Tag: reconstruction

Iraq War Inquiry, Day 12

First a few commentaries as this Inquiry moves along and the information and charges drip, drip, drip…………..out.


Leader: Our craven calculations in Iraq must not infect Afghanistan

The Iraq war was a ruinous mistake. The lessons from it have not yet been learned.

Two hundred and thirty-seven British troops have died in Afghanistan since the start of the war in 2001 – but the name of Lance Corporal Adam Drane should never be forgotten. The 23-year-old soldier from the 1st Battalion the Royal AnglianRegiment became the 100th UK casualty this year when he was shot dead near Nad e-Ali on 7 December. It is the first time that 100 or more British soldiers have been killed in a single year since the Falklands conflict in 1982, when 255 servicemen died and, as Sir David Richards, the British army chief, has acknowledged, it reopens the debate as to whether “the sacrifice of another British soldier is worth it”. The sacrifices are not over. The number of the British dead will continue to rise. We have argued that the Afghan conflict, though its origins may have been just and necessary in the aftermath of the 11 September 2001 attacks, has since become unwinnable and counterproductive, and the government should set a date for a strategic withdrawal…>>>>>

Senators Want Iraq to Pay for US Occupation

Last month’s Petraeus – Crocker, progress in Iraq, dog and pony show provided a forum which allowed them to tell us how well we are progressing in our endeavors to provide peace and stability in Iraq. The format was such that few hard questions were asked and few meaningful answers were given.

General Petraeus informs us:

“There has been significant but uneven security progress in Iraq.”

The gains, however, are “fragile and reversible,” he says, as he begins to outline a plan for a 45-day “period of consolidation and evaluation” to follow the end of the “surge” of extra American forces in July, before any more troops would be withdrawn.

“This process will be continuous, with recommendations for further reductions made as conditions permit,” he added. “This approach does not allow establishment of a set withdrawal timetable.”


There were no major surprises from Petraeus and Crocker, more wait and see, stall and delay. However there was something new and very significant from the Senators doing the questioning.

A funny thing happened on the way to war with Iran…

As Seymour Hersh has reported, the Bush Administration has made a deliberate calculation to change the rationale for its warmongering against Iran. They realized that the lie about Iran’s nascent nuclear weapons program wasn’t selling, so they decided to recalibrate and relaunch with a new marketing campaign claiming Iran is a major cause of the violence in Iraq. Of course, there wouldn’t be much violence in Iraq, had Bush not launched an invason, but we’re talking about catapulting propaganda, not reality.

So, the first Iran War rollout wasn’t working, and the Administration decided on another one; because it’s not the facts that matter, it’s the selling of war. So, Iran suddenly became a dangerous influence in Iraq. And some-time general, and full-time political hack, David Petraeus was recently in England, trying to sell the same story– although the Brits aren’t buying it. Apparently, neither are the people who would actually know something about it: the Iraqis.

The New York Times is reporting:

Iraq has agreed to award $1.1 billion in contracts to Iranian and Chinese companies to build a pair of enormous power plants, the Iraqi electricity minister said Tuesday. Word of the project prompted serious concerns among American military officials, who fear that Iranian commercial investments can mask military activities at a time of heightened tension with Iran.

Or maybe those American officials are actually worried that it’s going to be hard to sell a war based on Iranian meddling in Iraq when Iraq itself is inviting Iranian businesses into Iraq to build power plants.

The Iraqi electricity minister, Karim Wahid, said that the Iranian project would be built in Sadr City, a Shiite enclave in Baghdad that is controlled by followers of the anti-American cleric Moktada al-Sadr. He added that Iran had also agreed to provide cheap electricity from its own grid to southern Iraq, and to build a large power plant essentially free of charge in an area between the two southern Shiite holy cities of Karbala and Najaf.

So, Iran’s going to actually help solve Iraq’s electricity problem. Something at which we’ve not been doing such a good job.

The Chinese will be paid about $940,000,000 for their plant, and the Iranians about $150,000,000 for theirs. Don’t ask where the money’s coming from. The article doesn’t say whether it’s out of the funds we’re giving Iraq, but it would be interesting to trace it. Because we are giving them a lot. And these are expensive projects. So, it does actually seem plausible that our tax dollars will be going to Iran, to help them rebuild Iraq.

And there’s this: