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Busted neo-con icon
ft.com ^ | May 22 2004 5:00 | ft.com

Posted on 05/21/2004 9:16:55 PM PDT by Destro

Busted neo-con icon

Published: May 22 2004 5:00 | Last Updated: May 22 2004 5:00

The spectacular rise and sudden downfall of Ahmad Chalabi, the darling of the Pentagon ideologues who launched the war in Iraq and saw him as its future leader, would look Shakespearean in its plot development were it not so shabby, and the irreducible reality of Iraq not so bloody and still so distant from catharsis.

Front pages across the world illustrated the drama through the splintered glass of a framed portrait of Mr Chalabi, smashed after US troops raided his Baghdad house on Thursday. As the ghost of Hamlet's father put it in a different context: "Oh what a falling off was there!"

Mr Chalabi's recent history in many ways encapsulates the delusionary nature of the US adventure in Iraq - not least because it was he who fed these delusions to his patrons at the Pentagon. Some of the most alarming stories the Bush administration passed on to its allies as intelligence - such as the one about Saddam Hussein's mobile biological weapons laboratories - were the fabrications of defectors supplied on demand by Mr Chalabi and his Iraqi National Congress (INC). Colin Powell, the US secretary of state who repeated these assertions to the United Nations Security Council as justification for the war, earlier this month described that particular information as "deliberately misleading".

Mr Chalabi's claim that Iraqis would welcome US troops with flowers, moreover, played perfectly to the gullibility of the neo-conservatives in and around the Pentagon who had long been determined to invade Iraq and use it as a lever to reshape the Middle East. But if they were taken in by these stirring tales, it was and is their fault; the record of Mr Chalabi is no mystery.

The INC leader is a brilliant man who lobbied Washington with charm and conviction. A western-educated, secular member of Iraq's Shia majority, he must have seemed an ideal projection of Iraq's future after regime change, a seductive image confused as reality. It seems to have given no one pause that he had no standing in Iraq, which he left as a boy. Or, indeed, that he was best known in the region for the Petra bank fraud in Jordan, for which he was sentenced to 22 years in jail in 1990 (he fled the country to avoid imprisonment). He says he was set up by Saddam; that is not what knowledgeable bankers in Amman and Beirut say.

In 2001 the INC - which has received nearly $40m (£22.5m) from Washington - fell foul of a US audit reported to have uncovered expenditure on paintings for its offices and gym subscriptions for its staff. Now, it appears, the INC seems to have profited from last year's currency changeover in Iraq. Mr Chalabi, a gifted mathematician whose doctoral thesis was on Knot Theory, has left a lot of loose ends dangling in his controversial career.

Unsurprisingly, when the US flew him and his self-styled "Free Iraqi" militia into Iraq last year, those Iraqis who knew him were unimpressed. His part in persuading the occupation authority to dissolve the regular army, as well as a blanket purge instead of the selective rooting out of Saddam's henchmen, top the lengthy list of misjudgments of the past year. So bad has Mr Chalabi's relationship with his former patrons become that officials in Washington are accusing him of passing US intelligence to Iran.

Yet it would be quite wrong to make Mr Chalabi a scapegoat. Ultimately, he was the construct of geo-political fantasists in Washington, which is surely where the responsibility lies for his and their shortcomings.


TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: chalabi; iraq; neocons
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Are we set to see a purging of the neo-cons?
1 posted on 05/21/2004 9:16:56 PM PDT by Destro
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To: Destro

If, as the DIA reportedly believes (Newsday), Chalabi is part of an Iranian Intelligence operation given access at the highest levels in our Government, sponsored by Cabinet and near-Cabinet-level officials, we are about to see Watergate become a quaint pecadillo.


2 posted on 05/21/2004 9:28:43 PM PDT by UncleJeff
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To: Destro
Yup...

