Sunday, March 6, 2011

Update (will-o'-the-wisp)

The November 12th, 2010 blog entry 'Routine (updated 11/14)' observed how the U.S. had "helped" Iraq put a government together after months of futile attempts... This was by having Allawi sign on in return for a leadership role in a yet to-be-formed National Council for Strategic Policies which was to have an important role in checking the power of the Prime Minister.

As noted it took only two days for Allawi to get skeptical about the post, which turned out to be as ephemeral as a will-o'-the-wisp... Well, now according to The Apparent End of the Strategic Policy Council, "... Ayad Allawi, the leader of the secular Iraqiyya movement, no longer considers himself the candidate to the position as chairman of the projected “national strategic policy council”, a new political institution with ill-defined powers that was included in the grand political agreement on a new government by Iraqi leaders last November..."

So, once again an administration "coup" turns out to be an artful use of language that kicked the can down the road while providing a pretense at a success... Not surprisingly, now that this seems to have fallen apart there is no mention of a U.S. role, even though at the time the administration was keen to get "credit" for the movement.... "It cannot be stressed sufficiently that the strategic policy council was first and foremost Washington’s project in Iraq, and an attempt at keeping up appearances and creating a consolation prize for Allawi while tacitly – in the case of Ambassador Chris Hill, actively – accepting Iran’s push for a government formation based on a sectarian Shiite alliance. Last November, sources in the Obama administration gave glowing accounts of how American diplomats were present during the final negotiations where the deal on the strategic policy council was supposedly clinched, whereas the Iranians were absent..."

Getting to agreement - Nov 29th, 2010

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