April 09, 2003

Magnanimity Department Bob Kagan mostly

Magnanimity Department

Bob Kagan mostly hits all the right notes counseling mitigation of any U.S. triumphalism post victory and a good dose of magnanimity during the post-war period. Meanwhile, Jim Hoagland (did Doug Feith draft his op-ed?) is singing Ahmed Chalabi's praises.

Too much, I think. Many Iraqis will doubtless prefer a more home-grown leadership to take up the post-war leadership mantle. To be sure, Iraqi exile groups will have to be prominently represented in any future government. But to pitch Chalabi as the Iraqi Karzai isn't going to cut it, I fear, for a variety of reasons.

One reason comes to us from the Development Director of the International Rescue Committee, probably the leading U.S. humanitarian NGO [full disclosure: I used to work for them in the mid-90's]. Michael Kocher, most recently in Basra today, informs me that from run-of-the-mill folks to local non-Baath elites (and this is in the Shi'a south, Chalabi is Shi'a)--many locals were unenthusiastic about the prospects of Chalabi having an overly prominent role in the post-war government. Sure, that's just some sporadic reporting from Basra. But I'll have more on all this soon.

Posted by Gregory at April 9, 2003 12:55 PM
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