Will Ceasar Dubya leave Tony Blair even a fig leaf? Even Brit Conservatives are warning that Iraqis don't want a MacDonalds culture ... and bear in mind that after his Camp David meeting Blair had moved from calling for a "UN lead" administration to one that was "UN approved". With old Republican troglodytes ready to take their posts as governors of the three new provinces in Iraq ... Google Search: cluster:news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/2910511.stm
State, Pentagon Struggle Over Post-War Iraq [washingtonpost.com] - " ... "The kind of people needed after the wreckage of (Saddam's) Baathist dictatorship must be committed anti-Baathists, committed to democracy and able to bridge differences between Iraq's ethnic and confessional groups. Chalabi fits that well," said Randy Scheunemann of the Committee to Liberate Iraq. The war is "transformational" for Iraq and the region and so post-war administrators must pursue far-reaching changes, not the usual cautious State Department approach, he said.
But Judith Yaphe, an Iraq expert at the National Defense University, said Washington will "cripple itself" if it does not appoint American administrators who know Iraq and how to manage its transition. She has a lot of respect for Garner, who "understands ... he needs to be able to draw on the best."
Yaphe voiced concern, however, that the administration might announce "pre-approved" Iraqi candidates for top leadership positions before the war ends and there is a chance to see what Iraqis inside the country might emerge. "There are few indications thus far that the exiles would be welcomed as participants in government in Iraq," she said, adding: "Iraqis... don't tend to look kindly on exiles who have been out of the country for 20 years or more."
US rush over post-war Iraq [bbc.co.uk] - "The US is to take the first step in establishing a new civil administration for Iraq in the next few days. ... For the moment the priorities are likely to be humanitarian aid and rebuilding damaged infrastructure. But General Garner's task is also to prepare the ground for what's being called the IIA - the Iraqi Interim Authority.
In other words, he will help groom Iraqis who can eventually take over the government of the country, after what is supposed to be a three-month period of US military rule. Few believe the Americans will hand over the reins so soon. "
Waiting in the wings: Wolfowitz of Arabia [theage.com.au] - "American officials are gathered in the Gulf refining their plans for when the time comes to move in and remake Iraq. ... This is the nucleus of the Bush Administration's new Iraqi government. One of the faraway masters is known fondly, or not so fondly - depending on one's political orientation - as Wolfowitz of Arabia.
The overall boss of this Iraqi government-in-waiting, an operation endowed with the Washington-speak title "Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance", is retired Army Lieutenant-General Jay Garner. When he gets to Baghdad, he will be in charge of everything the US military is not: feeding the country, fixing the infrastructure and creating what the Bush Administration has said will be a democratic government."
Preparing for Post-Hussein and for Potential Dangers [nytimes.com] - " ... European and American leaders may still be arguing over whether the United Nations plays a role in postwar Iraq, and, if it does, how large that part should be. But those disputes are considered largely irrelevant by the team here, whose members argue that they are better off unfettered by the United Nations.
When President Bush meets Prime Minister Tony Blair in Northern Ireland on Monday, the discussion about the United Nations' role — which Mr. Blair favors, in part because of pressure at home and in the rest of Europe — will doubtless resume. Here, it seems settled."
US begins the process of 'regime change' [observer.co.uk] - " ... America's readiness to establish the first stages of a civil administration to run post-war Iraq comes at lightning speed and constitutes a rebuff to European ambitions to stall on the process until some kind of role for the United Nations is agreed.
It was reported yesterday that the National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice has also ruled out any key role for the UN.
The decision to proceed with an embryonic government comes in response to memoranda written by Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld last week, urging that the US begin to entrench its authority in areas under its control before the war is over.
Pentagon officials told The Observer that the administration is determined to impose the Rumsfeld plan and sees no use for a UN role, describing the international body as 'irrelevant'."
Garner to invite Israel's former defence minister [gulf-news.com] - "One of many overseas friends whom the retired American General Jay Garner plans to invite to post-war Iraq is the former Israeli defence minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer.
Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, known also by his Arabic name Fuad before he immigrated from Iraq to Israel late in 1940s, and the General have known each other for many years as a result of Garner's close defence and political links with Israel."
Washington factions struggle for control [independent.co.uk] - " The shape of a post-war Iraq, set to dominate tomorrow's US-British summit in Northern Ireland, is also the subject of fierce wrangling in Washington, with disagreements between Congress, the Pentagon and the State Department on everything from the make-up of an interim Iraqi authority to the control of humanitarian aid funds.
The chief disagreement, as ever, is between the neo-conservative hawks who run the Pentagon and the more moderate, more internationalist outlook espoused by Colin Powell, the Secretary of State. What makes this turf war a little different from previous spats is that it concerns a set of supposedly firm decisions made during the months of planning for the Iraq war, which now turn out not to be firm decisions at all."