Oh boy! Was the US so confident of Allawi's victory that they didn't think what would happen if the Shi'i religious party won the elections? It's not so much that they won, I think everyone but this administration saw them winning a plurality if not a majority, but it dawned on me today that they won the elections during Muharram. The first ten-days were when the Prophet's grandson Husayn was tortured and killed. It's one of the formative moments of Shi'ah identity and remains incredibly important for the Ithna'ashari, the type of Shi'ah in Iraq. The symbology of Imam Husayn was used heavily in the Iranian Revolution, and the US as the aggressor against the Prophet's family. I can just imagine the what going on in Iraq in terms of Shi'ah vindication and the use of Imam Husayn. If anyone has anymore information, please let me know.
For information on the use of symbols in Iran, check out these two books: