"We were simply the victims of a sweeping American victory"

Johannes Schneider Johannes.Schneider at gmx.net
Fri Aug 8 00:29:30 MDT 2003

>From Al-Ahram weekly (as always a mustread):

Broken promises
Isam Alkhafaji, former member of the Iraqi Reconstruction and Development
Council spoke to Omayma Abdel-Latif about the American experience on how not
to build a nation in Iraq
Isam Alkhafaji does little to hide a growing sense of bitterness and
frustration at how his mission in Iraq has shifted away from its intended
course. "I felt that we were swiftly sliding from the status of democrats
working with a democratic ally to build a democratic Iraq into collaborators
with an occupation force," Alkhafaji told Al-Ahram Weekly on Monday, in the
first press interview he gave to an Arab newspaper after submitting his
resignation from the Iraqi Reconstruction and Development Council (IRDC) two
weeks ago.
It was precisely the failure of the US administration to manage the Iraqi
scene, coupled with the fact that US officials have reneged on their
previous promises to give the Iraqi people a say in running post-war Iraq,
that promoted Alkhafaji to submit his resignation. Such a move, he stressed,
was intended to "send a message to Washington" that all was not well on the
Iraqi front.
And he is not alone. Alkhafaji's views and frustrations are shared by a
number of senior IRDC members. "There are some among the influential lot
within the council who are seized by the same sense of frustration and alarm
over the way in which Iraqi affairs are being handled by the American
administration," said Alkhafaji who would not elaborate on whether or not
others will follow suit.
"We were meant to be the Iraqi experts who would assist in re-establishing
the Iraqi state in terms of public services, ministries, municipalities and
governorates in order to bring them back to at least 70 per cent of their
pre- war performance," he said. "But we gradually realised that there was in
fact no advisory role for us. Our role was confined to implementing orders,
going to ministries to single out the Ba'athists and the criminals and do
administrative work. We were not asked for advice or sat on committees. The
result was a situation on the ground which is getting worse by the day."
"We were simply the victims of a sweeping American victory," he stated.


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