The Corner

Derb-Chalabi Connection

A few days ago on The Corner, I noted the passing of English children’s

author Anthony Buckeridge, who wrote a series of boarding-school novels

which featured two boys named Jennings and Darbishire [sic]. In his Diary

in the current (7/3/04) issue of The Spectator — not, unfortunately,

included in the online edition — Charles Moore also mourns the passing of

Buckeridge, then tells us: “Buckeridge attended Seaford College in Sussex…

Another old boy of the school is Ahmed Chalabi, the now beleagured head of

the Iraqi National Congress…”

Moore continues: “Poor Dr. Chalabi must be needing all that cheerfulness in

adversity that used to be taught by those windy cliffs. He has been subject

to a fierce campaign of black propaganda from the British and American

foreign policy elites which much of the press has repeated as if its truth

were proved. It is suggested, for example, that his intelligence misled

America into believing that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction;

yet this error, if error it was, was accepted not only by America but also

by the United Nations and, in effect, by UNSCOM. Dr. Chalabi is also

dismissed as irrelevant because he was an exile and because he took US

government financial support. Iyad Allawi, the prime minister of the newly

sovereign Iraq, is an exile who formerly worked with MI6 and the CIA, had

their financial backing and supplied intelligence about Saddam’s WMD. But

he, mysteriously, is all right. I do not know whether Dr. Chalabi is the

answer to Iraq’s problems, but if he is so negligible, why is so much effort

put into attacking him?”

John Derbyshire — Mr. Derbyshire is a former contributing editor of National Review.

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