Breaking News: Jaafari PM Candidate for UIA
Well, the United Iraqi Alliance just announced that Ibrahim Jaafari has won out against Ahmad Chalabi. Jaafari’s victory is not a surprise, since he was backed by the two core parties in the UIA, the Dawa Party and the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq. [I had assumed that an internal vote went forward but apparently it was handled by consensus in the end.]
Nic Robertson at CNN is saying that Jaafari was seen as a more unifying figure. You could interpret that statement in a lot of ways, but it is certainly true that Jaafari has a rhetoric of inclusion that stretches even to the people of Fallujah, whereas Chalabi wanted to punish all the Sunni Arabs who had had anything to do with the Baath Party (a lot of them).
The Dawa Party was founded in 1958 or so, with the aim of establishing an Islamic state in Iraq (and as an alternative to Communism, with its atheist workers’ paradise). That it is now supplying the prime minister of the country under American auspices is among the more startling developments of our time.