Iraq Is Neither Sovereign, Stable nor Self-Reliant

The garden is in a grove of palm trees in downtown Baghdad, as clean and manicured as a golf course, and surrounded by a high wall to keep out the noise and filth of the city. Ahmed Chalabi, 67, a man the world once thought would eventually be running Iraq, is hosting an event in the garden of his recently renovated house in the city.
There are no statesmen, ministers or diplomats in attendance, but there are two dozen students and a professor from the university. Chalabi has served his guests kebabs and rice, and he has promised them that he will put in a good word so that their poorly equipped university gets new blackboards, tables and chairs. Now they are lining up to pose for photographs with the former Iraqi deputy prime minister and oil minister, who is now a businessman. "Without Ahmed Chalabi," says one of the students, "Saddam Hussein would never have been overthrown."
The building where Saddam was hanged more than five years ago is just a few streets from Chalabi's villa, on the banks of the Tigris River. Exactly nine years have passed since the American invasion began. Chalabi was the first and most prominent of the senior politicians in exile at the time to return in the wake of US tanks, with the goal of building a new Iraq.

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