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Thursday, May 01, 2003  

Mohammed and Ali: Who deserved our help?

The Iraqi lawyer who played a minor role in telling U.S. forces where Pfc. Jessica Lynch was has been brought to America and will doubtlessly play a significant propaganda role for the Bush administration. Mohammed was initially said to have been the source for where Lynch was housed. However, it turned out U.S. forces had had the hospital under surveillance for some time and already had that information. The man's wife, a nurse at the hospital, was the actual source for any material he provided. Tells of derring-do by Lynch and a spirited firefight between U.S. and Iraqi forces also turned out to be false. Lynch was being treated for her injuries, not held in a torture chamber as the far Right still claims. Mohammed turned out to be a smooth operator who was in the right place at the right time to achieve his personal desires.

Mohammed now has a role to play in Richard Perle's vision of Pax Americana.

The Iraqi lawyer who led U.S. forces [sic] to former POW Jessica Lynch has accepted a job offer from Washington lobbying firm The Livingston Group days after the United States granted him asylum.

The company, founded by former U.S. Rep. Bob Livingston, said details on 33-year-old Mohammed Odeh al-Rehaief's new responsibilities were still in the works. A good deal of The Livingston Group's business is international, the company said, and some clients are from Arabic-speaking countries. The company also said al-Rehaief is eager to improve his English, and will take intense language lessons.

. . .He was among several sources who helped the CIA and the military find Lynch, a 19-year-old West Virginian who was rescued in a commando raid on April 2.

You may remember Livingston as the would-be Speaker of the House who resigned from Congress in 1999 after being implicated in several adulterous affairs.

 Livingston revealed the affairs after Hustler magazine asked him for comment about claims by at least four women that they had had liaisons with him, said Larry Flynt, the periodical's publisher. The women called the magazine after it offered a reward to anyone who could prove an affair with a members of Congress, he said.

Livingston had made a show of seeking President Bill Clinton's resignation on the grounds of 'immorality.'

I previously described Mohammed as a sort of fantasy figure who appeals to the neo-colonialist desires of conservative white Americans. Right Wing blogger John Cole of Balloon Juice, who has described 'Mohammed' as a hero, while considering the masses of Iraqis cannon fodder, would like to know if I have changed my mind about Mohammed. Not at all. I said Mohammed might turn out to be an opportunist willing to kiss the American Right's collective arse to line his pockets with American greenbacks. That is exactly what has happened.

Al-Rehaief was granted asylum Monday in Arlington, Va., by the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services. He is now allowed to work in this country, and can stay in the United States indefinitely and can eventually apply for U.S. citizenship.

While humanitarian parole is not common, Homeland Security spokesman Bill Strassberger said Tuesday it can be awarded for any urgent humanitarian reason. It is most often used for foreigners in need of emergency medical treatment.

Suddenly, it is being claimed Mohammed was injured and needs medical treatment.

Ironically, Ali, the 12-year-old Iraqi child whose arms were blown off by American bombs was not granted humanitarian parole. He was moved to Kuwait and is being treated there under very restrictive conditions. Ali has several sisters who survived the blast that killed his parents and leveled his home, but they are not allowed to visit him. He is not in a position to protest since the Kuwaiti government is paying fo his care.

KUWAIT CITY (AP) — A 12-year-old Iraqi boy who lost both arms and was severely burned in the bombardment of Baghdad had a successful skin graft today and was in "much better spirits," his plastic surgeon said.

"We covered 80 per cent of his burns on the chest and abdomen with skin from his back," said Imad Najada, who has been treating him at the Saud A. Albabtain Centre for Burns and Plastic Surgery.

The U.S. government has not done anything to aid in Ali's recovery.

Cole can continue trying to hoist the opportunist Mohammed onto a pedestal. I will continue to hope for Ali's recovery.

3:27 AM