Bush’s Mafia Style Foreign Policy

Both Nightprowlkitty and Magnifico have posted today about Bush’s attempted blackmail of the Iraqi government in his latest attempt to save the face he’s never had anyway by trying to force a Status of Forces Agreement on Iraq through threatening to shut down military operations and other vital services throughout Iraq with a gun held to their heads if Iraqi parliamentarians will not sign a deal allowing US troops to remain in Iraq that will give Bush something he can use to claim success in the 5 year old debacle he has created there.

Gareth Porter, speaking by telephone to the The Real News, explains the background leading up to Bush’s desperate gangster like extortion attempt.

In an article on ipsnews.net, journalist and investigative historian Gareth Porter analyzed the final draft of the US-Iraq Status of Forces Agreement on the US military presence in Iraq.

He states that the agreement “represents an even more crushing defeat for the policy of the George W. Bush administration than previously thought.”

The deal not only calls for a clear deadline for a withdrawal of combat troops by 2011, it will also be unlikely the a residual non-combat force of US Troops would be allowed to remain in Iraq for training and support purposes. Porter also states: “The clearest sign of the dramatically reduced US negotiating power is the willingness of the United States to give up extraterritorial jurisdiction over US contractors and their employees and over US troops in the case of major and intentional crimes that occur outside bases and while off duty.” The Real News Network spoke to Gareth Porter.

Gareth Porter is a historian and investigative journalist on US foreign and military policy analyst. He writes regularly for Inter Press Service on US policy towards Iraq and Iran. Author of four books, the latest of which is Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam.

October 26, 2008 – 7 min 34 sec

US-Iraq troop deal “crushing defeat” for Bush

Gareth Porter: Bush admin is desperate for troop agreement as end date of UN authorization nears

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    • Edger on October 27, 2008 at 10:55 pm
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    …Luca Brasi held a gun to his head, and my father assured him that either his brains, or his signature would be on the contract”. –Michael Corleone

  1. tables so turned and Bushco so powerless.

    Its probably lazy of me to ask instead of going to look myself, but I wonder if you’ve read or heard anything connecting the US actions over the weekend in Syria to this.

  2. But why, oh why is Bush so gung-ho to have troops remain in Iraq, when it’s so completely clear the Iraqis don’t want them period?

    I suspect this is the real reason for an attempt to prolong departure of our troops.


    Once Again, the Iraqi Parliament Comes Through: Iraqi parliament committee fails to back oil law

    Mon, 2008-10-27 14:38. Iraq

    By Ahmed Rasheed, Reuters

    BAGHDAD, Oct 26 (Reuters) – Iraq’s long-awaited hydrocarbons law failed to win the backing of parliament’s Oil and Gas Committee on Sunday, with Kurdish members insisting the bill has not been properly approved by the cabinet, lawmakers said.

    The hydrocarbons law would create a framework for investing in the OPEC member state, which has the world’s third largest petroleum reserves, but it has been held up for years by quarrels over how to distribute the wealth.

    The government submitted a new draft version of the bill to parliament’s Oil and Gas Committee earlier this month. . . .

    “Regrettably, the cabinet has sent us a version that was altered by the Oil Ministry, which is different from the draft approved (by the cabinet) in Feb. 2007. We cannot accept it,” Balou, a Kurd, told Reuters in a telephone interview. . . .

    By hook or crook, Bush wants that hydrocarbon law signed, so, drag out our stay and it just might happen (with adequate pressure) in his mind probably.

    More pressure!


    U.S. Threatens to Halt Services to Iraq Without Troop Accord

    Tue, 2008-10-28 06:28. Iraq

    By Roy Gutman and Leila Fadel | McClatchy Newspapers

    The U.S. military has warned Iraq that it will shut down military operations and other vital services throughout the country on Jan. 1 if the Iraqi government doesn’t agree to a new agreement on the status of U.S. forces or a renewed United Nations mandate for the American mission in Iraq.

