Friday, August 24, 2007

Who's the Big Money Behind Allawi?

While the setup for political change at the top in Iraq unfolds, the competition for those who want the Prime Minister position begins. Previous P.M. Ayad Allawi hired a high dollar, highly influential Republican lobbying firm to promote his occupying the top slot. President Bush supports current P.M. Nouri al Malaki in much the same soft shoe manner as he did with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. While George danced in different directions, the White House did comment on the matter. CNN reported:

Pressed on why allies of the White House would be contradicting the president publicly (by lashing out at al-Maliki), the senior administration official said of the lobbyists, "They're making a lot of money."

And National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe told CNN the Bush administration continues to support al-Maliki and the Iraqi Presidency Council, "and we'll continue to work with them on the best way forward in Iraq." "I don't think they asked the White House before they signed their contract with Mr. Allawi," he said.

Asked earlier why Republican lobbyists would want to undercut the administration's public statements, Johndroe said, "Maybe it's a really good contract."

The lobbying firm boasts the services of two onetime foreign policy hands of President Bush: Ambassador Robert Blackwill, the former deputy national security adviser who was Bush's envoy to Iraq and helped form Allawi's interim government in 2004, and Philip Zelikow, former counselor to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

People like this charge huge fees in America's influence peddling democracy. Assuming the White House is telling the truth, who is the big money behind Ayad Allawi? Does Mr. Allawi have some of the billions in cash CPA chief Paul Bremer used to stimulate the Iraqi economy? Is big oil supporting regime change to get the oil law (they wrote) passed by dictatorial edict? Have Republicans given up on spreading freedom and democracy and want to install a strongarm dictator to stabilize the country? I would ask the White House but they have a poor track record of answering my questions...