New Ideas for Rebuilding a Nation

  1. I came across this site. It's a series of new ideas for the rebuilding of Iraq. The first part of the series was posted today. Two other articles in the series will follow. I found it both interesting and unbiased. Not all of us will agree with all of the ideas, but I think this author is genuinely seeking solutions for the benefit of the Iraqi people and the rebuilding of their nation.


    The Best New Ideas for rebuilding a nation
  2. 17 Comments

  3. by   pickledpepperRN
    Thank you.
    I know very little about current Iraqs varied groups and leaders.
    I know former Iraqis who have been in America for between 15 and 51 years. They are now citizens. Their children were born here.
    The ideas in the article make sense.
    We don't have a crystal ball so can only try to learn before attempting to influence our elected officials.
    Thanks again.
  4. by   Mkue
    Good article Linda, I agree with many of these ideas
  5. by   jnette
    Thank you Linda !

    As stated above, we all need to learn and inform ourselves and seek out unbiased sources of info before we can come to conclusions, or accept/reject any proposals.

    Just like going to a buffet... so many things there ! Some I care for, some I don't. But I've got to see what's on the table before I decide.
  6. by   pickledpepperRN
    Not unbiased, but I think it gives insight into how some from other countries, this British columnist at least, are thinking of our administration.$58731$427396566$/story.jsp?cb_content_name=Beware+the+yawning+gap+b etween+these+homely+words+and+the+harsh+reality%3C br%2F%3E%0ARef+-+400415&story=400415&host=6&dir=141
    Beware the yawning gap between these homely words and the harsh reality

    26 April 2003
    The American President was asked if there was a "Bush doctrine" emerging that codified the need for pre-emptive strikes against rogue nations. Yes there was, he said in
    his interview with Tom Brokaw of NBC, but it was being "defined by action, as opposed to by words".
    In this, he spoke more truth than he knew. What is alarming about the Bush presidency is not so much the words, which usually manage to express enlightened values despite the garbles, but their contradiction by actions.
    Thus George Bush spoke of the opportunity "post-Saddam" to push for new international protocols to stop the spread of weapons of mass destruction. Yet the United States
    has been one of the chief obstacles to a more rigorous nuclear non-proliferation regime.
    The President spoke warmly of the United Nations, but he made it clear that it could not expect to "hold up US foreign policy".
    He sounded sincere in promising to work hard to achieve the two-state solution to conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, yet he has still not published the long-promised road-map.
    He even called on America to play its part in limiting climate change by using technology to "lead the world to a more energy-efficient society". From a President who rejected
    the Kyoto protocol on global warming, this is rich. Especially as he went on to defend plans to drill for gas in Alaska against protests from those wanting to protect the Arctic
    wilderness. This reflects an anxiety about future petroleum supplies that lay just below the surface of the rationale for war in Iraq.
    Close textual analysis of the words of such a chaotic user of the English language is always fascinating. Not only for the simple Bushisms, such as Saddam being "torturous" to the Iraqi people, but also for the gaps between the homely words and the harder reality. In a tiny but revealing slip, for instance, he said Dick Cheney, his Vice-President, had been through "the" war before as Secretary of Defence - reinforcing the impression that for Mr Bush it was simply the unfinished part of his father's campaign.
    More glaring - and deliberate - was the hostility he showed towards Jacques Chirac and the French in general. Through his words burned the indignation of a man who confuses disagreement with betrayal. Both at the UN and in Nato - when France and Belgium vetoed a pre-war plan to strengthen Turkey's southern defences that they saw as a step to war - he believes in multilateralism so long as it consists of other countries doing what the US wants.
    Worse than that, though, is the growing evidence that the Bush administration intends to punish those countries that "weakened" international bodies by refusing to do as they were told. This is a disastrous course for a country that sincerely believes itself to be acting for the good of the whole world.
    Mr Bush said more than he intended after 11 September 2001, when he declared that those who were "not with us are against us".
    There is in the American culture a dangerous streak of intolerance, at odds with the rhetoric of free speech, that was last given full expression in the McCarthy era. The present climate in the US is not of that scale, but it is inhibiting dissent, whatever Mr Bush may say about the anti-war Dixie Chicks "having their feelings hurt because some people don't want to buy their records".
    That sense of intimidation is rippling out into a world dominated by American military and economic power.
    Homely words about international co-operation are to no avail;
    by his deeds shall George W Bush be judged.
  7. by   jnette
    Interesting, Spacenurse. Can't argue with much of what was said there. There IS much that we as Americans are blind to.. for whatever reason. I have seen it for all my lifetime, but must always be gentle when approaching the subject... we do not like to hear these things and become very defensive. I just hope our blindness and deafness will not be our undoing.
    I love my country, I do. We are like the lovestricken teenager... seeing things only through our own eyes and the rosecolored glasses.