'‘Conservative’ Imperialists Head Bush Administration'... A new form of “conservative imperialism” with roots in the ranks of an elite group of “former” Trotskyite leftists is emerging as a major force among top-level policy makers in the Bush administration. Exclusive To American Free Press
By Michael Collins Piper

3 posted on 05/21/2004 9:41:19 PM PDT by harbingr ("Put on the Armour of God, that you may Stand Against the Deceits of the Devil."...(&DemoRepubRats)
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To: UncleJeff

We are witnessing an inter agency power struggle the likes of which we have never seen. It will get bloody.


4 posted on 05/21/2004 9:42:14 PM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorism by visiting www.johnathangaltfilms.com)
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To: Destro
If Iranian Intelligence has run an operation this high for this long, it should get bloody.
5 posted on 05/21/2004 9:45:43 PM PDT by UncleJeff
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To: harbingr

Get a box of good cigars and a case of 8 year old Scotch and enjoy the bloody show.


6 posted on 05/21/2004 9:46:32 PM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorism by visiting www.johnathangaltfilms.com)
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To: UncleJeff
From what I have gathered from ABC Radio news (which claims to have details they can't release for national security reasons) Chalabi wasn't given that kind of access.
7 posted on 05/21/2004 9:47:20 PM PDT by Dolphy (I joined the redlipstick boycott of MSNBC)
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To: harbingr

Oh yes, Bush and his neocons are the evil ones here alright. Sheesh.


8 posted on 05/21/2004 9:50:29 PM PDT by ladyinred (Torture is what happened to Nick Berg!)
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To: ladyinred; harbingr

Would it not be more accurate to state 'neocons and their Bush'??


9 posted on 05/21/2004 10:01:17 PM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorism by visiting www.johnathangaltfilms.com)
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To: Dolphy

He was Laura Bush's guest at the State of the Union. He had enough access that we paid him several million dollars.


10 posted on 05/21/2004 10:04:08 PM PDT by UncleJeff
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To: UncleJeff; Destro

The only thing I'm skeptical about here is one of the named sources in the Newsday story. Patrick Lang evidently believes that the Likud party runs the US, which makes him more than a little suspect as an accurate source of information IMO.


11 posted on 05/21/2004 10:07:29 PM PDT by Angelus Errare
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To: Destro
Are we set to see a purging of the neo-cons?

Actually, I think there's a neocon under your bed, pal.

12 posted on 05/21/2004 10:12:13 PM PDT by DonaldDuke
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To: Angelus Errare

In my best Yiddish accent - Runs? No! Influences? ehhhhhhhhhhhh


13 posted on 05/21/2004 10:12:22 PM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorism by visiting www.johnathangaltfilms.com)
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To: DonaldDuke

Worse then a neocon under our bed is a neocon sitting next to our president.


14 posted on 05/21/2004 10:13:59 PM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorism by visiting www.johnathangaltfilms.com)
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To: Destro
Worse then a neocon under our bed is a neocon sitting next to our president.

Maybe you should seek treatment for your jew-anxiety :).

15 posted on 05/21/2004 10:17:35 PM PDT by DonaldDuke
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To: DonaldDuke

Since you put a smiley face at the end of that statement I will let it slide :)


16 posted on 05/21/2004 10:20:31 PM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorism by visiting www.johnathangaltfilms.com)
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To: Destro
Why slide? You are clearly leftist antisemite.

I don't know if you realize how little you understand your own comments and ideas.

17 posted on 05/21/2004 10:26:43 PM PDT by tallhappy (Juntos Podemos!)
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To: UncleJeff
I don't think Laura Bush is holding state secrets:) As I said though, I am only repeating what I heard on an ABC news break. They reported that he wouldn't have had access to the kind of information that officials apparently think he or one of his associates has passed.
18 posted on 05/21/2004 10:27:18 PM PDT by Dolphy (I joined the redlipstick boycott of MSNBC)
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To: tallhappy
Well I am anti-Muslim and the Arab people are a Semetic people.

I am proud to say - I never once backed a neo-con.

19 posted on 05/21/2004 10:45:06 PM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorism by visiting www.johnathangaltfilms.com)
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To: Destro
How about an Iranian Intelligence asset sitting next to him??

