Iraqi Puppets: Please stay

Please don’t take our bodyguards away
Astonishingly, Hoshyar Zebari, speaking for the New Iraqi Government® tells the UN that the IGCv.2.0 wants the American military to stay in Iraq, to “keep the peace.” One might wonder what “peace” there currently is in Iraq to be kept, but that would be cynical, wouldn’t it? According to most Iraqis, the Occupation forces are responsible for the lack of peace, but the Puppets are hardly in a position to listen to most Iraqis when their overriding concern is staying alive.

Hersh book to be about Abu Ghraib

hersh_seymourA new Seymour Hersh book planned:

The details of the deal were not disclosed, but the book, to be titled “Chain of Command” is expected to be published in the fall.

“Sy Hersh has been writing big, important stories for more than 30 years, and we see this book as another milestone in a great career, “HarperCollins CEO Jane Friedman said in a statement.

Executive Editor David Hirshey, who will edit the book, said he had pushed Hersh about doing a book for the past four years, but that Hersh had said he too busy with his work for The New Yorker to commit to anything.

“I sensed a real seismic shift in his thinking after Abu Ghraib,” Hirshey said. “He has become a man on a mission and feels that a book that holds the Bush administration accountable for its intelligence failures and human rights violations in Iraq could have a significant impact on the upcoming elections.”

So, it will be out before the election – I’m sure that news made Duhbya’s day. I wonder when Tenet will announce his book.

Sistani’s fatwa

Juan Cole has translated Sistani’s fatwa on the “new” government. It sounds pretty harsh to me. He didn’t call for an uprising, but he might as well have:

1. Obtain a clear resolution from the United Nations Security Council on the return of complete sovereignty over their country to the Iraqis, unconstrained in any regard, whether political, economic, military, or security-related. Every effort must be made to efface all signs of occupation in every way.

“Complete sovereignty” is different from “limited sovereignty“, isn’t it?

Anyway, you can read the rest, but number one is clearly a large obstacle to the current Bushista plans, such as they are. It will be interesting to see how much they take Sistani’s views into account.

Chalabi piles on Tenet

Ever the opportunist, the “Hero in Error” accuses Tenet of everything he himself did :

Iraqi politician Ahmad Chalabi accused CIA director George Tenet on Thursday of being responsible for allegations that the former exile leader passed intelligence information to Iran.

Chalabi, a former member of the Iraqi Governing Council, made the accusation after President Bush announced that Tenet was stepping down as CIA director for personal reasons.
Speaking to reporters, Chalabi lashed out at Tenet, saying the effects of his policies toward Iraq over the past years “have been not helpful to say the least.”

“He continued attempting to make a coup d’etat against Saddam in the face of all possible evidence that this would be unsuccessful,” Chalabi said. “His policies caused the death of hundreds of Iraqis in this futile efforts.”

Chalabi also accused Tenet of providing “erroneous information about weapons of mass destruction to President Bush, which caused the government much embarrassment at the United Nations and his own country.”

This little speech requires breathtaking chutzpah. Of course this Tenet Did It line isn’t original to Chalabi. Here are some Perles of Great Wisdom:

Mr. Chalabi’s allies in Washington also saw the Bush administration’s decision to sever its ties with Mr. Chalabi and his group as a cynical effort instigated by the C.I.A. and longtime Chalabi critics at the State Department. They believe those agencies want to blame him for mistaken estimates and incorrect information about Iraq before the war, like whether Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction.

One of those who has defended Mr. Chalabi is Richard N. Perle, the former chairman of the Defense Policy Board. “The C.I.A. has disliked him passionately for a long time and has mounted a campaign against him with some considerable success,” Mr. Perle said Tuesday. “I’ve seen no evidence of improper behavior on his part. No evidence whatsoever.”

Mr. Perle said he thought the C.I.A. had turned against Mr. Chalabi because he refused to be the agency’s “puppet.” Mr. Chalabi “has a mind of his own,” Mr. Perle said.

Whatever you think of the Richer Perle’s insights, this Steve Gilliard analysis strikes me as sensible:

Perle is a mark. The CIA doesn’t control sigint and he knows this. DOD runs the NSA and until last month Chalabi was their boy. The evidence against him had to come from DOD, not the CIA and is vastly more credible because of it. Hell, the CIA wouldn’t even know about SIGINT issues unless NSA briefed them on it. Anything to do with codes and Chalabi went from the Army Security Agency (the army’s cryptanalysis service) straight back to NSA headquarters. The CIA may have been in the loop at some point, but this was developed inside DOD, not as some CIA smear campaign.

It isn’t clear yet whether Tenet jumped ship or walked the plank, but this finger-pointing by Chalabi and Perle is just more of the same level of neocon garbage that sufficed for “evidence” when they were making their case for the US aggression against Iraq.

Empire Discredited?!

According to Michael Lind, writing wistfully in the Financial Times, the Iraq campaign has punctured the “mystique” that made the American Empire possible.
Lind laments that the neocons had fouled the playground for the “neoliberals” like him – a breed that cheered Clintonian interventions as a way of establishing the Kagan-Kristolian Benevolent Global Hegemony (BGH) by using international institutions, instead of tearing them down:
“neoliberalism, like neoconservatism, depended on the mystique of American power… The horrors that we know about, and those about which we have yet to learn, are even more fatal to the neoliberal project than to its neoconservative rival…”
“What population now will want US soldiers in their country…? […] Without US forces doing the heavy lifting in UN or Nato interventions, the ambitious neoliberal strategy of muscular internationalism becomes impossible.”

He concludes:
“Now that America’s reputation for benevolence and irresistible power has been severely damaged, the US will be forced to settle for a far more modest role in the world than that sought by both neoliberals and neoconservatives.” Continue reading “Empire Discredited?!”