Sunday, January 14, 2007

Chalabi Still Stinking Up The Place

Most Americans probably think that Ahmed Chalabi -- the friend of the neocons who pushed for war with Iraq -- has slithered back under the rock from which he came.

Not so.

The disastrous ramifications of U.S. occupation chief L. Paul Bremer's de-Baathification order became clear early on, flooding the country with unemployed Iraqi administrators who became the sea in which the insurgents swam.

After Bremer left the country, we decided that redress had to be made.

Finally, in 2005, the Shiites and Kurds agreed to reexamine the de-Baathification rules as part of a compromise to get Sunni political parties to support Iraq's new constitution. The agreement called for a revised de-Baathification law to be enacted by parliament.

But that still hasn't happened.

In an attempt to get the process moving, Bush used his televised address last week to call on Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to embrace the reintegration of former Baathists. Maliki told Bush recently that he supports a revised de-Baathification law -- but the issue isn't in the prime minister's hands. It's still with Chalabi.

Chalabi is the chairman of the Supreme National Commission for De-Baathification, which continues to have ultimate authority to decide which ex-Baathists can return to work and which cannot. He has prepared draft legislation that calls for easing some elements of Bremer's policy, but he said parliament has been unable to act on it because a majority of the members of the legislature's de-Baathification committee belong to radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's political party, which walked out in November to protest a meeting between Maliki and Bush.

Speaking by telephone from Baghdad, Chalabi said he expects progress "pretty soon."

But he said the law will not contain a key demand of the U.S. government: a sunset clause that would abolish the commission, effectively depriving Chalabi of political influence. He called it unconstitutional.

Chalabi said he heard Bush's call for swift action on the de-Baathification law, but he emphasized that he and his fellow Iraqis, not U.S. officials, are in charge of the legislative timetable.

"We don't feel any pressure," he said.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah right!
It's only George's chums who bow (submissively happy) to edicts like:"I you ain't with us you're agin' us".

1/14/2007 11:44 AM  
Blogger Meatball One said...

Lovely tidbit.

1/15/2007 3:12 PM  
Blogger Effwit said...

M1:

The fact that Chalabi is still in the picture says volumes about the Shiite government we have enabled to rise to power.

1/15/2007 6:37 PM  

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