Report From the Arab Press

Collated by A.

June 21, 2004

Iraq's Karazai & Co.

The Iraqi blogger, Riverbend, of the Iraqi web site, Baghdad Burning ( commented on the newly installed government in Iraq. She said:

"The new government isn't very different from the old Governing Council. Some of the selfsame Puppets, in fact. It.s amusing to watch our Karazai- Ghazi Ajeel Al-Yawer- trying to establish himself. It.s a bit of a predicament for many an Iraqi, and possibly foreigners too. Here he is- your typical Arab- the dark skin, dark hair and traditional .Dishdasha. wearing an 'Iggall' on his head and playing the role of tribal sheikh quite well.

Beyond these minor details, however, he remains an ex-member of the Governing Council and was actually selected by the Puppets, supposedly over the American preference- Adnan Al-Pachichi (who is adamantly claiming he is *not* the American preference at this point). That whole charade is laughable. It has been quite clear from the very start that the Puppets do not breathe unless Bremer asks them, very explicitly, to inhale and exhale. The last time I checked, Puppets do not suddenly come to life and grow a conscience unless a fairy godmother and Jiminy the Cricket are involved.

He is, purportedly, one of the heads of one of the largest tribes in the region- Al-Shummar. This tribe extends over parts of Iraq, Syria and Saudi Arabia. They are largely Sunni but have several Shi.a clans. During and after the war, they were largely responsible for the northern and western borders. They are landowners, farmers, and- occasionally- smugglers of everything from sheep, to people, to arms.

Now, Yawer is our Karazai. He sits exuding all the outward signs of the stereotypical Arab (almost down to the camel) and yet, he seems to support Bremer et al. in almost every decision. Sure, he gives an interview now and then and says he doesn.t agree with this decision or that one, but the first major meeting he attends, he calls for NATO forces inside of the country- as if Americans, Italians, Brits and the rest aren.t already enough. There are also rumors that he is married to a certain lady who is a personal friend and adamant supporter of none other than Ahmad Chalabi... I'm still looking into that.

His image, admittedly, bothers me. I'm getting visions of corrupt Gulf emirs, oil wells, and shady business dealings.

Iyad Allawi is completely America and Britain's boy. He has been on the CIA's payroll for quite some time now and I don.t think anyone was particularly surprised when he was made Prime Minister. The cabinet of ministers is an interesting concoction of exiled Iraqis, Kurdish Iraqis who were in the northern region and a few Iraqis who were actually living inside of Iraq. Of the 37 members of the new government, 11 were actually living inside of Iraq. Of those 11, one or two are known to be quite competent. The rest are either unknown or generally infamous.

Several of the new government actually have more than one nationality. Now don't get me wrong- I hold nothing against people with dual or triple or whatever number of nationalities. I do, however, have something against people with dual nationality being a part of government. It makes one wonder how many Americans would actually agree to having a senator or minister with, say, a French or German passport along with the American one.

While I don't have any definite numbers, I can assure the world that we have *at least* 20 million Iraqis, both inside and outside of Iraq, who have only a single nationality. I can even go further to assure the world that the majority of those Iraqis with a single nationality actually have lived inside of Iraq for most of their lives. However bizarre the statistics may seem, I do believe that out of those millions of Iraqis, 37 competent ones could have been found. True, they might not have CIA alliances, bank accounts in Switzerland, armed militias or multimillion dollar companies in Saudi Arabia. but many of them actually have a sense of national pride and an anxiety for their country and for the future of their children and their children's children inside of said country.

My favorite minister, by far, is the Defense Minister, Sha'alan Hazim. According to American newspaper Al-Sabah, Mr. Sha'lan Hazim 'received a Masters degree in business administration from the UK before returning to Iraq to run a Kuwaiti bank. After being forced to leave Iraq by the former regime, Mr.Sha'alan became the head of a real-estate company in London until he returned to Iraq last June and has since worked as the governor of Qadisiya.'

... At a point when we need secure borders and a strong army, our new Defense Minister was given the job because he' what? Played with toy soldiers as a child? Read Tolstoy's War and Peace six times? Was regional champion of the game Commandos?"

Qatari paper on Putin's offer to to Bush

The Qatari daily, al-sharq commented on Russian President Putin's voluntary help to Bush in facing one consequence of his administration's lying about the US war on Iraq, saying that it has never imagined that Russia would go down to such a low level morally and politically. "what's strange is that Russia has objected to the US-led war on Iraq and had been an ally of Baghdad, having a great deal of Business with Iraq under Saddam's government. What's the secret behind this? Is it a about a share for Russia in Iraq? Or is it related to a deal concerning Russian-Saudi oil rivalry? Or, is Putin trying to gain Bush's support for him inside Russia in exchange for helping him get out of the Iraq quagmire?"

Moslm scholars appeal to Korean kidnappers

The Association of Moslem Scholars(Ulama)'s spokesman, Dr.Muthanna al-Dhari, appealed to the kidnappers of the South Korean citizen to release him on humanitarian grounds. The South Korean subject was kidnapped by an unknown group which demanded the withdrawal of South Korean occupation soldiers from Iraq.

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