Student Protests In Tehran Seemed To

*The student protests in Tehran seemed to die down on Tuesday evening, and were not nearly as big as before. Likewise, the evening was not characterized by clashes between students and the Islamist vigilantes, Ansar Hezbollah and the Basij. Still, the political impact of the demonstrations is visible in the letter signed by 250 academics and intellectuals calling for a less absolute exercise of power by the Shiite hierarchy.

*British Troops are likely to be in Iraq at least four years according to Major-General Freddy Viggers. He says the inability to find Saddam, and the continued Sunni Arab uprising, made it likely that the Anglo-American force would have to stay in the country for years. He worried that the troops were ensnared in a quagmire similar to that of Bosnia, where 16000 British troops are still serving (and have not been able to restore order to that country).

*Paramilitary fighters of the Badr Corps, representing the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, have turned their efforts to humanitarian work, according to Borzou Daragahi of AP. This move is in accord with the American insistence that all militias in Iraq lay down their arms. Daragahi reports the widespread suspicions that SCIRI fighters have just stockpiled their weapons rather than turning them in, and that there could be violence between them and other Shiite parties in the future.

*A high British official in Baghdad has lambasted the US administration of Iraq as “chaotic” in an interview in the Telegraph. He said the US administration of the country by Paul Bremer, with a staff of only 600, is chonically understaffed and lacks strategic direction.. He reveals that the US and Britain had planned to use the surviving Iraqi Baath ministries to solve administrative crises after the war, and were completely unprepared for the possibility that they might collapse altogether. Likewise, Baath bureacrats want authorization for every little thing, making them unsuitable to working under the Anglo-American Coalition Provisional Authority. He believes that serious unrest could grip Iraq if things aren’t turned around in a few months. “This is the single most chaotic organisation I have ever worked for,” he is reported to have said.

Posted in Uncategorized | No Responses | Print |