Dec 27, 2003 1:43 am


The CIA and State Department love"their bastards." Collin Powell objected to the complete overthrow of the Taliban asking"who will we negotiate with?" The Northern alliance and poor Masoud, not the Taliban, was the CIA's real nemesis. The two agencies downplayed the capabilities of the Northern alliance and did their best to delay arming them. They lost their cool when the Northern alliance marched into Kabul. DESPITE them, Afghanis were liberated by Kabul.

The two"know nothing" agencies (the intelligence failure was not limited to the issue of WMD but also to the poor Iraqi infrastructure!) join in their hatred of the Iraqi patriot who wished to enlist American help in overthrowing Saddam. I do not know Ahmad Challabi but when I read repeated, unending warnings not to let him"emerge" as the Iraqi leader because the average Iraqi resents him -- this after I have been assured time and time again that most Iraqi have never heard of him, I begin to wonder. The minutes of a May 17, 2002 meeting between an official from the Near East Bureau and the office of the Inspector General official in which it is the reported the"NEA would appreciate any assistance (to help) shut down the Iraqi National Congress." See Joel's Mowbray's Dangerous Diplomacy, p. 141).

Challabi is a smooth secular Shia with plenty of experience in negotiating the corridors of power. We could do worse. Bremer highhandedness has alienated many Iraqis and prevented the rise of natural leaders. Remember the self-appointed Baghdad mayor. Bremer's men swatted him like a fly. Only the religious leaders who had their own security people and were protected by their lay following escaped the Bremer put down. It is a small wonder that the religious leaders have gained power and the secular Iraqis are united in their resentment of the American administration. Read the patronizing reports advocating that Iraqis be"permitted to make their own MISTAKES." The idea that they actually may know better, does not even cross either the reporter's mind or the mind of the American military or civilian administrator.

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