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Friday, February 23, 2007

The US is becoming an "Army of One."


Why are the British drawing down in Southern Iraq? Secretary Rice is saying it is, "Pip-pip, Mission accomplished." I am not sure what the Danes are saying. The real reasons the British are withdrawing are various, but at a minimum they must include:
  • The British Army is too small and too stretched to meet the needs of both Afghanistan and at the same time be effective in Basra.
  • The Iranian influence over the heavily Shiite South is all but complete. No available amount of British troops will make a difference.
  • The Brits have determined the political support for continued action in Iraq is non-existent in Britain and rapidly declining in the US.
  • Britain wants no part of any scheme to attack Iran, which if done, they believe it will create a greater calamity than anything this Administration has done so far.
  • Britain has come to the conclusion that regardless of efforts of the UK, political events in Iraq are beyond her influence.
In an attempt to save face for the Administration, Cheney and Rice are eviscerating whatever remaining credibility they have left.

Rice calls Iraq coalition 'intact'
By Sharon Behn
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
February 22, 2007

The Bush administration maintained yesterday that its Iraq coalition was still in good shape despite announcements by Britain and two other countries that they would withdraw all or some of their troops by the end of the year.

"The coalition remains intact," Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said during a visit to Berlin. "It is the plan that -- as it is possible to transfer responsibilities to the Iraqis -- coalition forces would no longer be needed."

Miss Rice spoke just hours after British Prime Minister Tony Blair announced in Parliament that Britain would cut 1,600 troops from its 7,100-strong force in southern Iraq in the coming months.

He said several hundred more could come home by late summer if conditions permit. There were 40,000 British troops in Iraq when the war began, and roughly 9,000 in place two years ago.
Denmark said it planned to withdraw its 460 troops from southern Iraq by August. A Lithuanian Defense Ministry spokeswoman said her country was "seriously considering" withdrawing its 53 troops from the same area in August.

The United States put the best face on the announcements, declaring the withdrawals were evidence of the improved security situation in southern Iraq.
But analysts on both sides of the Atlantic disagreed.
Need more, continue here

55 comments:

  1. Cheney is to give a speech Friday on U.S.-Australian relations.

    He and Howard are also expected to discuss Australian David Hicks, a former kangaroo skinner captured in Afghanistan in December 2001 who has been held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for more than five years without trial.

    Under growing public pressure, and with elections due later this year, Howard has begun pushing U.S. officials to deal with Hicks' case more quickly.


    Visit to Australia

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  2. Sam, give us your man in the street opinion of the how the average Australian feels about Iraq.

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  3. Same as back home. Mixed bag. 50/50. I work with lefties and neocons both. When the lefties I work with start Bush bashing and doing the anti-American thing it takes everything I have to bite my lip. But then like I say. I work with alot of sane people as well.

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  4. I'm out of here guys. Talk to you Monday. Take care. Thanks for letting me be a part of this place.

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  5. Three out of four Israelis would like to be part of EU

    By Donald Macintyre in Jerusalem
    Published: 23 February 2007
    Three-quarters of Israelis want to be in the European Union and more than a tenth would actually leave Israel for Europe if they were granted EU citizenship, according to an opinion poll published yesterday.

    With Germany scoring an approval rate of 67 per cent, making the second most popular European country after Britain, the poll suggests that the attitude of most Israelis is no longer predominantly coloured by the Second World War and by the Holocaust.

    At the same time Israelis have a startlingly positive view of the EU given the frequent suspicion of EU policy-making - especially on the Middle East - expressed by elements of the country's political class.

    The poll carried out by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, a German foundation, in Jerusalem suggests that Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, has played a notable part in warming Israelis to Germany - and indeed to Europe as a whole - with 60 per cent saying that her election as its first female head of government had improved her country's image in the worl

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  6. Said it before, I'll say it again. Israel in EU and Nato and that will be a real basis for real peace.

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  7. I like to think the Brits are withdrawing because they've done about all the good they can do there. Perhaps, though more significantly, for Blair, it's over, over there. His poll numbers went south before W's did. It's time for them to leave, just as it will soon be time for the US to begin withdrawing.

    The first announcement of US troop withdrawals should come in August or there abouts.

