Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Burn In Hell, Chalabi

So Chalabi is dead.  15 years too late, but there you go:
Ahmad Chalabi, Iraqi Politician Who Pushed for U.S. Invasion, Dies at 71

Ahmad Chalabi, the Iraqi politician who from exile helped persuade the United States to invade Iraq in 2003, and then unsuccessfully tried to attain power as his country was nearly torn apart by sectarian violence, died at his home in Baghdad on Tuesday. He was 71.

The cause was heart failure, Iraqi officials said.

Mr. Chalabi is the Iraqi perhaps most associated with President George W. Bush’s decision to invade Iraq and topple its longtime dictator, Saddam Hussein.

A mathematician with a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, Mr. Chalabi, the son of a prominent Shiite family, cultivated close ties with journalists in Washington and London; American lawmakers; the neoconservative advisers who helped shape Mr. Bush’s foreign policy; and a wide network of Iraqi exiles, many of whom were paid for intelligence about Mr. Hussein’s government.
Chalabi found his fortune and his future at the very heart of American Neoconservatism.  Which, like every other offshoot of the noxious weed of American Conservatism, can only survive on a steady diet of paranoia, rage and flattering, wildly-wrong disinformation about what is really happening in the real world.  Chalabi flourished among those men of soft hands and deranged opinions, who were (and are) kept well-fed by the Right's wingnut welfare system and whose asses have been battle-hardened by a thousand meaningless skirmishes in the Green Rooms of our elite media and the hermetically-sealed ideological dumpsters the Right laughingly refers to as "think tanks".

Once the Conservative Supreme Court delivered the White House into the hands of the worst people in America, and once those people chose to pervert the loss-leader war they got into the profitable war they wanted, liars and parasites like Chalabi could write their own ticket.

Back in 2004, when Iraq was spiraling down the shitter and every Bush War apologist was yawping about unAmerican Libruls and spinning like the Crab Pulsar, bloggers like the late Steve Gilliard were methodically going about the thankless business of documenting the daily lies and atrocities of the Bush Administration which the prostrate Beltway media refused to discuss.

The antics of Ahmed Chalabi featured prominently.

Here's a sample from the gone-but-not-forgotten News Blog, with most of the typos still intact ...
Sunday, May 30, 2004 

A simple lie
Pipeline to Haifa? Come on, you didn't really believe that.Sucker.
Ahmad Chalabi pushed a tainted case for war. Can he survive the occupation 
Paul Wolfowitz, who was one of the earliest and most outspoken proponents of an invasion of Iraq, and who has been friends with Chalabi for years, spoke of him with studied detachment at a recent congressional hearing. He praised the I.N.C.’s effectiveness in providing battlefield intelligence since the war began, but he said, “I think there’s quite a bit of street legend out there that somehow he is the favorite of the Defense Department, and we had some idea of installing him as the leader of Iraq.”

But a prominent State Department official told me that he saw numerous documents that had been prepared by the Pentagon’s Office of Special Plans, which devoted considerable effort to planning the war. The office was overseen by Douglas Feith. “Every list of Iraqis they wanted to work with for positions in the government of postwar Iraq included Chalabi and all of the members of his organization,” the State Department official said
This is the kind of revisionist history which would make David Irving proud. Who is he kidding. He pimped Chalabi harder than West Coast Autos remake the hoopties Xzibit drives in the shop on Pimp My Ride. He and the neocons wanted President Chalabi, because they believed their own bullshit. 
Peter Galbraith, a former Ambassador to Croatia and a human-rights activist, who has long supported Chalabi’s efforts to depose Saddam, suggested that if the Administration was unhappy with the outcome in Iraq it had only itself to blame. “Chalabi is one of the smartest people I know,” he told me. As Galbraith put it, Chalabi “figured out in the eighties that the road to Baghdad ran through Washington. He cultivated whom he needed to know. If he didn’t get what he wanted from State, he went to Capitol Hill. It’s a sign of being effective. It’s not his fault that his strategy succeeded. It’s not his fault that the Bush Administration believed everything he said. Should they have? Of course not. They should have looked critically. He’s not a liar; he believed the information he was purveying, and part of it was valuable. But his goal was to get the U.S. to invade Iraq.”

