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Dougloid
Posts: 7248
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RE: Iraq Becoming Independent Again

Mon Jan 05, 2009 8:38 pm



Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 49):
To have it with CP-USSR Secretary General J.V. Dshugashvili, "the power comes out of the gun-barrels". It does NOT come out of whatever holy scripts.

That's a maoism-"political power comes out of the barrel of a gun"

Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 47):


Quoting Baroque (Reply 37):
sometimes transliterated as Falluja, Fallouja

-
there basically is no double L, and the translation of the "U" depends on whether the transliteration is based on English, French or German.
English = Falouja
French = Faloujja
German = Faludscha
Italian = Faluggia

Richard Engel spells it "Faluja" in his excellent book War Journal.
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
ME AVN FAN
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RE: Iraq Becoming Independent Again

Tue Jan 06, 2009 4:26 pm



Quoting Dougloid (Reply 50):
That's a maoism-"political power comes out of the barrel of a gun"

-
Mao in this simply quoted J.V.D.Stalin
 
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yowza
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RE: Iraq Becoming Independent Again

Thu Jan 08, 2009 9:40 am



Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 49):

To have it with CP-USSR Secretary General J.V. Dshugashvili, "the power comes out of the gun-barrels". It does NOT come out of whatever holy scripts.

I think that statement does have some merit but gets really tricky when those that zealously believe in their interpretations of scripts also have plenty of gun barrels and plenty of indoctrinated offspring. In the instance of Islamic fundamentalism this is well documented but the choice of line exists in any religion. For the Christians they can choose to go down the "eye for an eye" path or the "turn the other cheek path" - all of that said there is still a long way to go in Iraq.

YOWza
 
ME AVN FAN
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RE: Iraq Becoming Independent Again

Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:15 pm



Quoting YOWza (Reply 52):
there is still a long way to go in Iraq.

-
No doubt about this. But steps onto the right way have to be recognized. I in fact was and to some extent still AM critical about what goes on and did go on in Iraq in recent years, but I try to recognize whatever positive comes out. And let's not forget that the media jumps up and down if they have some negative stuff at hand, but are fairly silent when there would be progress, even if limited one, to be reported about.
 
AGM100
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RE: Iraq Becoming Independent Again

Fri Jan 09, 2009 7:41 pm



Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 53):
No doubt about this. But steps onto the right way have to be recognized. I in fact was and to some extent still AM critical about what goes on and did go on in Iraq in recent years, but I try to recognize whatever positive comes out. And let's not forget that the media jumps up and down if they have some negative stuff at hand, but are fairly silent when there would be progress, even if limited one, to be reported about.

MAF , This is my favorite post from you ever !! Not saying that I don't find your posts interesting , I do .. however this one shows the ability to concede ever so slightly to a different view point.

We have battled this issue over the years , and you have stood tall. But I see you are turning the page ..ever so slightly but none the less a turn.

WTMRUL
You dig the hole .. I fill the hole . 100% employment !
 
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seb146
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RE: Iraq Becoming Independent Again

Fri Jan 09, 2009 11:33 pm



Quoting DXing (Reply 45):
In Iraq the insurgents really had no place of guaranteed safety in which to hide

Which would not have happened if Iraq had not been invaded in the first place. How many insurgents were there in Iraq before the "coalition" invaded? Where was the mushroom cloud and smoking gun in Iraq? Yes, I know... There was roumered to be an al-Qaida leader in Iraq before the fall of Saddam. But, may I remind everyone, Saddam did not want him there, either!

Quoting DXing (Reply 45):
Explain how putting more boots on the ground is going to do that when AQ and the Taliban have a safe haven to retreat to in Pakistan.

Coalition forces had al-Qaida and Taliban on the run. Coalition forces in Afganistan post-9/11 included Canada, Iran, Australia, most of Europe, may I remind everyone.

Looking back over both Iraq and Vietnam, it is a mistake to compare the two because American forces were not pulled from one battle front to another in the Vietnam War like in the two wars after Sept 11. Also, after Sept 11, the United States had the whole world behind us in invading Afganistan and getting rid of al-Qaida/Taliban. That was not so for Vietnam.

Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 53):
let's not forget that the media jumps up and down if they have some negative stuff at hand, but are fairly silent when there would be progress, even if limited one, to be reported about.

I think we can all agree that any progress, no matter how slight, is good progress. However, I think one reason the negative overshadows the positive is because the negative sells. Since the media outlets are for-profit companies, they need to move their product. Sadly, "Roadside bomb kills 20" sells more than "School rebuilt." Also, there are those on both sides of the Iraq war who are so willing to stand for what they believe that they will take any nugget of news pro or con, hold it up and say "A-HA!! I told you so!" every chance they get.
You bet I'm pumped!!! I just had a green tea!!!
 
Cadet57
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RE: Iraq Becoming Independent Again

Fri Jan 09, 2009 11:51 pm

I thought they already were a long time ago:



 stirthepot 
Doors open, right hand side, next stop is Springfield.
 
dxing
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RE: Iraq Becoming Independent Again

Sat Jan 10, 2009 1:23 am



Quoting Seb146 (Reply 55):
How many insurgents were there in Iraq before the "coalition" invaded?

Plenty, they were called the Ba'ath Party then and their leader was Saddam.

Quoting Seb146 (Reply 55):
Coalition forces had al-Qaida and Taliban on the run.

And they ran right into Pakistan where they base their operations from today. Same as the NVA retreated into Cambodia and Laos during Vietnam when things got too hot for them in South Vietnam.

Quoting Seb146 (Reply 55):
Looking back over both Iraq and Vietnam, it is a mistake to compare the two because American forces were not pulled from one battle front to another in the Vietnam War like in the two wars after Sept 11.

And I didn't make that comparison nor would I.

Quoting Seb146 (Reply 55):
Also, after Sept 11, the United States had the whole world behind us in invading Afganistan and getting rid of al-Qaida/Taliban. That was not so for Vietnam.

Another comparison that is shall we say, unique. Neither of your examples above gives any explanation to the question I asked and that you quoted.

Quoting Seb146 (Reply 55):
Quoting DXing (Reply 45):
Explain how putting more boots on the ground is going to do that when AQ and the Taliban have a safe haven to retreat to in Pakistan.

Warm winds blowing, heating blue skies, a road that goes forever, I'm going to Texas!
 
baroque
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RE: Iraq Becoming Independent Again

Sat Jan 10, 2009 5:18 am



Quoting Seb146 (Reply 55):
I think we can all agree that any progress, no matter how slight, is good progress. However, I think one reason the negative overshadows the positive is because the negative sells. Since the media outlets are for-profit companies, they need to move their product. Sadly, "Roadside bomb kills 20" sells more than "School rebuilt." Also, there are those on both sides of the Iraq war who are so willing to stand for what they believe that they will take any nugget of news pro or con, hold it up and say "A-HA!! I told you so!" every chance they get.