    And in the history timeline we aren't even the teenager yet.. perhaps just reaching puberty? And all the turmoil that comes with it. Scary thought.

    Yet we do have great strengths and a great and compassionate people. It's these strengths and the voice of the people that I'm counting on to keep us on the right path.
  8. by   pickledpepperRN
  9. by   funnygirl_rn
    There IS much that we as Americans are blind to.. for whatever reason. I have seen it for all my lifetime, but must always be gentle when approaching the subject... we do not like to hear these things and become very defensive. I just hope our blindness and deafness will not be our undoing.
    I love my country, I do. We are like the lovestricken teenager... seeing things only through our own eyes and the rosecolored glasses.
    I agree with you. I have lived abroad. One of the countries I lived in was a small village in a 3rd world country. We often take things for granted...but, when living in areas unlike what we are used have to take those rose colored glasses off...and be thankful for what you have.
  10. by   Furball
    be grateful and fight to keep it...freedom.......for your kids, grandkids, great-grandkids...ect ect ect
  11. by   WashYaHands
  12. by   Mkue
    Very informative, he has some great ideas and suggestions

    Thanks for the link Linda
  13. by   pickledpepperRN
    Ahmed Chalabi's long and winding road from (and to?) Baghdad

    By Robert Dreyfuss
    Issue Date: 11.18.02

    Print Friendly | Email Article

    If T.E. Lawrence ("of Arabia") had been a 21st-century neoconservative operative instead of a British
    imperial spy, he'd be Ahmed Chalabi's best friend. Chalabi, the London-based leader of the Iraqi
    National Congress (INC), is front man for the latest incarnation of a long-time neoconservative strategy
    to redraw the map of the oil-rich Middle East, put American troops -- and American oil companies -- in
    full control of the Persian Gulf's reserves and use the Gulf as a fulcrum for enhancing America's global
    strategic hegemony. Just as Lawrence's escapades in World War I-era Arabia helped Britain remake
    the disintegrating Ottoman Empire, the U.S. sponsors of Chalabi's INC hope to do their own nation

    "The removal of [Saddam Hussein] presents the United States in particular with a historic opportunity
    that I believe is going to prove to be as large as anything that has happened in the Middle East since the
    fall of the Ottoman Empire and the entry of British troops into Iraq in 1917," says Kanan Makiya, an
    INC strategist and author of Republic of Fear.

    Chalabi would hand over Iraq's oil to U.S. multinationals, and his allies in conservative think tanks are
    already drawing up the blueprints. "What they have in mind is denationalization, and then parceling Iraqi
    oil out to American oil companies," says James E. Akins, former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia.
    Even more broadly, once an occupying U.S. army seizes Baghdad, Chalabi's INC and its American
    backers are spinning scenarios about dismantling Saudi Arabia, seizing its oil and collapsing the
    Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). It's a breathtaking agenda, one that goes
    far beyond "regime change" and on to the start of a New New World Order.

    What's also startling about these plans is that Chalabi is scorned by most of America's national-security
    establishment, including much of the Department of State, the CIA and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He is
    shunned by all Western powers save the United Kingdom, ostracized in the Arab world and disdained
    even by many of his erstwhile comrades in the Iraqi opposition. Among his few friends, however, are
    the men running the Bush administration's willy-nilly war on Iraq. And with their backing, it's not
    inconceivable that this hapless, exiled Iraqi aristocrat and London-Washington playboy might end up
    atop the smoking heap of what's left of Iraq next year.

    The Chalabi Lobby
    Almost to a man, Washington's hawks lavishly praise Chalabi. "He's a rare find," says Max Singer, a
    trustee and co-founder of the Hudson Institute. "He's deep in the Arab world and at the same time he is
    fundamentally a man of the West."

    In Washington, Team Chalabi is led by Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle,
    the neoconservative strategist who heads the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board. Chalabi's partisans run
    the gamut from far right to extremely far right, with key supporters in most of the Pentagon's
    Middle-East policy offices -- such as Peter Rodman, Douglas Feith, David Wurmser and Michael
    Rubin. Also included are key staffers in Vice President Dick Cheney's office, not to mention Defense
    Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and former CIA Director Jim Woolsey.

    The Washington partisans who want to install Chalabi in Arab Iraq are also those associated with the
    staunchest backers of Israel, particularly those aligned with the hard-right faction of Prime Minister Ariel
    Sharon and former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Chalabi's cheerleaders include the Washington
    Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA).
    "Chalabi is the one that we know the best," says Shoshana Bryen, director of special projects for
    JINSA, where Chalabi has been a frequent guest at board meetings, symposia and other events since
    1997. "He could be Iraq's national leader," says Patrick Clawson, deputy director of WINEP, whose
    board of advisers includes pro-Israeli luminaries such as Perle, Wolfowitz and Martin Peretz of The
    New Republic.

    What makes Chalabi so attractive to the Washington war party? Most importantly, he's a co-thinker:
    a mathematician trained at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Chicago and
    a banker (who years ago hit it off with Albert Wohlstetter, the theorist who was a godfather of the
    neoconservative movement), a fellow mathematician and a University of Chicago strategist. In 1985,
    Wohlstetter (who died in 1997) introduced Chalabi to Perle, then the undersecretary of defense for
    international-security policy under President Reagan and one of Wohlstetter's leading acolytes. The two
    have been close ever since. In early October, Perle and Chalabi shared a podium at an American
    Enterprise Institute conference called "The Day After: Planning for a Post-Saddam Iraq," which was
    held, appropriately enough, in AEI's 12th-floor Wohlstetter Conference Center. "The Iraqi National
    Congress has been the philosophical voice of free Iraq for a dozen years," Perle told me.

    Philosophical or not, since its founding in 1992, Chalabi's INC has been trying to drag the United States
    into war with Iraq. By its very nature, the INC's strategy -- building a paramilitary presence inside Iraq,
    creating a provisional government, launching attacks on Iraqi cities -- was intended to create inexorable
    momentum for a war in which in the United States would be compelled to support the INC. But
    American policy in the 1990s was focused primarily on containing Saddam Hussein and depriving him
    of weapons of mass destruction, so the INC's efforts were sidetracked during the Clinton

    At the time, most of the national-security establishment saw the INC as weak and ineffectual. Retired
    Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni, former head of Central Command for U.S. forces in the Middle East,
    famously ridiculed Chalabi and company as "silk-suited, Rolex-wearing guys in London," adding, "I
    don't see any opposition group that has the viability to overthrow Saddam." Supporting the INC, he
    warned, meant that "the Bay of Pigs could turn into the Bay of Goats." And a widely cited 1999
    Foreign Affairs article titled "The Rollback Fantasy," lambasted the INC's strategy for a gusano-style
    offensive by a ragtag army operating out of the so-called no-fly zones in northern and southern Iraq,
    saying it was "militarily ludicrous and would almost certainly end in either direct American intervention or
    a massive bloodbath."

    Indeed, in 1996 an ill-organized INC offensive in northern Iraq, where Chalabi had assembled about
    1,000 fighters, was half-heartedly backed by the CIA. Not only did Saddam Hussein's troops not
    defect en masse, as predicted by Chalabi, but one of the INC's key allies, the Kurdistan Democratic
    Party, chose to ally itself with Baghdad, inviting the Iraqi army back into northern Iraq's Kurdish areas
    for a mop-up exercise. Another of the INC's allies, the Iraqi National Accord, apparently blew up the
    INC's main offices in an act of bloody fratricide. These tragic failures only increased the distaste for
    Chalabi at the CIA and among the U.S. military.

