IRAQI EXILES….Finishing up his doctoral dissertation really seems to have freed up Josh Marshall’s typing fingers for more important tasks, like blogging about the war. Today he takes on Ahmed Chalabi, head of a group of Iraqi exiles that the neocons have spent the last decade slobbering over like lovestruck teenagers. Chalabi seems to have a knack for telling these guys exactly what they want to hear ? which, naturally, involves him as the head of a new and improved Iraq ? and they’ve mostly fallen for it. The Iraqis want us to go in! They will hail us as liberators! Saddam is weaker than you think!

All I can say is, I’m glad the CIA won this argument. Chalabi has always struck me as little more than a self-important blowhard, and giving him any kind of serious role in post-war Iraq would probably be disastrous. He’s still going to get more than he deserves, probably, but at least his dreams of becoming the American sponsored Raj of Baghdad seem to be coming to nought.

(Jeez, what’s the world coming to when you count on the CIA to be the voice of moderation? But that’s where things seem to have headed over the past few years.)