Post-Saddam Iraq – The Pentagon’s Far-Right Poised to Take Over and Ayatollah Sistani’s Fatwa

Islamic Human Rights Commission

10th April 2003

BRIEFING: Post-Saddam Iraq – The Pentagon’s far-right poised to take over and Ayatollah Sistani’s fatwa

The Pentagon-controlled government-in-waiting poised to take over Iraq is overwhelmingly drawn from American military ranks and tainted by association with the Bush administration; the list of appointees are dominated by the most aggressive proponents of US unilateralism and advocates of uncompromising support for Israel. The list for appointees makes for disconcerting reading, raising fears and anxieties as to the administration of post-Saddam Iraq under US rule and what attire it will take.


Former US general Jay Garner
The head of this neo-colonialist administration is to be retired US general Jay Garner, a pro-war, pro-Israeli hawk, who will report directly to US army chief General Tommy Franks. Garner emerges as a favourite of Richard Perle , controversial former director of Donald Rumsfeld’s Defence Policy Board (DPB) and one of the chief architects of the war on Iraq. As president of California-based arms manufacturer SY Technology, he was responsible for US-Israeli missile systems . Regarded as a ‘bull’ by former colleagues, in October 2000 Garner was one of 26 US military leaders to sign a resolutely pro-Israel statement issued by the highly influential Jewish Institute of National Security Affairs (JINSA), a powerful think-tank which promotes strategic and military ties between the US and Israel. The document, entitled ‘JINSA Flag and General Officers Statement on Palestinian Violence’, stated the signatories held the ‘unswerving belief that the security of the State of Israel is a matter of great importance to US policy in the Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean, as well as around the world. A strong Israel is an asset that American military planners and political leaders can rely on . . . what makes the US-Israel security relationship one of mutual benefit is the combination of military capabilities and shared political values’ .

The JINSA connection
With senior US government figures as its advisers (including Perle, Rumsfeld, US vice-president Dick Cheney and John Bolton, current Undersectary of state for Arms Control) , JINSA lists two other possible appointees, ex-CIA director, James Woolsey, and Douglas Feith, current US Undersecretary of Defence for Policy, as prominent advisers . The JINSA website announces its purpose as: ‘To inform the American defense and foreign affairs community about the important role Israel can and does play in bolstering democratic interests in the Mediterranean and the Middle East’ . JINSA posits Israel at the core of US foreign policy and with the ascendancy of Rumsfeld, Feith, Perle and Cheney this appears to have crystallised. Additionally, JINSA advocates aggressive regime change by any means necessary. On its target list include Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian Authority.

Ex-CIA director, James Woolsey and Douglas Feith, US Undersecretary of Defence for Policy
Woolsey, a protégé of Perle, and widely touted as Iraq’s new Minister of Information, is another Pentagon acolyte, serving on the DPB. Anti-Saudi, in an article Woolsey announced the neo-colonialist agenda: ‘Clearly, the terror war is never going to go away until we change the face of the Middle East, which is what we are beginning to do in Iraq’ . Feith, the third most senior executive at the Pentagon, has a long history of anti-Arab tracts and bias. As an adviser to former Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, Feith advised to break with the peace process and called for a deepening of US military co-operation with Israel in its struggle with the Arabs, conceptualised as the forces of ‘darkness’ . As well as representing Israeli arms manufacturers, Feith has been heavily involved with the anti-Arab organisation, the Zionist Organisation of America .

Michael Mobbs
Another disturbing appointee is Michael Mobbs, who is designated to take charge of 11 of the 23 Iraqi ministries . A Pentagon lawyer, Mobbs has been a leading defender of the notorious Camp Ray X. Mobbs comes with a reputation for anti-civil rights and a serious disregard for international conventions on human rights. Mobbs campaigned to have US citizens imprisoned without charge and was the prime mover behind the suspension of judicial rights .

The aforementioned appointees, along with others, are advocates of US unilateral domination through absolute military superiority and all hold implacable pro-Israeli stances. IHRC is deeply concerned as to what Iraq they will build. With no respect and regard for international law and human rights, the post-Saddam US regime may witness one tyranny replace another.

Misinformation and Ayatollah Sistani’s fatwa
This prospect raises the serious question of US misinformation. This is in light of American and British claims that one of Shia Islam’s most senior and highly respected scholars, Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani of Najaf issued a fatwa (religious edict) reversing a previous fatwa which called for resistance to invading American and British armed forces. This is a complete fabrication and lie. An official letter from the office of Grand Ayatollah Sistani, signed by him, denied such a fatwa, re-affirming the original fatwa calling upon Muslims to defend Iraq. This serves as a serious reminder as to US and British propaganda and highlights the perils for pro-American and -British Iraqi organisations in creating and promoting such fabrication.

For more information please contact:

Islamic Human Rights Commission
PO Box 598
United Kingdom

Telephone (+44) 20 8902 0888
Fax (+44) 20 8902 0889