'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Friday, May 21, 2004

Ahmed's Bad Week 

First, Wolfowitz cuts off Ahmed's $340,000 a month allowance, and today US soldiers raided his house. Hey Chalabi, where's your fancy friends?...

There are those who believe this is all an elaborate ruse to boost Chalabi's popularity in Iraq by painting him as an enemy of the Americans. For instance, Robert Dreyfuss in TomPaine quotes neocon Michael Rubin, a fellow of the American Enterpise Institute, as claiming

Much of the information [Chalabi] collected was to roll up the insurgency and Ba'athist cells. It caught people red-handed. By telegraphing that he is not the favorite son of America, the administration will bolster him, showing he is his own man.

But I don't buy these Chalabi-is-still-in-the-fold theories for several reasons, the most salient being that those who are interested enough in Chalabi to pull off secret schemes on his behalf, no longer have the kind of power it takes to pull off secret schemes. Neoconservatives are too preoccupied with keeping their own jobs these days to be too concerned about keeping Chalabi's. Furthermore if there's a conspiracy afoot, why don't the players have all their ducks in a row? For example, if the goal is to distance Chalabi from the US, why is Richard Perle still talking Ahmed up? Perle called the raid of the Chalabi compound "apalling" and "bizarre" and as recently as Monday was still saying things like

[The INC and] Chalabi in particular are the best hope for Iraq.*

That said, today's raid can only help Chalabi's standing in Iraq, as per the secret scheme theory. An Iraqi commentator, cited in a Salon article, offered the following analysis:

[Chalabi's] dream has always been to be a sectarian Shia leader. He knows that, sooner or later, Muqtada al-Sadr is going to be killed, [and] that will leave tens, hundreds, of thousands of his followers adrift, looking for a new leader. If Ahmed plays the role of victim after [today's raid], he can take on that role

It's a strange situation ... here's Chalabi attempting to sabotage the last hope for any sort of political stability in Iraq, Brahimi's efforts, and Richard Perle is still cheerleading for him. Will Richard Perle ever turn on Chalabi? What would it take? If Ahmed Chalabi named himself God-King of Iraq, instituted a fundamentalist theocracy, nuked Israel, and removed his human mask to reveal his true serpent-eyed demonic reptile face, would Richard Perle still call him our "best hope"?

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?