Ahmed Chalabi, who received his Ph.D in mathematics from the University in 1969, is favored by the Pentagon as Iraq?s future leader, despite opposition from both the State Department and the CIA. Though it fills us with pride to see a U of C alumnus in the headlines, we question the means by which he has gained prominence.
Many major segments of the U.S. government are divided as to whether or not Chalabi is the right candidate to lead a postwar Iraq. This situation poses a problem even for those in this country who have full faith in the decisions of our government. The disagreement between the Pentagon and the CIA and State Department on this crucial decision calls into question the government?s capacity to bring stability to Iraq, a task for which the government is without a doubt responsible, and for which it has claimed responsibility from before the war with Iraq began.
Aside from the significant task of creating order in Iraq, the U.S. must keep in mind its pre-war goal of making Iraq fertile ground for a self-sustaining democracy. While such a democracy cannot be established immediately, the U.S. should do its best to ensure that as soon as Iraq is sufficiently stable, the Iraqi people will be free to elect their own leaders.