Tag Archives: allawi

Allawi’s Law, Season 3

Allawi’s Law: Season Three Trailer

Allawi’s Law, developed by long-time tdaxp-reader PKA, is a reimagining of , but with international politicians in all the major roles. The Season 2 Teaser came out in March 2005, so it is about time for the Season 3 Trailor…


The trailer immediately begins in an afternoon sun-lit room. Standing up and visibly nervous is L. Paul Bremer. Sitting down is the new chief of police, Colin Powell.

City Councilman L. Paul Bremer

Bremer: He’s been a problem in my side since day one. Even now I, a city council member, have to put up with Allawi. There’s nothing I can do! But he’s your problem now.

Powell: Wrong Bremer. He’s OUR problem. I will set things up but we have to finish him together. Remember that I made you.

Colin Powell: The New Chief of Police

Bremer (Close to panicking): But I’m my own man now!

Powell (Angier in his voice): Fool! Voinovich thought the same thing and now he is crying like a baby because of what I did to him! We must take out Allawi!

Voinovich: Another of Powell’s Many Victims…

Bremer: I’ll help you get Allawi but then I’m out. What do you have in mind?

Iyad Allawi: The Shield of Justice

Powell: Sharon.

Ariel Sharon: Working with Internal Affairs?

Screen shows Bremer’s shocked expression while an announcer’s voice is heard.

Announcer: This fall, Allawi’s Law meets its biggest challenge yet.

Screen shows Sharon making a speech in front of the other cops.

Sharon: Due to Chalibi’s leave of absence I am now head of Internal Affairs. The strike team will have a new leader since I’m busting Allawi down. Everyone, meet Shimon Peres.

Peres: Thank you my friend. I pledge allegiance to the victor.

Shimon Peres: Unlikely Ally for Ariel Sharon?

Camera moves to show Allawi and the strike team’s shocked expression. Allawi runs up to Powell.

Allawi: What is this?

Powell: Your downfall, of course.

Next scene shows Powell alone with two of Allawi’s lieutenants.

Announcer: Loyalties will be tested.

1st Lieutenant (With malice in his voice): What do you want?

Powell: You know what I want. Allawi. And I’ll reward those who give him to me.

The first lieutenant spits at Powell but the second lieutenant, played by Gordon Brown, appears to think about the proposal in his head.

The subsequent scene has Allawi and the Lieutenants at a bar discussing plans and events.

Allawi: The strike team did what?

1st Lieutenant: We were forced to arrest your old partner, Netanyahu on charges of trying to impede the investigation of al-Jaafari.

Benjamin Netanyahu: Framed by Colin Powell?

Allawi: What? That’s nonsense!

Brown: What are you going to do?

Gordon Brown: Loyal Deputy to Iyad Allawi

Allawi: Try to save me, the team, Bibi, and take down Powell and al-Jaafari.

Announcer: This season will be a long, dark night for Allawi

The final part is grayed-out. Allawi is sitting hunched over. He is looking down away from the camera. Johnny Cash’s Hurt is playing on the soundtrack. Voice-overs are heard.

Allawi: Who is setting me up? My team?

1st Lieutenant: Gordon, you told Sharon about the money train?!?

Allawi: My enemies?

Peres: Officer Sharon, the strike team is turning on itself.

Allawi: My allies?

Brown: Don’t shoot! Bolton is Allawi’s friend!


Will John Bolton be able to save Iyad Allawi?

Sharon: I know.


Condi Rice: You can’t be here Allawi. You’re a wanted man. What are you going to do?
Allawi: Take them all down.


Condoleeza Rice: Allawi’s Last Friend Inside the Department?

Allawi then looks up into the camera with a stern look.

Announcer: This fall, Allawi stands up for justice!

Iraq’s Transitional National Assembly Projection

National Assembly Projection,” by “Stephen,” Iraq Election Discussions, http://iraqelect.com/index.php/archives/2005/02/08/national-assembly-projection/, 8 February 2005.