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  8. Must be a "consensus," forming(?)

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  9. I said I would support the "surge" (for lack of a better phrase.)

    I didn't say anything about taking the Iraqis to raise.

    In the end it's got to be "Their" military, and Their Politicians, and Their "People."

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  10. But most all those things, rufus, are opposed to US being in Iraq.

    Especially the Politicians & the People. Both have chosen their course, through their actions & votes.

    The Iraqi Army, instead of taking a Leadership role, tags along for the ride.

    All of which drops on the Administrators of the Occupation and Reconstruction.

    Neither of which does the Military do well, according to Mr Bush % Ms Rice. They were quite adament about that lack of Military skill sets, in 1999.

    Nothing much has changed, since then.

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  11. ... Spokesman Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, meanwhile, said the military was investigating reports of civilian casualties during intense fighting between American troops and Sunni insurgents in Ramadi, 70 miles west of Baghdad.

    A six-hour battle that broke out Wednesday evening after insurgents armed with rocket-propelled grenades attacked U.S. troops from nearby buildings. Marine spokesman 1st Lt. Shawn Mercer said Thursday that 12 insurgents were killed and no civilian casualties were reported, but Iraqi authorities the dead included women and children.

    The military said several buildings were damaged when the Americans responded with "precision guided munitions" that ended the fight. ...
    ...
    The U.S. military also has warned that insurgents are adopting new tactics in a campaign to spread panic after troops uncovered a car bomb factory west of Baghdad with propane tanks and chlorine cylinders _ possible ingredients for more chemical attacks following three explosions involving chlorine.
    ...
    Lt. Gen. Ray Odierno, the No. 2 American commander in Iraq, said Thursday he did not think the attacks signaled a more capable insurgency. Instead, he said they were an attempt to provoke fear.

    "What they're trying to do is ... adapt in such ways where they can continue to create instability," Odierno said.

    The general also said at least two suspects have been arrested in the downing of eight helicopters since Jan. 20, but he gave no further details. ..."


    ARRESTED
    not captured.
    A difference in Mind Set that tells the tale of the Iraqi War fiasco, in the choice of vocabulary used, all in a single word.

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  12. It may work out okay; it may work out awful. We'll just have to wait and see, Rat.

    Whit's talking about August. I think he's pretty close, there.

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  13. The Occupation Treaty is up for review, in June. It'll start before then, the Iraqi claiming they're ready.

    The Pelosi and Reid will echo Mr Maliki's claims of preparedness.
    The pressure for announcing a withdrawal will be unbelievable.

    August, no later, for the start, but how fast the withdrawal goes and how large a "stay behind" force remains foggy.

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  14. The Security Mission transfered by November, as Mr Maliki demanded when taking office, a year ago.

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  15. I have news for you guys. The US cannot get out of Iraq without a deal with Iran.

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  16. I expect they'll get their deal when the time is right; don't you?

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  17. That Deal's been made.
    The results are available for viewing, in Basra, Iraq. That situation is now touted as SUCCESS, by Mr Cheney and Ms Rice, since the Brits are leaving.

    The airport, the bank, the pilgrams and the Rial, all supplied by Iranians.

    The Fleet and the Air Force can handle threatening Iran, the Army can begin to withdraw, to the Mega-bases first and then out country over a three year schedule. Still there, but...
    "Out of the way"
    as Mr Gates said.

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  18. Basra, that is how Victory is defined.

    So says Mr Cheney and Ms Rice, they'd not lie about it, would they?

    Get a good long taste.

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  19. Watch for a couple of Pakistani Brigades to move to the KSA/ Iraq border, part of the new Sunni Block Peacekeeping force.

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  20. Remember Guys, we're over there fucking with those ugly bastards because we "Have to Be," not because we "Want to Be."

    Take away the "Have to," and we're a "Memory."

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  21. Desert Rat said, Watch for a couple of Pakistani Brigades to move to the KSA/ Iraq border, part of the new Sunni Block Peacekeeping force.

    DR, the Pakis can't even maintain a monopoly of force in Waziristan inside their own borders, and they've got India on their back porch, they don't have the wherewithal for the mission creep you describe, and if they mass on the border of Iraq, Bush is liable to cut ties to Musharraf and let the chips fall where they may.

