The War on Terror
By David Peterson at Sep 24, 2004
(Quick aside. Today's Telegraph added that the same internal British Government document "described Mr. Chalabi"---whose nephew Salem, until recently the putative director of the fledgling Iraqi Special Tribunal in the Green Zone, has taken to warning that the Interim Government intends to stage "show trials" for Saddam Hussein and his stooges---"as 'a convicted fraudster popular on Capitol Hill'."---Which makes me wonder: British intelligence can't possibly believe that any other kind of figure would be popular on Capitol Hill. Can they? But the Americans' love of like aside, the younger Chalabi's complaint about his removal from office has some merit. According to the Statute of the Iraqi Special Tribunal (Dec. 10, 2003), not only shall the Tribunal be an "independent entity and not associated with any Iraqi government departments" (1.a)---notice the Interim Prime Minister's impatience to get some trials up and running as soon as possible. But the Director of the Tribunal "shall serve for a three year term," the conditions of which "shall be those of a General Director in an Iraqi government department" (9.c), including the untouchable nature of the position, unless laws are broken. The whole of the Iraqi Interim Government---from the American Embassy and military staff on through its Executive organ, its Prime Minister, and down through its cabinets and special bodies---is one great series of concentric American stooges, standing-in for stooges, standing-in for stooges. (John F. Burns and Dexter Filkins, "Iraqis Battle Over Control Of Panel to Try Hussein," New York Times, Sept. 24, 2004.))"I am tool of no hand," Allawi said while visiting the CFR Thursday evening. "I am a tool of nobody." ("A Meeting with Iraqi Interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi," Sept. 23.) Note that a different report of Allawi's appearance before the CFR has Allawi saying: "I am a tool of no man, I am a tool of nobody." ("Allawi says not a 'tool' of US," Agence France Presse, Sept. 24.) I can't tell you which transcription of his remarks is the more accurate. Though I can tell you he was responding to a question about something John Kerry had said earlier in the day, to the effect that Allawi was being "used as a tool by the administration to put a positive face on the Iraq operation." As the quite lame editorial voice of the New York Times said this morning, Allawi "put on an impressive performance yesterday in Washington" as the "firm but low-keyed leader of an emergent Iraqi democracy," "occasionally compelling, but ultimately unconvincing, with contradictory messages that things are going well and that airing any evidence that things are not going well provides aid and comfort to terrorists." ("The Face of Iraqi Democracy," Sept. 24.) My god. How's this for the craft of carefully choosing one's words? At the White House earlier Thursday, both the American President and the Iraqi Prime Minister responded to a question by offering this thumbnail sketch of the history of the present ("President Bush and Prime Minister Allawi Press Conference," Sept. 23):
Question: Mr. President, two more Americans have been beheaded. More than 300 Iraqis have been killed in the last week. Fallujah is out of government control. And U.S. and Iraqi forces have been unable to bring security to diplomatic and commercial centers of Baghdad. Why haven't U.S. forces been able to capture or kill al Zarqawi, who's blamed for much of the violence?... ............ We're looking for him. He hides. He is -- he is -- he's got a effective weapon, and that is terror. I said yesterday that our military cannot be defeated by these thugs, that -- but what they do is behead Americans so they can get on the TV screens. And they're trying to shake our will and trying to shake the Iraqis' will. That's what they're trying to do. And like all Americans, I'm disgusted by that kind of behavior. But I'm not going to yield. We're not going to abandon the Iraqi people. It's in our interests that we win this battle in the war on terror. See, I think that the Iraq theater is a part of the war on terror. That's what the Prime Minister said, as well. He believes the same thing. He understands what's going on there -- after all, he lives there. And I believe that if we wilt, or leave, America's security will be much worse off. I believe that if Iraq -- if we fail in Iraq, it's the beginning of a long struggle. We will not have done our duty to our children and our grandchildren. And so that's why I'm consistently telling the Iraqi citizens that we will not be intimidated. That's why my message to Mr. Zarqawi is: You cannot drive us out of Iraq by your -- by your brutality.... ............ PRIME MINISTER ALLAWI: I just have a few words to say to this question. We cannot really substitute Iraq for Fallujah. Fallujah is a small part of Iraq. There are insurgents and terrorists who are active there for geographical reasons. The people of Fallujah are adamant that they should -- whenever they are capable -- to get rid of the insurgents. We have been talking to them, I have been talking to them, engaged in dialogue. My deputy met with the Fallujah tribes two days ago. Things are moving in the right direction and we are hitting insurgents and terrorists in this part of the world. To have more troops, we don't need. What we need really is to train more Iraqis, because this is ultimately for Iraqis, for Iraqi security forces to take responsibility for their own security and to defend the rest of the civilized world. What is happening, sir, in Iraq, is really Iraq is becoming a front line for a global fight against terrorists. So that's why Zarqawi is not alone. There are other groups similar to Zarqawi. There are groups who are insurgents who have stained their hands with the murders of the Iraqi people, who are Saddam's loyalists. They are working together. We assure you that we are going to defeat these evil forces, in Iraq and throughout the world.I wonder how many people who heard these remarks, or read them, appreciated what Bush and Allawi were really saying? As the historian Stephen Zunes was to write about a similar passage in the prepared text of the American President's address to the UN General Assembly earlier this week (see "President Speaks to the United Nations General Assembly" for a copy of Tuesday's speech): "[T]his idea that if the United States withdrew, these terrorists would suddenly leave Iraq and start attacking the United States and other countries is specious. This is simply a retread of the rationalization used during the Vietnam War that 'If we don't fight them over there, we'll have to fight them here'. Despite the U.S. withdrawal and the Communist victory nearly thirty years ago, the Vietnamese are yet to attack the United States. The Vietnamese stopped killing Americans when American forces got out of Vietnam. One can similarly assume that the Iraqis will stop killing Americans when American forces get out of Iraq." ("Bush's UN Speech: Idealistic Rhetoric Hides Sinister Policies," CommonDreams.org, Sept. 23.) Unfortunately, while it is true (obviously true) that the Iraqi resistance would stop attacking the occupying forces, were their political leadership back in the States to withdraw them from Iraq, the next stage of the assumption---namely, that the resistances to this menace across the rest of the world will be similarly satisfied by an American withdrawal from Iraq---is far less certain. Indeed. I'm hardly confident in this one at all. In both Bush's and Allawi's responses to the reporter's question at the White House yesterday---that the "Iraqi theater is part of the war on terror" (Bush) and that "Iraq is becoming a front line for a global fight against terrorists" (Allawi)---the whole conflict in Iraq is conceptualized as a theater in the much larger Global War on Terror. But, what exactly is the War on Terror? And in what sense is this alleged war global? (Or, at least, bigger than just Iraq?) Think in terms of the dynamic between a global menace (the Americans), and the countless forms of resistance this menace provokes, virtually all of which are local (or theater-based---after all, a human being is alive in only one place at one time), and not a single one of which is global in anything remotely like the sense in which American Power is global.
(Quick aside. This includes the scariest of the al Qaeda scenarios the threat-mongers can concoct for us, with its new style of decentralized cells operating independently of each other, and yet all them linked, somehow, ineluctably, in one giant international terrorist network, on the model of the World Wide Web.---See, e.g., "The Foundation of the New Terrorism," the second chapter of The 9/11 Commission Report (July, 2004).)Now, what the Americans mean by the War on Terror is their effort to crush this resistance wherever it occurs. But the War on Terror (i.e., efforts to crush resistance to American Power) is global for one reason, and one reason only: Not because terrorists are to be found everywhere, but because American Power is global. Similarly, the War on Terror is currently focused upon the Iraqi theater, not because this is where most of the terrorists happen to be located right now, but because this is where the greatest armed resistance to an American military occupation happens to be concentrated right now. Iraq only became a theater in the War on Terror because Iraq first became a theater of American military occupation and this, in turn, provoked a lot of local resistance, attracting foreign combatants, and so on. Were American Power peaceful and to nurture freedom and democracy in the world, its global reach would not be a problem. Or, at least, much less of a problem. But American Power tends to be threatening and brutal and murderous---the short history of its occupation of Iraq giving the world (at least the world outside the captive American mind that keeps winding up reflected back upon itself in the major opinion polls) a spectacular case in point. The most immediate problem all of us face today is the enormous amount of damage the Americans keep causing, not just in Iraq, but elsewhere too. When political figures allude to a long struggle ahead, they simply mean that the Americans have every intent to remain a menace to the world---and therefore have every reason to anticipate countless forms of resistance going forward. Postscript. For reasons I've stated previously (How Many Deaths Are Too Many?), I believe that the estimates of Iraqi civilian fatalities tabulated by the Iraq Body Count Project under-state the likely totals, perhaps by a considerable factor. Nevertheless. If you've ever visited the Iraq Coalition Casualty Count website, which tabulates the fatalities suffered by the armed services of the occupying powers, you will have seen that this website reports its breakdown in terms of the total number of days since the war was launched, the total number of deaths among the armed forces of the occupiers, and the average number of deaths per day. To adapt this method to the numbers also reported by the Iraq Body Count Project website this morning, we get the following:
