American-Iraqi commerce
Margie Burns
American-Iraqi commerce
Mon Mar 1 12:25:29 2004

American-Iraqi commerce

A``bright new day" of Iraqi-American commerce is already dawning. On Feb. 23, an old company name was newly registered with the Commonwealth of Virginia's State Corporation Commission.

Called the American-Iraqi Shipping Line, it is one of three maritime shipping companies sharing the same Reston, Va., office within its larger group, an entity named Nour USA.

Nour USA, formed in Virginia in May 2003, landed in the news recently because it received a controversial contract from the U.S. Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq.

Two of the three Reston firms are listed by the Coalition Provisional Authority as subcontractors for a $327 million contract to equip the Iraqi armed forces and the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps with everything from vehicles to clothing.

The contract was stayed on Feb. 20 when losing bidders submitted letters of protest to the U.S. General Accounting Office. Rival companies in Poland alleged the contract amount constituted ``low-balling," an amount insufficient to cover the cost of products and services provided.

Reports in the Polish press indicate that Poland, which invested heavily in Iraq in the 1970s and 1980s, had hoped to receive more Iraq reconstruction contracts following its participation in Bush's coalition. As a Warsaw newspaper commented, The Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs hints that those undertaking investment projects should primarily establish contacts with U.S. companies that will receive most of the contracts as general contractors over the coming year.

Thus the touchy issue of allocating resources in rebuilding Iraq's infrastructure is being handled in convoluted, non-transparent processes almost invisible to the American public, though only too visible to other parts of the world.

That's this White House in a nutshell: making friends for the Bush team, enemies for the rest of us.
Margie Burns, a writer and teacher who lives in Cheverly, can be reached at . Her column appears on Mondays.


The Terrorism Research Center ::
... This site is the on-line portal to our terrorism knowledgebase ... the latest in a series
of strikes on pro-American Iraqi forces apparently ... 2 shipping registry. ...

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