Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Ahmed Chalabi is dead, let the rejoicing begin

Ahmed Chalabi didn't want a lot out of life.

Just to obliterate the Sunni community.

Just to become prime minister.

And for the US to get rid of Saddam Hussein.

And especially never to visit Jordan where he was wanted for bank fraud.

He did manage to avoid prison and he did get the US to invade Iraq allowing his cowardly fanny to return to the country (after the invasion).

But he never became prime minister.

And, even under continued attack, the Sunni community continues in Iraq.l

Ahmed has thankfully and finally passed away.

And the big news there comes, appropriately, from the New York Times' Sewell Chan who reveals, "The cause was heart failure, Iraqi officials said."

So he did have a heart after all.

A failed one.

A defective one.

But then anyone would know that just by following his actions, right?

Illustration is from The Third Estate Sunday Review's "Go down, Dexy" and did any paper due more to spit polish Ahmed Chalabi than the New York Times?

For those late to the party: No.

No paper tongue bathed Ahmed the way the paper of (mis)record did.

They continue their heavy petty with Chalabi today -- even in corpse form:

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; the neoconservative advisers who helped shape Mr. Bush’s foreign policy; American lawmakers; and a wide network of Iraqi exiles, many of whom were paid for intelligence about Mr. Hussein’s government.

Where's Waldo?

If you're going to note Chalabi's ties, chief among them was his ties to the US intelligence community.

But if the New York Times had to honestly cover the CIA, that might mean removing reporters for conflicts of interest.

AFP notes, "A divisive figure often blamed for providing false intelligence on Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction to justify the US invasion, Chalabi was a close ally of Washington neoconservatives such as Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz and Doug Feith in the lead-up to the 2003."

CNN provides a snapshot of his brief but giddy years of influence:

A Shiite Muslim, Chalabi spent years plotting and lobbying in exile to bring about Saddam's downfall. He founded the Iraqi National Congress, an umbrella organization for Iraqi opposition groups, in 1992.
The year after the invasion, he attended George W. Bush's State of the Union address, sitting with first lady Laura Bush.
But his reputation in Washington began to suffer as the WMD claims unraveled. And in 2004, U.S. intelligence officials accused him of leaking top-secret information about American code-breaking capabilities to Iran -- allegations he denied.

The coward left Iraq in 1956 and didn't return until after Baghdad fell to the US in 2003.

At the Washington Post, Loveday Morris reminds that Chalabi advocated for the de-Ba'athification process (a move that most observers now see as a mistake and something that ensured the persecution of the Sunnis).  She fails to note -- as does every report -- the Justice and Accountability Commission and how destructive that was.  However, she does include this:

“He will use whatever vehicle or platform that presents itself to further his own agenda,” Ryan C. Crocker, U.S. ambassador to Iraq from 2007 to 2009, told The Washington Post as Chalabi campaigned in the 2010 elections.

Exactly.  And that was extremely clear for those who followed the Justice and Accountability Commission.  Dropping back to February 14, 2010:

Ernesto Londono (Washington Post) reports
that Ahmed and his boy-toy Ali al-Lami run the extra-legal Justice and Accountability Commission which has banned various candidates including Saleh al-Mutlaq who states, "It is not possible to raise the white flag. The entire country and its people shall be threatened." Steven Lee Myers (New York Times) adds, "Mr. Mutlaq, a member of Parliament since 2006, held the No. 2 spot on the ballot of Iraqiya, a secular coalition of Sunnis and Shiites that has emerged as a strong rival of the election bloc led by Iraq's prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki. The No. 3 candidate on the Iraqiya list, Dhafir al-Ani, was also barred from running."

Ali al-Lami -- the Eva Braun to his Hitler -- died in 2011 and, no doubt, has been keeping a seat warm for Ahmed in hell.

Ahmed Chalabi is dead and, yes, the world is a little better for it.

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