Old-school week on Iraq

Bush links Iraq to WWII, Ari Fleischer comes out of hiding and Republicans are pushing Allawi again.

Published August 23, 2007 3:45PM (EDT)

When it comes to the war in Iraq, everything old is new again. A day after George W. Bush tried to equate the Iraq war to World War II -- he did that in August 2005, too, but then came Hurricane Katrina and nobody paid attention -- and former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer emerged from wherever he has been to sell the war all over again, there's word that a group of influential Republicans are fixing to replace Nouri al-Maliki with former interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi.

It's not exactly a grass-roots effort.

As IraqSlogger reports, the Republican lobbying firm Barbour Griffith and Rogers has been retained to lobby in the United States on behalf of Allawi's return to power. So far, BGR has registered a Web site for Allawi -- www.allawi-for-iraq.com -- and forwarded to members of Congress an Aug. 18 Washington Post Op-Ed in which Allawi argued that it was "past time for change at the top of the Iraqi government."

We don't know which members of the BGR team are working on behalf of Allawi's return to power, but there are plenty of former Bush administration officials there to lend a hand. Among them: Philip Zelikow, who stepped down recently as counselor to Condoleezza Rice, and Robert Blackwill, who served as Bush's envoy to Iraq and on what once was known as the Iraq Stabilization Group.

We'll be looking forward to news that the Allawi story has come full circle -- that is, that White House aides have begun once again writing speeches for the once and future leader.

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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