Letters to the editor´´´Letters to the editor

Dear Sir,

AMERICA and Britain, along with Poland and Australia, have clearly sent an undermanned force into Iraq. They have conducted a war of finesse, rather than a World War 2 type of brute force. While this has minimised casualties all around, it has left the Coalition forces far too weak to perform city security duties as well as military operations. Spain, a quiet but strong partner in the coalition up to now, has the potential to play a big role from here on out. Spain is perfectly capable of providing the companies and government assets to help rebuild roads, re-establish electrical and water systems, and to provide the strong paramilitary policing that Iraq will need for the foreseeable future. The Guardia Civil is well renowned for its capabilities and professionalism. What better asset could Spain contribute to the future of Iraq, than this internationally recognized policing force? An equal number of Guardia Civil would be much more appropriate – and much better trained for, much more effective in – the role of policing up Iraqi cities than an equal number of coalition of American or British soldiers or police. And Spanish companies have exactly the kinds of technological expertise needed to reconnect and put back into operation any number of Iraqi needs. Sewer, water, electrical, natural gas, communications, roads, rail and so on. The joy of the Iraqis at being freed from the yoke of Saddam's tyranny has removed the doubts from all but the most ideological about the validity of the campaign. Is it not now time for Spain – among others – to contribute to the successful creation of a prosperous Iraqi democracy?

Scott Smith

American School of
Majorca, (class of 1982.)

Dear Sir,

THE concerns raised by Ray Fleming about the Israeli connection and defense industry background of Jay Garner (the U.S. appointed “Governor of Iraq”) are valid and paramount. It should be noted, however, that there are further issues. Since retiring from active service Mr. Garner has prospered, some would say, very well indeed. His association with SY Coleman led to allegations that he solicited business within a banned period of time from his retirement. He denies it, claiming that he did not seek business, it sought the company. The company benefited from small business set asides and then was sold to a much larger firm, to the great profit of Garner. The company benefited from single source contracts granted because of its unique expertise. It has been alleged that it had no such unique expertise and that the contracts should have been put out to bids. It has been alleged that the company created for itself at government expense a computer training facility when a comparable government owned and available facility could have been used. It has been alleged that the company was involved in a double billing scheme with the Boeing Corporation. An additional $48'000'000 contract was abrogated by the government in murky circumstances. All these matters are under investigation and have not been resolved. As his appointment did not require Senate approval they have not been vetted publicly. Mr. Garner has been accused of threatening a whistleblower. He has sued the man, retired Lt. Col. Biff Baker. Baker was fired from a position which audited compliance of military procurement contracts. Jay Garner's last tour of duty with the Army was in a senior position in missile defense development. He has enriched himself greatly since then in this very narrow field. There are serious doubts about his ethics. Congressional oversight has yet to resolve, or even address, these doubts. There is an ongoing probe at the GAO (Government Accounting Office). Ray Fleming is right to be concerned. One can only hope that a few years down the road a new Cicero will not be rising to condemn the greed and corruption of a new Varro (Garner) for the looting of a modern day Sicily (Iraq). America appears to be on the verge of creating a new Pax Romana with the UK playing Greece. This is not a good idea. The sooner the blue helmets are brought in, the better. Both the US and the UK should disentangle from Iraq as quickly as possible. That means turning the reconstruction of that society over to the UN as soon as Saddam is defeated.

Ralph McGaughey
Boston, MA, USA
(Bulletin on-line reader)

Dear Sir,

I was taking my usual coffee this morning, with Elvis and Lord Lucan, when we were joined by a newcomer, who ordered a very large Johnny Walker Blue Label. He was what we used to call swarthy, but somewhat in need of a little sunshine and fresh air. He had a thick moustache, glasses with cheap frames, and his bushy hair was very obviously dyed black. I didn't really recognise him until he mentioned in passing that he had just arrived from Baghdad, and I noticed six other identical gentlemen sitting at adjacent tables. A number of suspicious–looking characters were standing around in black overcoats, carrying violin cases. Should I advise Mr Bush, Mr Blair, or Mr Aznar? Or should I just keep quiet about the whole thing, and avoid having the US 7th Cav stomp all over this pleasant little town?

Richard Parker


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