    Still, Chalabi is a survivor. Since the 1996 fiasco, he's managed a precarious balance atop a fractious
    and quarrelsome constellation of Iraqi opposition factions, from Kurds and Shi'a tribal leaders to Islamic
    fundamentalists, monarchists and military officers.

    Our Man in Baghdad
    Born in 1945, Chalabi is the scion of a wealthy, oligarchic Shi'a family with close ties to the Hashemite
    monarchy that was installed in Iraq after World War I by Lawrence, Gertrude Bell and the British
    imperial authorities. Chalabi's grandfather served in nine various Iraqi cabinet positions, his father was a
    cabinet officer and president of the figurehead Iraqi senate, and his mother ran political salons that
    catered to Iraq's elite. In 1958 that all came to a crashing end when a coalition of army officers and the
    Iraqi Communist Party led a revolution that toppled King Faisal II. The Chalabis scattered.

    As a young man Chalabi lived in Jordan, Lebanon, the United Kingdom and the United States, where
    he attended MIT before earning a doctorate in mathematics at the University of Chicago. He took a
    position teaching math at the American University of Beirut. In 1977, Crown Prince Hassan of Jordan
    invited Chalabi to Amman to establish the Petra Bank, a financial institution that would soon become the
    second-largest commercial bank in Jordan.

    In an August 1989 episode still surrounded by controversy, however, the government of Jordan seized
    the Petra Bank under martial law, arresting its chief currency trader and using Jordan's central bank to
    pump $164 million into the Petra Bank and its allied institutions to keep them liquid. To avoid arrest,
    Chalabi fled the country "under mysterious circumstances," according to a 1989 article in the Financial
    Times. The Hudson Institute's Max Singer says that Prince Hassan personally drove Chalabi to the
    Jordanian border, helping him escape. (According to one account, Chalabi was in the trunk of the car.)
    Chalabi eventually was tried in absentia by a Jordanian court and sentenced to 22 years of hard labor
    for embezzlement, fraud and currency-trading irregularities. He reportedly got away with more than $70

    The INC offers a different version. According to Zaab Sethna, an INC spokesman, King Hussein of
    Jordan executed a politically motivated coup against Chalabi in coordination with Iraq because Chalabi
    was "using the bank to fund [Iraqi] opposition groups and learning a lot about illegal arms transfers to
    Saddam." Because the Petra Bank had inside information about Jordanian-Iraqi trade, Chalabi used his
    position in a freelance, cloak-and-dagger operation to feed intelligence about Iraq's trade deals to the
    CIA. Because Chalabi was already active in anti-Iraq opposition groups and had a connection with
    Perle, it's possible that Chalabi's account is true.

    Further evidence of political motives behind the seizure of the Petra Bank and Chalabi's intelligence
    connections: The American lawyer who represented the Petra Bank's Washington, D.C., subsidiary was
    former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger. And when Chalabi fled the country, anonymous
    leaflets reportedly circulated linking Chalabi to an alliance with Iraq's Shi'a and with (mostly Shi'a) Iran,
    all in a vague conspiracy against Iraq and Jordan. (During the Iran-Iraq war and Iraq's invasion of
    Kuwait in 1990, Jordan -- always delicately balanced between "Iraq and a hard place," as King
    Hussein was wont to say -- tilted toward Iraq. Afterward, King Hussein distanced himself from
    Baghdad and eventually reconciled with Chalabi. The jail sentence for bank fraud stands but reportedly
    might be lifted soon by Jordan's King Abdullah.)

    Of course, the fact that Chalabi may have been prosecuted for political reasons does not mean that he is
    innocent of embezzlement and fraud. In any case, allegations of self-dealing have followed him
    everywhere since.

