1. Anonymous says:

    When I read that Chalabi was in London I thought of this really â€touching†Jim Hoagland profile from during the war.

    But it was only two years ago that I fully understood why he had given up a banker’s fortune, a life of academic achievement and material comfort and precious time with children he manifestly adores to oppose the Iraqi dictator in his every waking moment.

    His sister had just died. A distraught Chalabi was preparing to leave London to arrange for her burial in the Syrian capital of Damascus. â€This is the worst part,†he said over the telephone. â€I have to bury one more member of my family outside our country. I have buried my parents and my brother outside Iraq already. When will I bring them home?â€


    Chalabi has a more pressing, more personal agenda in liberated Iraq. He first has to find burial plots for his family.

    Now, maybe the AP article is more truthful with its claim that Chalabi lives primarily in his Baghdad home–or maybe like its description of the Iranian negotiations, that’s just a lie.

    But I couldn’t help but wonder whether after peddling his sob stories of exile for so many years, Chalabi has already abandoned his country again.

  2. Anonymous says:


    I think Miller and Chalabi are working at cross-purposes here. Assuming that Chalabi is an agent of the Iranian government, I don’t think it is the Sunnis and Syrians that need to be worried, but the Kurds. The primary reason for the Iranians to want to talk to the Turks and Americans would be to figure out what to do about the Kurds (and that can’t be good for Kurds).

    Miller, on the other hand, seems to be openly shilling for the Kurds.

  3. Anonymous says:


    Not like I’m keeping track or anything, but her only other byline since she left NYT was a two-part Bolton smoochfest on Libya/Iran. So yes, unusual. And no mention of Bolton on this!


    I’m not sure who these guys are working for. Yes, Miller is shilling for the Kurds, but that could easily be a favor for the Israelis (who want a Kurdish stronghold) or some rump of the INC. And Chalabi’s shilling is just weird. It can’t be for the mainstream Iranians because otherwise he wouldn’t have accused them unfairly of ending the negotiations. It could be (and if Mimikatz shows up, I’m sure she’ll argue) that he’s just lobbying for Ahmad Chalabi. But you never know.

  4. Anonymous says:

    How does that constitute the Iranians refusing the US?

    well, george bush just flat MAKES SHIT UP

    up is down, black is white, and we’re leading the fight for democracy

    geez, ew, I didn’t think I’d have to remind you of that one

  5. Anonymous says:

    Also Fareed â€the less than credible†has given direction on what to do with Iraq.
    Whats next?
    Is Josh Marshall going to get Pollack’s slant?

  6. Anonymous says:

    All the while Dick Cheney was using Manucher Ghorbanifar to spy on Khalilzad.

    I missed that part. What was that about?

  7. Anonymous says:


    I tried to post this before, but typepad seems to have gone a little hinky today (and yes, hinky is the technical term for it).

    The two things you are curious about:

    Earlier this year, the Americans offered low-level talks with mostly Shiite Iran on the situation in Iraq, but Tehran refused.

    The U.S. is concerned that the Iranians could link cooperation in Iraq with American acceptance of their nuclear program, which Tehran insists is for peaceful purposes. Washington suspects the Iranians want to build a nuclear weapon.

    are not attributed to Chalabi (or anyone else). That should mean that they’re just background information that shouldn’t be controversial. I think those comments came from the â€U.S. analysts†mentioned in the line just before that that Chalabi supposedly agreed with.

    If I’m right, then nothing in the article is inconsistent with Chalabi still being an agent of Iran.

  8. Anonymous says:


    Fair enough. I noticed the lack of attribution. I just kind of assumed it was the AP journalist getting spun. But you might well be right.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I will say though, the comment sure reminds me of the assertion, â€Saddam kicked out weapons inspectors in 1998.â€

  10. Anonymous says:

    Tangentially related:

    From the Nietzsche- Mencken web site:


    Fresh from squashing the Tony Judt speech at the Polish Legation in New York, the Anti-Defamation League’s Abraham Foxman threw himself today into the controversy surrounding the faux-Moslem comedian Borat. Foxman expressed “profound misgivings†about the “propriety of having an Israeli-born Jew portray a Moslem in an insulting and defamatory manner.†Professing to speak as the “voice of painful experience,†Foxman spoke in anguished tones:

    “The Jewish people know something about defamation through humor, whether it be in anti-Semitic cartoons or Shakespearean comedies. Defamation, however ‘skillful’ and ‘funny’ is no joke, just as racism is no joke.â€

    Foxman was especially uneasy with the portrayal being done by an Israeli-born Jew:

    “I have been accused of being hypersensitive to ethnic slurs, but one needn’t be the head of the ADL to deplore the spectacle being made in Hollywood over a Jewish comedian who impersonates Moslems in a manner that depicts an entire people as imbeciles and bigots and wins applause for it.â€

    Nor was Foxman happy over the national media’s embrace of Borat’s brand of what Foxman labels, “defamatory and belittling stereotypesâ€:

    “Even if CNN and Jon Stewart think it is funny, it isn’t funny when a blood libel is perpetrated against the entire people of Kazakhstan. And, wink-nudge, everyone knows the Kazaks are just a stand-in for Arabs in general.â€

    Foxman insists it was a “no-brainer to step forward,†despite the ADL’s usual prime focus on defamation of Jews:

    “I asked myself, ‘suppose we had an Arab on national TV networks doing a hilariously funny impersonation of a Jew but in a derogatory manner, say as greedy or rude?’ I’d do my job and he wouldn’t be on TV very long. Indeed, with the JDL like it is, he might not be alive very long. I’d prefer it never come to that.â€

    For his part, Jon Stewart said, he wouldn’t hesitate to put such a Arab comedian on his show, but he doubted such an actor could “impersonate a preposterous Jew as effectively as Foxman does.â€

    — Max Scherz Unsinn