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  22. 20% gas reduction in 10 years is what, 36 million acres of switch grass and thousands of distilleries, as I recall past discussions.
    Best start breaking ground on those distilleries, if the effort to achieve the Goal is serious. Construction of a couple, three hundred units per year would be required, starting now.

    As the TVA dams were built, the plans were not finalized, while the foundations were being poured.

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  23. Ms T, you're way off.

    The Pakistani Army will not start a Civil War in Pakistan, with the Pashtun, a tribe which is a great segment of the Pakistani Army.

    That is why they will not fight in Warizistan, not a lack of capacity.

    There will be no active War over Kashmere, not if the Sauds say stop. The Indians not a threat to Mecca.

    Iran has gained hugh influence in southern Iraq, along the KSA border. The population of the Oil Field of eastern KSA is majority Shiite. The Saudi Atmy is not capable of closing the border, the Pakis are. The US will approve the action as we withdraw to the mega bases, come late summer.

    Go Bandar Go!!!

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  24. This comment has been removed because it linked to malicious content. Learn more.

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  25. Except, I wish I had thought of it.

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  26. CELEBRATE BLACK HISTORY MONTH- GREAT INVENTORS

    There have been many great African-American inventors.
    Lets take a look at a few and what they've given us.

    1. On February 5, 1884, W. Johnson patented the eggbeater

    2. Walter Sammons patented an improved hot comb

    3. John Thomas White of New York, New York received a patent for an improved lemon squeezer on December 8, 1896 .

    http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/bl_Walter_Sammons.htm

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  27. Hey,was just thinking about combs. Saw where FDA had approved a new 'laser comb'. About $500. Light supposed to grow your hair out thick. Don't really really need it yet, but the day may be coming. Don't know who came up with it, and I've got my doubts. But the FDA would never approve something that doesn't work, would they?

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  28. Some people call the Cold War the Third World War, and the War on Terror the fourth one. But the third shootin' world war is starting to take shape, it's gonna finish up nuclear again, and the suffering will be unspeakable.

    Taking center state in the role previously played by Nazi Germany is Iran, sworn to wipe Israel off the map. It was the host of a recent "conference" denying the very historicity of the Shoah. Even the head-in-the-sand United Nations admits Iran presently has 1,000 centrifuges in operation. And what super weapons they cannot home-brew they get off the shelf from North Korea. Like Germany on December 11, 1941, Iran declared war on America nearly thirty years ago, but after Reagan left office America became preoccupied with Iraq.

    In the Mediterranean side-show role played by WWII Italy are Syria and its puppet state Lebanon, dominated by Hezbollah, which has shown a willingness to attack Israel and absorb the kind of punishment that has deterred most of Israel's Arab neighbors since 1973. Even the ultimate deterrence of an Israeli nuclear strike on Beirut does not deter Hezbollah, because of the dynamics of assymetrical warfare which shields the enemy from a mortal return blow gives him the delusion that his force is many times greater than it is. The Hezbos are a parasite with a diffuse disposition, and the attack would only kill civilians and generate an awesome global backlash against Israel. One must remember that the slog up the Italian boot, which Churchill called the "soft underbelly of Europe" was still dragging out right up to V-E day.

    Russia's more limited role as an ally of Iran makes them resemble World War II Japan, but Putin's (deliberate, insightful, or merely paranoid) choice to see America ringing them with forces is making him turn his gaze again to the West as surely as the 1942 Doolittle Raid made Tokyo turn their gaze East. And Iran is beginning to default on their payments for their "civilian" reactor. It's one thing to build a nuclear reactor in Iran to tweak America, but Russia will be damned if Iran is going to pauperize them in the process.

    Russian hydraulic despotism with Europe's oil and gas supplies and the general European resentment of American hegemony will bring Europe and Canada into their fold and finally break NATO, which has been nothing more than a nation-building exercise for years now. Post-Blair Great Britain will finally and irrevokably side with the Continent and be welcomed with open arms as the prodigal son.

