The Null Device

Pro-war arguments analysed

An interesting analysis of arguments for invading Iraq, from the likelihood of Iraq arming al-Qaeda to the US wanting to bring democracy to the Iraqi people (the majority of whom are pro-Iranian Shiites).

There are 7 comments on "Pro-war arguments analysed":

Posted by: mitch http:// Tue Jan 21 22:50:31 2003

Shiite != pro-Iranian, especially in Iraq. Iraq's Shia apparently have a history of rivalry with Iran's Shia over spiritual leadership in the Shiite world. The relatively mediocre theological credentials of Khomeini's successor Khamenei can't help things either.

Posted by: acb Wed Jan 22 08:12:39 2003

The "Iraqi National Congress" being groomed by Washington to govern after Saddam is not representative of the demographics in Iraq. The main opposition groups which exist within Iraq are either (a) Communists or (b) Shi'ite Islamists, and both are unacceptable to Washington.

Then again, Afghan president Hamid Karzai is a former Unocal employee.

Posted by: mitch http:// Thu Jan 23 02:01:44 2003

The INC is led by a Shiite. Okay, he's a number theorist, not an Islamist.

On a lighter note:

Posted by: acb Thu Jan 23 05:21:43 2003

Is he a former/current employee of any US oil companies or affiliated firms (like Hamid Karzai is (of Unocal))?

Posted by: mitch http:// Thu Jan 23 07:19:08 2003

Not to my knowledge; he (Ahmad Chalabi) taught math in Lebanon and ran a bank in Jordan before the Gulf War, and since then he's been Mr INC. He has been meeting with oil guys recently, though.

However! Zalmay Khalilzad, another Unocal associate who was Bush's envoy to Afghanistan, is apparently now in charge of liaising with the Iraqi opposition.

Posted by: mitch http:// Thu Jan 23 07:32:46 2003

Another factoid about Chalabi: the Pentagon likes him, the CIA (and the State Department) don't. I call it a factoid because it's just a story that has currency; I don't see any way to verify it. In general, so the story goes, the CIA thinks the INC is ineffectual and would rather deal with someone who already has a power base within Iraq. I also get the impression that the group within the Pentagon who advocate supporting the INC are the same group who don't trust the CIA's intelligence on Iraq, and formed their own committee to examine the primary sources independently. E.g. the CIA is said to have discounted a lot of reports obtained by the INC from Iraqi defectors... I haven't heard of any input from oilmen into that particular battle; it seems to be happening on a different political plane.

Posted by: mitch http:// Thu Jan 23 07:44:26 2003

More factoids, freshly mined, believe at your peril: Instead of the INC, the CIA (and the Saudis) supported the Jordan-based INA ("Iraqi National Accord"). The INA is Baathist but not Saddamist, and consists of military defectors. In 1996 it was supposed to organize a coup, but it was thoroughly infiltrated by Iraqi intelligence and the coup averted. The Iraqis even captured the CIA-issued communications gear of the rebels and used it to call the station chief in Jordan, telling him to pack his bags and go back to America. Despite all this, the INA is still around and has a seat at exile conferences, along with the INC, Iran's favorites SCIRI, and the Kurdish groups.

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