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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 8, 2005 / 28 Adar II, 5765

The friend we betrayed

By Max Boot


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In 1987, after he was exonerated of corruption charges, former Secretary of Labor Raymond Donovan issued the classic plea of the wronged man: "Which office do I go to get my reputation back?" Whichever office it is, Ahmad Chalabi may want to apply there as well.

The leader of the Iraqi National Congress has been the most unfairly maligned man on the planet in recent years. If you believe what you read, Chalabi is a con man, a crook and, depending on which day of the week it is, either an American or Iranian stooge.

The most damning charge is that he cooked up the phony intelligence that led to the invasion of Iraq. In the words of that noted foreign policy sage Maureen Dowd: "Ahmad Chalabi conned his neocon pals, thinking he could run Iraq if he gave the Bush administration the smoking gun it needed to sell the war."

Such calumnies are so ingrained by now that La Dowd published that sentence on Sunday, three days after the release of the Robb-Silberman report that refutes it. The bipartisan commission headed by Chuck Robb and Laurence Silberman did not give Chalabi a totally clean bill of health. It found that two INC-supplied defectors were "fabricators." But it also determined that the most notorious liar popularly linked to the INC — a defector known as "Curveball" who provided false information on Saddam Hussein's biological weapons — "was not influenced by, controlled by, or connected to the INC."

"In fact, over all," the Robb-Silberman report concluded, "CIA's postwar investigations revealed that INC-related sources had a minimal impact on prewar assessments." Translation: The CIA's attempts to scapegoat Chalabi for its own failures won't wash.

This is only one of many unsubstantiated accusations against Chalabi. Last August, for instance, an Iraqi judge issued an arrest warrant for Chalabi and his nephew, Salem Chalabi. Ahmad was supposedly guilty of counterfeiting, Salem of having an Iraqi official murdered. Within weeks the bizarre charges were dropped for lack of evidence.

Unfortunately, no court of law has examined the accusations made by anonymous U.S. spooks that Chalabi told the Iranian government that one of its codes had been broken by the United States. U.S. officials claimed that they found out Chalabi was the source of the leak because they were able to decode a message to that effect to Tehran. But why would Iranian agents use the compromised code to transmit that information? And how would a foreign national such as Chalabi get access to secret intercepts? Guess we're supposed to take the U.S. intelligence community's word for all this, even though its judgment has been discredited in every outside inquiry.

Then there's the charge that Chalabi was guilty of fraud at a Jordanian bank he once owned. A secret Jordanian military tribunal convicted him in absentia in 1992. Chalabi argues that this was a frame-up by Jordanians eager to seize his assets and curry favor with Hussein. The truth may come out in a lawsuit that Chalabi has filed in the U.S. against the Jordanian government. In the meantime, claims that he's a swindler must be treated with skepticism.

This man risked his life and his fortune to overthrow one of the worst tyrants of the 20th century. He deserves better. More important, the U.S. would have done better in Iraq if it had been listening to Chalabi as much as conspiracy buffs claimed.

In early 2003, the Bush administration ignored Chalabi's warnings that liberation should not be allowed to turn into occupation. Chalabi wanted to set up an interim government right away. The administration refused on the grounds that exiles had no standing in Iraq. So instead that well-known Iraqi, L. Paul Bremer III, was anointed potentate. His mistakes, which Chalabi criticized, resulted in a critical loss of momentum. A year later, the U.S. finally appointed a government headed by Chalabi's cousin and rival, Iyad Allawi. If an exile could be appointed in 2004, why not in 2003?

But don't worry about Chalabi. Unlike Secretary Donovan, he's done just fine. Contrary to CIA reports that he had no constituency, he has positioned himself at the center of Iraqi politics. He was a leading candidate for prime minister and will probably get a Cabinet post.

On second thought, Chalabi is better off not getting his old reputation — that of a U.S. ally — back. Being reviled in Washington may be the best gift that any Iraqi politician could receive.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

BOOT'S LATEST
The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power  

The book was selected as one of the best books of 2002 by The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times and The Christian Science Monitor. It also won the 2003 General Wallace M. Greene Jr. Award, given annually by the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation for the best nonfiction book pertaining to Marine Corps history. Sales help fund JWR.



Max Boot is Olin Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. He is also a contributing editor to The Weekly Standard and a weekly columnist for the Los Angeles Times. To comment, please click here.


04/01/05: The Iraq War's Outsourcing Snafu
03/25/05: Why neither party is serious about solving the growing gas crisis

© 2005, Los Angeles Times. Distributed by Los Angeles Times Syndicate

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