Ali al-Fadhily, in Electronic Iraq, 15 March 2007 has an interesting article about the failed Government of Iraq entitled "Iraqis place hope in local politics" which includes a very interesting note ....
Rumors run of "shadow governments" being formed abroad, but Iraqis have little faith in people who fled and left them to face the situation.Today is of course the grim anniversary of the day when the Iraqi Army under the command of General Nizar al-Khazraji bombed Halabja (BBC Caversham monitoring report) with cyanide gas - the man who the BBC went to Copenhagen to interview in September 2002, the man who the CIA got excited about as the successor to Saddam. And he has raised his head.
General Nizar al-Khazraji, former chief of staff in the previous army, former minister for foreign affairs Naji al-Hadithi (see pic) and some others are said to have formed such 'governments' abroad to replace the current government when the time comes.
Naji Sabri Al-Hadithi, 59 was of course the Foreign Minister of Saddam's regime who stole US$15 Mn from the Foreign Ministry's treasury before Bagdhad fell. He smuggled it with him abroad, according to the Austrian Der Standard newspaper at the time . The newspaper quoted the Foreign Ministry's workers in Baghdad, as saying that the sum confiscated by Al-Hadithi was transported abroad on April 7, before the US entered Baghdad.
Al-Hadithi might currently be with his friend, the far-rightist leader Joerg Haider, in southern Austria, said the newspaper." The newspaper also said his mobile phone is registered in the name of a member of the Iraqi embassy in Vienna. (see BBC Online report)
Jorg Haider told Lord Patel at the time that "He is in safety." The former leader of the far-right Freedom Party and Governer then of Carinthia also told the radio station Krone Hit, describing Mr Sabri as a "personal friend". "He has good connections the world over. We don't need to worry about him," he said. Naji Sabri was made Iraqi Ambassador to Austria in 1998 where he gotto know Haider. He was also named as Permanent Representative to the International AtomicEnergy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations Industrial DevelopmentOrganization (UNIDO) and to the United Nations Office (Vienna) during1999-2001. He was only made Foreign Minister on Augest 4, 2001.
There is a fascinating report by BBC's Mark Doyle of interviews that he had with Naji Sabri in Cairo dated March 29th 2003."The invaders" , he proceeded to say with absolute certainty,..." will be beaten. They will die and be buried in the deserts of Iraq."
It is intriguing to remember that there were 3 prominent Iraqi ministers also do not appear on the list of 55 most wanted after the occupation who appeared on those ridiculous playing cards.
They are Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed Sahaf, (Comical Ali) Health Minister Umid Mubarak and Foreign Minister Naji Sabri. U.S. officials at the time said the three ministers were not regarded as key members of the Saddam regime. He also does not feature on the Department of Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control, Blocked Persons List. So no doubt his US$15 MN loot is safe.
There is a report from October 2002 by BBC monitoring at Caversham that he was "Described by commentators as "smooth and sophisticated", "suave" and"a type that appeals to Westerners", he is said to have relished his renewed contact with the West." He was also said to be CIA director George Tenet's "source who had direct access to Saddam and his inner circle." He politely but firmly declined the oportunity to defect however.
A PBS report in 2002 states he is a member of a historically powerful family, and holds a doctorate in English literature from Baghdad University. During the Gulf War, he was Deputy Information Minister and, at one time, ran Iraq's Press office in London.
In the days immediately prior to the illegal invasion of Iraq when Tony Blair had accepted that Saddam could leave the country unharmed - Naji Sabra said..."(BBC)
"The only option [to avoid war] is the departure of the number one warmonger in the world [US President George W Bush]. "His policy has brought disaster to the United States. This crazy man should go and also his subject, disciple and follower [UK Prime Minister Tony] Blair."
OF course it seems unlikely that the Coalition of the totally useless and fed up would engage the services of General Nizar al-Khazraji and Naji al-Hadithi, but as we are never tired of hearing ..."My enemies enmy is my friend".. the very recent accomodation with a tribal leader in Anbar suggests that there sre some forces at play to give the Sunni a stronger hand.
Lord Patel did have some interesting correspondence with Prime Minister Tony Blair in February 2005 prior to the General Election, about General Nizar al-Khazraji and his military friends such as Head of Military Intelligence Wafiq Samarra'i. There is an interesting report here at Investigating New Imperialism
prime Minister Tony Blair did say .... inter alia
“I was concerned to hear about these reports and asked for them to be investigated. It is clear that general al-Khazraji did indeed have an appalling record of human rights abuses in Iraq. For this reason, the Government’s only interest in General al-Khazraji is to see him brought to justice. We continue to support the efforts underway in Iraq to establish a fair and transparent system for prosecuting those suspected of human rights abuses under Saddam.“The reports of General al-Khazraji’s association with the Iraqi Government appear to be the result of unfounded media speculation in the region. We have seen no evidence of any connection between General al-Khazraji and the Iraqi Government.So it would be strange, funny even, if these guys popped up in the Government of Iraq ... but it wouldn't be unexpected.
We have reason to believe that, far from working in support of the Iraqi Government, General Khazraji is actively engaged in opposing it.”