Saturday, October 09, 2004

MORE and MORE......


1) For those with time on their hands. Charles
Duelfer's complete report on Iraq's [non-existent]
WMD's. [Nabil]:

2) I definitely recommend reading and re-forwarding
Scott Ritter's talk, which I mentioned on Wednesday.
As it's an attachment, write me if you want to receive

3) Zaid Al-Ali's long article "Forgetting Iraq":

4) "Restoring Baghdad's museum to its former glory
An arduous task that relies on conscience and
international help..."

Joanne Farchakh
Daily Star

5) Who is Iyad Allawi? [I don't know what the original
source for this article is, but the facts presented
that I do know anything about appear to be accurate --
with one exception. The author denigrates the Baghdad
School, a Jesuit high school in Baghdad which was
closed and/or nationalized in the 70's. I have yet to
meet an Iraqi who has anything but the most positive
comments to make about that school -- whose graduates
included Tariq Aziz and several other high-ranking
Iraqi elites. Some list readers will simply conclude
that Iyad Allawi was a Jesuit grad...]

Monkey Business | Main | Monsieur Singe et Monsieur
Fromage - Deux »
September 06, 2004
Who Is Iyad Allawi?

[ This is from our London correspondent, who has
worked diligently on this story for some weeks now.]

Who Is Iyad Allawi?

This year (2004) Tony Blair proposed inviting the
above named person, the interim or temporary prime
minister of Iraq to address the annual Labour Party
conference. Some not insignificant dissent forced him
to reconsider.

Why the furore?

Here is the story of this rotund character with his
grandfatherly half moon spectacles.

Iyad Allawi was born in the fashionable area of Karada
in Baghdad in 1944, an address to which his family had
moved from Hilla in southern Iraq near the turn of the
20th century.

The family originally hailed from Western Lauristan in
Iran, a province from where many shia Kurdish families
emigrated to Iraq for religious, ethnic and economic
reasons. Still other families came with invading
Iranian armies and stayed on. They had the best of
both worlds as their Iranian citizenship shielded them
from any oppressive policies of the Ottoman state and
exempted them from service in the Ottoman army,
according to a treaty between the Sublime Porte and
the Saffavid state. But in early 1930, not too long
after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the dean of
the Allawi family, Ja'far, approached the newly
British-installed King Faisal I of the newly
British-created state of Iraq with a plea: in return
for Iraqi citizenship, he would pledge total
allegiance to the Hashemite court of Faisal I (and so,
indirectly, service to the interests of the British
Empire). For an unpopular monarch with little in or no
local constituency and heavily dependant on British
forces for his rule, such offers were easy to accept.

Thus the Allawi family integrated into the social
fabric of Iraqi society, straight into the Sa'idi
party that dominated political life in Iraq and worked
closely with the Royal Palace and British colonial

Allawi's uncle, a medical doctor, AbdelAmir Allawi,
was virtually permanent minister of health during the
era of the monarchy. (AbdelAmir's son and Iyad's
cousin, Ali Allawi, was appointed as minister for both
defence and trade and industry by Paul Bremmer during
his recent US-installed administration.)

Strong ties link the families of Iyad Allawi, Ahmed
Chalabi and Kanaan Makiya, an Iraqi author resident in
the US who strongly supported the invasion and was
advisor to the US government on the matter. The links
extend from the colonial age to modern day banking and
corporate dealings.

At the age of seven Iyad entered junior school and
from there graduated to Baghdad College, a school for
both intermediate and senior levels then run by
American Jesuits. Setting up this college was one of
the conditions the Iraq government had to accept as
part of the treaty to end British dependence and gain
nominal independence in 1932. (By the same treaty the
US also insisted on 23.75% of Iraqi oil production
being channelled through American oil companies. The
rest went to Anglo-Dutch Shell.) This neo-colonial era
had a profound impact on the youth of the time,
polarising and conditioning them in myriad ways.

In 1958 the ancient regime came to a sordid end in a
pool of royal blood in the forecourt of the Royal
Palace and Iraq was violently thrust into the teeming
world of modern Arab politics.

In 1961 Iyad joined the College of Medicine at the
University of Baghdad, the same year he joined the
Ba'th party. At university Iyad maintained the same
level he had at school - a mediocre student who yet
displayed acute social ambition with a personal
aggressive style. He brought these qualities to his
political life, brooking no opposition and showing
little patience or tolerance of the old debate that
had existed in the party.

