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Surely installing an illiberal crook in Iraq can't backfire, right?
April 1, 2004 3:14 PM   Subscribe

With Ahmed Chalabi poised to take control of post-occupation Iraq--one year after the start of the war--Congress' General Accounting Office is beginning to ask questions about the operations of his Iraqi National Congress. A piece of evidence submitted by Chalabi was a list of 108 news items which were placed in mainstream media by INC-coordinated (and Pentagon-funded) defectors. Who are other Mefites' favorite fraudsters?
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly (44 comments total)

 
This piece from the Indian press doesn't beat around the bush quite as much as the Newsweek article in the FPP does:

US Congress investigative arm — General Accounting Office — is opening an inquiry into whether the Iraqi National Congress, led by controversial financier Ahmad Chalabi, used US taxpayers money and broke the law to prod US into war on false pretenses, a media report said today.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 3:16 PM on April 1, 2004


"we're watching with anger as the completely useless Puppet Council sits giving out fat contracts to foreigners and getting richer by the day- the same people who cared so little for their country, that they begged Bush and his cronies to wage a war that cost thousands of lives and is certain to cost thousands more."

too poignant not to post twice.
posted by specialk420 at 3:48 PM on April 1, 2004


This wont back fire. The middle east LOVES foreigners leveraging control over their land.
posted by Tryptophan-5ht at 4:01 PM on April 1, 2004


Within Iraq, Ahmed Chalabi couldn't assert control over a herd of goats without US military backing.

He could, however, bugger a single goat in a dark closet.

And that would be appropriate to his station.
posted by troutfishing at 4:57 PM on April 1, 2004


He meay be a crook, but he's our crook, right?
posted by inpHilltr8r at 5:08 PM on April 1, 2004


That reminds me of the woman who testified before congress about Iraqi soldiers' conduct in Kuwait before the first war. She had the most poignant stories of Iraqis bayonetting the sick and elderly, breaking incubators and leaving premature babies to die, etc.

None of which had actually happened. Hmm, lies, Iraq... anyone see a pattern here?
posted by clevershark at 5:18 PM on April 1, 2004


So a super smart, highly educated arab scientist is the spitoon for the commies? Interesting..... what kind of achievements do you commies actually respect? Since science, math and making money obviously aren't your thing.

Perhaps you respect excessive french lookingness?
posted by Bad Commie at 5:26 PM on April 1, 2004


Who are other Mefites' favorite fraudsters?

Well I vote for the UN's "Oil For Fraud" program.

Strangely enough, on MeFi, the condemnations and calls for the investigation of senior members of the United Nations itself - that possibly had ulterior motives for keeping Hussain in power (and actively torturing Iraqi citizens) don't seem to be nearly as intense as the scrutiny applied almost daily to every event (or even rumor) of anything the US does.

Wonder why that is?
posted by MidasMulligan at 5:29 PM on April 1, 2004


The problem is that you leftists just don't have a sense of humor. For Chalabi, every day is April 1st, and our government is the fool. See, it's funny.
posted by UKnowForKids at 5:34 PM on April 1, 2004


Perhaps you respect excessive french lookingness?

no, russian "lookingness!" since russia used to be communist.

Wonder why that is?

busted again! we hate america.
posted by mcsweetie at 5:45 PM on April 1, 2004


It could be because the United Nations has become a biased, irrelevant, and powerless entity. The UN should be an objective forum, not an alliance against the US (and/or Israel).

Sample predictable response: "Well why do you think the whole world has positioned itself against those American and Israeli bastards?" ("OMG STFU troll!" suffix is optional)

This is a bandwagon fallacy. The UN is making far less stink about atrocities that go on in other parts of the world.
posted by Krrrlson at 5:56 PM on April 1, 2004


Wonder why that is?

Duh? We supposedly have control over the US government and its actions, but politically (read very little) over the rest of the world. Ya know, it might be because we supposedly elected those who we scrutinize, possibly kinda? Gee, I'da thought a brilliant international financier such as yourself woulda thunk that up on your own, Midas ...

Don't be such a yutz.
posted by Wulfgar! at 5:57 PM on April 1, 2004


As for Chalabi... well, it sure seems like he played his cards a lot better than anyone else. What's good is that it'll be pretty tough to create a regime worse than Saddam's. What's frightening is the possibility that someone might.
posted by Krrrlson at 6:10 PM on April 1, 2004


The UN is making far less stink about atrocities that go on in other parts of the world.