Iraqi ElectionsDiscussions projects the final outcome considerably better than mine.

Seats – Party/List
140 – United Iraqi Alliance (Shi’ite)
68 – Kurdish List
40 – The Iraqi List (PM Allawi)
3 – Natl Elites & Cadres (Moqtada al Sadr)
3 – People’s Union (Communist)
3 – Iraqis List (Pres. al-Yawer)
3 – IMIK (Islamist Kurdish)
15 – Other parties



(Chart courtesy of OpenOffice.org Calc)

Combined, this gives a UIA-Kurdish coalition nearly 76% of the votes in the TNA. Consider the Basic Law’s three-fourths rule, where a Constitution can be created with 75% of the Assembly votes and no need of provincial approval, this could be a very powerful government. Of course, UIA is already a coalition and it’s likely that at least some UIA Assemblymen are sympathetic to either Allawi or Sadr.

It is wonderful to see what the government of a free Iraq looks like. Long live democracy in the Greater Middle East!

Juan Cole Crack-Up, Part 2

A Mixed Story,” by Juan Cole, Informed Consent, http://www.juancole.com/2005/01/mixed-story-im-just-appalled-by.html, 30 January 2005.

I’m just appalled by the cheerleading tone of US news coverage of the so-called elections in Iraq on Sunday. I said on television last week that this event is a “political earthquake” and “a historical first step” for Iraq.It is an event of the utmost importance, for Iraq, the Middle East, and the world. All the boosterism has a kernel of truth to it, of course. Iraqis hadn’t been able to choose their leaders at all in recent decades, even by some strange process where they chose unknown leaders.

Oh? Is Cole saying that Allawi and Hakim are unknown?
Or less known that challengers in most American elections?
Or that it’s unclear what Allawi’s policies would be?
Or what the Kurdistan Alliance wants?
Or is Cole complaining about proportional parliamentary representation in general?

But this process is not a model for anything, and would not willingly be imitated by anyone else in the region. The 1997 elections in Iran were much more democratic, as were the 2002 elections in Bahrain

Let’s see… what else happened in Bahrain in 2002

In February 2002, Amir HAMAD bin Isa Al Khalifa proclaimed himself king. In October 2002, Bahrainis elected members of the lower house of Bahrain’s reconstituted bicameral legislature, the National Assembly.

Well, there’s always…

and Pakistan.


The election of President Pervez Musharraf’s candidate for Prime Minister of Pakistan is a big victory for Musharraf, and for U.S. efforts to retain Pakistan’s support in the war against terror. Zafarullah Khan Jamali, 58, a tribal chieftain from Baluchistan, narrowly defeated his closest rival, a pro-Taliban preacher. But his slim, one-vote majority reeked of political bullying and dealmaking. It was an arrangement rigged outside Parliament, struck in lengthy telephone calls to an exiled politician hoping for a comeback and, a losing candidate claims, tainted by bribes and threats.

Continuing with Cole…

Moreover, as Swopa rightly reminds us all, the Bush administration opposed one-person, one-vote elections of this sort. First they were going to turn Iraq over to Chalabi within six months. Then Bremer was going to be MacArthur in Baghdad for years. Then on November 15, 2003, Bremer announced a plan to have council-based elections in May of 2004. The US and the UK had somehow massaged into being provincial and municipal governing councils, the members of which were pro-American. Bremer was going to restrict the electorate to this small, elite group.

I would imagine that the Allied Occupation of Germany gives the live to a supposed devotion to Deutche federalism.

Embracing Defeat, a book quite sympathetic to communist and leftist elements in Japan during the Occupation, criticizes SCAP for reversing some of its demilitarization and democratization plans. But Cole’s writing is hyperbole. Perhaps he should learn the history of the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers before he talks about people wanting to “be MacArthur.”

Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani immediately gave a fatwa denouncing this plan and demanding free elections mandated by a UN Security Council resolution. Bush was reportedly “extremely offended” at these two demands and opposed Sistani.

An alternative explanation is in America’s Secret War.

I’m not sure what the truth is, but considering President George Bush’s democratic speeches, I doubt he was “extremely offended.”

Bremer got his appointed Interim Governing Council to go along in fighting Sistani. Sistani then brought thousands of protesters into the streets in January of 2004, demanding free elections. Soon thereafter, Bush caved and gave the ayatollah everything he demanded. Except that he was apparently afraid that open, non-manipulated elections in Iraq might become a factor in the US presidential campaign, so he got the elections postponed to January 2005. This enormous delay allowed the country to fall into much worse chaos, and Sistani is still bitter that the Americans didn’t hold the elections last May. The US objected that they couldn’t use UN food ration cards for registration, as Sistani suggested. But in the end that is exactly what they did.

This had nothing to do with the fact that:

The food ration card plan was opposed because the Ba’athis had drawn up the cards, so it would underrepresent Shia and Kurds, and
Shia and Kurds declared they didn’t care, as long as the election was soon as possible?

Politics is complicated. Again, I don’t know everything. But not every situation is a conspiracy.

So if it had been up to Bush, Iraq would have been a soft dictatorship under Chalabi,

Like Afghanistan is now a soft dictatorship under Karzai?

or would have had stage-managed elections with an electorate consisting of a handful of pro-American notables.

SCIRI is so pro-American. So are the Iranians.

It was Sistani and the major Shiite parties that demanded free and open elections and a UNSC resolution. They did their job and got what they wanted. But the Americans have been unable to provide them the requisite security for truly aboveboard democratic elections.

How many polling places were overrun by insurgents? None.
What fraction of the country voted? About 60%.
But this is not “truly aboveboard.”

With all the hoopla, it is easy to forget that this was an extremely troubling and flawed “election.” Iraq is an armed camp. There were troops and security checkpoints everywhere. Vehicle traffic was banned. The measures were successful in cutting down on car bombings that could have done massive damage. But even these Draconian steps did not prevent widespread attacks, which is not actually good news. There is every reason to think that when the vehicle traffic starts up again, so will the guerrilla insurgency.

Zen Pundit has the goods.

The Iraqis did not know the names of the candidates for whom they were supposedly voting. What kind of an election is anonymous! There were even some angry politicians late last week who found out they had been included on lists without their permission. Al-Zaman compared the election process to buying fruit wholesale and sight unseen. (This is the part of the process that I called a “joke,” and I stand by that.)

Which one is it? Are candidates secret? Or are names associated with lists?

This thing was more like a referendum than an election. It was a referendum on which major party list associated with which major leader would lead parliament.

“… a referendum on which major party…”

So like any multi-party democracy in the world?

Many of the voters came out to cast their ballots in the belief that it was the only way to regain enough sovereignty to get American troops back out of their country. The new parliament is unlikely to make such a demand immediately, because its members will be afraid of being killed by the Baath military. One fears a certain amount of resentment among the electorate when this reticence becomes clear.

Iraq now faces many key issues that could tear the country apart, from the issues of Kirkuk and Mosul to that of religious law. James Zogby on Wolf Blitzer wisely warned the US public against another “Mission Accomplished” moment. Things may gradually get better, but this flawed “election” isn’t a Mardi Gras for Americans and they’ll regret it if that is the way they treat it.


Update: The American Scene adds its own criticism of Cole (from The Corner). — tdaxp 1 February 2005

The New Iraqi Government?

Iraqis Eager to Vote,” by “Hindorocket,” Power Line, http://powerlineblog.com/archives/009318.php, 25 January 2005.

Power Line passes along results of a poll conducting by an Arabic newspapers on Iraqis’ propensity to vote

72.4 % of all of those polled said they would participate in the elections. [Ed.: If so, Iraqi voting will vastly outstrip participation here in the U.S., where 56% of eligible voters contributed to a record turnout in 2004.]

