Thursday, October 25, 2007

Outside reading final part #1

Chapter 13- Travel by car was very fluid before the occupation. Peter Mcpherson, the man in charge of economics, removed the previous tax on cars and this led people to import cars and therefore, traffic was a major problem. John Smathers, who was in charge of traffic, rewrote the traffic law basing it on the Maryland traffic code. The law was ridiculous and the Iraqis wouldn't accept it unless they could make revisions. Two Iraqi lawyers, who had been exiled, created a draft of a bill of rights for Iraq. This was strange to everyone, because the Americans were usually the ones making laws and the Iraqis were usually sitting on the sidelines. The Transitional Administrative Law or TAL, was drafted by these lawyers. The TAL was difficult to get signed by everyone, because there were disagreements between the different ethnic groups; the Kurds, the Shiites, and the Sunnis. There was great difficulty in choosing a leader for the new government. The Iraqi elections were unfair to candidates of smaller parties and also to individuals because the whole country was counted as one electoral district.

Chapter 14- The people who worked in Saddam's weapons programs were very well payed. After the liberation, the workers simply went back to living normal lives. Anne Harrington attempted to get the old scientists jobs but the Pentagon wanted to punish them seeing them as Saddam's accomplices. Alex Dehgan was put in charge of redirecting Iraqi scientists. He clashed with the CPA staffers because he was from the state department. He had extreme difficulty doing his job because nobody would give him supplies or help. He did however make more progress than CPA staffers because he didn't have to worry about the CPA hierarchy. There were many militias in Iraq. Bremer wanted them removed before he left. He thought that they could be used for political intimidation. David Gompert was the man in charge of dissolving the militias. He had a tough time, because the Kurds and the Shiites thought that they needed protection and deserved militias.

Chapter 15- When the First Cavalry division arrived in Iraq, their mission was to restore municipal services and act as glorified policemen. Sadr city, a slum of Baghdad, was in very bad shape before the occupation and was still getting progressively worse. A platoon of men patrolling Sadr City had run in with some armed Iraqis after turning on to the main thoroughfare they were ambushed by some of al-Sadr's men. It turned out that they were just guards but their weapons had to be confiscated. Moqtada al-Sadr openly criticised Americas actions in Iraq. He believed that the U.S. had handled the post-liberation looting poorly. Bremer wanted to dismantle al-Sadr's militia but al-Sadr would not comply. Bremer shut down al-Sadr's newspaper which made al-Sadr furious. He responded by telling his followers to attack Americans. A platoon of men patrolling Sadr City had run in with some armed Iraqis after turning on to the main thoroughfare they were ambushed by some of al-Sadr's men. Eight men were dead one of which was Casey Sheehan, son of Cindy Sheehan, future antiwar activist. Moqtada al-Sadr had taken control of all of al-Sadr City and several cities in central and southern Iraq. The Iraqi police were extremely ill prepared for a rebellion. They had hardly any equipment and they were either poorly trained or not trained at all. The rebellion created unprecedented fellowship between Sunnis and Shiites against the Americans. During the rebellion, CPA staffers were absolutely forbidden to leave the Green zone for any reason. Everyone including Tony Blair apposed the Marine offensive in Fallujah which Bremer had set up to quell the resistance. The Marines were accidentally killing innocent civilians and this is what everyone was against. The CPA eventually realized that their efforts to create a democracy overlooked the fact that the country was in turmoil and needed to be under control before it could become a stable democracy. This was the underlying fact that plagued the CPA from the start. They were focusing on little things that a country recovering from a war did not need or in some cases want.

No comments: