Jump to content
Clubplanet Nightlife Community
Sign in to follow this  
kramadas

British chief opposes US muscle

Recommended Posts

From the Sydney Morning Herald...a great alternative news source

http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/03/29/1048653870969.html

Storm in a port: British chief opposes American muscle

By Rory McCarthy in Qatar and Vikram Dodd in London

March 29 2003

Serious divisions have emerged between Britain and United States over plans for the running of Iraq's largest port at Umm Qasr.

Air Marshal Brian Burridge, Britain's chief military officer in the Gulf, said it should be run by Iraqis as a model for the future reconstruction of the country.

But earlier this week the Bush Administration handed the $US4.8million ($8million) contract to the private Stevedoring Services of America (SSA).

The Seattle-based firm has clashed with workers across three continents and faced accusations of being union busters. SSA will manage the port and handle cargo and shipping.

The US and British military say Umm Qasr is vital for the delivery and unloading of humanitarian supplies, though some experts think it could also be useful if the war drags on and fresh supplies are needed for the troops.

Air Marshal Burridge said on Thursday he wanted it handed to the Iraqis when the area was secured.

British soldiers have found the port's former manager, an Iraqi army colonel who was arrested in Umm Qasr during the first days of the operation. Officers are trying to find other former staff.

The British military say they do not want to appear as imperialist invaders. "This is not the pax Britannica. We don't want to conquer a second Mesopotamia."

The Umm Qasr contract was the second awarded by the US Agency for International Development to a US company for reconstruction work in Iraq. The first went to the engineering firm Kellogg Brown & Root - part of Halliburton, the company once headed by US Vice-President Dick Cheney. It won a contract to put out oil well fires and repair oil facilities.

Until SSA takes over the port, it will be run by 17 Port and Maritime Regiment of the Royal Logistics Corps. It will be the first time the British military has run a port in wartime since World War II.

SSA has business interests at 150 sites around the world, including Vietnam, India, Chile and Panama. Its CEO, Jon Hemingway, has given political donations to Republican candidates.

Concern has grown that lucrative contracts for rebuilding Iraq, after the coalition bombing and years of neglect under Saddam Hussein's dictatorship, are going to US firms while British companies miss out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

×