Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 19, 2007

"There will be an attack on Iran."

Robert Baer, a former CIA case officer with lots of Middle East experience, writes in Time Magazine on the Prelude to an Attack on Iran:

Reports that the Bush Administration will put Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps on the terrorism list can be read in one of two ways: it's either more bluster or, ominously, a wind-up for a strike on Iran. Officials I talk to in Washington vote for a hit on the IRGC, maybe within the next six months. And they think that as long as we have bombers and missiles in the air, we will hit Iran's nuclear facilities. An awe and shock campaign, lite, if you will.

(A correction to Baer: It was probably not the administration's idea to declare the Revolutionary Guards a terrorist organisation. The first public occurance of this thought came in July and originated from Rep. Tom Lantos (D-Israel) who wrote legislation demanding this. Such legislation has now some 319 bi-partisan sponsors in the House. It is a giant step toward war with Iran.)

Further on Baer gives some insight into alleged neocon thinking:

Strengthening the Administration's case for a strike on Iran, there's a belief among neo-cons that the IRGC is the one obstacle to democratic and a friendly Iran. They believe that if we were to get rid of the IRGC, the clerics would fall, and our thirty-years war with Iran over.

There may be eventually people stupid enough to believe this, especially some neocons. But historically there is no record of any nation that did NOT rally to its leaders after coming under heavy air attacks. Such Giulio Douhet campaigns always fail to provoke regime change. They do provoke escalation though, the very thing the neocons want.

Baer sees the flaw too:

And what do we do if just the opposite happens — a strike on Iran unifies Iranians behind the regime? An Administration official told me it's not even a consideration. "IRGC IED's are a casus belli for this administration. There will be an attack on Iran."

Here is a recommendable post by Arthur Silber on the bi-partisan effort, the help of the very serious foreign policy commentators and the support it will gain with progressive bloggers and the people of the U.S. to bring this about.

Like him and others, I am tired of writing about this, as, like him, I think it's over. There is no likely way to stop the U.S. committing this supreme crime.

Posted by b on August 19, 2007 at 02:38 PM | Permalink

Comments

Scary that people forget that if our guys were not in Iraq in the first place, they would not be getting blown up there by IED's, of Iranian origin or from elsewhere.

But there is rarely an example of America not rallying behind its leader when it launches a war, so the question of Iran rallying will be a moot point, at least until they stage their first act of retribution on US soil.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Aug 19, 2007 4:06:14 PM | 1

Any amerikan efforts against Iran will have to be done without the cardboard cut-outs. I suspect the Time magazine article may be a reaction to the knowledge that according to the Independent on Sunday the Brits are about to depart Basra.

New PM Brown is one of your classic old school tells ya lies with a smile while he's picking yer pockets sort of a politician. The trip he made to the Whitehouse after getting his gig was sold to amerikans as proof that the mad Iraqi policy of his predecessor would remain unchanged.

They amerikan commentators paid no attention to the kicker. This is how the poms remember what he said:

Last month Gordon Brown said after meeting George Bush at Camp David that the decision to hand over security in Basra province – the last of the four held by the British – "will be made on the military advice of our commanders on the ground".

So what are 'the commanders on the ground saying'? Well according to the IoS which has impeccable contacts amongst the wannabe ministers in Brown's goverment they are saying:

Senior military commanders have told the Government that Britain can achieve "nothing more" in south-east Iraq, and that the 5,500 British troops still deployed there should move towards withdrawal without further delay.

Everything they can is not good for any other foreigners looking to take over Basra cause they are also saying:

Two generals told The Independent on Sunday last week that the military advice given to the Prime Minister was, "We've done what we can in the south [of Iraq]". Commanders want to hand over Basra Palace – where 500 British troops are subjected to up to 60 rocket and mortar strikes a day, and resupply convoys have been described as "nightly suicide missions" – by the end of August. The withdrawal of 500 soldiers has already been announced by the Government. The Army is drawing up plans to "reposture" the 5,000 that will be left at Basra airport, and aims to bring the bulk of them home in the next few months.

Make no mistake the amerikans imperial forces are not happy at this decision which will leave the oil producing region of Iraq firmly under military control of the most pro-Iranian Iraqi militias of the Badr brigades and the political will of SCIRI. These guys all trained in Iran many were born in Iran.

