Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 12, 2005

The Juggler

lifted from a comment

by anna missed

So by early next week Ahmad Chalabi will have finished his (pre) victory lap in front of the Cheney Administration, including an audience with Big Dick himself, side kick Rumsfeld, angeneiux Condi, and "Igor" Hadley.

Sure, he's under FBI investigation, and a barrage of criticism for the pre-war intelligence, but reports of his (fawning) reception at the Council on Foreign Relations, showed a man confident enough to be standing in a rowboat, with a powdered (& perfectly unmussed) wig crossing a Delaware River full of political ice floes.

The man is tenacious if nothing else, and those in Washington must in some ways watch in envy at such an operator, a risk taker, back slapper and back stabber -- an ultimate interlocutor and juggler -- who manages to make all happy (enough). Which is why he's here in the first place, to get the job done in Iraq.

Not unlike the Juan Cole(/Billmon) theory about how the Zarqawi (myth/entity) is useful to all interests, Chalabi can also be seen through this prism of utility.

The US would like to disengage militarily, while preserving some vestiges of victory. On several fronts the Cheney administration can claim success if it throws its full weight behind Chalabi.

Chalaibi, is now the oil minister, and has had some reputed effect in protecting the oil infrastructure from sabotage. And while rhetorically anti-Syrian (anti-Baath) he seems to have laid the groundwork for an Iraqi / Mediterranean pipeline project, which could placate Syrian hostility (toward Iraq) and greatly benefit potential export.

He has, also with typical duplicity, simultaneously called for Iraqi oil wealth to remain in the hands of the Iraqi population, while at the same time being a strong advocate for privatization of those same Iraqi assets.

The other issue which the administration would dearly like to avoid, is having Iraq fall into the hands of the non-secular forces, that would in any way cast all their blood and treasure into the service of a (Iranian) mullah bound theocracy. Here too Chalabi has made some interesting maneuvers.

Much of the credibility he has gained from the Sistani perspective is based upon the US raid on his compound during the Bremer days -- from which he was able to claim that he was not in the pocket of the US, but was (through his Iranian linkage) looking out for Iraqi interests first. So he tied his influence and new found populist image to the Shiite ticket and managed to win deputy vice-president, which has now morphed into the powerful oil-minister position.

Recently, Chalabi has broken with the non-secular Shiite alliance, and has established his own secular Shiite list. This would from the neo-con perspective, resolve the remaining overt face problems at issue -- a secular majority candidate sworn to privatization, with cards to deal out to both Iran and Syria. And if he could just his hands on some Diebold machines we'd have a real democracy in action.

Posted by b on November 12, 2005 at 11:21 UTC | Permalink


Very plausible to me anna missed. The question now is how to get him elected without Diebold.

Mor musing about AC: Chalabi Pushes Iran Card in Last Ditch Self-Promotion Offensive

Posted by: b | Nov 12 2005 11:42 utc | 1

I’m not sure if Chalabi is actually wanted in Switzlerand. People say he is but I fear it is not true.

He was involved, to put in delicately, in several scandals.

The Mebco bank - a tiny outfit. It went phut (1989-90?). The depositors were probably paid off by the Bank Consortium, this is regular practice in CH. I hope so anyway. It was run by the Chalabis...reportedly by Ahmad (the list of directors was never published afaik.) There was something very interesting about this bank: it was one of the only three banks in Switzerland that could issue Visa Cards. Imagine that! At the time, I knew someome who wrote code for Telekurs -who do bank payments worldwide- and he said the Mebco traffic was HUGE. Ha ha ha...Legally, though, nothing happened (this is CH after all) and there were almost no newspaper stories.

The there was the SOCOFI scandal. Two of Ahmad’s brothers got prison terms. (They never showed up to watch Heidi of the Mountains on TV at the prison..Actually, looking at all I could get from google, I see the sentences were suspended sentences.) Reportedly, see article, the SOCOFI lent 88 million dollars to - Chalabis, including Ahmad.

Same old!

The older scandal is a garbage treatment factory, in Vaud, run by the Chalabis, which went phut too. Garbage is big business in CH, and easy money; either the State pays big bucks to get rid of it, or one can sell it, as Swiss garbage is so hygenic and clean, unlike the money circulating .. ;)

Next, I’ll tell you about a Bush brother (I think Jeb) who was around here selling --salads! I kid you not. That company never paid their employees.

Or maybe not, as I suspect there are no newspaper stories left on the net.>in French: Swissinfo,+2003>background from Newsweek

Posted by: Noisette | Nov 12 2005 16:15 utc | 2

At least Alhurra, the US financed station, will sound off for Chalabi. Just the right man is running it. Link

Posted by: b | Nov 12 2005 18:12 utc | 3

anna's hypothesis is an interesting one, and certainly not unplausible.

