Saturday, May 29, 2004

Hitchens Defends Chalabi

And a lame job he makes of it, too.

A few cheap points - mine, that is, not his:

and the charge of puppetry, never very convincing, seems to have been dropped lately.

Not very convincing? Call me an old cynic, but $340,000 a month to keep an exiled political party in beer and sarnies doesn't exactly discourage charges of puppetry.

It has now been replaced with a whole new indictment: that Chalabi tricked the United States into war, possibly on Iran's behalf, and that he has given national security secrets to Iran. The first half of this is grotesque on its face. Even if you assume the worst to be true—that the INC's "defectors" were either mistaken or were conscious, coached fabricators—the fact remains that the crucial presentation of the administration's case on WMD and terrorism was made at the United Nations by Secretary of State Colin Powell, with CIA Director George Tenet sitting right behind him, after those two men most hostile to Chalabi had been closeted together.

For fucks sake, Christopher, don't you have a memory? You don't recall the power struggles between the doves, exemplified by Colin Powell, and the neo con hawks with their man Chalabi by their side? You don't recall the near humiliation of Powell as he was sidelined and the hawks ran rampant? He was defeated and he had the choice of chucking it all in or nodding and smiling. Being a politician he chose the latter. As for Tenet, who gives a shit where he sat? The CIA Director only exists as a fall guy for the failings of his political masters, anyway.

As to the accusation that Chalabi has endangered American national security by slipping secrets to Tehran, I can only say that three days ago, I broke my usual rule and had a "deep background" meeting with a very "senior administration official." This person, given every opportunity to signal even slightly that I ought to treat the charges seriously, pointedly declined to do so. I thought I should put this on record.

I just love this one. Christopher, mate,it's a good rule, and when you break it you look like a complete twat.

There's no mention in the Slate article of the corruption accusations levelled at Chalabi in Iraq and the alleged profiteering of his family members in the reconstruction efforts, but I won't go into that now.

Surely it's plain to anyone with a modicum of sense that the standing of Chalabi is merely a barometer of the twists and turns of the power struggles in the Bush administration.

The neo con's dream is doing a Freddy Kruger and their puppet is having his strings slashed.

Monday, May 24, 2004

Muslim Tory MEP slams 'racist' party. Now, far be it for me to cast aspersions on the intelligence of anyone, much less a millionaire pharmacist, but what the fuck did he expect?

Friday, May 21, 2004

Who'd a thought the grey one could have talked such sense?

In fact I'm starting to get worried. Ever since this, I've noticed a small but perceptible shift in my thinking. For a start, I don't automatically shudder at everything the Kid writes. I find Malcolm Rifkind a model of good sense these days, and now this, agreeing with John Major, of all people. Where will it end?
I must admit I get tired of the formulaic trashing of STWC by certain members of bloggo bloggo land, who cannot be named here,but this guy knows his onions and no mistake.

Friday, May 14, 2004

I just love India. At a time when much of the rest of the world is wallowing in religious fundamentalism, India goes, been there, done that, didn't like it.

Never mind that they're bringing back the Congress Party, with their lofty rhetoric and fingers in the till; hopefully Hindu bigotry - something of a contradiction in terms to the spirit, at least, of that curious religion - will be on the backburner for a while.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Hello again. Been away in Cyprus then had to deal with all the shit you get when you leave an 18 year old in charge of things.

Avoided the interwebnet while away and kept newspaper reading to a minimum. You know how it is, nonchalantly scanning the headlines of the red tops as you walk past the shop, wondering whether to buy one and then thinking fuck it, I'm on holiday, I don't want to know.

Well, what can you say? As someone who agonised long and hard about this war and despaired over who to support when there were no good guys, it saddens and sickens me to find some of my worst fears over the outcome being realised.

One of the weirder things to come out of this was Sully's take on Nick Berg's gruesome murder:

Let's start an internet campaign to insist that the major media - including the New Yorker, the networks, the major newsweeklies, and every major paper - run a picture of Zarqawi holding up Nick Berg's severed head. It's time to release the Pearl video and stills too. Enough with the double standards. The media were absolutely right to show the abuse photos. But they are only part of the story. It's about time the media gave us all of it, however harrowing it is.

I may have missed something, but the pictures I've seen of Abu Ghraib, degrading and shocking as they are, stop short of such hideousness. So, in Sully's mind there must be a different level of barbarity he wants my ten year old daughter (for instance) to see, depending on who is the perpetrator. And why stop at the severed head held up, Andrew? Why not a loving, lingering shot of the moment the jugular was severed, alongside, for balance, an Iraqi child's head hit by a sniper's bullet? Oh, yes, sorry, the balance thing, a bit of a misteak. It's not what this is about at all. Besides, doesn't happen. They murder , hideously, in cold blood, we just cause a bit of collateral damage.