Chalabi Surfaces to Take Inappropriate Credit for Iraq’s “Reverse Course”

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Ahmed Chalabi has surfaced after a long period of silence in Iraq. He appeared at a news conference to announce that some of those “purged” from government positions have been allowed back into Iraqi government staff jobs. This is a couple of years too late in my view — but it’s a start.
What is odd is that Chalabi was a top tier advocate of extreme de-Baathification. Her is the clip:

Also on Wednesday, Ahmed Chalabi, the former exile who helped the United States build the case for invading Iraq and who heads a committee on de-Baathification, appeared at a rare outdoor news conference in the Green Zone to announce that more than 700 Baathists have returned to their old government jobs. Smiling grandly behind a bank of television microphones as bombs and gunfire interrupted his speech, Chalabi said the government’s roster of rehired workers will continue to grow.

In Japan, most of the early beneficiaries of an extensive purge against Japanese war-related leaders in business, government, education, and other sectors of Japanese society were Communists and Socialists. After the very early outlines of the coming Cold War became evident, John Foster Dulles and others directed the purge authorizations at these far-left political players in Japan and actually resurrected many of Japan’s top tier conservatives, some of whom had served in senior Japanese government positions.
The difference we are seeing between the Japanese example and Iraq is that this is “too little, too late.” One can’t easily back up and re-brand purged Baathists and re-inject them into a society and political system that has already organized to prevent their return.
But Chalabi — who is a great, perhaps the greatest, villain of the Iraq War — impresses this blogger with his ability to attempt reinvention.
But we are watching and paying attention. Ahmed Chalabi will never have a stress-free trip to Washington, D.C. again for what he has helped to do both America and Iraq.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

20 comments on “Chalabi Surfaces to Take Inappropriate Credit for Iraq’s “Reverse Course”

  1. Kathleen says:

    Chalabi was Dopey and Darth’s winner of choice in the Iraq elections, so they will do nothing to really support the Maliki government, in hopes that it will collapse and they can install the dictator of their choice.
    This administration did not accept the Maliki government’s proposed peace plan, which included an agreement with the Sunnis to lay down their arms if the US Troops wirthdraw within two years. Why not? Because Maliki is not in favor of a completely privately owned oil industry?
    They need Chalabi for the complete piratization of Iraq’s oil industry.

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  2. Den Valdron says:

    Hmmm. You know, I bet if I smoked enough crack, the notion that Chalabi could have run the country with only 150,000 American troops would have made a lot of sense to me too.
    Let’s get real here. Chalabi hadn’t lived in the country since he was eleven, he had no networks of real contacts within the country, he had no significant local support among the population, and he had no backing from the Iraqi Army, Intelligence, Police, Security or Bureaucracy.
    He was a Lebanese banker who’d committed massive bank fraud in Jordan, and whose real gift turned out to be sucking the neocon teat.
    Left to sink or swim on his own during elections, he immediately sank out of sight with less than 1% support. His attempt to wield force with his own American supported militia (the Chalabi brigade) fell flat. What he brought to any aspect of Iraq that he had any influence over was rampant corruption and cronyism.
    In short, baloney.

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  3. Paulie says:

    Somebody wants credit for this mess? Let him take it and let’s get the hell out of the Middle East. However, Iraq is the beginning. As the army attacks Iraq, the US gov’t erodes rights at home by suspending habeas corpus, stealing private lands, banning books like “America Deceived” from Amazon, rigging elections, conducting warrantless wiretaps and starting 2 illegal wars based on lies. Soon, another US false-flag operation will occur (sinking of an Aircraft Carrier) and the US will invade Iran, (on behalf of Israel).
    Final link (before Google Books bends to gov’t demands and censors the title):
    http://www.iuniverse.com/bookstore/book_detail.asp?&isbn=0-595-38523-0

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  4. TonyForesta says:

