Thursday, September 23, 2004
Allawi or nothing
David Ignatius has an op-ed in the Daily Star that point out just how all the Bush administration's Iraqi eggs are sitting in Iyad Allawi's basket. This should come as no suprise, as previously it seemed that the Bush administration just threw all it's Iraq eggs up in the air and hoped that they would magically land in a basket that the Iraqi people would lovingly provide as a gift of thanks for liberation. Still, the fact that so little has progressed in terms of developing an Iraq strategy is very troubling. Ignatius writes:
Ask Bush administration officials to explain America's strategy in Iraq and they offer what amounts to a two-word answer - "Iyad Allawi," the interim prime minister who is in the United States this week for a round of meetings and media visits.Given what we know about Iyad Allawi, I'm not sure that I actually want him, or somebody like him, to "win it" in Iraq. And the fact that there seems to be no contingency plan for a case where he doesn't win is quite troubling.
"It's great to have an Iraqi prime minister taking the lead instead of an American occupation authority," says Paul Wolfowitz, the deputy secretary of defense and one of the architects of the war. The issue now in Iraq, he says, is "Can Allawi win it?" That view is shared by other top administration officials, who use words like "indispensable" when they describe Allawi's role.
Can Allawi win it? That is indeed the question, and U.S. officials can only hope the answer is yes - and accelerate the training of Iraqi forces. If Allawi fails, there doesn't appear to be a Plan B.
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