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March 26, 2005



Conclusion? Hoagland is a dumbass. There are so many inaccuracies in this article I don't know where to begin. Suffice to say the date of the Arab Summit was not set until recently, even though HM King Abdullah was booked to go to America over 3 months ago. As for the summit, the King doesn't need to be there to know it's a waste of time for him and his country, time better spent elsewhere at this point. sad but true. I doubt Hoagland bothered to look that up before stating matter-of-factly: "Rather than attend an Arab summit to support his unconvincing, warmed-over version of a "peace plan" with Israel, Abdullah was again stateside last week, basking in the glow of meetings with Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice"





On the whole, I agree with the criticism that Hoagland is channelling Chalabi. But self-satisfied and corrupt though he is, Chalabi does provide a useful service in pointing out the connections that everyone else wants to ignore.

He definitely touched a nerve - and rightly - last year when he asked whether Hazem al-Shaalan, the Iraqi Defence Minister, was wise in sending $200 million in cash to Beirut to buy tanks for the Iraqi army. Shaalan threatened to have Chalabi arrested.

Shaalan is a dangerous reactionary - see his consistent remarks on Iran the great enemy, and his threats to level the Jeish al-Mahdi in Najaf last August - and someone needs to keep an eye on him. Similarly, someone needs to question Jordan's intentions in Iraq. If no-one else is prepared to do this, then Ahmed Chalabi will have to do.

the aardvark

Oh, man, Simon, you put me in a bind - do I really have to choose between Chalabi and Sha'alan? Is that what it's come to?

Ghurab al-Bain

Even scumbags tell the truth sometimes. While Chalabi's fixation on payback from the Jordanian regime for the Petra Bank scandal is obvious, there is no doubt that Abdullah and company would much prefer a Sunni Arab general (or a Hashemite princeling) - pro-western and less bloodthirsty than Saddam - ruling in Baghdad - they have said as much for years. They are viscerally anti-Shi'a, especially religious Shi'a, in a way which can only be characterized as bigoted.

Tom Scudder

Hoagland also gets his Abdullahs mixed up. "His peace plan" == the Saudi Prince Abdullah.


Hoagland's Abdullah-confusion probably comes from the fact that J-Abdullah made his own peace proposal prior to the AL Summit; the proposal was rejected.

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