April 16, 2004

Annan Adviser Attacks American Occupation and Bremer's Tactics

Eight more US soldiers have died in Iraq, bringing the
toll to 93 for April so far. For what?

You will hear much about involving the UN from both
the incredibly shrinking _resident and the
shell-of-a-man-formerly-known-as-Tony-Blair as well as
Secretary of Stone Calm 'Em Powell...But here is what
the UN is saying about them...It is not likely that
you will hear this harsh criticism on the air waves,
or from the forked tongues of the propapunditgandists
who carry the Bush cabal's water...The ONLY way out of
this quagmire is REGIME CHANGE here in the US...Our
NATIONAL SECURITY, ECONOMY SECURITY and ENVIRONMENTAL
SECURITY depend on it...

Jonathan Steele, Guardian: The UN's adviser on Iraq made a surprising attack on Washington's handling of its year-long occupation last night, condemning the detention of prisoners without trial or charge and offering a withering analysis of America's governance of the country. Lakhdar Brahimi, a respected veteran diplomat who used to be the senior UN representative
in Afghanistan and now serves as special adviser on
Iraq to the UN secretary general, Kofi Annan, also
criticized the Americans for their onslaught on
Falluja.

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http://www.commondreams.org/cgi-bin/print.cgi?file=/headlines04/0415-07.htm

Published on Thursday April 15, 2004 by the
Guardian/UK
Annan Adviser Attacks American Occupation and Bremer's Tactics
by Jonathan Steele in Baghdad

The UN's adviser on Iraq made a surprising attack on
Washington's handling of its year-long occupation last
night, condemning the detention of prisoners without
trial or charge and offering a withering analysis of
America's governance of the country. Lakhdar Brahimi,
a respected veteran diplomat who used to be the senior
UN representative in Afghanistan and now serves as
special adviser on Iraq to the UN secretary general,
Kofi Annan, also criticized the Americans for their
onslaught on Falluja.

"The cordoning off and siege of a city is not
acceptable," he said. His comments, on a day when the
US said that another eight of its soldiers had died,
were unexpectedly sharp.

Mr Brahimi is known as a cautious diplomat in public,
but he made it clear he was speaking in the name of
most Iraqis.

After a 10-day visit to Iraq, he prefaced his
catalogue of American mistakes by saying: "We heard of
many grievances which need to be addressed."

Mr Brahimi made it clear he thought it a grave mistake
for the US to have dismissed thousands of qualified
professional people, including teachers, doctors and
engineers, simply because of their links with the now
outlawed Ba'ath party.

He said sacking former army officers had caused
problems.

There was only a crumb of comfort for Paul Bremer, the
US administrator of Iraq, who is reeling from the
hostage seizures, the collapse of security in large
parts of the country, the failure to subdue the
largely Sunni city of Falluja, and the uprising by
radical Shi'a militias, all in the space of the past
two weeks.

Mr Brahimi gave a clear endorsement of the US plan to
appoint a prime minister as Iraq's chief executive and
disband the governing council and supported the June
30 deadline for the handover.

Most of the 25 members of the council appointed by the
US last July have been arguing for it to double its
size and remain after the transfer of sovereignty.
They will find it hard to resist their demise now it
has UN backing.

Massoud Barzani, the council's current president, who
stood alongside Mr Brahimi at yesterday's press
conference, joked nervously when asked if he agreed.
"Our life began before the establishment of the
governing council. Our life will continue," he said.

Mr Brahimi said he was "confident" a caretaker
government could be in place by June 30. He suggested
a national conference should be held in July to
promote "national dialogue and national
reconciliation." It could elect a consultative
assembly to work alongside the new government until
elections next January.

His visit was severely restricted by the collapse of
security and his team only managed to visit the
northern city of Mosul. He made it clear that if the
UN returns to help prepare for elections, it will need
security guarantees.

As he made his comments there were more clashes
between Sunni insurgents and US marines in Falluja.
Witnesses said an air strike hit the Hay al-Dubat area
at dusk. Four civilians and two rebels died in
overnight fighting.

Iraqi mediators said they had extended the
much-violated truce for 48 hours. They had achieved an
agreement under which the Iraqi police would return to
duty and US forces would withdraw.

Army officers said eight more US soldiers had died in
combat, bringing to 93 the number killed in action in
April.

In Baghdad US soldiers fired on looters raiding a
military lorry, killing or wounding several. In Mosul,
four civilians were killed by a rocket aimed at a
police station. A rocket hit the Sheraton hotel in
central Baghdad yesterday, where foreign contractors
are staying, but caused no casualties.

Guardian Newspapers Limited 2004

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Posted by richard at April 16, 2004 01:25 PM