Toward the end of 1962 the Ba'th party led a famous
politically motivated student strike in Iraq, which it
soon after emerged was a premeditated prelude to a
military coup. The party had organised the strike in
collusion with other political powers and relying on
Ba'thist factions in the armed forces. Iyad Allawi,
then an undergraduate student at the Baghdad
University College of Medicine, was among the Ba'th
party enforcers in the strike and broke his leg in one
round of confrontations with the political police of
Iraq's then ruler, AbdelKarim Qasem.

Iyad was also an active member of the secret
organisation known as the National Guard of the Ba'th
party, which was entrusted with special missions such
as assassinations of key figures in the Qasem regime
or senior military officers, paving the way for the
upcoming coup. (Saddam Hussein himself, it is
remembered, was in the same division of the party and
was wounded in a failed assassination attempt on

Dr. Haifa'a Azawi, in an article published in the Los
Angeles Times in January 2004 recalls when she too was
a student at the Baghdad University College of
Medicine in the 1960s and remembers Allawi. She
remembers him as someone who had a reputation as a
poor student and a thug who used to threaten other
students with a handgun he habitually carried. He was
also known for sexually harassing girl students. Dr.
Azawi claims she herself has specific recollections of
experiences of his behaviour that back up Allawi's
reputation among the student body at the time.

The Ba'thist supported coup of 8 February 1963 was a
success. The party leader, General Ahmed Hassan AlBakr
became prime minister and 19-year-old Allawi
thereafter appeared on campus in military uniform as
one of the leaders of the Ba'th party National Guard,
and was in charge of night duty at many of the
National Guard's important security posts. Eventually
he was in charge at the central security office at the
presidential palace where a special interrogations
bureau was located, that investigated political forces
accused of being opposed to the Ba'thist coup, such as
the Iraqi Communist Party, pro-Qasem political
organisations and Democratic and Nationalist
(pro-Nasser) parties and other smaller political

At the palace Allawi was known as the "palace doctor"
in addition to other, more ominous nicknames. He
personally exercised all manner of violence against
hundreds of detainees at the many National Guard
centres, especially the palace. In particular he
targeted his colleagues at the college of medicine.

Specifically, Allawi stands accused of having
personally tortured to death three politically active
figures of the time: Mohammed AlWardi, Faisal AlHajaj
and Sabah AlMirza, a girl student at the time in the
college of medicine. All three were then trade union
and political leaders in the Iraqi Communist Party. In
addition to their political allegiances, the three
were also highly educated, respected individuals from
well to do families of some repute. During the few
hours when Allawi showed up at the college of
medicine, where he was still enrolled, his behaviour,
in uniform and with pistol, was tantamount to a
renegade police officer in pursuit of any other
student who differed with him, either politically or
personally. Eventually this was too much even for the
Ba'th party and Allawi himself was arrested, at which
point he tried to commit suicide.

He was later released as a result of a special
personal plea made through family and political
channels to Al-Bakr. Ever since, Allawi's fate has
been intimately tied up with Al-Bakr and his
entourage, especially Saddam Hussein, and when the
later formed the special "Hanin" security bureau for
assassinations and intimidations, Allawi was appointed
as one of its key personnel. He went on to faithfully
carry out his many missions for Hanin on the Baghdad
University campus and in the streets and alleyways of
the city.

Toward the end of 1966, and after the then president
of Iraq, AbdelSalam Aref, died in an infamous air
crash, Allawi and his colleagues in Hanin embarked on
a major destabilisation campaign in Iraq, aimed at
preventing any kind of unified political leadership
from emerging. They pursued non-Ba'thist political
activists around the streets of Baghdad and even into
their homes. When their victims tried to hit back,
Allawi and his Hanin members would take refuge in
police stations and claim victimisation.

Finally, on July 17th 1968 Allawi and his colleagues
in Hanin had their day when they were instrumental in
bringing about the total success of a Ba'thist coup
that saw all other political forces in Iraq excluded
from power. AlBakr became president and so close was
Allawi's relationship with him that he was granted an
office in the presidential palace. AlBakr then leant
on the then minister of health, Dr. Ezzat Mustafa, to
accelerate and approve Allawi's "graduation" from the
college of medicine. So "Dr." Allawi came to be.

However, the conflict, or, rather, competition,
between Iyad Allawi and Saddam Hussein, who was also a
close confidant of AlBakr, now came to the fore.
Saddam, who was effectively AlBakr's number two,
became seriously suspicious of people like Allawi whom
he considered as upstarts trying to run before they
could walk and scaling the ladder within the party too

The solution was to promote Allawi sideways by sending
him abroad; specifically to London where he was
dispatched nominally as a postgraduate student in
medicine, his undergraduate graduation from Baghdad
having been rubber-stamped. His real mission was to
oversee political and intelligence activities within
the Iraqi student and migr community in London and he
was given full facilities to do so, including a
substantial budget.

