April 14, 2003
Jay Garner in the Palace

Rediff.com: "Saddam is now history, but the marbled palaces are expected to survive as the seat of the interim governing authority to be established under retired US general Jay Garner." [They're putting Garner in Saddam's palace?! ]

Matthew Rothschild: "To have a man running Iraq who so flagrantly sides with Ariel Sharon is not going to be an easy sell. In fact, it's a provocation upon a provocation. U.S. support for Israel's ongoing illegal occupation is the biggest sore spot for the United States in the Arab and Muslim world. Garner's appointment only aggravates the problem."

StopJayGarner.com: About Jay Garner

1. Garner exemplifies the revolving door between the Pentagon and weapons makers. Garner is still, despite his post in the Middle East, the President of SY Technology, which provides technical support for missile systems currently in use in the Iraq war. No matter your feelings about this war, appointing a weapons maker to the role of peace maker is a recipe for whipping up anti-American feeling in the Middle East.

2. A close friend of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Garner was named president of SY Technology in 1997 - despite having almost no experience in business. Biff Baker, a former lieutenant colonel at Army Space Command, accused SY Technology of having received $100 million in contracts solely because of Garner's Pentagon connections. SY sued Baker for defamation and the lawsuit was settled out of court in January, 2003.

3. Garner is closely tied with failed weapons programs: Star Wars and Patriot missiles. Garner was Reagan's top man on Star Wars and, after the 1991 Gulf War, told Congress that the Patriot missile defense system a success - even though it knocked down just one out of 88 Scud missiles the Iraqis launched at Israel and Saudi Arabia, according to the General Accounting Office.

Fortune: "Jay Garner is about to become the most important businessman you've never heard of... it will take someone with serious business know-how to 'introduce a capitalist system where there's been central-control socialism since the 1960s,' says Ariel Cohen, a foreign-policy expert at the Heritage Foundation. Garner has that too. He directed several major Defense Department programs, including Star Wars, a Rumsfeld favorite." [Fortune is better at making him sound bad than the lefty critics are.]

BusinessWeek: "[Arabic-speaking General John] Abizaid is expected to be named one of the top military officials in postwar Iraq. He would still report to Franks, but he's likely to be the Pentagon's point man in Baghdad. After that, insiders predict Abizaid, 52, will become U.S. Army chief of staff."

Independent: "Now the fight is on over which Iraqi advisers to appoint. The Pentagon is pushing Ahmed Chalabi, a US-educated former banker with a conviction for fraud in Jordan, who is leader of the controversial exiled Iraqi National Congress. Rumsfeld and company see him as a known quantity who would be malleable in an ambitious regional reshuffling of alliances, with Iraq emerging as a pillar of US policy in the region. The State Department view is that Chalabi would not be welcome in several Middle East countries."

Sydney Morning Herald: "But one reality may force the US to modify its ambitious plans and to make some concessions to the UN. Control over oil sales - which fund the oil-for-food program and will fund Iraq's reconstruction - presently rests with the UN Security Council. The US needs the Security Council to give the postwar Iraqi administration control over the country's oil assets, and without UN endorsement, that will be tricky."

posted by dru in war