Friday :: Feb 11, 2005

Future War News

by pessimist

Now that the Iraqi (s)election can be declared successful, Bu$hCo operatives are scrambling to find enough evidence to declare that US involvement in internal Iraqi affairs is ended. In an effort to highlight this effort, US Defense Capo 'The' Donald Rum$feld decided to visit Iraq and show off their pet posse:

Rumsfeld on unannounced post-election visit to Iraq

US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld made a surprise visit to Iraq, telling US troops they could "go home with honor" once Iraqi forces were able to defeat insurgents.

He made lightning visits to training bases around the country, watching elite Iraqi units mount mock assaults from helicopters and do live fire drills under the tutelage of US military advisers.

In the northern city of Mosul, where the police force collapsed under insurgent attacks last November, Rumsfeld said developing competent Iraqi security forces would take time but was crucial to the country's future.

"Because it is the Iraqis who are going to have to, over time, defeat the insurgents," he told several hundred US and Iraqi soldiers. "It is their country. It is their responsibility.

"Once they have that confidence and that capacity and capability our forces, coalition forces will have to go home. And go home with the honor you will have earned," he said.

But considering this news, that day isn't happening any time soon:

Rumsfeld arrives in Iraq as violence intensifies

Iraqi security forces have been frequently targeted by rebels who accuse them of collaborating with U.S. occupation forces. This week alone, more than 50 Iraqi soldiers, police officers and applicants have been killed in rebels’ attacks in the cities of Baghdad, Baquba and Mosul.

Meanwhile, a car bomb went off outside a Shiite mosque northeast of the Iraqi capital on Friday, killing 13 people and wounding at least 40 others, police and witnesses said.

Earlier, police said that eleven people were killed on Friday when unknown gunmen opened fire on a crowd at a bakery in eastern Baghdad.

On Thursday, rebels attacked Iraqi soldiers with machine-gun fire and mortar rounds in Salman Pak, 12 miles southeast of Baghdad, police said, adding that 14 policemen were killed and 65 were injured in the two-hour gunbattle.

Also Thursday, police found bodies of more than 20 Iraqi truck drivers and four Iraqi police and soldiers in southern Baghdad, police Capt. Ahmed Ismail said, adding that some of the trucks were owned by the government.

"We're hoping and praying it will be a good country. It will be the Iraqi people who make it a good country," Rumsfeld told them.

That's today's war. What about the future war? Read on.

One of the reasons King George Warmonger was so hot to trot with Saddam was that Saddam was about to reprice Iraqi oil in euros, which would likely have set off a frenzy of repricing by the central banks around the globe, which would have ended the dollar's hegemony as the reserve currency and would also likely have caused a major collapse in its value. This may be the only tenatively justifiable reason - however weak it is - for Bu$hCo to have invaded at all. What are we to think, then, King George Warmonger will do as this news gets out?

India hopes to conclude gas pipeline deal with Iran by June

India is hoping to clinch a deal by June with Iran for supply of gas via a pipeline passing through Pakistan following long-awaited Cabinet approval of the project, a minister said Friday.

The ministry said it was looking afresh at plans which have been on hold for years for a pipeline from Iran to India through Pakistan. It was also looking at the feasibility of bringing a pipeline from Turkmenistan to India through Afghanistan and Pakistan, or from Myanmar to India through Bangladesh, the ministry said.

Both of these plans were intended by the neocon US to belong to Unocal!

Construction of trans-Afghan gas pipeline to begin in 2006

U.S. company Unocal Corp., based in El Segundo, California, was contemplating participation in a project for a pipeline, from gas-rich Turkmenistan through Afghanistan and Pakistan, in the 1990s but plans were abandoned when the United States fired cruise missiles into Afghanistan in 1998 in pursuit of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network, blamed for two U.S. embassy bombings that year in East Africa.

The 1,680-kilometer pipeline is to run through Herat and Kandahar in Afghanistan, the Pakistani cities of Quetta and Multan and on to the Indian border town of Fazilka.

Since the U.S.-led offensive that ousted the Taliban from power, the project has been resurrected and has drawn strong U.S. support. The pipeline would allow formerly Soviet Central Asian nations to export rich energy resources without relying on Russian routes.

India is very keen to see pipelines built, even offering talks to neighboring rival Pakistan:

India offers Pakistan pipeline talks

New Delhi offered direct talks with Islamabad yesterday on a controversial multi-billion-dollar pipeline that would transport Iran's large gas reserves to India across Pakistan.

Pakistan, which would earn hundreds of millions of dollars a year in transit fees and help meet its own growing demand for gas, welcomed the offer. "If the Indians are ready to move ahead without conditions, we are ready as well," said Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed, minister of information.

Mr Aiyar said the plan was to negotiate an agreement between New Delhi and Tehran for gas to be delivered to India at the India-Pakistan border. Then Iran would negotiate a separate but "back-to-back" pipeline agreement with Pakistan.

There would be trilateral talks to agree on the necessary sovereign guarantees that the construction companies and other pipeline contractors would require. Indian and Iranian energy officials will discuss the gas supply deal next week.

Now, read that last excerpt again. Note that nowhere within it is there anything mentioning the US government or any of its contributors. Thus, the competition for trans-Pakistan transit rights is underway. there are two ways that Bu$hCo can interfere with this process:

There are also concerns in Pakistan about unrest in its province of Baluchistan, which borders Iran. There have been several attacks on Pakistan's own pipelines in recent months by Baluchi tribesmen, partly in protest at low royalty fees. The prime minister's office in Islamabad said it would shortly bring out a package of incentives to help quell tribal disaffection.

Just how hard would it be to outbid the Pakistani government for the loyalty (and sabotage acts) of the Baluchis? I don't see that as being hard at all, considering the size of the stakes! That strategem alone holds great promise. But I did say there was another way:

Pakistan requests F-16 fighters from U.S.

A senior U.S. defense official said Thursday that Washington is considering an appeal from Pakistan for F-16 fighter aircraft - a request that has received a muted response from the United States in previous years.

U.S. Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith would not say whether the two sides were close to reaching any deal. "It is an important issue, and it will be dealt with at the right time," he told reporters in Rawalpindi, a garrison city near Islamabad.

Could that right time be about that moment when US forces are ready to begin the assault on Iran?

Feith said the issue "is one that continues to remain under consideration."

You heard it here first.

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pessimist :: 2:13 PM :: Comments (4) :: Digg It!