UPDATE 05/25/04: In the news:
Neo-con icon takes con. By Arnaud de Borchgrave. Here is an excerpt:
As the bearer of good "cakewalk" news, Chalabi collected almost $40 million from U.S. taxpayers before the plug was pulled on his ambitions to succeed Saddam. Even though the CIA and the State Department certified Chalabi as a super con man, the Defense Intelligence Agency decided he was on the level and went on paying him $340,000 a month until early May. Now everyone is running for cover. (United Press International, 05/24/04.)
Ahmad Chalabi's House of Games. His con is up. By Fred Kaplan. Here is an excerpt:
Before Saddam fell, Chalabi appeared to be a secular Shiite. (During a public forum last June at the Council on Foreign Relations, he referred to Iraq's Shiites as not "we," but "they.") Now, as power gravitated toward the Grand Ayatollah Sistani, Chalabi formed a pact with the most militant of Shiite sects, even leading a walkout when the Governing Council took up a measure to secularize family law. (Slate, 05/24/04.)
Ahmad Chalabi, spy or scapegoat? By Carol Devine-Molin. Here is an excerpt:
Apart from money, which is a powerful motivator in and of itself, the question is why Chalabi would be willing to get into bed with the Iranians? One theory is that Chalabi, a Shiite, was attempting to position himself as a "man of the people" in efforts to ingratiate himself to the Shiites of Iraq and solidify his political base. Iran admits "close ties" to Chalabi, but maintains that there is no espionage involvement. Are we to believe such gobbledygook? It just doesn't ring true, given the patently corrupt nature of the Iranian regime. (Enter Stage Right, 05/24/04.)
Exit Chalabi: The diplomatic art of dumping friends. By Husain Haqqani. Here is an excerpt:
Perhaps the Chalabi affair will prompt some thinking in Washington about how not to choose a "bad" friend in the first place, and how to avoid giving the impression that its allies have duped the United States. Washington also needs to figure out a way of cutting ties with undesirable allies without deepening the impression that America does not stand by its friends. (International Herald Tribune, 05/25/04.)
For more on this story, check out Cox & Forkum's post, Strange Bedfellows.
For more cartoons like this, check out John Cox & Allen Forkum's book, Black & White World.