[Marxism] Eoghan Harris on Chalabi's Iranians Links

DoC donaloc at hotmail.com
Sun May 30 16:52:36 MDT 2004

      One from one of the most conceited men I know... perhaps it might
be interesting - if only to show just where the Stickies are currently

      Trots can't decide whether Chalabi is with or agin' them

      THE GUARDIAN and other left publications should sort out their
line on my friend Ahmad Chalabi. For the past two years they gave him a
bad press because they believed he was Washington's stooge. Now they
give him a bad press because they believe he was Iran's stooge against

      Before telling you why they are all over the place, let's look at
how the Guardian contradicted itself on Chalabi last week. On Monday it
ran a huge headline: 'US intelligence fears Iran duped hawks into Iraq
war'. The gist of the Guardian story was that Chalabi and the Iraqi
National Congress were in secret cahoots with Iran.

      Secret? When I met Chalabi in Washington in March 2001, he openly
spoke to all around him of his admiration for Iran which has helping him
to subvert Saddam Hussein.

      Secret? Chalabi's INC had offices in Teheran which were bankrolled
by the CIA. Secret? Chalabi was an honoured guest of Ayatollah Khomeni.

      The Guardian gave in next day. Alexander Cockburn, an old-style
journo, in the course of a critical profile of Chalabi, told us that
"The CIA may have thought that at least Chalabi was serving two masters
to the same end: opposition to the regime of Saddam Hussein."

      What else would he do? Of course, Chalabi sought help from Iraq's
two main enemies, the USA and Iran. Like Erskine Childers who ran German
guns into Howth and later fought the Germans in the war, Chalabi was
willing to work with anyone who would help him get rid of Saddam

      So why the Trotty hostility? Because Chalabi is still both
pro-American and pro-Iran. Iraq was never a natural nation, more a
series of straight lines drawn by Britain on a map. Chalabi first tried
to make Iraq work, but if it fails, he will fall back on the Realpolitik
of Iran's involvement in a new Shia state.

      The only way 'Iraq' could have survived was if America had
followed the neo-con advice: to spearhead the invasion with a force from
the Iraqi National Congress, and install Ahmad Chalabi as head of an
interim government. It would have worked too. In INC-run areas there was
no looting. The CIA and State Department opposed that plan because they
could never manipulate Chalabi. Instead of a Chalabi-interim government,
we got Paul Bremer and American troops - a security policy but not a
post-war political policy.

      As the neo-con Michael Rubin reflects in National Review: "More
recently, Bremer and Chalabi have come to loggerheads with regard to
United Nations participation in the transition. Foggy Bottom has long
proposed a predominant UN role in Iraq. But Iraqis do not want
internationalisation; they want Iraqification."

      That's clear to me. But then I'm more interested in Iraq for the
Iraqis than scoring petty points against Bush and Blair. As for Chalabi,
any man whose favourite author is Virginia Woolf can't be all bad.

      Eoghan Harris


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