Friday, June 01, 2007

I Have A Never Ending Song of Love War for You

posted by The Sailor @ 6:24 PM Permalink

Bush signed a war spending bill last week that threatens to withhold U.S. aid dollars for Iraq if Baghdad fails to make progress on political and security reforms. The legislation does let the president waive that restriction. To strike a deal with Congress, the White House allowed benchmarks to be included after initially insisting on a clean spending bill.

As daily violence continues to shake Iraq, the two presidents acknowledged Iraq's security troubles. Yet they spoke optimistically about Iraq's ability to make progress on key fronts.

Those include passing legislation to share oil revenue among all Iraqis, holding local elections, overhauling de-Baathification laws and fairly amending the country's constitution.
Talabani said Iraq remains committed to gradually taking control of its own country—allowing U.S. troops to leave—after Iraqi forces are fully trained.

There was no mention of when that would happen. The two leaders took no questions.
OK then, so training Iraqis and passing the the Oil Revenue Sharing act are the benchmarks that will allow us to leave.

Well, hold on a minute there pardner! We aren't bothering to train the Iraqis anymore, and when we did? Ehh, the results weren't exactly helpful:
Training Iraqi troops no longer driving force in U.S. policy

Military planners have abandoned the idea that standing up Iraqi troops will enable American soldiers to start coming home soon and now believe that U.S. troops will have to defeat the insurgents and secure control of troubled provinces.

Training Iraqi troops, which had been the cornerstone of the Bush administration's Iraq policy since 2005, has dropped in priority, officials in Baghdad and Washington said.

But evidence has been building for months that training Iraqi troops is no longer the focus of U.S. policy. Pentagon officials said they know of no new training resources that have been included in U.S. plans to dispatch 28,000 additional troops to Iraq.
President Bush first announced the training strategy in the summer of 2005.

"Our strategy can be summed up this way," Bush said. "As the Iraqis stand up, we will stand down."

Throughout 2006, Casey and top Bush administration leaders touted the training as a success, asserting that eight of Iraq's 10 divisions had taken the lead in confronting insurgents.
In nearly every area where Iraqi forces were given control, the security situation rapidly deteriorated. The exceptions were areas dominated largely by one sect and policed by members of that sect.
Well, OK, Bush worsened stability thru his 'give them guns and they'll like us' approach, but surely the second, and most important benchmark is right on track. Oops, that benchmark has slipped from 'till the end of never' to 'when hell freezes over.'
The reason Iraq needs to pass a new oil law, President Bush has said, is to "share oil revenues among all of Iraq's citizens" – Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds – and to help unify the country.
So far, the frustration on Capitol Hill is mainly over the Iraqi government's perceived foot-dragging in finishing the oil law, which US advisers had a hand in crafting. But resistance is also surfacing to the substance of the oil bill, especially whether its main effect will be to ensure international companies a lucrative role in Iraq's rich oil fields.
In an open letter to Democrats in the US Congress last week, Hasan Jum'a Awwad, head of the Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions, echoed that view. He urged that lawmakers "not link withdrawal [of US troops] with the oil law, especially since the USA claimed that it came to Iraq as a liberator and not in order to control Iraq's resources."
"The actual draft law has nothing to do with sharing the oil revenue," says former Iraqi oil minister Issam Al Chalabi, in a phone interview from Amman, Jordan. The law aims to set a framework for investment by outside oil companies
No wonder Bush now says that American troops will be in Iraq for 50 years. But his comparison with Korea is, uhhh, disingenuous. Josh Marshall sums it up the best.

It's actually more like Vietnam. Instead of the home team having jungles they have cities. Instead of training ARVN, we're training the ISF. Instead of fighting 'commies' that will follow us home, we're fighting 'terrerists' ... that will follow us home.

And the other thing they have in common? That would be oil. Whether it's in the South China Seas or in the Middle East, it's all about the oil.

Did you really think America entered into these wars to impose democracy? Because we were attacked in the Tonkin Gulf? Because of 9/11? Because Saddam had WMDs? Because Saddam was a bad man dictator?

There are lots of dictators in the world. America has supported many of them.
And in the end
The love you take
Is equal to the love you make.

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