Thursday, May 15, 2008

No one could have seen this coming...

"The very fundamental issue is, they don't know where
the hell they're going" --General Jack Sheehan.

So Chalabi is once again no longer Our Man in Baghdad, having managed to once more fall out of favor with the viceroyalty and the neocon cabal that desperately clings to what remains of their fast-fading power and influence. He's like a faithless lover, always sneaking off and crawling into bed with Iran, and this time it's over. For good. They mean it. This time. Honest.
The reason, the sources say, is "unauthorized" contacts with Iran's government, an allegation Chalabi denies. Iran has been accused of arming and training rebel Shiite forces in Iraq.

Chalabi had been making a remarkable comeback in Iraq, but that may now be in question, American officials tell NBC News on condition of anonymity.

Chalabi had gained notoriety after his group provided false information to journalists and intelligence organizations about Saddam Hussein before the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

A former banker who was convicted of embezzlement in absentia in Jordan in 1992, Chalabi nevertheless was a key organizer of the Iraqi opposition and received substantial funding from the U.S. government in the 1990s and up till 2003, after the invasion. He had remarkable influence in Washington until several years ago.

After the U.S. invasion and the toppling of Saddam Hussein, Chalabi drifted in and out of favor with U.S. officials in Baghdad. In the 2005 Iraqi elections, he lost decisively, scoring less than 1 percent of the vote.

Since the invasion, reports of Chalabi's ties to Iran and his contacts with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards have at times been sore spots. The FBI once sought to interview him, sources say, about allegations that secret U.S. codes had been passed to Iran.

With all that baggage, I was flabbergasted that they were letting him back in last fall, when he was put in charge of a "services" committee for Baghdad that was to coordinate the restoration of services to the city's residents.

When I saw the story, the first place my mind went was back to an email exchange I had with General Petraeus' spokesman, Colonel Steven Boylan, last fall when the news trickled out that he had weaseled his way back in.

On 28 April I sent him an email and posed the following question:

I'm reading the McClatchy article about the return of Chalabi right now, and this appears about half way through the piece:
Chalabi "is an important part of the process," said Col. Steven Boylan, Petraeus' spokesman. "He has a lot of energy."
So I have a question or two for you before I post - why do you think he can be trust this time? And why do you believe that he will be able to deliver?

And his response:

Not for me to discuss. He has just been put into the position and he
has very important processes to work.

To which I responded:
Almost verbatim how I figured you would respond. So I will simply say when I contacted you, you had no comment. Fair enough?
And he actually sent me back this response:
Nothing more to add than what is in the article. He does have his work
cut out for him. Nobody has said any of this will be easy. Iraq is
I haven't had too much to say to him since that. "Iraq is hard."

I ended the exchange with


I was screaming five years ago that we needed to save our military for a re-emerging Russia, and oh, by the way, China is about to have a blue water navy, and the time to make smart choices was six years ago...And I was chided for saying we really did have other priorities coming down the pike...

Jesus I wish I would get something wrong one of these days, because even tho I'm right, it ain't the reality I want to deal with the last half of my life. Spent the whole damned first half fighting and winning the Cold War. Hate like hell to see it being lost after the fact. It's a personal affront.
And that was the end of our exchange. I really don't have anything to say to a douchebag who says stupid shit like "Iraq is hard" like that ought to just put my concerns to rest, silly Blue Girl! (But if we ever talk again, I will ask about the knifing incident in Korea. Let's just say that no one - and I do mean no fucking one - who has ever billeted there believes his bullshit story.)

"Iraq is hard."

No shit, Sherlock.

If this sort of situation ever arises again, fucking listen to people who disagree. We were being specific and we were showing our work, and we were dismissed in favor of magical thinking and neocon hubris, and you idiots were wrong. Wrong, wronger, wrongest. A perfect specimen of 180-degrees-from-right. Wrong. Say it out loud. "I was wrong."

Master that, and then we'll talk. Until then, make with shutting up and listening.

And for the love of Mike, before you get distracted by something shiny, find something to charge that criminal asshole Chalabi with, and lock him up finally, before he worms his way back in yet again. The next time he might be carrying a disease that an ass-full of penicillin won't cure.

Oh - and Colonel, I know you google yourself, and I know you have a history of denying you sent emails that trace back to your computer - so if you want to challenge the validity of the ones I have archived, I will be happy to send them to the JAG office at Leavenworth and they can verify the IP. Of course, I'll also send them to a few other JAG officers who serve in other branches.

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