Monday, June 30, 2008

Juan Cole: Chalabi and McCain

Juan Cole, Informed Comment


Ahmad Chalabi, meeting in Tehran with Speaker of the Iranian Parliament Ali Larijani, commented on the Status of Forces Agreement being negotiated by the Bush administration with the Iraq government:

' The INC's Chalabi retorted that granting immunity to US military personnel from prosecution under Iraqi law is baldly unacceptable. “The vast majority of Iraqi people and authorities oppose the security treaty and regard it as contradictory to Iraq's sovereignty and security.” Chalabi stated the treaty is counterproductive for Iraq in the long term and what the US is seeking is a binding bilateral agreement for the ongoing presence of its forces in Iraq whose UN mandate expires on December 31.'

Then Chalabi sat there while Larijani warned the US against "adventurism."

I don't think Chalabi likes the US very much. What is he doing discussing a bilateral US-Iraqi agreement with Larijani in Tehran? And let's see, I'm trying to remember whose idea it was for the US public to give Chalabi tens of millions of dollars and to try to put him in power in Baghdad . . .

Oh, yeah, thanks to Amanda Terkel for reminding me . . . it was our very own Mr. Foreign Policy Experience (a.k.a 'one is born every minute' . . .):

' McCain welcomed Ahmed Chalabi, leader of the Iraqi National Congress (INC), to Washington and pressured the administration to give him money. When General Anthony Zinni cast doubt upon the effectiveness of the Iraqi opposition, McCain rebuked him at a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

In 2003, McCain joined four other Republican senators and asked Bush to “personally clear the bureaucratic roadblocks within the State Department” that blocked increased funding for the Chalabi’s group. Also that year, McCain said of Chalabi, “He’s a patriot who has the best interests of his country at heart.” '


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