Perhaps because I hadn't been following him closely enough, I'd assumed that Tom Friedman had become an arch-sceptic on Iraq. So this was encouraging:

There is no single action we could undertake anywhere in the world to reduce the threat of terrorism that would have a bigger impact today than a decent outcome in Iraq. It is that important.

Yes - there's a sting in the tail. And precisely because it is so important, it should not be left to Donald Rumsfeld.

Never mind.

Another sting: Ahmad Chalabi may still be a good guy after all. In today's Times, Dean Godson argues that the neocons' candidate is doing a Lazarus:

He was the key figure in brokering the United Iraqi List. He was able to fend off the demands of pro-Iranian elements for a manifesto that committed the bloc to Khomeini-style clerical rule, obtaining the support of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani for a less purist approach. What Mr Chalabi seeks is a radical break with Iraq’s Baathist past...

Expect soon a sharp tussle of wills based upon the old question of “who rules?” Mr Chalabi will be at the heart of this feud — and of its resolution. His renaissance gives the lie to the notion that expatriates lack credibility with their countrymen. But then as Harold Macmillan used to say, when the British Establishment is united on a point, it is almost always wrong.

|||Clive|||http://clivedavis.blogspot.com/2005/02/stakes-perhaps-because-i-hadnt-been.html|||2/10/2005 05:46:00 pm|||||||||