"Weapons of Mass Deception"


The Fall of Chalabi and the Conservative Brain Trust

May 21, 2004

The raids on the residence and offices of former exile Ahmad Chalabi yesterday mark the end of the misguided and destructive relationship between the Iraqi exile and the Bush administration. Sucked in by Chalabi's deceptions about weapons of mass destruction and the willingness of Iraqis to accept American forces, the Bush administration must now contend with a bitter and powerful antagonist capable of undermining U.S. efforts after the move to Iraqi self-government.

The Bush administration built its case for war on Chalabi's lies and manipulations.
Based on Chalabi's bogus intelligence, the White House planned for massive stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction; a war which would pay for itself; small numbers of U.S. troops needed to stabilize the country after the war; and a population ready to welcome American troops for liberation. None of this worked out as promised by Chalabi and now American soldiers and taxpayers must bear the consequences of his lies.

Conservatives created the Chalabi problem that now potentially threatens our troops.
Despite Chalabi's absence from Iraq for 45 years, conservatives pushed in the late 1990s for passage of the Iraq Liberation Act that funded his Iraqi National Congress. The Bush administration secretly flew Chalabi and some supporters to Iraq after the invasion last year, intent on steering power to him. Now Iraqi authorities are investigating Chalabi's organization and associates on charges of corruption. Chalabi's public comments of a Bush administration vendetta can only succeed in further inflaming anti-American sentiment that places our troops at further risk.

The fall of Chalabi is emblematic of the Bush administration's failed actions in Iraq.
In a fitting ending to the conservative fairy tale about Iraq, the raid on Chalabi's house is another reminder of a war of choice that has gone seriously wrong on almost every front, from its rationale and diplomatic failures to the mismanagement and total lack of planning for post-war stability and security. Tragically, it now looks like it is going to get worse before it gets better.

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Milton Frihetsson, 04:54


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