Christopher Hitchens takes the critics of Ahmad Chalabi to task in his typical wry fashion. While I frankly know very little about Mr. Chalabi and have no insight as to whether he should emerge as the leader of Iraq or even if he’s a plausible candidate, I find Hitchens’ Fisking of the most commonly-heard criticisms compelling:

Yasser Arafat hasn’t been in Jerusalem for some considerable time, after all, and before his disastrous return to Gaza, he hadn’t been on Palestinian soil for decades. The Dalai Lama hasn’t been in Tibet since the 1950s. Perhaps these leaders should be criticized more for being out of touch. But the fact remains that they are not. More important, both Arafat and His Holiness consider themselves to be axiomatic and self-evident leaders while Chalabi does not. But the fact remains that his forces provided invaluable help and intelligence in the recent campaign, and it is to the Iraqi National Congress that several senior Baathists have recently chosen to surrender. If this does not demand praise, surely it merits a little recognition?

One would think.

James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.