As compared to whom? [/tangent]
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:12 PM on April 1, 2004


I think if we quadruple gay marry Saddam, Chalabi, W and Ted Kennedy, everything will be ok.
posted by Bad Commie at 6:15 PM on April 1, 2004


As compared to the stink it's raising about America and Israel.

But of course you're right, you wonderful chicken, you -- we must apply the same standards to a single nation as we do to a theoretically impartial forum for all nations... right. Though it'd be great if we could, this is absurd to expect. You know, I'm pretty sure Iran had good information on the women's rights abuses in Afganistan...

Commie -- or we could try the politicians' brains' approach from Gulliver's travels.
posted by Krrrlson at 6:24 PM on April 1, 2004


Wonder why that is?

What's good is that it'll be pretty tough to create a regime worse than Saddam's. What's frightening is the possibility that someone might.

Saddam wasn't much more than Chalabi when he started out, you know, when he was our boy with far less blood on his hands--and a lot of the first blood on his hands is on ours, to, via the CIA, as the link notes. And Saddam has less blood on his hands than Suharto--another one of our boys. Of course, when the East Timor was overrun, there was some genocide committed which Paul Wolfowitz could cheerfully turn a blind eye to... There are good butchers and bad butchers, huh? Oh, excuse me--make that remarkable leadership, for the latter...

As far as intense scrutiny and pathologically obsessed fault finding of the administration--why that describes you five years ago. And you haven't quit--with that administration... So pot kettle goose gander. How about those Bush Approval Ratings, anyway? Right down the rathole.
posted by y2karl at 7:05 PM on April 1, 2004


You know, I'm pretty sure Iran had good information on the women's rights abuses in Afganistan...

As does the Bush administration about the ongoing women's right abuses in Afghanistan outside of Karzai's Kabulistan.
posted by y2karl at 7:10 PM on April 1, 2004


As does the Bush administration about the ongoing women's right abuses in Afghanistan outside of Karzai's Kabulistan.

Is your straw man for sale?
posted by Krrrlson at 9:04 PM on April 1, 2004


Duh? We supposedly have control over the US government and its actions, but politically (read very little) over the rest of the world. Ya know, it might be because we supposedly elected those who we scrutinize, possibly kinda? Gee, I'da thought a brilliant international financier such as yourself woulda thunk that up on your own, Midas ...

Don't be such a yutz.


Well, I suppose the mentality in evidence here ... that completely avoids the issue itself in favor of a nasty personal dig ... sorta does answer my question. Being a brilliant international financier, I kind of thought that maybe the folks that shouted so loudly that the US actions would not be "legitimate" unless they got the support of the UN - might want to take a few moments out of their Bush bashing to turn their inquisitive minds towards examining the legitimacy of the UN itself.

Back when the lack of UN support was being used as a major (if not the primary) argument used to screech about Bush, its activities certainly did get a lot of examination. In fact its utterances were alleged to be extremely important - so important that the UN's judgement was supposed to be more important than the judgement of those that were elected ... who were only supposed to act after the UN approved of their activities.

Now, curiously enough, when there's growing evidence that the same behind-the-scenes deals and corruption you perpetually charge Bush with may have been going on at that same UN ... suddenly the UN is a distant body you have no control over, and is not even important enough for a second glance.

Seems like pretty much the definition of "yutz".
posted by MidasMulligan at 9:05 PM on April 1, 2004


The difference being, of course, that if one is outraged at corruption and malfeasance in both the American government and the United Nations, one can do something about the former if not the latter, and vote the Bush administration the hell out.

If you're American, that is. And providing Diebold's software counts your vote.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:21 PM on April 1, 2004


Is your straw man for sale?

And your sources refuting ongoing women's right abuses in Afghanistan outside of Karzai's Kabulistan.
are exactly where?
posted by rough ashlar at 9:26 PM on April 1, 2004


I'm failing to catch your point, Midas. And all you've shown me is a Washington Post editorial anyway. Here's what I was able to find through a quick Google search.
posted by raysmj at 9:45 PM on April 1, 2004


And your sources refuting ongoing women's right abuses in Afghanistan outside of Karzai's Kabulistan.
are exactly where?


