Monday, August 27, 2007

Doonsbury's Duke Lobbying Iraqi Leadership

Lobbyists Hired to Press Maliki, Former Premier Says
By Walter Pincus Washington Post Staff Writer Monday, August 27, 2007; A08
Former interim Iraqi prime minister Ayad Allawi, who is trying to put together a new coalition to replace the current Baghdad government headed by Nouri al-Maliki, said yesterday that a powerful Washington lobbying firm is working on his behalf, funded by an Iraqi whom he cannot identify.
Allawi confirmed on CNN's "Late Edition" yesterday that Barbour Griffith & Rogers had been hired "to help us advocate our views, the views of the nationalistic Iraqis, the nonsectarian Iraqis."
Allawi said reports that Barbour Griffith is to receive $300,000 over six months are accurate, "but that these figures are really much less than the figures that are being paid by others, our adversaries."
Asked the source of the funds, Allawi said, "I cannot unfortunately divulge his name," adding: "He is a supporter of our program."
Allawi, who is Shiite and a former Baathist, said he "wouldn't frankly be willing to become a prime minister in a sectarian regime . . . but I would play my role in Iraq in whatever capacity is required to change Iraq into a nonsectarian country."
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Well, why not? Thousands of years of sectarian rule, hundreds of Shiite and Sunni factions, with an unrecognized hope for a resurrected Kurdistan, have all worked against the 'instant' variety of democracy we planned for Iraq.
It's damned annoying--adding hot water got us into hot water.
Here's a chance for Jack Abramoff to do a few hundred hours of public service time and get his prison sentence shortened. Who knows the ins and outs of sectarianism better than Jack?

* For more in-depth articles by Jim on Iraq War, check out Opinion-Columns.com