Lacking Washington Street Smarts
Adil Abdul-Mahdi, one of Iraq's two Deputy Presidents, is in Washington in an attempt to shore-up Bush administration support for his candidacy as Prime Minister beyond the December 15 elections. He is uncomfortably sharing the Ritz-Carlton (M Street) Hotel lobby with Ahmad Chalabi's (one of three Deputy Prime Ministers) delegation, who is also hoping to be anointed Prime Minister. Never mind that it is election season and one would assume that these gentlemen should be in Baghdad, campaigning.
But maybe it wasn’t very smart for Abdul-Mahdi to be seen in public with vociferous critics of the Bush administration: Brent Scowcroft (breakfast at the Ritz Carlton on Wednesday), and Paul Bremer (late lunch, same location, on Thursday)…
Moreover, Scowcroft (‘no aid to 1991 uprising’) and Bremer (‘I am emperor’) are not very popular in Iraq.
Bonus for Arabic readers: tongue-in-cheek commentary overheard from the Chalabi crowd about the Abdul-Mahdi/Chalabi competition for Washington’s attention:
إذا جاء الماء بطل التيمم
This one is too hard to translate…