BAGHDAD, Oct. 29 (UPI) -- U.S. and Iraqi officials are turning over post-surge reconstruction efforts, including electricity and other services, to the controversial Ahmad Chalabi.
Chalabi, wanted for embezzlement in Jordan, will have the heady task of stepping into the relative calm if coalition and Iraqi troops are able to rout insurgents, militants and terrorists from Baghdad, The New York Times reports.
Iraq’s central government has been largely unable to establish services citizens depend on -- regular power and fuels; clean, running water; healthcare and education systems -- let alone security. This has caused spite for the central government from the people, a wedge into the trust needed for a prosperous country.
It’s even more glaring when the gap is in the capital city. In the summer Iraqi parliamentarians complained of being in Baghdad hotels with no electricity for days.
Enter Chalabi, the many who told tales to reporters, like The New York Times’ Judith Miller, about the threat of weapons of mass destruction posed by Saddam Hussein and links to al-Qaida. Both have yet to be proven true.
He was given roles in post-Saddam Iraq, including minister of oil and deputy prime minister. But Chalabi was unable to win a seat in Parliament in the 2005 elections, and his role in Iraq’s government has been somewhat sidelined compared with earlier this decade.