ARM-CHAIR GENERAL MAKES ASTUTE OBSERVATION Goiter Report
You don't need many facts to make a sensible suggestion said Baghdadskies weblogger. A few basic facts gleaned from newspaper articles and a bsic background knowledge and you're off. I never was a war blogger. My interest was always looking for parallels for current events in modern Iraqi history.
What gives with The Two Scousers story? Initial reports would not explain exactly what they were doing, but it was easy to opine they were looking for the Iranian bombs - so I did.
The latest reports, such as The Sunday Times 25 September 2005, Playing with Fire
, suggest the two men were part of 23 SAS personnel who are trying to stop the flow of weapons and bombs into southeren Iraq. As also in The Sunday Times, SAS in secret war against Iranian agents
, Michael Smith and Ali Rifat.
Meanwhile we learn who the governor of Basrah, Mohammed Musabah al-Wa'eli, is from this Boston Times report - Corruption pervades government in Basra: Islamists faulted amid killings
, By Thanassis Cambanis, August 8, 2005.
Wa'eli took office after the January elections on a platform of sweeping out rampant corruption. The previous governor, from the dominant Islamist party in Iraq, the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, presided over an oil-smuggling boom and a collapse in the few public services still functioning in Basra after the US invasion.
Wa'eli, from the Fadhila Party (the name means virtue), is an Islamist whose political platform is indistinguishable from that of the Supreme Council, the Da'wa Party, or any of the other Shi'ite Islamists who hold nearly every seat on the provincial council. But his anti-corruption rhetoric has struck a chord, wresting power from the once-dominant Supreme Council. But his effort has barely begun to chip away at the web of smuggling, kickbacks, and embezzlement that has alienated much of Basra.
The Telegraph, 23 September, 2005: Shia militia fires up anti-British hatred after SAS rescue, By Adrian Blomfield, demonstrates the British are on a hiding to nothing. Badghdadskies' Arm-chair General prognostication that it would be better to retreat tactically, might prove right. Without the numbers what good can they do? However, if the aim is to keep informed of what the Iranians are up to, then an urban presence is essential, if unpopular with the Shi'ites.
Had a telephone conversation with a friend in foreign lands, just now, in which I suggested that a left-wing article, The Failed war for Oil
, in AltNet arguing the original U.S. idea of getting their hands on Iraqi oil (i.e. ensuring the supplies of..) is already going wrong because the oil fields are being wrecked by pumping with obsolete equipment. it is suggested a position will be reached where it will no longer be cost effective to start from scratch prospecting for more oil fields, using modern technology. Hence the U.S. plan to re-coup the cost of the war and the occupation from the proceeds of Iraqi oil will be seen as a pipe dream, and the cost will become one to the American taxpayer.
Even the pro-war (strategically-minded) lobby with their capitalistic antennae will recognise the game is up, lobbying for withdrawal.
Iran is the big question. It won't be long before a mad senator is suggesting a nuclear strike on Tehran would be the simplest way to solve the Middle East crisis. Indeed it would. Creating a nuclear waste land between Pakistan and the Gulf would be much the simplest solution.