Joel Mowbray

In the past week, a new leadership council was named in Iraq, and its 25 members have already moved quickly, abolishing all holidays honoring Saddam Hussein and laying the groundwork for a war crimes tribunal.  But only a handful of Americans are likely to know that—such stuff of burgeoning freedom is not as “sexy” as trashing the leader of the free world.

  Free from decades of Saddam’s tyranny, the Iraqi people are getting their first taste of representative government.  Promises are being made, criticism is being dished out, and soon-to-be-voters are making up their minds about the politicians appointed by the United States to the transitional authority.  Put into historical context—think of the years it took to rebuild Germany and Japan after World War II—the establishment of a council fresh out of the war is an impressive accomplishment.  Add in the context of an ongoing, low-intensity war waged by, among others, Saddam loyalists, and the feat is nearly miraculous.

  That’s not to say the political news coming out of Iraq is all positive.  It’s not.  Although largely comprised of respectable characters, the council has some members with rather unsavory ties.  There is someone who belongs to a group that has never renounced its terrorist past and two people with loyalties to neighboring—and despotic—governments:

· Ibrahim Jafari belongs to the Dawa party, which is responsible for the 1983 bombing of the embassy in Kuwait that killed six and injured dozens.  As with most terrorist organizations that develop a political arm—Jafari is Dawa’s equivalent of the Irish Republican Army’s Gerry Adams—Dawa has not renounced its terrorist past.

· Abd al-Aziz al-Hakim is the brother of the leader of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), Muhammad Baqir al-Hakim.  SCIRI makes no secret of its close alliance with the Iranian government, whose mullah-run regime is openly pursuing the development of nuclear weapons and whose state newspapers are calling for the murder of American soldiers in Iraq.

· Adnan Pachachi is the octogenarian former foreign minister—and he is openly backed by the House of Saud.  When he was the foreign minister of Iraq in the 1960’s, Pachachi was very close to the first generation of Palestinian terrorists.  And after the Baath party had come to power, Pachachi refused to condemn the hanging of Jews in Baghdad in 1969.  A man with little following inside Iraq, Pachachi’s primary support comes from the Saudi royal family, whose petrodollars help fuel terrorism around the world.

Joel Mowbray

Joel Mowbray, who got his start with, is an award-winning investigative journalist, nationally-syndicated columnist and author of Dangerous Diplomacy: How the State Department Threatens America's Security.

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