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November 07, 2005


What remains unsaid here is what we'd offer Iran in exchange? "Negotiations" on nukes which let it continue enriching uranium? A pull-out of American troops?

Either of these would be tantamount to declaring we lost the war (against Iran), at least to those who were paying attention at all. But perhaps that's what they're trying.

The American public measures "war" almost exclusively by American troops, so the Bushies might indeed hope that no one pays attention, or not many do. But this whole turn of events is one more indicator of the truly astonishing degree to which Iran is the chief beneficiary of our whole misadventure in Iraq.

Does anyone know if there is a distinctly Iranian type of stringed musical instrument? Because if there is, the Iranians have played us like one.

Then again, these are the people who invented chess.

-- Rick

Interesting analysis but I think you need to consider one more variable: that Chalabi was never actually an Iranian agent and that the US sidelined him because he was working with Muqtada Sadr and preparing to call for a US withdrawal. As evidence for this interpretation, I submit this WSJ piece, which reveals that the investigation into Chalabi's doings with Iran is stalled, majorly. Shoot me an email at praktike at gmail if you want the full text.

Anyway, I don't think Chalabi is a viable candidate for PM and I think he'll be lucky if he gets a seat in the new parliament. It's going to be someone from SCIRI, probably a proxy for Abdul Aziz since he isn't charismatic enough and has that whole cleric thing working against him.

Chalabi and Cheney stand in curious parallel.

Both maneuvered themselves into gate-keeping positions: Cheney as head of W's VP search team, Chalabi as one who could disrupt -- and effectively veto -- Iraq's formation of national government and ratification of a constitution. Both trafficked in egregious lies on the road to war and back. Both struck corrupt bargains with the original Saddam Hussein regime, and facilitated corrupt exploitation of Iraq's postwar reconstruction.


Thanks for raising the obvious problem that, no matter how much Iran and the US want Chalabi to be PM (IF the Iranians do, which I'm not so sure about), it'd be pretty tough to get him elected. Easier, maybe, than getting Allawi elected, who had all of Chalabi's negatives (thug, aligned with US intelligence) plus a Baathist history. But still, Chalabi doesn't have a base in Iraq to speak of.

Then again, the US has had two chances to perfect their manipulation of the voting process...

Ron K

You forgot their corrupt business practices. Embezzlement on one hand, bribery on the other.

What of the rumors that Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani is going to call for US withdrawal? If true, that would also help explain Chalabi's cozying up to Iran and proffering himself to the US as the "secular Shiite" alternative.

I think Chalabi ultimately is loyal only to Chalabi and his ambitions. He is really a master manipulator. But some of the Iranians can give him a run for his money. It does seem that Ahmadinejad is either a bit of a loose cannon or is playing (or cast) as the "bad cop."

Whatever, I devoutly hope that someone can check Cheney and Rummy. Those old men with their delusions of grandeur and fantasies of world domination have become truly frightening and dangerous to the future health of this Republic. Condi wasn't strong enough to counter them when she was national security advisor, so why should she be now, except that maybe she has some more room to maneuver with other countries. And it is hard to believe that she has somehow overcome her ignorance of the Middle East, as described by Scowcroft in his New Yorker article. But we can hope that is the case, or perhaps that Bush realizes that Dick and Don have really led him down the garden path, and is amendable listening to her now.

Interesting post at HuffPost by Hooman Majd, if you haven't read it.

Oddly, nowhere can one read of Chalabi’s tough line with Iranians except in the Times; rather, one reads of “increased economic cooperation”, and sees pictures of smiles and handshakes. And interestingly, Iraqi Airways inaugurated a flight from Baghdad to Tehran the same weekend of Chalabi’s visit, with regular service to commence next week. If the Iraqis are hopping mad at the Iranians for interfering in their internal affairs, starting air service between their two capitals after some twenty five years is hardly the way to show it.


The fact that [Chalabi] traveled to Iran in the same week that Kofi Annan cancelled his trip there (because of President Ahmadinejad’s outburst on the question of Israel’s existence) only emphasizes the point. But Chalabi, like the child of feuding divorced parents (U.S. and Iran), knows well how to play them against each other. And the New York Times, even without his darling Judith Miller, remains the paper of choice to disseminate his propaganda.

And, RonK, I very much like your comparison of Cheney and Chalabi. As a still and forever angry Wyomingite about his lying to claim residency, I would add to your list that they both use their "homelands" for their own nefarious ends.

And, TNH folks, for whatever reason, I seem to still be having lots of posting problems here. Shrug....


Typepad is being about as pleasant as Cheney or Chalabi of late.

I didn't include the passenger air in the post, but yeah, lots of non-American news sources are reporting it. More infrastructure, accomplishing in fact what the BUshies are trying to prevent in theory.

Or maybe not. Maybe they well know that Chalabi was smooching the Iranians. They just figure they're rather have him smooching and leading Iraq than Jaafari (which brings to mind the "be careful of what you wish for" proverb).

In any case, I love how every article claims Amadenijab is being sidelined. But all those articles note that he was in these meetings with Chalabi. That doesn't make him look very sidelined. Maybe they've shut him up, like the Dems did to Dean. But he's still there.

This all just conjecture but I can't forget that Chalabi got all of Sadam's secret files as soon as Baghdad fell. I feel he uses that information to play one against the other nation or opponent. His headquarter's were invaded by US but needless to say they were being kept elsewhere, probably outside the country. The US codes he gave out were probably a one time offer with US complicity to gain Iranian confidence on his behalf. All of this becomes plausible when considers the amateurish nature of Condi and the neo-cons and the outright chutzbah of Chalabi.

This all just conjecture but I can't forget that Chalabi got all of Sadam's secret files as soon as Baghdad fell. I feel he uses that information to play one against the other nation or opponent.

An important little piece of information that we never should forget.

Not central, but this sentence continues to bug the sh*t out of me: ...in what appeared to be an effort to distance himself...

"Appeared" to whom, may I ask? Not any sane person. It's the most utterly unlikely conclusion to draw. "In an effort to distance myself from my mother-in-law, I got in my car and drove to her house for the weekend." It's just loony, yet they offer it as their own little helpful editorial sidelight. Which it couldn't possibly be unless they're all on drugs or suffering a spontaneous and alarming drop in IQ. Ends up looking like the fingerprint of some pressure being brought to bear to handle Chalabi with kid gloves.

Judy's current exile status doesn't seem to have prevented the neocon influence from continuing to rustle about under the Grey Lady's skirts.

my theory: Chalabi is bringing from Iran to the US a message: only we (the Iranians) can extricate you (the US) from the Iraq disaster. Leave us alone in our regional (and nuclear) ambitions and we'll pull your chestnuts out of the fire (after all, name one country in the world that might still be willing to assume the task of fighting the Sunni/baathist insurgency to the death--payback is sweet...)

Up until very recently no one in the US administration was willing to pay any attention to this message, which is of course anathema to the neocons. But now, with the military firmly convinced that Iraq is a lost cause and with Cheney and the neocons weakened, some key people in the US administration may now be willing, at least, to talk and to listen. Yes, things ARE that bad in Iraq.

Rick asked if anyone knows a distinctly Iranian type of stringed musical instrument, I am Iranian, we call it "Money", though it is not distinctly Iranian and you might have heard of it in other parts of the world too. I won't be surprized if you find this type of instrument even in the drawers of oval office as well. you westerners just have to spend more time knowing those snakes in Tehran. They easily fool ALL the world. No wonder they always win, they remain in the office for their whole life and learn ways to get more rooted, you poor democratic nations have to elect unexperienced people every 4 years!

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