So in the 1970s Allawi played spy in London and lived
the high life on his lavish allowance. He was escorted
by his wife, Dr. Ottoor Dwaishah who was also
ostensibly in the UK as a postgraduate student in
medicine. But life seemed to be too good in London and
Allawi strayed, acting as playboy and tycoon more than
spy and researcher. Reports about his behaviour were
reaching Baghdad and eventually he was recalled.
Knowing he had not exactly fulfilled his mission with
glory, he decided instead to switch sides and was
recruited by MI6. Orders then went out from Baghdad
and in 1978 an attempt was made to assassinate him at
his luxurious South Kensington residence. Badly
wounded, MI6 shipped him out to a British military
hospital in Northern Ireland, where he recuperated for
several months under tight security.

Just as his earlier trauma yielded his allegiance to
AlBakr, it would appear that this incident sealed
Allawi's strong relationship with British
intelligence, and after that with American
intelligence. But some sources tell a different story,
saying his relationship with the Americans in
particular predated all this to at least the time when
he was an undergraduate at Baghdad University's
College of Medicine in the early 1960s. Then and
there, it is said, a Jesuit priest from his old school
recruited him for the CIA.

Upon returning to Washington his spiritual father, and
handler, handed him over to a high level CIA station
in Baghdad. According to this version of events,
Allawi then naturally established contact with CIA
handlers in London when he was sent there and was able
to pursue that relationship more openly than he could
in Baghdad. But his higher-ranking position in the
Ba'th party, which then formed the government in Iraq,
now led western intelligence to seek a tighter hold on
him. So he was entrapped in some form of financial (or
sexual) impropriety in London; the price of his
extraction being his total allegiance to CIA/MI6. It
was when his superiors in Baghdad heard of this that
they ordered his immediate recall. And when he
resisted, they ordered his liquidation. Either way, by
1978 Iyad Allawi emerged as a fully-fledged MI6/CIA

(The Arabic word "Ba'th" means renaissance and the
party was originally formed by some urbane
intellectuals, Michel Aflaq and Salah Al-Bitar in 1941
as a pan-Arab vehicle for the unity and modernisation
of the Arab world. Filling a political near vacuum, it
became a victim of its own success, being slowly but
surely corrupted as ambitious, ruthless officers and
other unruly elements signed on. By the 1960s it was
already a parody of its own founding principles and
had turned into a vehicle for the personal political
ambitions of various individuals. Inevitably the party
split on personal lines that were poorly dressed up as
ideological. These rivalries also led the party into
ill-advised competition with other political movements
such as Communism and the pro-Nasser nationalism that
was sweeping the Arab world in the 1950s and 1960s.
Both anti-communism and anti-Nasserism became useful
party policies for the US government to exploit. It is
no secret that the Americans were keen backers of the
Ba'thist coups in Iraq in the 1960s, fearing that else
Iraq would come under the sway of Nasser. CIA contacts
with the Ba'thists at the time are now well
documented. Allawi himself was ruthless, even
overzealous, in his pursuit of Communists after the
Ba'thist takeover. So an early relationship between
him and the CIA is logical or, at least not
contradicted by historical logic. One of the first
steps the Ba'th party government took upon coming to
power in 1968 was closing down Allawi's alma mater,
Baghdad College and expelling its American Jesuits.
The school had become a colonial holdover viewed as a
nest of spies.)

By the time he had recovered from his injuries Allawi
had lost both his wife, who had left him, and his
contacts with his political party and homeland, who
now spurned him as a traitor. Yet thanks to the social
circle he had formed in London, where he was allowed
to stay courtesy of MI6, he was able to reinvent
himself as a businessman. On the side he also started,
with extreme caution, a political career.

Iyad Allawi's mother is Lebanese from the reputed
Osseyran family. His aunt on his mother's side was a
well-known Beirut socialite. She had married a
businessman with leftwing leanings, Farouk Al-Ta'ie
who was a personal friend of many prominent Iraqi
political figures, both in and out of government. He
also had strong relationships with leading figures in
politics and media in Beirut, London and Baghdad. The
Osseyran family and Mr. AlTa'ie had an open political
salon in Baghdad, especially in the Halcyon days of
the political alliance between the ruling Ba'th Party
and the Iraqi Communist Party from 1972 to 1978. A
general flight from Baghdad followed the bitter
divorce that ended that alliance with many figures
taking refuge in London. Thus this replenished
reservoir of family contacts presented a new, further
impetus to the then embryonic political activities of
Iyad Allawi and his personal ambition; in particular
his virulent private vendetta against Saddam Hussein,
who had pushed aside Al-Bakr to become president in

