After a bombing attack on his party headquarters yesterday,
Bush’s stooge Iraqi Interim PM Ayad Allawi made a panicky call to the White House.
Hours after a wave of bombing attacks that left at least 20 people dead on Monday, Prime Minister Ayad Allawi telephoned President Bush and discussed the many impediments still facing the country as it heads toward elections in 27 days, according to senior American officials familiar with the contents of the call.
The officials insisted that Dr. Allawi, Iraq’s interim leader, did not tell Mr. Bush that the elections should be delayed, though his defense minister said in Cairo on Monday that the voting could be postponed to ensure greater participation by Sunnis. “There was no substantive conversation about delay,” a senior administration official said. Dr. Allawi, the official said, “wasn’t even a bit wobbly” on that point.
But some officials in Washington and in Iraq interpreted the telephone call as a sign that Dr. Allawi, who is clearly concerned his own party could be headed to defeat if the election is held on schedule, may be preparing the ground to make the case for delay to Mr. Bush.
While White House officials were hesitant to give many details of the discussion between Dr. Allawi and Mr. Bush, they said the Iraqi leader brought up questions of security and the ferocity of the insurgency. “It was a discussion about the impediments,” said an official who reviewed a transcript of the call. “But no one suggested the impediments could not be overcome.”
Yet Dr. Allawi’s cabinet is already showing signs of weakening on the question of holding the elections this month. The defense minister, Hazem Shaalan, suggested during his Cairo visit that a postponement would encourage Sunnis to participate; American and Iraqi officials have been concerned that if the Sunnis are blocked from voting or boycott the election, the outcome will not be considered legitimate.