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Leaders and Occupiers in Iraq

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Iraq's Interim Government | Iraq Governing Council
US State Department | Coalition Provisional Authority | Prominent Political and Social Figures in Iraq

Iraq's Interim Government


Interim Iraqi Government (June 1, 2004)

Thirty five members make up Iraq's new Interim Government, including a President and two Vice-Presidents, as well as a Prime Minister and a ministerial cabinet. Prominent names not part of the new government include Ahmed Chalabi, once US-favourite as the future leader of Iraq. (BBC)


Vice President
Vice President

Sheik Ghazi Ajil al-Yawar
Picture Credit: Ceerwan Aziz/ Reuters
Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari
Picture Credit: al-Jazeera
Rowsch Shaways
Picture Credit: Google Images


Shiite Bloc Votes to Retain Iraq Premier (February 13, 2006)

The United Iraqi Alliance (UIA), Iraq's ruling Shiite coalition, voted to retain Ibrahim Jafari as prime minister. While many predicted the negotiations would fracture the UIA, which includes Jafari's Dawa party, the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, and followers of Muqtada al-Sadr, the vote preserved Iraq's largest parliamentary block. As prime minister, Jafari must now move forward with the more difficult negotiations of approving a cabinet and arranging power-sharing agreements with Iraq's various Kurdish, Sunni and secular parties. Many Iraqis are unhappy with the decision, blaming Jafari for widespread sectarian violence and the failure of Iraq's reconstruction during his tenure as interim prime minister. (Los Angeles Times)

Jaafari, Iraq's Most Likely Next PM, Is Shiite Modernist (February 23, 2005)

This Agence France Press article provides some background on Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari and his party, the Shiite "Hezb al-Dawa al-Islamiyya." The article describes the former exile, who lived first in Iran and then in London, as a modernist who "has distanced himself" from his previous hard-line views. But it also mentions that Jaafari's critics suspect him of corruption and worry about his possible ties to Iran.

A President with Panache: Ghazi Ajil al-Yawar (June 1, 2004)

Sheik Ghazi al-Yawar, a Sunni Arab and leader of the Shammar tribe, was appointed Interim President of Iraq. Can the appointment of a Sheik Yawar eliminate the Sunni sense of marginalization by the US-led coalition? (New York Times)

Prime Minister
Iyad Allawi
Picture Credit: Getty Images


Allawi Shot Inmates in Cold Blood (July 17, 2004)

Witnesses claim that Iraq's Interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi summarily "executed as many as six suspected insurgents at a Baghdad police station," with around a dozen police officers and four US security contractors present. One of the witnesses claims that Allawi told those around him that "he wanted to send a clear message to the police on how to deal with insurgents." Is Allawi endorsing a return to the ruthless tactics practiced by the Saddam Hussein regime? (Sydney Morning Herald)

Allawi, Who Battled Hussein, to Lead Iraq after US Handover (June 1, 2004)

Iyad Allawi, a secular Shiite and Arab nationalist in exile for three decades, will serve as Interim Prime Minister. Can he lead Iraq towards elections in 2005? (Bloomberg)

Iraq Governing Council: (July 2003 - June 2004)

Picture Credit: BBC

Iraqi Governing Council Members (July 14, 2003)

The CPA announced the creation of the Iraq Governing Council, selected by CPA Chief Administrator Paul Bremer. The Council consists of 25 members representing "the country's diverse religious and ethnic groupings." However, most members are Iraqi exiles who returned after the overthrow of the Saddam Hussein regime. Will Iraqis see this council as legitimate? (BBC)

Ahmad al-Chalabi

Picture Credit:
Free Iraqi Forces/ Associated Press

King of Jordan to Pardon Iraq's Deputy PM over $300m Bank Fraud (May 11, 2005)

In the latest twist in Ahmed Chalabi's "extraordinary career," King Abdullah of Jordan has agreed to pardon the controversial Iraqi politician, who escaped Jordan in 1989 after his bank collapsed with US$300m in missing deposits. Chalabi, now Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq, faced 22 years in prison. (Independent)

Ahmad Chalabi and His Iranian Connection (February 18, 2004)

The US investigation into prewar intelligence reveals that information regarding Iraq's WMD program came through Ahmad Chalabi and the Iraqi National Congress (INC). Who is Ahmad Chalabi and why did the White House rely on intelligence supplied by the INC to justify the Iraqi invasion? (Stratfor Weekly)

