When it comes to Iraq, the surge is a great success, right? Well,
according to Ayad Allawi, Iraq's former prime minister, that depends
on what you mean by "success".
In a briefing before members of the House Committee on Foreign
Affairs yesterday, Allawi answered questions from members of he
subcommittee on international organizations, human rights, and
oversight. When asked by Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), the subcommittee's ranking
member, for Allawi's "assessment of of what's come of the surge,"
Allawi all but said, not much.
Reminding Rohrabacher that the original objective of the surge was to
create a safe environment for a process of national reconciliation,
Allawi said, "Now, militarily, the surge has achieved some of its
goals. Politically, I don't think so."
Allawi rattled off a laundry list of perils that still confront the
Iraqi people: internal displacement of large numbers of people,
millions of refugees outside Iraq, security forces he described as
sectarian militias dressed in national uniforms, no enforcement of the
national constitution, which he described as a "divisive" document.
The former prime minister, who is now a member of the Iraqi
parliament, also alleged that the process known as "deBaathification"
is "being used to punish people." Originally designed to purge Saddam
Hussein's loyalists from the military and security forces, Allawi said
the process has become politicized and can be used against virtually
anybody, since Saddam Hussein's "Baath party ruled for 35 years, and
every individual had to join..."