21 May 2004

Ahmed Chalabi's failed coup

Why did the Bush administration turn against its former favorite Iraqi? Almost certainly because it realized that Chalabi, maddened by the realization that he was being excluded from the post-June 30 hand-over arrangements, was putting together a sectarian Shiite faction to destabilize and destroy the new Iraqi government. 'This all started since [U.N. envoy Lakhdar] Brahimi announced that Chalabi would be kept out of the new arrangement,' says an Iraqi political observer who is not only long familiar with Chalabi himself but also in close touch with key actors, including U.S. officials at the CPA and Iraqi politicians.'

Ahmed is gathering groups to bring this new government down even before July 1. He is in a very destructive phase, mobilizing forces to make sure the U.N. initiative -- due to be announced in 10 days -- fails.' Chalabi has reportedly been inflaming his recruits with reports that veteran Algerian diplomat Brahimi is part of a Sunni conspiracy bent on undermining the rights of Iraqi Shiites to hold power in Iraq.

Much of this article is speculative, but is not an unreasonable line of speculation. Chalabi is not going to have a seat at the table after the handover of not-sovereignty so he needs to get away with what he can now. There are also reports Chalabi made a lot of money out of the shift from Saddam dinars to new dinars, and that he is too close to Iran.

In fact, if the war party had not been so carefully hearing only what they wanted to hear before the war, this behaviour could easily have been predicted from Chalabi's past. Perhaps the war party could ape their puppet by declaring themselves heroes in error.

On small question. Newphew Salem Chalabi is head of the Iraqi Special Tribunal. This is the court to try Saddam and is exempted from the TAL charter of rights. If the CPA has decided Ahmed is no longer a good Iraqi what does that say about Salem?

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