The IoS discusses the amerikan reaction:

American criticism of Britain's desire to pull back in southern Iraq has recently become public, with a US intelligence official telling The Washington Post this month that "the British have basically been defeated in the south". A senior British commander countered, "That's to miss the point. It was never that kind of battle, in which we set out to defeat an enemy." Other officers said the British force was never configured to "clear and hold" Basra in the way the Americans are seeking to do in Baghdad.

Immediate American discontent is said to centre on the CIA's reluctance to leave Basra Palace, an important base for watching Iran, which may explain why Britain has held on to the complex until now. But last week it was reported that US intelligence operatives were in the process of pulling out. Further ahead, the US is concerned over the security of its vital supply line from Kuwait, with some American commanders saying that if the British withdraw, American troops will have to be sent south to replace them. As the hub of Iraq's oil industry, Basra is also a tempting prize for the Shia militias battling each other for control.

It doesn't require too many brain cells (about as many as are left in the dying BushCo administration) to see that a quick fix to some of this is to outlaw the Iranian cadres of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Of course this bunch of fools don't want their citizens to know they are worried by the suk going out of USuk so they get a few members of the compliant amerikan mainstream media to put it about that they're gonna nuke Iran!

This bluff is probably intended to cut it with the Iranian leadership, but they haven't blinked yet and show no signs of doing so, therefore the chances of it causing more than a mild hiccup in their play for the Southern Iraqi oilfields is pretty slim.

The amerikan strategists are as cognisant of the IED furphy as the rest of us therefore there must be a reason for the current round of sabre rattling. That reason is the prospect of having the brass ring snatched from their grasp.

Both the dems and the rethugs have come to believe (under heavy sponsorship from oil corps and Israel) that amerika will dies without being able to steal some more ME oil so at the moment they are squealing like stuck pigs.

Actually going to war is another matter. If amerika attacks Iran before the Brits are out of the south the howls of outrage from the British voters at this naked aggression will mean the Brits leave Basra even quicker. If they wait till the Brits have gone and their supply lines from Kuwait can easily be over run by Iranian sponsored Badr brigades they are in even bigger trouble. All those people in the Green Zone - some of em doubtless rethug heavies on the way up will be getting subjected to a shock and awe payback in no time.

The troops will find that the respite they once had when they withdrew into their armoured compounds to plan their rapes and murders, will disappear as the supplies dry up.

The most likely outcome is a negotiated settlement between Iran and amerika, but given the amerikan politicians reluctance to be seen to concede anything to a muslim towelhead, they are playing it to the home crowd like they have the upper hand.

Higly amusing. No wonder they are getting very concerned about the make up of Maliki's government, given that he has virtually no one outside of the Southern Iranian aligned Shia reps left in his cabinet.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Aug 19, 2007 5:10:42 PM | 2

a cartoon that illustrates why we should never be fooled by logic and facts.

Scott Bateman

Posted by: dan of steele | Aug 19, 2007 5:49:21 PM | 3

it's either more bluster or, ominously, a wind-up for a strike on Iran. Officials I talk to in Washington vote for a hit on the IRGC, maybe within the next six months. And they think that as long as we have bombers and missiles in the air, we will hit Iran's nuclear facilities. An awe and shock campaign, lite, if you will.

most likely more bluster, also more distraction.

there is no such thing as a "lite" attack on Iran.

the US military is going to object strenously to any strategics that include the words "limited" or "lite"

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Aug 19, 2007 6:55:20 PM | 4

I agree with Debs that the current escalation in rhetoric, like most of the rhetorical shifts, has more to do with Iraq than anything. And his particular shift is probably connected to the Brits leaving the south, where by the U.S. will now have to send in a significant number replacement troops to protect the supply lines - negating the effect of the current troop escalations in Baghdad. Not to mention that if the U.S. were to attack Iran, the south would suddenly become much more than a supply route and turn into a major channel of Iranian ground infiltration, requiring many many thousands of troop deployments to stop. Troops that would be unfamiliar with the logistics of Brit held territory. To be faced with a whole new set tactical demands and needs (this will likely be a more conventional warfare) from the perspective of already being a spent and exhausted force. Casualties, would in all likelyhood go through the roof -- with little prospects of reinforcements or even replacements. In other words a major bloodbath would ensue along with Iraq being irretrievably thrown into Iranian arms.

The british withdrawal is going to be a particularly bitter pill for the U.S. to swallow both tactically and politically, highlighting the unilateral character the occupation has become, when even the pet poodle has run away from home. Attacking Iran in frustration would be a metaphoric murder/suicide solution to a domestic squabble.