    Many Iraqi politicians view the move as akin to political blackmail, a top Iraqi official told McClatchy Sunday.

    In addition to halting all military actions, U.S. forces would cease activities that support Iraq’s economy, educational sector and other areas _ “everything” _ said Tariq al Hashimi, the country’s Sunni Muslim vice president. “I didn’t know the Americans are rendering such wide-scale services.” . . . .

    One of the biggest concessions Iraq won from Washington in the negotiations over the forces accord was a stipulation that private contractors such as Blackwater that have been accused of killing Iraqi civilians would become subject to Iraqi law.

    Immunity from prosecution for private contractors _ and for all official U.S. entities _ under Iraqi law was promulgated by the U.S. occupation government in June 2004, and ending that order is the subject of another confrontation between Iraq and the United States, Hashimi said. He said the United States insists that it would reject any Iraqi request to change the mandate. . . .

    Still more pressure!


    The Pentagon’s New Iraq Propaganda

    Tue, 2008-10-28 02:14. Media

    By John Brown, The Guardian/UK

    The US is spending $300m to ‘engage and inspire’ Iraqis. That’s not the way to win hearts and minds

    In recent months, Robert Gates, the US secretary of defence, has received much praise for lowering the triumphalist rhetoric that marked the early phases of the so-called “war on terror”. His emphasis on the need for “a sense of humility and an appreciation of limits” is sweet music to those who question the necessity of automatically using overpowering force to defend US national interests. . . .

    Jim Webb, the Democratic senator from Virginia, whose military and journalistic background makes him eminently qualified to speak about the use of soft power by the Pentagon, wrote in a letter to Gates: “At a time when this country is facing such a grave economic crisis, and at a time when the government of Iraq now shows at least a $79bn surplus from recent oil revenues, in my view it makes little sense for the US department of defence to be spending hundreds of millions of dollars to propagandise the Iraqi people.” . . .

    Kucinich views the attacks on Syria questionable!

    Tue, 2008-10-28 01:43. Congress Syria

    Status of Forces in Iraq? Bring them Home!

    WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 27, 2008) — After learning of reports that four U.S. helicopters conducted an attack inside Syrian borders on Sunday, Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) denounced the attack and questioned its timing. . . .

    “Saber rattling and attacks upon sovereign nations who did not attack us are unacceptable. We must question the timing. We are on the eve of national elections and we must be mindful of the Administration’s past manipulation of security issues in order to influence public opinion,” stated Kucinich. “We cannot stand by and let them use the lives of innocent people as pawns in their wrongful political objectives.” . . .

    Finally, this is a little puzzling, at least to me.


    In Basra Thousands of Workers Take to the Street

    Tue, 2008-10-28 14:30.  

    In a Demonstration against the Government Anti Workers Policy

    From US Labor Against the War

    In a coordination effort with the Labor Unifying Bureau, thousands of workers from various industrial sectors took to the streets of Basra on October 27, 2008 marching towards the municipal building where the officials offices to denounce the ministry of Finance decrees that resulted in massive cut backs in workers salaries.

    The workers came from steel, petrochemicals, paper and other plants in Basra who were headed by Hassan Juma, head of Labor Unifying Bureau and Oil workers and Abuwatan, vice president of Labor unifying Bureau and GFWCUI in Basra. . . .

    ~~~~

    And this information on Iran!


    Is the US already at war with Iran? In “America’s Secret War”, Vanguard correspondent Mariana van Zeller travels to the Iraq-Iran border to investigate claims that the United States is supporting militant groups that are attacking Iran. In the rugged Qandil mountains, she meets with up with anti-Iranian guerillas who have been launching deadly raids against the Islamic Republic. A good percentage of the fighters are women, and Mariana accompanies a small group of them through what many believe has become the frontline of the US’s secret war with Iran. . . .

    See the Video!!!!

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