Arianna Huffington sums up the ugly truth surrounding Allawi’s campaign to ouster the Malaki government and assume the job for himself.
First, there is the detail about whom Allawi is aiming his campaign.
He clearly knows that despite Bush’s bathetic paeans to Iraqi sovereignty, the real deciders in Iraq are not the Iraqi people, but a few dozen folks in the White House and the Pentagon. They are Allawi’s true constituency.
So those purple fingers meant nothing after all?
But what about the $300,000 he is paying to Barbour Griffith & Rogers, Philip Zelikow’s lobbying firm?
When Blitzer asked Allawi who is paying for the $300,000 Barbour Griffith & Rogers lobbying contract, Allawi wouldn’t say. He was only willing to disclose that the “payment is made by an Iraqi person who was a supporter of us, of the INA, of myself, of our program, and he has supported this wholeheartedly, without any strings attached.”
As Spencer Ackerman of TPMmuckracker wrote, perhaps it’s being financed by Allawi’s old buddy Hazem Shaalan, who Allawi appointed as his defense minister. Shaalan is currently fighting charges that he stole $1 billion from the Iraqi defense budget (out of a total of $1.3 billion). That’s some way to endear yourself to the Iraqi people.
Wouldn’t that be fitting? Funds stolen from Iraq’s defense ministry (provided by Washington of course), are being used to bribe Washington power brokers to sell the idea of overthrowing Iraq’s so-called democratically elected government.
There is also the fact that on the eve of the Petraeus report on the state of the surge, the Allawi Coup may serve a secondary purpose to the Bush administration. Not only will Petraeus not be writing the report he is supposed to deliver, but it was revealed that he massaged the NIE to make it sound more rosy. The implication of a close colleague of Petraeus in the illicit sale and delivery of billions of dollars in weapons in Iraq is also bound to sully the re branded image of Petraeus as being all knowing and being reproach.
With few American’s willing to trust that things are improving in Iraq, Allawi may just provide a pretext to keep the war going for another few years. During his appearance with Wolf Blitzer, Allawi spoke of his “six points call for a full partnership with the United States” and that his “objective is to develop a plan to save Iraq and to save American lives, as well as, of course, Iraqi lives, and to save the American mission in Iraq.
In other words, if the surge doesn’t wash with the public, Bush’s other option is to convince them that Allawi is the man for the job and that we owe it to the Iraqi people (and the troops of course), to give the plan a chance to work.