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02 November 2006

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J

Colonel,

isn't life interesting where one can learn 'much' from just 'listening' in a hotel lobby/bar. one never knows who is 'listening out there, and 'understands' what is being said. :)

will

Those unguarded Irakis had no clue the mild mannered Professor was a speaker or Arabic.

The NYT needs to look in the mirror. It would see gullible Judith Miller who was spoonfed WMD by one Irving Scooter Libby.

From the article:
"This is an urban myth"-- that he mislead the Bush administration about W.M.D.s. Chalabi also says that the Iraqi defectors that he provided to U.S. agents for intel on Iraq's Hussein regime were pretty much random guys that Chalabi wouldn't vouch for at all."

And how is the occupation going? "The Americans screwed it up," says Chalabi.

But what of Chalabi's role in the leadup to war?

"It was Chalabi, after all--a foreigner, an Arab--who persuaded the most powerful men and women in the United States..."

The Chalabi role is overrated and Scooter, Wolfie, Feith, Judith Cambell underrated.

Regards, Will


W. Patrick Lang

All

This hotel is the traditional and daily gathering place for much of the Washington expat community, especially the Middle Eastern types.

This was in the "Palm Terrace" or whatever they call it now. pl

johnf

Call me fanciful if you like, but I've always thought that Richard Perle and Achmed Chalabi are one and the same guy. They look remarkably similar - though Chalabi has slightly better taste in ties - and you never see them in the same room together.

I reckon he/they ran the Iraq War out of the backroom of a New Jersey pizza joint.

blowback

I am sorry but nobody can claim they weren't warned about Chalabi. He was after all wanted by the Jordanians for a fraud on a fairly large scale at the Petra Bank which severely damaged the Jordanian economy.

confusedponderer

Remarkable enough Chalabi is now residing in London. Maybe the Iraqi climate right now is just too hot for him? ... certainly only for the moment, because I think he has enough ambition to delude himself about his chances in his former country without US backing.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061028/ap_on_re_eu/britain_chalabi_interview

ali

When DC decides a foreign government must fall I suspect that greedy huddles of the suddenly well larded are a familiar sight in hotel lobbies within the Beltway.

How many administrations have either been credulous or suspended disbelief when confronted with the shabby reality of the readied palms of the men they'd built up as liberators?

In itself this is not necessarily foolish; sleek chaps with an "entrepreneurial" bent like Chalabi often see rewarding opportunities in toppling the established order. These self seeking rogues are often in the passionate vanguard of the cause. For every pious Robespierre there are many aspiring Dantons.

zanzibar

Neo-con rats jump a sinking ship.

Neo Culpa

Is it finger pointing time or what? Primary war promoters throw the Decider under the bus. We live in interesting times!

confusedponderer

zanzibar,
don't dismiss them so easily. I heared the death bell for them a couple of times, and, speaking in that metaphor, saw them returning like a zombie (or, in another metaphor, returning periodically like a teenager's herpes).

Josh Muravchic praises the Decider in his latest article:
http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=3602&print=1
And, he seems quite undaunted (perhaps, whistling in the dark cellar, but anyway).

zanzibar

confusedponderer, no doubt they are like a multi-headed hydra. The cabal have survived many twist and turns from the Nixon era to Iran-Contra to now. They'll be back that's for sure.

What caught my attention was Perle, et al throwing Cheney/Rumsfeld under the bus on Iraq. And they have all been part of the cabal for decades.

Excuse my cynicism, right now they are all safely ensconced in their mansions plotting their next "stratagery". They are after all the chess players who make a buck with every move. As you pointed out Chalabi is hanging out in his nice digs in London care of the US taxpayer funds that he diverted and I read Allawi is building himself an estate in Beirut which must at least be partially financed by reconstruction funds that seem to have magically disappeared.

ikonoklast

Chalabi in London, enjoying the fruits of his scams. Delicious. How many governments has he taken over the hurdles and come out on top smelling like a ... well, a turd by any other name smells just as foul, unless you're deceived into thinking you're running for the roses, the grand prize of Iraq.

