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Heavy-Handed Politics

"€œGod willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world
without the United States and Zionism."€ -- Iran President Ahmadi-Nejad

Monday, August 29, 2005

The Chalabi Comeback

In a piece for Opinion Journal, Robert Pollock writes about Ahmed Chalabi as "Iraq's indispensable man" who "returns to center stage."

Pollock writes, "As for the war, a visit quickly makes plain that the latest "quagmire" panic in Washington is widely off the mark. True, the security situation in Baghdad remains a long way from what it should be; but neither do the insurgents control swaths of territory--think Fallujah--as they used to. What's more, the heavy lifting is increasingly being done by Iraqis. "The Iraqi Brigade that owns Haifa Street has done something that we could never do," Gen. Petraeus told me over lunch. Iraqi security forces are far more visible, and with competent Iraqi leadership such success stories will multiply slowly but steadily. It will be, in Donald Rumsfeld's famous words, "a long, hard slog." But it should increasingly be an Iraqi slog.

The more important story, the real determinant of whether Iraq stands or falls, is the political one. And a key player is a man countless powerful people around the world have wished would go away. Of course, there are no "indispensable men"--De Gaulle famously remarked that the graveyards are full of them--but Mr. Chalabi is as close as you come among Iraq's political class. He sees the powerful Shiite Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani regularly; he is trusted by the Kurds, and, to the extent anyone is, by Sadr; and he put forth a constitutional oil-sharing proposal that has a chance of making federalism acceptable to the Sunnis. It is telling that he was one of the last people huddled with Zalmay Khalilzad in the wee hours of Saturday, when the U.S. ambassador finally gave the go-ahead to announce an agreement. Mr. Khalilzad, who has now brokered constitutions for 50 million newly free people in two countries--and who deserves a medal for his efforts--is a man who knows who to have by his side when a deal has to get done.

The question now is whether his bosses in Washington are mature enough to put aside past mistakes and work with Mr. Chalabi. They certainly no longer have to worry about him being written off as an American puppet."
Full op-ed here.


  • This is all good and welcome news. I have been struck with the ignorance displayed by Liberals regarding the monumental effort and time it takes to hammer out a workable constitution. They should read The Federalist Papers and the collection of documents that can be called The Anti-Federalist Papers' to gain a better appreciation of our own experience in this regard. The arguments were many and fierce, and the self interested factions numerous.

    Our Founding Fathers were truly brilliant statesmen of great wisdom. I have even read conservative columnists who seem not to fully understand that. In regard to some of the more recent and egregious SCOTUS decisions it has been said that the Founders could never have anticipated them. In fact, re-reading the above documents just for that purpose I have found that virtually everything the SCOTUS has and is doing was anticipated by such as Hamilton, Madison, Jefferson et al and worried them greatly.

    They knew there was no check on the courts power, they knew the dangers that posed and they knew how unchecked power corrupts. Hamilton even worried that the courts could be influenced by other countries laws and norms. We all, liberals in particular but conservatives too, can use a dose of humility every now and then and reading the work of these men is an excellent source for that

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:18 AM  

  • Agreed. It took years to come up with our constitution. (What 12 + years?)

    I would dare say that the people of "present day" Iraq have more obstacles to overcome than did our founding fathers in trying to come up with a constitution. They have had a much longer, complex history, fraught with fighting.

    And, yes they had "big" concerns over too much judicial power. And rightly so. Indeed, the (federal)courts have evolved into something more powerful than our founding fathers wanted (and feared).

    By Blogger HeavyHanded, at 9:34 AM  

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