$100 Million “Mishandled” in Iraq
An international audit has found that the Allawi government “mishandled” $100 million in petroleum funds that should have been used for development, and that the US Coalition Provisional Authority gave out uncompetitive contracts and misspent development monies.
I don’t know what they mean by “mishandled.” I think they may be suggesting embezzlement or other corruption on a huge scale, but are being delicate and statesmanlike.
In a related item, BBC world monitoring for May 22 notes, “Al-Bayyinah publishes on page 9 a 400-word article by Zayd Salim al-Juburi strongly criticizing former Prime Minister Allawi for issuing, shortly before the end of his term in office, a number of decrees to lease houses to former ministers and senior officials in his ministry in the Green Zone for 25 years and to pay them high salaries and pensions.”
The same source reports,
“Al-Bayyinah carries on the front page a 120-word report citing political sources in Damascus as saying that the goal of former Prime Minister Allawi’s recent visit to Syria was to recruit the Ba’thists and former regime followers for a new political party. The report adds that Allawi had taken this step in response to the withdrawal of several political figures such as Husayn al-Sadr, Qasim Dawud, Wa’il Abd-al-Latif, Sawsan al-Sharifi, and Muhammad al-Hakim from the Iraqi Electoral List. The report adds that the new leaders of the Ba’th Party led by Hasan Hadi al-Dulaymi have held a meeting in Al-Anbar Governorate recently. The report adds that Qasim Salam, member of the former Ba’th Party National Command, who is currently residing in Algeria, has allocated $800 million for the new Ba’th Party organization in Iraq.”
I hadn’t heard about Sayyid Husain Sadr and Wa’il Abdul Latif (prominent Shiites) deserting the Allawi “al-Iraqiyah” list in parliament. Since Allawi has been locked out of any power, his is not a star one would exactly hitch oneself to. If it is true that he still dreams of establishing a “Baath lite” in Iraq, he is doomed permanently among the Shiites and the Kurds.