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‘Stay Out of Iraqi Politics!’ White House Warns Arab Neighbors

At least three countries have been warned to stay away

“Stay out of Iraqi politics!” is what The Bush Administration is warning at least three neighboring countries that are reportedly funding Islamist parties in the upcoming elections to determine the shape of post-Saddam Iraq.

During a lecture at the Heritage Foundation in Washington on June 23rd, Samir Shakir Mahmood Sumaida’ie–minister of the Interior under the former Iraqi Governing Council–surprised listeners when he mentioned that “Iran has injected money to the Islamist parties” and that both Syria and Saudi Arabia had also provided “some funding” for the Islamist parties. (In appealing for support to provide “a level playing field,” Sumaida’ie, a founder of the new Democratic Alliance, did not specify which parties are benefitting from the foreign assistance or whether any are aligned with the Ayatollah Al-Sistani).

The White House, however, did not require confirmation of Sumaida’ie’s charges. Although he did not confirm whether the Administration was aware of any funding of Islamist parties in Iraq from its neighbors, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan subsequently told me “We don’t want to see them getting involved in ways that would not be helpful to the developing process in Iraq.” He added that Administration officials had “expressed this” to the neighboring countries in question.

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John Gizzi has come to be known as â??the man who knows everyone in Washingtonâ?ť and, indeed, many of those who hold elected positions and in party leadership roles throughout the United States. With his daily access to the White House as a correspondent, Mr. Gizzi offers readers the inside scoop on whatâ??s going on in the nationâ??s capital. He is the author of a number of popular Human Events features, such as â??Gizzi on Politicsâ?ť and spotlights of key political races around the country. Gizzi also is the host of â??Gizziâ??s America,â?ť video interviews that appear on HumanEvents.com. Gizzi got his start at Human Events in 1979 after graduating from Fairfield University in Connecticut and then working for the Travis County (Tex.) Tax Assessor. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, America's Voice,The Jim Bohannon Show, Fox 5, WUSA 9, America's Radio News Network and is also a frequent contributor to the BBC -- and has appeared on France24 TV and German Radio. He is a past president of the Georgetown Kiwanis Club, past member of the St. Matthew's Cathedral's Parish Council, and secretary of the West End Friends of the Library. He is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002. John Gizzi is also a credentialed correspondent at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He has questioned two IMF managing directors, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Christine LaGarde, and has become friends with international correspondents worldwide. Johnâ??s email is JGizzi@EaglePub.Com

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