Report From the Arab Press

Collated by A.

June 11, 2004

Head of Moslem Scholars: New regime is not expected to succeed

The al-Quds al-Arabi,daily of London said Dr.Harith al-Dhari, Secretary General of the Association of Moslem Scholars(ulama)lashed out at the new Iraqi government and described it as a theatrical show directed by Americans and with help of the former US-made Interim Governing Council. "Sectarian apportionment is clear in this government which is not expected to succeed in performing its duty. So Iraqis should not expect any thing from it" he said, adding that Iraq is now plagued with several ills, the first of which is occupation and the second, the spread of stooges who are not just individuals, but political groups. "These are the claws of occupation. They have been carrying out a terror/murder campaign against many Iraqi dignitaries of various religious and sectarian affiliations, professors, physicians, religious Imams, scientists, and military commanders.

Nationalist groups get together

The al-Quds al-Arabi daily said Pan-Arab Nationalist organizations in Iraq started efforts to unify their efforts and, perhaps, their organizations, in order to face the challenges of occupation. It quoted Zaidan Khalaf al-Niaimi, head of one such organization, as saying that unification efforts may take the form of a front or one organization. He said as a first step these groups agreed to unify their political discourse. Mr. Subhi Abdul-Hameed, head of another one of these organizations and former foreign minister(1963-1964), said that as long as American occupation forces are staying in Iraq, there will be no stability. "If security is to be maintained, there must be other forces that can enjoy all Iraqis' acceptance" Mr. Abdul-Hameed said, adding that Iraq had had 70 fully-equipped army divisions, whereas now we were left with nothing after our weapons were sold as scraps. He said there is no army without weapons. He suggested returning to one third of the former Iraqi army, i.e.,100,000 soldiers, so as to enable the Ministry of Defense to carry out its duties.

'New regime faces the test'

The al-Hayat daily of London, in an article by its New York UN correspondent, Raghida Dirgham, said the relation between the Interim Iraqi government and 'multi-national' forces in regard to military operations will be the most difficult test facing the new government. "It's threatened with being seen as an accomplice to occupation if it takes part in what's called sensitive operations, and with being seen as ineffective if it refused to take part but failed to prevent the US command from launching such operations" said Ms.Dirgham, adding that the United States has to listen carefully to Iraqi opinion and has to avoid indulging in the petty idea of combating terrorism. "If the US administration adhered to this serious logic it will jeopardize Iraq and create a quagmire for it there, for there are terrorist pockets there but there is resistance to occupation and to the Interim Government" said Ms. Dirgham adding, that it would be very dangerous to mix the two, and it would be advisable if President Bush stops mixing 'helping Iraq in the political process' with the war on terror.

Constitutional Congress criticizes UN resolution

The Arab Renewal site ( quoted the Iraqi National and Constitutional Congress as saying, in a statement on the recent UN security Council resolution, that the resolution was so vague that it caused a lot of suspicion. "Neither the relation between occupation forces and the installed government was clarified after America rejected the proposal to get Iraq's agreement to it's military moves, nor did the occupation-installed government get full control on security and financial matters" explained the Congress, adding that all this raises doubt about the future of sovereign decision-making, and even about the holding elections on time. The Congress said the resolution avoided confirmation of the Interim State Law, which is a positive step, but it failed to provide sufficient answers that reassure Iraqis of their near future in the interim period, as well as of the future of popular elections. "The resolution ignored the flagrant violations to Iraqis' human rights and the torture crimes under occupation, as if the resolution was issued to safeguard others' interests and not those of the Iraqi people. This will obviously be a big test for the government, which was not formed out of the people's will" said the Constitutional Congress, which comprises many religious and political anti-occupation groups.

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