Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Iraq Policy Changes

Hi Everyone,

In this morning's post I mentioned that the Bush administration was transferring funds out of Iraq. That was incorrect. Apparently they are transferring funds WITHIN Iraq. The BBC reports that the Bush administration is preparing to shift $3.5 Billion away from reconstruction and infrastructure development and towards "security," "job creation" and increasing oil production. So the Iraqis will have to make do with a antiquated and damaged electricity grid, widespread absence of safe water, under funded hospitals (big problem with over 10,000 civilian casualties per year) and damaged roads and bridges, but at least the oil will be flowing.

I might be inclined to say this is an excuse to hand over money to Halliburton but Halliburton has the contracts either way so really this is just an accounting issue to them.

BBC's analyst says this represents a major admission on the part of the Bush administration that security is a problem. However, this misses a major point here. If they are transferring the funding just now, do they really intend to ratchet up security activities right away? Or, as many are now speculating, are they waiting until after the November 2nd election to rejoin the battle for the Suni Triangle? There is widespread speculation that the Bush administration has ordered the Army and Marines to surrender large areas of Iraq to the insurgents to keep casualties down until after the election. Iraqi police and civilian casualties are not being kept down.

Comments? Discussion?


US West said...

You suggest that the Administration might be planning a big assault for after the elections. OK 4 things come to mind right away:

1. What a huge political risk. The news shows are all on about how we are "failing" in Iraq. That is exactly what the "war" president needs to have all over TV screens and radio dials in the run up to an election. But then again, it could be a short-lived story, replaced by the destruction of Ivan. So no one will remember it come election day

2. If they are planning a big push after the election, they must be pretty confident that they will win on Nov 2. Now I know what we think of conspiracy theorists, but you've got ask yourself the question. What exactly are they planning this year in Florida (provided Ivan leaves Florida intact)? What makes them so arrogant (Kerry's meandering campaign aside.)

3. If Bush looses, what kind of a mess is he leaving for the next guy to clean up and when the next guy can't, will Neo-cons use that for political fodder later? Or is this, yet again, proof of a total lack of foresight on the part of an Administration that has been acting on Impuls from the very start?

4. You can't improve oil production unless you rebuild the oil infrastructure and all the transport links to get it to market, all of which are under constant attack. Thus, you need increased security to protect your work from being destroyed. And how can you logically end reconstruction projects and still create jobs for Iraqis, assuming that is the goal (vs. creating more jobs for US firms). Or maybe we just want everyone to go work in oil and security. Even then, you had better think that if you let insurgents run ¾ of the country, getting the oil out to the market will be a little hard.

Raised By Republicans said...

I think the speculation is that the Bush administration is restricting military actions in Iraq until after the election. Its not that they whant to take credit for the victory after the election. Its that they want to avoid two months of 70 or 80 US military casualties a month going into the election.

The news are not making much out of the increasing casualties among Iraqi civilians and police so this appears to be working.

That scandal would be that Bush et al are interferring with military action in Iraq for political reasons and to the detriment of the overall strategic situation there.

The problem (for Bush opponents) is that things the depend on knowing the intent of the President are nearly impossible to prove. About the only thing that could blow this open would be if the US commander in Iraq made some sort of accusation.