by David Usborne, Rupert Cornwell, Phil Reeves
America and Britain declared themselves yesterday to be the
"occupying powers" in Iraq and produced a blueprint for the
administration of the country that confined the United Nations to a
co-ordinating role. . . .
The impression that Iraq is becoming a carpetbaggers' free-for-all
was reinforced at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Centre in
Atlanta [sic] this week when lawyers, consultants and business people
streamed in, all hoping for a piece of the action. They heard a
presentation by the US Agency for International Development (USAid),
which is handing out contracts worth $1.5bn . . .
The immediate reaction to the plans in Baghdad was negative. "This
is very, very bad. We are in the same situation as we were with
Saddam," said Bassen al-Khoja, 31. "[They] stole the oil money from
the people and we got nothing and now the Americans and British are
doing exactly the same. We are not going to see any benefit from it."
["Under the proposal, the 12-month initial authorisation would be
automatically renewed unless the Security Council decided otherwise.
Since the United States and Britain have veto power in the council,
they could block any attempt to get them to leave Iraq . .
."--"US and Britain seek to limit UN role in Iraq,"
Associated Press, May 9, 2003]
["Iraqis on Friday welcomed U.S. and British moves to lift U.N.
economic sanctions but called for the United Nations or an Iraqi
interim government to take charge of the nation's oil wealth, not
Washington."--Nadim Ladki, "Iraqis Want
U.N. to Control Oil Cash, Not U.S.," Reuters, May 10, 2003
["Common sense demands that the UN's weapons inspectors return to
Iraq without any further delay. As Tony Blair reaffirmed recently,
the threat thought to be posed by Iraqi weapons was the principal
reason for launching the war. Without independent, international
verification of Iraq's capability, any future US and British
evidence showing their action to be justified may not be believed,
as Britain's former UN envoy, Sir Crispin Tickell, trenchantly noted
new caliphs," Guardian, May 10, 2003]
["The Security Council resolution that you and Jack have so secretly
negotiated contradicts the assurances I have given in the House of
Commons and elsewhere about the legal authority of the occupying
powers, and the need for a UNŠled process to establish a legitimate
Iraqi government."--Jon Smith, "Short quits with attack on Blair," Independent, May 12,