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Letters to the Editor

Poor reasoning

September 24, 2009

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To the editor:

With all the forms of modern media, one could suppose that the American people are becoming better informed about world affairs. This assumption is sorely tested in the recent letter by Mr. O’Connell (“Betraying Allies,” Journal-World, Sept. 22). Mr. O’Connell might want to consider that the proposed anti-ballistic missile (ABM) system for Eastern Europe was designed to defend against an Iranian missile threat, not Russian. If they were so inclined, Kremlin leaders could wipe Poland and the U.S. off the map in about 30 minutes. Believe it or not, sometimes political leaders have to compromise to protect their people.

Historical analogies are often misleading. There were all sorts of reasons that led Hitler to attack Poland, to include earlier concessions by western leaders. It is wrong to suggest, however, that by canceling this expensive and specious ABM system to counteract an Iranian missile threat, the Obama administration condones today’s thuggish behavior in Moscow. For all their negative qualities, Russian leaders are not willing to risk nuclear Armageddon for their cause, and like the wartime alliance with the USSR in WW II, today the U.S. might have to work with the Russians to defeat a greater threat.

Finally, to make a hackneyed connection between the decision to cancel this weapon system and encouraging Israel to go to war (presumably against Iran) borders on the apocalyptically absurd. Besides the Palestinian issue, the fact that Israel possesses a robust nuclear arsenal confounds many in the Middle East.

Comments

Richard Heckler 5 years, 2 months ago

Israel the sixth largest nuke power in the world. And USA taxpayers provide aid of $3,000,000,000 to this reckless and blood thirsty government. I say it is an arm of the USA imperial side of our government.

Israel seeks pipeline for Iraqi oil

US discusses plan to pump fuel to its regional ally and solve energy headache at a stroke

* Ed Vuillamy in Washington
* The Observer, Sunday 20 April 2003 04.09 BST
* Article history

Plans to build a pipeline to siphon oil from newly conquered Iraq to Israel are being discussed between Washington, Tel Aviv and potential future government figures in Baghdad.

The plan envisages the reconstruction of an old pipeline, inactive since the end of the British mandate in Palestine in 1948, when the flow from Iraq's northern oilfields to Palestine was re-directed to Syria.

Now, its resurrection would transform economic power in the region, bringing revenue to the new US-dominated Iraq, cutting out Syria and solving Israel's energy crisis at a stroke.

It would also create an end less and easily accessible source of cheap Iraqi oil for the US guaranteed by reliable allies other than Saudi Arabia - a keystone of US foreign policy for decades and especially since 11 September 2001.

Until 1948, the pipeline ran from the Kurdish-controlled city of Mosul to the Israeli port of Haifa, on its northern Mediterranean coast.

The revival of the pipeline was first discussed openly by the Israeli Minister for National Infrastructures, Joseph Paritzky, according to the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz .

The paper quotes Paritzky as saying that the pipeline would cut Israel's energy bill drastically - probably by more than 25 per cent - since the country is currently largely dependent on expensive imports from Russia.

US intelligence sources confirmed to The Observer that the project has been discussed. One former senior CIA official said: 'It has long been a dream of a powerful section of the people now driving this administration [of President George W. Bush] and the war in Iraq to safeguard Israel's energy supply as well as that of the United States.

'The Haifa pipeline was something that existed, was resurrected as a dream and is now a viable project - albeit with a lot of building to do.'

The editor-in-chief of the Middle East Economic Review , Walid Khadduri, says in the current issue of Jane's Foreign Report that 'there's not a metre of it left, at least in Arab territory'.

To resurrect the pipeline would need the backing of whatever government the US is to put in place in Iraq, and has been discussed - according to Western diplomatic sources - with the US-sponsored Iraqi National Congress and its leader Ahmed Chalabi, the former banker favoured by the Pentagon for a powerful role in the war's aftermath.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 2 months ago

Con't:

Sources at the State Department said that concluding a peace treaty with Israel is to be 'top of the agenda' for a new Iraqi government, and Chalabi is known to have discussed Iraq's recognition of the state of Israel.

The pipeline would also require permission from Jordan. Paritzky's Ministry is believed to have approached officials in Amman on 9 April this year. Sources told Ha'aretz that the talks left Israel 'optimistic'.

James Akins, a former US ambassador to the region and one of America's leading Arabists, said: 'There would be a fee for transit rights through Jordan, just as there would be fees for Israel from those using what would be the Haifa terminal.

'After all, this is a new world order now. This is what things look like particularly if we wipe out Syria. It just goes to show that it is all about oil, for the United States and its ally.'

