Thursday, April 22, 2004

There's No Success Like Failure 

I try not to do the IntaPunter thing too often, but you ought to go read this Juan Cole post:
It is deeply shameful that Perle is still pushing Chalabi, and may well succeed in installing him. Chalabi is wanted for embezzling $300 million from a Jordanian bank. He cannot account for millions of US government money given him from 1992 to 1996. He was flown into Iraq by the Pentagon (Perle was on the Defense Advisory Board, a civilian oversight committee for the Pentagon) with a thousand of his militiamen. The US military handed over to Chalabi, a private citizen, the Baath intelligence files that showed who had been taking money from Saddam, giving Chalabi the ability to blackmail large numbers of Iraqi and regional actors. It was Chalabi who insisted that the Iraqi army be disbanded, and Perle almost certainly was an intermediary for that stupid decision. It was Chalabi who insisted on blacklisting virtually all Baath Party members, even if they had been guilty of no crimes, effectively marginalizing all the Sunni Iraqi technocrats who could compete with him for power. It was Chalabi who finagled his way onto the Interim Governing Council even though he has no grassroots support (only 0.2 percent of Iraqis say they trust him).

I feel justified in simply pointing you to this with no analysis or content of my own because Prof. Cole is much smarter than me and knows a lot more. He is, after all, an expert in the Michiganian culture. And I've only driven through the Lower Peninsula once or twice. Though from what I saw, it was very clear that power should be handed over to the People of Michigan as soon as possible. I've secretly flown in Ahmed Chalabi and given him all of Governor Granholm's files for that purpose.

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