It should be clear to anyone observing current events with half a brain engaged that interim Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi is a puppet of the United States. I have recent entries that assume this point.
But when John Kerry presented mild critiques of Mr. Allawi’s upbeat message, vociferous reaction from President Bush and Vice President Cheney lit into Kerry’s pessimism, and worse. Kerry said Thursday in Columbus, Ohio,
The prime minister and the president are here obviously to put their best face on the policy, but the fact is that the CIA estimates, the reporting, the ground operations and the troops all tell a different story…. I think the prime minister is, obviously, contradicting his own statement when he said, “Terrorists are pouring into the country”.
Here is the Vice President’s reply in a Louisiana speech:
Prime Minister Allawi is a brave man. Some years ago, Saddam Hussein sent killers after him with axes. They tried to hack him to death in his bed. He is a brave and a determined leader, and I must say I was appalled at the complete lack of respect Senator Kerry showed for this man of courage when he rushed out to hold a press conference and attack the Prime Minister, yesterday right after his speech. Ayad Allawi is our ally. He stands beside us in the war against terror. John Kerry is trying to tear him down and to trash all the good that has been accomplished, and his words are destructive. As Prime Minister Allawi said in his speech, and I quote, “When political leaders sound the siren of defeatism in the face of terrorism, it only encourages more violence”.
Interesting, nowhere does Cheney say Allawi is not a puppet.
But now the wingnut side of the blogosphere has latched onto a quote from Kerry adviser Joe Lockhart
The last thing you want to be seen as is a puppet of the United States, and you can almost see the hand underneath the shirt today moving the lips
Click that link to see what free speech in America allows the wing to say about the challenger to the Republican dynasty.
Dwight Meredith at Wampum has an excellent analysis that gives clear examples of how the administration pulls the puppet strings.
And look also at the somewhat convoluted New York Times story, Iraqi With Close U.S. Ties Chosen to Be Prime Minister, by Dexter Filkins and Warren Hoge from last May 28. Here, the mysterious US-directed end-run around the UN in the Allawi selection is kind of explained:
Dr. Allawi is the leader of a group called the Iraqi National Accord. But he has a somewhat limited base among Iraqis, being viewed by many as an outsider because he lived in London for the past 20 years or so….The United States turned to the United Nations for help with the transition in January, after months of shunning the world organization, because its own credibility in Iraq had declined dangerously and it needed the international imprimatur that the United Nations can confer.
The decision to name Dr. Allawi was made with the approval of Lakhdar Brahimi, the United Nations envoy, though it was unclear how enthusiastic his support was. At United Nations headquarters in New York, officials contended that they were caught unawares by the announcement but said that they endorsed the choice….[They] had been expecting Mr. Brahimi to deliver the names by the end of this month. They had also been told that the names would be made public as a group, not in the sporadic and individual manner that Dr. Allawi’s name emerged today.
Can there be even the slightest doubt that Allawi really is a puppet?
So let’s review and extend the main lesson of this episode â€“ hinting at certain radioactive truths about Iraq leads automatically to strong backlash and charges of pessimism, disloyalty, or worse from the Bush loyalist wing.
Below is an incomplete list of such truths. Look for any of these in mainstream media discourse. If you happen to see one discussed, you can be sure that the appropriate dismissal or loyalist backlash is included:
Â· Allawi is a puppet.
Â· Sovereignty turnover was a sham.
Â· The planned Iraqi elections are being set up to be a sham.
Â· The United States desires control of Iraqi oil.
Â· Saddam Hussein was not in March 2003 any sort of threat to the United States.
Â· The United States is less safe after the invasion of Iraq.
Â· The invasion of Iraq was illegal.
Â· Iraq is not better off than it was before the invasion.
Â· The invasion of Iraq does not make the world more peaceful.
Â· The likelihood of civilian deaths does not impede US military operations.
Â· Widespread torture of US prisoners is conducted under the color of authority.
Â· Iraqis have a right to resist occupation
Â· Bush, Blair, and their collaborators are war criminals
Â· People labeled “Islamic fanatics” do not deserve summary execution
Look for additional discussion of some of these in later posts.