Akins was ambassador to Saudi Arabia before he was fired after a series of conflicts with then Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, father of the vision to pipe oil west from Iraq. In 1975, Kissinger signed what forms the basis for the Haifa project: a Memorandum of Understanding whereby the US would guarantee Israel's oil reserves and energy supply in times of crisis.

Kissinger was also master of the American plan in the mid-Eighties - when Saddam Hussein was a key US ally - to run an oil pipeline from Iraq to Aqaba in Jordan, opposite the Israeli port of Eilat.

The plan was promoted by the now Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and the pipeline was to be built by the Bechtel company, which the Bush administration last week awarded a multi-billion dollar contract for the reconstruction of Iraq.

The memorandum has been quietly renewed every five years, with special legislation attached whereby the US stocks a strategic oil reserve for Israel even if it entailed domestic shortages - at a cost of $3 billion (£1.9bn) in 2002 to US taxpayers.

This bill would be slashed by a new pipeline, which would have the added advantage of giving the US reliable access to Gulf oil other than from Saudi Arabia.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 2 months ago

“The Pentagon routinely justifies weapons sales as “promoting regional stability,” but many of these arms end up in the world’s war zones. In 2006 and 2007, the five biggest recipients of U.S. weapons were Pakistan ($3.5 billion), Iraq ($2.2 billion), Israel ($2.2 billion), Afghanistan ($1.9 billion) and Colombia ($580 million) — all countries where conflict rages.

In Pakistan, the fighting ranges from communal violence and state repression, to attacks against India, to deadly battles between Pakistani military and al Qaeda forces in the northwest provinces. Israel has used U.S.-supplied weapons in the West Bank and Gaza, as well as in the 2006 invasion of Lebanon. Colombia uses U.S. weaponry to fight the drug war. Of the 27 major conflicts during 2006 and 2007, 19 of them involved U.S-supplied weapons.

While full data is not yet available for 2008, the United States continues to flood warzones with more destabilizing weapons. In 2008, the Pentagon brokered more than $12.5 billion in possible foreign military sales to Iraq, including guns, ammunition, tanks and attack helicopters. ”

Richard Heckler 5 years, 2 months ago

"Ironically, the Bush family's century of involvement in oil, armaments and global intrigue has never been at the center of the national debate since the Bushes starting running for president in 1980.

The reason? Insufficient public knowledge. The only Bush biography published before George H.W. Bush won election in 1988 was a puff job written by a former press secretary, and the biographies of George W. Bush in 2000 barely mentioned his forefathers. Millions of Republicans who have loyally voted for Bushes in three presidential elections simply have no idea. Here are circumstances and biases especially worth noting.

The Bushes and the military-industrial complex: George H. Walker and Samuel Prescott Bush were the dynasty's founding fathers during the years of and after World War I. Walker, a St. Louis financier, made his mark in corporate reorganizations and war contracts. By 1919, he was enlisted by railroad heir W. Averell Harriman to be president of Wall Street-based WA Harriman, which invested in oil, shipping, aviation and manganese, partly in Russia and Germany, during the 1920s. Sam Bush, the current president's other great-grandfather, ran an Ohio company, Buckeye Steel Castings, that produced armaments. In 1917, he went to Washington to head the small arms, ammunition and ordnance section of the federal War Industries Board. Both men were present at the emergence of what became the U.S. military-industrial complex.

Prescott Bush, the Connecticut senator and grandfather of the current president, had some German corporate ties at the outbreak of World War II, but the better yardstick of his connections was his directorships of companies involved in U.S. war production. Dresser Industries, for example, produced the incendiary bombs dropped on Tokyo and made gaseous diffusion pumps for the atomic bomb project. George H.W. Bush later worked for Dresser's oil-services businesses. Then, as CIA director, vice president and president, one of his priorities was the U.S. weapons trade and secret arms deals with Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the moujahedeen in Afghanistan.

In his 1961 farewell address, President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned about how "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex." That complex's recent mega-leap to power came under George H.W. Bush and even more under George W. Bush — with the post-9/11 expansion of the military and creation of the Department of Homeland Security. But armaments and arms deals seem to have been in the Bushes' blood for nearly a century. "

Jason Bailey 5 years, 2 months ago

Merrill: To quote Keith Olbermann, "Shut the Hell up!"

Seriously, it takes you 4 textboxes worth of comments to get in your expository on the ills of society? I'm surprised there is no mention of the Germanic invasion of Rome in your exegesis of how the world has crumbled under Bush. It certainly was wordy enough to include it.

Flap Doodle 5 years, 2 months ago

The role of George Bush in the death of Pedro the Cruel (d. 1369), King of Castile, has never been fully explored.

feeble 5 years, 2 months ago

agreed with Jason2007. I suggest tumblr or, perhaps, buying into the whole brevity thing, man.

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