As the Iraq war branches out...
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Author:  dori [ Mon Jun 18, 2007 5:55 am ]
Post subject:  As the Iraq war branches out...

[url=]Kurdish Powder Keg
Primed to Explode [/url]
by Conn Hallinan
Foreign Policy in Focus
June 18, 2007

There are few areas in the world more entangled in historical deceit and betrayal than northern Iraq, where the British, the Ottomans, and the Americans have played a deadly game of political chess at the expense of the local Kurds. And now, because of a volatile brew of internal Iraqi and Turkish politics, coupled with the Bush administration's clandestine war to destabilize and overthrow the Iranian government, the region threatens to explode into a full-scale regional war.

A series of bombings and attacks over the past year in Turkey touched off the current crisis. The Turks attribute the violence to the Iraq-based Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which fought a bitter war against the Turks from 1984 through the 1990s. Ankara's campaign to repress its Kurdish population during that period ended up killing some 35,000 people, destroying 3,000 villages, and forcibly relocating between 500,000 and 2 million Kurds. The Kurds make up about 20 percent of Turkey and Iraq and have a significant presence in Syria and Iran. With a population of between 25 and 30 million, the Kurds represent one of the world's largest ethnic groups without a country, a status that has long aggrieved them.

In May, the Turks declared martial law in three provinces that border Iraq. They massed troops, armor, and artillery and threatened to invade if the United States and the Iraqi government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki did not suppress the PKK. It looked like a conflict simply between the Turkish government and the Kurdish separatists. But things are never quite what they appear in northern Iraq.

You start a fire, you never know where it is going to go...

Author:  Catherine [ Thu Jun 21, 2007 10:18 pm ]
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You are so correct, dori. Bush has started a fire that is threatening the whole world.

Fourteen US soldiers killed in three days of fighting


Author:  Catherine [ Sat Jul 07, 2007 6:50 am ]
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It continues to be quite evident that the SURGE of troops isn't working and that the cost of this war is growing by leaps and bounds!

[url=]War Costs Soar by a Third; Total Could Top $1.4 Trillion

It's not just the troops that are surging. War costs are up for American operations in Iraq and Afghanistan* -- way up, more than a third higher than last year. In the first half of this fiscal year, the Defense Department's "average monthly obligations for contracts and pay is running about $12 billion per month, well above the $8.7 billion in FY2006," says a new report, obtained by DANGER ROOM, from the non-partisan Congressional Research Service.

Additional war costs for the next 10 years could total about $472 billion if troop levels fall to 30,000 by 2010, or $919 billion if troop levels fall to 70,000 by about 2013. If these estimates are added to already appropriated amounts, total funding about $980 billion to $1.4 trillion by 2017.

Meanwhile, Inside Defense reports that "top Pentagon budget and program officials have directed the military services to prepare spending proposals to finance Iraq and Afghanistan operations... through fiscal year 2009, which will span the last days of the Bush administration and the early months of the next administration."


Author:  Catherine [ Sun Jul 29, 2007 6:23 am ]
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In this 10-point essay, originally delivered as a speech at the 2007 conference of the Allied Social Science Association, economics expert Dr. Intriligator tallies up the astronomical costs of the Iraq war (one estimation put the price tag for the war at $2.267 trillion) and rips apart the Bush administration’s list of purported “benefits.”

Out How: The Economics of Ending Wars

Ten points of Michael D. Intriligator, professor of economics, political science and public policy, UCLA, and vice chair of Economists for Peace and Security:

1. On the economics of ending wars, the decision to prolong a war or to terminate it in various possible ways can be studied using the economic tools of cost-benefit analysis and expected utility theory. One of the belligerents, such as the U.S. currently in Iraq (and also in Afghanistan) will continue the war if it sees the potential future benefits exceeding the costs, where each is weighted by its probability of occurrence and future benefits and costs discounted to the present. On the costs of the Iraq War, the most detailed study was done by Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes, presented at the 2006 ASSA meetings and published in the Los Angeles Times. They recently updated their study, which they published as “Encore: Iraq Hemorrhage, Update of “The Economic Costs of the Iraq War,” in The Milken Institute Review, Fourth Quarter, 2006, pp. 76-83. They estimated the total price tag for the war as $2.267 trillion, a stunning figure. Future costs will probably continue at more or less the same rate, depending on whether the U.S. changes its strategy by, for example, a surge in troops committed to the war.