    Puppet Theater
    Soon after fleeing Jordan, Chalabi began making the contacts with the CIA that would eventually lead to
    the INC's founding in 1992. Meeting first in Vienna, Austria, and then in Salahuddin in northern Iraq, the
    INC emerged as an umbrella group for the many factions of Iraqi opposition in exile. In the early 1990s,
    the CIA spent about $100 million through the INC and its Kurdish allies in the north -- until the fiasco of
    1996. Though the CIA cut off the INC after that, Chalabi was undeterred and went about working with
    congressional Republicans to pass the Iraq Liberation Act. That law set up a pool of funds and in-kind
    contributions for the INC and other opposition forces. In its implementation, however, the INC has
    been embroiled in repeated disputes with the State Department over its accounting for funds received.
    (In 1999, when asked about secrecy in accounting for certain INC expenditures, Chalabi blurted:
    "Damn right! It was covert money.") "He's a criminal banker," says Akins, the former ambassador to
    Saudi Arabia. "He's a swindler. He's interested in getting money, and I suspect it's all gone into his bank
    accounts and those of his friends."

    Earlier this year, the State Department and the INC were deadlocked over payments to the INC, and
    the dispute was resolved only when the Pentagon, with its pro-Chalabi group, agreed to take over
    payments to the INC for the latter's intelligence-gathering work inside Iraq.

    Even after 1996, Chalabi continued to insist that Saddam Hussein's government would crumble if the
    INC, with only limited American backing, were to launch its planned offensive. In June 1997, Chalabi
    spoke to JINSA's board, which includes, not surprisingly, Perle, Woolsey and key hard-line backers of
    Israel such as Jeane Kirkpatrick, Max Kampelman, Eugene Rostow and former Rep. Steve Solarz
    (D-N.Y.). "The INC plan for Saddam's overthrow is simple," Chalabi told JINSA. From its base in
    northern Iraq, the INC would begin to confront Iraqi forces with only political and logistical support
    from the United States, including U.S. efforts to "feed, house and otherwise provide for the Iraqi army
    as it abandons Saddam." Then, Chalabi concluded, "With U.S. political backing and regional support
    for a process of gradual encirclement, Saddam can be driven into hiding in Takrit and eventually
    removed." That's it.

    The idea that ridding Iraq of Saddam Hussein is as easy as that was, of course, ridiculed by virtually all
    CIA, military and State Department strategists. But without the ability to commit hundreds of thousands
    of American troops and a relentless wave of bombing sorties, it was all that Chalabi and his allies had --
    until September 11.

    Effectively capitalizing on the impact of 9-11, Perle, Woolsey and company began beating the drums
    for a full-scale war against Iraq. With President Bush in tow and railing against "the guy who tried to kill
    my dad," the war party got the upper hand. According to the latest leaks about U.S. strategy, a war
    against Iraq now could involve up to 250,000 U.S. troops and would result in an open-ended military
    occupation of Iraq modeled on the post-World War II occupations of Germany and Japan.

    The INC, meanwhile, hopes to ride into Baghdad on American tanks. Weeks ago the Pentagon began a
    program to train INC combatants for a coming conflict in Iraq, but its effort fooled no one. Ousting
    Saddam Hussein, if it happens, will be the work of U.S. troops, not the INC. But a Big Brother-style
    public-relations offensive is being readied, aimed at creating the myth that Iraq has been liberated by an
    alliance of the United States and the INC. "I want to create the national story that Iraqis liberated
    themselves," says WINEP's Clawson. "It may have no more truth than the idea that the French liberated
    themselves in World War II." But, insists Clawson, it's a fiction that will resonate with Iraqis.

    Almost no one, not even the INC itself, thinks that Chalabi has any cachet inside Iraq. Entifadh Qanbar,
    the earnest, young ex-Iraqi officer who heads the INC's office in Washington, says that Chalabi
    represents Iraq's "silent majority." Asked whether people in Baghdad have even heard of Chalabi,
    Qanbar says: "They may not know the man. But he represents their views."

