Radio Free Iraq

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Radio Free Iraq . . . Its first director was David G. Newton.

"The Heritage Foundation, a Washington-based Conservative think tank, published a piece in response to the foreign policy mess and suggested the launch of a surrogate propaganda broadcast service against Iraq. On February 5, 1998, James Phillips and James Anderson presented the paper 'Air Strikes Are Necessary To Weaken, Discredit, and Punish Saddam Hussein,' in which they urge U.S. congress to 'mount a psychological warfare campaign through a Radio Free Iraq...'

"The idea quickly gained support from the Republican-led Congress, which held hearings on U.S. foreign policy towards Iraq and heard directly from Iraqi National Congress (INC) head Ahmed Chalabi about the strength of U.S.-sponsored opposition radio. On March 23, 1998 U.S. Senate approved Bill S.1768 - adding a US$5 million grant for Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) under the State Department authorization bill that was earmarked for the new Radio Free Iraq.

"Allegedly without much consultation with local authorities, RFE/RL immediately drew up plans to base the new surrogate broadcasting service from their main office in Prague, Czech Republic. The opposition in the Czech parliament, sensing political gain, denounced the plans on grounds that it would invite terrorism into the country. Czech President Vaclav Havel, possibly under pressure from his close friend, U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, intervened to bring the problem to an abrupt end. But it was made clear to all observers that the White House had already lost control of allied support for its Iraq policies.

"Radio Free Iraq, with little fanfare, debuted on October 30, 1999 - just seven months after the Senate approved of its existence."

Radio Hurriah was set to "relaunch in early 2001. 'The INC plans to expand programming to 24 hours per day by broadcasting eight hours of programming three times per day... To expand the area of coverage inside Iraq, the INC plans to purchase a high power transmitter inside the country.'"[1]

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External links

  • Grace C. Nick, Radio Hurrieh to Resume Broadcasting,, October 13, 2000: "Ending four years of silence, Radio Hurrieh, Clandestine Radio Watch (CRW) has learned, will resume broadcasts against Saddam Hussein's regime by the end of the year. ... source within the INC tells CRW that Radio Hurrieh, the station allegedly constructed by the Washington-based Rendon Group under a CIA contract, 'will resume within two months.' ... Radio Hurrieh, which was based in Iraqi Kurdistan and destroyed by the Iraqi military in 1996, gained prominence when the 1996 Iraqi Olympic flagbearer defected to the INC."