This is true. My problem is that there certainly ARE bombings, not perhaps as frequent, but equally, I will bet we only learn of the more spectacular ones and after Gaza started, fewer of those too.

You are correct in saying that School rebuilt is not such a good news story, but the US has never been slow to present the positive and the general absence of good news (other than the questionable "Surge has worked" headlines) suggests to me there is not much to put forward.

Apparently there is more electric power in Basra, but in Baghdad power supply is still woeful and below Saddam days (and in case you have forgotten Saddam was truly awful). Water supply, still hopeless AFAIK. Oil production got close to pre-War levels, but it seems has fallen back. Sewerage system, still seems woeful.

On oil, the US administration stil seems intent on passing off phoney numbers. They use DOE numbers that come from a discredited O&G Journal and ignore their own United State Geological Survey (USGS) data. So the American AAPG lists E Baghdad oilfield with reserves under 300 million barrels, while newspaper reports variously assume reserves of 8 and 9 BILLION barrels. AAPG reports initial reserves of one billion barrels and the field is 70% + produced.

Truth the first casualty in war, you bet, but it seems truth is having a bit of trouble recovering too.

General safety, there are reports of Iraqis feeling safER, but most go on to say that the safety level is still unacceptably low. Going back to you media, Seb, I do note that the safER gets picked up and repeated but not the more general comment that they still do not find conditions acceptable. So a surge to still not acceptable, that would be more fair perhaps. Again that would not sell as a headline.

What is the social condition of women? As far as we can tell, they no longer have the freedoms they had under Saddam. Again that might tell you something. But it does not make headlines.

So you are right Seb, good news does not make great headlines, but "soft" bad news (such as the ability of women to hold down a job without being bullied - or shot - into giving up) also does not make the headlines.

So it may be a bit of a tie there??????

Meanwhile, the political problems remain although there seems to have been a marginal improvement in Malikis performance. But the main "success" in the surge was turning Sunni insurgents into a militia by paying them.

What will they do as they are presumably no longer paid by the US? Will the Maliki govt pay them? If not, will they start the whole revolt again.

Then again what will the next elections bring. MAF I think believes that secular parties will regain strength. That WOULD be nice, but the much more likely event is Shia dominance and a move towards theocracy, with still a fair chance of civil war, at least between the Sunni and Shia, although a fair chance too of a three (four with the Turkmen) way war with Kurds over the rather valuable property around Kirkuk that Saddam cunningly put in play by settling Sunni in the area. Plenty of possibilities there. To me progress would be making those possibilities less, which I just do not see being done.

I posted this all before, but it was deleted because I referred to a post that was (quite properly) deleted. So no I have not been ignoring the jibes, just one of the jibers was deleted collapsing a suite of answering posts in its wake.
 
ME AVN FAN
Topic Author
Posts: 12970
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RE: Iraq Becoming Independent Again

Sat Jan 10, 2009 4:40 pm



Quoting Seb146 (Reply 55):
How many insurgents were there in Iraq before the "coalition" invaded?

-
When the "allies" dissolved both the armed forces and the police without filling the gap left, the gap was used by an assortment of extremists and other thugs fairly swiftly. An invasion force is not the same as a military police force anyway. And, the "allies" even banned two of the major Secularist parties in Iraq and for a while supported the fundamentalists, by error regarding them as good local allies, without realising that those outwardly friendly clerics passed on whatever information they got to their far less friendly folks, with known results.
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At the other side, the banned parties for a while thought that extreme violence and partnering with thugs and fundamentalist extremists would help their cause, and only when the "allies" brought in sufficient force and increasingly, locals switched sides after years of turmoil, started to stop violence and concentrate onto political underground work.
-

Quoting Seb146 (Reply 55):
"Roadside bomb kills 20" sells more than "School rebuilt."

-
Of course, and "200'000 mobile phones sold in Iraq by .... Co" is not as good as "two Christian priests killed near Kirkuk", and "three damaged mosques carefully repaired, re-built and now re-opened" is not a seller like "another ..... mosque damaged " .
-

Quoting DXing (Reply 57):
How many insurgents were there in Iraq before the "coalition" invaded?

Plenty, they were called the Ba'ath Party then and their leader was Saddam.

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Saddam Hussein al-Takriti was the president of Iraq. To describe him as an "insurgent-leader" is wrong, as he WAS THE governmental power. The Socialist Party of the Arab Reawakening was NOT "insurgent" and whenever "underground" at present, will become, just as the also banned Communist Party, a legal party again.
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The actual Saddam loyalists, primarily out of the Saddam loyal secret service agencies, for quite some time tried to turn things by employing extreme violence, but fairly soon were overshadowed by thugs like "elQaeda Iraq" and by extreme fundamentalists of both denominations. It at present looks as if al-Douri had in recent years successfully reorganised the Socialist Party and moved it away from the Saddam legacy and away from terrorist methods, in preparation for its return to legality.
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I don't know how far ahead the also banned Communist Party is now, interesting however is that the Communist Tudeh Party of neighbouring Iran apparently enjoys the support of one of the daughters of Reza Shah Pahlavi, an alliance which reminds of the alliance between the Lao Communist Party and the 1960ies Lao (non-communist) leader Prince Souvanna Phouma.
-

Quoting DXing (Reply 57):
Same as the NVA retreated into Cambodia and Laos during Vietnam when things got too hot for them in South Vietnam.

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They did not have to "retreat" to Cambodia and Laos as they had used Laotian and Cambodian territories next to the Vietnamese borders for their infiltration of the Republic of South Vietnam since the later 1950ies. To act against President Prince Norodom Sihanouk and replace him by WestPoint-General Lon Nol, an unable political leader, was the worst mistake of Mr Henry Kissinger and his "chief" Richard Nixon.
-

Quoting DXing (Reply 57):
into Pakistan where they base their operations from today

-
In this, everything depends on what you define as "base". If you mean tactical bases for their forces in the NWFP (with the fundamentalist government in place in the NWFP since the last parliamentary elections there) of course yes, if you however mean what might be called the head offices of either elQaeda or the various forces commonly described still as "Taliban" it is rather doubtful. In case of the various Afghan rebel forces, I think that the "head offices" of them still are INSIDE Afghanistan, while the HQ of elQaeda rather is either in Europe or another suitable place.
 
baroque
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RE: Iraq Becoming Independent Again

Sat Jan 10, 2009 4:51 pm



Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 59):
Quoting Seb146 (Reply 55):
"Roadside bomb kills 20" sells more than "School rebuilt."

