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Questions of Leadership

As if the Defense Department hawks had not already done enough damage to international relations, they would now rub salt into the wound with their plans for post-war governance in Iraq. At the helm, they would place General Jay Garner, a man who has made his fortune in the very missile defense systems now being deployed in Iraq. Garner, who will answer directly to Rumsfeld and fellow-hawk Wolfowitz, and has close ties to Ariel Sharon, is hardly one to inspire confidence in the Iraqi people.

Even more troubling is Rumsfeld’s championing of Ahmed Chalabi, the neoconservative head of the Iraqi National Congress (INC). For decades, the INC has served as the CIA’s “eyes” inside Iraq -- in essence, intelligence in exchange for the promise of regime change. Once Saddam is gone, Chalabi dreams of returning to Iraq, privatizing the oil system, and parceling it out among American multinationals.

The new leaders of Iraq ought to have respect for its people and a profound understanding of its culture. Instead, the neoconservative imperialists have shown nothing but intolerance and contempt for Islam, or for any views that differ from their own.

Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz -- and the like-minded puppets they now seek to enlist -- have absolutely no mandate to lead a newly liberated and supposedly “democratic” Iraq.

Maywa Montenegro G