•Babak Makkinejad: —
You ask who made the decision to disband the Iraqi army, and why.
A $60,000 question, one might say: particularly as disbanding the Iraqi army was so patently not in the interests of most Iraqis — and not in the interests of the United States.
But of course, it was in the interests of Ahmad Chalabi. For there was no conceivable way in which an Iraqi national army would have accepted the installation of Chalabi as ruler of Iraq. And this, it seems clear, was the original neocon conception of ‘democracy’ in Iraq.
But then — this leads us on to another £60,000 question.
There is a great deal of evidence that Chalabi has close ties to Iranian intelligence agencies. And of course, one can easily see how the destruction of an Iraqi national army, whose identity was bound up with the war against Iran, could be in the interests of the Islamic Republic.
So: was Chalabi acting as an agent of influence of Iranian intelligence agencies? If so, which agencies are we talking about, and what precisely were they trying to achieve?
Would they have been acting opportunistically? (After all, given the historical record, it would be no great surprise if they had been afraid that Saddam Hussein and the Americans might have decided to bury the hatchet. The suspicion that shared desire to see the Iranian regime destroyed might once again make Washington see the Baathists as better than any likely alternative would doubtless have been ill-founded. But it would hardly have been surprising had this possibility concerned planners in Tehran.)
But then — it is equally possible to envisage how the Iranians could have seen how the unfathomable stupidity of the neocons could be exploited in their own interests. After all, a situation where the Americans have got rid of Saddam, where the power-holders in Baghdad (insofar as anyone holds power there now) are Iranian-backed; and where a large American army could easily see its supply lines cut, should the U.S. take military action against Iran —
That might seem to serve the interests of the Islamic Republic very well, might it not? Indeed, it might be held to serve them so well that a suspicious mind could wonder whether something like this could have been in the mind of Iranian intelligence agencies from the start.
But then, of course, the fact that an outcome suits someone does not provide good reason to believe that there was some Machiavellian strategy to produce it from the start. It can be very dangerous to underestimate the guile of an adversary. But then — it can be equally dangerous to attribute deeply-considered strategy to an adversary who may be just muddling along.
Anyhow, it would interest me greatly to hear your view of how far Chalabi was the instrument of Iranian intelligence agencies — and, insofar as in your view he was, what you think these were trying to achieve.