Wednesday, December 28, 2005 at 10:53 AM
Even though it may be some time before the winners are announced, the biggest loser in Iraq’s historic December 15 elections will undoubtedly be Ahmed Chalabi (shown here with a look of utter despair, indignation…disbelief!). And, his shocking failure to win a seat for himself in Iraq’s new National Assembly (to say nothing of winning enough seats to head a new government as was widely expected) will be every bit as newsworthy as the capture of Saddam Hussein, and just as salutary for Iraq’s democracy.
Indeed, in this recent article, I lamented the Bush Administration’s jumping on the Chalabi-for-prime minister bandwagon when it seemed he was navigating Iraq’s Byzantine and internecine political maze with unparalleled skill. But just as Saddam Hussein knew when he seized power (and proved a willing American stooge to destabilize the Islamic Republic of Iran), Chalabi knew that his leadership would be far more secure with America’s blessings.
Almost every political pundit thought, however, that Chalabi had burned his bridge back to Washington after CIA agents accused him of deliberately feeding them the bogus “intelligence” about Saddam’s WMDs that induced America into a “preemptive” war against Iraq. (And, flaunting his courtship with the Mullahs in Iran certainly did not endear him to these pissed-off Americans.) Yet, as I proffered, it seems that after Administration officials realised they could not beat Chalabi (with feckless dirty tricks like arresting him based on equally bogus intelligence about embezzling millions), they decided that they’d better join him.
That’s why we were treated to the unseemly spectacle of Chalabi being fêted all over Washington – on the eve of the elections – like a temperamental mistress whose charms could not be denied…at least in America. Because if preliminary results are correct, it seems the Iraqis have no desire to embrace this conniving political cad!
Alas, Chalabi is still (a) born leader waiting for a country to lead…
Note: There can be no more hopeful sign that Iraq’s future will be determined by an informed electorate than the summary rejection of Chalabi as a contender for power.
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