In his first visit to Baghdad as head of the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance, Garner was expected to visit a power-generating plant, a water treatment plant and Yarmuk Hospital on the city’s west side. “What better day in your life can you have than to be able to help somebody else, to help other people, and that is what we intend to do,” Garner told reporters at Baghdad airport after arriving from Kuwait. Garner will head Iraq’s civil administration while a new government is established. His initial visit to Baghdad is to last at least four days. The Bush administrations’ preparations for postwar Iraq have come under fire from both sides of the congressional aisle as growing fears for the future are being expressed inside Iraq.
The United States has not adequately prepared for postwar reconstruction, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said Sunday. Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Indiana, interviewed on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” also predicted that democracy in Iraq is at least five years away. “They started very late,” Republican Sen. Richard Lugar told NBC’s Meet the Press. “The military strategy, tactics and execution have been brilliant.
But we needed to be doing something similar (in the reconstruction phase).” (Full story) Sen. Joe Lieberman, a Democratic presidential candidate, also praised the U. S. military performance in Iraq but urged the United States to accelerate its postwar reconstruction efforts. “We ” ve got to work hard to win the peace” in Iraq and transform the nation’s political structure into a “representative, democratic government,” Lieberman told CBS’s “Face the Nation” television show.
Iraqi women and girls face extraordinarily high levels of cultural and institutional violence and discrimination. Women who are perceived to have dishonored their families – for allegedly or actually committing adultery, refusing an arranged marriage, or asking for a divorce, among other reasons – may be threatened with honor killing. Iraq’s legal system institutionalizes gender-based ...
“Obviously, we don’t want this to turn into a theocracy.” (Full story) Garner and his team face a daunting task which ranges from restoring power and water to establishing the rule of law in the war-shattered country. On Sunday, U. S. Marines pulled out of Baghdad, leaving it in the hands of the U. S. Army, which is working with Iraqi police to try to bring order to the still chaotic capital.
Various religious observances Sunday reflected the new face of post-Saddam Iraq but also raised the specter of the religious divides that remain deep despite 20 years of oppression under the former regime. Members of the tiny Christian minority — just 1 percent of the population — celebrated Easter as thousands of Shiite Muslims made the pilgrimage to the holy cities of Najaf and Karbala, banned by Saddam’s regime, which was largely secular and oppressed the nation’s Shiite majority while favoring Sunni Muslims. In the coming week, 2 million Shiites are expected to attend services in Najaf and Karbala. Some Iraqis are concerned a new Iraqi government could give too much authority to religious leaders and fear a surge in Islamic fundamentalism among Shiites.
Other developments: o An Iraqi scientist who claims to have worked in Saddam Hussein’s chemical weapons program told a U. S. military team that Iraq destroyed and buried chemical weapons and biological warfare equipment only days before the war began, according to The New York Times. Members of the team set up to hunt for illegal weapons of mass destruction said the scientist led Americans to material that proved to be the building blocks of illegal weapons, the newspaper reported. (Full story) o The bodies of two British soldiers, Sapper Luke Allsop p, 24, and Staff Sgt. Simon Culling worth, 36, were found near Al Zubayr outside of Basra in shallow graves, said spokeswoman Jemma Black born, with the British Ministry of Defense.
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- An American citizen was kidnapped along with the three Romanian journalists abducted Monday in Iraq, the U. S. State Department said Wednesday. Citing privacy laws, a State Department spokeswoman in Washington said she could not release more information, but called for the 'immediate and safe recovery of all hostages in Iraq.' The Romanians and an unidentified man appeared ...
An Iraqi resident led British troops to the graves, but it was unclear how the men died, said British officials at Central Command. (Full story) o The Bush administration is looking to maintain access to military bases in Iraq, though an agreement will have to be negotiated with a future Iraqi government, a U. S. Central Command official told CNN on Sunday. (Full story) o Saddam’s son-in-law, Jamal Mustafa Abdallah Sultan, surrendered to the Iraqi National Congress, which would hand him over to U.
S. troops, the anti-Saddam group said Sunday. Sultan, on the U. S. military’s list of 55 most wanted Iraqis, would be the first close family member of Saddam’s to surrender.
Also, Abd al-Khalid Abd Al-G afar, who served as minister of higher education and scientific research, was taken into custody Saturday, U. S. Central Command said. (Full story) o President Bush said the United States would not declare victory in Iraq until Gen.
Tommy Franks, the top U. S. military commander in the region, said the war was complete. o Bush added there were “positive signs” that Syria would heed U.
S. demands that it not harbor members of Saddam Hussein’s former regime. “There’s some positive signs,” he said. “They ” re getting the message that they should not harbor Baath Party officials, high-ranking Iraqi officials.” (Full story) o A convoy carrying food for the surviving animals at the Baghdad Zoo arrived in the Iraqi capital, Central Command said. U. S.
troops have been caring for the animals, who were abandoned when Baghdad fell to coalition forces. The.