But I can't help but wonder if he isn't the one doing the spinning rather than being just a cog in the cabal's wheel of evil fortune.

Why do I say this?

Because, perhaps more than anyone, anywhere, Mr. Chalabi is the one who truly has the goods on the Cabal.

And if he were to start singing....

Posted by: RossK | Nov 12 2005 19:41 utc | 4

Emphasizing that in the very near future,
the successful model for social Darwinism
will be the chameleon, (as pol's confirm),
that "one's true beliefs" will have no more
significance than your natal birth weight,
and that society will skitter and swoop thru
"fundamental values" like a flock of pigeons
trying to evade a flotilla of pterodactyl's.

Judge Samuel Alito helped author a Justice
policy letting employers fire HIV-workers,
he argued before the court for race-based
employment discrimination, and is viewed by
legal scholars at the wingnuts best hope for
overturning Roe v. Wade, which the pol's are
already mulling the waters by, "well, there's
real issues that need to be resolved", meaning
they'll swoop whichever way the SCOTUS blows.

I don't have to remind you of William Bennett.

Click your heels together, Dorothy, and say,
"Retrograde ... Retrograde ... Retrograde."
Then lift your arm straight out, and slightly
elevated, like the growth of US GDP, (before
you deduct for inflation and US$ devaluation.)

Give a hearty, "Seig heil!"

Now, Dorothy, rotate your wrist until your
hand is perpendicular to the ground, then
spread your fingers, thumb up, little finger
down. Got it? Your little finger represents
the future of the bottom 20% of workers, on
down the money hole. The remaining fingers
represent the future of the US middle class,
fundamentally flat-line, even before you
deduct for inflation and US$ devaluation.

And the upraised thumb represents the rich,
that carnivore vampiroyal hot-money elite.

Now, Dorothy, curl your fingers into a fist,
a fist crushing the life of the middle class,
until you're giving the Neo American salute
to deficit-spending (why they wear red ties).

Now read Bernanke's acceptance speech again.

Thumbs up! Hoo-ahh!

Posted by: tante aime | Nov 12 2005 19:44 utc | 5

160,000 occupation troops beats diebold hands down

Posted by: Friendly Fire | Nov 13 2005 0:26 utc | 6

@ tante aime: What are the blue ties for?

Posted by: beq | Nov 13 2005 0:32 utc | 7


pusillanimity ;)

Posted by: Malooga | Nov 13 2005 0:49 utc | 8

It seems like the rulers of the world are one huge mafia organization, and to climb up to a position of power you have to be a "made man", you have to have proved to the elite that no human life, that no truth, nothing, will stand in the way of your service of the ultra-rich. Having made that commitment, you can become a playa, and Chalabi is certainly a playa. Who controls who? Obviously our goverment contols Chalabi because it is far easier to kill one "human" being. Once you become a playa, you have many resources at your disposal: the MSM will lie a will for you, hidden caches of money are at your disposal, same with military--overt or covert--protection and intelligence. Also, as long as you are earnestly trying to help the ultrarich, you can fail--and you will only move up.

Still, Sistani could be playing Chalabi as easy as the reverse; we will see.

Posted by: Malooga | Nov 13 2005 1:00 utc | 9

How to be an effective 'Playa' and leave inconvenient moral and ethical concerns behind ...

The Prince, by Niccolò Machiavelli.

'The theory of realpolitik is largely based on a foundation Machiavelli laid'

Posted by: Outraged | Nov 13 2005 1:15 utc | 10

However, in the 20th and especially 21st century rather than being an effective Prince, serving the needs of a principality or a nation state of the 18th & 19th centuries ... the playa's, now serve a transnational, difficult to nail, cross-culture entity loosely defined as, corporate capital ?

Posted by: Outraged | Nov 13 2005 1:20 utc | 11


I hope this doesn't sound obnoxious because I really just want to understand fully what you are saying. My understanding of 'playa' is exactly as the urban dictionary defines it: A person who has enough game">">game (and hence, enough respect) can do whatever they want..... say whatever crazy things they want to say, and still win the adoration of others.

Is that what you meant as well?

Posted by: Enough | Nov 13 2005 2:01 utc | 12

No perception re obnoxious at all :)

Ah, an unintentional typo. By way of explanation, my intent was to refer to a different type of 'player' ... geopolitics, empire and thier willing servants, the Military forces and Intelligence agencies ... as in one involved in the 'Great Game' ... or more specifically, the 'Great Game Renewed':

The Great Game Renewed
With the end of the Second World War and the beginning of the Cold War, the United States displaced Britain as the global power, asserting its influence in the Middle East in pursuit of oil, containment of the Soviet Union, and access to other resources. This period is sometimes referred to as "The New Great Game" by commentators, and there are references in the military, security and diplomatic communities to "The Great Game" as an analogy or framework for events involving India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and more recently, the post-Soviet republics of Central Asia. In 1997, Zbigniew Brzezinski published "The Grand Chessboard" which advocated a 21st century version of the Great Game. Many believe that Project for the New American Century and the neo-conservatives in the Bush Administration are following the Grand Chessboard playbook to the letter.