-
Of course, and "200'000 mobile phones sold in Iraq by .... Co" is not as good as "two Christian priests killed near Kirkuk", and "three damaged mosques carefully repaired, re-built and now re-opened" is not a seller like "another ..... mosque damaged " .

AFAIK or can remember, back in 2003ish, the US spent millions on setting up TV stations in Iraq to sell the good news. So where is the good news, it must be humming in huge gobs through the air waves. So where is it?
 
ME AVN FAN
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RE: Iraq Becoming Independent Again

Sat Jan 10, 2009 5:03 pm



Quoting Baroque (Reply 60):
setting up TV stations in Iraq to sell the good news

-
the two US-"sponsored" radio/TV stations have been so heavily overdone with pro-US stuff that they long ago got into disrepute. Positive news rather can be found in the Khaleej Times (Dubai), in al-Jazeera TV, in the Jordan Times, in L'Orient Le Jour, in Daily Star (Beirut), in al-Ahram Weekly, the Egyptian Gazette and other fairly objective sources. In Europe you might turn to the Financial Times, to TF-1, LeMonde, Liberation (Paris), Süddeutsche Zeitung (Munich), Frankfurter Allgemeine (Frankfurt), Basler Zeitung, NZZ, Tages Anzeiger (all three Switzerland) or to the Corriere della Sera (Milano). And in the WEBsites of these media-channels.
 
baroque
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RE: Iraq Becoming Independent Again

Sat Jan 10, 2009 5:19 pm



Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 61):
Quoting Baroque (Reply 60):
setting up TV stations in Iraq to sell the good news

-
the two US-"sponsored" radio/TV stations have been so heavily overdone with pro-US stuff that they long ago got into disrepute

Surprise.

Ok searched Al J as I know it has an English page. Searched for "Iraq reconstruction" and what did I get?

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/am...cas/2008/12/20081214758933305.html

Iraq reconstruction 'a failure'

The US-led coalition's $100bn effort to rebuild Iraq has failed amid bureaucratic quarrels, ignorance of Iraqi society and violence in the country, the New York Times has quoted a US government report as saying.

The newspaper said on its website on Saturday that it had obtained a draft copy of Hard Lessons: The Iraq Reconstruction Experience, which is circulating among senior officials.

Compiled by the Office of the Special Inspector-General for Iraq Reconstruction, led by Stuart Bowen Jr, a Republican lawyer, the draft text concluded that the US defence department issued false reports to cover up poor progress of the reconstruction effort.

Colin Powell, the former US secretary of state, is quoted as saying that the Pentagon gave inflated figures on the number of Iraqi security forces on the ground.
...
It concluded that the US government did not have the policies nor the organisational structure required to put the largest reconstruction programme since the Marshall Plan into place, the newspaper reported.

The work did not go beyond restoring what was destroyed during the invasion and its immediate aftermath, it said.

By mid-2008 $117bn had been spent on the reconstruction of Iraq, including about $50bn in US taxpayer money, according to the report.

'Corrupt officials'

Ahmed Rushdi, an Iraqi journalist, told Al Jazeera the money had been squandered or taken by corrupt officials.

"When you are talking about $117 billion, you are talking about stolen money, misused money, and poor planning. But the Americans and the Iraqis said that these monies were being spent on security," he said.

Iraq's reconstruction has foundered amid the tense security situation in the country [AFP]
"I think Americans and some Iraqis have got very rich [off the funds] and they decided to get rid of all their documents which would show that something was wrong, particularly in Paul Bremer's administration."

"We must make a rule on how to charge these people with crimes."

In one example, an official at the US Agency for International Development (USAID) was given four hours to work out how many miles of Iraqi roads needed to be repaired, the Times said.


Some issues appear old but the article is dated. UPDATED ON:
Monday, December 15, 2008
05:58 Mecca time, 02:58 GMT

After that a dam is collapsing then
http://english.aljazeera.net/news/am...s/2007/08/2008525124943221700.html
Iraq reconstruction behind schedule
Reconstruction efforts are not proceeding as well as can be expected in Iraq and the government is to blame for many of the problems according to a new US report.

....
He said, as a result, the projects were being transferred without the Iraqi government's consent to locals who have little training or resources to sustain them.

"That raises grave questions about the sustainability of what the US has constructed," he said.


OK, now tell me the good news. The first page from the Al J search is a constant tale of woe. Oh help, the second page was worse - if possible. Too depressing to list them all. With the blame bouncing from large US companies to US government to Iraq government. Never did like three cornered ping pong.
 
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seb146
Posts: 23193
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 1999 7:19 am

RE: Iraq Becoming Independent Again

Sat Jan 10, 2009 5:38 pm



Quoting DXing (Reply 57):
Quoting Seb146 (Reply 55):
How many insurgents were there in Iraq before the "coalition" invaded?

But, Iraq was an independant nation. Saddam did not overthrow anyone. The United States helped install him as leader of Iraq.

Quoting DXing (Reply 57):
And I didn't make that comparison nor would I.

No, you didn't

Quoting DXing (Reply 45):
People who have made references to Iraq being the new Vietnam completely miss one vital point.



Quoting DXing (Reply 57):
Another comparison that is shall we say, unique. Neither of your examples above gives any explanation to the question I asked and that you quoted.

Quoting Seb146 (Reply 55):
Quoting DXing (Reply 45):
Explain how putting more boots on the ground is going to do that when AQ and the Taliban have a safe haven to retreat to in Pakistan.

There were already boots on the ground in Afganistan. Those boots were filled with soldiers from all over the world. Before the invasion and occupation of Iraq, there were safe havens in Pakistan and Sudan. But, support for them in Pakistan was shaky and that support would have been taken away with the whole world wanting to be rid of al-Qaida/Taliban. I don't understand how, if the terrain in NWFP is so awful that coalition forces and special forces could not follow them, how could they get into Pakistan? Why were they allowed to do that keeping in mind that Iraq was invaded with complete disregard to the soverign government there? It is acceptable to invade one country that had nothing to do with terrorism but not another that was/is harboring terrorists?

Quoting Cadet57 (Reply 56):
I thought they already were a long time ago:

That was a mistake, remember? Oh, wait, before that, it never happened. Oh, wait, it was in regard to the general war on terror. Oh, wait....
You bet I'm pumped!!! I just had a green tea!!!
 
dxing
Posts: 5859
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 5:14 pm

RE: Iraq Becoming Independent Again

Sat Jan 10, 2009 6:04 pm



Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 59):
They did not have to "retreat" to Cambodia and Laos

That is exactly where they retreated too when the going got tough. Just because it served as their supply line to the north does not mean that they could not retreat back to it. I don't understand your line of reasoning.

Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 59):
I think that the "head offices" of them still are INSIDE Afghanistan, while the HQ of elQaeda rather is either in Europe or another suitable place.

I would disagree. The tribes in NW Pakistan have sheltered AQ for years now and resist helping the government of Pakistan. If I were OBL or any other AQ or Taliban leader I'd feel much safer in Pakistan than anywhere in Europe. On top of that he (OBL) likes being near the front and understands that leaders who lead from the front command much more respect from those that they lead.

Quoting Seb146 (Reply 63):
Saddam did not overthrow anyone.

Technically he did when he forced then President Ahmad Hassan al-Bakr to resign after al-Bakr started negotiating a treaty to unite Iraq and Syria. There certainly was no election of any kind to make that happen. Afterwards, the convening Ba'ath party leaders that led to 22 of them being executed as spies certainly was a power grab.

Quoting Seb146 (Reply 63):
The United States helped install him as leader of Iraq.

No, there are reports that the Kennedy administration helped in the Ba'ath party coup in 1963 but not in helping Hussien take control in 1979. There was no need for U.S. help in 1979.

Quoting Seb146 (Reply 63):
It is acceptable to invade one country that had nothing to do with terrorism but not another that was/is harboring terrorists?

That depends. Pakistan has been attempting to get a handle on their side of the border but the area is pretty remote and doesn't have a lot of roads and such. The Taliban outright refused to hand over OBL. Pakistan has said that if they catch him they will as they have in several other cases of high profile AQ members.

In any case you still have not answered the question of how Afghanistan will not turn into another Vietnam with thousands of troops rotating through the country with no real way to reach those that create the violence once they have stepped over the border.
Warm winds blowing, heating blue skies, a road that goes forever, I'm going to Texas!
 
ME AVN FAN
Topic Author
Posts: 12970
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RE: Iraq Becoming Independent Again

Sat Jan 10, 2009 8:53 pm



Quoting Baroque (Reply 62):
the good news

-
the good news, from www.english.aljazeeera.net :
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Last week, the Green Zone - the walled-off swath of central Baghdad - was formally turned over to the Iraqi government, whose authority the US military will now operate under, according to an agreement that took effect on January 1.

"Iraq has now assumed the lead for all security operations and our bilateral relationship going forward will be governed" by the agreements, Ryan Crocker, US ambassador to Iraq, said.

"Iraq is in a new era and so is the Iraqi-US relationship."

Although it will maintain its independent chain of command, the US will be subject to Iraqi laws under certain conditions.

The accord also allows US troops to play an advisory role to the Iraqi military as they prepare to pull out of Iraqi cities in June and before leaving entirely at the end of 2011.

US diplomats and military officials moved into the embassy, which at 42 hectares is the size of 80 football fields, on December 31 after vacating Saddam Hussein's Republican Palace, which they occupied after capturing Baghdad in April 2003.

'Fortress-like'

During Monday's ceremony, Jalal Talabani, Iraq's president, praised George Bush, the US president, for invading Iraq in 2003 and toppling the regime of Saddam, who was executed two years ago.

"The building of this site would not be possible without the courageous decision by President Bush to liberate Iraq," Talabani said. "This building is not only a compound for the embassy but a symbol of the deep friendship between the two peoples of Iraq and America."

The new embassy, which was originally slated to open in September 2007, has been criticised for shoddy building practices. Some have also questioned the fortress-like building's "bunker mentality".

"What kind of embassy is it when everybody lives inside and it's blast-proof, and people are running around with helmets and crouching behind sandbags?" Edward Peck, a former American diplomat in Iraq, asked in 2006.

One US official said the cost of running the new complex is expected to be so exorbitant that the US will be forced to rent out part of the space.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
-
isn't that good news ?
 champagne   yes 

-

Quoting DXing (Reply 64):
They did not have to "retreat" to Cambodia and Laos

That is exactly where they retreated too when the going got tough. Just because it served as their supply line to the north does not mean that they could not retreat back to it. I don't understand your line of reasoning.

-
The way you put it sounded as if you meant that they only got into territories of those two countries when things got rough, while they had used adjoining territories there since the beginning of their campaign. It also sounded as if they did have the full territories of these two countries at their disposal, which they did not.

Quoting DXing (Reply 64):
The tribes in NW Pakistan have sheltered AQ for years now and resist helping the government of Pakistan. If I were OBL or any other AQ or Taliban leader I'd feel much safer in Pakistan than anywhere in Europe.

-
I have no doubts that the various "Taliban" movements of Afghanistan still HAVE retreat bases in the NWFP, but for elQaeda, the NWFP is no longer of strategic value. the elQaeda command needs places with good air-traffic connections and a good infrastructure and at least Osama BinLaden needs good medical care. Beside the point that for elQaeda people, Pakistan is not comfortable language-wise and culturally. THIS of course already was the case with Afghanistan in the Taliban years, but elQaeda had Kabul Airport as airtraffic-base.
 
baroque
Posts: 12302
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RE: Iraq Becoming Independent Again

Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:47 pm



Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 65):
Quoting Baroque (Reply 62):
the good news

-
the good news, from www.english.aljazeeera.net :

We must have different Al Js. That link goes through to a set of ads. Searching just produces more ads. Thanks a lot for that, ads I do not need.

When I put up Al J home page
http://english.aljazeera.net/
and use the search function for
Green Zone in Baghdad, I get

Result(s): 1 - 10 of about 12
Bush shoe-thrower 'tortured'
Iraqi military denies al-Zaidi has been mistreated while in detention.
Last modified: 17/12/2008 13:31:56
Al-Sadr aide killed in Najaf
Shia leader's aides blame the US military as air raids hit Baghdad and Basra.
Last modified: 11/04/2008 18:53:16
Sadr threatens to end Iraq truce
Mahdi army leader demands that government protects Iraqis from "American militias".
Last modified: 09/04/2008 03:16:38
Fighting continues in Basra
Dozens are killed as Iraqi security forces battle Shia militias for the third day.
Last modified: 27/03/2008 22:12:24
Fighting continues in Basra
Dozens are killed as Iraqi security forces battle Shia militias for the third day.
Last modified: 27/03/2008 22:12:24


Moving from English to French, WTF does opening a US Embassy in the Green Zone have to do with more electricity, clean drinking water, reconnecting sewerage services and good government.

It might be good news for the US Ambassador but kindly explain to me what on earth benefit it will be to the average Iraqi.

I was being patient in assuming you had some good news, but really to put that up, and I have no idea where it came from because I cannot find it is little short of astonishing.

