The 2000’s produced a panoply of villains, cretins and bunglers on Iraq and the broader Middle East. Truly, however, none of them can hold a candle to the pudgy-faced boy wonder of the American Enterprise Institute, Michael Rubin.
On March 1, six days ahead of Iraq’s March 7 parliamentary election, Rubin will be a featured speaker at an AEI conference entitled: "Iraq’s Elections: Progress or Peril?"
For an organization that was obsessed with Iraq for years, especially in the period before and after the 2003 U.S. invasion, when it held an endless series of "black coffee briefings" on Iraq that often featured people like Ahmed Chalabi and his confreres, the AEI has been remarkably silent on Iraq lately. Perhaps that’s because AEI, and Rubin, had consensual intercourse with Chalabi for years, and now Chalabi has emerged in full blossom as a pro-Iranian villain purging Tehran’s opponents in Iraq.
Yet Chalabi’s ties to Tehran don’t faze Rubin. In a February 1 article in his favorite outlet, National Review Online, Rubin wrote a piece so mind-bogglingly stupid that it surpasses even his past efforts at winning a place in the Guinness Moron Book of Records. While the whole world, including countless good-hearted Iraqis, expressed outrage over the McCarthyite purge of more than 500 Iraqi candidates by Rubin’s comrade, Chalabi, because of trumped-up charges about ties to the deposed Arab Baath Socialist Party, Rubin cavalierly dismissed the purge. He wrote:
"After the Iraqi parliament banned 500 candidates from contesting the March 7 national elections, Vice President Joseph Biden rushed to Baghdad to urge Iraqi political leaders to reconsider. While the ban has fueled U.S. cynicism about Iraqi democracy, such cynicism is unwarranted, especially now.
"The Iraqi parliament’s decision did not wipe out Sunni candidates. Even the majority Shia lists are multi-sectarian. Iraqis say the controversy is really about rule-of-law and sovereignty issues. Across the ethnic and sectarian spectrum — and even in senior Iraqi military circles — Iraqis consider it likely that there will be a Baathist coup attempt following U.S. withdrawal, even if they disagree about its chances of success. Indeed, it is no coincidence the current defense minister is among those banned by parliament."
You’ll note that three times in those two paragraphs Rubin says that the candidate ban was imposed by the "Iraqi parliament." In fact, the ban was the nefarious work of an unaccountable body called the Justice and Accountability Commission. And the JAC is controlled by Ahmed Chalabi and one of his cronies in the Iraqi National Congress, Ali al-Lami. Rather than talk about the purge, Rubin gives credence to the nonsensical and paranoid concerns, often expressed by Iran’s closest allies in Iraq, about a "Baathist coup attempt."