February 23, 2005

International Man of Mystery Ahmed Chalabi

Your tax dollars at work: Suspected Iranian agent Ahmed Chalabi is challenging Ayatollah Sistani's brother-in-law Ibrahim Jafari for the post of Prime Minister of Iraq. I've often asked what is the source of Chalabi's appeal to the elites he comes in contact with (whereas commoners who know him only from his record -- embezzling millions in Jordan, lying the U.S. into the War in Error, possibly handing U.S. secrets over to the Iranian intelligence agency, etc. -- generally hold him in contempt). I've hypothesized in the past that Chalabi must somehow possess Rasputin-like sexual magnetism, but that seems unlikely.

The simplest explanation for Chalabi's appeal to insiders points to that $100,000,000 of the U.S. taxpayers' money that the U.S. government has given him over the years, much of which remains unaccounted for. You can make yourself a pretty doggone popular guy in Washington and Baghdad for just a fraction of $100,000,000. But it could turn out to be a very good investment on Chalabi's part, since Iraq's oil reserves are worth trillions.

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