Once a player, always a player.
I thought it was telling that this Chalabi campaign poster could be paired with a street vendor one minute, and then with Iraqi troops the next. It just shows how fast, and arbitrarily, this artful dodger — who just came untangled from from the United Iraqi Alliance — can realign himself.
More than anything, I like this description of the Jordanian fugitive from my friend Salam Adil:
Chalabi is especially seen as something of a windsock. If you want to know who is winning in Iraq just look to the place the wind has blown Chalabi. His friendliness with Iran is telling. It is possible Chalabi jumped before he was pushed out by the UIA. They have made their own contacts now and do not need him any more.
Having most recently served in the ruling cabinet as deputy prime minister, it seems Chalabi has shape shifted once again. He told al-Jazeera that he left the Shi’ite slate, backed by Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani, because they were overly Islamist. After the slate hooked up with Muqtada al-Sadr with the offer of 30 seats, however, it seems more likely Chalabi couldn’t accept that he was offered only three.
By the way, the slogan of Chalabi’s cobbled-together National Congress Party list is pretty classic too: "We liberated Iraq and we will build it together." Love that "we."
(image 1& 2: Hadi Mizban/A.P. December 1, 2005. Baghdad, Iraq. Via YahooNews)
Series: Iraqi Parliamentary Elections. December 15, 2005