Interim Council establishes Security Committee
Iraq’s Interim Governing Council responded to the recent violence in the holy city of Karbala between a cleric’s militia and US troops by forming a new Security Committee. It condemned “bloody developments and lawlessness” in Karbala, adding, “The Governing Council invites the Iraqi people to maintain stability and prevent the conspiracies which surround our country and abide by laws, as this is the only way they can assure their rights and security.” This call was issued because of “the dangerous security situation that faces our beloved nation”. Saying people should cooperate with Iraqi police, the IGC said, “Whoever steps outside the law or harms the country and the security of people will face the toughest punishments according to law.”
In an op-ed in the New York Times, current IGC president for a month, Iyad Alawi, insisted that the old Saddam Iraqi army should be immediately called back up, so as to restore order. Alawi is a former Baathist who broke with the party and went into opposition, and may Iraqis fear that he has Baathist tendencies toward the resurrection of strong government control of lives and thought. Needless to say, Alawi and his fellow ex-Baath officers should not be allowed to revive Saddam’s army. The new Iraqi army is receiving new training, including sensitivity to human rights.