    Others scoff at even that notion. "It's a formula for setting up a puppet regime," says David Mack, vice
    president of the Middle East Institute, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Arab Emirates and
    ex-deputy assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs who's dealt extensively with Iraqi
    opposition politicians and military officers. "And we will have responsibility for propping them up for a
    long, long time to come, possibly with the blood of American soldiers."

    But indefinitely propping up an INC-style quisling regime might be exactly what the United States wants,
    as it would mean that U.S. troops would be occupying Iraq's oil fields for years to come.

    Striking Oil
    It's hard to overstate the importance of Iraqi oil. With proven reserves of 112 billion barrels (and many
    analysts saying that its true reserves are double that), Iraq sits above the second largest supply of oil in
    the world. Its crippled industry can produce only 2 million barrels of oil a day at present, but with a
    modest effort, Iraq's output could soar to as high as 7 million to 8 million barrels per day by decade's
    end. Controlling that much oil would give the United States enormous leverage over Europe and Japan,
    which depend heavily on Gulf oil; over Russia, whose economy is hinged to the price of its oil exports,
    which could be manipulated by an American-run Iraq; and over Saudi Arabia, whose regime's survival
    is linked to oil. "The American oil companies are going to be the main beneficiaries of this war," says
    Akins. "We take over Iraq, install our regime, produce oil at the maximum rate and tell Saudi Arabia to
    go to hell." "It's probably going to spell the end of OPEC," says JINSA's Bryen.

    The INC is quietly courting the American oil companies. In mid-October, Chalabi had a series of
    meetings with three major U.S. oil firms in Washington. "The oil people are naturally nervous," says INC
    spokesman Zaab Sethna, who took part in the meetings between Chalabi and the oil executives. "We've
    had discussions with them, but they're not in the habit of going around talking about them." That's true.
    In interviews, oil company officials speak cautiously and only on background about Iraq, laughing
    nervously at the idea of being quoted. They are extremely wary of associating themselves with the INC
    or with U.S. war plans for fear of angering Saudi Arabia and other oil-producing countries in the Persian
    Gulf. Asked about talks with the INC, one U.S. oil executive blanched, saying, "I can't discuss that,
    even on background."

    But the untold riches that lie beneath the soil of Iraq are a powerful lure for multinational oil companies.
    "I would say that especially the U.S. oil companies ... look forward to the idea that Iraq will be open for
    business," says an executive from one of the world's largest oil companies, adding that the companies
    are trying hard not to be noticed.

    "We don't have a stake in Iraq now," says another oil industry executive. "One of the frustrations that
    U.S. oil companies have is that the Russians, the French and the Chinese already have existing relations
    with Iraq. And the question is: How much of that will be sanctified by the people who succeed

    The INC and its backers make no bones about the fact that the American forces gathering to attack
    Iraq will be liberating Iraq's oil. Unable to restrain himself, Chalabi blurted to The Washington Post
    that the INC intends to reward its American friends. "American companies will have a big shot at Iraqi
    oil," he proclaimed.

    Meanwhile, economists allied with the INC -- including strategists at the Heritage Foundation, the AEI
    and JINSA -- are abuzz with plans to "denationalize" the Iraqi oil industry and then distribute it to
    Western, mostly American, companies. In late September, in "The Future of a Post-Saddam Iraq: A
    Blueprint for American Involvement," the Heritage Foundation's Ariel Cohen put forward a nearly
    complete scheme for the privatization of Iraq's oil, creating three separate companies for southern Iraq,
    the region around Baghdad and the Kirkuk fields in northern Iraq, with additional companies to operate
    pipelines and refineries and to develop Iraq's natural gas. In an interview, Cohen warned that France,
    Russia and China might find that their existing oil contracts with Iraq won't be honored by the INC. "It
    will be up to the next government of Iraq to examine the legal validity of the deals signed by the Saddam
    regime," says Cohen. "From a realpolitik point of view, these governments should try to get in early with
    the Iraqi National Congress and abandon Saddam. The window of opportunity is closing."

