Friday, July 18, 2003


How will the Bushies now tarnish the reputation of Isam al-Khajafi?

On July 9, with deep sorrow, I respectfully submitted my resignation as a member of the Iraqi Reconstruction and Development Council to U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz.


There was so much euphoria when Baghdad first fell, but the Americans came in and acted with arrogance. While many Iraqis are relieved to see Saddam out of power, and accept the fact that the U.S. is the only power than can secure some semblance of order, they now see the U.S. acting as an occupier.

Sadly, the vision for a transitional government and democratic elections, put forward by Mr. Wolfowitz seems to have been forgotten in the everyday pressures of post-war Iraq. Mr. Wolfowitz is a visionary, but he has not done the work to see the concrete application of his vision. He said he wanted to help bring democracy to Iraq and many of us thought we should support him because we too want to see democracy in Iraq. In practice, however, he is just one player -- albeit a big player -- and there are many others on the ground in Iraq who do not share his vision. Many reports have noted that even the soldiers here bluntly say they take their orders from their general, not from Mr. Bremer. Bitter disputes between the defense department and the state department, which were evident even before the war began and duly reported in the U.S. press, continue to affect the situation. Even though Mr. Bremer has the formal authority within Iraq, it seems like each and every decision must go back to Washington, and we are the victims of indecision.


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