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We’ve only made matters worse

The Citizen Newspaper - November 2003

The chaos and carnage witnessed in Baghdad may seem a world away on television. But for Alex Bomberg whose company is based in Stonehouse, it’s a world which is very much closer to home.

His office may be in Gloucestershire but Alex is just a step away from Baghdad.

The 30-year-old former member of the Gloucestershire Regiment, who served in Kuwait, Bosnia and Cyprus, established International Intelligence Limited in 2001.

His company aims to provide clients with up-to-date intelligence using a variety of means - from observation to electronic intelligence gathering.

And at the moment six of his operatives are facing the harsh and often dangerous realities of daily life in Iraq, and reporting their situation on a daily basis.

Mr Bomberg said: “It’s pretty bad on the ground in Baghdad and we’re finding it’s getting a lot worse, compared with the southern region where the British are operating their hearts and minds policy.”

“In the Tikrit region the situation is also worsening and my guy’s say it isn’t getting any better at all.”

“The Americans are having a lot of problems and I really think it’s time for the UN to go in.”

Mr Bomberg’s company carries out a wide range of work both in Britain and abroad. It ranges from Matrimonial misunderstandings to financial investigations and litigation, and includes investigating the Nigerian Mafia.

His team of operatives are hand picked for the right job to match their skills and are mostly former members of the SAS, the secret service and the police force.

Earlier this year his staff in Iraq used their expertise to rescue six solicitors in Baghdad. Mr Bomberg said “they were in the wrong place at the wrong time with no back up. The solicitors found themselves caught up in the wrong area of Baghdad, and a lot of the city is not under American control.”

“Our guys are ex-SAS and don’t hang around, they are also quite well armed so they managed to extricate the solicitors to a safe place.”

Alex’s staff carry out a variety of work in Iraq, including ongoing investigations, and are planning on continuing in the country for the next couple of years.

At the moment they are bidding for a contract to provide close protection for judges and are beginning to train solicitors in espionage and counter intelligence.

Through his staff Mr Bomberg is in constant contact with the events in Iraq, and may be going to the country soon himself.

He said “A lot of our people were there during the first Gulf conflict. Some of them have been working very closely with the likes of CNN and the embedded journalists, and we work closely with national newspapers too, as well as the BBC.”

“I think the repair of the country in all honesty, is all about awarding contracts to big companies. There has been little work on the infrastructure, and in some areas water and power are non-existent.”

“It’s a mess, and it’s a very dangerous place to be. The sooner the Americans leave the better. At the end of the day you have them running a country which really should be run by the Iraqi people.”

We’ve only made matters worse

By a former SAS Officer in Iraq with International Intelligence Limited

For Security reasons this former SAS officer, working for Stonehouse based International Intelligence Limited, cannot be identified - but here he describes first hand what life is like in the heart of Iraq.

So, being asked to write some words on Iraq, where does one start? I sit and write this in a small hotel in the centre of Baghdad bustling with the likes of CNN, Solicitors and, believe it or not Western Businessmen looking to make a fast buck.

I guess the story of Iraq today starts years ago with the Iran-Iraq war and the latter launched an invasion and occupation of Kuwait by Iraqi forces.

It is then that the real struggle for the Iraqi people really started, for up until that point it is true to say the Western world not only supported Sadam Hussain, but equipped his armies in support of the then aggressive Iran.

The invasion of Kuwait and the first Gulf War changed everything for the people of Iraq. Not only did they live in fear of the dictatorship of Sadam and his large family but now they had the added problem of sanctions against Iraq, sanctions that would affect each and every one of the Iraqi people, rich, or poor, man, woman and child.

Being a former member of the SAS makes it no less painful. It’s true to say that we are trained to kill at the blink of an eye, rescue and act as the British Governments surgical knife to deal with problems - but you try to be in Iraq and not be affected, not to think about it.

The sad reality of the aftermath of war - Iraq is being governed by a small number of Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) staff under the direction of corporate America.

The basic infrastructure of Iraq is still in ruins, 10 years of sanctions, food for oil and the dictatorship of Sadam have sent parts of Iraq back to the Stone Age.

As for the war, the British people were lied to a great deal, the facts spun and now Iraq lies raped, being put back together by a well-oiled US corporate machine.

And we ask ourselves why American servicemen are being targeted on a daily basis - American foreign policy, that why.

The whole way the Iraqi people have been portrayed is so very wrong. The world press makes a great deal about Ba’ath Party members, the truth being it was no different from my father being a member of the Tory Party in the 1980’s. If you wanted to get on in Iraq, you joined the Ba’ath Party.

The future of Iraq from my point of view? Some might say I’m a soldier what would I know?

Well I can see the look on the faces of the people of Iraq and we have made matters worse, not better.

Yes they wanted the regime change but not like this, not being occupied by a country fixed on oil and reconstruction contracts.

It’s time for the US-led CPA to leave Iraq in the hands of the people of Iraq, give them all the support and help they need, not dictate what company is going to ship oil or rebuild what school.

Not forgetting the good work of our own forces in southern Iraq, I feel a great personal loss at the loss of each life here and fear that we’re being led by the US, only fuelling further terrorist in years to come.

American foreign policy and the way the American soldier swans around Iraq is not exactly sowing the seeds of international relations or fostering an understanding between our two peoples.

International Intelligence Limited will continue its work in Iraq for the foreseeable future, providing close protection and investigation US corruption.

Hearts and minds policy is greatly needed here to end the bloodshed.

International Intelligence Limited employs a number of Iraqi nationals as drivers and interpreters, at least we too are doing our bit for the economy and helping foster a good working relationship with Iraqi individuals.

For up to date information on the risk and security situation with live news feed see our Iraq Security Risk Report.

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