Occupying Power Totals:The contrast is pretty stark, I think, whether the Iraq Body Count Project's methodology includes a downward bias or not. And don't forget, as the military leadership of the American forces keeps promising, the scale of violence stands to be greatly increased in the weeks and months ahead in an effort to "pacify" the resistance.Occupied Iraq Civilian Totals:1,178 deaths over 555 days, or 2.12 deaths per dayMinimum: 12,927 deaths over 555 days, or 23.29 deaths per day Maximum: 14,981 deaths over 555 days, or 26.99 deaths per day
"Secret papers show Blair was warned of Iraq chaos," Michael Smith, Daily Telegraph, September 18, 2004 "'Failure is not an option, but it doesn't mean they will avoid it'," Michael Smith, Daily Telegraph, September 18, 2004 "The Foundation of the New Terrorism" (HTML version), Ch. 2 of The 9/11 Commission Report, National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, July, 2004 Iraq Body Count Project, Friday morning, September 24: Minimum: 12,927. Maximum: 14,981 Iraq Coalition Casualty Count, Friday morning, September 24: Total: 1,178 Torture and the Americans, ZNet Blogs (the old ones), June 18 Iraq, Civilian Fatalities, and American Power, ZNet Blogs, August 15 How Many Deaths Are Too Many? ZNet Blogs, September 13FYA ("For your archives"): Am depositing here two additional documents: (A) A transcript of the Iraqi Prime Minister's September 23 address to a joint session of the American Congress (in part, this is because the links to House and Senate material can change over time, turning what originally was a good link into a dead one); and (b) a copy of a lengthy article in today's New York Times on the trials and tribulations of the Iraqi Special Tribunal, which looked like it was going to be nothing more than a political stage for holding show trials from the moment its Statute was adopted last December---and looks even more like it today. (A) FDCH Political Transcripts September 23, 2004 Thursday HEADLINE: IYAD ALLAWI DELIVERS REMARKS TO A JOINT SESSION OF CONGRESS SPEAKER:IYAD ALLAWI, PRIME MINISTER OF IRAQ LOCATION: WASHINGTON, D.C. SPEAKER: IYAD ALLAWI, PRIME MINISTER OF IRAQ ALLAWI: Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, members of Congress, distinguished guests, it's my distinct honor and great privilege to speak to you today on behalf of Iraq's interim government and its people. It's my honor to come to Congress and to thank this nation and its people for making our cause your cause, our struggle your struggle. Before I turn to my government's plan for Iraq, I have three important messages for you today. First, we are succeeding in Iraq. (APPLAUSE) It's a tough struggle with setbacks, but we are succeeding. I have seen some of the images that are being shown here on television. They are disturbing. They focus on the tragedies, such as the brutal and barbaric murder of two American hostages this week. ALLAWI: My thoughts and prayers go out to their families and to all those who lost loved ones. Yet, as we mourn these losses, we must not forget either the progress we are making or what is at stake in Iraq. We are fighting for freedom and democracy, ours and yours. Every day, we strengthen the institutions that will protect our new democracy, and every day, we grow in strength and determination to defeat the terrorists and their barbarism. The second message is quite simple and one that I would like to deliver directly from my people to yours: Thank you, America. (APPLAUSE) We Iraqis know that Americans have made and continue to make enormous sacrifices to liberate Iraq, to assure Iraq's freedom. I have come here to thank you and to promise you that your sacrifices are not in vain. The overwhelming majority of Iraqis are grateful. They are grateful to be rid of Saddam Hussein and the torture and brutality he forced upon us, grateful for the chance to build a better future for our families, our country and our region. ALLAWI: We Iraqis are grateful to you, America, for your leadership and your sacrifice for our liberation and our opportunity to start anew. Third, I stand here today as the prime minister of a country emerging finally from dark ages of violence, aggression, corruption and greed. Like almost every Iraqi, I have many friends who were murdered, tortured or raped by the regime of Saddam Hussein. Well over a million Iraqis were murdered or are missing. We estimate at least 300,000 in mass graves, which stands as monuments to the inhumanity of Saddam's regime. Thousands of my Kurdish brothers and sisters were gassed to death by Saddam's chemical