The Independent (UK)
May 10, 2003

Iraq Inc: A Joint Venture Built on Broken Promises

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 yesterday."--Leader, "The 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, 2003]

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