posted April 18, 2003 at 6:13 p.m. MDT
From Institute for War and Peace Reporting (so many good items here!!), America’s New Iraqi Order: Promising Democracy While Protecting Abusers - "A free and democratic Iraq will begin today,” Jay Garner, the retired American general overseeing the politics of the new Iraq, told opposition and community leaders in the southern town of Nasiriya this week. At the same time, however, at the other end of the country, US troops were protecting a man whom many Iraqis consider one of the worst of the old regime - a Sunni tribal leader who gained a fearsome reputation as a personal bodyguard to Saddam Hussein.
Misha’an Juburi declared himself governor of the northern oil city of Mosul on Tuesday with the apparent blessing of the US forces who entered the city last week. Reporters in Mosul said Juburi had been “installed” by the United States, and US troops protected him as he came under attack from angry townspeople after making a speech promising democracy.
A native of Mosul province, Juburi was initially a member of Saddam’s personal guard but later joined his motorcycle escort. In 1991, he led an army unit that participated in the suppression of the popular uprising in southern Iraq following Saddam’s occupation of Kuwait. He formed a close relationship with the president’s homicidal older son, Odey Saddam Hussein, and after his defection to the liberated Kurdish region of northern Iraq reportedly made a fortune by trading with money amassed during his friendship with Odey. Some Iraqi exiles believe his relationship with Odey continued even after his defection.
"Misha’an Juburi is one of the butchers,” claimed Ghanem Jawad, head of the human rights department of the London based KHOEI Foundation, a Shia Philanthropic organisation. “People are very afraid of him. In 1992, soon after his defection, he told a meeting of Iraqi opposition Leaders in Salaheddine in Northern Iraq: ‘I am a Sunni, head of a powerfull Sunni Tribe. We have killed thousands and thousands of Shia.’ He thought this was a way of impressing his importance on the opposition.”
IWPR's Iraq page