    While you may admire Chalabi’s shapeshifting abilities, many of us are more than concerned that the Bush government’s flip, flop, flipping with Chalabi proves without a shadow of doubt that something is rotten in the Greenzone.
    First Chalabi connived with the fascist in the Bush government to conjure a festering spew of hype, sexed up, dodgey, unsubstantiated, uncorroborated, single sourced exaggerations, and PATENT LIES to SELL the Iraq war.
    Then this swindling iblis was initially intended to assume the mantle of King of Iraq, backed by the US military, and hundreds of millions of our tax dollars financing his family, and his personal PRIVATE MILITARY COMPANY MILITIA’s.
    Predictably, the Iraqi people resounding rejected this attempted insertion of US puppet as King, and Chalabi slinked back into the shadows of the CPA’s mangling of Iraq’s nationbuilding enterprize.
    Soon after, Chalabi was accused of collaborating with Moktadr Sadr, and sharing secret US military code breaking intelligence with his Iranian Shi’a comrades. His offices were raided, arrests warrants issued, and for a few short days, Chalabi was a Bush government persona non grata.
    There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth, but yet again Chalabi slithered into the cracks of crumbling Iraq, only to emerge some later as (surprize surprize) head of the oil ministry.
    The fascist Bush government flip, flop, flipping positions on Chalabi expose malfeasance, perfidy and singularly narcisstic, and selfish machinations of both Chalabi and the Bush government and prove neither has any concern for Iraq, or America, and that both are in fact singularly focused on thier own wealth and power.
    Deliver us from evil!

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  5. Matthew says:

    Without Chalabi, Iraq never would have adopted the new hydrocarbons law…giving new meaning to the phrase “a free Iraq.” Cecil Rhodes is turning in his grave with envy.

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  6. Carroll says:

    Chalabi is only one manifestation of what our goverment has become.
    Let us remember how he came to be the figure he is….all the cabals of neo’s, Israeli pushers and exile lobbies who brought him in.
    And who insisted on keeping him on the CIA payroll at $300,000 a month even though the CIA itself had no faith in his crap? Who was that? Inquiring minds want to know.
    Chalabi was a tool for some, a con artist for himself and is only the tip of the iceberg.
    Our only protection from people like Chalabi and the assorted cabals is congress doing their job, but too bad for you and me, they don’t work for those of us that sign their paycheck.

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  7. JoMoHo says:

    Just seeing his image makes me want to shower.

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  8. Marcia says:

    HR:
    Done what job?
    The problem is the invasion itself and the policy of premptive wars, not just winning or losing.
    Occupations are occupations; the American military is all over the world and the mask is off. We are no longer seen as boy scouts doing our good deed for the day!

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  9. Jon Stopa says:

    “I disagree that he is a great villain, greasy though he is. The reports that Rumsfeld’s 150K+ troops might have done the job if Chalabi was installed instead of the provisional government ring true to me.”
    What about his “relationship” with Iran. Recall that he was caught disclosing to Iran that the CIA had broken Iranian code? Some thought that he was an intelligence assit of Iran. It would have been very funny, to those who are into irony, if the Neocons had placed an Iranian agent in charge of Iraq.

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  10. Th says:

    I am waiting for Francis Brooke to write a tell-all book. He loves to hear himself talk, Steve; just give him a few beers and put in front of one of your conferences.

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  11. MP says:

    Steve writes: “In Japan, most of the early beneficiaries of an extensive purge against Japanese war-related leaders in business, government, education, and other sectors of Japanese society were Communists and Socialists. After the very early outlines of the coming Cold War became evident, John Foster Dulles and others directed the purge authorizations at these far-left political players in Japan and actually resurrected many of Japan’s top tier conservatives, some of whom had served in senior Japanese government positions.”
    It’s so interesting how the lines between right and left, good and bad, switch places. Always the enemy of my enemy is…

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  12. Linda says:

