Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Iyad Allawi’s reputation

Dexter Filkins, of The New York Times, writes an update/profile on Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi. Although brief and opinionated it is worth a read because the essence of it seems to be true. That is, Allawi is a tough guy, with a reputation for being a cruel and efficient man, and that fact and reputation is sitting well with the Iraqis. They are, in effect, giving him full power to achieve peace and unity. Allawi’s main problem is the Baathist/Sunni insurgency and he has to be both soft (offering amnesty to some) and hard (threatening to kill the others). This is his attempt to divide the Sunnis. He has seemed--from the beginning of his a rule--to understand that cruelties can be badly used or well used.
The fact that he has been--at different times--both a part of the Saddam regime and a part his conquerors (the CIA, specifically) only adds to his credibility for toughness. And this is in his interest. It is possible that in order to achieve peace he will have to become more ferocious, and, it is possible that he will not mind that his reputation so suffer that he will have to be replaced, and chastized, by the future elected leader of the new Iraq. Yet, he will have fulfilled his mission to unify and pacify Iraq and his replacement will find an Iraq more easy to govern. I am betting he succeeds because he has found the solution to the problem of faction.

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