1=??? 1? 2? 3? ????

reply yo elo: Dont force your ideals on another. As humans we are all individual your ideal may not be anothers ideal. That is where you falter. And you seem proud of what ur country has done you should have lost any pride when the first innocent was murdered. Why be proud of demolishing iraq ? killing civilians ? do you even know what the real reasons are beihnd this war? many ppl need liberating why go for Iraq now? No UN backing. America better watch out they dont become the most hated country in the world. I suggest you give up your pride and realise the worth a one human life before you post your arrogant comments.

reply to elo.....
well first....iraq is not nazi germany or fascist Italy..those countries were isolated...they didnt have any supporters....while Iraq has millions of muslims around the world who will support it by waging a gurerilla warfare against america...just like what happened to the british 1915-22.....it will take years and years ...and the puppet regime will colapse .....as for America been the greatest nation in the world....well i am not going to dispute that,...they are in terms of economic, military etc........
but every superpower ends....one day you will see yours....just like the soviets in 1991 or the british in 1945...we muslims are in our dark ages...worse times in our history...but we will be back inshallah......

Sure we make new countries, after killing thousands of innocent people, oops, collateral damage. We went after weapons of mass destruction, which we have yet to find, by using weapons of mass destruction. I can't believe people actually want to be optomistic after ruining others' life.


Mr. Ibish is a puppet. I've sat in a masjid and listened to him speak...then I've watched him on TV. He's all about "give me your money brother"

And we wonder why the Ummah is going to HELL!

There is an old English saying that "every dog has it's day". The first mistake of all previous so called "Great Powers" was to think that they were invinicible and to be arrogant. I think you should take a look at the history or the US and other countries and especially the Middle East. You will find that US has been a dominant player for the last 80 yrs and that due to Anglo-French actions of carving up the Middle East after the WW1 has been in decline.

This decline has been a rsult of puppet governments and due to Autocratic Kingdoms created and maitained by the "WEST" to maintain their so called "Interests".

I personally think this is the begining of the end of US world dominance, economically and militarily.

I am guessing that - depending on the severity of threats perceived to a reconstructed, post-war Iraq - the U.S. might simply start endorsing whatever Iraq proposes in response to threats against the Republic of Iraq. I am also guessing that Iraq could expect to receive endorsements from the U.S. when Iraq's proposals would most likely result in substantially improved security for either the American people or for American interests in the Middle East.

As the threat of terrorism grows, so might the influence of a "reconstructed Iraq" throughout much of the Middle East. Potential adversaries of such a (still hypothetical) "pro-American Iraq" might wish to consider placing increased emphasis on possibly enlarging their own economic base, as well as perhaps developing a "dual-use industrial complex" within their respective countries. This is suggested as an alternative to more immediate responses to encroachment in general - and to the threat of colonialism in particular.

Please forgive me for saying so, but (well recently at least) it would seem that terrorism - after producing shock, grief and anxiety among the survivors - has been resulting in a "net advantage" for at least some of those who were supposedly among its intended victims. This sort of situation might help to explain why occasionally conspiracy theories have arisen, suggesting that victims were themselves behind certain acts of terrorism.

Personally, I believe that Allah (who has no equal, partner or son) makes the best of plans. I am thinking that a "winning strategy" might be to prepare our countries and ourselves for whatever we have been told that Allah has planned for our world.

As Salaamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullah.

I maintain it is God who is great (rather than my country - which I hope is serving God's cause). God is unequaled and has no partner. God has no need for partnership. God is incomparable.

God has never taken a woman (as a wife) and therefore has no son but rather God created everything and is knowing of all. (Quran 6:101)What reason might God have to adopt the form of one of God's creatures - on any of the worlds created by God (all for which God provides)? (Quran 1:2)

It is indeed a very shameful & heartpricking matter to Iraqi & all the so called muslims throughout the world. America is like a Big mad dog in a small room & when ever it wags its tail it knocks down the things around it, now it is for all the muslims to unite & kill this insane , son of a bitch , America . And time is not far when each & every person in America & Europe will beg for mercy , & the whole world will watch the might of Islam . Allah will bury all the infields forecer Insaha Allah , Aameen, Sumaameen

Well... Asia's Big Problem is the SARS! virus, not the war, come to think of it... SARS is deadly. can kill anyone u know.. can kill civilians, terrorist, governments, yikes !! it even kills the young and healthy!!

I know the writer has such great hopes that this war will be another vietnam. Well, I hate to burst your bubble, but this war is a cakewalk. In about 2 weeks, we made Iraq into a parking lot. Now we will rebuild it. We rebuilt Nazi Germany into a democracy. We rebuilt Fascist Italy into a democracy. And we will build Iraq into a democracy. Unlike the writer, Americans are optomists. We have ideals, and then we do it. That's why we are the greatest country in the world.