It rather suggests that not only is it difficult to find good news, but that there really is NONE to find.
 no   no   no   no 
 
dxing
Posts: 5859
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 5:14 pm

RE: Iraq Becoming Independent Again

Sun Jan 11, 2009 5:08 pm



Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 65):
Beside the point that for elQaeda people, Pakistan is not comfortable language-wise and culturally. THIS of course already was the case with Afghanistan in the Taliban years, but elQaeda had Kabul Airport as airtraffic-base.

Disagree. The tribes in northwest of Pakistan are, by all reports, completely receptive to OBL and AQ. The top leaders of that group are not flying around anywhere. To leave the relative safety of NW Pakistan would foolish. Let me ask you this then, several top AQ planners and leaders have been caught where? Certainly not flying in and out Europe.


As to good news, as has been stated several times, some people will never see any good news because to do so would invalidate many of their arguments. No sense wasting time on trying to convince them ME AVN FAN.
Warm winds blowing, heating blue skies, a road that goes forever, I'm going to Texas!
 
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seb146
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RE: Iraq Becoming Independent Again

Sun Jan 11, 2009 5:18 pm



Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 65):
the US will be subject to Iraqi laws under certain conditions.

I wonder which conditions those will be. I also wonder if contractors will be subject to Iraqi laws "under certain conditions."

Quoting DXing (Reply 64):
Quoting Seb146 (Reply 63):
The United States helped install him as leader of Iraq.

No, there are reports that the Kennedy administration helped in the Ba'ath party coup in 1963 but not in helping Hussien take control in 1979. There was no need for U.S. help in 1979.

Yeah, you're right. Saddam being part of the Ba'athist party and the Ba'ath party staging some sort of coup possibly assisted by the Kennedy administration. There is no connection there. I guess we can forget Rumsfeld, Bush I, and so many others in the Reagan administration being chummy with Saddam.

Quoting DXing (Reply 64):
Pakistan has been attempting to get a handle on their side of the border but the area is pretty remote and doesn't have a lot of roads and such. The Taliban outright refused to hand over OBL.

Even though the United States and Europe have special forces and technology that are able to go after and take out Osama. Didn't Bush II vow to capture Osama dead or alive? Oh, wait... what he actually said was something like "I don't know where he is. I don't even think about him that much."

Quoting DXing (Reply 64):
In any case you still have not answered the question of how Afghanistan will not turn into another Vietnam with thousands of troops rotating through the country with no real way to reach those that create the violence once they have stepped over the border.

Since troops are being rotated to Iraq instead of Afganistan, troops in Afganistan are not engaging as many Taliban or as often. Also, in Southeast Asia, it is much easier (from what I have read) to slip over the border. Commanders in Afganistan seem like they are taking this into account. Also, Pakistan seems more willing to stand up for it's independance and it's rights as far as occupying or foreign forces.

Besides, I thought you were asking how Iraq will not turn into another Vietnam. The thread is on Iraq, after all.
You bet I'm pumped!!! I just had a green tea!!!
 
ME AVN FAN
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Posts: 12970
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RE: Iraq Becoming Independent Again

Sun Jan 11, 2009 9:05 pm



Quoting Baroque (Reply 66):
explain to me what on earth benefit it will be to the average Iraqi.

-
a real embassy of a big country means lots of business for taxi companies, forwarding companies, electricians, cleaning companies, etc. So that the establishment of such an embassy, particularily if it is not too close to the government offices does mean business.
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And here something out of the NYT, an article which however also was in both the Egyptian and the Swiss press, as the Sawiri family is also in business in Switzerland :
-
By ABEER ALLAM
Published: February 13, 2006

CAIRO — From an office on the 26th floor of his family's gold-domed twin towers overlooking the Nile, Naguib Sawiris, chief executive of Orascom Telecom, scans the world for opportunities to expand his telecommunications empire. He tends to find them in places others fear to tread.

Take, for instance, Orascom's $160 million investment in Iraqna, the first mobile phone provider in Iraq. Iraqna operates in the volatile central provinces of Baghdad, Anbar and Diyala. Its employees have been kidnapped and its outlets have been attacked, pushing the company's annual security costs to $30 million.

But two years after it introduced service, Iraqna has 1.5 million subscribers, or 41 percent of the current Iraqi market. In the first nine months of 2005, the company generated $249 million in revenue.

"Wherever the risk is high, the profits are also high," said Mr. Sawiris, 50, the son of an Egyptian construction magnate. "Soon we will reach two million subscribers in our network."

The only major difference between doing business in Iraq and any other place in the world, said Mr. Sawiris, is having to negotiate with kidnappers. "We know that calm will come one day and Iraq will be a second Saudi Arabia," he said. "In the mobile telecom business, we invest where the service is needed and we can create value."

Iraqna is just one example of a drive by Orascom into emerging markets in Asia and the Middle East. The company has a subscriber base of 30 million people in Algeria, Egypt, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Tunisia and Zimbabwe, among other countries. Those countries represent a market of 460 million people, but on average only 11.5 percent of them have mobile phones.

In 2005, the company more than doubled its subscriber base, and it is on target to reach 50 million subscribers by the end of 2006. Orascom's net income was $298 million in 2004, up 184 percent from 2003. Income in the first half of 2005 was $296 million, up 49 percent from the same period a year earlier.

Mr. Sawiris said he approached each market the same way, through quick decisions and network-building. In 2003, the Coalition Provisional Authority, the United States-led civil administration in Iraq, awarded a two-year operating license to Orascom Telecom, one of three cellphone companies to receive licenses. Mr. Sawiris embarked on a network construction spree and an intensive advertising campaign, and dotted Iraqi cities with distributor outlets.

"He has the companies that sell the network," said Wael Zaida, a senior analyst with EFG-Hermes, a brokerage house based in Egypt. "He has the companies that provide the handsets. All he needed is a license to start operations.

"Despite the high risk involved in putting an operation in Iraq, it is the Iraqi operation that has been doing fantastically well," Mr. Zaida said.

Orascom has weathered its share of reversals, and Mr. Sawiris admits to having made some mistakes. He says that his business partner in Syria, a cousin of the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, took over the partnership for his own benefit, prompting Orascom to pull up its stake and arbitrate the dispute, settling for $20 million. After similar problems in Yemen, Mr. Sawiris decided he would never again enter into partnerships with those who have close ties with a country's leadership.

Orascom moved into 22 countries between 1999 and 2002, but that rapid expansion led to ballooning short-term debt. Mr. Sawiris decided to sell most of Orascom's African holdings as well as its Jordanian subsidiary, Fastlink, even though it had been performing well.