weapons. Millions more like me were driven into exile. Even in exile, as I myself can vouch, we were not safe from Saddam. And as we lived under tyranny at home, so our neighbors lived in fear of Iraq's aggression and brutality. Reckless wars, use of weapons of mass destruction, the needless loss of hundreds of thousands of lives and the financing and exporting of terrorism, these were Saddam's legacy to the world. My friends, today we are better off, you are better off and the world is better off without Saddam Hussein. (APPLAUSE) Your decision to go to war in Iraq was not an easy one but it was the right one. (APPLAUSE) ALLAWI: There are no words that can express the debt of gratitude that future generations of Iraqis will owe to Americans. It would have been easy to have turned your back on our plight, but this is not the tradition of this great country, nor for the first time in history you stood up with your allies for freedom and democracy. Ladies and gentlemen, I particularly want to thank you in the United States Congress for your brave vote in 2002 to authorize American men and women to go to war to liberate my country, because you realized what was at stake. And I want to thank you for your continued commitment last year when you voted to grant Iraq a generous reconstruction and security funding package. I have met many of you last year and I have in Iraq. It's a tribute to your commitment to our country that you have come to see firsthand the challenges and the progress we have and we are making. Ladies and gentlemen, the costs now have been high. As we have lost our loved ones in this struggle, so have you. As we have mourned, so have you. ALLAWI: This is a bitter price of combating tyranny and terror. Our hearts go to the families, every American who has given his or her life and every American who has been wounded to help us in our struggle. Now we are determined to honor your confidence and sacrifice by putting into practice in Iraq the values of liberty and democracy, which are so dear to you and which have triumphed over tyranny across our world. (APPLAUSE) Creating a democratic, prosperous and stable nation, where differences are respected, human rights protected, and which lives in peace with itself and its neighbor, is our highest priority, our sternest challenge and our greatest goal. It is a vision, I assure you, shared by the vast majority of the Iraqi people. But there are the tiny minority who despise the very ideas of liberty, of peace, of tolerance, and who will kill anyone, destroy anything, to prevent Iraq and its people from achieving this goal. Among them are those who nurse fantasies of the former regime returning to power. There are fanatics who seek to impose a perverted vision of Islam in which the face of Allah cannot be seen. And there are terrorists, including many from outside Iraq, who seek to make our country the main battleground against freedom, democracy and civilization. ALLAWI: For the struggle in Iraq today is not about the future of Iraq only. It's about the worldwide war between those who want to live in peace and freedom, and terrorists. Terrorists strike indiscriminately at soldiers, at civilians, as they did so tragically on 9/11 in America, and as they did in Spain and Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Russia in my country and many others. So in Iraq we confront both, insurgency and the global war on terror with their destructive forces sometimes overlapping. These killers may be just a tiny fraction of our 27 million population, but with their guns and their suicide bombs to intimidate and to frighten all the people of Iraq, I can tell you today, they will not succeed. (APPLAUSE) For these murderers have no political program or cause other than push our country back into tyranny. Their agenda is no different than terrorist forces that have struck all over the world, including your own country on September 11th. There lies the fatal weakness: The insurgency in Iraq is destructive but small and it has not and will never resonate with the Iraqi people. The Iraqi citizens know better than anyone the horrors of dictatorship. This is past we will never revisit. Ladies and gentlemen, let me turn now to our plan which we have developed to meet the real challenges which Iraq faces today, a plan that we are successfully implementing with your help. The plan has three basic parts: building democracy, defeating the insurgency and improving the quality of ordinary Iraqis. ALLAWI: The political strategy in our plan is to isolate the terrorists from the communities in which they operate. We are working hard to involve as many people as we can in the political process to cut the ground from under the terrorists' feet. In troubled areas across the country, government representatives are meeting with local leaders. They are offering amnesty to those who realize the error of their ways. They are making clear that there can be no compromise with terror, that all Iraqis have the opportunity to join the side of order and democracy, and that they should use the political process to address their legitimate concerns and hopes. I am a realist. I know that terrorism cannot be defeated with political tools only. But we can weaken it, ending local support, help