While the UN’s Brahimi is thinking things through,
the Iraqi Governing Council--just before they were about to meet with Brahimi--announced that they chose one of its members, Iyad Allawi, a Shiite Muslim and former exiled opponent of Saddam Hussein, to become prime minister in the new government taking power June 30. Here is the
AP story, and the Reuters story on the issue. Note the interesting permutations and complications. Allawi is being "nominated" (I think) by the Governing Council, and that Brahimi and the UN are a bit surprised: "It’s not how we expected it to happen," chief U.N. spokesman Fred Eckhard said. That they were surprised by this is very interesting. Also note that the wire reports are delighted to point out that Mr. Allawi has worked with the CIA (to topple Saddam), and that the Bush administration is said to be "delighted" with the choice. It is implied by some that both these points should be to Mr. Allawi’s disadvantage.
Also note that he is related to Ahmed Chalabi, but they are not close, it is said. Note this from the AP dispatch:
"Allawi would appear far from the qualities Brahimi had been seeking for the government’s top spots: local, non-political ’technocrats’ respected by Iraqis. Allawi, in contrast, is a veteran political leader who lived in exile for decades.
But after weeks of speaking of empowering Iraqis, it may be difficult to reverse the public announcement by the Iraqi council.
’It is a done deal,’ Hameed al-Kafaei, the spokesman for the Governing Council, said. Allawi ’is a prime minister-designate.’"
Interesting and amusing stuff, is it not? Politics is easy to love. I also note that John Kerry has given a speech on foreign policy in which he charged that President Bush undermined Americas safety by having "rushed off to war" in Iraq without adequate help or "a plan to win the peace."