from Sy Hersh's big story in The New Yorker about the Bush cabal's fixing of the Iraq election:
Les Campbell, the regional director of the N.D.I. for the Middle East and North Africa, told me that he immediately realized “how deep the American desire to do something to help Allawi was.” Campbell acknowledged that he and his colleagues had kept up a running dispute with Warrick. At first, it seemed that the N.G.O.s had won, and the forty million dollars was given in grants for the N.G.O.s to help plan and monitor the election. But the pressure from the Administration to provide direct support for specific parties was unrelenting, and Warrick’s idea didn’t go away. As the campaign progressed, Campbell said, “It became clear that Allawi and his coalition had huge resources, although nothing was flowing through normal channels. He had very professional and very sophisticated media help and saturation television coverage.”In case anyone thought the "us vs. the reality-based community" stuff was just a tool used to enroll the God Squad in the Billionaire Boys club, here's your refutation. They aren't just dealing crack folks -- they're smoking it, too.
The focus on Allawi, Campbell said, blinded the White House to some of the realities on the ground. “The Administration was backing the wrong parties in Iraq,” he said. “We told them, ‘The parties you like are going to get creamed.’ They didn’t believe it.”