"Weapons of Mass Deception"


The Times v. The Journal

Bob Dreyfuss
December 22, 2004

If there was any doubt how the battle lines in Iraq are shaping up, consider the following two items. First, writing in the Wall Street Journal today is none other than Ahmed Chalabi, the liar and con man who helped the Pentagon fake intelligence about Saddam's nonexistent WMDs and ties to Al Qaeda. Now the naïve might be surprised. Wasn't Chalabi accused of being an Iranian spy? Wasn't he arrested on murder charges earlier this year by the Iraqi government?

Well, yes. But all along Chalabi has been a friend of the neocons, and he is no Iranian spy. He is busily helping to forge the Shiite dictatorship that Ayatollah Sistani and his fundamentalist ilk want. Now, in the Journal, Chalabi joins those neocons who say that the Shiites are good guys, and he opposes those who say that the Sistani list in the election will lead to a pro-Iranian regime:

It is wrong to assume that this [election] process will be subverted by a pro-Iranian Islamic government. Iraq's Shiites are well aware that it was the U.S. and its allies that rid them of Saddam. This will remain the basis for a pragmatic relationship that dictates their interaction with Washington. They risk losing, rather than gaining, by doing otherwise.

Iraqi Shiites are proud Arabs. They have deep roots in, and are committed to, Iraq. They are also members of a diverse community with differing political, social and cultural orientations. Their Shiism has been the first call for persecution. That is the very identity that has cost them so much.

Now, it's true that Chalabi and the neocons don't want an Iranian-style theocracy. They believe that they will get a Shiite-dominated regime in Iraq that will be nonreligious. Not only that, they believe that such a regime in Baghdad will pull Iran into the American orbit. But that is a dangerous illusion.

The New York Times, in an editorial today, finally agrees that the Jan. 30 election is hopeless and that pleas to postpone the vote ought to be “taken seriously.” And it slams the Shiite-dominated election drive for marginalizing the Sunnis, going to far as to support “authentic Sunni nationalist politicians.”

In predominantly Sunni areas, including Mosul, parts of Baghdad and most of central and western Iraq, there is deep and growing alienation that threatens to depress electoral turnout and provides a large reservoir of support for the insurgency. Without an acceptable level of participation across Iraq, the elections will not be able to produce a legitimate government.

So to be clear: on one side are the neocons, the Pentagon, the Shiites, Chalabi, and the Wall Street Journal. On the other side are the realists, the CIA, the Sunnis, and The New York Times.

As for me—I don't support either side, since I want an immediate U.S. withdrawal tied to internationalization of the Mess O'Potamia. But at least the realists are sane. The Chalabi-neocon axis is pursuing the same delusion that got us into this mess. First, they said Iraqis will welcome us with open arms. Now they are saying that Iran will be transformed by a Shiite regime in Iraq. On the latter illusion, it's exactly the other way around. If we give Iraq to Sistani and Chalabi, it's only a matter of time before Iran takes over. Iranian ayatollahs are sitting next door—like vultures—waiting for the carcass of the U.S. project in Iraq to expire once and for all.

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Milton Frihetsson, 14:13


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