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Old 12-26-2011, 01:21 PM   #46
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I think that the Chinese, the Russian, and the Indian intelligence agencies have a far better grasp of what is going on in the Middle East than the CIA.
I also think they can probably better pinpoint where half these places in the Middle East are.

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And interestingly, all three express severe scepticism towards the role of firm US ally Saudi Arabia, and strong apprehension regarding the damage being done by Saudi money.
Uh-huh. As well they should be.

But hey, so long as we get their oil, what the hell do we care what they do to anyone?

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I used to think Bush/Cheney were downright evil, I now think I was misguided and simplistic in that analysis. They were just in the tradition of the long line of US administrations with wrongheaded policies towards the Middle East. I would categorize the foreign policies of every US President, with respect to the region, at least going back as far as Hoover as juvenile, unintelligent, badly designed, flawed and plain clueless. It has been a continual and terrible disaster.
I'd fully agree with this. We have a total lack of understanding about the culture, the history, the religious attitudes, hell, the freakin' landscape. They're just people with a crazy religion who dress weird and who wander in the desert to most outsiders' eyes, and heaven forbid we try and delve a little deeper into an area that, yes, has a hell of a lot of problems, but which also has a fascinating, rich history that unfortunately gets exploited or destroyed or whatever through stupid battles that solve absolutely nothing.

Bush, Jr., I never thought he was evil. Just horribly ignorant in areas a president shouldn't be ignorant in. Cheney, on the other hand...he's always creeped me out.

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Ron Paul actually has more of a clue about what is going on, and why US Foreign Policy is so flawed.

The problem is his domestic policy makes him unelectable.
Yeah. So close, and yet so far. Sigh.

As for that 11 year old, sad comments from him, yes, but he's still young. He could very well change his outlook the older he gets. It's quite possible.
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Old 12-30-2011, 10:36 PM   #47
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I've said this before I think,

Iraq should have been divided into three regions to accomodate
the three distinctive religious beliefs.
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Old 12-30-2011, 11:12 PM   #48
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I've said this before I think,

Iraq should have been divided into three regions to accomodate
the three distinctive religious beliefs.
How libertarian of you...
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Old 12-30-2011, 11:14 PM   #49
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How libertarian of you...
Play the ball.
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:38 PM   #50
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How libertarian of you...

It's true.

Iraq should have been divided into three regions to accomodate
the three distinctive religious beliefs.

What we have seen the past few weeks will continue.

It's really sad. So many people being killed.

President Bush made a huge mistake in thinking
that the three religious groups would come together in
democracy.

He failed to see the driving importance of their religious beliefs in their personal,
secular, religious, and political lives. Harmony ain't going to happen.

The country, I think, will soon explode into a civil war.
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:40 PM   #51
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The problems with borders in the Middle East are certainly not limited to Iraq, it should be noted.
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:42 PM   #52
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You really think a true libertarian thought it was right to go into Iraq? What libertarians have you been hanging out with?
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Old 01-06-2012, 01:05 AM   #53
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The US government invaded Iraq to take over the oil reserves with the excuse of the potential existence of WMD's in Iraq. It was a tactic used by the Bush family to keep up the revenue of oil so that their oil businesses wouldn't fail. Yet, there's a lot of people that don't buy into that argument and don't take those facts as facts.

Why didn't the US invade UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, or any other developed oil-rich nation in the Middle East? Iraq was the answer because it seemed as an attractive oil-rich country, but yet poor along with a lot of political, civil, and economic instability.

At the end of the day, the main motivator for any government action is money; not safety, defense, or social responsibility, like large portion of conservatives think.
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Old 01-06-2012, 04:21 AM   #54
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So what % of the Iraqi oil fields are now owned by the US (or US oil companies)?
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Old 01-07-2012, 09:30 PM   #55
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I know, just a chart with numbers,
but a number does represent a life.


U.S. Casualties in Iraq
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Old 01-07-2012, 09:32 PM   #56
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I know, just a chart with numbers,
but a number does represent a life.


U.S. Casualties in Iraq
and all dead in the name of spite. it's a good feeling, right team?
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Old 01-08-2012, 10:43 AM   #57
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Kurdish is not an own religion, it's an own ethnic. They used to have their own religion, but only a few identify as that these days. 90 percent are Muslims, the majority of which Sunni and the minority Shia. However, they generally identify as "Kurdish Muslim". They make the largest group of the people in the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan. There are also Turkmen, Assyrians, Chaldeans and Arabs.
The tensions between the groups are not as clear-cut and not just religious, just as the tensions in Ireland have not just been between Catholics and Protestants for example.
The Kurdish have a long-held contempt for Arabs, not for Sunni or Shia Muslims. Saddam was a Sunni, so he did a lot for the Shiia to hold a grudge against the Sunni. All are fighting for power. That's the main motivator, and religion is just once again useful to rile up the masses.
To divide Iraq into the three parts wouldn't be helping any. Turkey has good relations with the Kurdish Regional Government and growing eonomic ties. At the same time they are regularly flying into Kurdish air and drop bombs on PKK fighters, or sometimes civilians. They've also moved in with ground forces last year. They want a strong autonomous region which is still part of Iraq. What they do not want is an autonomous Kurdistan, as they fear this would be further fuel for the PKK.
The majority of Iraqis are Shia, also occupying most of the country. The Sunnis are mostly present around Baghdad and Tikrit, where Saddam was born and later found hiding in the hole. The Shia Muslims occupy most of the South. The largest oil fields are to be found in Kurdistan and just south of the border as well as in the South. The Sunnis would lose out big time. This map also shows how the religions/ethnicities are spread: Map - Iraq's People And Politics | Beyond Baghdad | FRONTLINE | PBS
As you can see, both the Sunni and the Kurds are landlocked. Only the Shia have access to the gulf. It is also feared that, if Iran does not fall it would swallow any independent Sunni Iraq very quickly.
Apart from that, if you divided the country into three areas you would create a whole other set of tensions. Just look at other countries where this happened, like India and Pakistan, to get an idea. Or to stay within Iraq, look at the cities of Kirkuk and Mosul. Both are among the most dangerous cities in all of Iraq, with bomb explosions and targeted assassinations on a daily basis. The reason is simply, due to Saddam's policy of settling Arabs and expelling Kurds from these cities, about 25 percent of their population are now Arabs. But since Saddam is gone, many Kurds return to their hometowns and claim back what once was theirs. To make matters worse, Kirkuk and Mosul are located in the middle of huge oil fields. Everyone wants these fields. The Iraqi constitution says a referendum should take place where the citizens decide whether they want to be part of Iraq proper, or of the Kurdish autonomous region. A census should be held to determine the exact make-up of the cities, but as you can imagine the powers that be are doing everything to prevent such.
There's much reason to be concerned about a new civil war unfolding, but there's very little reason to believe that the situation would be any better if the country got divided. They wouldn't last economically, either.

The first major contract for oil field exploration in the Kurdish Region was signed with ExxonMobil in March of last year. Other major deals for Iraqi oil fields have already been made with European and Asian extractors. I'd say the US economy has hardly profited from the intervention. There's no guarantee that US firms will have any advantage in being awarded drilling contracts, most cars are either European or Asian, most trucks are European, and consumer goods are generally from Asia. Then there's also substantial trade with Arab countries etc.
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Old 01-08-2012, 10:58 AM   #58
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My understanding (can't find stats on the run at the moment) was that less than 10% of oil fields went to US companies, rest Euro, Russia, Asia (maj. China). And it wasn't that they missed out or lost bids, but that US companies bid on very few fields.
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Old 01-08-2012, 12:25 PM   #59
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I haven't followed that, so I can't say where the oil fields went and how. My only hope is that the contracts are not too disadvantageous for the country, as to prevent another victim of "Dutch disease".
The US spent about USD800 billion since they invaded the country. That's roughly a quarter of the present value of Iraq's oil.
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Old 01-08-2012, 01:24 PM   #60
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Cost of Iraq?

You mean the profit of Iraq. American companies made huge profits off Iraq. It was good for business.
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