Chalabi: With Friends Like the US... (April 25, 2003)

This article provides information on Ahmed Chalabi, a Pentagon favorite to run Iraq. The former head of the Iraqi National Congress has for years lobbied the US Governement for regime change in Iraq. Chalabi is also convicted of embezzlement and fraud in Jordan and has little support in Iraq. (Asia Times)

US State Department


John D. Negroponte

Negroponte, Honduras and Iraq (July 9, 2004)

Newly appointed US Ambassador to Iraq John Negroponte leads a contingent of 3000 personnel to what surmounts as the largest US embassy in the world. However, given the allegations of human rights abuses against Negroponte during the 1980's as US Ambassador to Nicaragua, critics wonder what the Bush administration has in store for the "new Iraq." (ZNet)

Coalition Provisional Authority (May 1, 2003 - June 28, 2004)


Do You Want to Know Who the Americans Running Iraq Really Are? (May 14, 2003)
Personnel from a numerous US government agencies have been appointed by Washington to administer post-war Iraq. This site provides extensive information on the occupiers in Iraq. (Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research).

Chief Administrator
(May 6,2003 - June 28, 2004)
L. Paul Bremer III
Picture Credit: Associated Press


Saddam's Cruelty Is Only Half the Story (November 8, 2006)

This Daily Star – Lebanon piece compares the rule of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to that of L. Paul Bremer – the former Presidential Envoy to Iraq appointed by the Bush administration following the 2003 invasion. The author asserts that both rulers brought about "mass human suffering amidst systematic violence" in Iraq, albeit with different intentions. The article concludes that Iraq has suffered throughout its history from two destructive forces – "Arab despotism and Western militarism" – both of which have led to injustice for the Iraqi people.

Biographies of the Neo-Cons: Paul Bremer (June 16, 2003)

Experts consider L. Paul Bremer III, top civilian administrator in Baghdad, one of the world's leading authorities on terrorism. He previously held the position of chairman of the National Commission on Terrorism and served on the Homeland Security Advisory Council. Bremer holds hard-line neo-conservative views on Iraq and terrorism. (Al-Hayat)

Bremer's Baggage (May 09, 2003)

Information on L. Paul Bremer III, who is in charge of overseeing post-war Iraq. Bremer is viewed as a hardliner who served in the Reagan administration and his appointment in Iraq strengthens the Pentagon's control over the country. (Working For Change)



Chief Administrator
(April 2003 - May 2003)
US General Jay Garner
Picture Credit: RD Ward/
Associated Press


What Do You Know About Jay Garner? (April 10, 2003)

Baghdad's governor-in-waiting, retired General Garner, has a close relationship with the defense department and the arms industry. Garner is alleged to have used his Pentagon connections to win 100 million dollars in contracts for SY Coleman (high-technology defense contractor). (Middle East Online)

Man Who Would Be "King" of Iraq (March 30, 2003)

Oliver Morgan of the Observer profiles Jay Garner, the former US general who will head the Pentagon's Office for Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance in Iraq. Some aid agencies are worried about Garner's connections to prominent hawks in the Bush administration and to arms manufacturers.


Former Commanding General Multi-National Force - Iraq
Gen. David H. Petraeus


Picture Credit:
University of Kansas

Report to Congress on the Situation in Iraq (September 10 – 11, 2007)

Testifying before US Congress, General David Petraeus recommends that based on "substantial progress" in the security situation in Iraq, troop numbers can be reduced to pre-surge levels by summer 2008. The General says the decline in ‘security incidents' in Iraq is attributable to Coalition and Iraqi Security Forces. The General refuses to set a timeline for further troop reductions past 2008, as "projecting too far in the future … can be misleading and even hazardous." He warns of the implications of rapid withdrawal of US forces and says a solution to Iraq's problems requires a long-term effort.

