Freedom Fry

Look at that freedom fry! A collection of political hotlinks and original articles.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Iyad Allawi's Questionable Past

1:19 PM

Iyad AllawiAh what a nice week of Thanksgiving. Ironic that we celebrate the kindness of the Native Americans on the land we conquered. "Waah waah" (Debbie Downer).

Think yours was high-spirited? Thanksgiving at Marueen Dowd's house (op-ed in New York Times).

The Meat

In December 2004 Harper's Magazine there is a great article that details, among other things, Iyad Allawi's questionable past:

Iyad Allawi, hailed in the Western media as the blunt, independent-minded leader the country needs, is an appropriate appointment as prime minister. Little secret is made of the fact that, like his counterpart Hamid Karzai in Afghanistan, he has been a paid CIA agent for many years; such a record is no longer considered something to hide. Allawi's career to date has more than qualified him for his present role. Iraqis recall him as a Baath enforcer in London student circles of the 1970s, with a bogus medical degree conferred by the regime for services rendered. According to his former colleague Dirgam Kadhim, Allawi was simultaneously dealing with MI6 (a branch of the British intelligence services) and running a Mukhabarat death squad for Saddam's faction of the Baath, targeting dissenters in Europe—until falling foul of the party himself by the late '70s. After a few years in hiding he resurfaced in Amman, co-founding the Iraqi National Accord with Salih Omar Ali al-Tikriti, said to be a former supervisor of public hangings in Baghdad. The INA specialized in recruiting military and intelligence defectors; the bomb blasts attributed to it in the mid-90s—one in a crowded theater, another killing schoolchildren on a bus—were purportedly "proficiency tests" set by the CIA. Duly persuaded of the INA's merits, the agency provided funding for Allawi's botched coup attempt of 1996 that, uncovered by Saddam, resulted in more than a hundred executions. He was subsequently responsible for passing on the intelligence that prompted Tony Blair's claim of forty-five minute WMD delivery systems, and pinpointed Saddam's supposed bunker for bombardment at the start of the invasion.

With the U.S. occupation established, Allawi was put on the Governing Council in charge of security. His campaign for the post of prime minister—his lobbying firm spent over $340,000—was naturally run in Washington, not Baghdad. Once appointed, he embarrassed his masters by threatening to proclaim martial law before his inauguration.


A Doctrine Left Behind about the Powell Doctrine:

Our senior officers knew the war was going badly. Yet they bowed to groupthink pressure and kept up pretenses. ...Many of my generation, the career captains, majors, and lieutenant colonels seasoned in that war, vowed that when our turn came to call the shots, we would not quietly acquiesce in halfhearted warfare for half-baked reasons that the American people could not understand.

The Doctrine:
Is the political objective we seek to achieve important, clearly defined and understood? Have all other nonviolent policy means failed? Will military force achieve the objective? At what cost? Have the gains and risks been
analyzed? How might the situation that we seek to alter, once it is altered by force, develop further and what might be the consequences?

What to do about immigration in countries like Holland in the wake of the killing of Theo van Gogh. Will immigration kill identity?

The Economist mentions that although we think "moral values" are more important than ever before, support for them in the polls is actually down from 35% in 2000 to 22% in 2004. Great article.

Interesting Meet the Press yesterday. One of the panelists was Jim Wallis of Sojourners Magazine who, more than anyone I have heard recently, attempted (and in my mind succeeded) to bring together the right and the left instead of dividing us. Stop arguing and do something. Interesting website to check out.

Sojourners Magazine has a letter to congresspeople asking to close the School of the Americas, the military institution run by the USA that trains counter-insurgents in Latin America.

P.S. I welcome any more information about Allawi, or rebuttals to the article I quoted.


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