The man is on track to be the con man of the century (now that Rove appears to be failing). Anybody know how much he got paid for selling US codes to the Iranians? And would anyone care to wager on whether he's convinced them that he'll be invaluable to them in Baghdad once the Americans leave? Tehran's new man on the scene - hip, slick, cool ... and gone, daddy!

confusedponderer

zanzibar, ikonoklast,
IMO the current wave of neo-con mea culpas is aimed at re-establishinging some respectability to allow them participate in DC's day today business in the near future. It hurts business for a lobbyist when he's no longer welcome to all the interesting cocktail parties, much more when a Democratic takeover of congress is possible.

Their tune is a variant of the 'National socialism was not per se a bad idea ... just that anti-semitism bit was a wee bit crass!' theme.

Indeed: Hadn't those morons Rumsfeld and Cheney (not to mention dived-off Libby, Wolfowith, Feith) implemented it so poorly, brilliant neo-con strategy would have been a catastrophic, more, cataclysmic success!

ikonoklast

confusedponderer

Yes, it's agonizingly depressing, like a bad 50's sci-fi flick where the mad scientist is ranting about his latest failure: "My theory is sound! But those incompetents ruined me ... they laughed at me ... I'll show them, I'll show them all ... the fools!" Or Dr. Frankenstein bemoaning Igor's screwup at the mortuary. "If only he would have brought me McCain's brain instead of that cretin Bush's ..."

Really, what will it take to get these mindless zombies out of the halls of power? Garlic over the doors of the White House?

"[N]eoconservatism itself—what he [Adelman] defines as 'the idea of a tough foreign policy on behalf of morality, the idea of using our power for moral good in the world' —is dead, at least for a generation. After Iraq, he says, 'it's not going to sell.'"

As if it were a marketing problem, like selling radioactive hand soap or dioxin-laced breakfast cereal.

Note to all neocons: Using destructive power for good doesn't work. Check out the late show monster classics, or rent a Godzilla movie. Watch and learn. And pray we don't find your undead asses with a hammer and wooden stake after the sun comes up.

Yohan

The intel community knew all about how corrupt and worthless Chalabi was even in the 90's. He was already passing documents over to the Iranians at that point so why it was such a shock that he was still doing it in 2003 is itself a shock to me. His run ins with Robert Baer in northern Iraq were yet further reasons why the CIA hated him. The neocon idiots in the civilian Pentagon, however, loved that he gave them exactly what they wanted to hear and so were willing to believe anything.

taters

Weren't the Gucci Guerillas based out of London from jump street?

taters

Dear Col.,
Fascinating. The ability be able to detect a Gulf accent from across a room is pretty amazing to me. Sadly, it also underscores your line "Arabic speakers need not apply" from "Drinking the Koolaid."

W. Patrick Lang

taters

They were pretty loud and Iraqi arabic is quite distinctive. pl

jonst

PL,

Totally clueless on this. Perhaps you can provide some insight. Are there 2 or 3, what I will call, sub-dialects, of Arabic? IOW....Egyptians, and other nations in North Africa speak one dialect? And Gulf groups another dialect? Or are broken down along the lines of what are refereed to today as "nations" in the Middle East? So that the Moroccan dialect, is distinct from the Jordanian one? And so on.

W. Patrick Lang

jonst

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dialects_of_Arabic

If there are further questions. please ask.

Basically, there are as many dialects of Arabic as there are peoples. pl

Juno888

What caught my attention was Perle, et al throwing Cheney/Rumsfeld under the bus on Iraq. And they have all been part of the cabal for decades.

Will

i don't know anything about iraqi dialect b/ i could identify egyptian in a hearbeat.

the soft arabic j becomes a hard g. for instance the arbabic word for beautiful derived from camel, jamal becomes gamal. rebuplic, jamhurihay becomes gahurihay and so forth.

i was led to this post by a google alert on pat lang which included this wiki link

wiki Link to Dialects_of_Arabic

Will

it must always be mentioned that a unifying force in the Arabic language is the Koran which is in classical Arabic. The written language is in classical language and for a long time broadcast TV & radio was also in classical arabic which preserved case ending and inflections similar to Latin which the colloquial speech did not.

This served a similar function in as church Latin in the middle ages, furnishing a mutually intelligble language throughout Europe, at least a written one.

I have read that Henry VIII's brother, Arthur, and Catherine of Araagon could not at first communicate b/c their Latin was mutually not intelligible.

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