    It's hard to imagine that a regime that denationalized Iraq's oil would be very popular with Iraqis. The
    nationalization, which took place between 1972 and 1974, electrified Iraqis and stunned the industry
    worldwide. It also set dominoes falling throughout the Persian Gulf and the OPEC nations, as other
    countries ousted the multinationals and created state-owned enterprises. Eventually, even Saudi Arabia
    seized control of all-powerful Aramco, the consortium of Exxon, Mobil, Texaco and Chevron that had
    long been the colossus of the Persian Gulf. Now, cautiously, the oil industry sees a war in Iraq as a way
    to win back what's been lost.

    "Even in Saudi Arabia, all we can do is buy their oil," says an American oil company official. U.S.
    companies, this executive confirmed, want to return to greater direct control, perhaps through so-called
    production-sharing agreements that would give them both a direct stake in the oil fields and a greater
    share of the profits.

    It's also clear that the INC, the neoconservatives and oil executives are thinking beyond Iraq to Saudi
    Arabia. Ever since Robert W. Tucker wrote an article in Commentary in the 1970s proposing a U.S.
    occupation of Saudi Arabia's oil fields, such a scenario has been a cherished vision for a small but
    growing circle of strategists. (Last summer Perle invited a RAND Corporation analyst to speak to the
    Defense Policy Board on exactly that topic.) Earlier this year, in an article titled "Free the Eastern
    Province of Saudi Arabia," Singer suggested that the United States should help create a Muslim
    Republic of East Arabia. "I meant it seriously," says Singer. "Saudi Arabia is vulnerable not only to a
    U.S. seizure of their land but to U.S. unofficial participation in a rebellion by minority Shi'a in the Eastern
    Province." The Eastern Province, which is largely Shi'a, happens to include the vast bulk of Saudi
    Arabia's oil fields.

    One other problem is that the INC does not represent the entire Iraqi opposition movement. The two
    main Kurdish parties, the Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, though
    long-time bloody rivals, have momentarily patched things up. They've allied, in turn, with the Iraqi
    National Accord, a CIA-backed group of former Iraqi military officers, and with the Supreme Council
    for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq to form the Group of Four, an alternative to the INC that, they hope,
    will attract further American support. There is even a monarchist group trying to restore T.E.
    Lawrence's Hashemite kingdom in Baghdad that, some say, could promote a kingship in Iraq for Prince
    Hassan of Jordan, a Hashemite himself.

    Do these strategic realities, and the wide ridicule of Chalabi among Middle East experts, matter? "I
    don't think their point of view is relevant to the debate any longer," says Danielle Pletka, vice president
    of the American Enterprise Institute. "Sor-ry!" Thanks to the "entire vast army [of neoconservatives]"
    who've successfully won over Bush and Cheney, she observes, the INC has something that the other
    groups lack: the support of the president of the United States.
    Robert Dreyfuss

    Copyright 2002 by The American Prospect, Inc. Preferred Citation: Robert Dreyfuss, "Tinker,
    Banker, NeoCon, Spy," The American Prospect vol. 13 no. 21, November 18, 2002 .
  14. by   pickledpepperRN
    I thought General Garner was leaving???
    May 10, 2003

    June 15 Deadline Set for Iraq Stability


    Filed at 5:39 a.m. ET

    BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- The top U.S. civilian official in Iraq on Saturday set a June 15 deadline to get much of Iraq's infrastructure up and running and normalize the
    country's health and educational systems.

    Speaking at a conference of medical workers, retired Lt. Gen. Jay Garner -- head of the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance -- reiterated his main
    goal was to bring stability back to Iraq.

    It remains a daunting objective. More than a month after U.S. troops entered Baghdad, most government services remain either nonexistent or in a state of chaos.

    To achieve that, Garner said, the national power grid had to be restored, the health system repaired, schools reopened and safe drinking water provided. He also said
    city councils would be set up across Iraq and crops harvested and bought up.

    ``It is my object to accomplish this by the 15th of June,'' Garner said. ``After June 15, if we accomplish all these things together, we can begin the process of handing
    things back to the people of Iraq.''

    Garner's agency consists of 800 U.S. experts seconded by the various departments of the U.S. government and drawn from the ranks of police and health specialists,
    aid and oil experts.