Iraq to Bush, get lost!posted by Ron Beasley at 2/22/2005 06:21:00 PM
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The haggling that culminated in the selection of Interim Vice President Ibraham Jafari as the Shiite candidate to be Iraq's next prime minister illustrates the limits of Washington's influence over the country's new government.The administration's first choice was Adel Abdel Mahdi. Mahdi has openly criticized the US media for painting an unflattering picture of the situation is Iraq and was in favor of giving US oil companies a piece of the action in Iraq.
After weeks of behind the scenes negotiations, Jafari prevailed over two candidates who had more support in Washington: one-time darling of the Pentagon turned Shiite nationalist Ahmed Chalabi and finance minister Adel Abdel Mahdi.
The administration's second choice would have been Chalabi, probably they figure he could be bought.
The winner, Ibraham Jafari, cannot be a happy choice for the Bush administration.
Jafari is the leader of the Dawa Party, "a conservative religious Shiite group that is one of the country's largest political parties," reports Voice of America He gets good press in Iran where he spent 10 years in exile. The conservative Tehran Times recently ran a favorable Agence France Presse profile describing Jafari as a "Shiite modernist" who was "among the first to organize demonstrations opposing the presence of U.S.-led troops on Iraqi soil."I wouldn't be spending a lot of money on those "permanent" military bases or counting any of that oil money just yet. It would seem that Mr. Bush has pretty limited "political capitol" both here and in Iraq.
Thanks to Bill in DC