Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Congressman John Murtha is being hammered by both the left and the right for having the temerity to call for withdrawal from Iraq now. Bushites reject his call as “traitorous” or worse, “cowardice,” while those on the left, including some 200+ Democratic representatives, simply don’t want to face up to the fact that both the American public (55-60% according to the latest polls) and the Iraqi representatives at the Cairo conference last night, have called for us to leave, immediately. But I sense a weather change here.
We might actually have turned the corner in the debate about our presence in Iraq. Instead of bushwa about “supporting the troops,” “staying the course,” etc., we may well have started an actual, rational public debate about real issues, like how to get the troops home without too much egg on our collective face and Iraq in chaos.
Many, including the redoubtable Juan Cole, have voiced concerns that our withdrawal would have as an immediate result a civil war in Iraq. Cole argues that while we might characterize the present insurgency’s attacks on the militias, police and Iraqi military as civil war, that’s not what he means by civil war. He’s talking about set-piece battles, possibly tank warfare, and the participation of Turkey, Iran, et al. Personally, I think that’s a little over the top, but Cole had also proposed a withdrawal plan back in August not unlike Kerry’s recent one. Cole’s seems reasonable to me – as did Kerry’s - because he realistically admits that there will continue to be insurgency and counter-insurgency attacks in the major cities, which he sees – rightly so – as an Iraqi civilian police problem, and not our concern. Hear, hear.
Still to be debated - or at the very least, dragged out into the light of day - is the National Security Strategy. You know, that plan to occupy the Middle East until doomsday or the oil runs out, whichever comes first. This is the plan to which Clinton, Biden, Lieberman and others (Republicans and Democrats) are paid-up subscribers.
This is a very troubling item, as while it can be reasonably argued that we need to protect our access to oil with global troop deployment - particularly Middle East oil - in order to maintain the Western Way of Lifestyle and help the rest of the world come up to some decent standard of living, etc., we also need somehow to throttle back OPEC’s artificially high crude oil prices to avert a potential world depression. Unfortunately, this involves the industrial-military-petroleum-Halliburton matrix of the House of Saud, the Bush family fortune, NAFTA, al-Queda, French rioting, Chinese/Wal-Mart commercial dominance and mad bombers. Quite a mess, and a situation not well-served by monotonously chanting the Support Our Troops mantra, or calling the other sons of Abraham “Islamo-fascists,” an oxymoron if there ever was one.
The NSS leaves untouched any mention at all of alternative energy source development, even though this is a national security priority, the neglect of which is evidenced by the war in Iraq, economic riots in Europe, terrorism, as well as growing global warming and its attendant consequences.
Here’s how it breaks down: the NSS is based on the assumption that petroleum is the single source of energy economically feasible for the foreseeable future. Therefore we must protect our access to petroleum. OPEC controls the production quotas of crude, led by Saudi Arabia, which affects oil prices by virtue of its being the world's largest supplier of sweet crude. The House of Saud maintains its precarious rule of Saudi Arabia – and its millions of Israeli-displaced Palestinians - by its military and secret police, which are materially supplied by the US, funded by its OPEC income, and despised by bin Laden, a son of the desert himself. The Bush family has been in bed with the House of Saud for generations, so if the House of Saud falls, so does the House of Bush, therefore Bush has no interest in helping depose the House of Saud. OK so far?
An American-dominated Iraq will be pressured to decline to join OPEC, thereby keeping its oil fields open to Shell, ExxonMobile, et al. as joint partners, lowering the price of crude. This is actually what the oil companies would prefer, as oil company CEOs are really all nice guys, as well as being upstanding citizens and parents. But in the long run, the oil companies couldn’t care less whether OPEC or independent companies are the suppliers; they earn outrageous profits in any case. However, as long as the Middle East is unstable, stable oil extraction is iffy, and the oil companies stand to lose potential billions. OPEC, while expensive, guarantees stable production at the potential cost of a world depression, due soon at this rate.
Enter Osama bin Laden, who doesn’t give a rat’s ass about the oil; he just wants the House of Saud to fall, the Palestinians out of Saudi Arabia and back in Palestine, and the Israelis to stop terrorizing the Middle East. And, oh by the way, as long as we prop up Israel, he’s going to suicide-bomb us, too.
On the other hand, an independent Iraq might just decide to join OPEC, and presto, sky-high oil prices until we go back into the Middle East in about eight to ten years time, but now with about 5 million real coalition troops, including NATO, Russia and probably China to avert the next Great Depression. Colonel Larry Wilkerson said so.
Now, remove BushCo and the Saudi connection breaks, Shiia Muslims control the oil fields, and we still have a mess on our hands until we develop alternative sources of energy.
All because the Bush family likes desert dudes who own oil wells, and Junior won’t admit the weather is getting hotter.
Speaking of things that are not what they appear to be: while it is true that the folks in the Netherlands (Holland) seem to enjoy a free-wheeling lifestyle – minimal drug enforcement, red light districts, draft-dodging immigrants, gay marriage, etc. – it is well to bear in mind that the majority stockholder in the Royal Dutch Shell company is the über-rich House of Orange, Holland’s ruling king and queen and family. What I’m saying here is that you might want to look on Holland as a model of what a reasonably prosperous society looks like when the filthy rich control the world: they don’t give a poop what the serfs do as long as they get the big quarterly returns. Meditate on that for awhile.
Monday, November 21, 2005
This just in: ripped, as it were, from the very headlines:
Iraqi leaders demand timetable for troop withdrawal
By Agence France Presse
11/21/05 "AFP" -- -- CAIRO - Iraqi leaders reached a tentative agreement Monday to demand a timetable for the withdrawal of foreign troops from their war-torn country during talks ahead of a reconciliation conference to be held next year.
Dozens of leaders representing most of Iraq's factions have been holding tough talks in Cairo since Saturday in a bid to reach a common agenda.
In a draft final statement, a copy of which was obtained by AFP, they demanded "a timetable for the immediate withdrawal of foreign troops".
The draft also advocates "immediately setting up a national programme to rebuild the armed forces in a way that will allow them to control the security situation and put an end to terrorist operations".