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Shaha Riza's Iraq travel plans

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CatWoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 12:44 PM
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Shaha Riza's Iraq travel plans
The Financial Times has published yet another fantastic article revealing new details about the relationship between Paul Wolfowitz and Shaha Riza. The most important point: Their partnership is inseparable from the politics of the Iraq war.

Eoin Callan writes:

At about noon on March 21 2003, the U.S. launched the first full-scale bombing of Iraq, ordering about 1,700 sorties and firing more than 500 cruise missiles.

Sometime during that day, amid the frenzied activity at the Pentagon, an e-mail was sent with an order originating in the office of Paul Wolfowitz, then deputy secretary of defense, to hire Shaha Riza, a World Bank employee...

Mr Wolfowitz acknowledges that by the start of the Iraq war he had a "close personal relationship" with Ms Riza, an outspoken advocate of women's rights and democracy in the Middle East.

Officials said that departmental records confirm Mr Wolfowitz showed a "personal interest" in the contract to send Ms Riza and three other consultants to Iraq to advise on postwar state-building.

E-mails sent by Pentagon staff at the time state there was "interest from Wolfowitz on down" and that the "E-ring" -- or outer ring of the Pentagon, where the leadership is located -- was "screaming" for immediate action on the contract.

The FT article convincingly portrays Wolfowitz's efforts to get Riza involved in Iraq as not simply an act of favoritism to a girlfriend, but as part of the couple's shared vision of promoting democracy in the Mideast via a combination of military force and radical, U.S.-imposed reforms. It further reinforces the understanding that the torturous wrangling over Shaha Riza's pay package is symbolic of a much larger struggle over the responsibility for and fallout from the cascade of debacles that has followed the launching of those bombs in 2003.
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ck4829 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 12:47 PM
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1. Double the plundering of Iraq, double the fun?
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grasswire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 12:50 PM
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2. was she a spy?
A Mata Hari?
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Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 03:15 PM
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3. No.
She went after Baghdad fell, part observer, part advisor to the folks setting up the new government. Her schtick--women's rights, pushing the idea that a viable society and democracy requires the political and economic participation of women on an equal footing with men. It's what she pushed before she met Wolfowitz.

Before Iraq, on behalf of the World Bank and others, she was also involved in advising/"encouraging" Lebanon and one or two other Middle Eastern countries on the same point.
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