Hide the Chalabi

|

Actual commanders on the ground in Iraq want some way to bring former officials of Saddam's regime, civilian and military, into the fold. They say the blanket ban on high-level Ba'athists serving in the new government is a grave mistake.

But Rummy's man in Iraq, Ahmed Chalabi, is utterly opposed to bringing competent, non-criminals into the new Iraqi government. Imagine the precedent that would set.

Meanwhile, a member of the Chalabi clan will head up the prosecution of Saddam and other Ba'athist bad guys. Small world, huh?

I'm starting to think the nastiest fighting of the war will soon erupt and it will be between top U.S. ground commanders and the Pentagon's civilian circle-jerk.

NEXT: Giving a New Meaning to 'Tax Holiday'

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. How about that. A post, by Jeff A. Taylor, complaining that Chalabi is opposed to bringing ex-Ba’athists into the new government. “Actual commanders on the ground”, who want “competent non-criminals” in the government are portrayed as being in opposition to Chalabi; whereas “Rummy” and the “Pentagon’s civilian circle-jerk” support the decision to keep Ba’athists out of the government. So I think it’s pretty clear which side of the argument Taylor’s on.

    But hey — wait a minute. What’s this over here? Why, it’s a post by Jeff A. Taylor from a few weeks ago, complaining that some U.S. commanders want to use former regime officials! Why, you “literally could not wait” to see how the White House would “spin” this!

    Of course, now it turns out that the White House “spin” on this is that they’re opposed to doing it at all. So suddenly, what was previously a bad policy the White House would have to “spin” became a *good* policy, opposed only by Rummy and the Circle Jerks.

    Very interesting… in a banal sort of way.

  2. No doubt about it, it is much better at this point to let Kofi hand pick his people instead of us handpicking ours. Maybe having someone who is dark of pigment hand pick gives the UN more credibility for some reason. I don’t get it, but I’ll go with the flow on this one.

  3. Heh. He said ‘hide the Chalabi’ …

  4. Yeah, that’s probably the best header ever.

  5. Who was the architect of the US’s Iraq “nation-building” scheme?
    There’s not enough ivy in the world to hide this architect’s mistake, and ivy doesn’t grow in Iraq.

  6. Nicely played, Dan. Mr. Taylor?

  7. Dan,

    Obviously Jeff “literally couldn’t wait” to hear the White House spin because he couldn’t take a stance until then.

    Don’t confuse his outspoken anxiousness with any sort of commentary, Dan. Seriously. That’s putting words in his mouth.

  8. Who are you, Jeff A. Taylor, who so flippantly and without-class make stupid comments like “pentagon’s civilian circle jerk” and “the Chalabi clan”? What the hell have you ever done, and more importantly what the hell do you know about Iraq, that authorizes you to make such smug obscenities?

  9. “What the hell have you ever done, and more importantly what the hell do you know about Iraq, that authorizes you to make such smug obscenities?”

    One need only have a basic understanding of the Rule of Law to know that THIS is a bad idea:

    “Saddam will be tried by seven judges appointed by Salem Chalabi, the general director of the tribunal, who is the nephew of Ahmad Chalabi, the head of the Iraqi Governing Council (IGC) Iraqi National Congress (INC), said Entefadh Qanbar, a spokesman for the INC.

    Mr Chalabi, a lawyer educated in the United States, has also appointed four prosecutors to direct the case against the former Iraqi leader.”

    Surely you can see how that’s a bad idea?

  10. Chalabi and Saddam, peas from the same pod?

  11. What I still await is some argument, spin, brief, graf from the Rummy-Cheney-Wolfie wing of the gov’t on exactly how and why they are so wonderfully out-of-step with the guys doing the actual fighting of the war. It is like they’ve subcontracted the whole deal to Chalabi.

    The first post was not a complaint about bringing Ba’athists in, merely a comment on the disconnect between the WH and the ground commanders, which only appears to be widening. The disconnect is the interesting thing.

    Very simple really.

  12. What I still await is some argument, spin, brief, graf from the Rummy-Cheney-Wolfie wing of the gov’t on exactly how and why they are so wonderfully out-of-step with the guys doing the actual fighting of the war. It is like they’ve subcontracted the whole deal to Chalabi.

    JAT,

    This disconnect is as old as the concept of a civilian-controlled military. We faced similar problems in 1776, 1812, the Civil War, in World War II, in Vietnam, and probably in other wars with which I am less familiar (WWI, Mexican, etc). The military commanders always think they know the best way to run the government, and the government always thinks it knows the best way to run the military.

    Look at General Patton, post-WW2. The parallel is striking, really. Patton placed former German government officials, including ex-Nazis, in various positions of power, for the simple reason that they were in his opinion the most competent people around. He basically lost his job over that.

    Now, was he right? Or was the civilian government of the United States, whose policies he was contradicting, right? Beats me. What I do know, though, is that, right or wrong, the civilians are, and should be, in charge.

  13. “Surely you can see how that’s a bad idea?”

    That depends; What are your goals?

    It’s a good idea if you’re looking for a media trial which you can completely dominate, followed up by a nice execution.

    Realistically, what did you THINK was going to happen?

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.