How Chalabi Conned the Neocons

"Ahmed Chalabi is a treacherous, spineless turncoat. He had one set of friends before he was in power, and now he's got another," says L. Marc Zell, a former law partner of Douglas Feith, now the undersecretary of defense for policy, and a former friend and supporter of Chalabi and his aspirations to lead Iraq. Feith, Zell and other neoconservatives who helped plan the war with Iraq are upset that Chalabi - the man the neocons used to call "the George Washington of Iraq" - is cozying up to Iran and ditching his promises to befriend Israel. "Chalabi appears to have recognized that the neocons, while ruthless, realistic and effective in bureaucratic politics, were remarkably ignorant about the situation in Iraq, and willing to buy a fantasy of how the country's politics worked. So he sold it to them," writes John Dizard. Joshua Micah Marshall quips: "In the popular political imagination we're familiar with the neocons as conniving militarists, masters of intrigue and cabals, graspers for the oil supplies of the world, and all the rest. But here we have them in what I suspect is the truest light: as college kid rubes who head out for a weekend in Vegas, get scammed out of their money by a two-bit hustler on the first night and then get played for fools by a couple hookers who leave them naked and handcuffed to their hotel beds. And just think, it's on your dime and with your nation's honor."