The Trouble With Allawi


A.J. Rossmiller (who, for the record, used to do political intelligence in Iraq for the defense department, so he's not just bullshitting around) has a great post about the myriad problems with the Allawi Gambit, noting such salient facts as how we already installed Allawi as Prime Minister of Iraq once, he performed horribly in office, and he was overwhelmingly booted out in an election. I like A.J.'s conceit that Allawi-love is a kind of Iraqi corollary to Broderism here at home, with both sides suffering the same problem: "Like Americans, Iraqis have preferences about issues."

Jane Hamsher's also reading A.J.:

I still find it mystifying that Hillary Clinton and Carl Levin decided to get out in front of this thing by calling for the removal of Maliki. The danger of winding up once again in a “you broke it, you bought it” situation seem pretty extreme.

I put this alongside the Department of Homeland Security in my "too clever by half" file. The Democrats' basic feeling seems to be that erring on the side of overly castigating Iraqi political leaders is the smart move since it helps evade charges that you're Criticizing The Troops when pointing to lack of success in our Iraq policies. Just keep punching Maliki while walking backwards, and maybe everything'll be okay. But as Hamsher says, there's a danger here of Levin getting what he asked for and Democrats finding themselves re-entrapped into support for a doomed policy.