The Blame Game
Chalabi joins the ‘fun’:
So, Ahmad Chalabi, what went wrong in Iraq in the war you helped to sell? â€œThe Americans sold us out,â€? he tells longtime Baghdad reporter Dexter Filkins in a lengthy cover story in this coming Sundayâ€™s New York Times Magazine, reviewed by E&P.
Chalabi was the Iraqi exile who worked — via everyone from Paul Wolfowitz to Judith Miller — to convince America to topple Saddam in 2003 (not that many in the administration needed much convincing).
Now, in an interview in his London home, Chalabi, betraying what Filkins calls â€œa touch of bitterness,â€? declares, â€œThe real culprit in all this is Wolfowitz,â€? the former assistant secretary of defense, whom he still considers a friend. â€œThey chickened out. The Pentagon guys chickened outâ€¦The Americans screwed it up.â€?
But thatâ€™s not because they did too little but, rather, too much. Chalabi thinks the U.S. should have exited quickly and turned things over to Iraqis, such as himself and Moktada al-Sadr. â€œIt was a puppet show!” he says referring to the occupation. â€œThe worst of all worlds. We were in charge, and we had no power.â€?
He adds: â€œAmerica betrays its friends. It sets them up and betrays them. Iâ€™d rather be Americaâ€™s enemy.â€?
Of course Chalabi does in no way take any kind of responsibility himself. His main message is: the US should have given me (unlimited) power.
For those who have read Woodward’s State of Denial, Chalabis attitude is… ironic.
If someone wasn’t able to lead Iraq, it’s Chalabi.