    American forces in Iraq, humbled by the insurgency, will be concentrated in a handful of "megabases" throughout the country, like so many little Gitmos, supremely vulnerable to the handful of nukes Iran will have by that time. Since nuclear retaliation against Iran's populace (which seethes in resentment against the Mullahs) would be as futile as Israel's experience in 2006 Lebanon, everything depends on the
    US ability to block incoming ballistic missiles.

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  29. The 10% that want to be in Europe or make Israel in the image of Europe, are of the Aviv Gefen and Yael Dayan type. (They're related, btw). And frankly, Israel would be a better place without them.

    Israel as part of NATO or part of the EU, would be a catastrophe for Israel. All it would do, is let the slackers and the feminized Leftist fags increase in numbers and influence. Real peace in the ME will come only when the Jihadists and their Sheikdoms are all eliminated. And that will come when Jihadi oil can no longer be used as a political weapon.

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  30. Speaking of which; What Leader of the "Free World" is lobbying Dubya to Put some of them anti missile thingies over heah.

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  31. "American forces in Iraq, humbled by the insurgency, will be concentrated in a handful of "megabases" throughout the country"

    - Enjoyed your post but be warned, some bar regulars do not like grand scheming

    Another perspective:

    ...In For the Long Haul
    The Petraeus plan will have U.S. forces deployed in Iraq for years to come. Does anybody running for president realize that?
    By Michael Hirsh-Newsweek

    Under Petraeus’s plan, a U.S. military force of 160,000 or more is setting up hundreds of “mini-forts” all over Baghdad and the rest of the country, right in the middle of the action. The U.S. Army has also stopped pretending that Iraqis—who have failed to build a credible government, military or police force on their own—are in the lead when it comes to kicking down doors and keeping the peace. And that means the future of Iraq depends on the long-term presence of U.S. forces in a way it did not just a few months ago. “We’re putting down roots,” says Philip Carter, a former U.S. Army captain who returned last summer from a year of policing and training in the hot zone around Baquba. “The Americans are no longer willing to accept failure in order to put Iraqis in the lead. You can’t let the mission fail just for the sake of diplomacy.”

    “This is the right strategy: small mini-packets of U.S. troops all over, small ‘oil spots’ [of stability] spreading out. It’s classic counterinsurgency,” says one of the Army’s top experts in irregular warfare, who helped draft the counterinsurgency manual that Petraeus produced while commander at Fort Leavenworth last year—the principles of which the general is applying to Iraq. “But it’s high risk and it’s going to take a long time.”

    “The troops are certainly more vulnerable than they are on super bases,” says John Arquilla, who teaches irregular warfare at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif. “The mission now is less force protection of American troops and more protection of the Iraqi people.”

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  32. "Said it before, I'll say it again. Israel in EU and Nato and that will be a real basis for real peace."

    Another perspective -

    Israel's European pipe dream


    Desire to join EU won't materialize unless we renounce Jewish State's essence
    by Sharon Pardo - Ynet News

    The support for the notion of Israel joining the EU completely ignores the contradiction between Israel's essence as the Jewish State and the Jewish people's country, and the basic idea the EU is premised on – turning the continent into an open, united space, devoid of internal borders, where there is no significant difference between the citizens of member states.

    The fact that Israel is a democratic, liberal country where humanistic universal values are part of the local spirit does not change the Jewish State's reality and aspirations. Israel is a unique case, which is radically different than other countries. This essential difference will prevent it from joining the EU, even if it were invited to join it. On the other hand, renouncing its uniqueness is akin to abandoning Israel's "raison d'etat," when examined through Jewish-Zionist eyes.

    False hopes

    It is easy to provide concrete examples, such as the contradiction that exists between the Israeli Law of Return and the freedom of movement of people in the European space. Israel's aspiration to constitute a central element in the prosperity of the entire Jewish nation is also incommensurate with the values of the European Union and its institutions.

    In terms of the political reality, as EU Commissioner for External Relations Benita Ferrero-Waldner explained, Israel is not perceived by official institutions as a candidate for joining the EU in the foreseeable future. Instead, it makes do with membership in the "European Neighborhood Policy," which aims to bring all Europe's new neighbors closer to the EU.