As to the benefits, one must consider the real reasons for the Iraq war, in contrast to the reasons given by Bush and others that were excuses, rationales, or simply wrong. The ostensible reasons given by Bush were 1) Iraqi possession of WMD, 2) to fight terrorism, 3) retaliation for 9/11, and 4) building a democracy in the Middle East that would spread throughout the region. The real reasons, however, were: 1) retaliation for Saddam’s attempted assassination of President Bush’s father, 2) desire for U.S. bases and influence in the region, 3) protection of Israel. In my view, retaliation was the main motivation for President Bush while U.S. bases and influence and protection of Israel were the motivations for the “neocons” in the Project for a New American Century (PNAC), Century (PNAC), many of whom became important players in the Bush Administration, occupying many high offices. They were able to use Bush’s powerful personal grievance against Saddam in 1) to convince him to invade and occupy Iraq, as they had been planning for many years when they were out of office, during the preceding Clinton Administration, when they planned the operation as part of PNAC. In fact this plan came up in the very first meeting of President Bush’s Cabinet, to the surprise of some who had not been members of PNAC. None of these neocons had direct personal military experience and thus they were all “armchair generals.” They also had no deep knowledge of Iraq or the region as a whole and did not consult with people in the State Department and CIA who did know the country and region. The neocons had no appreciation for a culture that they did not understand and they had no opposition in the White House or Pentagon. Many people have alleged oil was the real reason for the invasion, but, as I see it, this was only a secondary reason for the neocons as well as for President Bush.

Of course, it is hard to quantify the value of these benefits based on the motivations for the war, and some were achieved, including the overthrow of Saddam and his execution as well as the establishment of U.S. bases in Iraq. No WMD were found, and as to the fight against terrorism, Iraq has become a training base for terrorists, which it never was under Saddam, and these terrorists are now much closer to Israel. It is hard or impossible to justify the continuation of the war based on these past and potential future costs and benefits


Author:  Sir-Irate [ Sun Jul 29, 2007 9:08 pm ]
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I hear they are looking at attacking Pakistan? Anyone else hearing that? Maybe just some more distractions being thrown in the ring .. I don't know?


Author:  CrimsonEagle [ Mon Jul 30, 2007 12:04 am ]
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Sir-Irate wrote:
I hear they are looking at attacking Pakistan? Anyone else hearing that? Maybe just some more distractions being thrown in the ring .. I don't know?


Yes SI, I have been reading this possibility happening here and there. If my memory serves me correctly I believe there have already been a couple of attacks within the borders of Pakistan by us...couple bombings I think.

Their justification is that Al Qaeda has built themselves back up within the borders of Pakistan.

It will be interesting to see how this unfolds. Right now Musharraf is having troubles of his own. As we all know, he is a military dictator that has had the help of the U.S.

He has done some things of late that have upset the people of his nation quite a bit and there is a bit of a power struggle from within.

If there comes a time that he loses control of the Army then who is going to fill the vacuum created with his exit?

Pakistan does have the bomb.

It will be interesting to see how this unfolds.

Author:  Sir-Irate [ Mon Jul 30, 2007 3:57 am ]
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Ahhh ok. Well, perhaps Musharraf isn't a "bad enough" dictator to please the capitalist crooks? They'll have to find some way to get in there, get rid of Musharraf and install more cooperative (puppet) dictator. Nothing like beating a hornets nest with a branch.

Many are saying that this is a setup to WW3. Seems to me, there wouldn't be anyone left after a WW3 and that is why we have mini-wars for profit.

Anyway, I can't help but wonder what the capitalist puppet masters are up to now? Is this all about getting the "Global One World" that they seem so obsessed with achieving? You know - The one they said we would have either by conquest or consent? Is this what Bush's job really is?

"All wars are economic in origin" -- Bernard Baruch

Cicero, was right - "A nation can survive its fools and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within."


Author:  CrimsonEagle [ Mon Jul 30, 2007 6:23 pm ]
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Just a continuation of what we are talking about.

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf may hang up his army uniform to pave the way for a pact with former prime minister Benazir Bhutto after the pair met in Abu Dhabi, a minister said on Monday.

Author:  Sir-Irate [ Wed Aug 01, 2007 2:51 am ]
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Will be interesting to see what happens. One to watch!

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