[Marxism] [com-news] UN rep said to condemn US military acts, call for elected Iraq govt
ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Sun Apr 18 09:28:01 MDT 2004
Date: 4/18/2004 1:39:36 AM Subject: What the UN Envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi
What the UN Envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi Actually Said And Was Unreported By
the Major U.S. Media Sam Hamod
04/17/04 "ICH" -- Dr. Lakhdar Brahimi, made very clear in his statements
after meetings with Iraqi and American leaders in Iraq that Mr. Bremer
and U.S. Military officers had inflamed the situation in Iraq and they
had best change their ways. He pointed out that Iraqis were tired of the
American arrests of people without charges, holding them without trials,
torturing and brutalizing people who were under arrest, and often
killing those they arrested. He also pointed out that Bremer was wrong
to shut down Al Sadr's newspaper; it was an undemocratic thing to do,
and further that he had no valid reason for going after Al Sadr and that
the attacks on Fallujah were criminal and against international law
because of the targeting of civilians, ambulances and sanitation and
As far as Brahimi was concerned, the American behavior had been a
disaster for the Iraqi people and had alienated the Iraqi people and
turned them against America and it's alleged quest to establish
democracy. He also said that the puppet "governing council" should be
totally disbanded and replaced by a popularly elected president, two
vice presidents and a parliament or a congress, with America staying out
of the picture and withdrawing as soon as possible so that the UN could
come in and clean up the mess the Americans had made. Of course, he put
matters in more diplomatic language than this, but those were his main
What is sad is that the major American media, including the vaunted PBS
News Hour, never got the whole story out-nor did any of the other major
U.S. media-all they said was that Brahimi felt the UN could help and
that Iraq should have a new government structure. Thus, the American
people to this day, know little of Brahimi's words of wisdom.
Add to this that the American leadership said, "We think he has a good
idea," but never addressed his specifics, but then the media people went
on to say, contradicting the plan that Brahimi had set forth for a vote,
"But Brahimi didn't tell us how he would enact his plan or other
matters." So, the American media not only kept the truth from the U.S.
public, they also made it appear that Brahimi was vague with his plan.
This is almost as bad as Jim Lehrer on the "New Hour" last week,
speaking an untruth when he said that Al Sadr's paper had been preaching
attacks on the American troops, when a guest was speaking about Al
Sadr's paper being closed down and that this was undemocratic and
probably a mistake.
As Norman Solomon pointed out in his article, "How the News Hour Changed
History," Lehrer had no proof for what he said, and when all the
networks checked it out, the only "proof" of the allegations against
Sadr's newspaper were simply allegations by the U.S. Command that this
had been the case; but even the U.S. Command did not offer any proof,
when asked for proof by Arab media in Baghdad. But, Lehrer who many
think of as an honest newsman was clearly wrong on this matter.
He may be honest on some matters, but as to the Iraq situation, clearly
he and Suarez are in the administration's corner with this type of
untruth, with their allowing Judith Miller to go on and on when she lied
about the WMD's in Iraq, and featuring the inane prattle of David Brooks
and Tom Friedman as they continually justify Bush's war and the U.S.
military behavior in Iraq. So, the short-circuiting of what Brahim said
runs true to form.
As to Tom Brokaw and Dan Rather, what can you expect of these two Bush
drum beaters. However, I was sad to see that Peter Jennings also hopped
on the bandwagon recently, and seems to have lost his objectivity since
his return from Iraq, and has joined in the easy pandering to Bush and
his spokespeople. None of these four men are serving the American public
in a honest way; either that, or they are approaching senility or
self-deception on a major scale. Some might say I am being hard on them,
that I'm being rash. Nay, I say they have a major responsibility to the
American people and to those they report on, and their observations and
opinions are valued and influential, and when they are this far off
base, someone must call them on it.
Brahimi is a man who warned America about its mistakes in Afghanistan,
and he is now telling America that things are going wrong in Iraq and
that our policies and behaviors must change. The only problem is that
Bush wants to use the UN to help take himself out of a very bad
situation by now handing it over to the UN. It will be interesting to
see if Bush will withdraw American troops. If not, then the UN would be
wise not to go on. If the UN goes in with U.S. troops still running the
show, or any of the close U.S. warhawk nations, then the UN will fail
and Bush can then say, "See, I told you the UN couldn't do it; the UN
failed us!" Of course, that would be a lie.
