As Iran extracts plutonium and the US extracts itself from its "imperial misadventure," another cascade has just begun.
A cascade of bad news and recriminations begins in earnest as the New York Times brings the first of many post-mortem reports sure to embroil the country in a domestic quagmire of political warfare. Meanwhile as Iran consolidates its power and influence in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon:
I heard somewhere this week that of the 3000 tanker trucks used to transport oil to Turkey, 2000 are involved in smuggling. Googling Iraqi Oil smuggling shows that if there's anything the Iraqis can do well, it's smuggle oil. They have years of experience during the porous "embargo" of Saddam Hussein. There's no reason to believe the smuggling will end when the US leaves.
US Find Iraq Insurgency Has Funds To sustain Itself.
BAGHDAD, Nov. 25 — The insurgency in Iraq is now self-sustaining financially, raising tens of millions of dollars a year from oil smuggling, kidnapping, counterfeiting, corrupt charities and other crimes that the Iraqi government and its American patrons have been largely unable to prevent, a classified United States government report has concluded.
The report, obtained by The New York Times, estimates that groups responsible for many of the insurgent and terrorist attacks are raising $70 million to $200 million a year from illegal activities. It says that $25 million to $100 million of the total comes from oil smuggling and other criminal activity involving the state-owned oil industry aided by “corrupt and complicit” Iraqi officials.
As much as $36 million a year comes from ransoms paid to save hundreds of kidnap victims in Iraq, the report said. It estimates that unnamed foreign governments — previously identified by senior American officials as including France and Italy — paid Iraqi kidnappers $30 million in ransom last year.
A copy of the report was made available to The Times by American officials in Iraq, who said they acted in the belief that the findings could improve American understanding of the challenges the United States faces in Iraq.
Completed in June, the report was compiled by an interagency working group that is investigating the financing of militant groups in Iraq.
Improve "American understanding" or drive the final nail in the coffin for public support? Who is this "interagency working group that delivers such wonderful and optimistic news?"
A Bush administration official confirmed the group’s existence and said it is studying how money was moved into and around the country. He said the group, led by the National Security Council, drew its members from the C.I.A., the F.B.I., the Defense Intelligence Agency, the State Department, the Treasury Department, and the United States Army’s Central Command, which oversees the war in Iraq. The group of about a dozen, the official said, is led by Juan Zarate, deputy national security adviser on combating terrorism.
Comment from 2164th: The biggest critique of the Iraq War from the Left, the enemies of the US, and reluctant supporters, is that there was no direct connection to 911 and no immediate threat of WMD. After the WMD threat was proved to be exaggerated, The Administration retort was that Iraq was the time and place to take on AQ and the jihadis. Better to fight and by implication, defeat them there. But what of the facts? One word suffices to answer. Iraq. No further comment is necessary. Say, Iraq, and everyone gets it. The jihad continues.
In our previous post, we look back at Afghanistan five years ago. Today the tactics, developed in Iraq by the jihadis in Iraq are being applied in Afghanistan. For one, there were no suicide bombers of consequence then. There has been an undeniable metastasis. A terrorist network has been developed and expanded and is being financed in innovative and resourceful ways. There is no evidence that the threat has been reduced. None. Does this mean we can retreat, or "cut and run"? No, it does not. We are stuck with a worsened world situation and a greater responsibility to confront it. We need a 'Fixer in Chief" and we don't have one.