Is Allawi the new Chalabi?

By the signs in Washington, it appears that Allawi is bring groomed to replace Maliki.

I had a sense that I was on to something in my last post about how The Party was shifting against Iraqi elected Prime Minister al-Maliki and in favor of previously appointed prime minister Allawi (advocating a tougher stance against Syria and Iran), but I had no idea how right I was.

Turns out I was sent this morning in my official capacity as a foreign affairs advisor to a Member of Congress, a copy of Allawi’s op-ed in the Washington Post along with, conveniently, a copy of the article outlining Senator Levin’s determination to unseat the current elected Prime Minister of Iraq by — wait for it — a public relations firm called “Barbour Griffith & Rogers, LLC.” Hmmm, Barbour: didn’t he have something to do with the RNC? And I see my old friend Stephen Rademaker formerly of the House International Relations Committee is now a vice president in this firm as is — whoa! — Philip D. Zelikow, Ph.D., who was “Counselor to the U.S. Department of State in December 2006 after serving in that position since February 2005. Before that appointment, Dr. Zelikow served as the Executive Director of the 9/11 Commission… He has been a member of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.”

Maliki, who has long been Washington’s scapegoat, is posing a problem at a time when Washington is working overtime to demonize Iran and build a case to attack it.

As I said in my Monday column, it’s all about what Seymour Hersh calls “the redirection.” The new enemy is Iran, and that means the Shi’ite government we installed in power is now being treated as an Iranian proxy — or, at least, an ally of Tehran. Levin’s call for Maliki’s ouster, apparently on behalf of the Allawi lobby in Washington, is congruent with Hillary Clinton’s recent statement endorsing the alliance with Sunni insurgents in Anbar and Diyala provinces, and averring that “We have to be preparing to fight the new war.”

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