2007.08.28: August 28, 2007: Headlines: Figures: COS - Malawi: Diplomacy: National Security: Iraq: Philadelphia Enquirer: Dick Polman writes: Robert Blackwill handling $300,000 lobbying contract to destabilize "good guy" Nouri al-Maliki, and replace him with the firm's new client, Ayad Allawi

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Malawi: RPCV Robert Blackwill (Malawi) : Special Report: Diplomat, National Security Advisor, and Malawi RPCV Robert Blackwill: 2007.08.29: August 29, 2007: Headlines: Figures: COS - Malawi: Diplomacy: National Security: Iraq: Newsweek: Blackwill handling contract to help pave Ayad Allawi's attempt to oust the current Iraqi government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki: 2007.08.28: August 28, 2007: Headlines: Figures: COS - Malawi: Diplomacy: National Security: Iraq: Philadelphia Enquirer: Dick Polman writes: Robert Blackwill handling $300,000 lobbying contract to destabilize "good guy" Nouri al-Maliki, and replace him with the firm's new client, Ayad Allawi

By Admin1 (admin) (ppp-70-135-11-10.dsl.okcyok.swbell.net - 70.135.11.10) on Sunday, September 02, 2007 - 11:11 pm: Edit Post

Dick Polman writes: Robert Blackwill handling $300,000 lobbying contract to destabilize "good guy" Nouri al-Maliki, and replace him with the firm's new client, Ayad Allawi

Dick Polman writes:  Robert Blackwill handling $300,000 lobbying contract to destabilize good guy Nouri al-Maliki, and replace him with the firm's new client, Ayad Allawi

In a speech the other day, President Bush had this to say: "Prime Minister Maliki is a good guy, a good man with a difficult job, and I support him. And it's not up to politicians in Washington, D.C., to say whether he will remain in his position - that is up to the Iraqi people who now live in a democracy." Oh, really? Then why has a high-powered, Bush-connected Republican lobbying firm signed a $300,000 deal to destabilize "good guy" Nouri al-Maliki, and replace him with the firm's new client, Ayad Allawi - a former interim prime minister and neocon favorite with long-standing CIA ties? Since when do Washington lobbyists have a say in who runs Iraq? And speaking of Bush, does he even run the show anymore? What explains the fact that, at the same time he was voicing support last week for "good guy" Maliki, a powerful Republican lobbying firm was ginning up support for a Maliki rival? (Indeed, the contract is being handled by Robert Blackwill, a former Bush envoy to Iraq.) Robert Blackwill served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Malawi, Ambasssador to India, and as a Deputy National Security Advisor to Condoleezza Rice.

Dick Polman writes: Robert Blackwill handling $300,000 lobbying contract to destabilize "good guy" Nouri al-Maliki, and replace him with the firm's new client, Ayad Allawi

It's not what Bush says on Maliki

By Dick Polman
For The Inquirer

From time to time we will run excerpts from columnist Dick Polman's blog, "Dick Polman's American Debate." Watch this page for Polman high points - and check out the blog.

In a speech the other day, President Bush had this to say: "Prime Minister Maliki is a good guy, a good man with a difficult job, and I support him. And it's not up to politicians in Washington, D.C., to say whether he will remain in his position - that is up to the Iraqi people who now live in a democracy."

Oh, really? Then why has a high-powered, Bush-connected Republican lobbying firm signed a $300,000 deal to destabilize "good guy" Nouri al-Maliki, and replace him with the firm's new client, Ayad Allawi - a former interim prime minister and neocon favorite with long-standing CIA ties? Since when do Washington lobbyists have a say in who runs Iraq?

The Barbour Griffith & Rogers lobbying contract to provide Allawi with what the firm calls "strategic counsel" is further proof that the Bush team's dream of a democratic Iraq is dead. The much-ballyhooed Iraqi elections have produced little more than sectarian civil war, with U.S. troops caught in the middle. Therefore, perhaps the only administration option at this point (and military sources are saying it out loud) is to knock off the democracy rhetoric and find a way to impose, upon the "free" Iraqi people, a U.S.-friendly strongman who can maybe knock heads and curb the chaos.

Hence, Allawi, who said Sunday on CNN's Late Edition that he wants to "save the American mission in Iraq." (Is it any coincidence that he made himself available to CNN, at virtually the same time he signed the U.S. lobbying contract and penned an op-ed in the Washington Post?) His CIA ties date to the early 1990s. The CIA helped bankroll his political operation, the Iraqi National Accord (INA), and continued to finance him for more than a decade. He also reportedly worked with the CIA on plans to set up an Iraqi intelligence agency. He served as prime minister until the duly elected government took over in 2005. In the view of many American hawks, he looks infinitely preferable to Maliki, a sectarian Shiite who's in cahoots with some of the warlords and thus has proved incapable of taming the bloodshed.

Who knows? Maybe Allawi would do a better job on the security front. But it's hard to imagine that this guy, a Sunni with a pro-American pedigree, would ever rise to the top in a free Iraqi election. So the fact that some Republican lobbyists are shilling for his ascension is stark evidence that the last-ditch GOP dream for Iraq is merely stability, not democracy.

As for that $300,000 lobbying contract, it's not even Allawi's money. In his CNN appearance, during which he shilled for himself, Allawi said that the money was provided "by an Iraqi person who was a supporter of us, of the INA, of myself, of our program, and he has supported this wholeheartedly." He won't name his money source, but it doesn't take a Ph.D. in foreign affairs to figure out that this well-heeled "Iraqi person" is allied with those in America who want to dictate who should run Iraq, notwithstanding Bush's pro forma democracy rhetoric.

And speaking of Bush, does he even run the show anymore? What explains the fact that, at the same time he was voicing support last week for "good guy" Maliki, a powerful Republican lobbying firm was ginning up support for a Maliki rival? (Indeed, the contract is being handled by Robert Blackwill, a former Bush envoy to Iraq.)

There are several possibilities, neither of which is very flattering to Bush:

1. Bush is deliberately deceiving us. He says publicly that he is for Maliki, and that Maliki's fate hinges solely on the sentiments of the Iraq "democracy," but he really doesn't believe a word of it, because privately he's winking approvingly at the Republican lobbyist's campaign to undercut Maliki and install a U.S. puppet.

2. Bush is entirely sincere in his support for Maliki, but powerful backstage fixers in his own party don't take him seriously anymore and, thus, feel free to contradict him, and work against him in public - while earning a big paycheck besides.

Take your pick.




Links to Related Topics (Tags):

Headlines: August, 2007; RPCV Robert Blackwill (Malawi); Figures; Peace Corps Malawi; Directory of Malawi RPCVs; Messages and Announcements for Malawi RPCVs; Diplomacy; Iraq





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Story Source: Philadelphia Enquirer

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Figures; COS - Malawi; Diplomacy; National Security; Iraq

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