Actually, I'm sure these women's abuses routinely take place. You, however, don't even seem to know what a straw man is, much less whether if karl's is for sale.
posted by Krrrlson at 9:50 PM on April 1, 2004


"whether if" ... i like that.
posted by Krrrlson at 9:52 PM on April 1, 2004


So Midas-
Will Chalabi be better than just another dictator? Does this have anything to do with your visceral hatred of the UN? Furthermore, would it make me a commie to note that the UN's success/failure rate tends to go up and down based on whether it's most powerful/influential member is pissing on everyone else or not?
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 10:56 PM on April 1, 2004


Is it at all possible that the US pisses on "everyone else" so frequently because a very vocal (to put it mildly) conglomerate of nations uses the UN mostly (if not solely) to piss on the US? Unless American interests happen to parallel their own, that is... what was that you said about the success/failure rates?
posted by Krrrlson at 11:49 PM on April 1, 2004


I've got to say that kind of argument sounds a whole lot like the 'she was asking for it' defense of rape, Krrrrlson.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:59 PM on April 1, 2004


It could be because the United Nations has become a biased, irrelevant, and powerless entity.

krrrlson - are your seriously defending chalabi, and saying that making him the de facto leader of Iraq would be good for a. iraq, b. the region, c. US credibility in iraq and the region ? ?

you are kidding .. right?
posted by specialk420 at 12:28 AM on April 2, 2004


"So a super smart, highly educated arab scientist is the spittoon for the commies? Interesting..... what kind of achievements do you commies actually respect? Since science, math and making money obviously aren't your thing. .....Perhaps you respect excessive french lookingness?" (Bad Commie)

This seems to be some sort of political comment, written in an obscure sort of ideological code now almost forgotten and soon to become a modern day linguistic-ideological equivalent of "Linear B".

What does it mean?

It is sort of like a product of Majcher's wonderful Genefilter, which uses a crafty, secret algorithm to paste together text, from user's metafilter comments, into pleasing and unexpected combinations. Only it doesn't have a sufficient level of delightful disconnection, such as :

"....it seems the tactic is working - all the nations of the world would be from Wendy's, Burger King or a direct 9-11 Iraq-Al Qaeda link......Those Great Whites are so high up that muck as evidence, the U.S. Middle Class is shrinking rapidly, since they are playing a Ukelele. It was a message was posted in the days of the Center for Research in Cognitive Neuroscience in Marseilles, France. Meanwhile, that WAS computer code, channeled through me by a Dutch bank owned by ABC News, [The Associated Press April 26, 2002] - MIAMI (AP) -- A federal judge has approved a settlement between Leon County and civil society. y2karl - All that good will has been linked to Bin Laden, who had made many excursions into the US political system in question....just like Plato's Cave!....oh my."

I love Genefilter. It sort of like playing a one armed bandit except that it's free. Pull the refresh lever.....lemons!.
Again.....Lemons again! Again.... katchiiiiiing (coins pour out).

Meanwhile, Chalabi did certainly graduate from MIT - this technical knowledge probably helped him, to an extent, in pulling off the major bank fraud for which he was convicted in absentia - having escaped from the long arm of the law by being smuggled out of the country hidden in a car trunk.

Chalabi is an unctuous huckster. Clearly smart though - enough so, certainly, to hoodwink the Bush Administration.
posted by troutfishing at 8:55 AM on April 2, 2004


specialk420 -- I'm most certainly not defending Chalabi. I'm expressing my fear that he will be another cheating, murderous lunatic and another testament to America's lack of foresight, and the hope that I may be wrong on that part. The UN's bias and irrelevance look like a slightly different issue to me. Does everything I say just sound like blind right-wing propaganda to you, or do you read more of my post than my username?

chicken -- Yes. Of course. You're right. A collection of nations that passionately hate the Great Satan but not his money are just like a woman. And the US is raping her. Well done. The analogy... it's flawless.

"See son, a woman is a lot like a refrigerator... they're cold... weigh about 300 pounds... wait, no, no! A woman is actually... more like a beer! But you can't drink just one woman! You want another."
posted by Krrrlson at 9:27 AM on April 2, 2004


Bad Commie- welcome to MetaFilter. It's generally good form, when initially injecting yourself into discussions around here (or anywhere for that matter), to avoid trollish rhetoric like:

So a super smart, highly educated arab scientist is the spitoon for the commies? Interesting..... what kind of achievements do you commies actually respect? Since science, math and making money obviously aren't your thing.

