Elaine Sciolino, in the January 28 edition of the New York Times, writes that we may not have to wage war against Iraq, because Saddam may be toppled by a coup led by opposition leader Ahmad Chalabi, of the Iraqi National Congress. Is this what Bush had in mind from the start and is this why his war threats have dragged on so long?

Chalabi told a news conference from his headquarters in Iran that, with the blessing of the White House, his group will “assume control of the administration of Iraq.” His says his comfortable Iranian villa is “paid for by the State Department” and there’s a special Treasury Department exemption to allow U.S. funds to finance his operation.

Chalabi has been meeting with Iranian security and intelligence agents, who have promised to help his group enter Iraq. However, they don’t officially acknowledge his presence in their country. As one senior official puts it: “They are just passing through. They happen to have friends here.”

But not everyone is behind Chalabi. He?s “sorry to say” that some members of the Bush administration, as well as some Arab states, “prefer the option of a United States military government in Iraq to a provisional government led by the Iraqi opposition.”

Ever get the feeling that no matter what happens, the American people are the last to know about it?

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