Magazine article The American Conservative

Allawi '08?

Magazine article The American Conservative

Allawi '08?

Article excerpt

The last time we heard from Ayad Allawi, he was Iraq's interim prime minister. A former Ba'athist and all-around tough guy, Newsweek dubbed him "our new s.o.b. in Iraq." But after Nouri al-Maliki's 2005 election, Allawi faded into memory.

Now he's mounting a comeback--not in Baghdad but in Washington. In the past few weeks, he has penned an op-ed for the Washington Post on his "plan for Iraq" and has retained the D.C. lobbying firm Barbour Griffin & Rogers, known for its GOP ties. Allawi probably has his eye on the prime minister seat--whether he plans to be elected by Iraqis or installed by Washington isn't clear. But seeking to win hearts and minds inside the Beltway might be a clue.

George W. Bush has given his support to Maliki as only he can--"he's a good guy"--but many have called for the PM to be replaced. Most recently, Democrats Hillary Clinton and Sen. Carl Levin have piled on. …

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