us to tackle the enemy head-on, to identify, isolate and eradicate this cancer. Let me provide you with a couple of examples of where this political plan already is working. In Samarra, the Iraqi government has tackled the insurgents who once controlled the city. ALLAWI: Following weeks of discussions between government officials and representatives, coalition forces and local community leaders, regular access to the city has been restored. A new provincial council and governor have been selected, and a new chief of police has been appointed. Hundreds of insurgents have been pushed out of the city by local citizens, eager to get with their lives. Today in Samarra, Iraqi forces are patrolling the city, in close coordination with their coalition counterparts. In Talafa (ph), a city northwest of Baghdad, the Iraqi government has reversed an effort by insurgents to arrest, control (inaudible) the proper authorities. Iraqi forces put down the challenge and allowed local citizens to choose a new mayor and police chief. Thousands of civilians have returned to the city. And since their return, we have launched a large program of reconstruction and humanitarian assistance. Ladies and gentlemen, let me turn now to our military strategy. We plan to build and maintain security forces across Iraq. Ordinary Iraqis are anxious to take over entirely this role and to shoulder all the security burdens of our country as quickly as possible. (APPLAUSE) For now, of course, we need the help of our American and coalition partners. But the training of Iraqi security forces is moving forward briskly and effectively. The Iraqi government now commands almost 50,000 armed and combat- ready Iraqis. ALLAWI: By January it will be some 145,000. And by the end of next year, some 250,000 Iraqis. The government has accelerated the development of Iraqi special forces, and the establishment of a counter-terrorist strike force to tackle specific problems caused by insurgencies. Our intelligence is getting better every day. You have seen that the successful resolution of the Najaf crisis, and then the targeted attacks against insurgents in Fallujah. These new Iraqi forces are rising to the challenge. They are fighting on behalf of sovereign Iraqi government, and therefore their performance is improving every day. Working closely with the coalition allies, they are striking their enemies wherever they hide, disrupting operations, destroying safe houses and removing terrorist leaders. But improving the everyday lives of Iraqis, tackling our economic problems is also essential to our plan. Across the country there is a daily progress, too. Oil pipelines are being repaired. Basic services are being improved. The homes are being rebuilt. Schools and hospitals are being rebuilt. The clinics are open and reopened. There are now over 6 million children at school, many of them attending one of the 2,500 schools that have been renovated since liberation. (APPLAUSE) Last week, we completed a national polio vaccination campaign, reaching over 90 percent of all Iraqi children. ALLAWI: We're starting work on 150 new health centers across the country. Millions of dollars in economic aid and humanitarian assistance from this country and others around the world are flowing into Iraq. For this, again, I want to thank you. (APPLAUSE) And so today, despite the setbacks and daily outrages, we can and should be hopeful for the future. In Najaf and Kufa, this plan has already brought success. In those cities a firebrand cleric had taken over Shia Islam's holiest sites in defiance of the government and the local population. Immediately, the Iraqi government ordered the Iraqi armed forces into action to use military force to create conditions for political success. Together with the coalition partners, Iraqi forces cleaned out insurgents from everywhere in the city, capturing hundreds and killing many more. At the same time, the government worked with political leaders and with Ayatollah Sistani to find a peaceful solution to the occupation of the shrine. We were successful. The shrine was preserved. Order was restored. And Najaf and Kufa were returned to their citizens. (APPLAUSE) ALLAWI: Today the foreign media have lost interest and left, but millions of dollars in economic aid and humanitarian assistance are now flowing into the cities. Ordinary citizens are once again free to live and worship at these places. As we move forward, the next major milestone will be holding of the free and fair national and local elections in January next. (APPLAUSE) I know that some have speculated, even doubted, whether this date can be met. So let me be absolutely clear: Elections will occur in Iraq on time in January because Iraqis want elections on time. (APPLAUSE) For the skeptics who do not understand the Iraqi people, they do not realize how decades of torture and repression feed our desire for freedom. At every step of the political process to date the courage and resilience of the Iraqi people has proved the doubters wrong. (APPLAUSE) They said we would miss January deadline to pass the interim constitution. ALLAWI: We proved them wrong. They warned that there could be no successful handover of sovereignty by the end of June. We proved them wrong. A sovereign Iraqi government