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