In May, Mr. Sawiris moved into the European market, paying $3.6 billion to take control of Wind, a leading phone company in Italy. To limit Orascom's debt burden, Mr. Sawiris made a leveraged purchase by fusing personal and family funds; he created a buyout vehicle called Weather Investments in partnership with Wilbur L. Ross Jr., the American buyout specialist, and Philippe Nguyen, a French financier.

The Wind deal "was an opportunity to gain a foothold in Europe," Mr. Sawiris said. He has also shown interest in buying TIM Hellas Telecommunications, a Greek operator. "I am convinced that telecoms will consolidate and I do not want to sell off my companies," Mr. Sawiris said. "I want to be one of these players at the end of the game."

In December 2005, Orascom paid $1.3 billion for a 19.3 percent stake in Hutchison Telecommunications International, a unit of the Hong Kong conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa. Mr. Sawiris said the deal was part of an effort to take a slice of the Southeast Asian market, which he said he wished he had entered earlier.

Though the strategy of investing in emerging markets is risky, other companies have taken the same path as Orascom. "Those countries have more resources than you read, because of the gray economy and the cash economy," said Azmi T. Mikati, chief executive of Investcom Holding, a mobile communications provider that operates in countries like Sudan, Syria and Afghanistan. "These countries are not as poor or as dangerous as they are portrayed."

Mr. Sawiris says that people do not fully understand the needs of his customers. "Whether poor or rich, people still need to communicate," he said.

-
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
-

Quoting DXing (Reply 67):
top AQ planners and leaders have been caught where?

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NOT in the NWFP but in places near to the airports of Islamabad-Rawalpindi and Karachi. Alright some of them enroute to bars and brothels .............. but ..................
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Beside the point that most of those TOP ..... were not half as "top" as announced
-

Quoting DXing (Reply 67):
The tribes in northwest of Pakistan are, by all reports, completely receptive to OBL and AQ.

-
I did NOT put their hospitality into doubt, but the elQaeda leaders might feel more at home with Arabic-speakers nevertheless
-

Quoting DXing (Reply 67):
The top leaders of that group are not flying around anywhere.

-
Foolish they were if that could be proven. But sure I am that they DO.
-

Quoting DXing (Reply 67):
to good news

-
well, I read about many new newspapers and radio/TV stations, who employ people from top journalists down to simple workers, I read about schools re-opened, about oil-exports on the increase, about airports and seaports reactivated, about more and more airlinks being established. And more. And this, to me at least, means business, business for the rich who as usual profit most, and to the poor who only profit modestly.
-

Quoting Seb146 (Reply 68):
I wonder which conditions those will be. I also wonder if contractors will be subject to Iraqi laws "under certain conditions."

-
It actually was published, but to get it exactly, you have to consult your lawyer. But basically, contractors working in Iraq will work under Iraqi laws and regulations, UNLESS working for embassies or the US armed forces. US soldiers INSIDE US-compounds (just as in post WWII Germany) will be under US jurisdiction, but once getting outside under Iraqi laws. The idea is that a US contractor, conducting business in Iraq NOT connected to either US diplomatic services or the US forces, is working and living simply under Iraqi laws and regulations.
-

Quoting Seb146 (Reply 68):
some sort of coup possibly

-
While it is unclear who was involved from the outside in his ousting of his uncle from the presidency in 1979 it is obvious of course that he fairly swiftly got allied with not only the USSR but most western powers. I in a way do not like the use of the first-name of Mr al-Takriti in the mentioned post however. There never was a "Mr Hussein" just as there never was a "Mr W".
-
 
dxing
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RE: Iraq Becoming Independent Again

Sun Jan 11, 2009 10:50 pm



Quoting Seb146 (Reply 68):
I guess we can forget Rumsfeld, Bush I, and so many others in the Reagan administration being chummy with Saddam.

Yes you can if you are replying to your statement that:

Quoting Seb146 (Reply 68):
The United States helped install him as leader of Iraq.

Because obviously if he came to power in 1979 President Carter was in office.

Quoting Seb146 (Reply 68):
Didn't Bush II vow to capture Osama dead or alive?

Yes, just like President Johnson vowed to defeat poverty and President Ford vowed to whip inflation. All three attempted to achieve their statments, none with sucess. But that does not make the statements any less sincere.

Quoting Seb146 (Reply 68):
Oh, wait... what he actually said was something like "I don't know where he is. I don't even think about him that much."

Which would be a correct statment. Again, if OBL is hiding on the Pakistan side of the border he is essentially unreachable.

Quoting Seb146 (Reply 68):
Since troops are being rotated to Iraq instead of Afganistan, troops in Afganistan are not engaging as many Taliban or as often.

That is just about a dumb a statement as I have read in quite awhile. Care to name a source for that insight? It still does not address the ability of the Taliban to retreat to the Pakistan side of the border and then rest an refit.

Quoting Seb146 (Reply 68):
Besides, I thought you were asking how Iraq will not turn into another Vietnam. The thread is on Iraq, after all.

No, what I said was:

Quoting DXing (Reply 45):
People who have made references to Iraq being the new Vietnam completely miss one vital point. In Iraq the insurgents really had no place of guaranteed safety in which to hide. In Afghanistan they do. What you are suggesting, just putting more troops on the ground, is the same thinking that got 500,000 troops into South Vietnam and we still didn't control the country. We beat the enemy every time they showed their heads but never had total security control on the ground. So when you can explain how you are going to seal that border, which is every bit as wild and untamed as the area between what used to be South Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos, by simply adding more troops fill us in and forward your plan to the Pentagon.



Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 69):
NOT in the NWFP but in places near to the airports of Islamabad-Rawalpindi and Karachi

So somehow you are making a corelation because they were caught in the city that they were somehow going somewhere by plane? Correct me if I'm wrong but wouldn't it have been much easier to catch them at the airport coming through security than have a big shoot out, which is how these things usually go down, in a neighborhood that most likely would contain any number of sympathisers? What you are suggesting is the repeat of the 1993 Mogadishu raid in Somalia.

Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 69):
But sure I am that they DO.

Guess we will agree to disagree then because I'm sure they don't. I can't think of a more idiotic way to risk your security than by trying to go somewhere on a commercial aircraft if you are a wanted terrorist.
Warm winds blowing, heating blue skies, a road that goes forever, I'm going to Texas!
 
baroque
Posts: 12302
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2006 2:15 pm

RE: Iraq Becoming Independent Again

Mon Jan 12, 2009 4:20 am



Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 69):
Quoting Baroque (Reply 66):
explain to me what on earth benefit it will be to the average Iraqi.