Another matter that Brahimi and the UN would face is the fact of the
contracts that Chalabi, Bremer and the American regime has let in Iraq
that are now in force and could be continued when Americans are
allegedly giving up sovereignty to Iraq. These contracts for Iraqi
infrastructure, those that have to do with resources, those that have to
do with several valuable areas have already been let and endorsed by the
U.S. and the Iraqi Governing Council; this will make a mess for the UN
if they come into Iraq, unless they will have the power to renounce the
contracts as null and void (which would be good, and legal, as the
contracts were given on behalf of the Iraqi people who were under
occupation, duress and threat at the time the contracts were let).
Another problem the UN would face is that America has made clear it
intends to keep troops in Iraq until at least 2006; who knows what
mischief the U.S. might perpetrate with these troops on the ground.
Certainly, the Iraqi people will not stand for the Americans to remain.
This will lead to more clashes, just as there are clashes in Fallujah
today during an alleged "cease fire." A
ccording to General Kimmit, the American forces have the right to
respond to fire, the only problem is that the Americans purposely engage
in acts that draw fire from Iraqis-they patrol the streets, they send
armor and humvees into civilian areas and actually provoke the Iraqis.
Then, when the Iraqis respond, the U.S. commanders call in F 16s, tanks,
Apache Helicopter Gunships and then say, " Well, they fired at us." All
time knowing that the U.S. provoked the attacks. This could go on in the
future even if the UN was "in charge." There is no way the UN could
control the American troops in Iraq.
Brahimi also agreed with Sistani, that the Sadr matter should be dealt
with by the Iraqis, but not by the American puppet Iraqis of the
Governing Council or by the American appointed "judges,"or by the U.S.
Brahimi also said the Americans should withdraw from Fallujah and not
lay siege to Najaf or Kerbala, because this will lead to more violence
and create even more problems. But, as we all know, the American troops
are anxious to "kill me some of those Iraqis, those rag-heads," as some
of the U.S. soldiers said today on various radio interviews. Generals
Sanchez and Kimmit say they are either "going to capture Sadr or kill
him." As Brahimi pointed out, this is no way to win friends or influence
people, or to spread democracy.
In addition to what Brahimi said, I would like to add that if the
American troops invade Najaf or Karbala, there will be a bloodbath, for
the Iraqis and for the American troops because these are "holy cities"
to the Shi'a, and the Shi'a would rather die than see their holy places
violated by these "western crusaders" (as they call the American
troops). Also, according to short wave radio from the Aab world, many of
the pilgrims who came to Najaf and Karbala for the Arabayn (40 days of
respect for the martyr Husayn) have stayed on to support Sadr and to
fight the Americans if necessary. Remember, these Shi'a pilgrims have
come from all over the world; thus, other nations may become involved if
their citizens are harmed by the U.S. troops with an attack on Najaf.
Also, if America attacks Najaf, there will never be an end to Shi'a
desire for revenge, as a matter of honor and of religious duty in their
minds.But these matters, as important as they are, are rarely is talked
about on American mass media.
Add to this, that people such as myself, who are real authorities are
rarely allowed to speak about these things on the major media programs,
and such other experts as Anthony Cordesman, Michael O'Hanlon and Fawaz
Girgis are given short shrift as well; too often we have the "screamers"
or the pseudo authorities, such as Pipes, Ledeen, Gaffney or Emerson or
military men who are Bush supporters who want to blanket the truth with
inanities that sound as if they are actual insights.
Today, Rumsfeld said he was "Surprised by the intense resistance to the
American troops." But, if he knew anything about Iraq or asked any
experts, he would have understood that there would be fierce resistance
to an American occupation. If he allows American troops to attack Najaf
or Karbala, then he'd better be prepared for even more shocks and
surprises; but it will be our youngsters and the Iraqis who will pay for
his ignorance and for that of his boss GW Bush and his generals,
Abizaid, Kimmit and Sanchez.
So there you have it; Brahimi made a full report. I have added to it, to
fill out some of the nuances. But, as I pointed out earlier, the
American mass media report of Brahimi's suggestions fell far short of
the wisdom and depth of his statements.
Sam Hamod is an expert on the Middle East and Islam; he taught at
Princeton, Michigan and Iowa; he edited 3rd World News in Wash, DC; he
was the Director of The Islamic Center of Washington, DC; he may be
reached at shamod at cox.net
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