Posted by: anna missed | Aug 19, 2007 7:04:08 PM | 5

i imagine, that these monsters will, after all do what the nazis did by going into russia. there is plenty of historical precedent for the invading or destroying the sovereignty of an/other, a people, a culture or a country

iraq, for example

afghanistan is another

in both sites they have so destroyed any sense of polity or strategy - that an attack on a an extremely capable iran is completely consistant

but there will be members of the elite who will be shitting in their pants & peeeing on the floor of their study's either out of excitement or fear or both

it is a perfect time to be ill because the world is more ill than i

the catastrophic successes of this criminal administration & their lackeys, vassals & compradors - will continue until the disaster is total - then it will take generations after generations to pick up the mess if that is at all possible

if i was that nietzschean warrior king general petraeus - i would want to get my ragged ass out of iraq & if i was loyal to my men - i would take them out with me.

cowardice though seems to run like a leitmotif through this criminal & immoral administration - not one of the principal players has ever heard a shot fired except perhaps in the washinton streets they seem unable to control. not one of them knows war except as some cultural construct created by cowards like john wayne, gary cooper & ronald reagan

they are in effect like the cross dressing bulldog j edgar hoover who was having his cock sucked by his second in command while he washed the floors of their duplex. ô they love dishing fear out & using it as a means of control - which seems easier & easier to do in the post 9/11 world but they clearly do not like feeling it

that is clear enough even in the congressional hearings which are hardly a real confrontation - there they appear as they are - little men, mediocre men or eliot's hollow men

there is no substance to any of them

unfortunately their acts are & will be substantial

sorry the world that has to live under such monsters but we will for some time to come

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 19, 2007 7:19:12 PM | 6

There has been a lot of gloom and doom coverage of Basra recently. Everyone from the Christian Science Monitor onward has been writing about how bad the situation is with the Mafia turf wars, etc. I don't think the US is in a position to initiate action against Iran until it has Southern Iraq firmly in control.

They sound really really mad at the Brits, by the way. The tone of this piece in the Telegraph is quite extraordinary:

British forces useless in Basra, say officials

...
Few were in the mood for a lecture about British superiority, when they fear that Downing Street's planned pull-out from Basra will squander any progress from their own hard-fought "troop surge" strategy elsewhere.

"It's insufferable for Christ's sake," said one senior figure closely involved in US military planning. "He comes on and he lectures everybody in the room about how to do a counter-insurgency. The guys were just rolling their eyeballs. The notorious Northern Ireland came up again. It's pretty frustrating. It would be okay if he was best in class, but now he's worst in class. Everybody else's area is getting better and his is getting worse."
...


And there is also this, later on,
As The Sunday Telegraph revealed last week, plans have been drawn up to send thousands of American troops into southern Iraq to take over the supervision of the vital supply route north from Kuwait, a task the British will bequeath when they leave.

But the senior US officer warned that combat troops may also have to go into Basra itself to "protect the population" from violence between its numerous warring Shia militias - an extra burden as perilous as any in Baghdad.

The US would probably like to begin physically harassing Iran about now, in preparation for war in earnest later on. But Iran would harass it right back, and the US can't afford that as things stand.

Posted by: Alamet | Aug 19, 2007 7:46:59 PM | 7

tonight i have been watching some 'heimat' films & commentary of those films. they are the german films of the imagined home that never was - a perversion of what is really meant by a home - it is a culture drawn from fear & insularity -& it is a genre that suited fascism well thoi it preceded fascism as the volkmystik, naturalism, anti semitism also preceded it

the great & underestimated r w fassbinder took this form & put it on its ass in such extraordinary works as berliner alexanderplatz, fox & his friends, in the yyear of the thirteen moons & fear eats the soul. fassbinder exposed the whole rotten notion of 'home'

but it is timely because american culture - both high & low - has always been informed by this sense of 'heimat' - from huckleberry finn onwards. its darker apects have always permitted injustice & negligence on a great social scale

the dept of homeland security is just such a cultural construct that allows a political practice & a daily reality that is deeply, deeply immoral

& it is in its sense deranged & delusional because there is no real context - the contexts are either cultural givens or they are more vulgar forms of fabrication

they speak of a society that does not exist. they have no understanding at all of the other in themselves let alone the other who exists in sovereign nations