Posted by: Outraged | Nov 13 2005 2:31 utc | 13

"In brief, for the United States, ... geostrategy involves the purposeful management of geostrategically dynamic states and the careful handling of geopolitically catalytic states, in keeping with the twin interests of America in the short-term: preservation of its unique global power and in the long-run transformation of it into increasingly institutionalized global cooperation. To put it in a terminology that hearkens back to the more brutal age of ancient empires, the three grand imperatives of imperial geostrategy are to prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals, to keep tributaries pliant and protected, and to keep the barbarians from coming together."
— Zbigniew Brzezinski, from The Grand Chessboard

So, to our non-American citizens, are you a vassal, a tributary or a barbarian in the eyes of the administration ?

Posted by: Outraged | Nov 13 2005 2:39 utc | 14

Right Outraged, to care about the land & people where you live is derided as Nationalism. Money is the One and Only God. "god" as religions know it, is a mere sop thrown to the alert 'cuz that is ALL they intend to throw us as they Steal All the Entire Productive Apparatus...hence JackAss Party starting to yak about values, translates into since we Refuse to Support Economic policies that benefit the people, maybe we should hop on this religious bandwagon too.

Posted by: jj | Nov 13 2005 2:40 utc | 15

from Greg Palast's, Opec And The Economic Conquest Of Iraq:

TWO AND A HALF YEARS AND $202 BILLION into the war in Iraq, the United States has at least one significant new asset to show for it: effective membership, through our control of Iraq's energy policy, in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the Arab-dominated oil cartel. . .

In plotting the destruction of OPEC, the neocons failed to predict the virulent resistance of insurgent forces: the U.S. oil industry itself. . .

Opposition to OPEC was handled in a style that would have made Saddam proud. On May 20, 2004, Iraqi police raided Ahmad Chalabi's home in Baghdad and carted away his computers and files. Chalabi was hunted by his own government: the charge was espionage, no less, for Iran. Chalabi's Governing Council was soon shut down and, crucially, Bahr al-Uloum was yanked from the Oil Ministry and replaced by the very men he had removed: Thamer Ghadhban, who took al-Uloum's job at the oil ministry and Chalabi rival Muhammad al-Jiburi who was made minister of trade.

But just when you thought the fat lady sang for the neo-cons, who should rise from his crypt eight months later but Ahmad Chalabi. In January 2005, Chalabi cut a deal with his former oil minister's father, a Shia power broker, and rode that religious ethnic vote back into office. Chalabi landed himself the post of Second Deputy Prime Minister and, in addition, the tantalizing title of interim oil minister. The espionage investigation was dropped; the King of Jordan offered to pardon Chalabi for the $72 million missing from Chalabi's former bank; and Chalabi once again turned over his oil ministry to Sheik al-Uloum's son. The Texans' OPEC man Ghadhban, was again kicked downstairs.

But Chalabi had learned his lesson: don't mess with Texas, or the Texan's favorite cartel. A chastened Chalabi now endorses Iraq's cooperation with OPEC's fleecing of the planet's oil consumers.

Posted by: manonfyre | Nov 13 2005 2:43 utc | 16


Yes, well, (IMHO)there is only one party, just two slightly different factions, Zbigniew Brzezinski has and is the Dems man ... there is only one strategy between the two of them.

It's just that one faction 'appears' less phsychotic, pseudo-fascist or brutal and is more inclined to smile cheerfully, endearingly, usually with more 'charisma' ... as they murder and pillage in the service of empire ... ahem, the Dems ... how nice.

The People, the irrelevant powerless sheeple, are catapulted between the rule of alternating administrations doing a 'Bad cop' - 'Good cop' routine, when in fact the 'Good cop' is just roleplaying being 'Good'.

Posted by: Outraged | Nov 13 2005 2:50 utc | 17


You are an extraordinarily kind and generous person. Thank you for making me feel less foolish than I should:*) I have learned more here in a week than I have learned at my very pricey University. (Yes, yes very tacky remark).

Shukran ya brainiac. maa3assalaama.

Posted by: Enough | Nov 13 2005 3:49 utc | 18

Carter 'disturbed' by direction of U.S.


KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Former President Jimmy Carter, on a tour to promote his latest book, is sharply questioning the direction the Bush administration has taken the country.

"Everywhere you go, you hear, 'What has happened to the United States of America? We thought you used to be the champion of human rights. We thought you used to protect the environment. We thought you used to believe in the separation of church and state,'" Carter said...

