"I never staged a coup. They picked me up. Like I say, they forced me to become premier, maybe hoping that by that way, they send me to the electric chair."
~ Nguyen Cao Ky.
~ Nguyen Cao Ky.
It's beginning to sound like al-Maliki will soon be replaced because he's proven not to be as strong as the next strongman of Iraq needs to be for the US.
The best article on the subject can be found at Harper's by Scott Horton. In it, he discusses the scuttlebutt among Washington's dirtiest, the lobbyists:
For the last three weeks, rumors have been swirling around a relatively depopulated Washington to the effect that the Bush Administration is very unhappy with Prime Minister al-Maliki. “They’re going to take him out,” one lobbyist told me, “and replace him with former interim Prime Minister Allawi.”
[ . . . ]
I heard that the “town was flooded with Allawi money.” It was “being spread around everywhere and was drawing results.”
[ . . . ]
I started watching the media closely. Suddenly an Allawi op-ed showed up in the hallowed editorial pages of the Washington Post. And then a faint whisper against al-Maliki got louder and louder. Suddenly it was on CNN, Fox and other broadcast media. Then a story surfaced pointing to former RNC chair Hailey Barbour’s lobbying firm as the source of all of this. Barbour, of course, is now governor of Mississippi and no longer running this lobbying outfit (though his name is invoked in connection with it continuously). Carl Levin, Pete Hoekstra and a number of others made sudden and dramatic statements that seemed carefully jiggered to help the Allawi campaign.
It's only fair to mention that the lobby firm mentioned (Barbour Griffith & Rogers) is the same one that the KRG hired. It was also BGR that produced The Other Iraq campaign, which turned out to be a colossal waste of KRG money.
Horton quotes another article on Allawi from ABCNews that mentions Allawi's past relationship with the CIA through his Iraqi National Accord and Horton reminds us of how well the lobbyist pimps are able to plant their own paid-for propaganda in American media, by referencing Ken Silverstein's recent investigation into Washington's very expensive red-light district.
For more on Allawi's lobbying, see Outside the Beltway.
As Horton comments, Allawi "seemed to get along just swell with the Neocon clique, right from the beginning," and that's probably true in more ways than one. In a fine example of campaigning Washington for the top job in Baghdad, Allawi's hopped onto the neoconservative bandwagon that tries to make the claim that the failure in Iraq is not the fault of the US, but is the fault of the Iraqi government. A little backgrounder on Allawi from Sourcewatch makes mention of Allawi's involvement with helping to spread the disinformation on the Saddam regime's non-existent links to Mohammed Atta and 9/11, as well as to the non-existent Iraqi purchase of yellowcake from Niger, and the non-existent Iraqi WMD's. All of this is on top of Allawi's longtime membership in the Ba'ath party and his relationship with Britain's MI6.
Horton definitely hits the nail on the head by referring to Allawi as "a fairly repulsive figure with a dark background." There's more on Allawi's filth at the Institute for Public Accuracy. TPMmuckraker talks about Allawi's close affiliation with the head of the Iraqi National Intelligence Service, and tell how, after US funding of $3 billion, the INIS told the CIA that al-Maliki was "too close to the Iranians." But the bottom line for the US is that INIS provides Allawi with the intelligence backing it would take to become Iraq's new puppet-strongman:
Shahwani's U.S.-funded independence from the Iraqi government helps contextualize the recent push for Allawi. Unlike most alternatives to Maliki, Allawi has at least something resembling a security apparatus that he can call upon. Of course, whether it can actually take control of fractious, chaotic Iraq is a dubious proposition -- and Allawi has never called for an outright coup. But when Maliki opens his newspaper and reads about Allawi's push in Washington to become premier again, he has reason to look to INIS and see a threat to his administration.
Last week, Allawi's political "bloc" withdrew from the Iraqi government.
Lest anyone think that the whole Iraq adventure is merely for Republicans and their corporate controllers, or to disabuse any remaining illusions about the US being anything but a single-party system, check Democratic support for Allawi's ouster as described at Counterpunch and remember, it was the Democratic JFK who ordered the assassination of Ngo Dinh Diem (see photos at the Harper's link) in South Vietnam.
As Ho Chi Minh reportedly said after Diem's assassination: "I can scarcely believe the Americans would be so stupid," providing a striking example of how the more things change, the more they stay the same.