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September 26, 2007


Another cost of the war that gets ignored is all the pre-war equipment that they used which will need to be replaced - including all the National Guard equipment. By the way, when did our "National Guard" become the International Guard?

It's better that way, johno. Then Bush doesn't have to use them to rescue New Orlenians stuck in the city.

Interesting that Maliki is now saying that he expects the US to leave relatively soon and does not foresee a long occupation. Apparently the mercenaries responsible for Fallujah in 2004 have now thrown a monkeywrench into the occupy-Iraq-for-10-years strategy. And there are indications that State may tell Blackwater to cooperate in the House investigation.


I was just looking at that. I still think Blackwater's presence is a big chip in whether Bush gets to bomb Iran or not, and Maliki knows it.

But note on the State thing--they're asking Blackwater to give anything "Classified" to State for review before handing it to Waxman. Which means we might get to see those things ... never.

In 2004 I saw a USAID bidding post for contractors to build 10 bases at $1 billion a pop. I don't know how to use the memory hole to find that listing, but here is a 2004 list of contracts in Iraq. http://www.export.gov/iraq/market_ops/contracts04.html

Here is a map of US Bases in 2005 http://www.fcnl.org/iraq/bases.htm

My take is that we have always intended to stay and to occupy/defend the oil fields and pipelines i.e. empire. Look here to see where the reserves are. http://www.judicialwatch.org/IraqOilMap.pdf

I have always thought the idea of occupation is futile - a country with the area, population, and varying terrine of California could not and can not be occupied by less than 500K soldiers. And the oil - anyone with a match can sabotage a pipeline, anyone could scuttle 4 super tankers in the Straights of Hormuz and block shipping of 1/5th the world's oil for a very long time.

If this war is for oil (and I think it is), and if Iraq has 115 billion barrels of oil reserves, and if the price is $75/BBL, then the prize for 'winning' Iraq is $8.6 odd trillion in oil - but subtract the cost to our treasury, our children's treasury, and their children's treasury, and the priceless cost in American blood. Wars for oil are very expensive and IMO do not work - check Japan in WWII.

EW - thank you for calling the private security contractors for what they are: mercenaries. Call them out, name them, and do it often.

Much daylight needs to be focused on the use of these mercenaries:

1) Who made the decision to rely heavily on mercenaries? And when was the decision made? Once the decision was made, how did word get out to these mercenary firms?

2) What are the contract vehicles? Bid, no bid?

3) Who are the CEOs of these firms? Who's on their Board of Directors?

4) Are these CEOs politically active, meaning do they donate to political campaigns? If so, who do the donations go to? Would they be spread across the board, or would they go exclusively one party? If one party, which party might that be?

And would those mercenaries be deployed right here in the good old USA to prevent the orderly transfer of power to a Democratic President in 2008?


For Blackwater, the answers are easy:

1) DOD wouldn't support State's efforts (this goes back to Rummy's attempts to undercut Powell in 2003), so State needed their own army. So they hired one.

2) Several of Blackwater's biggest contracts have been no-bid.

3) CEO: Erik Prince. The bro-in-law of Dick DeVos, and therefore tied into one of the biggest funders of the Republican party, period.

4) see answer 3. They not only donate (exclusively) to Republicans, they do so in huge numbers.


Regarding political donations, it smacks of money laundering of tax dollars to Republican candidates.

FWIW, imvho, after blowing up Kissinger's Sunni counterweight to Iran, Maliki figures that Bush is now trying to become bff to the Sunni in Iraq and Saudi Arabia. I think that's the point of the anti-Iranian rhetoric.

We need to be absolutely clear about this. Anybody who votes for this appropriation is voting to stay in Iraq forever. It's that simple. I'm sick and tired of all the politicians who talk about leaving, but vote to stay forever. It is quite literally time for the folks in Washington to put their our money where their mouth is.

Wow, emptywheel, terrific insight (as per usual) about State needing their own army.

Proof that the best enemy to have in Warfare is a predictable one.

OBL figured out that if he poked Bush with a stick, and got him good and frothing mad enough, then Bush's response would be a Tyrant's Blind, Raging Hatred.

So, here we are - we can't fund children's Health Care, but we can increase funding for an immoral Ideological War.

By provoking Bush's predictable 'over-control' response, OBL has succeeded in enslaving all of US to Bush's narrow, Ideological View of the World - which is blinded enough that he's spending US broke, while the People at home suffer from lack of coverage on basic quality of Life issues.

Checks and Balances, anyone?

States should never allow themselves to be in a position to fight the battle of "My God is Bigger than Your God."

That's an out-moded approach to Survival in an Age where Reason reveals we can instead cooperate and collaborate to deliver a quality basic standard of life for everyone, the whole diversity of us.

Our own Founding Fathers said - As a part of the Foundation for a Common Basic Standard Quality of Life, Let People live in Freedom and work-out their Religion for Themselves.

Let's get back to the Basics...

Hmmm, I landed on a government contracts page the other day and was amazed how many contracts where going to small oil refineries to supply oil for the forces...hmmmm


the gov't in iraq is just a puppet gov't for the usa.. no way they get rid of blackwater as the usa wants to continue to pay for a group of mercenaries killing and murdering innocent folks in iraq... good practice in prep for iran... what a sick country the usa is.

All who have ears: we should all be pounding salt up this budget in any way we can. 11 billion! for MRAP? C'mon. Does that mean we'll be over there another six years? Whenever we improve our defense the enemy comes up with a different, equally effective tactic. Insurgencies, historically, are not rocket science. We continually waste money on equipment and strategies that are passe` a month later. If Bush see's us as "winning" this war then why is 2008 going to be the most expensive year ever in Iraq? Make this budget DOA!

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