Professor Smartass

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

BUSH VICTORY: final form of OIL law forced on Iraqis

Rather than directly forcing production sharing agreements on Iraqis which would give the bulk of the oil profits to oil corporations, they put oil company executives on the council that approves oil contracts.

That sounds a lot like how the Bush administration runs regulatory agencies here like when he considered Ken Lay for energy secretary and let him pick the director of the FERC, which then did nothing to stop Lay and other energy traders from bilking California out of about $10 billion.

Iraqis may notice this screwing a bit more than Americans noticed our version.

Apparently, the War on Terror means pissing people off enough that we never have a shortage of potential terrorists.

What Iraqi oil workers think of the deal

More Iraqi reaction


KEY EXCERPTS:





Big Oil in, stability out under new Iraqi law

By Antonia Juhasz and Raed Jarrar

RESPECT FOR DEMOCRACY:

A leaked copy of the proposed hydrocarbon law appeared on the Internet at the same time that it was introduced to the Iraqi Council of Ministers (cabinet). The law is expected to go to the Iraqi Council of Representatives within weeks. Yet the Internet version was the first look that most members of Iraq's Parliament had of the new law.

BIG (OIL) BROTHER'S VETO:

The exploration and production contracts give firms exclusive control of fields for up to 35 years, including contracts that guarantee profits for 25 years. A foreign company, if hired, is not required to partner with an Iraqi company or reinvest any of its money in the Iraqi economy. It's not obligated to hire Iraqi workers, train Iraqi workers or transfer technology.

The current law remains silent on the type of contracts that the Iraqi government can use. The law establishes a new Iraqi Federal Oil and Gas Council with ultimate decision-making authority over the types of contracts that will be employed. This council will include, among others, "executive managers from important related petroleum companies". Thus it is possible that foreign oil-company executives could sit on the council. It would be unprecedented for a sovereign country to have, for instance, an executive of ExxonMobil on the board of its key oil-and-gas decision-making body.

The law also does not appear to restrict foreign corporate executives from making decisions on their own contracts. Nor does there appear to be a "quorum" requirement. Thus if only five members of the Federal Oil and Gas Council met - one from ExxonMobil, Shell, ChevronTexaco and two Iraqis - the foreign company representatives would apparently be permitted to approve contacts for themselves.

Under the proposed law, the council has the ultimate power and authority to approve and rewrite any contract using whichever model it prefers if a "two-thirds majority of the members in attendance" agree. Early drafts of the bill, and the proposed model by the US, advocate very unfair, and unconventional for Iraq, models such as production sharing agreements (PSAs), which would set long-term contracts with unfair conditions that may lead to the loss of hundreds of billions of dollars of the Iraqi oil money as profits to foreign companies.

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/IB28Ak02.html


OIL MOTIVE for Iraq War resources

http://professorsmartass.blogspot.com/2006/09/iraq-oil-war-resources.html


public relations

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:: posted by Professor Smartass, 11:16 AM | link | (1) comments |

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Al Qaeda back on Bush buddy list for Iran War

After a brief stint on the outs, from the mid-90s to 9/11, Sunni jihadis aka Al Qaeda, has become useful again, just as they and the Afghan Taliban were when we wanted to chase the Soviets out of Afghanistan.

The story comes from Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Sy Hersh, who broke the My Lai story, and has been ahead of the curve and accurate on Bush's war plans for Iran.

THE REDIRECTION
by SEYMOUR M. HERSH
Is the Administration’s new policy benefitting our enemies in the war on terrorism?
Issue of 2007-03-05
Posted 2007-02-25


EXCERPTS:

Saudi Al Qaeda history


Nasr compared the current situation to the period in which Al Qaeda first emerged. In the nineteen-eighties and the early nineties, the Saudi government offered to subsidize the covert American C.I.A. proxy war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. Hundreds of young Saudis were sent into the border areas of Pakistan, where they set up religious schools, training bases, and recruiting facilities. Then, as now, many of the operatives who were paid with Saudi money were Salafis. Among them, of course, were Osama bin Laden and his associates, who founded Al Qaeda, in 1988.

***
Saudia Al Qaeda future

To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.

One contradictory aspect of the new strategy is that, in Iraq, most of the insurgent violence directed at the American military has come from Sunni forces, and not from Shiites. But, from the Administration’s perspective, the most profound—and unintended—strategic consequence of the Iraq war is the empowerment of Iran. Its President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has made defiant pronouncements about the destruction of Israel and his country’s right to pursue its nuclear program, and last week its supreme religious leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said on state television that “realities in the region show that the arrogant front, headed by the U.S. and its allies, will be the principal loser in the region.”
FULL TEXT:

http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/articles/070305fa...

He also mentions Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia as our liaison to these forces.

Bandar has admitted Saudi support for Al Qaeda and setting up a car bombing for us during our brief military presence in Lebanon in the 80s.
Saudi money to Al Qaeda:
(towards the end, he claims it is to make them go away)
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/saudi/etc...
Hersh on Saudi money:
http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/articles/011022fa...
help with a car bomb:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/target/in...

The Joint Congressional Inquiry into 9/11 found that Saudi intelligence had direct links to at least two of the 9/11 hijackers. I have to wonder if these guys were ever on the outs with us, or simply serving as skins instead of shirts for one game before shifting back.
http://professorsmartass.blogspot.com/2007/02/probe-thi...

