April 11, 2003

Passions Running High over Ahmed

Passions Running High over Ahmed Chalabi!

Here's the view from the pro-Foggy Bottom anti-Pentagon side of the fence.

Galbraith finds a pretty fired up Danielle Pletka when interviewing her for this article:

"Danielle Pletka, vice president of the AEI and an expert on the Iraqi opposition, angrily denounced State Department officials who disparage Chalabi. "The [Defense Department] is running post-Saddam Iraq," said Pletka, almost shouting. "The people at the State Department don't know what they are talking about! Who the hell are they? Who gives a good goddamn what they think?" Pletka concedes that the State Department has a "deep bench," a lot of expertise and Arabic-speaking professionals. "But they need to remember that the president of the United States needs to be boss," she said. "And the simple fact is, the president is comfortable with people who are comfortable with the INC."

Oh my.

Meanwhile, a retired diplomat who served often in the Middle East and is not a died-in-the-wool-Arabist-type describes Chalabi to me thus:

"Unreliable, financially suspect (implicated in a corrupt banking deal in Jordan), self promoter and not considered to have grass roots support among Shi'a."

It's going to get nasty and Dubya is going to have to play umpire. Stay tuned.

Posted by Gregory at April 11, 2003 12:06 PM
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