You'll fare much better here if you put down that axe you wish to grind and make an effort to actually discuss the subject of the post rather than further some kind of persona you wish to cultivate.
posted by mkultra at 10:15 AM on April 2, 2004


...don't seem to be nearly as intense as the scrutiny applied almost daily to every event (or even rumor) of anything the US does.
Wonder why that is?


I dunno. Maybe because it wasn't Kofi Annan who dragged the USA and the coalition of the bribed/bullied into the Iraqi slaughterhouse?
maybe because the self-appointed policeman-of-the-world and the self-appointed "leader-of-the-free-world" nation is supposed (or maybe even required) to be under more democratic scrutiny than a body of nations where, for example, sit Belarus or (Bush ally) Uzbekistan?

who knows, really.


The UN should be an objective forum, not an alliance against the US (and/or Israel).

thank God that the White House is so objective in its handling of Middle Eastern Affairs, then
;)
Bush Won't Press End to Israeli Settlements
White House Stance Leaves Palestinians Cold
by Peter Slevin
Sunday, July 28, 2002. Washington Post



oh, I also find quite funny how Likudniks constantly crap on the body that created Israel in the first place.
ahem:

On the 29th November, 1947, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution calling for the establishment of a Jewish State in Eretz-Israel; the General Assembly required the inhabitants of Eretz-Israel to take such steps as were necessary on their part for the implementation of that resolution. This recognition by the United Nations of the right of the Jewish people to establish their State is irrevocable

THE DECLARATION OF THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE STATE OF ISRAEL
May 14, 1948

posted by matteo at 10:44 AM on April 2, 2004


"A network of antiterrorist think-tanks has brought about a form of ersatz ‘anti-communism’. Propagandists like Claire Sterling, Robert Moss and Arnaud de Borchgrave have helped shape a view of a global terrorist conspiracy which portrays each and every one of us at bay. This simplistic formula not only justifies recent forays against Libya but also leaves the door open for future acts of aggression against Iran, Cuba, Nicaragua or whatever country is labelled" ‘terrorist’.

oh my
posted by clavdivs at 11:21 AM on April 2, 2004


Is your straw man for sale?

The remark was not towards your point--as say, Well, what other country in the world, other than Israel, has an official policy of colonizing conquered territory?  would be. I was just noting that you picked a rather poor example for demonstrating international double standards and hypocrisy. Where exactly is the strawman in that? Where did I put words in your mouth by making that comment? Please tell me, o master of logic.
posted by y2karl at 1:00 PM on April 2, 2004


Gee, strangely enough, none of the apologists from the right seem to be able to defend Chalabi's lies....lies the Bush administration used to sell the death of thousands of Americans and Iraqis. Strangely enough, not even the brilliant international financier appears able to do so.

Unsurprising.

Now let's address the brilliant international financier's latest red herring....

I, Mr. Mutilate, brilliant international commie, do hereby solemnly declare that the United Nation's Food for Oil program should be fully investigated. Public criticism should be loud and aggressive, including here on MetaFilter (since the brilliant international fiancier is so concerned about the Food For Oil program, maybe the brilliant international financier could have made a front page post about it, instead of posting something as bland and silly as a corporate press release....). If the Food For Oil program is found to be fraudulent in design or execution, it should be modified or discontinued. Those convicted of wrongdoing should be removed from office and/or prosecuted.

So now, brilliant international financier, let's hear your call right here in this thread for loud and aggressive investigation and criticism (including here on MetaFilter) of Our Government. Let's hear your clamor for hot white light shining into the orifices that are PlameGate, 9/11Gate, AWOLGate, MedicareGate, ChalabiGate, EnronGate, EnergyTaskForceGate, NigerGate, NoChildLeftBehindGate, TexasPublicRecordsGate, HalliburtonGate, RepubsStealDemComputerFilesGate, etc etc. 'Cause, strangely enough, we sure as hell ain't heard that from you and the rest of the right.

Strangely enough we sure as hell ain't heard anything from you folks countenancing criticism on problems in our own country. Strangely enough, all we hear from you folks is the sound of your lips puckering up to Bush's ass and the Holy Orifice of More Money.

