The INC and physician kidnappings in Iraq

Was the INC part of the doctor-kidnapping business? And, if so, why?

Left Blogistan seems to be aware, as neither Right Blogistan nor the mainstream media are, how devastating the Chalabi story is as an indictment of the sheer incapacity of the Bush Administration, which looks more like the Carter Administration every day. The Bushies look foolish for sponsoring Chalabi, for showering his Iraqi National Congress with money, for believing what now seems to have been Iranian disinformation, for letting his Iraqi National

Council expropriate for its own use any property that happened to strike its leaders’ fancy, for giving him so much power in the reconstruction (not only control of intelligence — it’s Chalabi’s intelligence chief, let’s remember, who’s now living in Teheran as a fugitive from Iraqi justice — but control over the de-Ba’athification process), for not being able to get their act together when it finally came time to dump him, and for not being able to bring the neocons into line behind the new anti-Chalabi policy.

I have just one tidbit to add to the able coverage from Kevin Drum and The New Yorker:

It occurs in paragraph 32 of a 34-paragraph

LA Times story about the systematic kidnappings of Iraqi doctors, kidnappings which are bringing the country’s health care and medical education systems to the brink of collapse.

The story points out that the kidnappings are partly for ransom but partly intended to drive the physicians out of Iraq to make the job of reconstruction that much harder. “Aha!,” I thought, “Typical ex-Ba’athist/al Qaeda thuggery.”

Well, partly. Remember the kidnapping charges that formed part of the basis for the raid on the INC offices and Chalabi’s home? Apparently, one of them involved a physician who claimed he’d been snatched by “INC employees.”

Okay, it’s only a charge. Maybe the doc was a supporter of a rival faction, or even a Ba’athist trying to stir up trouble. On the other hand, maybe it was true. If so, was it just for the money? Or was the INC working to bring about chaos? After all, from an Iranian viewpoint, the only thing better than having the US dispose of Saddam Hussein would be to have the US dispose of Saddam Hussein and get a black eye doing it.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact:

One thought on “The INC and physician kidnappings in Iraq”

Comments are closed.