& in that context an attack on iran will be sold to the people of north america. they will be driven by fear as they were led to slaughter in iraq because essentially if it is not their son or their daughter - it does not concern them

i know that 70% of the people of north america want this war to finish but this is only so because they are losing. the german people were very happy to live with the slaughter of tens of millions of slavs until the brothers & sisters of those slave started coming to their 'home'. the destruction of european jewry, of the gypsy populations of great swathes of russians was of no concern to them until - their 'family' came to take revenge on their tanks trucks horses & carts

the u s has created an even more perverse form of heimat because when 'father knows best' was being sent through television signals - there were black people still hanging from trees or who were being murdered in more discrete ways in louisiana

& the 'heimat' is fundamentaly & not paradoxically expressed in such groups as ayran nation & the militias because their sense of home has always been about loss & theft

now theft & loss are political policy & the culture that created it will go down with it, if not tommorrrow then another tommorrow, tommorrow, tommorrow

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 19, 2007 7:58:37 PM | 8

I have no wish to defend english imperialism which is probably still ahead of amerika in sheer volumes of other humans slaughtered for the advancement of empire but I can't help but wonder if at least in part, the lack of success the amerikan military claim that the english forces have been having in the south, is due to the Brits unwilllingness to enagage in an equivalent level of brutality.

Early on in the invasion, the brits found out that when they did get a bit heavy with the locals some limp wristed liberal so-called 'soldier' would write home and tell the family who would then tell a sticky beaked reporter.

Stories of the death of Baha Mousa that I linked to above, were circulating 'Fleet St" very soon after the murder which occured in the first flush of invasion in September 2003. Although some of the media fell in line with the D notice mentality that british newspapers adopt in times of 'war' there was considerable reluctance within the media to treat the invasion of Iraq the same as a war where england was actually being attacked by some aggressor.

So the brits refrained from the genocidal behaviour which they used in Malaya against the Chinese malayans. Not because of any sort of moral superiority but because they were getting found out and reported on. Probably the english military occupation of Northern Ireland was less critically reported than the Iraqi invasion and occupation.

One of the primary reasons for opposing the invasion of Iraq is that there is no 'nice' way to steal anothers economic, property and political rights, especially not by force of arms. So when the Bliar recognised that he had fucked up beyond repair and needed to try and keep the scandals out of Iraq to a minimum for the last couple years of his 'kingship', there was really no way that the occupation could be anything more than setting up camp in a couple of places under the auspices of a 'leave us alone and we'll leave you alone' occupation strategy.

Pretty much what has happened in the North too - the amerikan troops have concentrated their efforts into occupying Baghdad in big enough numbers to keep the insurgent activity down to a dull roar there, but in doing so have just about completely freed up the rest of the country for the insurgents to do with as they will.

Declaring the revolutionary guard illegal is really only putting in writing what they had been doing in practice in the North anyway. Those revolutionary guards visiting the Kurds by invitation, back a few months ago are still in custody aren't they?

But now it is law, how are they going to treat the Maliki gang? It seems Maliki and co the only ones who are prepared to pass the enabling legislation to make the oil theft legal, but since they have good connections with Iran and the revolutionary guard, will the amerikans lock up their only chance of getting the oil quasi legally? Or was Maliki's seeming acquiescence just a stalling policy?

Who knows? I bet the amerikan policymakers don't.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Aug 19, 2007 9:18:21 PM | 9

debs

where is old comrade ming ping

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 19, 2007 9:24:59 PM | 10

surely i meant chin peng

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 19, 2007 9:27:43 PM | 11

I have never posted here before, though I look forward to reading your blog daily.

Just a note of appreciation for posting the link to the Silber article. His is an amazing piece, a work of art, and a true voice of sanity. Thanks.

Posted by: sleepy | Aug 19, 2007 9:30:29 PM | 12

But historically there is no record of any nation that did NOT rally to its leaders after coming under heavy air attacks.

G.W. Bush is the poster boy of that historical fact. They made him GOD after 9/11. What else explains his re-election? The problem is Bush was going to win the WOT by stuffing Iranian backed mullahs into the Iraqi government. The Grunts are driving over IEDs protecting them. Now any attack on Iran means all those Iraqi troops we have been training for the past 4 years join the resistance.

And the pony is getting Iraqis to sign on the oiled line. Good luck with that.

Posted by: Sam | Aug 19, 2007 11:05:47 PM | 13

RG: "i know that 70% of the people of north america want this war to finish but this is only so because they are losing."

No. Please. The majority of Americans opposed the war before it started and the pro-war majority polls found after the war was made up of a large number of people who were just hoping. Americans are, by and large, not interested in imperial wars. That is why the government has to work so hard to sell and disguise the wars.

