Unconventional thinking about the Middle East.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Eat My Dust Arianna, almost

Suffering from blog-envy, and vaingloriously deeming myself a should-be (as opposed to wanna-be) celebrity, I thought that I could steal a march on Huffington’s post about her soiree with Ahmad Chalabi, and thus put ‘Talisman Gate’ on the map. Chalabi was the flavor of the news cycle. Of course, I have privileged access to Chalabi, so I was sure to get all the hot stuff. What I ended-up getting on his farewell ride back to Dulles Airport last night were indeed some red-hot insider scoops, except, I can’t quote a single line. Something about things being off-the-record and journalistic integrity, or something.

Damn you Arianna…I will get you yet!

Et tu, Sally Quinn?

PS: During the interview, John Cusack called my cell phone, which was weird and random because it was a wrong number, and we ended-up chatting and I mentioned Chalabi and Cusack asked if he could join us, so the limo picked him up on our way to the airport. Wow, I thought, this guy is everywhere. Or maybe he is just a stalker. And then, Martians invaded, and the earthlings welcomed them with sweets and flowers.

[For legal purposes: the Cusack incident is a lie. For the purposes of public order: ditto about the Martians].

Just to tease people, these are some of the questions that I asked Chalabi, which I thought ‘real’ journalists (as opposed to me) should be asking:

-How many seats do you expect to win in the elections? What is the minimum number of seats you need to win that would not be politically embarrassing?

-Where are you running strongest? Who are the top vote-getting candidates that you are fielding? Why did they choose to run on your list?

-Why did you leave the UIA list? What steps did you take to build a liberal Shia constituency?

-What would a ‘Chalabi Block’ in the next parliament look like? How big does it need to be for you to become Prime Minister?

-Who gets what portfolio in the cabinet? What compromises do the Sadrists expect?

-If Allawi can expand his parliamentary block beyond 40 seats, would Barzani buck Kurdish consensus and support the Allawi’s bid for premiership?

-Who is running the insurgency now?

-Why is head of Iraqi intelligence, Gen. Shahwani, still at his job?

-What do you plan to do if you don’t become Prime Minister? Would you take a consolation prize?

-Do you plan to write your memoirs anytime soon?


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