He placed responsibility for that moral crisis largely on the Bush administration, citing a pre-emptive war policy, inadequate attention to the environment, and the use of torture against some prisoners.

Yes, all very good, and Jimmy has well known strong 'moral' values ... yet there's no repudiation of American Exceptionalism or Pax Americana as imperialism ...

Posted by: Outraged | Nov 13 2005 4:09 utc | 19


So, according to the Palast link, Chalabi voted for privitization, before he voted against it. And can point back to the record to show he's all for

But, the most interesting thing (from the link) is how the cheney administration is so willing, when push comes to shove, to betray even their closest ideological base (neo-liberalism) in favor of pure unadultrated greed. Everything supposedly grounded in principal, be it religion, democracy, individualism, or free-market ideology itself are but heads to stand upon in their insatiable quest for more money, they are an abject mockery to their most ardent supporters.

Posted by: anna missed | Nov 13 2005 4:41 utc | 20

Exceptionalism is the problematic forest from the trees, and the most difficult to see, let alone repudiate -- because its everywhere. Sometimes it seems to me to be a replacement for americas lack of homogenious ethnic based cultural identity in favor of an idealized big tent social model grounded in, you guessed it, individualism-- which is just the beginning of a whole host of contradictions that characterize the american way, and are at the root of most of its problems.

Posted by: anna missed | Nov 13 2005 5:04 utc | 21

"to betray even their closest ideological base (neo-liberalism) "

Seems to me that there's a whole host of different factions in the Republican coalition: cunning thieves, true-believers of various sorts and short-sighted opportunists.

What unites them: they're all scum.

Posted by: Joe T. | Nov 13 2005 5:05 utc | 22


I used the word "Playa" advisedly because Playas feel like Big Men, like they are indispensible, but in reality, no one is indispensible or bigger than the system. Same with this system, no body can "just do what they want," unless it is really what the system wants.


If the Neo-Cons were following the Great Game to the letter, they wouln't have been publicly chastized by Scowcroft. In reality, there is very little daylight between Scowcroft and Zbiggie.

As far as whether the Oil industry is privatised or public, that is just tactics. The real question is how much vigorish, if any at all, ever trickles down to the Iraqi populace. It doesn't matter what type of cake it is, it matters what size slices the parties get. Best if the Iraqi's get a big slice, but they are only allowed to look at it-- not actually eat it.

Tonight I watched "Some Like It Hot", great movie, I had never seen it before, on TV. I started thinking about Prohibition in relationship to the culture wars going on today, and I realized that the powers that be don't really care if the x-tians win all the battles. It keeps the Sheeple occupied so that they don't have the energy to protest the great upward wealth transfer. Plus they know that all this cultural stuff is just a pendulum, it will swing back one day, just like Prohibition. The rich live by a different set of rules anyway. They'll always be albe to get abortions and drugs and "Get Out of Jail Free" cards.

They tried Allawi, the Defense department pick. He didn't thrill anyone. Next, they'll try Chalabi, State's pick. He's a crafty guy, but he'll have to dodge a few more bullets before his power is consolidated. Or be satisfied as Karzai's counterpart: The mayor of Bagdhad.

Posted by: Malooga | Nov 13 2005 6:21 utc | 23

Somewhere I saw an article stating that all of our equipment in Iraq is wearing out, and will be given to the Iraqis; and I haven't heard of funding requests to replace it all.

Posted by: Malooga | Nov 13 2005 7:54 utc | 24

I agree with anna missed, more or less, but:

The other issue which the administration would dearly like to avoid, is having Iraq fall into the hands of the non-secular forces, that would in any way cast all their blood and treasure into the service of a (Iranian) mullah bound theocracy.

I’m not so sure about that. The US is not keen on secular forces, and whenever it can encourage fundamentalism, it does. Look at the old ally: Saudi Arabia...

Might not Chalabi, with his Iranian ties, finally convince the US that a partnership of control is the most advantageous? That is, Iran and the US together would control a part of Iraq, with the US nominally in charge for the US public? - the other bits going to the Kurds, etc. Wouldn’t that be a good face-saver?

Might that not correspond to a Democrat view? Kerry wanted to appease Iraq - you know, all those important international alliances, treat with people rather than bomb them!

In any case, I have seen the mutual threatening posture US-Iran as rather empty. (Past few years.) There is no way the US will take on Iran. The Iranians know it, I’m sure. If you can’t beat them, join them.

Just a conjecture.

What is attractive about Chalabi is that he is a supremely successful crook.

Posted by: Noisette | Nov 13 2005 17:05 utc | 25

should read: Kerry wanted to appease IRAN ...

Posted by: Noisette | Nov 13 2005 17:06 utc | 26

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