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[Iraq tobacco vendors]
Iraqi Kurd tobacco vendors roll cigarettes in the northern city of Dahuk, some 460 kms north of Baghdad. Russia and France challenged the new US resolution on Iraq yesterday, introducing rival proposals eliminating tough US language they fear could authorize military force. (AFP photo)...




France and Russia water down U N Iraq resolution:  Afghanistan has essentially been abandoned in chaos:  North Korea is ignored:  little George is focused on 112 billion barrels of Iraq oil.  Its the money (oil), right George.

little George is about oil, oil, oil.  Afghanistan has none.  Korea has none.  Iraq has a lot.  Therefore, little George wants to invade Iraq.  

Does anyone have any idea how much individual oil brokers and wholesalers can make on the sale of 112 billion barrels of Iraq oil?  

And what about OPEC?  Will the U S become a member once it owns Iraq?

Only the most stupid of people think a war in Iraq is about weapons of mass destruction.  It is about all the money that little George and all his oil business buddies are going to make if the U S controls the oil in Iraq.  Daddy George made $500 million last year brokering oil.  What do you think about that?

John WorldPeace
October 27,  2002

Fri Oct 25, 8:02 PM ET

By Ted Rall

Big Promises on Iraq Are Hype

NEW YORK--Never mind that attacking Iraq without provocation is immoral. Forget that the Bush Administration has released no evidence that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein (news - web sites) has "weapons of mass destruction" or that he intends to use them. Let's even ignore official Axis of EvilTM member North Korea (news - web sites)'s admission that it has developed nuclear weapons in a blatant violation of a 1994 agreement.

"The reality of the United States using force unilaterally against North Korea is extremely difficult, if not impossible," notes Daniel Pinkston, a Korea specialist at the Monterey Institute for International Studies. "[North Korea] is a little bit on the back burner." And yet Iraq is probably less of a threat than North Korea. Iraq, however, possesses an estimated 112.5 billion barrels in proven oil reserves--the world's second-largest stash. North Korea has mud. And rocks.

Guess who we're going to invade?

Iraq After Saddam

There's no point taking on Iraq unless we can establish a stable puppet regime in Baghdad after we win. An Iraqi civil war would cause those precious energy reserves to be split into Kurdish and non-Kurdish zones, which makes maintaining the country's territorial integrity after Saddam essential if we want to fully exploit all that oil and natural gas. Finally, a pro-American post-Saddam government won't stand a chance of garnering popular support unless the damage caused by and a decade of economic sanctions and the looming "liberation" is quickly repaired.

"If the U.S. is going to take responsibility for removing the current leadership [of Iraq]," Middle East expert Phebe Marr told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in August, "it should assume that it cannot get the results it wants on the cheap." Marr warned that there will be "retribution, score-settling and bloodletting" as a vengeful Shiite majority reacts to the end of Saddam Hussein's Sunni-dominated Baath regime. Turkey, worried that its own suppressed Kurds might revolt in an attempt to join their Iraqi brethren, might invade. A post-Saddam power vacuum will offer a tempting opportunity for Iran to influence--i.e., arm--fellow Shiites across the border. The U.S. will have to defend Iraq's borders against both Turkey and Iran. In short, to successfully execute this war and its messy aftermath will require lots of troops, money and time.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's "inside out" strategy reportedly entails a plan to drop 50,000 to 100,000 U.S. troops directly into Baghdad. Career generals prefer a massive land invasion involving up to 220,000 soldiers. Either way, the manpower commitment would be enormous.

Rebuilding would be even more costly. "A new study by the Army's Center of Military History has found that the U.S. military would have to commit 300,000 peacekeeping troops in Afghanistan (news - web sites) and 100,000 in Iraq if it were to occupy and reconstruct those nations on the scale that occurred in Japan and Germany after World War II," reported The Washington Post on Sept. 23.

The Afghan Precedent

Ah yes: Afghanistan. Any planning for invading Iraq must take into account the lessons of our last--and as yet unconcluded--war in Muslim Asia.

Less than a year ago, the U.S. was promising not to abandon post-Taliban Afghanistan as it had after the 1989 Soviet withdrawal. "Chairman Karzai," Bush told the U.S.-installed Afghan president in January, "I reaffirm to you today that the United States will continue to be a friend to the Afghan people in all the challenges that lie ahead."

Months later that pledge lies in tatters.

Far from carrying out a "Marshall Plan for Afghanistan," crusade so loftily proposed during the heady days after the defeat of the Taliban, the U.S. has dedicated a piddling $296 million to rebuild the world's poorest, most war-torn nation. Secretary of State Colin Powell (news - web sites) concedes that even an original cost estimate of $4.5 billion would not have been "nearly as good as it needs to be."