-
a real embassy of a big country means lots of business for taxi companies, forwarding companies, electricians, cleaning companies, etc. So that the establishment of such an embassy, particularly if it is not too close to the government offices does mean business.

So let me get this straight, opening a US Embassy in the green zone equates to more electric power to Sadr city, or clean water or fixing the sewers?

They could have saved quite a bit by going and scattering the money spent on the embassy at taxi ranks and dropping some off through the doors of cleaning businesses.

I would have thought that if the main development was a heavily fortified embassy palace inside a heavily defended zone it was just advertising lack of other progress and indicating how much of a finger the US still wants to have in the Iraqi political pie. That is what embassies do you know. Does it have an oil E&P department?

Plenty of time for the good news shopping lists to be posted, so far one ridiculous embassy.
 
ME AVN FAN
Topic Author
Posts: 12970
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RE: Iraq Becoming Independent Again

Mon Jan 12, 2009 5:24 pm



Quoting DXing (Reply 70):
somehow you are making a corelation because they were caught in the city that they were somehow going somewhere by plane? Correct me if I'm wrong but wouldn't it have been much easier to catch them at the airport coming through security than have a big shoot out, which is how these things usually go down, in a neighborhood that most likely would contain any number of sympathisers?

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Not necessarily the airport, they may have been enroute to/from the rail-station for/from a train to/from Lahore or Karachi. So that the city was THE place to act against them. I however cannot answer the question about the neighbourhood as I don't know the place in question and even less where exactly they were caught.
-

Quoting DXing (Reply 70):
a more idiotic way to risk your security than by trying to go somewhere on a commercial aircraft if you are a wanted terrorist.

-
"Wanted terrorists" use commercial airliners and trains all the time. Several got caught by anti-terrorist forces exactly because they were routinely travelling around. Forged passports and changed appearances of course are the basis, but are not always sufficient. "Wanted terrorists" very often are "globally active".
-

Quoting Baroque (Reply 71):
opening a US Embassy in the green zone equates to more electric power to Sadr city, or clean water or fixing the sewers?

-
At first possibly even the contrary, as consuming secured electricity then not available to others. But an electricians-company with work to do for the embassy will make the profits to import needed appliances, their electricians and commercial employees and most of all the owners will have money to buy electrical things, and so it will finally help their quarters. If clean water is secured for the quarter where the embassy is, also other people will profit from that improvement. Embassy folks will complain if the lack of sewers results in ugly smells and will press upon improvements --- most likely in the end financed by the embassy. I would talk of spill-over effects, a really important aspect.
-

Quoting Baroque (Reply 71):
indicating how much of a finger the US still wants to have in the Iraqi political pie. That is what embassies do you know.

-
They DID have several fingers in the Iraqi political pie since at least the 1960ies, and will of course continue to do so. And there in that embassy will be everything from CIA offices to offices for commercial contacts.
 
ALexeu
Posts: 1447
Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2007 9:01 am

RE: Iraq Becoming Independent Again

Mon Jan 12, 2009 5:47 pm



Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 9):
The point is that Iraqi Airways is not interested in destinations like Dallas Love Field and Houston Hobby Airport and Las Vegas, but in places like London, Paris, Amsterdam and Frankfurt.

If Iraq was democratic from the beginning, Baghdad airport would be like Dubai or Doha.

@Topic, USA should have never occupied Iraq, which unlike Afghanistan, had no reasons to be occupied.
 
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STT757
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RE: Iraq Becoming Independent Again

Mon Jan 12, 2009 6:03 pm

There was a great piece on 60 Minutes last night on the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen, specifically about the new Administration and how the focus is going to shift from Iraq to Afghanistan.

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=4713466n
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ME AVN FAN
Topic Author
Posts: 12970
Joined: Fri May 31, 2002 12:05 am

RE: Iraq Becoming Independent Again

Mon Jan 12, 2009 6:04 pm



Quoting AlexEU (Reply 73):
Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 9):
The point is that Iraqi Airways is not interested in destinations like Dallas Love Field and Houston Hobby Airport and Las Vegas, but in places like London, Paris, Amsterdam and Frankfurt.

If Iraq was democratic from the beginning, Baghdad airport would be like Dubai or Doha.

In the times of Presidents General Abdur-Rahman Aref and General Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr, Baghdad Airport WAS more important than Dubai or Doha, but almost equal to Beirut and Cairo, the places then leading in the Arab World. Iraqi Airways was on equal terms with UAA, MEA, KAC and Saudi Arabian, the then leaders in the Arab World. It all was ruined by Mr al-Takriti and his war against Iran. And finally totally by his attack against Kuwait.
-
And whenever I have the Maktoums and the al-Tani in quite high regard, democratic is something they are not.
 
baroque
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RE: Iraq Becoming Independent Again

Tue Jan 13, 2009 4:05 am



Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 75):
It all was ruined by Mr al-Takriti and his war against Iran.

Ever wondered why Mr al-T started his war against Iran?

Re the Embassy, you are scraping a bit for the flow on effects. Then again, it is probably better for Iraq than the construction of a new Trump Towers in NY, but WADR, not very much better!  biggrin   angel   bitelip 

So back to the first question, nothing much in the way of (real here and now) improvements to announce then.
 
ME AVN FAN
Topic Author
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RE: Iraq Becoming Independent Again

Tue Jan 13, 2009 4:25 pm



Quoting Baroque (Reply 76):
Ever wondered why Mr al-T started his war against Iran?

-
If you happen to mean the US embassy, I agree !
 
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seb146
Posts: 23193
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RE: Iraq Becoming Independent Again

Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:20 pm



Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 69):
contractors working in Iraq will work under Iraqi laws and regulations, UNLESS working for embassies or the US armed forces.

That scares me in some respects. KBR, Blackwater, and all the contractor services in Iraq have high-powered legal teams. New contracts will be written in such a way that if some of the trigger happy contractors in Iraq will never be prosecuted if (God forbid) they start shooting random Iraqis.

I also wonder how the restoration of electricity, potable water, health care, and education is coming in Iraq as opposed to pre-invasion. It would be irritating to me to see a huge brand-new shining embassy complex while still not having much electricity or clean water or health care.
You bet I'm pumped!!! I just had a green tea!!!
 
ME AVN FAN
Topic Author
Posts: 12970
Joined: Fri May 31, 2002 12:05 am

RE: Iraq Becoming Independent Again

Tue Jan 13, 2009 6:41 pm



Quoting Seb146 (Reply 78):
contractors working in Iraq will work under Iraqi laws and regulations, UNLESS working for embassies or the US armed forces.

That scares me in some respects. KBR, Blackwater, and all the contractor services in Iraq have high-powered legal teams. New contracts will be written in such a way that if some of the trigger happy contractors in Iraq will never be prosecuted if (God forbid) they start shooting random Iraqis.

