I continue to think that something very important happened in this selection of Iyad Allawi. Precisely what, though, remains unclear. After all the twists and turns over the last 24 hours it seems to have been something very close to what I suggested early yesterday afternoon
, a coup de main
by the IGC. Or, more specifically, a coup de main
launched by Allawi himself and either helped along, or facilitated or encouraged by the other members of the IGC.
Now, if the IGC were either a representative or popular body -- in other words, if it were perceived as legitimate -- that would probably be a good thing. It would be good to have them take the lead. For any sort of transition to be successful in any way, the people who become the new Iraqi government cannot simply be handed power in their own country. They must take it, assert it, probably even in some degree over and against
us. If nothing else this is just a matter of national dignity, which is a key part of what we're dealing with here.
The problem is that the IGC isn't perceived as a legitimate body at all. Nor do the folks on it -- particuarly the ones most identified with us, like Chalabi and Allawi and others -- have any large followings.
So who is taking over here? And is their assertion a product of our disarray?