IF this is true it is literally a disaster.

20 posted on 05/21/2004 10:45:57 PM PDT by UncleJeff
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To: Destro
Are we set to see a purging of the neo-cons?

Nah. Nobody will tolerate you anarchists in positions of power.

21 posted on 05/21/2004 10:47:02 PM PDT by sinkspur (Adopt a dog or a cat from an animal shelter! It will save one life, and may save two.)
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To: Destro
I am proud to say - I never once backed a neo-con.

Indeed. No lefty ever has. And you are no exception.

Is it the conservative part you hate? Or the neo?

Is it that you think they are all evil jews?

22 posted on 05/21/2004 10:50:52 PM PDT by tallhappy (Juntos Podemos!)
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To: sinkspur

how about a good old fashioned paleo-con?


23 posted on 05/21/2004 10:51:01 PM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorism by visiting www.johnathangaltfilms.com)
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To: Destro
I never once backed a neo-con.

Please give us all the definition of a neo-con.

24 posted on 05/21/2004 10:51:50 PM PDT by DonaldDuke
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To: Destro
how about a good old fashioned paleo-con?

Like Lew Rockwell? Or Justine Raimondo?

I'd rather drink Drano.

25 posted on 05/21/2004 10:52:30 PM PDT by sinkspur (Adopt a dog or a cat from an animal shelter! It will save one life, and may save two.)
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To: tallhappy
I don't think Jews are evil - you lefty cum neocons like to throw out the anti-semite charge like Al Sharpton throws out the charge of "racist" every time he was exposed and why not? You both are of communist origins.

I don't like the neocons because their agenda is dangerous leftist inspired drivel presented in a new manner.

26 posted on 05/21/2004 10:54:01 PM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorism by visiting www.johnathangaltfilms.com)
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To: sinkspur

Those men are Libertarians as far as I can tell. I am neither a paleo or a Libertarian - just a classic orthodox conservative. But I would trust a libertarian and a paleo over a neocon ANY DAY.


27 posted on 05/21/2004 10:56:13 PM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorism by visiting www.johnathangaltfilms.com)
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To: sinkspur

Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww...you just wrote obscenities.


28 posted on 05/21/2004 10:57:12 PM PDT by nopardons
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To: Destro
You realize this is just silly bullshit, don't you?

All this "neo-con," "paleo-con" stuff is inside baseball, and nobody, other than the paleo-cons, gives a rat's ass about any of it.

29 posted on 05/21/2004 10:58:03 PM PDT by sinkspur (Adopt a dog or a cat from an animal shelter! It will save one life, and may save two.)
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To: Destro
Please give us all the definition of a neo-con.

Simple question, really.

30 posted on 05/21/2004 10:58:54 PM PDT by DonaldDuke
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To: Destro
Besides Ronald Reagan,please name another neo-con,who ran for president.

Did YOU vote for Reagan? Then YOU voted for a neo-con.

31 posted on 05/21/2004 10:59:02 PM PDT by nopardons
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To: sinkspur
stuff is inside baseball

More like pocket pool! LOL

32 posted on 05/21/2004 10:59:56 PM PDT by Cold Heat (Lex et Liberatas......Semper Vigilo, Paratus, et Fidelis!)
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To: DonaldDuke

The only people that truly use the term "neo-con" really mean JEW and are usually anti-semites.


33 posted on 05/21/2004 11:01:50 PM PDT by Fledermaus
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To: Destro
how about a good old fashioned paleo-con?

That "good old fashioned paleo-con" can go straight to hell as far as I'm concerned.


34 posted on 05/21/2004 11:03:35 PM PDT by rdb3 ($710.96... The price of freedom.)
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To: nopardons

Hell look at his profile he probably isn't old enough to vote today.


