Tuesday, December 09, 2003

So much for democracy - the US is looking for an Iraqi strongman

The Times of London writes that the US is starting to "think the unthinkable," considering a "search for a 'strong man with a moustache' to stop the present rot." The paper writes that the Americans have adopted the old British strategy of "deal with local leaders and leave them to it," and that the only goal now is to "get out with dignity."

"This strategy is now being rammed down the throat of the Pentagon proconsul in Baghdad, Paul Bremer, by George W. Bush’s new 'realist' Deputy National Security Adviser, Bob Blackwill. He answers to Ms. Condoleezza Rice, not Mr. Donald Rumsfeld, and is the new boss of Iraq. The Pentagon, Mr. Rumsfeld and Mr. Paul Wolfowitz, architects of the old 'idealist' strategy, are in retreat. The Iraqi Governing Council, which Mr. Bremer reluctantly created, will be disbanded. Washington must find someone with whom it can do business, someone who can deliver order in return for power. That search is Mr. Blackwill’s job."

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