Monday, April 26, 2004

Kerry's Man in Iraq

Cuba and Libya on the UN Human Rights Commission, oil-for-food corruption, and now this? Kerry's plan for a large UN role in Iraq may be backfiring big time, and will cost him in Florida. His great hope in Iraq happens to be the former Algerian foreign minister with certain "interesting" political views.
"[Lakhdar Brahimi is] one of the most skilled and capable people with respect to Iraq and the Middle East," Kerry said. "He can talk to all the parties. He would be a perfect example of somebody whom you could ask to really take over what Paul Bremer's doing, de-Americanize the effort and begin to put it under the United Nations' umbrella."

Brahimi told France's Inter radio on Thursday that Israeli policies toward Palestinians and Washington's support for them hindered his search for a caretaker Iraqi regime that would take power on June 30 when the U.S.-led occupation ends.

"The big poison in the region is the Israeli policy of domination and the suffering imposed on the Palestinians."

Brahimi said his job was complicated by Iraqi perceptions of "Israel's completely violent and repressive security policy and determination to occupy more and more Palestinian territory."

What's interesting, of course, is that the Bush administration has been relying heavily on Brahimi, as well. And it was Brahimi who helped forge an interim government in Afghanistan after the U.S. overthrow of the Taliban. Hmmmm.

P.S. A less somber aside, via Reuters:
Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry has a problem with Lakhdar Brahimi, the U.N. envoy to Iraq -- his name.

The Massachusetts senator has the vowels down but can't seem to corral the right consonants.... For two days last week, Kerry referred to the envoy as Brandini, not even taking a stab at Lakhdar.

P.P.S. A more somber one: Human Rights Watch is upset with the UN Commission on Human Rights... because the U.S. is on it!

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