35 posted on 05/21/2004 11:04:20 PM PDT by Texasforever (The French love John Kerry. He is their new Jerry Lewis)
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To: Destro; ladyinred; xzins
There's Bush and the neocons on one side, seeking to preserve the state of Israel, and the rest of the world on the other side, working for Israel's destruction.

I take it you're lining up on the latter.

36 posted on 05/21/2004 11:08:17 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg (There are very few shades of gray.)
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To: DonaldDuke

big govt-Welfare state-internationalists


37 posted on 05/21/2004 11:10:11 PM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorism by visiting www.johnathangaltfilms.com)
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To: Texasforever

He plays with dolls!:-)


38 posted on 05/21/2004 11:11:09 PM PDT by Cold Heat (Lex et Liberatas......Semper Vigilo, Paratus, et Fidelis!)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg

Neocon, Paleocon... isn't it just *so* cute when they learn new words?


39 posted on 05/21/2004 11:13:54 PM PDT by Ramius (Fix! Bayonets!!!)
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To: nopardons

Ronald Reagan was no neocon - his policy 'The Reagan Doctrine' was to allow people to free themselves rather then free them by force. Where Reagan followed necon policy in Afghanistan and Lebanon it was a failure -yes arming the Muslims and building a network of jihad was a Jimmy Carter neocon (most original neocons are Democrats like Richard Perle) policy that had a terrible blowback.


40 posted on 05/21/2004 11:14:35 PM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorism by visiting www.johnathangaltfilms.com)
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To: Destro
big govt-Welfare state-internationalists

Really??

41 posted on 05/21/2004 11:17:27 PM PDT by DonaldDuke
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To: Dr. Eckleburg

A Freudian slip on your part?? - So are you saying our current Iraq mission is really linked to preserving the state of Israel? Because I read this article and I saw no mention of the state of Israel.


42 posted on 05/21/2004 11:18:37 PM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorism by visiting www.johnathangaltfilms.com)
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To: DonaldDuke

In 1979, Irving Kristol wrote in favour of "a conservative welfare state", because, for him, it was "perfectly consistent with the neoconservative principles".


43 posted on 05/21/2004 11:19:52 PM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorism by visiting www.johnathangaltfilms.com)
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To: Destro
You have NO idea what the neo-con "agenda" is,nor even IF they have one;yet you don't like them,don't even really know who is a neo-con,nor what that term means.

Some people use neo-con as a pejorative,to slur Jews.Some people on FR,use it as a slur,to smear anyone and everyone who doesn't agree 100% with them.

Tell me,do neo-cons,such as Ronald Reagan,spout "drivel"?

Though admittedly Reagan was still singing FDR's praises,when Reagan was in the White House,just what part of his "AGENDA" was the new and improved,newly repackaged, dangerous leftist inspired drivel you talk of?

44 posted on 05/21/2004 11:22:49 PM PDT by nopardons
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To: Destro
Then,quite simply,you really are NOT a Conservative at all.
45 posted on 05/21/2004 11:24:06 PM PDT by nopardons
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To: UncleJeff
He was Laura Bush's guest at the State of the Union. He had enough access that we paid him several million dollars.

Oh man........

46 posted on 05/21/2004 11:24:47 PM PDT by Joe Hadenuf (I failed anger management class, they decided to give me a passing grade anyway)
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To: Texasforever

I just looked.You may be correct...re his age.


47 posted on 05/21/2004 11:25:27 PM PDT by nopardons
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To: Destro
But I would trust a libertarian and a paleo over a neocon ANY DAY.

That makes two of us.

48 posted on 05/21/2004 11:25:48 PM PDT by Joe Hadenuf (I failed anger management class, they decided to give me a passing grade anyway)
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To: Destro
Democrats like Richard Perle

Perle is a Democrat?? Would he happen to be Jewish too?

49 posted on 05/21/2004 11:26:42 PM PDT by DonaldDuke
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To: Joe Hadenuf
That makes two of us.

Dang you can count.

50 posted on 05/21/2004 11:27:13 PM PDT by Texasforever (The French love John Kerry. He is their new Jerry Lewis)
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