Turkish Troops Rejected “Unanimously” by Iraqi Governing Council
The complete powerlessness and irrelevancy of the so-called Interim Governing Council was demonstrated Wednesday when the US welcomed the Turkish parliament’s offer of peace-enforcing troops for Iraq.
The American-appointed IGC, which supposedly oversees Iraqi government ministries, has repeatedly said it does not want troops in Iraq from neighboring countries. Kurdish IGC member Mahmoud Othman said, according to the Australian edn. of the Daily Telegraph, “The council is unanimous in issuing a communique against the sending of Turkish forces to Iraq. It is the wrong thing to do. It does not add to security. It is not useful. This is our (the council’s) position and it is unanimous.”
Interim Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari had rejected the prospect of Turkish troops several weeks ago.
Masoud Barzani, head of the Kurdish Democratic Party, condemned the idea of Turkish troops in Iraq, saying it would not add to security, but rather “will create problems we do not need.” He said the US will bear the responsibility if, as a result, the security situation deteriorated, and would have to answer the questions that would be raised by the Iraqi people. (-al-Zaman)
The Independent reported, “In a rebuttal of claims by American and British officials that real authority has been delegated to Iraqis, Mr Othman said: “The general council does not have much power and if you don’t have real authority you lack credibility. We will be seen by Iraqis as puppets.” As an example he said the CPA had decided to send 30,000 Iraqi policemen to be trained in Jordan at a cost of $1.3bn (£780m) in the teeth of objections from the council. “We don’t agree with it,” said Mr Othman. “We could train them for one third of the money. The US wants to do a favour to the Jordanians at our expense. In any case, Jordanians are generally pro-Saddam.” He added that there was a complete lack of transparency on how the CPA and the Pentagon were spending funds in Iraq, opening up opportunities for corruption. “The US Congress is supposed to give $20bn to Iraq but the Iraqis have no say in how it is spent,” Mr Othman said. He believes the best solution is not for the US to leave entirely but to pull its soldiers out of the cities.”
This episode, as Othman implies, demonstrates conclusively that the IGC has no authority whatsoever and is a mere creature of the American administration. Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani in a fatwa issued on Monday had underlined its lack of legitimacy, insofar as it is not elected.
Meanwhile, inside the Kurdish regions of Iraq, the Kurdistan Regional Government is being allowed by the Coalition Provisional Authority to tender petroleum development contracts itself, rather than going through Baghdad. See:
This way of proceeding is really quite extraordinary.