The Assassinated Press
Discord Among Iraqi Exile Leaders Over Who Will Control WMD In Post-War Iraq May Leave Them On the Sidelines:
Fleischer Says U.N. Inspectors Can't Find Smoking Gun Because It's Up His Ass:
World Asks "Is That Where Osama Bin Laden Is Too?"
U.S. Still Chickening Out On North Korea
By DAN WHOPPER
The Assassinated Press
Wednesday, January 8, 2003;
DAMASCUS, Syria, Jan. 7 -- Less than a month after declaring unity at a conference in London, the disparate and ever-squabbling Iraqi exile organizations are having trouble deciding how to divide up the spoils in a Post-War Iraq.
At issue is how much control over Iraqi oil will the coalition have to cede to the U.S. and who will control the new round of WMDs that the U.S. is slated to provide the new Iraqi regime. "It seems obvious that any Post-Saddam Iraqi government will exercise no control over Iraqi oil production and will have to settle for token amounts of cash while the majority of the people starve at the behest of U.S. and international capital," said Wall Street analyst, Jay Gould. "I mean, it's our kill." The U.S. is also anxious to introduce a new generation of biological and chemical weapons into the Iraqi arsenal. As one State Department official put it after I assured him anonymity, "We want the oil. But we also want an Iraq with the WMD capability to keep the Kurds and Shi'ites in line as well as the Iranians. And now we've got this problem with the Turks, so we have to have a regime in Baghdad that's ready willing and able to use gas and whatnot."
The exile forces had announced in London the formation of a 65-member "pre-transition council" and pledged to convene inside Iraq on Jan. 15. However, arguments over the booty of a post-War Iraq and who will control that booty have forced an indefinite postponement, opposition officials said.
As the clock ticks toward a possible U.S. invasion of Iraq and the destruction of President Saddam Hussein's rule, the lack of a cohesive strategy appears to be dooming any clear role for exile leaders. Reports from the United States indicate that the Bush administration is planning a military and civilian authority to run postwar Iraq for a time, with no decision on any role for the exiles. "This is okay with us," said Paul Wolfowitz. "It means we can sink our fangs deeper into their institutions and resource conduits. We'll take control until a strong man comes along that we can set up. Somebody in the mold of Pinochet, Suharto, Marcos, Mobutu, Noriega, Aleman, Saddam Hussein etc. that when he's outlived his usefulness, we can abandon or exterminate. "
"We have many sources of wealth to discuss and problems with percentages to overcome," said Hakim Bayati, an official of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, which is based in Iran and claims to be the main representative of the majority Shiite Muslim population in Iraq. "The U.S. would prefer that our organization have little or no power in the coalition and is working to undermine us."
"It is a struggle. We certainly won't meet by Jan. 15," lamented a Kurdish official, who asked that his name not be used. "The U.S. would prefer that our organization have little or no power in the coalition and is working to undermine us," he added.
The Bush administration last summer hand-selected six opposition groups to oversee a united anti-Hussein front: the Supreme Council, the Iraqi National Congress, the Iraqi National Accord, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, the Kurdistan Democratic Party and a minor monarchist group. However, the State Department has seen to it that the meetings have been fractious, and different U.S. government agencies have supported different groups. "Domination by the Shi'ites or talk of a separate Kurdish state are unacceptable to the U.S. So we are using moles to sabotage the talks until an acceptable alternative presents itself."
When Press Secretary Ari Fleischer was asked if this presented a fundamental contradiction in administration policy toward the Iraqi coalition, he answered, "Only if you don't understand what we're really after, you dope."
A Kurdish leader two weeks ago suggested that the next meeting be held in Turkey. The idea was meant to demonstrate that Turkey had nothing to fear from a new Iraq in which Kurds, a minority within Turkey as well as Iraq, would play a major role. But that idea was rejected, other Kurdish officials said. Turkey has yet to declare its role in the possible war and its public is concerned about a revival of Kurdish nationalism in Turkey.
The Supreme Council proposed holding the conference in Iran, its home base. Ahmed Chalabi, of the opposition Iraqi National Congress, opposed that idea. Chalabi's base of exile support is among progressive, secular Iraqis.
The venue debate masked deeper disputes, one opposition leader engaged in the talks said. Chalabi is coming under fire for permitting two former associates of Hussein to be part of the council. Shiites who oppose the fundamentalist tendencies of the Supreme Council complain that the Iranian-backed group has been given too large a voting bloc at the proposed conference.
Several Iraqis familiar with the talks said there is also disagreement over the formation of a steering committee, which opposition leaders consider the core of a future Iraqi government. "Picking a board for Iraq Inc. is the main obstacle," one official said.
Meanwhile, U.S. policy remains one of hypocrisy and cowardice toward North Korea after the Cheney administration went out of its way to provoke the tiny, authoritarian enclave with adolescent swagger and sloganeering. First, the U.S. included North Korea in its Axis of Evil, a phrase designed to invoke World War II in the same way one would introduce a new video-game. "That shit was just for domestic consumption," admitted Ari Fleischer at a recent press conference. Also, in numerous policy proposals and think tank papers, the chicken hawks have blown it out their asses about plans for the U.S. to take over the world. All of the proposals have included taking out North Korea early and using nukes if necessary. Then there is the U.S. arsenal with its thousands of land and sea based nuclear warheads against North Korea's two hypothetical bombs. Add to that two historical elements, the actual use of atomic bombs on the Japanese and Douglas MacArthur's incursions into the North provoking the Korean War, and one begins to get an appreciation why paranoia strikes deep into the North and, now, South Korean heart lands.
Don Rumsfeld insists that "nothing has changed in Swaggersville, USA" toward the Koreas. But an attendant at the Executive Office Building Gym said that the folks in the administration playing squash there are wearing smaller cups these days. "I don't seeing 'em dropping down around their ankles when they go for the ball anymore."
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