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Tuesday, June 29, 2004

More than just a sham...

A vile, cynical sham.

From the World Socialist Web Site:
The interim government enjoys no popular legitimacy. The US-installed prime minister, Ayad Allawi, has no base of support outside of Washington and London and is widely seen—with ample justification—as a US agent. A former Baathist who broke with the Saddam Hussein regime in the 1970s, he became an “asset” first of British intelligence, and then of the US Central Intelligence Agency. According to CIA officials interviewed by the New York Times, his organization, the Iraqi National Accord, worked with the agency in the 1990s, organizing car bombings in Baghdad in a bid to destabilize Iraq.

Placing Allawi at the head of what is essentially a powerless puppet regime appears to serve two purposes for Washington. It will put an Iraqi face on an escalation of counterinsurgency operations aimed at crushing popular resistance to the US occupation. At the same time, as an ex-Baathist, Allawi is expected to reach out to remnants of the Saddam Hussein regime in an attempt to reconstruct its secret police apparatus.

This project was signaled in an opinion piece by Allawi published in the Washington Post June 27, in which he announced that his regime was intent on “building counterterrorism and intelligence capabilities,” and added that “the honor of decent Iraqi ex-officials including military and police should be restored.”

The New York Times Monday reported that Bush administration officials had confidence in Allawi “because they regard him as a battle-hardened, politically adept and perhaps even ruthless politician who understands the meaning of force in Iraq’s rough terrain.”

There is little to distinguish this appraisal from those made by the Reagan and Bush Sr. administrations of Saddam Hussein in the years before the ousted leader seized Kuwait’s oil fields and fell afoul of US interests.

At his press conference in Turkey Monday, George W. Bush described Allawi and his cohorts as “gutsy” and “as we say in Texas, stand-up guys.” For an administration based on criminality, the attraction of Allawi is entirely understandable.