New Executive of Technocrats being Readied for Iraq
Az-Zaman reports that American sources told it yesterday that influential quarters in the Central Intelligence Agency are putting forward as candidate for high office in the caretaker government of Iraq a politically neutral former major general and three prominent court judges and independent attorneys. There will be a president, two vice presidents, and a prime minister, requiring four appointees. One of the vice presidents will be a Kurd. The sources said that the White House had not yet made a decision about the candidates, and that Bush did not request suggestions for candidates from the Department of Defense.
The sources said that the 25 members of the current Interim Governing Council are not candidates for executive posts in the caretaker government, from which they will be formally excluded.
The State Security Council approved the Brahimi plan for a caretaker government on Wednesday.
Deborah Horan of the Chicago Tribune, in contrast, discusses the resistance still being put up to the Brahimi plan by some members of the IGC. (See my post of yesterday, below, “Brahimi Plan Controversial”). The tenor of the az-Zaman report suggests, however, that the IGC has already lost this battle at the level of the White House (presumably meaning the National Security Council). The reporter seemed to take some pleasure in asserting that the US Pentagon had been excluded from the nomination process. The Department of Defense, under Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and Feith, has consistently backed Ahmad Chalabi for high appointed posts in Iraq, but he seems increasingly out of favor. (az-Zaman is close to rival Adnan Pachachi, a Sunni Arab nationalist).
Brahimi, in the meantime, called Wednesday for an end to military hostilities, affirming that there must be a voice for the city of Fallujah in the new Iraqi government. He also said the government might be appointed at the end of May, and that the deteriorating security situation would not be allowed to postpone the transfer of sovereignty.
Meanwhile, the civil administrator of Tikrit, Mark Kennon, admitted in a news conference that American troops would not necessarily withdraw from Iraqi cities when the new “sovereign” Iraqi government came to power on June 30.