Tuesday, May 25, 2004

The real reason Chalabi is on the outs 

Column here.


[Former Marine Middle East Specialist and Counterintelligence Officer Dale R. Davis writes:]

Recent events have been truly amazing. The civilian leadership of the Pentagon, comprised almost entirely of neo-conservatives is desperately clinging to the ropes. Paul Wolfowitz has finally admitted that a series of mistakes and misjudgments, most of which originated in his office, have greatly complicated US efforts to secure a strategic victory in Iraq - a truly astonishing occurrence since the norm for Wolfowitz and the rest of the Pentagon civilian leadership is to admit nothing, deny everything, and then make counter-accusations.

Now, the neo-con darling, Ahmed Chalabi, has had his house surrounded by the US military. What is the nexus of these events? Well, it was Chalabi who provided the intelligence that buoyed the ideological underpinnings of America's failed policies in Iraq. Despite warnings from experts on all sides, the Pentagon neo-cons clung relentlessly to Chalabi, even after he admitted to fabricating intelligence during the run-up to the war. Now with investigations likely to determine that prison abuses in Iraq had their roots in controversial policies originating from the civilian side of the Pentagon, and facing crisis after crisis in Iraq the neo-cons are attempting to cut their losses and are unable to counter maneuvers by an outraged senior military leadership aimed at limiting their meddling in the conduct of the war.

The uniformed military has wisely seized on this moment of neo-con "weakness" to wrest strategic control of the war away from the "suits" at OSD. Implementing their own strategy of pre-emption, Marines and Soldiers are applying practical, realistic solutions in places like Fallujah and soon in Najaf and Kerbala. This raid on Chalabi's house is aimed at further isolating or removing, if possible, the neo-con point man who has loudly opposed the rational decisions taken recently by US military leadership. It's unfortunate this particular pre-emptive attack wasn't launched much earlier. If it had, perhaps the situation in Iraq would still engender hope. Too many young American men and women have been killed or wounded for the sake of the egos of a few dilettantes and ideologues in Washington and their corrupt clients.

[Karen Kwiatkowski, Lt. Col. USAF (ret.) continues:]

If Dale Davis is right, perhaps we may entertain the precious idea that sanity can ultimately prevail in our Middle Eastern policy. Instead of a bungling and wasteful set of forced occupations and collaboration through intimidation, this little house-cleaning operation may have kicked down a foreign policy door long locked by neoconservative groupthink and prejudices.

Ahmad Chalabi has come full circle, and will be likely to leave Iraq again as he did as many years ago. Few Iraqis have ever found him to be credible, reliable or trustworthy. On this the United States military and the people of Iraq agree. It is a good sign.

[Daddy-O writes:] I'm not sure it's a good enough sign. Kwiatkowski betrays her "military solution" roots here. Even if we get rid of Bush, the Iraqis will never trust our military to do a damn thing, ever again. And no one can blame them after Abu Ghraib.

No one.


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