But Allawi was unable to build a political career for
himself in the 1980s because his friends and allies
(the UK, US and Arab oil sheikhs) were supporting
Saddam Hussein in his desperate war with Iran. Yet
that did not stop Allawi from profiting personally
from this war, as did other ostensibly anti-Saddam
Iraqi exiles like him at the time (Hani Fakiki, Salah
Takriti and Ahmed Chalabi). In pursuit of his business
he travelled regularly between London, Amman and the
oil sheikhdoms, always with special British security

The true nature of some of his activities at the time
have recently been exposed when a Yemeni engineer,
Abdullah Jash'an filed a $3 million suit for overdue
payments against Allawi accusing him of fraud and
opening a trading office under false pretences. The
suit chronicles that Allawi opened this office in
Sana'a purporting to represent the unoriginally named,
UK-based, Smith Overseas General Contracting Company,
and hired and appointed Jash'an as representative for
the US Chevron Oil. The suit alleges the real purpose
of the office was intelligence gathering in Yemen. His
partner in that venture was his brother, Sabah Allawi,
who is currently nominated as Iraqi ambassador to the
USA. Latest reports are that the Iraqi embassy in
Yemen has approached Jash'an with an offer of payment
in return for dropping the suit. Meanwhile Sabah
Allawi is now associated with a regional UN
development agency and has forged some distinctive
relationships with oil states, especially Saudi
Arabia. In fact Sabah was the original conduit of
communications between his brother Iyad on the one
hand, and Jordan and Saudi Arabia on the other.

After the end of the Iraq-Iran war in August 1988 the
alliance between the West and Saddam Hussein lost its
raison d'tre and in 1989 MI6 re-activated Allawi,
instructing him to restart his political activity and
establish an overt political organisation opposed to
the Baghdad regime, and so the Iraqi National Accord
was born.

And Allawi got down to business, contacting some of
his former Ba'thist colleagues who had also since
fallen out of favour. Chief among them: Salah Omar
Takriti, former member of the Revolutionary Command
Council and former Minister of Information, Ismail
Ghollam, member of the Syrian Ba'th Party Command,
Tahseen Mo'ela, a veteran leading Ba'thist, Salah
Sheikhly, former governor of the Central Bank of Iraq
and Selim Imami, a former Ba'thist military commander.

At about the same time events took a dramatic turn
when Iraq invaded Kuwait and Allawi stepped up his
activities establishing new contacts with Saudi,
Jordan, Turkey, the oil sheikhdoms and Egypt. On
January 10th 1991 Iyad Allawi and Salah Takriti
secretly visited Cairo and met with Egyptian Foreign
Secretary Amru Mousa (currently head of the Arab
league). At a series of meetings the basis for a
relationship between the Egyptian government and the
INA was laid out. All parties agreed at the time they
believed the upcoming war on 17th January 1991 would
spell the end of the Iraqi regime but the Egyptians
could not give Allawi what he wanted, and so he
preferred an alliance with the Saudis, who were able
to bring on board the Kurdish and Islamic opposition.
The deal was sealed at a conference in Beirut in March

The conference was an abject failure. All its
decisions and plans were miscalculated and doomed as
Saddam Hussein survived the consequences of defeat.
The Kurds then left the alliance and went to Baghdad
to do a separate deal with Saddam while Allawi and his
INA went to Washington seeking material and logistical
support. The dealmaker here was Ahmed Chalabi.

Chalabi and Allawi have extended family relations. The
physician and monarchist minister of health Dr.
AbdelAmir Allawi (Iyad's uncle) is married to
Chalabi's elder sister; Chalabi himself is married to
a lady from the Osseyran family, Allawi's mother's
family. In addition both are shia Muslims. Yet the
extensive family, religious and business relationships
between the two men have created a notorious love-hate
relationship. For the tremendous personal ambition
they each harbour and the ego of each character
effectively preclude any calm balanced cooperation
between them. Chalabi considers the Allawis a socially
and politically marginal family.

Furthermore, Chalabi has created a political image for
himself as an anti-Ba'thist and seems to harbour a
genuine personal contempt of all Ba'thists, making it
difficult if not impossible for him to forget or
forgive Iyad Allawi's career with the party. As far as
Chalabi is concerned, Iyad Allawi is a Ba'thist.

However, circumstances, and a common cause made it
possible for them to forge a marriage of convenience
to overlook their rivalries and personal quirks in
their daily activities, for a while. So when Chalabi
got together with the Washington neo-cons to create
the Iraqi National Congress in July 1992, Allawi had
an important role to play.

