Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Bum's Rush 

One month ago we unearthed an old Colin Powell quote:
Powell said that if an elected Iraqi government asked the troops to leave, "We would say, 'Glad we've been able to help you,' and we would return our forces back to the United States" . . . .

[Jack Straw, Britain's foreign secretary] added: "Were they to ask us to leave, we would leave."

And Japanese Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi, said, "We would go back to Japan if requested."

Still, Powell said, even as the United States was emphasizing that it wanted to give "as much power and authority to this (interim) government as it can handle," the United States government believed that "the security situation is such that we're confident that this new government will want us to stay in considerable strength in order to help them with the building of institutions and with the preparing of their society for elections by the end of January 2005."
Mission accomplished, boys! Now don't let the IED hit your ass on the way out:
Leaders of Iraq's sharply divided Shiites, Kurds and Sunnis called Monday for a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S.-led forces in the country and said Iraq's opposition had a ``legitimate right'' of resistance.

The final communique, hammered out at the end of three days of negotiations at a preparatory reconciliation conference under the auspices of the Arab League, condemned terrorism, but was a clear acknowledgment of the Sunni position that insurgents should not be labeled as terrorists if their operations do not target innocent civilians or institutions designed to provide for the welfare of Iraqi citizens.

The participants in Cairo agreed on ``calling for the withdrawal of foreign troops according to a timetable, through putting in place an immediate national program to rebuild the armed forces ... control the borders and the security situation'' and end terror attacks.
Shiites for Murtha??

UPDATE (via AmericaBlog): Holy cow. Maybe the mission was accomplished:
Iraqis face the dire prospect of losing up to $200bn (£116bn) of the wealth of their country if an American-inspired plan to hand over development of its oil reserves to US and British multinationals comes into force next year. A report produced by American and British pressure groups warns Iraq will be caught in an "old colonial trap" if it allows foreign companies to take a share of its vast energy reserves. The report is certain to reawaken fears that the real purpose of the 2003 war on Iraq was to ensure its oil came under Western control . . . .

Yesterday's report said the use of production sharing agreements (PSAs) was proposed by the US State Department before the invasion and adopted by the Coalition Provisional Authority. "The current government is fast-tracking the process. It is already negotiating contracts with oil companies in parallel with the constitutional process, elections and passage of a Petroleum Law," the report, Crude Designs, said.

Earlier this year a BBC Newsnight report claimed to have uncovered documents showing the Bush administration made plans to secure Iraqi oil even before the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the US. Based on its analysis of PSAs in seven countries, it said multinationals would seek rates of return on their investment from 42 to 162 per cent, far in excess of typical 12 per cent rates.

| | Technorati Links | to Del.icio.us