Clearly something is amiss

Clearly something is amiss with this announcement that the IGC has nominated Iyad Allawi to be the new Iraqi Prime Minister after June 30th.

The country could do far worse than Allawi. But the Brahimi plan was supposed to push aside members of the IGC for key posts in the new government. And, more pointedly, not one article I’ve seen has the same set of facts about just what happened.

This late article from Reuters says that the IGC has spoken, and that the US and Brahimi have endorsed the choice.

MSNBC runs an AP story which says that the US is not endorsing the choice, while a spokesman for Brahimi says he “welcomes and respects the choice of Mr. Allawi” but would not say that he endorses it.

The Washington Post, in a story posted about 90 minutes ago, said that Bremer and Brahimi were there during the vote and congratulated Allawi. But in most respects the Post follows the MSNBC/AP line.

A spokesman for the IGC said Brahimi and the US were on board. Brahimi seems to deny that. And a UN spokesman in New York said he couldn’t confirm whether or not Brahimi had endorsed Allawi. In other words, he didn’t seem to know quite what had happened.

Needless to say, with such conflicting accounts, it is hard to say quite what transpired. But the contradictory accounts suggest confusion and uncertainty among the key players over just what happened and precisely how to respond.

In other words, they were caught off-guard by an IGC coup de main, a sort of media-political putsch on the part of the IGC. With the US-Brahimi process stumbling over the UN representative’s inability to find candidates acceptable to all parties, the IGC jumps into the breach, pushing one of their number, hoping to make that nomination stick, knowing that the Brahimi-US plan seems to be foundering and that time is running out.