True Believers

True Believers:

The handover was two days early. What sort of man now leads Iraq? A month ago, one would have expected a cautious fellow, suspicious of his American friends, but experienced at playing both sides in the intelligence game. Allawi might have been just that kind of Prime Minister, but for one thing: a bloody assassination spree led out of Fallujah, the very town he had struggled to protect by restraining the United States. Zarqawi created a new understanding in Allawi's mind when the terrorist promised to kill the PM.

Today Allawi gave a short speech. His choice of words lets you know that he has become a true believer, and has openly decided where Iraq's best interests lie:

At a hurriedly arranged ceremony to swear in the new government, Mr Allawi promised to crush the "outlaws" responsible for the violence which has left hundreds dead.

"I warn the forces of terror once again. We will not forget who stood with us and against us in this crisis."

With us or against us. Sometimes, even in the heart of the middle east, such simplistic clarity is possible.

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