    Israeli aspirations and hopes to join the EU in its current format are therefore false both in terms of values and political reality. Instead, we should aspire to deepen our cooperation with the EU. This aspiration should be a basic point of departure to a grander strategy. It may be appropriate to reconsider this position in the long run. However, in the first half of the 21st century, and likely in the more distant future as well, Israel will not be joining the EU as a full-fledged member.

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  33. Israel will not dissolve its national cultural ethnic religious identity in favor of a dead end concoction of Socialists and their post modern fantasies for Empire Europe. Israelis that want to enjoy the "freedoms" of being a secular nihility devoid of Judean heritage should do so and leave .

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  34. First they must ask themselves the question:

    Is this Nihil worth fighting for?

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  35. From today's NY Times:
    Old Problems Undermine New Security Plan for Baghdad
    By RICHARD A. OPPEL Jr.

    BAGHDAD, Feb. 19 — It looked like a scene out of a counterinsurgency training video. Dressed in crisp uniforms with a computer-generated camouflage of blue, gray and brown, Iraqi national police officers joined United States troops on searches late last week through relatively calm districts of Shaab and Ur in northeast Baghdad in the first large operation of the Baghdad security plan.

    But appearances in Iraq can often be deceiving. At least two of the national police officers who turned out for the operation were moving ahead of the American troops not to lead the security drive but to warn the residents to hide their weapons and other incriminating evidence.

    Some policemen on the sweep advertised their Shiite sympathies. Infiltration by militias has always been a major problem for the Iraqi security forces, and particularly the police, viewed by many Sunnis in the capital as de facto Shiite militia fighters.

    The much anticipated effort to wrest Baghdad streets from the control of militias and insurgents has been presented in news conferences and public statements as an Iraqi-led operation. Iraqi officials have been out front, announcing arrests, weapons finds and other details, as well as new decrees intended to halt two years of so-called sectarian cleansing. But on the streets, the joint patrols seemed little different from those of the past few years: A handful of Iraqis, acting at the direction of a larger group of Americans, opening drawers and closets and looking behind furniture as they searched for banned weapons or other contraband.

    For the first few days of the operation, about 2,500 American troops took part, compared with about 300 Iraqi forces, a mix of police and Army personnel, military officials said. The original plan called for Iraqis to work with United States troops throughout the night to enforce curfews and otherwise ensure that the gains of the previous day were not lost. But they were shifted to buttress the day force.

    It was a translator working with the Americans, interviewed a day after the fact, who had overheard the Iraqi police tipping off the Iraqis. “They were telling people in the neighborhood to hide your weapons from the Americans,” he said. The police were Shiites, he said, and inclined to favor others of their sect in the district, which is mostly Shiite but has a considerable Sunni population.

    On another patrol, an American commander said, Iraqi residents told American soldiers that a national policemen had warned them to hide anything incriminating including paraphernalia about Moktada al-Sadr, the Shiite militia leader whose forces are targets of the Baghdad crackdown.

    “Families told us he was warning people before we’d come in, ‘If you have this or that, then hide it before they get here,’ ” said First Lt. Andy Moffit, who led a platoon through Shaab and Ur. The major problem with Iraqi forces is not their tactical skill, but their “loyalties and integrity,” he said.

    On that score, he said, “We’ve still got years to go.”

    Fearful of police ties to the militias, some residents questioned by the Americans about militia activity refused to say anything until the police were led out of the room.

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  36. Son of Key Iraq Shiite Arrested at Iran’s Border

    A son of the head of Iraq’s dominant Shiite political bloc was seized by U.S. forces today as he tried to re-enter Iraq.

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  37. Previously -

    "Russian hydraulic despotism with Europe's oil and gas supplies and the general European resentment of American hegemony will bring Europe and Canada into their fold and finally break NATO..."

    "In addition to Eastern Europe, Putin's recent comments may partly result from his view that the U.S.
    is detaching Central Asia and the Caucasus from Russian domination."

