Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Pouring in

Michael Rubin brings troubling news from Iraq: Iranian money is pouring in, and you can guess where it's going to:
One February evening, a governor from a southern province asked to see me. We met after dark at a friend's house. After pleasantries and tea, he got down to business. "The Iranians are flooding the city and countryside with money," he said. "Last month, they sent a truckload of silk carpets across the border for the tribal sheikhs. Whomever they can't buy, they threaten." The following week, I headed south to investigate. A number of Iraqis said the Iranians had channeled money through the offices of the Dawa Party, an Islamist political party, led by Governing Council member Ibrahim Jafari. On separate occasions in Baghdad and the southern city of Nasiriya, I watched ordinary Iraqis line up for handouts of money and supplies at Dawa offices. The largess seems to be having an effect: Polls indicate that Jafari is Iraq's most popular politician, enjoying a favorable rating by more than 50% of the electorate.
Rubin faults the CPA is being strictly neutral between political parties. I'm not sure if we should be neutral or not. CPA funding of an Iraqi political party might take away that party's legitimacy in the eyes of many Iraqis. The ideal, albeit impractical, solution is covert funding of the parties we like. However, if you think the CPA should be funding liberal Iraqi parties, then don't just complain; take matters into your own hands. In America, we privately fund our political parties. Who is to say we can't privately fund Iraqi political parties? American donors could match the Iranians, and then some. It is only a slight exaggeration to say that all we need is publicity and a PayPal account. I looked around on the web for something like this and haven't found anything yet, but I can't be the first person to have thought of this. Somebody with the right connections needs to make this happen.

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home