Debs: I suggest Stewart's "Prince of the Marshes" for an upper class Englishman's view of the British administrative situation in the south during year one of the occupation. The sheer level of stupidity, ineptitude, and colonial swagger combined with indecision, is amazing. I believe that Bremer had, in the Brits, exactly the allies needed to match his level of competence.

Posted by: citizen k | Aug 19, 2007 11:09:45 PM | 14

Also reading suggestion: "The last true story I will ever tell". This book has been neglected, but it is definitive from the US side.

Posted by: citizen k | Aug 19, 2007 11:13:12 PM | 15

Take this to the bank. THERE WILL BE NO ALL OUT ATTACK (WAR) ON IRAN.
The talk will continue for a time but never will the big one happen.

Posted by: Judith | Aug 20, 2007 12:07:25 AM | 16

Dunno who "Judith" is, but I'm tending toward agreement. Who is going to pay for it? Not china? Saudis? I think they'll turn green down the road. Guaranteed to unleash far too much chaos in their neighborhood that could even threaten their hold on power. Don't forget their own oil is in the Shia controlled part of their Helldom. Not smart to poke that hornets nest unduly. I expect much blustering to go on for some time trying to extract best deal possible from mullahs & possibly also enable continued domestic transformation into police state.

Posted by: jj | Aug 20, 2007 1:10:49 AM | 17

Asia Times Online :: Middle East News - US steps closer to war with Iran

Page 1 of 2
US steps closer to war with Iran
By Kaveh L Afrasiabi

The Bush administration has leaped toward war with Iran by, in essence, declaring war with the main branch of Iran's military, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), which it plans to brand as a terrorist organization.

A logical evolution of US President George W Bush's ill-defined, boundless "war on terror", the White House's move is dangerous to the core, opening the way for open confrontation with Iran. This may begin in Iraq, where the IRGC is reportedly most active and, ironically, where the US and Iran have their largest common denominators.

A New York Times editorial has dismissed this move as "amateurish" and a mere "theatric" on the part of the lame-duck president, while at the same time admitting that it represents a concession to "conflict-obsessed administration hawks who are lobbying for military strikes". The political analysts who argue that the main impact of this initiative is "political" are plain wrong. It is a giant step toward war with Iran, irrespective of how well, or poorly, it is thought of, particularly in terms of its immediate and long-term implications, let alone the timing of it.

Coinciding with President Mahmud Ahmadinejad's highly publicized trip to Afghanistan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan, the news received front-page coverage in the New York Times, next to a photograph of Ahmadinejad and his Afghan host, President Hamid Karzai, as if intended to spoil Ahmadinejad's moment by denigrating the Iranian regime. Just two weeks ago, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice implicitly put Iran on a par with the Soviet Union by invoking comparisons to the Cold War, and in essence compared it to al-Qaeda.

Posted by: | Aug 20, 2007 1:29:43 AM | 18

debs, i had never heard of Baha Mousa before. what tragedy.

Posted by: annie | Aug 20, 2007 1:40:49 AM | 19

What is the name of this game and how is it played?
According to the Iranian Foreign Minister, President Ahmadinejad will meet with senior Iraqi officials in Baghdad soon.

Posted by: Rick | Aug 20, 2007 2:52:40 AM | 20

I agree with Debs that the current escalation in rhetoric, like most of the rhetorical shifts, has more to do with Iraq than anything. And his particular shift is probably connected to the Brits leaving the south, where by the U.S. will now have to send in a significant number replacement troops to protect the supply lines - negating the effect of the current troop escalations in Baghdad.

WRONG.

Think Operation Iranian Liberation - ie. OIL...
Try this:

Separately, Russia has lobbied successfully to set up an energy cartel which it hopes will rival Opec. At the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation Summit in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, leaders of Central Asian countries, China and Russia last week agreed to create a 'unified energy market' in the region that is home to some of the biggest producers of oil and gas.

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made clear at the conference that Tehran was prepared to join the club, which would see the world's first, second and fourth largest gas producers form a powerful bloc, potentially ranged against Western interests. link

Now that's a true causus belli...

Posted by: jj | Aug 20, 2007 4:59:48 AM | 21

I have a stupid question for barflies. I know this sounds dumb, but I don't get it. If US Elites announced that we would run out of oil at an affordable price, if we didn't go to war, it seems to me that everyone would hop on the bandwagon. So, why manufacture this GWOT Trash to engineer consent?

