Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. US Housing Market Real Estate Crash The Next Shoe To Drop – Part II - Chris_Vermeulen
2.The Coronavirus Greatest Economic Depression in History? - Nadeem_Walayat
3.US Real Estate Housing Market Crash Is The Next Shoe To Drop - Chris_Vermeulen
4.Coronavirus Stock Market Trend Implications and AI Mega-trend Stocks Buying Levels - Nadeem_Walayat
5. Are Coronavirus Death Statistics Exaggerated? Worse than Seasonal Flu or Not?- Nadeem_Walayat
6.Coronavirus Stock Market Trend Implications, Global Recession and AI Stocks Buying Levels - Nadeem_Walayat
7.US Fourth Turning Accelerating Towards Debt Climax - James_Quinn
8.Dow Stock Market Trend Analysis and Forecast - Nadeem_Walayat
9.Britain's FAKE Coronavirus Death Statistics Exposed - Nadeem_Walayat
10.Commodity Markets Crash Catastrophe Charts - Rambus_Chartology
Last 7 days
The Big Short 2020 – World Pushes Credit/Investments Into Risk Again - 11th Jul 20
The Bearish Combination of Soaring Silver and Lagging GDX Miners - 11th Jul 20
Stock Market: "Relevant Waves Vs. Irrelevant News" - 10th Jul 20
Prepare for the global impact of US COVID-19 resurgence - 10th Jul 20
Golds quick price move increases the odds of a correction - 10th Jul 20
Declaring Your Independence from Currency Debasement - 10th Jul 20
Tech Stocks Trending Towards the Quantum AI EXPLOSION! - 9th Jul 20
Gold and Silver Seasonal Trend Analysis - 9th Jul 20
Facebook and IBM Tech Stocks for Machine Learning Mega-Trend Investing 2020 - 9th Jul 20
LandRover Discovery Sport Service Blues, How Long Before Oil Change is Actually Due? - 9th Jul 20
Following the Gold Stock Leaders as the Fed Prints - 9th Jul 20
Gold RESET Breakout on 10 Reasons - 9th Jul 20
Fintech facilitating huge growth in online gambling - 9th Jul 20
Online Creative Software Development Service Conceptual Approach - 9th Jul 20
Coronavirus Pandemic UK and US Second Waves, and the Influenza Doomsday Scenario - 8th Jul 20
States “On the Cusp of Losing Control” and the Impact on the Economy - 8th Jul 20
Gold During Covid-19 Pandemic and Beyond - 8th Jul 20
UK Holidays 2020 - Driving on Cornwall's Narrow Roads to Bude Caravan Holiday Resort - 8th Jul 20
Five Reasons Covid Will Change SEO - 8th Jul 20
What Makes Internet Packages Different? - 8th Jul 20
Saudi Arabia Eyes Total Dominance In Oil And Gas Markets - 7th Jul 20
These Are the Times That Call for Gold - 7th Jul 20
A Reason to be "Extra-Attentive" to Stock Market Sentiment Measures - 7th Jul 20
The Beatings Will Continue Until the Economy Improves - 6th Jul 20
The Corona Economic Depression Is Here - 6th Jul 20
Stock Market Short-term Peaking - 6th Jul 20
Gold’s Major Reversal to Create the “Handle” - 5th July 20
Gold Market Manipulation And The Federal Reserve - 5th July 20
Overclockers UK Custom Build PC Review - 1. Ordering / Stock Issues - 5th July 20
How to Bond With Your Budgie / Parakeet With Morning Song and Dance - 5th July 20
Silver Price Trend Forecast Summer 2020 - 3rd Jul 20
Silver Market Is at a Critical Juncture - 3rd Jul 20
Gold Stocks Breakout Not Confirmed Yet - 3rd Jul 20
Coronavirus Strikes Back. But Force Is Strong With Gold - 3rd Jul 20
Stock Market Russell 2000 Gaps Present Real Targets - 3rd Jul 20
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) Big Pharma Stock for Machine Learning Life Extension Investing - 2nd Jul 20
All Eyes on Markets to Get a Refreshed Outlook - 2nd Jul 20
The Darkening Clouds on the Stock Market S&P 500 Horizon - 2nd Jul 20
US Fourth Turning Reaches Boiling Point as America Bends its Knee - 2nd Jul 20
After 2nd Quarter Economic Carnage, the Quest for Philippine Recovery - 2nd Jul 20
Gold Completes Another Washout Rotation – Here We Go - 2nd Jul 20
Roosevelt 2.0 and ‘here, hold my beer' - 2nd Jul 20
U.S. Dollar: When Almost Everyone Is Bearish... - 1st Jul 20
Politicians Prepare New Money Drops as US Dollar Weakens - 1st Jul 20
Gold Stocks Still Undervalued - 1st Jul 20
High Premiums in Physical Gold Market: Scam or Supply Crisis? - 1st Jul 20
US Stock Markets Enter Parabolic Price Move - 1st Jul 20
In The Year 2025 If Fiat Currency Can Survive - 30th Jun 20
Gold Likes the IMF Predicting a Deeper Recession - 30th Jun 20
Silver Is Still Cheap For Now - 30th Jun 20
More Stock Market Selling Ahead - 30th Jun 20
Trending Ecommerce Sites in 2020 - 30th Jun 20
Stock Market S&P 500 Approaching the Precipice - 29th Jun 20
APPLE Tech Stock for Investing to Profit from the Machine Learning Mega trend - 29th Jun 20
Student / Gamer Custom System Build June 2020 Proving Impossible - Overclockers UK - 29th Jun 20
US Dollar with Ney and Gann Angles - 29th Jun 20
Europe's Banking Sector: When (and Why) the Rout Really Began - 29th Jun 20
Will People Accept Rampant Inflation? Hell, No! - 29th Jun 20
Gold & Silver Begin The Move To New All-Time Highs - 29th Jun 20
US Stock Market Enters Parabolic Price Move – Be Prepared - 29th Jun 20
Meet BlackRock, the New Great Vampire Squid - 28th Jun 20
Stock Market S&P 500 Approaching a Defining Moment - 28th Jun 20

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

AI Stocks 2020-2035 15 Year Trend Forecast

US Troop Surge in Iraq to Pacify Baghdad to satisfy Oil Majors - Is it destined to Fail ?

Politics / Iraq War Feb 01, 2007 - 11:48 PM GMT

By: Mike_Whitney

Politics

“There is no solution. We’ve destroyed Iraq and we’ve destroyed the region, and Americans need to know this.”
Nir Rosen; interview with Amy Goodman, “Democracy Now”

Let’s assume for a moment, that Dick Cheney is the driving force behind the plan to surge in Iraq. Does anyone really believe that the vice president is genuinely concerned about the safety of the Iraqi people? And, yet, the media still insists that the purpose of the troop-increase is to improve security in Baghdad. Nothing could be further from the truth. The wellbeing of the Iraqi people has never been a factor in the administration’s decision-making and it isn’t now.


US Troop Surge in Iraq to Pacify Baghdad to satisfy Oil Majors - Is it destined to Fail ?

The real purpose of the surge is to pacify Baghdad in order to rebuild confidence among the supporters of the war. Bush needs to prove that he can restore security so the oil giants can make their move and begin developing the world’s second largest reserves of petroleum. In a matter of weeks, the al-Maliki government will pass the new hydrocarbon laws which will “issue tenders and signing contracts” to the major American oil companies. This will allow the looting of Iraq’s oil under internationally-recognized legal agreements. But if the fighting persists, it’ll all be for nothing. No one is going to invest capital to develop oil fields if the country is in the throes of a civil war. So Bush needs to put more boots on the ground and make one last-ditch effort to crush the resistance. And, he needs to do it fast.

It’s clearly an act of desperation and few believe he’ll be able to succeed. In fact, last week, a number of retired generals appeared before a senate sub-committee on Capital Hill and blasted the strategy as shortsighted and ill conceived. Marine General Joseph Hoar growled that, “The addition of 21,000 troops is too little too late…It won’t work… (The administration has shown) “a shocking failure to understand the social and political forces that influence events in the Middle East.”

Retired Generals’ William Odom and Barry McCaffrey were equally pessimistic. McCaffrey added dismissively that he believed the surge was a “fool’s errand”.

There’s no support among the members of the intelligence community either. In fact, Cheney didn’t even bother to have a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) drawn up because he knew the 16 US intelligence agencies would never rubber stamp his plans for escalation.

Nevertheless, Bush and Cheney are surging ahead despite the carping from the Top Brass, the objections of the congress, and the disapproval of the American people. They’ve shrugged off the opinions of everyone except a small cadre of neoconservatives who hale from the American Enterprise Institute. That appears to be Bush’s last bastion of support.

The administration is left with only two options; escalate or withdrawal. Iraq is a basket-case and getting worse by the day. The surge may be last chance to impose a political solution through military force. In another 6 months the wear and tear on the military will force the administration to negotiate some type of regional “grand bargain”, but that won’t happen until the army is hobbled and pushed to the breaking point.

For now, Bush can still hope that his measly 21,500 troops will achieve what 140,000 have been unable to for 3 and a half years.

But Bush’s expectations are unrealistic.Even his new field-marshal, General David Petraeus, has stated (in the Pentagon’s counterinsurgency manual which he authored) that it would take 4 times as many troops to pacify Baghdad than the military can provide. These figures are calculated to determine the appropriate ratio of occupation soldiers to residents. The ratio--according to Petraeus--should be 50 to 1. At the peak of the surge, when the US will have 30,000 troops in Baghdad, the ratio will be a 200 to 1. By Petraeus own standards, the plan is doomed from the get-go.

So why surge? Or is there, perhaps, another motive behind the troop increase?

