Saturday, May 08, 2004

Zell and the Chalabis

L. Marc Zell has written a letter to Salon protesting, amongst other things, the quotes attributed to him in the article I referred to a few days ago. The author of the article, John Dizard, stands by the article and the accuracy of the quotes. Zell claims:

"I have never met with Mr. Ahmed Chalabi nor have I ever held any discussions with him."

While I suppose this is possible, it is extremely difficult to believe (Zell would have been better just to deny the accuracy of the quote, rather than gilding the lily by claiming he had never met Chalabi or had discussions with him). Zell is a former law partner of Douglas Feith, and appears still to be very close to Feith, and Feith is one of the main champions of Chalabi in Washington. For all the many years that Chalabi swanned around Washington as the darling of the neocons, it is very difficult to see how it is possible that Zell never met him. The neocon world is not that big. As well, Zell is a partner with Chalabi's nephew in Iraq, in an enterprise which bills itself as having insider contacts to the highest levels of the new Iraqi leadership. Nephew Chalabi's ability to peddle influence with his uncle, and Zell's ability to peddle influence with the Washington neocons, makes for a perfect lobbying partnership, albeit one that stinks to high heaven. Zell's problem is that his intemperate remarks about Chalabi breached the main taboo of the neocons. He revealed the fact that the whole war in Iraq and the continuing occupation were intended by the neocons to allow Israeli access to Iraqi oil and the Iraqi economy, with the long-term goal of extending 'Greater Israel' as far as the Euphrates (I find it funny that it is considered crazy to even mention this goal of the Israeli right in discussing the Middle East, while it is discussed openly, and with some pride, in Israel itself). This goal has been obvious for a long time now, but Zell's quote bitterly complaining that Chalabi reneged on his promises to grant favorable treatment to Israel is one of the clearest proofs that this disastrous war has been waged by a small group in Washington solely for the benefit of a small group in a foreign country. The billions of American dollars spent (soon to be trillions, as the neocons, in their planned assault on Najaf, are on the verge of their goal of starting WW III), and the hundreds of American lives lost (soon to be thousands), not to mention the irreversible loss of prestige of the United States around the world, has been engineered on behalf of the insane religious fantasies of a tiny group of people in Israel, a group which includes Zell himself. If the American people ever figure this out, you won't be able to find a lamppost in Washington that doesn't have a neocon swinging from it.