    It’s no surprise that Chalabi keeps showing up as he got his PhD from University of Chicago in 1969 and studied with Leo Strauss who taught there from 1947-1967 and from Albert Wohlstetter who taught there from 1965 until 1980.
    The following are dates of PhDs from University of Chicago for neocons who studied under Wohlstetter:
    Ahmed Chalabi – 1969
    Paul Wolfowitz – 1972
    Abe Shulsky – 1972
    Gary Schmitt – 1976
    Zalmay Khalilzad – 1979
    This source is University of Chicago alumni news on-line from June 2003. http://magazine.uchicago.edu/0306/alumni/lines.shtml
    Some journalists wrote about this long before during the build-up to Iraq War and also noted that Richard Perle, as a young man in early 1960s in Los Angeles, was mentored by Wohlstetter before Wohlstetter went from RAND to University of Chicago. Perle ended up going to work for Senator Scoop Jackson from WA. Also when Wolfowitz and Khalilzad were in lower positions in DOD in Bush I in 1992 they drafted a policy of hegemony and preemptive war after fall of the Soviet Union. The policy was dropped when that draft was leaked to NY Times.
    It was all out there and public information, but Congress and most media ignored it. So there’s no reason to be shocked or in awe that Chalabi returns (but at least Judith Miller doesn’t write or believe him or his sources any more). As George Santayana wrote
    100 years ago in “The Life of Reason”: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

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  13. Pissed Off American says:

    Chalabi was a known sleazeball even before Bush/Cheney crawled into bed with him. The fact that this Administration knowingly orgied with scum in order to foist this unimaginable disaster on us only underscores the corruption and immorality that drives this administration. That Chalabi would continue to lie and posture is to be totally expected. What is inexplicable is that in this so called democracy the framers of this disaster are still at the reins of power. Why should it suprise us that Chalabi is still oozing slime when we have allowed Bush/Cheney to shit all over the White House carpets for over six years now?

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  14. memekiller says:

    Neocons keep taking muligans. They seem to think making the same mistakes with twice the enthusiasm will eventually vindicate them. Kissinger, Negroponte, Cheney and Rumsfeld have all gotten a chance to do the Vietnam over the way they convinced themselves would have won the Vietnam War, but ended up confirming their past failures, and vindicating the hippies who got us out, and the journalists who saved thousands of lives on a quagmire.
    Neocons who were conned by Chilabi can never admit they were played for fools. They always wanted to hand the country to Chilabi, and they’ll keep trying, pursuing more and more insane gambits, as they are with our troops in Iraq, so they don’t have to admit failure.
    I, for one, dread what a future Republican is going to do to demonstrate they made all the right choices in Iraq, if only they weren’t stabbed in the back…

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  15. ET says:

    Not my post above.
    Ticia

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  16. ET says:

    Where is Buffy when you need her.

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  17. HR says:

    I disagree that he is a great villain, greasy though he is. The reports that Rumsfeld’s 150K+ troops might have done the job if Chalabi was installed instead of the provisional government ring true to me. Chalabi is not a stupid man. He could afford to be a proponent of de-Baathification if he were not in charge of policing the streets. Would he have done so if he had assumed power? I doubt it. I doubt he would have allowed the looting and chaos that occurred after the toppling of Saddam.
    The reports that Rumsfeld said he would need 400K+ troops to support a provisional government, rather than Chalabi, also ring true to me.

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  18. Marcia says:

    One of Chalabi’s victories was his being received and speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations in 2003 if I remember correctly.
    It was shocking that this institution gave him a platform from which to spout ideas from his greasy little mind. I immediately canceled my subscription to their review.
    He is a smaller villian than those who paid him and intended to install him in power in Iraq..our government. When that failed he became Minister of Energy, nothing less!
    For all the dirty deals underway, this level of humanity will always crawl out from under the rocks to be used as the instruments they are.

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  19. joe m says:

    Chalabi is simply a symptom of a larger problem. There will alway be people to exploit stupidity, arrogance and power; I hardly blame Chalabi (though, he is clearly a hardened criminal) for having done what he did. Had there never been an Ahmed Chalabi, there is no doubt someone else would have taken his place. Rather then blame Chalabi the person, I blame the system of American imperialist attitudes, self-righteousness, greed, lack of knowledge about the world, moribund political system, a vicious and tyranical political class… for having killed the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and caused the suffering of millions more.
    In this respect, I accept some part of the blame myself for allowing the USA to become the decaying Rome that it is.

    Reply

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