Friday, January 12, 2007

Tough Talk in Mess-O-Potamia

George Bush made his big speech on Iraq. He promised a 20,000 troop increase, essentially bringing the troops to the level at which they were at the beginning of the war.

Bottom line; nothing new.

The larger part of the new American Strategy was not "broadcast" to American audiences. I was aimed at Middle Eastern Audiences, the ones that count.

One thing is for sure; someone opened up a whole can of Whoopass. But who's Serving?

Iraq and Iran

There were interesting moves in Iraq; the promotion of Lieutenant General Petraeus to oversee Iraq, and of Admiral Fallon to lead CENTCOM, the first Admiral to do so. Did anyone say Hormuz?

Confirming a “last call” for a deal has been issued, the change of Saudi ambassadors confirms that the house of Saud is encouraging the Americans to take a tougher attitude towards Iran. To be sure, Turki and Bandar are in a race to the top, but when it comes to Iran, they only disagree on style, not substance.

Far from “retiring” General Abizaid, the US president may have actually listened to this wise man’s who was “trying to tell the Senators that more important than bringing in additional 20,000 Marines and soldiers, was to train an additional 50,000 Iraqi troops”.

Iran already got a muscled message in Iraq, with a raid on its consulate and the detention of five of its “diplomats”. When you know how Iranian diplomats are selected, and what their motivation is, you understand…

And a few explosions followed… little reported, but significant enough to remind them that “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander”. Many still recall the days of the “Arabstan” movement.

Talabani had already cautioned that;

If Iran allows itself to interfere in Karbala because it is a Shiite city and Turkey allows itself to interfere in Karkuk, then this opens a very dangerous door. Iraq will also have the right to interfere in Khozestan and say there are Arabs in Arabstan, and to interfere in Iskandarun because there are Arabs in it.”

Should the United States really choose to confront it, Iran does not have the means to sustain their “Great Game”. One wonders what their logical motivation can be, especially that it has not endeared itself to its Arab neighbours. The Mullahs need to realise that if Iraq is the battlefield, Iran is the target...

On the long run, the Persians will end up “all hat, no cattle”.

Lebanon and Syria

Is it a declaration of intentions? The Israelis are making more noises about Al-Qaeda infiltration and Hezbollah rearmament. Since they have prepared the terrain for Round 2, I wonder how they will react when they find out that their two captured soldiers may actually be dead.

In case the Americans really mean business, we’re in for trouble. I do not trust the good intentions of our “new friends”. In spite of its Lebanese allies’ narrowing maneuvering room, Syria is unlikely to learn or adapt to the new environment, and will continue stoking the fires of Iraq and Lebanon, with long lasting consequences

Bashar still looks at Hafez for inspiration... But the looming Sunni-Shiite war is a new parameter.

Let the Race Begin

This is all happening in the background of an early start to the 2008 presidential race in the United Sates. All the positions, counter-positions, political posturing… should be viewed with this in mind.

On one hand, Democrats have a point when they clamour that this is nothing new. But their political blustering and call for talk, redeployment, and a lame international conference, the Democrats have offered nothing new either, and their "solutions" will do little to solve the problem, quite the contrary.

On the other hand, with a lame duck president now obsessed with his legacy, such as it is, there is little they can do but more hearings, or potentially cut the funds. But they will soon realize that many of those 100,000 “contractors” in Iraq are nothing more than a “private” (often rogue) army that “adds” to the 130,000 US soldiers over there.

In any case, all those hearings are really aimed at potential republican successors such as John McCain. Furthermore, while this public squabbling may be music to the ears of Syrians and Irans, they forget that this is the “most Jewish Congress ever”.

One thing is certain; the "New Middle East" is far from peaceful... Those are not "birth pangs", but rather the deaththroes of the old order...

Oy veh!


Amir in Tel Aviv said...

Good as always.!!

This army of "contractors" is amazing indeed.
It reminds me of something I read about the Crusaders, that the Church's motivation in encouraging the crusades was an opportunistic try to get rid of criminals and lawless elements in European society, by sending them to Holiland.
Ahaaa, and forgot the documents of 'Indulgence' provided by the church to whom was willing to leave.
'Constructors': Demand your Indulgences in advance.!!

fubar said...


Sound! Just about blew out my ear drums. LOL

Jeha said...


Sorry about that, I thought some music to create some "irony"; we should be able to poke fun at politics...

I liked the idea from AM's website, but I am still figuring out how to control plugins like that. I guess I should better figure out the volume controls before I consider linking to something like "Blood Upon the Risers" or "Highway to Hell"

Jeha said...


I think MJT is researching this "Army of contractors" thing, and he may come up with better/more solid information that I did in my previous post on "The True Numbers Game".

fubar said...

What do you want to know about the contractors? They are everything from electicians to engineers to personal security guards. Why do they go? They are very well paid (over $100,000), all of their expenses are paid, and the first $86,000 they make every year is tax free. That's a mighty nice incentive.

BTW, it did not help that my volume was way up. I just wasn't expecting it, Jeha. I won't make that mistake again. = )

Jeha said...


I meant our own, homegrown contractors; we copied the American concept, and we did one better.

Those are the new recruits for the "Interior Ministry", but they look more like a stealth army on steroids; They are apparently funded by the
Emirates, trained by the US, and hired on a 5 year contract. This would essentially place them "off the books", and the government would not have to stick to the "sectarian balance" in hiring them; as a result, most of them are northern Sunni.

Incidentally, most of them are recruited from Ahmad Fatfat's region.

fubar said...

Oh, those contractors. They don't exist. You do not see them. That is all just rumor. Now, move along...

Jeha said...

Yea massa.

What were we talking about anything? We were talking? I forgot.