Saturday, July 07, 2007

Melik Kaylan's interview with Ahmed Chalabi

From Melik Kaylan's interview with Ahmed Chalabi in today's OJ,
His recounting of post-war Iraqi history--which began with the high-handed regency of L. Paul Bremer and then the appointed Iraqi government of Ayad Allawi--returns again and again to this point.

"The problems began when the U.S. declared an official occupation," he says. "We told the U.S. not to have an occupation, that it would be a disaster. We never intended that. We wanted the Iraqis to run their own affairs, but we were not trusted to do that. Two years ahead of time, we asked [the U.S.] for a 10,000 man multiethnic military police force of Iraqis to be trained.
. . . We were refused."
If Democrats want to have hearings on Iraq, it's really this decision of occupation vs social revolution that needs to be explained.

Here's Jed Babbin on it,
Few know that in early 2003 - a month or more before the Iraq invasion - President Bush was presented with two plans for post-war Iraq. The first, written by CIA Director George Tenet and Secretary of State Colin Powell, provided for a long occupation of Iraq and the nation-building that the president renounced in his 2000 campaign. The second, a Pentagon plan authored by Rumsfeld's team, provided for the establishment of a provisional government before the invasion and American withdrawal within months of Saddam's overthrow. The president, convinced by Powell that "if you break it, you own it", chose the Powell-Tenet plan and ordered Rumsfeld to carry it out.
Update: Chris Allbritton writes over at IraqSlogger,
In Chalabi's views, everything would have been hunky-dory in Baghdad if the Americans had just let the Iraqis run the show, presumably with him in charge. (Which was pretty much the plan until those meddlin' State Department kids showed up.)
Considering the decision to go with the meddlin' State Department kids turned a bust, maybe Congress should hold some hearings to see the pre-meddlin' plan wasn't such a bad idea afterall?

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