Wonder why that is?

We'll expect you to change your ways and hear your loud call right here in this thread, and from here on out.

Unless you folks really are yutz (whatever that is), of course.

~wink~
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 1:04 PM on April 2, 2004


Whoever said the US policy towards Israel was objective, matteo? And does that somehow excuse UN bias? Points against the US are routinely made here without considering the hypocrisy and corruption of the UN. Am I disallowed to make a point about the latter without mentioning the former?

The creation of Israel was vehemently opposed by the same nations that are so vocal against it today, and the result of the UN vote for partition was highly surprising. Since then, let's compare the number of resolutions passed against Israel to the number of resolutions passed against Palestinian terrorism and certain wars of aggression started by the Arab nations... surely something like the suicide bombing of civilians is at least as deplorable and worthy of a resolution as various actions taken by Israel that you find so abhorrent?

Yes, Israel has *much* to be grateful for to the UN.


karl - Let's read the thread together. First your nice chicken friend noted that the US may have known about Rwanda and done nothing. I take it this was somehow meant to address my point that the UN is biased (see first paragraph of this post for more on this). I simply illustrated that a nation and a (theoretically) impartial multinational body should not be measured by the same standard. My example would have been poor had I been defending the US. In this instance, this happens to not be the case, meaning that you have misrepresented my argument in your comment. Unfortunately, you are much too clever to read my posts to find out what I really have to say.

Keep up the one-liners.
posted by Krrrlson at 2:42 PM on April 2, 2004


On second thought, you win, karl. Your post was not a straw man, it was just irrelevant and an invalid example.
posted by Krrrlson at 2:57 PM on April 2, 2004


In this instance, this happens to not be the case, meaning that you have misrepresented my argument in your comment.

Like I said before, I thought you provided a poor example because I did not scroll up and follow your every word--like you so obviously do for everyone and anyone else here. I had no intention of misrepresenting your argument, such as it was. I'm sorry your ego was so wounded to the point that you can't stop making insults. But that's your problem, not mine.
posted by y2karl at 3:22 PM on April 2, 2004


My ego's just fine karl. I'm just a little weary of my words being twisted. Especially when people do it so they can continue to refuse to acknowledge *any* form of opposing viewpoint. Which is equally true of the right and left-wing members of Mefi. I don't know if it's true of you karl, largely because most posts of yours that I see *are* snide one-liners that say very little of your actual view on an issue. Forgive me if that makes me wonder whether you are as objective as you imply you are.

As for me, I make sure to read what people have said so that I know their position and can attempt a meaningful discussion without misrepresenting views and rehashing statements over and over again. I'm sorry if that lowers my status in your eyes.

I am also tired of having to prove that my views are not extremist in every thread. So many posts here make one-sided, often extreme, statements and assume that this does not damage their credibility because they are speaking out against some phantom "loud right-wing majority or Bush/Israeli" (seems silly to me, as Mefi clearly leans left of center, and that's putting it mildly). Why is it that I am accused of, say, generalizing about the Arabic population when I criticize Islamic fundamentalists, and yet when I accuse a poster of generalizing about the Jews, I receive nothing but venom and the generalization of myself as a neocon nut, troll, or whatnot? This is an unfortunate double standard. For example, if people here do not condemn suicide bombing every time they make pro-Palestinian statements, I should not have to condemn Sharon's tactics every time I make pro-Israeli statements. Same goes for the US vs. UN issue here.
posted by Krrrlson at 4:31 PM on April 2, 2004


That should read Bush/Israeli apologists.
posted by Krrrlson at 8:53 PM on April 2, 2004


"I am also tired of having to prove that my views are not extremist in every thread. So many posts here make one-sided, often extreme, statements and assume that this does not damage their credibility..." - That may or may not be true : but, in either case, the best antidote is to stick to generally agreed upon facts and to avoid rhetoric.

Only those of sterling charactor can pull this off.
posted by troutfishing at 9:11 PM on April 2, 2004


And me? - I'm less than sterling - pewter, at best.
posted by troutfishing at 10:48 PM on April 2, 2004


Le Roi Est Mort, Vive Le Roi!
posted by madamjujujive at 11:24 PM on April 2, 2004


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