Isn't this the same man who wants to divide Iraq and screw the Sunnis? Ah, many things are now clear. Chalabi isn't only a liar, he's a thief and killer of American troops, who he clearly could not give a damn about as long as he wins. This is not effective, it is the butchery of American troops, Clearly, Galbraith considers American soldiers lesser human beings than his friends the Kurds and Chalabi. The consequences of his lies fill hospitals and cemeteries. 
Wolfowitz was particularly taken with Chalabi, an American friend of Chalabi’s said. “Chalabi really charmed him. He told me they are both intellectuals. Paul is a bit of a dreamer.” To Wolfowitz, Chalabi must have seemed an ideal opposition figure. “He just thought, This is cool—he says all the right stuff about democracy and human rights. I wonder if we can’t roll Saddam, just the way we did the Soviets,” the friend said.
We what the Soviets? Uh, no. They collpsed from their own rot and we didn't have to occupy Moscow to do it. Sucker Wolfowitz forgot one thing, people say a lot of shit, it's what they do which matters. 

When the Bush Administration took office, in 2001, neoconservatives such as Wolfowitz and Perle were restored to power. Brooke told me that in February of that year Wolfowitz called him late one night and promised that this time Saddam would be deposed. Brooke said that Wolfowitz told him he was so committed to this goal that he would resign if he couldn’t accomplish it. (Wolfowitz called this account “nonsense.”)
Why? It sounds like something he would say. It also makes him sound like a spendthirft with American lives. I wonder if anyone will ask him how does it feel to have helped kill 800 Americans to establish the Islamic Republic of Iraq, a number he couldn't even remember last time they asked him on the Hill 
In an unusual arrangement, two months before the invasion began, the chief correspondent for the Times, Patrick E. Tyler, who was in charge of overseeing the paper’s war coverage, hired Chalabi’s niece, Sarah Khalil, to be the paper’s office manager in Kuwait. Chalabi had long been a source for Tyler. Chalabi’s daughter Tamara, who was in Kuwait at the time, told me that Khalil helped her father’s efforts while she was working for the Times.

In early April, 2003, Chalabi was stranded in the desert shortly after U.S. forces airlifted him and several hundred followers into southern Iraq, leaving them without adequate water, food, or transportation. Once again, the assistance of the U.S. military had backfired. Chalabi used a satellite phone to call Khalil for help. According to Tamara, Khalil commandeered money from I.N.C. funds and rounded up a convoy of S.U.V.s, which she herself led across the border into Iraq.

Tyler told me that he hadn’t known that Khalil had helped Chalabi get into southern Iraq. He added that Khalil had a background in journalism, and that Chalabi hadn’t been a factor in the war when he hired her. “We were covering a war, not Chalabi,” he said. The Times dismissed Khalil on May 20, 2003, when word of her employment reached editors in New York. During the five months that Khalil was employed, Tyler published nine pieces that mentioned Chalabi. When asked about Khalil’s rescue of Chalabi, William Schmidt, an associate managing editor of the Times, said, “The Times is not aware of any such story, or whether it happened. If so, it was out of bounds.”
Is he fucking kidding? First, hiring Chalabi's niece was so wrong it wasn't funny. First question is: was he shagging her? Second question is: was this a payoff to Chalabi? Why would you hire a source's relative, who then took days off to rescue her uncle. Tyler's claim of ignorance is a joke. The only question is his relationship with this woman and why he would hire her to be office manager for the TimesBeirut Kuwait bureau, a relationship so out of bounds, New York ordered her fired. The fact that the Times didn't know of her activities, and her days off, is either fishy or stupid. You really have to ask if Tyler hired his girlfriend and then covered for he with his bosses. After all, she was apparently close to Uncle Ahmad, the American killer, and her job as office manager allowed him to possibly know exactly what the Times planned to cover and what Chalabi needed to feed them to promote his quest to be the next king of Iraq. 
For many years, Chalabi has been openly collegial with reformist leaders in Iran, such as President Mohammad Khatami, with whom he met last November, in Tehran. He has also admitted to meeting with the head of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security. Immediately before the invasion of Iraq, Chalabi was living in a gated villa in Tehran that he had persuaded the U.S. to purchase as a satellite branch of the I.N.C.
What the fuck? We did what? Bought him a motherfucking villa in Tehran? You have to be kidding. This is the kind of thing must have Iranian intelligence laughing their asses off. We buy Chalabi a villa in Iran. My God, that is just dumbfounding. It leaves me speechless, no stunned. No, speechless, dumbfounded and stunned. How could DOD be so fucking stupid. They buy this clown his reltirement villa. I'm sure his Iranian paymasters are amused. And there are neocons who still defend him? Jesus. Do these people need a bridge in Brooklyn? There's one for sale, cheap, only $340K a month for the maitenence. 

