Allawi 'Headed For Defeat'?
Buried below news of today's assassination of Baghdad's governor, Richard A. Oppel Jr. and David E. Sanger of the New York Times are reporting that Bush and his Vichy puppet in Iraq, Ayad Allawi, yesterday discussed by telephone "the many impediments still facing the country as it heads toward elections in 27 days... ." According to the usual unnamed White House "official sources" Allawi --
... did not tell Mr. Bush that the elections should be delayed, though his defense minister said in Cairo on Monday that the voting could be postponed to ensure greater participation by Sunnis. "There was no substantive conversation about delay," a senior administration official said. Dr. Allawi, the official said, "wasn't even a bit wobbly" on that point.Given the thoroughly disreputable characters on each end of the line, you can safely assume Allawi in fact was begging Bush to postpone the election; and Bush was ordering the 'independent' prime minister to proceed as scheduled.
As Juan Cole put it a month ago, the scheduled Iraq election looks to become 'an extended train wreck.' Hold the election without Sunnis fully participating, and in Cole's words "the new government will lack legitimacy." This, in turn, will threaten stability of the newly elected puppet government. On the other hand, postpone the Iraq election, as 'more than 15 leading Iraqi parties called for' recently, and it will be perceived as a 'betrayal' of the Shiite Muslims.
What caught my eye, though, was this fragment slipped in by Oppel and Sanger (italics mine):
"But some officials in Washington and in Iraq interpreted the telephone call as a sign that Dr. Allawi, who is clearly concerned his own party could be headed to defeat if the election is held on schedule, may be preparing the ground to make the case for delay to Mr. Bush."Bush wants a fig leaf to hide from American eyes the continuing illegitmate U.S. occupation of Iraq. It looks like either he has to go stark naked and agree to a postponement, or he'll wind up with an Islamacist government in Baghdad, a civil war in both northern and southern Iraq, and ex-CIA stringer Allawi on his doorstep, seeking asylum.