97% of Iraqis in Kurdistan said they would participate in the elections.

96% of Iraqis in the southern provinces (mainly Shiite areas) said they would participate in the elections.

33% of Iraqis in the central provinces (Sunni Area) said they would participate in the elections.

Assuming a 20%/60%/20% Kurdish-Shia-Sunni split, the figures don’t quite add up (if the poll was balanced, it should read that 83.6% of Iraqis will vote). But it still gives a good outline of the election results. Running these numbers through OpenOffice.org Calc, and assuming that the election breaks down on ethnic lines, the new body will be 68.9% Shia, 21.2% Kurdish, and 7.9% Sunni.

How will the Shia vote split, between the United Iraqi Alliance and other, more secular parties? Arbitrarily saying it goes 50-50, the new government will look something like


What’s quickly obvious is that if the final results are anything like this, three factions will control Iraq: UIA Shia, secular Shia (backers of Allawi’s slate?), and the Kurds. The Sunnis are marginalized — the just result of boycotting the election.

The new Iraqi government will have legitimacy because it is democratically elected. It will have more legitimacy than the Basic Law itself. We have to realize this. If the new government decides to partition Iraq, we should allow it. If the new government decides to forbid terrorist-harboring provinces from vetoing the will of the people, we should allow it.

Nor should we strong-arm the new government to include Sunnis. The new government has to be able to stand-up, and the Shia and Kurdish people will be understandible skeptical of having representatives of a terrorist community in their government.

This is not capricious. Terrorists may swim like fish in a sea, but only because that sea is hospitable to them. Saddam left behind a tribal society, and most Sunni tribes are clearly against us and harbor those who are against the Iraqi people. It is right and just that his has consequences.

A Genius Speaks

The Third Baath Coup?”, by Juan Cole, Informed Consent, http://www.juancole.com/2005/01/third-baath-coup-if-as-i-have-argued.html, 13 January 2004.

Neo-Baathism in Iraq,” by “mark,” Zen Pundit, http://zenpundit.blogspot.com/2005/01/neo-baathism-in-iraq-juan-cole-had.html, 13 January 2004.

Zen Pundit is a genius. The first time I went to his site, I scrolled through and chalked him off as a Tom Barnett knock-off. No more. He read the same article I did and came up with a much, much deeper understanding of the situation. Making it doubly embarrasing is that I agree with his assessment. So why didn’t I think of it?

First, Juan Cole’s analysis (with emphasis for what I thought was important)

If, as I have argued, the Baathists along with some Salafi (Sunni fundamentalist) allies are behind the guerrilla war, what do they want? They want to drive the Americans out of Iraq and make a third Baath coup, putting the Shiite genie back in its bottle and restoring Sunni Arab primacy.

A third Baath coup is no more inherently implausible than the first two. The Baathists probably have access to some 250,000 tons of munitions which are still missing. They know how to use them, and have been the managerial class, and many are Iran-Iraq War and Gulf War veterans with substantial military experience.

And this is my problem with the idea of just having the US suddenly withdraw its military from Iraq. What is to stop the neo-Baath from just killing Grand Ayatollah Sistani, Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, Ibrahim Jaafari, Iyad Allawi (who is rumored not to sleep in the same bed twice), etc., all the members of the provincial councils and the new parliament, and then making a military coup that brings the party and its Sunni patronage networks back to power?

I think this coup would look more like the failed 1963 effort than like 1968, and has the potential to roil the country and the region for decades. The tanks and helicopter gunships and chemical weapons that the Sunni Arab minority regime used to put down the other groups are gone, and it is not clear that car bombs, Kalashnikovs and sniping could substitute for them. They can probably take the Green Zone and the television stations if the US abruptly withdraws, but could they really put down the South effectively again?

