Is a carpetbagger from LA whose last job was running a scam.
From the Guardian bio run when he was Industries Minister:

He admits he was not expecting to become minister. For the past two decades he had lived in Los Angeles, running an investment and trading company and an internet firm that eventually collapsed (“It failed miserably and we lost a lot of money. We sold it for pennies,” he said.)

I guess that’s a skill BushCo wanted in the Iraqi in charge of handing out the spoils.  (To be fair, Hassani hasn’t given away as much as would be liked by Bush, but that would be self preservation, no?)
So things get jammed up until a U.S. puppet is appointed.  What are the odds we’ll see P.M. Allawi?
Link to Yahoo on appointment as Speaker of parliament:

Link to UCONN alum magazine article interview with Dr. Hassani:

A little local reaction:

The choice of al-Hassani, however, was not well received in all quarters.

Osama Abdulfatah, a 30-year-old architect and a Sunni, said the new speaker’s support last year of the U.S. assault on the militant stronghold of Fallujah showed he “does not have beliefs, and will never do anything against his benefit.”

Al-Hassani refused to quit as industry minister even though his Iraqi Islamic Party pulled out of the interim government over the issue.

“How could we just trust such a traitor?” Abdulfatah asked.

Former nuclear scientist Hussain al-Shahristani, a Shiite, and Kurdish official Aref Taifour were chosen deputy speakers.



In a ballot, the members of the 275-seat National Assembly voted overwhelmingly to elect Hajem al-Hassani, the industry minister, as speaker. Hassani, a religious Sunni, is an ally of interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi.



Al-Hassani, a U.S.-educated engineer active in exile politics in London during Saddam’s reign, is known as a conciliator. He remained involved in the process when his party, the Islamic Party, boycotted the election. He was a mediator with insurgents in Fallujah and was put in charge of the city’s reconstruction after the U.S. offensive leveled much of the city last fall… Although several Sunni politicians said they were appeased by the choice, some Iraqis expressed doubt that it would make much difference to their lives or give a real voice to people, mostly Sunnis, who stayed home from the polls in protest of the U.S. presence here or in fear of insurgent attacks.

“I don’t care,” said Firas al-Khafaji, 30, a Baghdad computer center clerk. “We’re bored of politics and the assembly itself because they don’t care for the people.”


OT, But Riverbend has a new post

Looks like we have a producer for the Iraqi version of Stupid F@@@@ing Americans.

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