Backtalk, September 21, 2007

Petraeus Helps Destroy Bush’s ‘Proxy War’ Claim

Why does the author accept the Bush Administration’s implicit premise that Iraqi users of EFPs are incapable of constructing their own weapons, and therefore must be getting them from Iran or Hezbollah? As a Google search of EFPs will instantly reveal, the technology is not new and has long been used in the oil extraction industry as well as by guerilla groups all over the world. Iraq is one of the most technically advanced countries in the Middle East, and has many indigenous oil production experts as well as many unemployed military ordinance experts. Why would Iraqi insurgents have to rely upon foreign “experts” to construct EFPs that many skilled Iraqis surely are capable of producing?

~ Richard Young

Greenspan Misses Cheney’s Memo

Greenspan says the Iraq war is about oil. Yet oil supply is sold on a world market, and to gain from Iraq’s oil it must be sold, so the quantity of oil available does not depend on which regime is selling it. Even if Saddam was selling to (say) only the Chinese, this means the Chinese buy less from other suppliers, leaving more for U.S. consumers.

But the above perspectives are not opposed, if one adjusts the claim of “war for oil” a bit. Although who actually controls the oil makes little difference to American consumers, it makes a lot of difference to the U.S. elite, especially Bush’s friends. The right way to put it is it to say that the war is over who gets to process and market the oil, Western companies or Middle Eastern regimes. So the war is not over “oil for Americans,” but over “oil profits for certain Americans and their friends.” To suppose it matters to American consumers whether Iraqi oil fields are processed by Russian, European or American companies is to be led to our current situation, in which soldiers take orders from a draft-dodging proponent of crony-capitalism. …

~ Clint Greene

The Mystery of Al-Qaeda

The USA in general and the Republican Party in particular has had a strange love/hate relationship with radical Islam. Starting with the arms-to-Iran deal in the mid-’80s, the payment of millions of dollars to Hezbollah to stop them from attacking us after the Lebanon bombings (See the Woodward book Veil), and the funding of militant Islam to fight the Russians in Afghanistan. Under Clinton we supported al-Qaeda allies the KLA in the Balkans, and Nafeez Ahmed, in the book The War On Truth, reports that we gave al-Qaeda money so that radical Islamic groups that were against our involvement there would not attack us. And, indeed, not a single American was killed in combat. We had intel on the 9/11 attacks but failed to stop them. The attacks gave us a pretext to dispose of two regimes we did not like in Afghanistan and Iraq, and may, new attack or not, also enable us to attack Iran.

~ AK

How did Bin Laden escape? Who is to blame? The following is an excerpt from The Sunday Times of London. The whole article discusses the actions of the elite British SAS Special Forces. The paragraph is buried in the middle of the article. Their description of the December 2001 Bin Laden escape and the 2003 killings of Uday and Qusay are different than the White House’s statements and testimony provided to Congress under oath. Your Web site is one of the few the has been factual about what you can source. I know because I am building a repository of documents worldwide from hundreds of Web sites and thousands of documents going back for years and I have not found many instances where the American public has been told the truth by the Bush Administration. I am giving all that I have collected to members of Congress so that if they still vote to continue the madness they will have to answer to the public record that is complete, not one-sided like the last six years. The SAS story is just the start.

From The Sunday Times, September 16, 2007: “Secret war of the SAS,” by Michael Smith:

“The differences between the way US and British special forces operate became clear early in the war on terror. In Afghanistan in December 2001 a four-man Special Boat Service (SBS) team was 20 minutes behind the fleeing Osama Bin Laden when it was ordered to let the Americans take over. By the time the US special operations troops arrived several hours later, Bin Laden had escaped. Similar tensions arose in Mosul in northern Iraq in July 2003. Coalition forces were tipped off that Saddam’s sons Uday and Qusay were hiding in a villa. A 12-man SAS team went in to recce the building. The commander of the 32-man SAS detachment in the city believed his men could quickly capture the brothers so they could be brought to trial.

“US commanders disagreed. Not only did they doubt such a small unit could capture Uday and Qusay, they were also reluctant to cede a high-profile operation to non-US forces. The result was mayhem: helicopters attacked with antitank missiles while a Delta unit stormed the building and support troops looked on. It was not the British idea of special operations.”

~ David Duarte

Ron Versus the Huckster

The, “we broke it, now we buy it” analogy is, and has always been, deeply flawed. The first thing it assumes is that Iraq was for sale. I don’t remember Iraq sending out tenders for occupiers and invaders. That should be enough put an end to the stupidity of that particular thought. If that is not enough, one could counter with another stream of thought. Would you hire the same demolition crew that just destroyed your building, to rebuild it? No, you would probably hire an architect to design it, and a few hundred engineers and tradesmen to build it. And thirdly, if you are basing your foreign policy on analogies, you are a simpleton. Use any of these you want to knock down this incredibly simpleminded philosophy. …

~ Scott Sudeyko

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