And now… the genius

A Neo-Baathist Iraq – which really means an Iraqi version of Sierra Leone or Somalia is not in American interests. Or in the interests of any of Iraq’s neighbors except perhaps Syria who would gain influence in the Sunni heartland.

Cole has correctly identified, in my view, some key truths about the situation in Iraq. That most our enemies there are driven by the idea of Sunni-Baathist resurgence. That they recruit along lines of family-clan-tribe clientage networks. That the brain of the insurgency are the surviving elements of Saddam’s SSO, Mukhabarat, MI, Special Republican Guard and Fedayeen who are following the old Soviet unconventional warfare doctrine of Spetsnaz forces ( hardly unexpected since Baathist Iraq had a Soviet model military establishment grafted on to a ME society with a decades long relationship with the USSR and Russia ). Soviet Spetsnaz doctrine called for “ Deep Operations”:

Soviet Spetsnz unit personnel however, like the Zarqawri Jihadis, were atomized individuals. The neo-Baathist Iraqi insurgents are not, as Cole pointed out with his reference to clientage networks. You catch and identify one individual chances are extremely high that other adult males linked to the captive by family and marriage ties are also involved. This is the insurgencies Achilles heel. This is also why aggressive Counterinsurgency tactics will put a dent in the insurgency, the culprits are naturally more identifiable unlike with Marxist guerilla movements.

The political bullet to bite is that we have to accept that a fairly significant portion of Iraqi Sunnis are really ” the enemy” now in the same sense that the Germans and Japanese were during WWII and act accordingly. Some of this is our fault for mishandling the occupation but mostly its a vicious group of political gangsters determined to shoot their way back to power and dominance over the Kurds and Shiites. Let’s stop sugarcoating things and face reality – the Sunnis by and large want a new dictatorship that will secure their priviliges once again.

Any prospects for broad-based democracyin Iraq will fail- or even maintaining Iraq’s territorial integrity – unless we can isolate the more politically backward Sunni dominated areas from the rest of Iraq and put the insurgency on the defensive.

Sistani and the Kurds need to face that fact as well.

I agree.

Democracy in Action

Iraq’s Odd man out?
The political currents are running against U.S.-backed Prime Minister Ayad Allawi
Kevin Whitelaw
U.S. News and World Report
December 12, 2004 Edition

Even as insurgent violence in Iraq continues to increase, U.S. officials have been reassured by the stalwart presence of Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi. But now, with the January 30 election fast approaching, there is an increasing realization in Washington that the administration’s key ally may not be in his job that much longer. In fact, U.S. News has learned that at a meeting two weeks ago, top Bush cabinet officials including Secretary of State Colin Powell and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld discussed the prospect that Allawi might lose his job following next month’s parliamentary poll.

In recent weeks, most observers have been more focused on whether the elections will even take place–and many politicians continue to fear that insurgents will target electoral workers and polling stations in an effort to disrupt the vote. But President Bush and the interim government continue to insist they will stick to the schedule. This means that time is running out for Allawi, whose efforts to fashion a unity slate of candidates to return him to his post have foundered. Most political observers now say that he is unlikely to be chosen to keep his job because many Iraqis believe he has failed to deliver on promises to improve security or deliver basic services.

Prime Minister Allawi (“No, Allow Me”) seems like a great man. He is unbelievably heroic for leading his nation at this desperate time. But even greater and more heroic is the new free Iraq. The identity of the next leader of Iraq matters much less than how he is chosen. May a free Iraqi people have a leader of their choosing, Inshallah.

Allawi, a secular Shiite, could still prevail, but it is not clear that the U.S. military is fully prepared for his increasingly likely departure. Allawi has given U.S. troops a fair amount of room to operate in Iraq–and backed them even during tough times like the siege of Fallujah. On the other hand, the ouster of the U.S.-backed Allawi could help convince Iraqis that the United States really is trying to build a democracy in Iraq.


Hat tip Democratic Underground.