2005-09-08

Morning Report: September 8, 2005

Katrina aftermath. Morning Report will not attempt to provide in-depth coverage of events related to Hurricane Katrina, but will note some of the major developments. Fox News: 'Toxins Found in New Orleans Floodwaters: As soldiers and police officers continue to look for Hurricane Katrina survivors in the now-toxic New Orleans, workers prepare themselves for finding more corpses as the city water levels continue to decrease. $51.8B Aid Mulled; Cheneys in Gulf: Congress considers emergency aid package that would spend well over $1 billion a day during the next month on housing, clothing and other recovery needs for victims of Hurricane Katrina. 2,000 Postal Workers Missing: The post office delivers some 15,000 Social Security checks at collection points in the area affected by Hurricane Katrina — but the agency is still trying to locate 2,000 of its workers....' Michael Totten condemns the idiots at FEMA: 'As New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin pleaded on national television for firefighters - his own are exhausted after working around the clock for a week - a battalion of highly trained men and women sat idle Sunday in a muggy Sheraton Hotel conference room in Atlanta. Many of the firefighters, assembled from Utah and throughout the United States by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, thought they were going to be deployed as emergency workers. Instead, they have learned they are going to be community-relations officers for FEMA ...' Greyhawk at Mudville provides some interesting background to Nagin/Blanco relations. Meanwhile, Fox News reporter Major Garrett alleges that the Louisiana state DHS prevented emergency supplies from reaching the Superdome: 'MG: Well, the Red Cross, Hugh, had pre-positioned a literal vanguard of trucks with water, food, blankets and hygiene items. They're not really big into medical response items, but those are the three biggies that we saw people at the New Orleans Superdome, and the convention center, needing most accutely. And all of us in America, I think, reasonably asked ourselves, geez. You know, I watch hurricanes all the time. And I see correspondents standing among rubble and refugees and evacuaees. But I always either see that Red Cross or Salvation Army truck nearby. Why don't I see that? HH: And the answer is? MG: The answer is the Louisiana Department of Homeland Security, that is the state agency responsible for that state's homeland security, told the Red Cross explicitly, you cannot come.' Michelle Malkin calls it like she sees it: 'This is not either-or. The disastrous aftermath is neither entirely the fault of local and state officials nor entirely the fault of the feds. If someone is a worthless sack of bones, I'll say so. And I don't care if he has "Bush appointee" stamped on his forehead or a GOP elephant tattooed to his backside. Brown's clueless public comments after landfall are reason enough to give him the boot...and he should have never been there in the first place.' (various)

Iraq constitution update. Mohammed at Iraq the Model provides the following item translated from al-Mashriq: 'Maryam Arrayis (CDC member) told Al-Mashriq that there will be minor changes to the current draft before sending it to the UN before this weekend. Ms. Arrayis stressed that the changes are minor and do not change the essence of the constitution.
She said that the expected changes will relate to the issues of the role of Iraq in the Arab league and the way of handling the resources by the provinces/federal states and the central government and deciding who's got the final word in case of differences. Regarding the 2nd point, Arrayis said that the Sheat block is in favor of giving the central government a bigger role since they consider this issue "sovereignty-related". On the other hands, the Kurdish block had a suggestion to reduce the powers of the prime minister by assigning two deputies and granting them the right of the veto, this suggestion wasn't welcomed by the Sheat block that refused stepping on the authorities of the prime minister building their discussion on the fact that the prime minister himself is the one who appoints the deputies and gives them their authorities. It is planned to get all this done with by this weekend and then the process of printing 5 million copies of the document will begin; those copies shall be distributed to Iraqi families through food ration distributors. Arrayis also criticized the negative attitude of the Arab League towards Iraq and she condemned the interference in Iraq's internal and political affairs while most Arab countries didn't show sympathy or provided help after the tragedy of the bridge stampede in Baghdad and Arrayis commended what President Talbani said about exchanging diplomatic representation with Arab countries when he played down the significance of having Arab embassies in Baghdad "we're not going to beg for embassies and we're not going to starve if Arab countries refused sending their ambassadors…" said Talbani on a previous statement last week.' (al-Mashriq via ITM)

Iran: Europe takes stand against IRI regime. Free Iran posts the following items: 'thru freeandseculariran yahoogroup: The European Union has abandoned an initiative to offer Iran incentives to abandon sensitive nuclear work, a senior E.U. diplomat said Tuesday. The diplomat told reporters the logical next step was for the International Atomic Energy Agency to report Iran's nuclear programme to the U.N. Security Council, although it was a long way from discussing sanctions against Iran. / EU wants UN to take up Iran nuclear issue: Germany By Louis Charbonneau BERLIN (Reuters) - European powers want Iran sent to the U.N. Security Council, after a U.N. watchdog said Tehran had resumed work that could be used to make nuclear arms, but will not at first seek sanctions, a German negotiator said on Wednesday. It was the first confirmation, since the nuclear watchdog confirmed last week Iran had resumed uranium processing work, that Europe would support U.S. calls for such a referral. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna confirmed Iran had resumed uranium processing work, ending a suspension of sensitive atomic work that was the cornerstone of a November 2004 agreement with France, Britain and Germany. The Berlin Foreign Ministry official said the IAEA, whose board meets on September 19, should ask the Council to call on Iran to suspend the work. "We are unanimous in our assessment of the way forward that following what has happened, now it should be for the board of governors of the IAEA to report the issue to the Security Council," Ruediger Luedeking told an audience at the American Academy in Berlin.' Regime Change Iran carries this item: 'Media Line:
Germany wants Iran to be referred to the United Nations Security Council regarding Tehran's nuclear program, an official at GermanyĆ¢€™s foreign ministry said on Wednesday. The United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed last week that Tehran has resumed processing of uranium, an important component in the nuclear energy cycle. The suspension of this work was at the base of an agreement between Iran and three European countries in November 2004. Until now, Germany, France and the United Kingdom have been the "good cop" on Iran's nuclear program. The countries, also known as the EU-3, have been involved in intensive negotiations for the past two years to persuade Tehran to stop its nuclear program in exchange for political, economic and technological incentives. Washington, on the other hand, has taken a harder line, and has urged to refer Iran to the Security Council where Tehran will possibly face sanctions. Now, the EU is also seeking pressure from the Security Council....' (various via Free Iran and Regime Change Iran)

Report "embarrassing" to Kofi Annan. The newly-released Volcker Commisson report on the United Nations oil-for-fraud program is not kind to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, nor to the Security Council, Fox News reports: '"The findings of today's report must be deeply embarrassing to all of us," Annan told the Security Council Wednesday. "None of us — member states, secretariat … can be proud of what it has found. Who among us can now claim that U.N. management is not a problem or is not in need of reform?" The document — the fourth report released by the IIC, headed by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker — lays out a pattern of "illicit, unethical and corrupt behavior" that overwhelmed the United Nations. It criticizes Annan and slams his stewardship and management skills, as well as the oversight of the Security Council. "Much of this report is critical of his management of the secretariat in general terms and in quite specific terms about his own personal responsibilities," Volcker said. "I can't say the responsibility was only his, but he certainly has, he is the head of the organization." The report said that France and Britain cooperated with the investigation, but Russia and China refused requests for information or access to state-owned companies implicated in the probe. While some branches of the U.S. government were helpful, notably the U.S. mission to the U.N. and the State Department, others were not, the report said.' No reaction yet from Roger L. Simon at the time of this posting, but we can be sure he'll have something to say soon. The text of the report (PDF) is available here: Volume 1 - Volume 2 - Volume 3 - Volume 4 - Impact on the Iraqi People. (Fox, Roger Simon)