Regime change in Iraq – part deux

The ruling elite in Washington, who are never averse to making a quick buck, are gearing up for regime change in Baghdad. Sensing he has nothing to loose, Maliki seems to be tiring of his role as Washington’s puppet and pointed out that such suggestions of replacing the Iraqi leader not only makes a mockery of the notion that Iraq is any kind of democracy, but underlines the arrogance of Washington’s ruling class.

Iraq’s embattled prime minister lashed out at American critics Sunday, saying Sen. Hillary Clinton and other Democrats who have called for his ouster should “come to their senses” and stop treating Iraq like “one of their villages.”

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki also lambasted the U.S. military for raids in Shiite neighborhoods of Baghdad, adding new strains ahead of next month’s showdown in Washington over the future of the U.S. mission.

The grim combination of ongoing violence and political deadlock have increased frustration in both Washington and Baghdad, with American lawmakers increasingly critical of al-Maliki’s performance and Iraqi leaders growing weary of what they consider unfair U.S. criticism.

Clinton and Sen. Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat and chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, have called for al-Maliki to be replaced.

These announcements, along with criticisms form George Bush, appear to be part of a concerted effort by the gears of Washington’s machine to sell the idea of replacing Maliki to the American public.

Glenn Greenwald exposed this last week, when Philip Zelikow, former counselor to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, appeared on national television in the US, suggesting that the Bush administration was working to depose Maliki. What was withheld from the public is that Zelikow has a vested interest in the matter.

But currently, Zelikow in particular runs around Washington holding himself out — and being held out — as an Expert on the Future of Iraq while concealing that his firm is being paid by Allawi to undermine Maliki. As but one example, Zelikow was a featured Iraq Expert on ABC News with Charles Gibson three nights ago, on Monday Tuesday.

Zelikow was presented as an impartial, non partisan expert on the matter. Zelikow of course, was not the only culprit.

It really is very strange how all of Official Washington, seemingly at the same time, collectively decided to turn on Prime Minister Maliki — who, after all, was elected democratically and was the leader in whom we were placing all of our hopes for progress in Iraq. Obviously, there is a very potent and well-funded effort to induce exactly that policy change at the highest levels of Republican power. The CNN article stated the obvious:

Pressed on why allies of the White House would be contradicting the president so publicly, the senior administration official said of the lobbyists, “They’re making a lot of money.”

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