Posted by: jj | Aug 20, 2007 5:08:30 AM | 22

I found an interesting story on the site Rick sends us to. After hearing from many oil experts that there was not going to be a pipeline in Afghanistan we get this report from Pakistan that a 10 billion dollar deal is about to be inked.

I can see this pipeline taking away some of the strategic importance of the straits of Hormuz, if you can get all that ickystan oil to the Indian Ocean you can more easily disrupt the flow from Iran.

Posted by: dan of steele | Aug 20, 2007 5:11:13 AM | 23

corrected link for Rick @20

Posted by: dan of steele | Aug 20, 2007 5:25:05 AM | 24

jj @ 22,

I have often wondered the same thing. As Darth said, "The American lifestyle is not negotiable". As soon as the lights go out and the pump runs dry a draft would probably be welcomed.

dan @ 23,

Looks like Michael Moore was right after all.

Posted by: Hamburger | Aug 20, 2007 6:26:26 AM | 25

RGiap: Actually, right now, I think it's time enough for Petraeus to pull a Stauffenberg on Bush. Or to do it the old Roman way, rebellion, take the troops and march on DC. It might be doomed, but at least this time he and his men would die for the right thing.

When I read this crap and shit about Sadr being "back in Tehran", as if he ever fled Iraq under Saddam, I long for the days of Billmon and Steve Gilliard, who would have said how batshit crazy all this was and how it could only end in catastrophic failure.

Alas, I fear that Silber is right and that if a good chunk of the occupation army is butchered in Baghdad, nukes will come into play.
But then, as far as I'm concerned, March 2003 was already on par with Germany's invasion of Poland in 1939.
If the US goes on, bombs and then nukes Iran, the whole effing empire will be down there with Attila's, Hitler's and Gengis Khan's ones.

And barely any mention of Russian or Chinese reactions to a war on Iran, regime change or occupation attempt. As if they were going to sit idly on their hands...

Posted by: CluelessJoe | Aug 20, 2007 6:58:45 AM | 26

jj:

I have a stupid question for barflies. I know this sounds dumb, but I don't get it. If US Elites announced that we would run out of oil at an affordable price, if we didn't go to war, it seems to me that everyone would hop on the bandwagon. So, why manufacture this GWOT Trash to engineer consent?

Probably because allowing iraq to open up the taps would have resulted in more affordable prices. Not to mention it's a lot cheaper just to buy it.

Posted by: Sam | Aug 20, 2007 9:39:47 AM | 27

DoS

Your link is hilarious - there is no such entity as "The International Oil Company" - and I think that we can be fairly certain that no such agreement has been signed of late. I've certainly not seen any recent substantive reports of a deal being done by the Turkmenistan, Pakistan and Afghan governments regarding any pipelines, or any international energy corporations signing on to a project to actually build a pipeline/develop the gas fields.

There is, of course, a well-established project regarding an Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline that has been reported on quite frequently in recent years. In spite of it being a "no-brainer" project that is economically viable, with two of the three countries involved being stable and organised enough to "do" their ends of the project without any international finance component, the project has still to break ground.

I would note, in passing, that Pakistan and Bridas signed an MoU back in 1994 regarding a gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to Pakistan via Afghanistan - naturally nothing has ever come of the agreement, apart from UNOCAL intervening with the Clinton administration to get the MoU annulled so that they could "build" the pipeline instead.

Posted by: dan | Aug 20, 2007 9:40:19 AM | 28

Ahh - Dan - just posted about this here ...

Posted by: b | Aug 20, 2007 9:43:57 AM | 29

It has been surmised / known for a along time that the Brits would quit Basra. Even 6 months ago there were murmurings in the mainstream press. It changes nothing - ok little - for the overall strategy. This is not a war, where no. of soldiers count, but a complicated take over. The Brits played some puny war games, got their post colonial trip kissing US ass, but then what. They basically hunkered in their bunkers and let others get on with it while making some noise about re building cooperation sorties etc. etc. Which is why they were ‘successful’ at first, they didn’t kill too many Iraqis.

Tennis, anyone?

apologies to the fallen and their families.

No attack on Iran. I’ve said my various pieces and can no longer repeat. It won’t happen.

Posted by: Tangerine (ex Noirette) | Aug 24, 2007 11:39:08 AM | 30

Iran attack is going to happen, ancient prophecy, read
Daniel 11: 40 - 45 ; KJV!

Posted by: northstar77 | Aug 25, 2007 6:56:11 PM | 31

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