(From last year this article provides an interesting perspective on our candidate in Iraq--wonder if they have finished counting the votes yet?)
US Congress hails Washington’s Iraqi stooge
Bill Van Auken
Allawi was handpicked by Washington for both his unwavering loyalty and his cold-blooded ruthlessness. Though he has been accurately described by one of his former CIA handlers as a man with “blood on his hands,” members of Congress had no compunction about grasping his one good hand in theirs.
Who is this supposed champion of democracy? Allawi got his start as an agent of the Iraqi secret police, first intimidating fellow students in Iraq and then, after being sent to London, assuming the title of president of the European chapter of the Association of Iraqi Students Abroad. In this capacity, he functioned as a hit man for the Baathist regime, hunting down and killing dissidents.
After breaking with the Baghdad regime in the early 1970s, Allawi pursued a political course that would remain constant for the next 30 years. He sold his services to Western and Arab intelligence agencies—Britain’s MI6, the Saudi secret service and the CIA—while trying to convince the imperialist powers that he could bring about a coup in Iraq, removing Saddam Hussein from power while preserving intact the repressive forces of the Baathist regime.
As an asset of the CIA, Allawi received a regular paycheck from Washington. This was increased following Clinton’s signing of the Iraqi Liberation Act of 1998, which recognized Allawi’s CIA front, the Iraqi National Accord, as a group approved for funding. In return, he and the INA staged limited operations in Iraq, which included the terrorist bombings of school buses and movie theaters.
Following the US invasion, Allawi returned to Iraq after three decades in exile. He bided his time as his hated rival—and cousin—Ahmed Chalabi, the Pentagon’s favored stooge, fell from grace and was cast aside, amid recriminations over the abject failure of the US occupation.
Allawi was tapped by Washington to fill the post of interim prime minister. He has no popular base. Indeed, he is one of the most widely hated political figures in the country. His movements in Iraq are restricted to a heavily fortified compound ringed by US tanks and security forces, punctuated by occasional trips in which he is transported by US military convoys.
The US occupation authorities’ attraction to Allawi is based in large measure on his connections with former Baathists, secret police operatives and army commanders—elements they are seeking to reactivate in reconstructing the country’s repressive forces. They also know that he will rubber-stamp any repressive military action ordered by the Pentagon.