No, if these contractors leave the diplomatic or military compounds they will be under Iraqi jurisdiction. If the shoot people INSIDE these compounds it will be US jurisdiction but if they do so OUTside them they will be subject to Iraqi customs, regardless of their contracts. The way in which a contract is written is irrelevant, as only the PLACE is to count, not the nature of employment. But I have seen US compounds, for instance one in Munich, which were sufficiently large to allow somebody to live inside them for months.
-

Quoting Seb146 (Reply 78):
wonder how the restoration of electricity, potable water, health care, and education

-
Healthcare, education and electricity was better before 1990 than after 2003. In regard to education and healthcare, Iraq has enough qualified personnel, so that this will come relatively swiftly as a result of some relative safety being achieved now. Electricity-infrastructure was most severely damaged in 2003, and by a variety of terrorist attacks against infrastructure. Household water in most Arab countries is not really what I would call "potable". You should abstain from drinking "potable water" also inside luxury hotels, as "Westerners" rather should abstain from salad etc. Cairo hotels at times therefore are full with people suffering from "Greetings from Tut-ankh-Amoun" ! Important however will be that the women in Iraq get back all the rights, legal ones and customs-wise ones, they lost after 2003 "thanks" to the US support for the fundamentalists. I am quite confident that President al-Douri will do so in due course.
 
baroque
Posts: 12302
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RE: Iraq Becoming Independent Again

Wed Jan 14, 2009 6:45 am



Quoting Seb146 (Reply 78):
I also wonder how the restoration of electricity, potable water, health care, and education is coming in Iraq as opposed to pre-invasion. It would be irritating to me to see a huge brand-new shining embassy complex while still not having much electricity or clean water or health care.

So sorry to hear of your state of irritation Seb!! And there I was, rather hoping you would have a pleasant 2009.  sour 

Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 79):
Important however will be that the women in Iraq get back all the rights, legal ones and customs-wise ones, they lost after 2003 "thanks" to the US support for the fundamentalists. I am quite confident that President al-Douri will do so in due course.

I would hate to bet on a subject like that, but it seems one of the safer bets around that this will be a long time happening.

Is there any major move of refugees back to Iraq? None that I have heard about. Last time I heard was comment about how awful Syria/Jordan were, but going back to Iraq was too dangerous. And AFAIK, the refugees are mostly the professionals so those qualified staff have been selectively lost to date. Up to early 2008, conditions for women were steadily getting worse - any improvements?

Hopefully, with Obama, information will be less manipulated coming out of Iraq.
 
ME AVN FAN
Topic Author
Posts: 12970
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RE: Iraq Becoming Independent Again

Wed Jan 14, 2009 6:26 pm



Quoting Baroque (Reply 80):
it seems one of the safer bets around that this will be a long time happening.

-
I would NOT bet on ANY time-frame. Sometimes things take longer than expected and sometimes far less time. I still remember that people in the late 1980ies talked about a possible end at least of the Eastern Block and possibly even of the USSR, but most people had one or two decades and NOT one or two years in mind.
-

Quoting Baroque (Reply 80):
Is there any major move of refugees back to Iraq? None that I have heard about. Last time I heard was comment about how awful Syria/Jordan were, but going back to Iraq was too dangerous. And AFAIK, the refugees are mostly the professionals so those qualified staff have been selectively lost to date.

-
The Iraqi refugees in both Syria and Jordan have acceptable up to good lodgings, their own restaurants and entertainment places, and so do not have it really bad in either Damascus or Amman, whenever of course being displaced. Most of them however dream of getting onward to Europe, and the complaining about conditions is part of the game. Some US media a while ago talked about Iraqi refugees "streaming back", but this apparently was exaggerated, to put it mildly.

Quoting Baroque (Reply 80):
Up to early 2008, conditions for women were steadily getting worse - any improvements?

No improvements up to now. The present constitution is as negative for women as nothing has been since 1920. Improvements only are likely to take place when elections will have taken place in which the population of the cities really could participate, as they in those last elections only could have tried to participate if not caring for their lifes. And that the al-Maliki government is in no hurry to get into new elections is obvious.
-
 
baroque
Posts: 12302
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RE: Iraq Becoming Independent Again

Thu Jan 15, 2009 4:30 pm

"Iraq has always been a difficult country."

Talking of women as MAF and I were, I fell on this on a BBC website while looking for something else. Nice picture of Gertrude's grave too.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7774888.stm

Many older Iraqis still talk affectionately of the woman they called "Miss Bell", despite her controversial record.

She's buried in a small date-palm fringed Christian cemetery in central Baghdad.

The sprightly caretaker started working there in 1955, in the time of the last British-backed king, Feisal II, surviving the coups, dictatorships and chaos that have followed.

Fighting has often engulfed the area around the graveyard in recent years. The British and Americans should have learnt "from the experience of others, like Miss Bell, and the lessons from history," says caretaker Ali Mansour. "Iraq has always been a difficult country."

With the reduced levels of violence, there is a view in the outside world that Iraq is now somehow fixed.

But attacks still claim 10-20 lives every day. And Toby Dodge sees many similarities between the "unstable, unrepresentative" state the British left behind in the early 20th century and what has emerged today.

"The Americans as far as we know will leave Iraq in 2011 with an unstable state and an unpopular ruling elite using a great deal of violence to stay in power," he says.

What would Gertrude Bell have made of all of this? She did foresee the outline of things to come. In late 1921, the increasingly powerful Americans were manoeuvring to sign their own treaty with the new Iraqi state: "Oil is the trouble, of course," she spat. "Detestable stuff!"

Gertrude Bell's tomb in Baghdad
Christian cemetery caretaker Ali Mansour with Gertrude Bell's tomb


From earlier in the article but explaining who Toby Dodge is and where to find Bell's letters.

But read her letters and diaries and you can easily imagine she's describing events since 2003, as American and British forces lost control of the country they had invaded.

The latest unhappy chapter in Britain's involvement in Iraq is approaching its end, with the government likely to announce soon a plan to withdraw most of its forces over the course of next year.

There are plenty of parallels with 90 years ago, says Toby Dodge, the widely-respected Iraq expert at London University's Queen Mary College, but "in the run-up to the invasion, both in Downing Street and the Foreign Office, there was no sense of history whatsoever".

The hundreds of letters Bell wrote to her parents during her time in Iraq and other parts of the Middle East, complete with requests for supplies of "crinkly hairpins", are available to anyone via the internet.


I rather warm to Ai Mansour. Many errors Gertrude may have made but apparently underestimating the problems from oil was not one of them.

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