took over control two days early. They doubted whether a national conference could be staged this August. We proved them wrong. Despite intimidation and violence, over 1,400 citizens, a quarter of them women, from all regions and from every ethnic, religious and political grouping in Iraq, elected a national council. And I pledge to you today, we'll prove them wrong again over the elections. (APPLAUSE) Our independent electoral commission is working with the United Nations, the multinational force and our own Iraqi security forces to make these elections a reality. In 15 out of our 18 Iraqi provinces we could hold elections tomorrow. Although this is not what we see in your media, it is a fact. (APPLAUSE) ALLAWI: Your government, our government and the United Nations are all helping us mobilizing the necessary resources to fund voter registration and information programs. We will establish up to 30,000 polling sites, 130,000 election workers, and all other complex aspects mounting a general election in a nation of 27 million before the end of January next. We already know that terrorists and former regime elements will do all they can to disrupt these elections. There would be no greater success for the terrorists if we delay and no greater blow when the elections take place, as they will, on schedule. (APPLAUSE) The Iraqi elections may not be perfect, may not be the best elections that Iraq will ever hold. They will no doubt be an excuse for violence from those that despise liberty, as were the first elections in Sierra Leone, South Africa or Indonesia. But they will take place, and they will be free and fair. And though they won't be the end of the journey toward democracy, they will be a giant step forward in Iraq's political evolution. (APPLAUSE) They will pave the way for a government that reflects the world, and has the confidence of the Iraqi people. ALLAWI: Ladies and gentlemen, this is our strategy for moving Iraq steadily toward the security and democracy and prosperity our people crave. But Iraq cannot accomplish this alone. The resolve and will of the coalition in supporting a free Iraq is vital to our success. (APPLAUSE) The Iraqi government needs the help of the international community, the help of countries that not only believe in the Iraqi people but also believe in the fight for freedom and against tyranny and terrorism everywhere. Already, Iraq has many partners. The transition in Iraq from brutal dictatorship to freedom and democracy is not only an Iraqi endeavor, it is an international one. More than 30 countries are represented in Iraq with troops on the ground in harm's way. We Iraqis are grateful for each and every one of these courageous men and women. (APPLAUSE) United Nations Resolution 1546 passed in June 2004, endorsed the Iraqi interim government and pledged international support for Iraq upcoming elections. The G-8, the European Union and NATO have also issued formal statements of support. NATO is now helping with one of Iraq's most urgent needs, the training of Iraqi security forces. I am delighted by the new agreement to step up the pace and scope of this training. ALLAWI: The United Nations has reestablished its mission in Iraq, a new United Nations special representative has been appointed and a team of United Nations personnel is now operating in Baghdad. Many more nations have committed to Iraq's future in the form of economic aid. We Iraqis are aware how international this effort truly is. But our opponents, the terrorists, also understand all too well that this is an international effort. And that's why they have targeted members of the coalition. I know the pain this causes. I know it is difficult but the coalition must stand firm. (APPLAUSE) When governments negotiate with terrorists, everyone in the free world suffers. When political leaders sound the siren of defeatism in the face of terrorism, it only encourage more violence. (APPLAUSE) Working together, we will defeat the killers, and we will do this by refusing to bargain about our most fundamental principles. (APPLAUSE) ALLAWI: Ladies and gentlemen, good will aside, I know that many observers around the world honestly wonder if we in Iraq really can restore our economy, be good neighbors, guarantee the democratic rule of law and overcome the enemies who seek to tear us down. I understand why, faced with the daily headlines, there are these doubts. I know, too, that there will be many more setbacks and obstacles to overcome. But these doubters risk underestimating our country and they risk fueling the hopes of the terrorists. Despite our problems, despite our recent history, no one should doubt that Iraq is a country of tremendous human resources and national resources. Iraq is still a nation with an inspiring culture and the tradition and an educated and civilized people. And Iraq is still a land made strong by a faith which teaches us tolerance, love, respect and duty. (APPLAUSE) Above all, they risk underestimating the courage, determination of the Iraqi people to embrace democracy, peace and freedom, for the dreams of our families are the same as the dreams of the families here in America and around the world. There are those who want to divide our world. I appeal to you, who have done so much already