Interesting thoughts from Antiwar.com about American strategy for 2005.
One thing I am beginning to realize - as I understand it, the Iraqi elections will be based on the idea that people vote for party lists and the parties put in power people from those lists form the top down based on their percentage of the vote.
For example, if there are 100 open seats and a party gets 27% of the vote, its first 27 members get put in power.
PLEASE CORRECT ME IF I AM WRONG.
Isn't this a good way to force the Iraqis to accept our choices for their leaders? I mean, just make certain that Ahmad Chalabi is at the top of a popular list, and they'll have to essentially vote for him in order to vote for others.
I remember David Frum (read the last paragraph) asking why people were so opposed to giving Ahamd Chalabi a chance to run for office, as if there was no attempt to install him, he just wanted his fair shake, and those evil CIAers and State Departmenters wanted to deny the Iraqis the attempt to vote for him. Richard Perle, who co-wrote "An End to Evil" with Frum, also claimed that he had no desire to anoint Chalabi, although his overstatement of Iraqi support for Chalabi would tend to suggest otherwise (i.e. he wanted Chalabi anointed with the pretense that the Iraqis were clamoring for him).
But in reality it appears that the elections may be rigged so that he will have to get elected to office.
Which of course, is what David Frum and Richard Perle has basically desired all along, despite playing coy. Although I can't find it now, I remember reading an article where Mr. Perle suggested that conquering Iraq would help the Israeli-Palestinain situation because the political faction he and his political bedfellows were behind (i.e., Chalabi's) was very Israel-friendly. The unspoken assumption was that Chalabi would be put in power in Iraq, although Perle again denied an "anointing," that Chalabi would just get a chance to run but Perle would vote for him "if I were an Iraqi."
By the way, my take on Chalabi? Same as Fred Kaplan's. He's not working for Israel, or Iran, or the US, or the Iraqi people. Ahmad Chalabi's working for one person. Ahmad Chalabi.
That is all.