Mayer's article is required reading to understand Chalabi and the US. It hits all the high points and provides new insights. The New Yorker has done what the Times has not, examine the US occupation in Iraq and how it happened. They will be loaded with National Magazine Awards for their reporting (the Pulitzer is only for daily newspapers, drama and history).


trgahan said...

"...Mr. Chalabi, the son of a prominent Shiite family, cultivated close ties with journalists in Washington and London; American lawmakers; the neoconservative advisers who helped shape Mr. Bush’s foreign policy..."

This is well trended ground, but funny how conservatives actually do what Glenn Beck and his Black Board claim liberals have been doing since Woodrow Wilson.

But I can't think of a liberal that successfully got us to start a War for Empire that destabilized an entire region enough to set up a new "Great Game" between Russia and the West for control of central Asia and is now laying the ground work for WW3.

Guess we liberals are too busy giving brown people stuff "earned" by rich white guys.

Ivory Bill Woodpecker said...

I can't bring myself to wish the traditional version of Hell on anyone.

OTOH, a part of my soul would be pleased if on Judgement Day, when the neocons and their minions came before the Nazarene, He decided to take a break from judging:

"Mr. Serling, would you please fill in?"

But control that part I must. To the Dark Side it leads.

Neo Tuxedo said...

No, give in to it. It doesn't go far enough, actually. It gives me a wonderful, awful idea. What if the Nazz, when he heads off to chill with Sid, leaves the judgment of the war pigs in the hands of His sister, who looks down at them and speaks the dreaded words:

"I have no interest in ordinary humans..."

(Before he kicked the writing habit to devote his full attention to Triffid ranching, Paul Riddell used to describe a certain grin of his, alternately, as "like Anton La Vey receiving an invitation to the Pope's wedding" or as making his friends ask "Where's Sigourney Weaver with a Power Loader when you need her?" That's the kind of grin that's on my face now.)

Ivory Bill Woodpecker said...

I assume NeoTux means this sister.

Ivory Bill Woodpecker said...

This one is quite formidable as well; perhaps she's an adopted imouto-chan?

"What's that, Mr. Galactus? You've lost your appetite? (a beat) "I thought you might."

Redhand said...

Wolfowitz was particularly taken with Chalabi, an American friend of Chalabi’s said. “Chalabi really charmed him. He told me they are both intellectuals. Paul is a bit of a dreamer.” To Wolfowitz, Chalabi must have seemed an ideal opposition figure. “He just thought, This is cool—he says all the right stuff about democracy and human rights. I wonder if we can’t roll Saddam, just the way we did the Soviets,” the friend said.

You have to love this, especially the we're "both intellectuals" and "Paul is a bit of a dreamer" parts. Sure, Chalabi was a whore and grifter doing the long con on Wolfowitz, and he belongs in hell, say the Eighth Circle for fraudsters. But Wolfowitz is Ninth Circle material, for his treachery to the American people getting us into this war, and, ah, all the blood on his hands, American and Iraqi alike.