to help us, to ensure they don't succeed. Do not allow them to say to Iraqis, to Arabs, to Muslims, that we have only two models of governments, brutal dictatorship and religious extremism. This is wrong. Like Americans, we Iraqis want to enjoy the fruits of liberty. Half of the world's 1.5 billion Muslims already enjoy democratically elected governments. ALLAWI: As Prime Minister Blair said to you last year when he stood here, anywhere, any time ordinary people are given the chance to choose, the choice is the same: freedom not tyranny, democracy not dictatorship, and the rule of law not the rule of the secret police. (APPLAUSE) Do not let them convince others that the values of freedom, of tolerance and democracy are for you in the West but not for us. For the first time in our history, the Iraqi people can look forward to controlling our own destiny. (APPLAUSE) This would not have been possible without the help and sacrifices of this country and its coalition partners. I thank you again from the bottom of my heart. And let me tell you that as we meet our greatest challenge by building a democratic future, we the people of the new Iraq will remember those who have stood by us. ALLAWI: As generous as you have been, we will stand with you, too. As stalwart as you have been, we will stand with you, too. Neither tyranny nor terrorism has a place in our region or our world. And that is why we Iraqis will stand by you, America, in a war larger than either of our nations, the global battle to live in freedom. God bless you and thank you. (APPLAUSE) END (B) The New York Times September 24, 2004 Friday Late Edition - Final SECTION: Section A; Column 1; Foreign Desk; THE REACH OF WAR: JUSTICE; Pg. 13 HEADLINE: Iraqis Battle Over Control Of Panel to Try Hussein BYLINE: By JOHN F. BURNS and DEXTER FILKINS DATELINE: BAGHDAD, Iraq, Sept. 23 A bitter political struggle has erupted over control of the special Iraqi tribunal set up to try Saddam Hussein and his associates, with Prime Minister Ayad Allawi and his rivals maneuvering for influence over the appointment of judges, the timing of trials, the scope of charges and even who will stand trial and who will escape the death penalty by cutting deals with prosecutors. That battle burst into the open on Thursday when Salem Chalabi, the American-trained lawyer appointed the tribunal's chief administrator in May, accused Dr. Allawi of dismissing him only five months into a three-year term so as to take ''political control'' of the tribunal. International legal experts have become concerned about Dr. Allawi's effort to accelerate the tribunal's work and begin at least the first trial as early as November, before national elections scheduled for January. That would be at least six months earlier than officials have repeatedly said would be the minimum time needed to prepare for trials that will examine the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. Mr. Chalabi said Dr. Allawi was seeking to speed some of the trials to gain popularity while moving to ''quash any potential indictments'' against other former Baath Party officials whom Dr. Allawi, a former Baathist himself, sees as possible allies. ''Show trials followed by speedy executions may help the interim government politically in the short term, but will be counterproductive for the development of democracy and the rule of law in Iraq in the long term,'' Mr. Chalabi said in a statement e-mailed to reporters from London. He appealed to ''the international community,'' meaning primarily the United States, to ''get more actively involved in the work of the tribunal'' and end Dr. Allawi's interference. Dr. Allawi has denied any intention of controlling the tribunal. In an interview in Baghdad last week, he said Mr. Chalabi had not been dismissed, but had resigned. He also denied manipulating tribunal appointments, saying he was only vaguely aware of the man named to be Mr. Chalabi's successor, Amer Bakri, identified by Mr. Chalabi on Thursday as a member of Dr. Allawi's political party, the Iraqi National Accord. Dr. Allawi said he did not know Mr. Bakri's first name. Mr. Bakri could not be reached for comment. Dr. Allawi said the extent of his involvement with the tribunal had been to urge its officials to speed the trials, meeting a yearning among Iraqis for justice to be done to Mr. Hussein and others who inflicted decades of brutality on them. Referring to Mr. Chalabi and other tribunal officials who have said that it might take another year to bring the first of Mr. Hussein's top associates to trial, and perhaps two years for Mr. Hussein, he added: ''It's too slow. It's something we want to get done and put it behind us.'' But other Iraqi officials who are not members of the Iraqi National Accord have said that Mr. Chalabi's removal was only one of several moves by Dr. Allawi to take control of key tribunal posts. These officials have circulated a copy of a letter Dr. Allawi sent two weeks ago dismissing a senior judge named as president of the tribunal, Naim al-Egaili, saying his appointment was illegal. The tribunal's president will name the five-judge panels that will preside at the trials, and will also influence other issues, including the order in which Mr. Hussein and his lieutenants will come to