Top General May Propose Pullbacks (August 15, 2007)

US troops may withdraw from al-Anbar province and other areas in Iraq where security has improved. Political analysts expect General David Petraeus to recommend a partial drawdown of troops in his status report to Congress. However, critics of the war suggest that the overall number of US troops will not decrease. Instead, the US will relocate them to other areas of Iraq. The prospects of actual withdrawal are further hindered by President George Bush's power to interpret the report as he chooses. (Los Angeles Times)


Prominent Political and Social Figures in Iraq


Hojatalislam Muqtada al-Sadr

Picture Credit: Pier Paolo Cito/Associated Press


Influence Rises But Base Frays for Iraqi Cleric (November 13, 2006)

This New York Times piece analyzes the rise to power of cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, leader of Iraq's largest Shiite militia, the Mahdi Army. Sadr controls the single largest portion of seats in the Iraqi Parliament and his coalition brought current Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to power. However, the author points out that the increasingly violent attacks carried out by some of his once-loyal followers "mirrors the overall unraveling of Iraq," with many of his supporters striking out on their own, forming new coalitions and militias.

Containing a Shiite Symbol of Hope (October 24, 2006)

This Christian Science Monitor article analyzes the role of popular Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in Iraq's government. Despite the Bush administration's portrayal of Sadr as a violent and radical militia leader, he maintains significant political support among Iraq's disadvantaged Shiites, who identify with Sadr more than other leaders because of his similar impoverished background. The authors conclude that "the Sadrist movement is more social than religious," with Sadr providing a beacon of hope for Shiites who feel disenfranchised by the current situation in their country.

Iraq's Muqtada Al-Sadr: Spoiler or Stabiliser? (July 11, 2006)

This International Crisis Group report focuses on the role of Muqtada al-Sadr and his Sadrist movement in Iraq. According to the report, the imam has emerged as a key to Iraq's stability. His nationalistic discourse, resistance to the occupation, and opposition to federalism earn him respect from many disenfranchised Iraqis. Though US officials oppose Sadr's anti-occupation stance, the Sadrist movement plays a central part in Iraq's government and its demands reflect many justified grievances.

Sadr Strikes (April 10, 2006)

According to Newsweek, the young Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has been a key figure in the United Iraqi Alliance, Iraq's ruling Shiite coalition. Sadr has pledged his support for interim Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari, helping him to win the UIA nomination for prime minister in Iraq's new 4-year government, in return for Jaafari's promise to demand a US withdrawal from Iraq. Despite receiving broad support, Sadr faces numerous challenges: some Shiite politicians, who have actively campaigned against Jaafari, dislike the pair's alliance, independence-minded Kurds oppose his anti-federalist politics, and the US resents his anti-occupation rhetoric.

America's Unlikely Savior (February 3, 2006)

Muqtada al-Sadr, a "fiery" Shiite cleric, may offer the best hope for Iraq's future. With as many as 30 seats in Iraq's new parliament, Sadr's political slate comprises a significant portion of the United Iraqi Alliance, Iraq's ruling Shiite coalition. Unlike many of his counterparts, however, Sadr has embraced the Sunni resistance while opposing federalism and supporting amendments to Iraq's troubled constitution. As Salon points out, Sadr's "fervent nationalism" and broad popularity may represent the best influence against an Iraqi civil war.

Sadr's Disciples Rise Again to Play Pivotal Role in Iraq (August 30, 2005)

The Washington Post reports that the US has released from prison several top aides of Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr. This move has revitalized Sadr's movement, which the article describes as "a mix of Iraqi and Arab nationalism, millenarian religious ideology, grass-roots protest and gun culture." Sadr's movement openly confronts the occupation by organizing mass protests, and competes for influence with the less confrontational Shiite party, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq.

The United States and Shiite Religious Factions in Post-Baathist Iraq (Fall 2003)

Professor Juan Cole examines the history of Ayatollah Muhammad Sadiq al-Sadr, Muqtada al-Sadr and the Sadr Movement, and analyzes its development as the "most important tendency among religious Shiites in post-Baathist Iraq." Cole hypothesizes that should the Movement materialize as a leading social power in the new Iraq, it will emerge as a "polarizing and destabilizing" force. (Middle East Journal)

Abdul Karim Mahoud al-Hatab
Picture Credit: Guardian

After 13 Years Fighting Saddam, Lord of the Marshes Wants His Country Back (April 28, 2003)

Known as the "Lord of the Marshes," Abu Hattem fought against the repression of the Saddam Hussein regime, leading a guerilla war against the Iraqi army from secluded bases in southern Iraq. This article chronicles the exploits of Abu Hattem and discusses his political ambitions in shaping a new Iraq. (Guardian)



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FAIR USE NOTICE: This page contains copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Global Policy Forum distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.