I'm talking, of course about Ayad Allawi, longtime C.I.A. asset and former interim prime minister of Iraq. He's making quite the PR push to get his old job back, penning an op-ed for the Washington Post, hooking up with Wolf Blitzer on Late Edition on Sunday, and even putting the high-powered GOP lobbying firm Barbour Griffith & Rogers on a $300,000 retainer.
It says everything you need to know about who the true power holders in Iraq are that Allawi, who has a "six-point plan" for Iraq that involves replacing the current Prime Minister, is campaigning in Washington -- not Baghdad. He clearly knows that despite Bush's bathetic paeans to Iraqi sovereignty, the real deciders in Iraq are not the Iraqi people, but a few dozen folks in the White House and the Pentagon. They are Allawi's true constituency.
Could the White House be seeing in the blame-Maliki-for-the-disaster-in-Iraq meme an opportunity replace the sputtering "give the surge a chance" plan with a "give Allawi a chance" plan?
- "six points call for a full partnership with the United States"
- "objective is to develop a plan to save Iraq and to save American lives,
- of course, Iraqi lives, and
- to save the American mission in Iraq."
- "If we talk around the region of two to two-and-a-half years," "I think we are in the right direction."
- Who needs Petraeus when the Allawi coup can buy them another two-and-a-half years?
- -- he's already memorized the playbook.
- "As soon as the Iraqi forces are able to stand on their feet and provide security for the Iraqis I think the draw-down should start."
who is paying for the $300,000 Barbour Griffith & Rogers lobbying contract, Allawi wouldn't say