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Iraq Report, 23 January/06

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Welcome! Our goal at Winds of Change.NET is to give you one power-packed briefing of insights, news and trends from Iraq that leaves you stimulated, informed, and occasionally amused every Monday & Thursday. This briefing is brought to you by Joel Gaines of No Pundit Intended and Andrew Olmsted of Andrew Olmsted dot com.


  • Red on red action may become more common, as the Iraqi insurgency is now showing significant fault lines between more nationalist groups and al Qaeda in Iraq.

Other Topics Today Include: minister's sister released; interpreters for the U.S.; where did the money go; more on Oil-for-Food; reconstruction highlights; Carnival of the Liberated; Iran releases Iraqi coast guard; German involvement in U.S. attack; China offers reconstruction assistance; Judge resigns, trial goes on.


  • The Iraqi government confirmed interior minister Bayan Jabr's sister had been released after 2 weeks in captivity, but would not say whether a ransom had been paid.


  • The Coalition Provisional Authority, which existed from shortly after the fall of Saddam Hussein in April 2003 until June 2004, doled out vast sums of money in an attempt to quickly return vital services in Iraq to normal. That didn't happen in much of the country and despite investigations, no one is exactly sure where some of the funds were spent.

Six future employees of Iraq’s new Investment Promotion Agency received training in the United States through USAID’s Izdihar program. Bringing together Iraqi professionals and U.S. experts from successful economic development organizations in South Carolina and Georgia, the effort sought to provide an in-depth view of how other agencies attract investment to their regions.

Nearly 560 Iraqi accountants received intensive training in international standards across 17 governorates.

In October 2005, USAID sponsored ARDI began its Animal Health and Zoonetic Disease Awareness Program in 240 villages in Dahuk and Ninawa. A total of 4,824 participants, mostly women, attended the program’s workshops. Due to overwhelming positive feedback from these workshops, ARDI initiated a second program, this time double the size of the original. The workshops, which will begin later this month in 480 villages in Dahuk and Sulaymaniyah, are expected to reach 12,000 villagers.

Construction of five of the six USAID-supported primary healthcare centers (PHCs) has been completed. Four of the completed five have been handed over to directorates of health, while the remaining completed PHC will be handed over next week. Progress has reached 90 percent in the construction of the sixth PHC. Once they are open for service delivery, these PHCs will provide greater access to improved health services for 100,000 people in remote and underserved areas.

Following the release of $35,000 (from USAID funds) by UNICEF to the Iraq Ministry of Health (MoH) to initiate phase II of the development of the Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) Strategy, meetings and training sessions in Baghdad and the southern governorates commenced. Preparations for training in the northern governorates are ongoing while efforts are underway to support printing of the Kurdish version of the strategy template.

Over 14,000 students have enrolled in the 2005/06 Accelerated Learning Program (ALP). A total of 148 schools have opened ALP classes throughout the southern and central governorates.

Water and sanitation facilities at 439 schools have been rehabilitated. The rehabilitation at an additional 224 schools is ongoing in different stages, while 102 schools are still in the bidding process.

Two neighborhoods elected to renovate a teachers’ institute and a girls’ school. In two districts of a central Iraqi city, a teachers’ institute and a girls’ school were identified by the community as priorities for renovation.


  • Iraq's Shia-led United Iraqi Alliance has won last month's parliamentary elections, but failed to obtain an absolute majority. The nation’s electoral commission ruled that more than 99 percent of the votes were valid.


  • Iran has released eight Iraqi coastguards detained on Saturday after a clash on the Shatt al-Arab waterway, which marks the Iran-Iraq border. A ninth coastguard died of wounds sustained in the gunfight and his body will be repatriated later.
  • Will German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier keep his job amid mounting pressure to reveal his knowledge of involvement of Germany's Federal Intelligence Service BND in a U.S. bombing in Baghdad in 2003 meant to kill Saddam Hussein, but instead killed 12 civilians? It remains unsure whether the accusations are true, but Steinmeier says he knew intelligence agents were in Iraq but did not know about any targeting aid, as the government's anti-war position was binding for the intelligence and that only data of non-targets such as hospitals and embassies were shared with U.S. intelligence to spare them from being hit.
  • Italian authorities have announced plans to withdraw some 3,000 troops from Iraq by the end of this year.


  • Judge Rizgar Amin, trying Saddam Hussein, has refused to withdraw his resignation, forcing the court named a stand-in to preside over next week's hearings while efforts continue to persuade him to return. However, the appointment of Judge Sayid al-Hamashi as a stand in has brought a new set of problems. Said Faisal, the executive manager of the independent De-Ba'athification Commission, said that al-Hamashi was the object of an inquiry by the body and should not be allowed to stand in the trial.
  • Do you have your GI Bracelet? Many military families fall into financial hardship when the breadwinner is injured or killed. The entire purchase price of the GI Bracelet is donated to support our troops and their families! Please join us to give back to these brave people in their time of need.
  • The troops are still there. So is the Winds of Change.NET consolidated directory of ways you can support the troops: American, Australian, British, Canadian & Polish. Anyone out there with more information, contact us!
  • Many American troops have taken it upon themselves to reconstruct schools and gather learning tools for the children of Iraq. Their efforts have been met with immense gratitude from the local Iraqis and their children. You can help too! Visit Operation Iraqi Children and get involved.

Thanks for reading! If you found something here you want to blog about yourself (and we hope you do), all we ask is that you do as we do and offer a Hat Tip hyperlink to today's "Winds of War". If you think we missed something important, use the Comments section to let us know. And if you have a tip for a future Iraq Report, email us at MondayIraqReport(at)

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Tracked: January 23, 2006 1:33 PM
Iraq Report from Stryker Brigade News
Excerpt: Winds of Change has published its weekly Iraq Report, with links to news and analysis of recent events....

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