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U.S., Britain Try to Ease Shiites' Worries
As pressure mounts on the prime minister to step down, Rice tells Iraq's majority group that it still has the power to pick his replacement.By Borzou Daragahi, Times Staff Writer
...Washington's problems with Jafari date back to last year, when he was named interim prime minister after the country's first legislative elections. Privately, U.S. officials have been expressing frustration with Jafari, saying he is unable to handle the job.
When his government proved unable to provide basic subsidized goods to Iraqis, American officials feared that the public's confidence in the government was being undermined.
They have grown increasingly concerned that the deadlock over the government was due to his lack of political savvy.
But the actual American push for Jafari's replacement appeared to come more recently. An official in Washington said that less than three weeks ago, when U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad passed along word to Washington that the Americans in Baghdad wanted Jafari out, senior U.S. officials overruled him, continuing to say the administration would never intervene to try to influence the Iraqis' choice of prime minister.
But that stance appears to have changed in recent days...Read the whole article and feel much better after knowing more about what's actually going on...