2 Killed, 14 Wounded at Allawi Party HQ
Wire services and Lebanese Broadcasting Channel were reporting early Monday morning that guerrillas had detonated a car bomb near the headquarters of the Iraqi National Accord party. The party was about to announce its candidate list for the forthcoming elections. LBC reported that Allawi was on the premises but not near where the bomb went off, but this seems to me like Allawi spin. If he was on the premises, he was in danger.
The problematic character of these elections, with their artificial national candidate lists such that people cannot vote for someone from their own city; with almost no announcements of the names of actual candidates so far; with so much of the Sunni Arab population not registered to vote (and often unable to go out of their houses for fear of poor security)– is underlined by this bombing. When the prime minister’s party cannot hold a press conference without getting bombed, this is a walking disaster.
What do do? Probably nothing can be done. The US didn’t drive having these elections this way at this time. Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani did, though he wanted them earlier. So this is his call. And he can make so much trouble if he doesn’t get the elections he wants that it is not worthwhile crossing him.
My guess is that his next call, after the elections, will be for a timetable for US withdrawal. That is one reason I haven’t joined Naomi Klein, Pat Buchanan, Christopher Manion and others in saying the US should just get out. I’m watching Sistani. When he says it, it will be time. This is not because I’m abdicating my judgment to him. It is because without his acquiescence, the US presence in Iraq is untenable and really would, globally, do more harm than good.