Bush and Cheney have no intention of improving security; we know that.The surge is a cover for the impending crackdown on the Sunni neighborhoods which arethemainstrongholds of the Iraqi resistance. Bush is planning to "drain the sea in which they swim" as Mao noted. In a matter of weeks, tens of thousands of Sunnis will be forced to flee Baghdad to nearby Syria and Jordan. This is clear from recent military operations in the Haifa Street district near the Green Zone.

A few journalists have already begun to grasp the evil motive behind the surge. Just days ago, author Sidney Blumenthal offered these sobering observations in his article, “Washington’s Political Cleansing”:

“Bush’s surge, is a military plan that cannot produce its stated political outcome and will instead further unleash the forces he claims will be controlled. His offensive to subdue the Sunni insurgents is already accelerating the ethnic cleansing of Baghdad by the Shia militias, which, rather than being contained, are further empowered.”

Author Dahr Jamail has drawn the same conclusion in his latest article, “Southern Tribes are joining the Armed Resistance”:

“A political analyst in Baghdad told IPS that he believes occupation forces have been working in tandem with death squads. ‘We have been observing American and British occupation forces supporting those death squads all over Iraq, but we are still hoping for ‘reconciliation.’”

But “reconciliation” is off the table. That was clear when they hanged Saddam. The administration has broken off negotiations with the leaders of the resistance and they have no plans of returning to the bargaining table. “The New Way Forward” is Bush’s blueprint for a Shia-dominated Iraq; paving the way for ethnic cleansing and the (likely) rise of an Islamic regime.

The Ba’athist-led Sunnis resistance has fought fiercely, but they’ve lost in Iraq just as the US has lost. Author Nir Rosen makes this point out in a recent interview with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now:

“For Sunnis to ever imagine that the Ba’athists could be restored to power, or that the Americans really matter in Iraq anymore is naïve in the extreme… The Shias own Iraq now. Sunnis can never get it back. There’s nothing Americans can do about this.”

Rosen’s dark-forecast for Iraq is even grimmer than Blumenthal’s or Jamail’s. He says: “What you’re going to see in Iraq I think, in Baghdad especially, is a virtual genocide of the Sunnis. And the Americans are not going to be able to stop it….You’ll find a day when there are no Sunnis left in Baghdad.”

The question is whether Washington will assist in the slaughter or do something to try and stop it. We’ll know in the next few months.

We’ll also find out whether Bush plans to retain Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki or replace him with a strongman, like Ayad Allawi, who seems more eager to carry out Washington’s directives.

Either way, it makes no difference. The leadership in the Green Zone is irrelevant. Power in Baghdad is measured in terms of militias and neither leader controls a militia. That means they either have to ally themselves with Muqtada al-Sadr, Abdel Aziz al-Hakim, or the biggest militia of all, the US occupation. And, even then, their power will be limited to Baghdad; the surrounding cities have turned into city-states locally run by clan and tribal-based militias. Power is decentralized; no one militia controls Iraq. The prime minister is a meaningless figurehead who governs nothing and who will have no effect on the war’s outcome. Bush can appoint whoever he wants; it just doesn’t matter.

There’s bound to be a clash between the administration and the allies in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, Egypt and the other Gulf states when they see that Bush is unable (or unwilling) keep his promise to protect the Sunnis in Baghdad. Many Sunnis feel a moral obligation to provide material support for their co-religionists. This poses a grave danger for the entire region as the possibility of a wider war becomes more and more probable. Iraq is likely to become the battleground for proxy armies struggling to decide the future of the Middle East.

Also, nearly 2 million Iraqi refugees have fled the country and an estimated 1.5 million have been displaced within Iraq. The magnitude of the disaster is incalculable. To even think that Iraq could be turned into a “victory” shows how completely disconnected from reality Bush really is. Iraq is shaping up to be the greatest human catastrophe of our time and it gets bigger by the day.

There’s no way to undo the damage we have done. A nation is not like a coffee cup, where you break the handle and glue it back together again. Iraqi society has been decimated; it cannot be fixed. Nir Rosen said it best:

“There is no solution. We’ve destroyed Iraq and we’ve destroyed the region, and Americans need to know this. This isn’t Rwanda where we can just sit back and watch the Hutus and Tutsies kill each other, and be ‘like wow, this is terrible should we do something?’ We destroyed Iraq. There was no civil war in Iraq until we got there. And there was no civil war until we took certain steps to pit Sunnis against Shias. And now, it is just too late. But, we need to know that we are responsible for what is happening in Iraq today. I don’t think Americans are aware of this. We’ve managed to make Saddam Hussein look good even to Shias at this point. And what we’ve managed to do is not only destabilize Iraq, but Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iran. This is going to spread for decades, the region won’t recover from this, I think, for decades. And Americans are responsible.”

By Mike Whitney

Email: fergiewhitney@msn.com

Mike is a well respected freelance writer living in Washington state, interested in politics and economics from a libertarian perspective.


© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules