The Amazing Ahmed
His name isn&
t a household word. He couldn&
t be picked out of a crowd by 99 percent of Americans. Even the president claims he doesn&
t know who he is.
Yet, he sat behind Laura Bush during the president&
s state of the union address in 2004.
President Bush and former president Bill Clinton have each allocated tens of millions of dollars through the CIA directly to him.
In 1992 he presided over an umbrella organization under which he brought together men whose names can be found among the Iraqi leadership in place today.
He commanded an audience of both houses of congress and in 1998 convinced Clinton to pass a law most Americans have never read, yet would eventually be used to convince the American public to support sending U.S. troops into Iraq years later.
He convinced congress, the NSA, the Pentagon and the American people that the U.S. needed to invade Iraq immediately because Saddam had WMDs.
When he speaks, the highest levels of the U.S. government listen closely.
Despite his popularity and influence, he has enemies.
Just five months after leaving his prestigious seat behind the First Lady during the president's speech, his home was invaded and a gun put to his head by American troops. Two of his aides were arrested and the U.S. charged him with spying. A judge spent nearly a year trying to pin something on him.
But that was child's play. He had seen worst days.
There still exists a conviction (in abstention) by a court in Jordan that sentenced him to 22 years in prison with hard labor for a myriad of counts of bank fraud on a par with the Enron scandal.
Still, even that doesn&
t bother this Teflon man of steel.
And why should it? This is the man who organized the CIA-funded Iraqi National Congress (INC) to oversee the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, is the true un-elected power behind the unknown names in a new Iraqi government, and the guy who paved the way for the United States to gain control of the one of the largest oil reserves in the Middle East region.
Among a handful of very dubious and highly suspicious characters, this man ranks extremely high as the primary reason hundreds of thousands of American troops were sent to Iraq in 2003.
Forget Bush. Disregard Cheney for the moment. And just ignore Rumsfeld and Powell altogether.
Think about the man behind them all pulling the strings.
Meet the amazing Ahmed (also Ahmad) Chalabi &
133; Iraqi illusionist extraordinaire.
He razzles, he dazzles &
133; and then he disappears.
t worry. He always pops up in the most unexpected places and times. You can&
t keep this man down. And if you don&
t see him, perhaps you will see his nephew, Ali Allawi, who is currently Iraq&
s Minister of Finance (former Iraq Minister of Defense). Or maybe you will see his powerful cousin Ayad Allawi, who was appointed Iraq&
s interim Prime Minister between the time the U.S. invaded and the Iraqi election of 2005 &
133; whereby Chalabi ended up becoming a deputy Prime Minister. And there are many, many other names of men throughout Iraq who answer to him. Some are among the names you read in the newspapers daily.
But we don't see Chalabi very often. He is the man behind the scenes. He is the man with ultimate power.
To see beyond the façade of "democratizing" Iraq, the American public must come to know Ahmed Chalabi.
In the wake of the U.S. takeover of Iraq, yet another unknown name emerged, Ambassador Paul Bremer III. He was named "Presidential Envoy to Iraq" on May 6, 2003. In this position he became the official Administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) that governed Iraq. In other words, after Saddam, Bremer became Iraq's next dictator.
But Bremer was well suited for the job. After all, he had served in the State Department for more than 23 years. He served as Executive Assistant or Special Assistant to six (6) Secretaries of State.
When the front people change in the Oval Office, the people behind the scenes &
people like Bremer &
hold high-level positions and become the powerful people that are relied upon by the elected folks who walk through a revolving door of American politics.
While president Bush expressed to a Congressman from Illinois that he had little to do with Chalabi and didn't know who he was even though Chalabi was attending high-level meetings, including one in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 where the invasion of Iraq was discussed, Bremer was quite willing to speak about him to Diane Rehm on her nationally syndicated talk radio program.
In a interview, Rehm asked Bremer what did he think of Ahmed Chalabi.
"Ahmad Chalabi is one of the few Iraqis I've met who has a sense of what it takes to modernize Iraq." Bremer said.
Chalabi is no ordinary guy.
What un-elected Americans do you know that have the access and notoriety among America's most internal secret organizations?
What un-elected Americans do you know that has the capacity to call together a joint session of congress?
Consider all of the wealthy folks in this country and all of the ones who wield great power. Do any outrank Chalabi?
How does a man lead this nation into war on false premises, as established by the CIA, and yet still find himself at the pinnacle of power? How does he find himself at the wrong end of an M16 rifle while his home is being ransacked and yet emerge unscathed ... months later forcing out the Oil Minister and assuming his position?
What makes this man so powerful? And why are the doors of the highest levels of national security open to him?
How does this man qualify for hundreds of millions of American taxpayer dollars? And how does he manage to control trillions of dollars in oil reserves?
How does he squeeze out from underneath charges looming over his head from the U.S. that claim he is a spy for Iran, and weeks later it is Pentagon personnel who are taking lie detector tests while Chalabi is taking over Iraq's oil industry?
Who IS this guy?
He is a Shi'a Muslim with strong ties among the Shiite community. He is an extremely wealthy man from a wealthy Iraqi family who has worked together with the most secret elements of the U.S. government for many years. Educated at MIT with a Ph.D. in Mathematics from a university in Chicago he is a man who smiles and speaks eloquently. Long before George W. Bush became president, there was Chalabi manipulating U.S. politics. And long after Bush leaves the White House, Chalabi will continue to work his magic and wield incredible power.
At the close of 2005, he replaced the Iraqi Oil Minister Ibrahim Bahr al-Uloom, whom Chalabi recruited in the first place. Uloom was placed on a mandatory month-long leave. Who placed him on that mandatory leave of absence I don't know. But Chalabi is acting in his stead. And who appointed Chalabi to act as Oil Minister? Again, I don't know. Uloom subsequently tendered his resignation amid charges that he complained about the rising cost of gas in Iraq, but whether or not he will return remains to be seen.
Even as we watch the show going on in American politics with lobbyists being hauled off to jail, elected leaders distancing themselves and washing their dirty little hands &
133;the real show is occurring in Iraq, where America's future is invested in Iraq's future. And in Iraq, if you don't like the political scene, just wait six months &
133; it will change.
But the one constant in both Iraq and the U.S. is Ahmed Chalabi.
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email@example.com. Only those responses containing the writer's name, city and phone number (for verification purposes only) will appear on our site. Mike Green is an award-winning columnist and author of, "The WHOLE truth about the U.S. War on Terror: answers to every question you never knew to ask
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