Allawi had further enhanced his own personal standing
in the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War. After the
defeat of the uprising against Saddam Hussein hundreds
of people, many Ba'thists who had rebelled, fled and
for them, for political and religious purposes,
London-based Allawi, a shia Muslim and former
Ba'thist, was a natural destination for sanctuary.
Notable among these from the military: Faris Haj
Hussein, Tawfeeq Yassari, Sa'd Obeidy, Najeeb AlSalhy,
Mahdy AlDulaimy, Wafeeq AlSamara'ei and Abdullah
Shahwany. From the civilian political side: Arshad
Tawfeeq, Hamed Jabouri and Hisham AlShawi. All of
these cooperated either with Allawi's INA or Chalabi's
INC. But this cooperation soured 1993. In particular
Allawi and Takriti fell out after the Americans
refused to deal further with Takriti. They were
convinced he was among those who supervised public
executions of Jews in Baghdad in 1969. (Saudi
intelligence, however, continued to deal with
Takriti.) So Allawi's INA fractured with Takriti and
other members going their own way; founding the Iraqi
Democratic Accord.

Allawi continued to work with the CIA throughout the
1990s and escalated his activities. With the help of
the Americans he opened an office in northern Iraq and
was able to send several car bombs into Baghdad. Among
his targets were a school bus, a cinema and a school

In June 2004 the New York Times reported former CIA
operative Robert Baer saying that Allawi was inept in
these operations, and in addition that he was
financially greedy. Baer also doubts the special
relationship Allawi claimed to have with Iraqi
intelligence. Kenneth Pollack, political analyst and
member of the American Foreign Relations Committee is
of the opinion that American intelligence maintained
contacts with Allawi in their pursuit to overthrow
Saddam Hussein following the axiom "send a thief to
catch a thief". Samuel Berger, National Security
adviser to Bill Clinton, thinks Allawi is neither as
active nor as important as Chalabi, and that certain
special conditions have pushed Chalabi to the
background at present. His opinion is mostly based on
the fact that Allawi failed in all missions he was
given by the CIA in 1992 - 1995 (but so did Chalabi),
despite Allawi's claims that he enjoys widespread
contacts within the Shia community as well as the
military and civilian infrastructure of Iraq. Berger
believes the CIA was not comfortable with Chalabi
because of his extreme and overt ambition and they
would rather deal with a lesser, more controllable
quantity such as Allawi who can never argue or pose a

Allawi's nadir was in 1995 when he failed to bring
about a military coup he had been entrusted to
organise by the CIA. So spectacular was the fiasco
that Iraqi intelligence officers in Amman contacted
their American counterparts to boast how
comprehensively they had quashed the plot. After this
catastrophe Allawi did not pursue further plans inside
Iraq and limited his activities to setting up an
anti-Saddam radio station in Amman, with the support
of King Hussein. This was the most he could do within
Jordanian law.

AbdulKarim Kabariti, the former Jordanian prime
minister, believes that Allawi's abject failure may
have alerted him that his own organisation was
penetrated by Iraqi intelligence. But, according to
intelligence expert Peter Symonds, a main reason why
British and American intelligence clung on to Allawi
was that he had convinced them that, through contacts
he maintained, he could, as a future Ba'thist head of
state, steer an Iraqi Ba'th party government back to a
pro-western policy if Saddam was to be kidnapped or

After the 1995 fiasco Allawi worked hard to score
points and redeem himself in the eyes of his employers
at the CIA and MI6. He convinced his cousin, consul at
the Iraqi embassy in Moscow, to defect and bring with
him a small trove of government documents. At the same
time, Chalabi also suffered a serious defeat at the
hands of Saddam at the famous battle of Erbil in 1996
when Iraqi forces routed the Chalabi militia and
executed many of his field commanders. So the field
appeared level between Chalabi and Allawi.

Since 1998, and since the US Congress passed the Iraq
Liberation Act and approved its accompanying budget,
Allawi has been leaking, alleged, manufactured,
"secret" documents about, firstly, Iraq's weapons
programmes and secondly, ties between the Iraqi regime
and AlQaeda and other fundamentalist organisations.
Investigative journalist Mark Hosenball recently
exposed the documents as fakes. It was Allawi who made
the notorious 45-minute claim that caused Blair (and
Bush) so much embarrassment.

The Americans appointed Allawi, as they did Chalabi,
to the Governing Council they set up on 13th July 2003
as part of the Shia quota and both were then elected
(by the other, American appointed council members) to
the nine-member presidential committee that operated
on rotation. But Allawi also became head of the
security subcommittee of the governing council and,
working with American proconsul Paul Bremmer, set
about building up a new Iraqi intelligence and
security apparatus.

(It is instructive to know that the Americans
originally had "Advisory Council" in mind. It was the
UN mission of the late Sergio de Mello who advised
them that "governing" had a better sound than
"advisory". His office was also critical in convincing
Ayatollah Sistani and the Shia majority to join
instead of boycotting this body. His subsequent
violent death in the bombing of Baghdad UN
headquarters was an acute loss to the USA. Sergio de
Mello first came to prominence when the Americans
insisted he become UN High Commissioner for Human
Rights to replace Mary Robinson, who was causing them
no number of headaches by seeking to apply the same
norms to everyone. Especially Israel. He was there for
less than a year when the issue of the new post-war
Baghdad UN mission came up and the Americans again
insisted De Mello head that office, against the desire
of Secretary General Kofi Anan. It is probable that
Washington was grooming De Mello as a future UN
Secretary General.)

Both Robert Dreyfus and Seymour Hersh affirm that
Allawi, working with then CIA chief George Tenet,
started building up a secret death squad division
similar to those operated by the Americans in Vietnam
in 1968 as part of the notorious Operation Phoenix.
(By a happy coincidence, Allawi himself was similarly
employed in 1968 in the Ba'th party death squads in

The budget for these "security" operations run by
Allawi is a most princely $3 billion, taken from the
$87 billion voted by Congress for "reconstruction".
These funds are laundered to Allawi's security
apparatus via the so-called American Special Air
Forces in Iraq. The basic personnel of this outfit is
275 CIA officers plus a handful of former Iraqi
intelligence officers who, led by a renegade officer,
Ibrahim Al-Janabi are now working with the Americans.
The outlines of this force were laid down in January
2003 when Allawi visited CIA headquarters in Langley,
Virginia. It seems Allawi received further
instructions at that visit for soon afterward he
started writing copious articles that were duly
published in the US press (Washington Post, New York
Times and Wall Street Journal) and one Arabian Gulf
region newspaper (Emirates based AlEtihad). The main
thrust of these articles was to praise US security and
intelligence organisations and support their
operations in Iraq against "terrorism" - the word
Allawi uses to describe virtually all armed resistance
in Iraq. But he also criticised the decision to
dissolve the former Iraqi army and other state
structures, yet implying this was the fault of the
policy advocated by Chalabi, and not a US policy

Allawi has pursued an aggressive public relations
effort in the US where his campaign is headed by
Patrick Nikolas Theros, a retired career US diplomat
and former ambassador to Qatar. According to USA
Today, reporting in August 2004, Allawi has so far
spent at least $350,000 in lobbying and PR, the money
having been donated by a wealthy Iraqi exile. Theros,
who is paid $10,000 a month for his troubles,
recruited law firms Preston Gates Ellis & Rouvelas
Meeds, paying them over $300,000 as well as New York
City PR firm Brown Lloyd Jones to the cause. "It was a
bid for influence and it was money well spent", said
Danielle Pletka, a Middle East analyst at the American
Enterprises Institute, a Washington DC think tank.
"Allawi has always assumed ... that he did not need a
constituency in Iraq as long as he had one in
Washington", she added. Indeed, as accusations mounted
against Chalabi that he was a US stooge, he appeared
irritated and tried, though not too convincingly, to
rectify his image. But even sharper accusations
against Allawi do not seem to bother that individual
in the least.

An article this last June in Newsweek, by a reporter
known to be close to CIA sources, described what
happened in Baghdad recently as a kind of quiet coup.
For the CIA had succeeded in removing their man
Chalabi from the scene and supplanting him with their
man Allawi. They then managed to get a motley crew of
clerics and businessmen to rubber stamp Allawi as
"temporary prime minister". Most importantly, they
managed to upstage and out-manoeuvre the UN and their
man on the ground, Lakhdar Brahimi, who was pushing
for a different candidate altogether, the nuclear
physicist Hussein Sitani, who is relatively well
respected in Iraq and close to Grand Ayatollah Ali
Sistani, but, of course not an established agent of
MI6 or CIA.

Brahimi himself spoke at length about how the
"Governing" Council simply rubber-stamped the American
choice, Allawi, whereas the US administration had
feigned surprise at the "election" of Allawi by the
council. As Brahimi, said, in his opinion, the
appointment of Allawi must have confirmed to the Iraqi
people that the Anglo-Saxon occupation of their
country was being institutionalised with the
appointment of a CIA agent as prime minister, and such
a step was only likely to further ignite the

This duly happened and within three weeks of Allawi's
appointment not only had the rebellion in central Iraq
intensified but also the Shia, nominally Allawi's own
people, now joined in.