    Tunis Hebdo, Tunisia -
    Oil, Wounded Pride Fuel Putin's Direct Assault on America
    By Tahar Selmi

    ...The systemic support of the United States to nationalists in Central Asia in the long term aims to eliminate the Russian presence in the region, and initially of course, in the countries that border the Caspian Sea and Iran. The final drop that made Putin's vase of patience run dry was NATO's decision - meaning Uncle Sam's – to install the American anti-missile shield in the Czech Republic and Poland. This location, so close to the Russian border, effectively hems in the surrounding Russian territory. What's more, similar activities are soon to be concluded in Ukraine and Georgia. The height of provocation and cynicism, from now on the Atlantic Alliance will hold its summits in countries that were once members of the Warsaw Pact and Moscow's allies (Prague, Riga, etc …). To Vladimir Putin, this is a blatant violation of the Treaty signed by both sides in 1987 … a treaty that he now threatens to leave.

    America's octopus-like progression toward nations "peripheral" to Russia by going through NATO, falls within the scope of the ferocious Russian-American rivalry, and centers mainly on controlling the pipelines that cross the Caucasus. Indeed, the Caspian Sea has become a strategic prize of the greatest importance due to its vast oil reserves. Countries like Chechnya, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan are true "Kuwaits." Already over a century ago, Winston Churchill said...

    "If oil is to be king, then the Caspian Sea will be its throne."

    Which conduit for the 'spice'?

    The Northern Route (via Russia): The Northern route would consist of an upgrading of the existing Kazak and Russian pipeline systems, plus a new one linking Baku in Azerbaijan with the Russian port of Novorossisk on the Black Sea. Obviously this is the option favoured by the Russian rulers, as it maintains their dominance of Central Asia and provides a source of revenue to them.

    The Southern Route (via Iran): From a purely practical point of view this is the most sensible option, with the shortest distance as it is able to plug into the Iranian pipeline system and it provides access to the growing South Asian market. Opposed by the United States, both because of that state's hostility to Iran and because it doesn't represent a diversification of energy sources -which is a U.S. goal we will be returning to. Nonetheless this is the only one of the new routes which is actually up and running.

    The Eastern Route (via China): The longest and most expensive route but favoured by the Chinese government, and being developed by them, it also allows them to exploit the resources in their western provinces.

    The Western Route (via Turkey): This is favoured by Turkey, the United States, Israel, and Europe. There are three options here; firstly a pipeline to the port of Suspa in Georgia and then through the Bosporus straits to Europe. The Turkish claim is that the straits will not be able to handle the increased amount of shipping and propose instead a pipeline from Azerbaijan to Ceyhan on Turkey's Mediterranean coast. The high costs of this proposal have promoted an alternative American plan to bypass the Bosporus straits with a pipeline going through Bulgaria and Greece.

    The South Eastern Route (via Afghanistan): This is the reason why in years past Taliban hierarchs popped up in Texas and other unlikely places. It has been argued that this proposal was a reason behind both Osama Bin Laden's war on the U.S. and the U.S. action in Afghanistan. With the fall of the Taliban this route has again entered the running. Note that it avoids Iran while delivering to the South Asian market, which is much more promising than the European one.

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  38. Elijah,

    The concept of a religious state is foreign to me. It is to most Americans. My biggest criticism of Islam is the religious primacy. The very Iranians that the US seems to favor are the secularists.

    The religious states throughout the ME are burdened with the consequences of being religious states first and secular nations second.

    The United States has gone to war in Iraq on the premise that religious beliefs should be subordinate to the secular state. That same evolution has been a constant constriant on civil law and practice in the United States for fifty years in practice and two hundred plus years in theory.

    Communities in the US practice a high degree of cultural, ethnic, and religious identity. The Amish are an obvious example. They can sustain themselves within the nation. It seems to work.

    Why would that not work in Israel?

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  39. Teresita:
    I agree with Habu. Your 12:51 post was very interesting.

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  42. Why would that not work in Israel?

    Because it would not be Israel. People that want this can move to the US. Israel is not a religious state. But it is a Jewish state. It is a place where Jewish "religious" observances and traditions are the national observances and traditions. This is a bit problematic for outsiders to understand, because Judaism as a cultural ethnic national identity is so tightly wrapped up in Judaism the religion. What an outsider needs to understand, one can be a perfectly non-religious Israeli Jew, observe all the national Jewish observances and traditions, and want to maintain these Jewish "religious" observances and traditions as the exclusive symbols of Israeli nationalism. In fact, that has been the majority sentiment since the founding of the modern State of Israel.

