Chalabi, Greatest Con Man of His Generation, Dead at 71

by Jim Lobe

There’s no doubt that Ahmad Chalabi earned that title, at least insofar as he manipulated the world’s most powerful nation into a disastrous war. Whether he did so on behalf of Iran or, more likely, simply to further his own very large ambitions will presumably be a very interesting focus of debate among historians and his biographers for decades.

I look forward to eulogies by Richard Perle, Bernard Lewis, Jim Woolsey, and, of course, Paul Wolfowitz, among so many others neocons who were conned by this truly remarkable operator.

Perle never gave up on him, while the brilliant Wall Street Journal editorial board writers were still promoting him at least as late as 2010. And Perle as late as 2014! And think of all the prominent useful idiots (like George Shultz and Joe Lieberman) who effectively acted as his front organization in the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq

And now he’s dead. Both the American Enterprise Institute, which did so much to boost his career, and the IRGC, are in mourning today.

Jim Lobe

Jim Lobe served for some 30 years as the Washington DC bureau chief for Inter Press Service and is best known for his coverage of U.S. foreign policy and the influence of the neoconservative movement.



  1. There were various efforts by the Bush admin and neocons to justify their doomed invasion of Iraq by trying to blame it all on Iran, one way or another. Claiming that the “Iranian agent” Chalabi somehow tricked the innocent Bush admin into invading Iraq is one. Another was to claim that Saddam pretended to have nukes in order to deter Iran but ended up accidentally causing the US to invade — never mind that actually Iraq filed a 12000 page declaration of how it did not have WMDs but was invaded anyway

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