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

Monday, April 25, 2005

Everyone Says Chalabi 

There was an interview with Ahmed in a recent Al-Ahram Weekly that was of interest if for no other reason than getting a feeling for the sort of political identity that Chalabi has constructed for himself in Iraq. Here's an excerpt ... the bit at the end in which Chalabi comes out against the "security service companies" is just priceless ... yes, Ahmed foreign mercenaries who seek profit in a war-ravaged country really are despicable...

Q: How do you view foreign military presence in Iraq?

A: According to UN Security Council Resolution 1546, Iraq is a sovereign state. There are multinational forces in Iraq and I want these forces to be of assistance to the Iraqi government. I want their role be specified and regulated in an agreement. I am against these forces arresting thousands of Iraqis, acting as they wish in Iraq, and bringing to power Iraqi parties that endorse what they do. The current situation is not one of occupation, but the Iraqi government is accepting acts by foreign forces that give the impression of occupation. The occupation is over, but the context in which foreign forces operate has not changed.

Q: When should the foreign forces leave?

A: Before asking this question one has to ask about the rehabilitation of Iraqi security services, both the army and police. The Americans are unfortunately in charge of the rehabilitation. I want a bigger role for the Iraqi government in rebuilding these institutions. The government should be in control of security services, army, and intelligence, from recruitment to training, equipment and deployment. Secondly, total control of public expenditure by the government is a must. Thirdly, control of administration by the government is essential, through the dismissal of the advisers who were appointed by the occupation authorities and who are still acting as they did in the past. Iraq should control its foreign policy. I called on the US Embassy to vacate the Iraqi presidential palace, for the latter is the country's symbol of sovereignty. I called for ending the presence of foreign security service companies that operate in Iraq employing 22,000 people.

Q: Do you use any of them?

A: Not one. All my bodyguards are Iraqis. So that you know, each one of those 22,000 makes $1,000 a day. This is $22 million a day, or $7 billion a year. Why is that necessary? They are not answerable to anyone and move around bearing weapons in a provocative manner.

Also, Justin Raimondo speculates that Chalabi still might end up as Iraqi Prime Minister. Raimondo argues that Iraq's current post-election "stalemate" isn't some accidental occurrence like a traffic jam or a sudden rain shower but is an intentional act of sabotage perpetrated because Americans do not want to see Jafaari become the PM, and further that the legal basis for such an act was purposefully inserted into Iraq's interim constitution for just this purpose:

The capacity to derail the Shi'ite majority slate's victory was built in to the very structure of Iraq's fledgling "democracy." The Kurds and the non-Shi'ite parties are playing the trump card dealt them by the American occupiers. They have been upping their demands, deliberately prolonging the process of choosing key ministers, because the clock is ticking on the efforts of the Shi'ite fundamentalist-dominated United Iraqi Alliance (UIA) – the overwhelming victor in the Iraqi elections – to put together a government. What the moderates and Iraqi secularists, including the followers of neocon sock puppet Ahmed Chalabi, couldn't win at the polls, they may yet steal in a series of murky backroom deals. The outcome of the process set up by American diktat may well end up with Chalabi at the helm, as per the original neocon plan.

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