Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Crude Oil and Water: How Climate Change is Threatening our Two Most Precious Commodities - Richard_Mills
2.The Potential $54 Trillion Cost Of The Fed's Planned Interest Rate Increases - Dan_Amerman
3.Best Cash ISA Savings for Rising UK Interest Rates and High Inflation - March 2018 - Nadeem_Walayat
4.Fed Interest Hikes, US Dollar, and Gold - Zeal_LLC
5.What Happens Next after February’s Stock Market Selloff - Troy_Bombardia
6.The 'Beast from the East' UK Extreme Snow Weather - Sheffield Day 2 - N_Walayat
7.Currencies Will Be ‘Flushed Down the Toilet’ Triggering a ‘Mad Rush into Gold’ - MoneyMetals
8.Significant Decline In Stocks On The Cards! -Enda_Glynn
9.Land Rover Discovery Sport Extreme Driving "Beast from the East" Snow Weather Test - N_Walayat
10.SILVER Large Specualtors Net Short Position 15 Year Anniversary - Clive_Maund
Last 7 days
Bitcoin Price Trend Forecast, Paypal FUD Fake Cryptocurrency Warning - 17th Mar 18
Strong Earnings Growth is Bullish for Stocks - 17th Mar 18
The War on the Post Office - 17th Mar 18
GDX Gold Mining Stocks Fundamentals - 16th Mar 18
Nationalism, Not the Russians, got Trump Elected - 16th Mar 18
Has Bitcoin Bought It? - 16th Mar 18
Crude Oil Price – Who Wants the Triangle? - 16th Mar 18
PayPal Cease Trading Crypto Currency Bitcoin Warning Email Sophisticated Fake Scam? - 16th Mar 18
EUR/USD – Something Old, Something New and… Something Blue - 16th Mar 18
DasCoin: A 5-Minute Guide to How It Works - 15th Mar 18
Stock Market Downward Pressure Mounting - 15th Mar 18
The Stock Market Trend is Your Friend ’til the Very End - 15th Mar 18
6 Easy Ways to Get What Women Want, for Less! - 15th Mar 18
This Isn’t Your Grandfather’s (1960s) Inflation Scare - 15th Mar 18
Eye Opening Stock Market Index, Volatility, Charts and Predictions - 15th Mar 18
Gold Cup At Cheltenham – Gold Is For Winners, Not For Gamblers - 15th Mar 18
Upcoming Turnaround in Gold - 14th Mar 18
Will the Stock Market Make Another Correction this Year? - 14th Mar 18
4 Ways To Writing An Interesting Education Research Paper - 14th Mar 18
China Toward Sustainable Economic Growth - 14th Mar 18
Stock Market Direction Is No Longer Important - 14th Mar 18
Trade Tariffs Defeat Globalists and Return Prosperity - 14th Mar 18
Stock Market Crash is Underway and Cannot be Stopped! - 14th Mar 18
Are Energy Sector Stocks Bottoming? - 14th Mar 18
Nasdaq Stocks Soars to New Record High After Strong Job Reports - 14th Mar 18
Bitcoin BTCUSD Elliott Wave View Calling for Rally toward $15,000 - 13th Mar 18
Hungary’s Gold Repatriation Adds To Growing Protest Against US Dollar Hegemony - 13th Mar 18
Record Low Volatility in Precious Metals and What it Means - 13th Mar 18
Tips for Writing and Assembling the Classification Essay - 13th Mar 18
Gerald Celente "If Rates go up too High, the Economy goes Down, End of Story" - 13th Mar 18
Stock Market Selloff Showed Gold Can Reduce Portfolio Risk  - 13th Mar 18
Silver Does it Again! Severe Consequences - 12th Mar 18
Has the Stock Market Rally Run Out of Steam? - 12th Mar 18
S&P 500 at 2,800 Again, Stock Market Breakout or Fakeout? - 12th Mar 18
The No.1 Energy Stock To Buy Right Now - 12th Mar 18
What Happens Next When Stock Market Investor Sentiment is Neutral - 12th Mar 18
Economic Pressures To Driving Gold and Silver Prices Higher Long-Term - 12th Mar 18
Labour Sheffield City Councils Secret Plan to Fell 50% of Street Trees Exposed! - 12th Mar 18
Stock Market Uptrend Resuming? - 11th Mar 18
Bond Market Interest Rate Yields Are Rising Again… Stocks Are on Thin Ice - 11th Mar 18
Death of Europe's Greenest City, Police State Sheffield Labour Council to Fell 50% of Street Trees - 11th Mar 18
Do All Bull Stocks Markets Need to Have a Bearish Divergence? - 11th Mar 18
An Inflation Indicator to Watch, Part 3 - 11th Mar 18
Online Stock Trading Tips - Tips about Online Trading & Day Trading - 11th Mar 18
NDX makes a new high. What does that mean? - 10th Mar 18
Blue Chip Companies on Track for $800 billion Buyback Record in 2018 - 10th Mar 18
Cheap Gold Stocks Basing - 10th Mar 18
An Introduction to Online Forex Trading - 10th Mar 18

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Urgent Stock Market Message

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


“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


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

© 2005-2018 - 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