When NBC newsman Tom Brokaw interviewed Allawi in June
2004 and asked him about the non-existent weapons that
formed the public basis for the war, Allawi dismissed
the issue and said the invasion was simply part of the
"global war on terror" and insisted that the former
regime had well-established ties to AlQaeda. When
Brokaw asked him further about the internal situation
in Iraq today, Allawi angrily replied that Iraq was a
special case and the political norms of democracy
cannot apply to "Iraqi traditions".

Perhaps the Sydney Morning Herald was inadvertently
referring to these traditions when it published
accounts of how Allawi had personally shot dead six
men. A claim he denies and the paper just as strongly
insists is true. The incident, recounted in detail in
the Herald, is that Allawi went on a sudden field trip
to Amiriya late last June accompanied by his Interior
Minister Falah Naqeeb. Allawi had then addressed the
officers at the compound and their commander, General
Ra'd Abdullah, emphasising they had to use maximum
force and severity in dealing with "terrorists", while
his government, he promised, would do all it can to
protect them. To prove his commitment, he ordered
seven prisoners in a cell to be taken out and chained
to a wall. He then pulled out his own pistol and
proceeded to shoot each man in the head, leaving six
dead and the seventh badly wounded. The account was
told, in detail, to the Herald reporter by multiple
sources who corroborated on the smallest of details.
The sources also report how the bodies were taken and
buried in the desert outside Abu Ghraib prison, in
unmarked graves.

Meanwhile Iyad Allawi has started up a political party
to contest any future elections. So which cynic was it
who said that the war in Iraq was launched to replace
an anti-American tyrant by a pro-American tyrant?

6) Rebecca's Nablus Eyewitness Report:

"Kicks and Punches"
Update from Nablus and beyond...

This last week offered a spectrum of activities for us
to participate in that were much different then how I
spent my time the first couple of months
here. I'm happy to say I saw boys doing something
other than throwing stones the other night. Instead,
they were throwing kicks and punches during a
karate exam. Their enthusiasm was warming and they
were thrilled to have an international audience.

One boy named Ibrahim came up to me afterwards with a
small, worn magazine picture of a wolf. He handed it
to me and said,"To remember me." He smiled and
walked away without giving me any information other
than his name. It was one of the sweetest thing that
anyone has ever done.

Afterwards there was an amazing exhibition of Balata
Village's past that was hosted by an area family's
home. Most of the exhibition was candle lit
and accompanied by an elderly musician camped out on
the ground in front of hot coals burning inscense from
the Gulf. Everything from dresses to
cookware to paintings hung from the walls as we walked
through the exhibition guided by a man in period
dress. The entire group was so relieved to see such an
interest by Palestinians in preserving their own
heritage. We just kept repeating, "This is so
amazing." If the Israeli's won't allow them the
space to honor their past and future, they'll bring to
the homes.

Aside from these lovely activities, we've been
planning for the olive harvest in Nablus's surrounding
villages. Under normal circumstances,
this could be a pleasurable event involving months of
picking and picnicking in the olive groves. Families
gather and share in what should yield in the year's
economic gain. But under these circumstances of
increased land-grabbing and aggression by Israeli
settlers, olive picking has become something to fear.

To explain the geography of the land, most villages
are built around and up the sides of a mountain. The
Israeli settlers have built their communes on
the peaks of these mountains as a threat to multiple
villages at a time. More frequently during the olive
harvests, the settlers come down with guns, chains,
bats, and stones without any hesitation in using these
weapons on old men, women, boys and girls. I know it
sounds like a horror film, but it's true; it's a
reality for the Palestinians.

As some sort of twisted experiment, the DCO (District
Commander's Office) has allotted only three days of
"protection" from the settlers during harvest.
Ironically, the Israeli forces sometimes present
themselves as a barrier between the settlers and
farmers to protect the Palestinians. But as
most know, this usually doesn't prove effective and
more often then not the forces show up to antagonize
the Palestinians. Several stories echo in the villages
about their experiences with both the settlers and
soldiers. For example, Israelis come after a long days
work in collecting the olives and either steal them
from the Palestinians, roll over them with tanks, or
even take the farmer's donkeys so they have no way to
transport their goods. This is what the Palestinians
have to look forward to year after year, and it
worsens as the settlements expand.

For the next couple of weeks, I'm planning to partake
in the olive harvest, but I'm not sure where and when
because the dates change according to the ripeness of
the olives and the threat from Israelis. I'll let you
all know as soon as I get more information on the
planned actions.

