- Stuck with a lemon in Chalabi, who appears to have gone back on his promises to the neocons to turn Iraq over to Israeli interests, the neocons have decided to make lemonade by throwing him out of power. The Iranian story makes it clear that he's not getting back in, and disproves conspiracy theories that the raid on Chalabi was just a way to make him look better to the Iraqis. The American government can hardly allow an Iranian 'Axis of Evil' agent to run Iraq. Whoever replaces him will no doubt show the proper attitude to Israel, including having the oil flow to Haifa.
- The neocons provide themselves with an excuse for their failed attack on Iraq, as they can now blame the whole attack on Iraq on misinformation supplied to them by the Iranians through their secret agent Chalabi (I wonder if it will suddenly turn out that the Niger uranium documents were Iranian forgeries). The neocons can argue that the Office of Special Plans was as deceived as everybody else, and the whole attack wasn't a neocon trick on the American people, but an Iranian trick on the American people.
- Chalabi can now take the blame for the stupid program of de-Ba'athification, thus letting the neocons, and in particular Bremer of Baghdad, off the hook.
- The Iranian story sets up Iran as the target for the next American attack, as the evil Iranians must be punished for tricking the Americans into the disastrous attack on Iraq.
- The neocons can now claim that they have lost all power in Washington to the interests of the State Department, who can finally get rid of the neocon hero Chalabi (we're even supposed to believe that Bremer of Baghdad would order an attack on Chalabi behind the backs of Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and Feith!!!). The neocons can thus pretend that it is the State Department that is in charge of the debacle in Iraq, and lay low until Bush gets reelected.
In order to believe all this you have to believe that the Iranians would want the Americans to attack Iraq. While they hated Saddam, he was absolutely no danger to them. On the other hand, having Iraq under military occupation by an American government whose stated goal is regime change in all the 'Axis of Evil' countries, including Iran, would be the last thing the Iranians would want. The attack on Iraq was the training wheels for a series of wars against those countries targeted by the neocons, and it was not in Iranian interests for this series of attacks to start. American bases in Iraq would be the perfect staging ground for an attack on Iran. It is preposterous to think the Iranians would use Chalabi to trick the neocons into attacking Iran. If Chalabi had Iranian contacts, and I have no doubt he did, he would have had the full blessing of the American government. Neocon ties to dodgy Iranians are not unprecedented: think of Ledeen and Manucher Ghorbanifar (Ledeen still purports to support Chalabi). When you hear that Chalabi's downfall is a great loss for the neocons, remember that it was Wolfowitz who ordered that his American stipend be cut off. The stories about Chalabi have even reached the crescendo that he was planning some kind of coup to destroy the new Iraqi government (with the American military in complete control of the country?!), and thus had to be removed. How many tall tales can Americans believe? The destruction of Ahmad Chalabi is another stunning victory for the neocons.