trial, and the scope of the charges. No new president has been appointed. The concern about the tribunal is part of a wider pattern of wariness among United States officials in Baghdad toward Dr. Allawi, who was named interim prime minister in June partly because the Bush administration was attracted by his reputation as a political hard-liner. His history -- he was sent to London in the 1960's by Mr. Hussein to oversee Baath Party members there -- was cited by American officials at the time of his appointment as an advantage, enabling Dr. Allawi, a Shiite, to reach out to the Sunni minority. But after 12 weeks, Iraqi and American officials familiar with the relationship between the Americans and Dr. Allawi say, American respect for the Iraqi leader has been tempered by a growing sense that he is careless, even dismissive, of the checks and balances the occupation authority built into transitional political structures here. Officials who voice these concerns include some who are rivals of Dr. Allawi's or who oppose his long-term political ambitions, but they also include people who have worked with him since the formal transfer of sovereignty. Under Dr. Allawi and John D. Negroponte, the American ambassador, who wields extensive behind-the-scenes power, the Americans and Iraqis have taken care to keep their disputes hidden. But in recent weeks, Dr. Allawi has taken a number of steps, these Iraqi and American officials say, that have suggested that he may harbor ambitions to mold the government into an instrument of his personal will, curbing dissent and increasing the influence of the Iraqi National Accord. Last week, Dr. Allawi dismissed Mowaffak al-Rubaie, his national security adviser, after disagreements over how to confront Moktada al Sadr, the rebel Shiite cleric. While Dr. Rubaie favored a strategy aimed at coaxing Mr. Sadr's men into the political mainstream, Dr. Allawi insisted on military force. Iraqi and American officials cite other examples. Asked by Iraqi and American commanders to nominate a list of officers for more than two dozen command posts in the Iraqi armed forces, Dr. Allawi put forward a list drawn entirely from his own political party, according to a knowledgeable Iraqi source who is an opponent of Dr. Allawi's. Senior American officers say care will be taken to see that appointments are not made by political favor. The stage for a political tug of war over the tribunal was set when Salem Chalabi was chosen for his post by L. Paul Bremer III, chief of the American occupation authority that dissolved in June. Mr. Chalabi is a nephew of Ahmad Chalabi, the exile leader who worked for years to encourage an American military overthrow of Mr. Hussein. Mr. Bremer endorsed Salem Chalabi's appointment earlier this year. Ahmad Chalabi was favored by the Pentagon to be Iraq's first post-Hussein president, but has since fallen from American favor. The Chalabi appointment stirred immediate controversy. The tribunal was already under fire from experts who urged the United States to rely on an international court, like the one trying Slobodan Milosevic and other leaders from the former Yugoslavia. These experts said Salem Chalabi, in his late 30's, lacked legal experience, and that his ties to his uncle gave the tribunal added political taint. With a $75 million budget from the United States and a team of international legal experts, the tribunal, working from offices in the American command compound in Baghdad, has been sifting through tons of documents and witness statements. Its most public moment came on July 1, when Mr. Hussein and 11 of his top associates appeared in a temporary courtroom on an American military base near Baghdad airport to be informed that they were under investigation for crimes against humanity, and to be apprised of their legal rights. Shortly after, a judge from Iraq's Central Criminal Court, with links to senior officials in the Allawi government, issued warrants for both Ahmad and Salem Chalabi while they were outside Iraq -- Ahmad for currency fraud, and Salem for involvement in the murder of a Finance Ministry official involved in an investigation of the Chalabi family's business dealings. Both called the warrants part of an Allawi government vendetta, and both have returned to Iraq. Ahmad Chalabi resumed his political activities, seeking allies for a challenge to Dr. Allawi in the January elections. Salem Chalabi remained out of Iraq until last week, when he made a brief trip to Baghdad, met with the judge who issued the arrest warrant, then returned to London. Dr. Allawi and other officials said after he left that Salem Chalabi had resigned, a claim that Mr. Chalabi dismissed in his e-mail message on Thursday. ''The interim Iraqi government has resorted to the use of illegal means to try to remove me and take political control of the tribunal,'' he said. ''My insistence on the independence of the tribunal was proving inconvenient for the secret policy of the government to grant amnesty or otherwise work out deals with senior Baathists inside and outside Iraq. ''Several of these Baathists are concerned about their possible indictment; accordingly, the interim government has moved to take control of the tribunal to quash any potential indictments.'' The War on Terror