“The Iraqi people have not been mobilized by the coalition because the opposition was excluded from the initial phases. They have to feel this is liberation, not occupation. The people have to feel they are allied with the United States. They have to feel confident Saddam is gone and that he will not kill them,” [Iraqi opposition leader Ahmad Chalabi said from northern Iraq]… Mr. Chalabi also spoke out against the efforts of some who are pushing for a big role for the United Nations in post-war Iraq. He prefers that America head up the effort. Mr. Chalabi said there is no love for the U.N. among Iraqis because the international body has let them down so many times over the years. In particular, Mr. Chalabi said the Iraqi people remember the U.N.’s failure to implement Security Council Resolution 688, passed in 1991, demanding an end to repression by the Saddam’s regime. “The U.N. has been hostile. They have little credibility in Iraq,” Mr. Chalabi said, adding that the U.N.’s record of exposing Saddam’s brutal human rights violations is “abysmal.” Of the U.N.’s officials, Mr. Chalabi said: “They have expensive salaries and do little work…The Iraqi people would rather deal directly with the U.S. and with President Bush, who has helped with their liberation rather than U.N. bureaucrats who don’t share their agenda.” [New York Sun, 4/3/03]

Meanwhile, there’s a struggle between the State Department and Defense Department as to who will get the funds provided for Iraqi reconstruction after the war. From the same article:

The White House prefers that money for Iraq’s reconstruction, included in Mr. Bush’s $75 billion supplemental budget request, be given to the Pentagon. But Tuesday, congressional appropriators in committee moved to give the $2.5 billion earmarked for postwar Iraq to Secretary of State Powell. The White House spokesman, Ari Fleischer, objected to the decision and said the issue is not dead. “We disagree with the committees about whether it should be the State Department or the Defense Department that should be authorized to expend the funds. And that is an issue that we’ll take up with the House and the Senate when it comes to the floor,” Mr. Fleischer said yesterday.
An editorial elaborates:

To get a sense of just how deliberately and enormously the State Department is maneuvering against the White House’s policy on Iraq, just follow the money….It strains credibility to think that Congress moved this money to State without checking with State first–or without pressure from State to do so, contravening the president’s wishes….[I]n the struggle for influence in postwar Iraq, the State Department is pushing a man, Adnan Pachachi, who has proclaimed that he has a “soft spot for Khrushchev”… The State Department, and particularly the deputy state secretary, Richard Armitage, is so desperate to smear Mr. Chalabi and undercut the Pentagon that it has gone beyond lobbying congressional appropriators. It has, we’re told, resorted to leaking confidential government documents to the newspapers. These documents, we are told, may be an attempt to dredge up a phony decade-old banking “scandal” involving Mr. Chalabi, or they may try to claim that he has weak support among the Iraqi people. Don’t be fooled. [New York Sun, 4/3/03]

Voice of Capitalism

Capitalism news delivered every Monday to your email inbox.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest