May 22, 2004

By attacking Ahmed Chalabi, who was for so long its protégé and confidence man, the Bush administration confirmed once again (as if there were a need for it) the failure of its Iraq strategy.

The Emperor has no clothes...

Le Monde Editorial: By attacking Ahmed Chalabi, who was for so long its protégé and confidence man, the Bush administration confirmed once again (as if there were a need for it) the failure of its Iraq strategy.
After the prison tortures scandal, the horrible
blunder of the bloody nuptials at al-Qaem, the
permanent guerilla war being waged by Sunni and
Shi'ite opponents, now the man who was the
neo-conservatives' hero in their obsessional fight
against Saddam Hussein has become, in his turn, an
enemy...
However, the nearly daily revelations of new
photos of the atrocities perpetrated in the prisons
and of information about the existence of new camps
where top-secret units gave themselves over to acts
even more contrary to the laws of war and humanity
risk turning into an explicit condemnation of
President Bush's strategy. As Washington Post
editorialist Jim Hoagland asks, recalling the Vietnam
precedent, "is this the 'democracy' President Bush
promised Iraq?"

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http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/052204H.shtml

Iraq: One More Failure
Le Monde Editorial

Friday 21 May 2004

By attacking Ahmed Chalabi, who was for so long
its protégé and confidence man, the Bush
administration confirmed once again (as if there were
a need for it) the failure of its Iraq strategy. After
the prison tortures scandal, the horrible blunder of
the bloody nuptials at al-Qaem, the permanent guerilla
war being waged by Sunni and Shi'ite opponents, now
the man who was the neo-conservatives' hero in their
obsessional fight against Saddam Hussein has become,
in his turn, an enemy.

Certainly, there are few who would feel sorry for
this man who is better at manipulating than at taking
action, condemned some time ago in Jordan for a
fraudulent bankruptcy, this long-time exile who
claimed he could play a major role in the Baghdad
dictator's overthrow. If it was obvious to all those
in Washington who remained convinced that his
popularity in Iraq was essentially non-existent; that
his army was phantasmorgic; his Iraqi National
Congress, a sham; and the information he furnished,
fabricated; he was, nonetheless, up until recently,
judged to be trustworthy by the Pentagon "hard-liners"
and Vice President Cheney.

With friends like Chalabi who told the
administration everything it wanted to hear, it was
obvious that American strategists could never come to
grips with the complexities of the real Iraq. The
mistakes, the offences, the blunders, the crimes which
have proliferated since Baghdad's fall may be
understood - but not justified - in the context of
this ideological blindness. And however they may dress
up getting rid of Mr. Chalabi - spying for Iran... -,
his failure is above all a failure of the United
States.

Scapegoat today, Ahmed Chalabi will also show
those few Iraqis who trust Washington that they too
may one day, like him, be discarded once they've lost
their utility. "It's an insult and it could happen to
any member of the Governing Council," declared its
President.

What remains of the ambitious policy to
democratize Iraq that was announced by George Bush
with such fanfare and picked up by Tony Blair? The
question is all the more pertinent as the worst
appears to be yet to come. Not only on the ground,
where, according to a poll published Thursday by the
Financial Times, 90 % of Iraqis consider the Americans
as occupiers. The financial daily writes that
Washington has succeeded in transforming a delinquent
- the Shi'ite leader Moqtada Al-Sadr - into a hero.

However, the nearly daily revelations of new
photos of the atrocities perpetrated in the prisons
and of information about the existence of new camps
where top-secret units gave themselves over to acts
even more contrary to the laws of war and humanity
risk turning into an explicit condemnation of
President Bush's strategy. As Washington Post
editorialist Jim Hoagland asks, recalling the Vietnam
precedent, "is this the 'democracy' President Bush
promised Iraq?"


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Translation: t r u t h o u t French language
correspondent Leslie Thatcher.

Posted by richard at May 22, 2004 07:23 AM