Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Sandstorm coup de main 

Dateline Baghdad (via the NYTimes - login not required):
Baghdad Mayor Is Ousted by a Shiite Group and Replaced | By JAMES GLANZ | Published: August 10, 2005

BAGHDAD, Iraq, Aug. 9 - Armed men entered Baghdad's municipal building during a blinding dust storm on Monday, deposed the city's mayor and installed a member of Iraq's most powerful Shiite militia.

The deposed mayor, Alaa al-Tamimi, who was not in his offices at the time, recounted the events in a telephone interview on Tuesday and called the move a municipal coup d'├ętat. He added that he had gone into hiding for fear of his life.

"This is the new Iraq," said Mr. Tamimi, a secular engineer with no party affiliation. "They use force to achieve their goal."

The group that ousted him insisted that it had the authority to assume control of Iraq's capital city and that Mr. Tamimi was in no danger. The man the group installed, Hussein al-Tahaan, is a member of the Badr Organization, the armed militia of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, known as Sciri.

The militia has been credited with keeping the peace in heavily Shiite areas in southern Iraq but also accused of abuses like forcing women to wear the veils demanded by conservative Shiite religious law.

"If we wanted to do something bad to him, we would have done that," said Mazen A. Makkia, the elected city council chief who led the ouster on Monday and who had been in a lengthy and unresolved legal feud with Mr. Tamimi.

"We really want to establish the state of law for every citizen, and we did not threaten anyone," Mr. Makkia said. "This is not a coup."

SCIRI (Supreme Council of Islamic Revolution In Iraq)

Flashback Judy Miller's boyfriend and other Sciri recollections:
Several blocs within the alliance are vying for top government positions. The most powerful are SCIRI and the Dawa Party. Also trying to leverage their power are followers of the radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr; Mr. Chalabi; and a group of independent candidates who have won the favor of the top Shiite authority in Iraq, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani.

Over the weekend, SCIRI leader Abdel-Aziz Hakim met with Chalabi and offered to make him the top financial overseer in Iraq, responsible for the oil, trade, and finance ministries in exchange for him withdrawing, according to the SCIRI official. A spokesman for Chalabi confirmed the meeting but would not say what was discussed.


Chalabi's assertiveness, for example, may be rewarded with control of billions of dollars of oil revenue and trading contracts. If Jaafari wins as prime minister, other groups in the alliance may insist that no one else from his party get a top post. SCIRI may also demand control of several ministries, particularly the interior ministry.

Chalabi had only about 15 supporters on the UIA list. But earlier this month he teamed up with the followers of Mr. Sadr, adding about 30 supporters. Chalabi's spokesman says other UIA members also back him, and puts the number at around 80.

The alliance of Sadr and Chalabi couldn't have been between two people of more disparate ideologies.

Chalabi is a secularist and was once the darling of the Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency, which used his information to build a case for war in Iraq and envisioned him one day leading the country. He fell out of favor last May over allegations that he was passing intelligence information to Iran. He has also struggled to shake off charges that he embezzled funds from Petra Bank in Jordan, which he founded and which later collapsed. He adamantly denies the allegations.

By contrast, Sadr's Mahdi Army led bloody uprisings against the US last spring and summer, and is avowedly religious, even setting up religious courts based on sharia, or Islamic law, just months after war ended. Sadr boycotted the election but his supporters ran as independents. - [see: "Power plays preoccupy Iraqi leaders", February 22, 2005 edition Christian Science Monitor ]

Chalabi bonhomie and Bu$hCo's fabulous nest of bungling yeggs:
In 1997, Wurmser wrote a column in the Wall Street Journal called "Iraq Needs a Revolution" and the next year co-signed a letter with Perle calling for all-out U.S. support of the Iraqi National Congress (INC), an exile group led by Ahmad Chalabi, in promoting an insurgency in Iraq. At AEI, Wurmser wrote Tyranny's Ally: America's Failure to Defeat Saddam Hussein, essentially a book-length version of "A Clean Break" that proposed an alliance between Jordan and the INC to redraw the map of the Middle East. Among the mentors cited by Wurmser in the book: Chalabi, Perle, and Feith.

As OSP got rolling, Luti brought in Colonel Bruner, a former military aide to Gingrich, and, together, Luti and Bruner opened the door to a vast flow of bogus intelligence fed to the Pentagon by Iraqi defectors associated with Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress group of exiles. Chalabi founded the Iraqi National Congress in 1992, with the help of a shadowy CIA-connected public-relations firm called the Rendon Group, ...


In the late 1960s, Chalabi studied mathematics at the University of Chicago with Wohlstetter, who introduced him to Richard Perle more than a decade later. Long associated with the heart of the neoconservative movement, Chalabi founded Petra Bank in Jordan, which grew to be Jordan's third-largest bank by the 1980s. But Chalabi was accused of bank fraud, embezzlement, and currency manipulation, and he barely escaped before Jordanian authorities could arrest him; in 1992, he was convicted and sentenced in absentia to more than 20 years of hard labor. After founding the INC, Chalabi's bungling, unreliability, and penchant for mismanaging funds caused the CIA to sour on him, but he never lost the support of Perle, Feith, Gingrich, and their allies; once, soon after 9/11, Perle invited Chalabi to address the Defense Policy Board. [ more Bu$hCo bubble follies... revisit the LIE FACTORY (page 2), Mother Jones.com, 2004. ]

Way to go Bill Keller, you silly dolt. Judy and her boyfriend(s) sure took your ass for a moonshine ride in the boondocks didn't they? Het, het, snicker, snicker... Way to go Arty Sulzberger you stupid Likudnik jackass. Way to go "New York Times"! Your glorious, prized, winning leaders, have certainly earned you your consignment to the Sukr Brigade!

The New York Times needs a revolution. I demand a clean break.

Meanwhile: this is the way the AP is reporting the ouster: "Five U.S. Soldiers Killed in Attacks In" [in something anyway], By BASSEM MROUE, Associated Press Writer [emphasis added below is mine]:
The mayor of Baghdad, Alaa al-Timimi, was fired and responsibility for managing the city transferred to the provincial governor, government spokesman Laith Kubba said. He refused to say why the provincial council sacked the mayor.

"sacked"... see AP item. (A Karen Hughes "Public Diplomacy" Sack-a-Shit Production)


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