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  43. Elijah wrote, The South Eastern Route (via Afghanistan).....Note that it avoids Iran while delivering to the South Asian market, which is much more promising than the European one.

    Centuries ago it was the Silk Road going from China to the Middle East, now it's oil and its going the other way.

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  44. 1) "The oncept of a religious state is foreign to me. It is to most Americans." -

    Others disagree...
    At the other end of the spectrum from Theocracy, we find the ideal of the "separation of church and state" -the principle upon which the American political system is based.

    This form must not be rejected out of hand as irrelevant to the central goal of religious Zionism for it does not in fact remove religion from the public domain, nor is it necessarily a hindrance to the flowering of organized religion.

    Experience shows that the very reverse of this may well be the case. In the event we find that in America, the classic instance of this system in practice, though there is no established church, neither is religion, nor are religious symbols and practices divorced from the state. In fact, outside the major urban centers, America is probably one of the most religious countries in the western world.

    The axiomatic acceptance of religion as part of the basic fabric of American culture is almost too obvious to need illustration. Nevertheless, we will bring a few random examples of religious expression in the public domain in America which immediately come to mind, for those not familiar with them.

    The motto, 'in God we trust' is engraved on American money. Representatives of the major religions deliver an invocation at the inauguration of the President. The major Christian holidays are celebrated in virtually all public places. The official day of rest is Sunday and though their stringency differs from State to State and from municipality to municipality, just about everywhere there are laws which regulate the opening of places of commerce and entertainment on this day.

    Thus, despite the zealously guarded principle of 'separation of church and state', the public domain in America is imbued with a specifically religious, and one might even say, Christian spirit, for absolute separation would reflect a positive attitude towards atheism -which is patently not what the founding fathers of the U.S. had in mind, nor does it reflect the existential reality of the American people.

    2) Why would that not work in Israel?

    The answer is based in the contradiction that exists between the Israeli Law of Return and the freedom of movement model of the Europeans. I think you have answered your own question in your writing. In the European model, would Palestinians and the citizens of neighboring countries be eligible for citizenship or movement across the border?
    What characteristics do these individuals possess?

    "The religious states (i.e. citizens) throughout the ME are burdened with the consequences of being religious states (Islam) first and secular nations second."

    Population dynamics are a variable in the long war. Russia's growing muslim population is another example.

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  45. "Population dynamics are a variable in the long war.

    Russia's growing muslim population is another example."

    Eurabia is another.

    On October 7, 2001, Sunni al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden broadcast a message to the world: "Let the whole world know that we shall never accept that the tragedy of Andalucía." The reference to Andalusia, the Spanish territory that was once under Islamic rule until 1492, makes clear that al-Qaeda sees itself continuing a historic war between Islam and Christendom.

    Before September 11, 2001, Shia Hezbollah had killed more Americans than any other terrorist organization. It was responsible for the 1983 bombing of the U.S. embassy in Lebanon that killed 17 Americans; and of the U.S. military barracks that same year in Beirut, which killed 241 American servicemen. Nasrallah regularly urges the destruction of the United States. In a speech in February 2006, Nasrallah said, "America, America you are the Great Satan." He then led a chant of "Death to America."

    Shia Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called for "Israel to be wiped off the map" and for a "world without America" at a speech to the 2005 "World Without Zionism" conference sponsored by his government. Iran is believed to have been involved in the Hezbollah attacks against the U.S. Marine Barracks in Beirut, the Hezbollah attacks in Argentina, and the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia that killed 19 U.S. servicemen.

    Sunni Hamas operatives have also been caught in the United States.
    The FBI has alleged that al-Qaeda has previously enlisted Hamas support in conducting surveillance on American targets.

    "We will rule the nations, by Allah's will," explained a Sunni Hamas spokesman from the Al-Qassam Brigades, "the USA will be conquered, Israel will be conquered, Rome and Britain will be conquered." The inclusion of Rome in statements such as these reveal the broader ambitions of Hamas – it is concerned about more than just the Palestinians, or the United States' support for Israel: its war is against the entire Western world.

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  46. No, thank you.

    The efforts of you and your colleagues provide the forum for our conversation.

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