Chalabi Preens

He's always worth watching, if not trusting. Money quote from a new interview:

U.S. officials without question represent the strongest force, both politically and military, in Iraq. Therefore, it is not serious to pursue their role as spectators. They will have a significant role to play, and I believe that by the mere factor of being present in the same conference room as the Syrians and the Iranians at this level in Baghdad is very significant. I mean, after all, we tried very hard to get this meeting going last year, almost one year ago. It almost happened then. But then it was foiled at the last minute. One year later, they are back to the same situation, except now it is a multilateral thing with the U.S. and Iran to sit in the same conference room.

The whole interview is interesting - not least because Chalabi claims some credit for persuading the Shiite militias to hold fire for a while:

You notice that there has been very little activity by the Sadrists in the past six weeks, despite major provocation with bomb attacks and assassinations, kidnappings, that have happened frequentlyyet they have not responded. That is a significant factor. This outcome did not happen in a vacuum. There was major effort to persuade the Sadrists. Many people participated in it. There were feted meetings with the mayor of Sadr Citywho is not part of the Sadrist movement of the Mahdi Army, but he has authority from them to pursue these meetings and the multinational force, and political officers from the embassy.

He's also talking about the Turkish government sending a delegation to Baghdad soon. Hmmm.