There are many other stories circulating that everyone
is trying to report and follow up on including a boy
who was shot in the head and is hopefully finding
accomodations in the US through the internationals and
PCRF to receive critical surgeries and treatment. We
need as many success stories as we can get...but what
we need even more is prevention.

Take care!

7) Israel/Palestine's One State Solution Op-Ed:

Two Peoples, One State

New York Times - October 4th, 2004>

Israel's untenable policy in the Middle East was more
obvious than usual last week, as the Israeli Army made
repeated incursions into Gaza, killing dozens of
Palestinians in the deadliest attacks in more than two
years, even as Prime Minister Ariel Sharon reiterated
his plans to withdraw from the territory. Israel's
overall strategy toward the Palestinians is ultimately
self-defeating: it wants Palestinian land but not the
Palestinians who live on that land.


1) See attachment for a localized political analysis
of Florida's hurricane season.

2) Uh, maybe the revolution will be televised after
all. For some of the best ad media efforts available
to turn the populace against Bush, view this MoveOn
website. Check out the archived ads from earlier
weeks. You can log on with my email address if you
don't want to use your own. [Nabil]

3) Anti-Draft Petition:

4) Sign Up to be a Polling Station Monitor on 2
November, especially in swing states [it's more legal
than setting up citizens' roadblocks in Republican
districts on election day...]:

5) Petition requesting Tom DeLay's resignation:

6) Donate to congressional candidates endorsed by

7) Swing-state poll monitoring volunteers:

1) This Saturday, October 9, Kerry-Edwards volunteers
and supporters across the 21 targeted states will
attempt to knock on 1 Million doors to spread the
Kerry-Edwards message. We need your help in New
Orleans! Our share is to knock on over 6000 doors in
the New Orleans region. I hope you will join us this
Saturday. Please let us know if you can help us ( we
report these numbers to the DNC nightly). Contact
Krystal ( or Leslie
( at 504-812-8313 if you will
be joining us!

Saturday, October 9, 2004

3300 Canal St., Suite 100

meet at 9:45 am
10am-2 pm

“Working Together Towards a Better Future”
Audubon Room, Loyola University
6363 St. Charles Avenue
Saturday, October 9, 2004
2:00 PM Until 4:00 PM

The Muslim Community of New Orleans Invites You to
Experience Muslim Culture by Participating In
Operation Understanding: The Next Generation:
“Working Together Towards a Better Future.”

Don’t miss this Rare Opportunity to listen to the
Hopes and Concerns of Members of the Muslim Community
in New Orleans and the United States. Find Out Who
the Muslims Really Are! Ask Your Questions and Enjoy
the Food.

“Operation Understanding: The Next Generation” is a
Cooperative Effort of:
The Islamic Shura Council of Greater New Orleans
The Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans
The Human Relations Commission of New Orleans

U.S. Media & the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Sunday, October 17
7:30 p.m.
Zeitgeist Multi-disciplinary Arts Center
1724 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd (@ Felicity St.) 504-525-2767
$6/$5 students, seniors, unemployed

Combining American and British TV news clips with
observations of analysts, journalists and political
activists, Peace, Propaganda & the Promised Land
provides historical overview and a striking media

This pivotal video is required viewing for anyone that
suspects the US media is not telling the whole truth
about the Middle East. Featuring Noam Chomsky, Hanan
Ashrawi, Robert Fisk, and many others. Introduced by
members of the New Orleans Human Rights Delegation.

A talk by RAUDA MORCOS, Palestinian Lesbian activist,
poet, and
co-founder of ASWAT (voices)
12:30PM - 1:30PM
Brown bag / Lunch discussion
University of New Orleans Womens Center
Earl K. Long Library, Room 201
Discussion and Reception
With Introduction by Catherine Jones; Tulane Medical
Student and member of New Orleans Human Rights
Delegation Anna E. Many Lounge, Newcomb College Center
for Research on Women

200 Caroline Richardson Hall
Free parking on campus after 7pm

Both events are free and open to the public

RAUDA MORCOS is a founder of "ASWAT - Palestinian Gay
Women", an organization based in Jerusalem. Aswat's
mission is to articulate a Palestinian feminism that
encompasses gendered and national struggles against

Proudly co-sponsored by: The New Orleans Dyke March,
New Orleans Women's Studies Consortium, University of
New Orleans Women's Center, New Orleans Palestine
Solidarity, Tulane University Office of Multicultural
Affairs, Newcomb College Center for Research on Women

5) NOLAPS Times-Picayune Letters:

See the Occupation First Hand:

For peace, End Occupation:

Stop Blaming the victims:

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