Report From the Arab Press

Collated by A.

May 27, 2004

' Who will believe Bush and Blair?
'June 30 Just a Redeployment '

In an article entitled 'Full Sovereignty Under Occupation' at the London-based daily alHayat[], Mr. Abdul-Wahab Badrkhan said the most important question raised by Bush's speech and Blair's statements is: who will believe them? "They have embroiled themselves, the Iraqis and the international community in a war which they wanted as a show of force and went to it with all superciliousness and haughtiness" said Mr.Badrkhan, adding that change in Iraq was necessary but there were ways and means to effect it other than war.

"However they opted for war and unleashed its machine to occupy Iraq, remove its state, army and governmental organizations and utilities," explained the Lebanese writer. He added that Bush seems to be betting that the international community will believe him when he said that the occupation authority will cease to exist after 30 June, while he will maintain all his forces in Iraq,and even send more soldiers.

"Where will these scores of thousands of soldiers stay? on Mars? or On the land of Iraq?", wondered the writer adding, "it seems that the US administration would like to go ahead with the lie, especially that the whole project of war and occupation was based on fabrication and forgery. The writer insisted that what will really happen in Iraq is a political and military redeployment along the path of Israeli redeployments. "No one has any doubt that Power will be transferred from Bremer to Negroponte," said Mr.Badrkhan, adding that the most serious development is the growing lack of distinctive lines between America and the UN in terms of the policy on Iraq.

Another member of US-picked council attacked

A member of the American-picked Interim Governing Council (IGC), Salama alKhafaji, was attacked by the Iraqi resistance on her way back to Baghdad from Najaf tonight .alJazeera said her son was killed in the attack and two of her bodyguards were injured. A bodyguard told the TV channel that the convoy was attacked near Yousifiya south of Baghdad when it came under heavy fire near an American checkpoint. He said: "We asked American soldiers for help, but they didn't. They were laughing and telling us 'You are Ali baba.'" Salama is headmistress of a nursery and was appointed after the killing of Aqeela alHashimi in another attack.

Press interference in Najaf fighting

A representative of Muqtada alSadr's office in Baghdad said American Occupation forces attacked Najaf with warplanes for 6 hours yesterday. He told Arab News Network ANN that American occupiers forced correspondents of Arab TV channels not to report the killing of any American soldier or the destruction of any American tanks by resistance forces. He added that the American occupiers were helped by many spies.

Ba'th vows to fight 'false transfer of power'
Power transfer ' a boring theatrical act'

The alQuds alArabi daily of London said the Ba'th Party in Iraq has dismissed the so-called transfer of power as a step to maintain the occupation under a front Iraqi government and vowed that the president, his deputies and all ministers of the Interim government will be legitimate targets for the Iraqi resistance. The Party said all foreign forces, under whatever designations they may stay in Iraq, are legitimate targets for resistance.

The paper, in a comment said the so-called transfer of power will be a boring , execrable, badly directed, and badly acted theatrical show, so much so that it will not find an audience. It added that July 1 will be a normal day for there will be no sovereignty under occupation. "How could there be sovereignty while America retains the final decision as who would be chosen as President, his deputies and ministers," explained the daily adding that the decision to have this transfer process was prompted by an internal American agenda related to elections. "Bush wanted to tell American people that things are going well in Iraq and that American soldiers in Iraq would no longer be occupation forces," said the paper.

Chalabi friend's company granted contract by pentagon

alQuds alArabi said an American company, Nur USA, owned by Nur Farooqi, a friend of Ahmad Chalabi, was granted a contract of $259 million by the Pentagon after it was decreased from $327 million . The contract is to supply the Iraqi army with equipment. The paper said Ahmad Chalabi runs a band in Iraq which included criminals accused of looting, killing, and kidnapping for ransom. It added that Chalabi's friend Sabah Noori, secretary of Chalabi's close aide the Minister of Finance, was accused of looting 12 million dollars during the process of Iraqi banknotes change and was arrested 2 months ago. "By ridding itself of Chalabi, the American administration wanted to rid itself of a prominent sign of the failure of it's colonial and imperial agenda in Iraq," said the paper.