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2003-05-19 - 9:29 a.m.

Ravynemyst Reviews - 19 May 2003

Conflicting Stories

Both the New York Times and the Washington Post have printed stories about a halt to an interim government in Iraq:

Shiite Group Says U.S. Is Reneging on Interim Rule - The New York Times, May 18, 2003

Here is a snippet from the report:

One of Iraq's largest Shiite political groups accused the United States' new civilian administrator today of reneging on promises to support the rapid creation of an Iraqi-led interim government.

"We were talking about an interim government, with authority to make decisions," said Adel Abdel Mahdi, political adviser to the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq. But, he continued, a draft resolution sponsored by the United States at the United Nations is "clearly something else."

More Troops Deployed as New Iraqi Government Postponed - Washington Post, May 18, 2003

Here is a snippet from the report:

On Friday night, at his first meeting with the ostensible government-in-waiting, Bremer said it would be more than a year before an interim Iraqi government would be formed with the power to set policy and run major ministries. The message angered many of the seven opposition leaders in the room, according to participants, and will test the strength of political alliances formed before the war that Washington had hoped would survive through reconstruction.

Delaying the creation of an Iraqi administration is a retreat by U.S. officials here, who 12 days ago predicted that the "nucleus" of an interim government would be in place by the end of May. The timeline has been pushed into June, and the result envisioned by U.S. officials will be far more modest than opposition leaders had expected. The interim authority U.S. and British officials have in mind would have limited power over minor ministries and some bureaucratic responsibilities.

"There seems to be a difference between the Iraqi opposition vision and the coalition vision about the government of this country," said an opposition party official, normally supportive of Washington's point of view, who attended the meeting. "Right now it's basically like we are dancing over this issue. But there is a matter of our sovereignty at stake."

However, a report from FT.com gives an entirely different story:

US has no plan to delay Iraqi authority Financial Times, May 18, 2003

Here is the full report:

MOSUL, Iraq (Reuters) - The US administrator for Iraq, Paul Bremer, says that Washington has no plans to suspend the transition to an Iraqi interim authority planned for the next few weeks.

"I've read a report in the American press about a delay (in the transitional government). I don't know where these stories are coming from because we haven't delayed anything," Bremer told reporters on Sunday during a visit to the northern city of Mosul.

The New York Times reported on Friday that Bremer and British officials told Iraqi political leaders at a meeting on Friday they had delayed indefinitely a plan to allow Iraqis to form a national assembly and interim government by the end of the month.

Iraqi politicians, mainly from the former exiled opposition, plan to hold a national conference by the end of May to form an interim authority to run the country after the U.S.-led war that toppled Saddam Hussein on April 9.

Bremer said he had a "productive meeting" with Iraqi leaders on Friday.

"We have committed to meet within the next two weeks again with those Iraqi leaders and others as we move, I think, rather quickly in this transitional phase," he said.

U.S.-led forces have been working to restore law and order since the chaotic days that followed the collapse of Saddam's government.

OMG! Weapons of Mass Suction Found!

After a day like yesterday, I really needed a laugh and the Washington Post supplied it for me! Weapons Inspection Team 3 thought for sure they had finally found a WMD stash when they came upon an intact building that was barred up and safe from looters. What they found instead were Weapons of Mass Suction - vacuum cleaners! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Saddam was making plans to suck the life right out of us ole Americans.

Will History Repeat Itself?

The following article compares past US military "victories" and the Presidents in charge at the time - who at first appeared to be in good standing with the American people just after the wars, but lost respect due to failed postwar policies - with Bush's current military "victory" and his postwar policies: Postwar Chaos: Bush's Undoing? by Kevin Phillips, May 18, 2003

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~Did You Miss These?~

Just a Reminder - Tuesday, Nov. 04, 2003
Ravyne Is Moving - Friday, Oct. 17, 2003
The Mission - Sunday, Oct. 12, 2003
Siege Heil - Thursday, Oct. 09, 2003
Litany Of Lies - Wednesday, Oct. 08, 2003

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