the allawi strategy

So far, we have seen no analysis of the timing and nature of the American’s sudden interest in torture centers in Iraq. On the principle that fools rush in where the lackies of imperialism fear to tread – a saying that is in the Bible, or is it the Little Red Book? – we have a strong hunch that this shows the Americans have learned something in the last year. A year ago, the brilliant idea was to make Allawi seem palatable to the Shiites by staging a massacre of Sunnis in Fallujah. This strategy, let’s say, didn’t work. This year, the strategy seems to be more on target: de-legitimate the Islamist sector of the current government, and presumably Allawi will profit.

This may work to some extent. There is no lawful figure at the moment protecting Sunni interests. The reminder of what a fully Shiite government can do (hence, the cynical American discovery of the torture centers) might overshadow Allawi’s record of massive corruption and complicity in American war crimes. Corruption is a small price to pay for not having a drill applied to the side of one’s head, after all.

On a further eve-of-the-Iraq-elections note, the fake “democracy” in operation in Kurdistan is given some rare bad press in the WP today, which gingerly notices that the region is divided between two parties that are extensions of the personalities of two Kurdish war lords -- and that attempts to get into the space between the war lords and the electorate are dealt with in accordance with the old, one party tradition, same as in Uzbekistan. Since the “friends of the Kurds’ – the Peter Galbraiths and the Christopher Hitchens, et al. – formed the core of the pro-war party in the media and are always marveling over the Kurdish democracy, we rather wonder why not a peep is heard from them as the people they supposedly cherish are being dragged further into the warlord state. No – we’re kidding. We don’t wonder about that at all. Shills are shills.