Karzai's Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah, warning that his government is on the verge of financial collapse, reports that Afghanistan needs at least $20 billion for rebuilding. As it is, Karzai hasn't even been able to pay Afghan government workers their salaries--on average a mere $20 per month. Not one inch of road has been paved. The U.N. food program estimates that 25 percent of Afghanistan's 16 million people will suffer from starvation this winter.

Unsurprisingly, farmers are back in the heroin business. "We are growing poppies because of poverty, because the government pledged to pay us for destroying our harvests, but did not pay us anything," farmer Abdul Malik tells Reuters near the Helmandi provincial capital of Lashkargah. "We are growing it because not one school, or hospital, or road has been rehabilitated here as promised."

Only 8,000 U.S. soldiers are currently stationed in Afghanistan--less than three percent of the 300,000 the Army says that it needs to properly "Marshall Plan" the country--and most of those are traipsing through the mountains near Khost in search of Al Qaedans who fled for Pakistan in 2001. Actual "peacekeeping" is limited to Kabul; the vast majority of Afghans live under the same feudal warlords whose brutality led to the rise of the Taliban in the mid `90s. Rape, robbery and violent clashes are routine.

We did Afghanistan on the cheap, and it shows. The place is such a mess that the main objective of the American invasion--building a trans-Afghan pipeline to carry landlocked Caspian oil and gas to the Indian Ocean--will likely never be realized.

We won the war but we lost the peace. Will we do the same thing in Iraq?

Count on it.

(Ted Rall's latest book, a graphic travelogue about his recent coverage of the Afghan war titled "To Afghanistan and Back," is now in its second edition. Ordering and review-copy information are available at

Russia, France resist U.S. threats in resolution on Iraq inspections

By Edith m. Lederer
The Associated Press

UNITED NATIONS Russia and France challenged the new U.S. resolution on Iraq yesterday, introducing rival proposals eliminating tough U.S. language they fear could authorize military force.

President Bush, however, insisted a new resolution must have "consequences."

The circulation of rival Russian and French texts was seen as the opening salvo in a new round of negotiations in the divided U.N. Security Council, which is under U.S. pressure to adopt a strong resolution against Iraq, which it accuses of having or building weapons of mass destruction.

U.S. Deputy Ambassador James Cunningham said the United States wants a vote by the end of next week.

At the end of more than four hours of closed-door consultations yesterday, many council members said they wanted consensus on a single resolution. Serious differences remain, however, over how tough that resolution should be.

Russia, Iraq's closest council ally, circulated a text eliminating all U.S. references to "material breach" and "serious consequences" language it says could trigger a military attack if Iraq obstructs inspections. It would also ignore nearly all U.S. proposals to broaden the powers of weapons inspectors.

Russia's deputy U.N. ambassador, Gennady Gatilov, blasted the American resolution as "anti-Iraqi and aimed at possible military action against Iraq in case of any omissions or misunderstandings."

He said Russia had offered its proposal "to illustrate that there are some other ideas about how we can deal with the Iraqi situation, and what we can do in order to send the inspectors back on the ground as soon as possible."

France, which sees its proposal as a possible bridge between Moscow and Washington, also removed references to "material breach."

French diplomats said their proposal which also waters down U.S. designs for new inspections had the support of a majority of the 15 council members during yesterday's closed-door meeting. For adoption, a resolution must receive nine yes votes and no veto by any of the council's permanent members the United States, Russia, France, China and Britain.

"It's a good day for us," a French diplomat said, speaking on condition of anonymity. "We think our text should be a good compromise. We think it's possible."

Bush said yesterday in Crawford, Texas, that he would not accept a weak resolution. "Let me put it bluntly: There must be consequences," he said.

Negotiations on a new resolution have been ongoing since Bush addressed the General Assembly on Sept. 12, warning that if the Security Council didn't act decisively to disarm Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, the United States would act on its own.

A few days later, Iraq announced it would allow U.N. weapons inspectors to return after an absence of nearly four years.

Cunningham, the deputy U.S. ambassador, insisted the United States wasn't seeking a green light to attack Iraq.

"We didn't bring this issue into the Security Council to look for authorization to use military force," he said. "We brought it into the Security Council to send a clear message to Iraq and to strengthen and reinforce the inspections regime so it can have a chance at success."

Information from the Los Angeles Times is included in this report.

Copyright 2002 The Seattle Times Company


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