Iraq Foundation

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The Iraq Foundation is a Washington D.C. based non-profit, 501(c)(3) group. It is also known as the Free Iraq Foundation. According to its website the group is "working for democracy and human rights in Iraq, and for a better international understanding of Iraq's potential as a contributor to political stability and economic progress in the Middle East." [1]

"The Foundation was established in 1991 by Iraqi expatriates with the purpose of working with Iraqis and non-Iraqis in promoting its vision," it states on its website. [2] Closing remarks were by Condoleezza Rice and L. Paul Bremer III. The ideological nature of the Iraq Foundation is also revealed by the small grant they received in 1992 from the neoconservative Bradley Foundation. [3]

According to the group's 2002 IRS Form 990, Free Iraq Foundation, Inc. received $1.66 million in support for 2001, 99.97 percent of that figure coming from public funding sources. In 2000, the group's income was $1 million. For 1998 and 1999, $265,000 and $580,000 respectively.

"The Iraqi-American National Network (IANN) is a project sponsored by the Free Iraq Foundation." [4]

The Muslim Students Association helped developed the Free Iraq Foundation. [5]

Neoliberal agenda

"Digging a little deeper, however, reveals powerful ties between the Iraq Foundation and the neo-liberal agenda. The two founders of the Iraq Foundation are merchant bankers and currency traders. One of these individuals, Basil Al Rahim, heads MerchantBridge, one of the most high profile investment banking groups in the Middle East. MerchantBridge was the first private equity fund to focus on the Middle East and in 2004 was appointed by the Iraqi Ministry of Industry and Materials to advise on the leasing of state owned firms to the private sector. (http://www.mbih.com)"

"Al Rahim’s co-founder of the Iraq Foundation and its current Executive Director is another merchant banker, Rend Rahim Francke. Following the US occupation of Iraq, Francke was appointed by the Iraqi Governing Council as its representative in Washington D.C. In 2004, she was a guest of Laura Bush in the First Lady's Box at the State of the Union address."

"The connections between the Iraq Foundation and US empire building, however, go far beyond the activities of Basil Rahim and Rend Francke. The Iraq Foundation is a founding member of the Iraq-America Freedom Alliance, which, according to its manifesto, “…will provide Americans with a fuller picture of Iraq by giving voice to Iraqis who are grateful for their newfound freedom and working to secure democracy in their country.”" [6]

Voices of Iraq

According to one report, the Iraq Foundation was "extremely helpful" to Gulf War veteran, actor and filmmaker Archie Drury, who co-produced the film Voices of Iraq. The Foundation helped the filmmakers "figure out how to get around and who to give the cameras to," as well as providing "torture footage." Questions have been raised about the film, since it was released on week before the 2004 U.S. presidential elections (its distributor said, "If the war in Iraq is an issue that impacts your vote, you have to see this movie first"), it reportedly paints a positive picture of post-war Iraq, and the film's publicity is coordinated by Manning Selvage & Lee, the PR firm that launched the U.S. Army's "Army of One" campaign. [7]

Leadership

Rahman Aljebouri, an Iraqi who left the country in 1991, is currently (in 2003) working for NDI Iraq in Baghdad. His most recent position before joining NDI was as the Iraqi Community Coordinator for the Iraq Foundation headquartered in Washington, D.C. [9]

Contact

The Iraq Foundation
1012 14 St. NW, Suite 1110
Washington, DC 20005;
Tel: (202) 347-4662;
Fax: (202) 347-7897 & 7898
E-mail: iraq@iraqfoundation.org
Web: http://www.iraqfoundation.org/index.html

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External links