Monday, August 27, 2007

Allawi Armageddon

The Allawi-Maliki drama has gone mainstream now, bursting through to the conventional print press.

American Footprints retraces some of the former praise that Robert Blackwill has had for Allawi in the past and questions the former prime minister's Iraqi popularity among Sunnis (reputed to be more favorable than Maliki's):

Back to exaggerated Allawi-boosterism, though. Perhaps the situation has changed since that election, and there is now "strong support" for Allawi in the Sunni community (with Allawi being a tolerable option faced with the alternative of a Shiite controlled government continuing in power). It is hard to know without seeing actual poll numbers conducted by reputable, non-partisan firms that are not on the payroll of, or influenced by, the many media-manipulating allies that Allawi has, literally, employed. Suffice it to say, there is ample reason to strongly doubt that Allawi has strong support in the Sunni community, and such support is entirely contingent on Allawi's ability to sell himself as useful at countering Shiite power (and such usefulness will expire when the Sunnis believe they can achieve their goals without him).

The earliest we could find that of Allawi looking to make a return to power was in March of this year, and Abu Aardvark saw it similarly so:

The idea that the road to power in Baghdad lies through DC lobbyists is not a particularly strange one, especially given the experience of Iraqi exile politicians in 2002-2003. It's also worth noting that Allawi's bid for a return to power is nothing new - his candidacy has been pushed by the Saudis and other Arab states, and by some Americans since last fall. I warned about this Allawi gambit back in March:

Will Iyad Allawi, the rotund one-time Iraqi Prime Minister and current London resident, be the next Prime Minister of Iraq? He certainly seems to want the job, and he suits the Bush administration's agenda suspiciously well. But his return to power would not only fail to end the civil war - it would also signal a decisive end to democratic aspirations in Iraq and the Arab world, increase America's role at a time when most Americans would prefer to leave, and pave the way to a confrontation with Iran.

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