This is part of a growing list of undisputed things in the public record that show that our military action in the Middle East has nothing to do with a "War on Terror." Here's a couple of others:
  1. Teaching democracy by ignoring public opinion. Every poll taken of Iraqis has shown that they want our troops to leave. This is rarely mentioned in our TV news though it was covered in USA Today and the Washington Post, and some of the polls were done by the Bush appointed Coalition Provisional Authority and the British Ministry of Defense.
    http://whatiraqiswant.blogspot.com

    The war in Iraq has also harmed not helped our reputation in the Arab & Muslim world, where they impolitely notice we support dictators when it suits us like the presidents of Pakistan, Egypt, and one of the least democratic and most oppressive countries on earth, Saudi Arabia.
    http://professorsmartass.blogspot.com/2006/06/world-opi...
    http://professorsmartass.blogspot.com/2005/10/pew-polls...

    Some might also notice our friendship with the dictator in Uzbekistan who boils his political opponents alive.

    Unlike Americans, Arabs have no idealistic illusions about spreading democracy or fighting terrorism as motives for our war in Iraq. They figure it is about oil. The Bushies are doing nothing to disabuse them of that idea.

  2. Forcing unfair oil deals on Iraq that they wouldn't accept without a gun to their head. The oil deals and Hydrocarbon Law the oil companies and Bushies are forcing on the Iraqis give the bulk of the profits to our oil companies (who don't have a good track record of sharing with us, do they?). Other oil rich countries with easily accessible oil like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, or Iran would never accept deals like this absent a military occupation.

    If we were concerned about reducing terrorism, wouldn't we want oil deals in Iraq that couldn't even be suspected of being exploitive?

    The chances of that may have been dashed as soon as Bush cancelled Saddam's oil contracts with Russia, France, and others, gave them to American corporations, then signed an executive order saying those companies couldn't be sued by anyone anywhere over pumping Iraq's oil.
iran

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:: posted by Professor Smartass, 3:48 PM | link | (2) comments |

top generals will resign if Bush starts an Iran War

Even though anti-war sentiments put Democrats in the majority of both houses of Congress, we are still seeing a greater dedication to sanity and even our democracy in the Pentagon.

This is almost the exact opposite of the early 60s when the Pentagon gave Kennedy advice that would have led to a nuclear war if followed and the president chose sanity, peace, and patience instead. The soviet union eventually imploded on its own. The Islamic revolution in Iran was on its way to doing the same since the novelty of a religious state has worn thin with older folks, and kids born since the revolution had no use for it in the first place.

But when Bush put our troops two of Iran's borders, it had a similar effect that 9/11 had on us. We ignored the flaws of our cruel, retarded, supposedly religious, profoundly greedy and corrupt and united around him for a time. Iran has done the same (in fairness, I don't know if their president and mullahs are retarded or greedy).


KEY EXCERPTS:

The Sunday Times
February 25, 2007
US generals ‘will quit’ if Bush orders Iran attack
Michael Smith and Sarah Baxter, Washington

“There are four or five generals and admirals we know of who would resign if Bush ordered an attack on Iran,” a source with close ties to British intelligence said. “There is simply no stomach for it in the Pentagon, and a lot of people question whether such an attack would be effective or even possible.”

A British defence source confirmed that there were deep misgivings inside the Pentagon about a military strike. “All the generals are perfectly clear that they don’t have the military capacity to take Iran on in any meaningful fashion. Nobody wants to do it and it would be a matter of conscience for them.

“There are enough people who feel this would be an error of judgment too far for there to be resignations.”

A generals’ revolt on such a scale would be unprecedented. “American generals usually stay and fight until they get fired,” said a Pentagon source. Robert Gates, the defence secretary, has repeatedly warned against striking Iran and is believed to represent the view of his senior commanders.
FULL TEXT:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/iraq/article1434540.ece


iran

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:: posted by Professor Smartass, 11:09 AM | link | (0) comments |

Saturday, February 24, 2007

GRAPHS & VIDEOS: Who exactly is a nuclear threat to us?

With the Bushies trotting out the same nuclear boogey man stories to sell the Iran War that they used in Iraq. The essence of the claim is that if some country gets a couple of dozens nukes or even one, they can blackmail us or even hold the whole world hostage.

We seem to be suffering from collective amnesia of some basic math about nuclear weapons most people, including our enemies, knew during the Cold War.

Here's a quick refresher:


These are the nuclear arsenals of most of the countries in the world.

Damn! They could do us some damage couldn't they?


nuclear arsenal graph


But it looks a little different when you add us and Russia into the picture:


nuclear arsenal with us & russia


And if you throw in the extra nukes we and the Russians have in mothballs:


nuclear arsenals with storage

If some country nuked us or gave nukes to a terrorist who nuked us, we have enough nukes to burn that country off the map, and not even miss the warheads we used.

Here's a couple of 60 second videos that put it another way:

b-52

trident

It’s worth noting that Israel has some nuclear missile submarines too, so if any of their neighbors nuke them, no matter how successfully, Israel could give them a very bad day.

Every world leader knows that not only do we have enough nukes to destroy the whole world several times over, we are the only country who has ever used them. They know that it would be suicidal to nuke us or give a nuke to terrorists to nuke us. That's why the Soviets never attacked us even when they had roughly as many or slightly more nukes than us.

Someone will say the threat of even one nuke going off here is too great. However, the leaders of countries are like chess players. They got into power by being able to accurately predict how their opponents would react to their actions. That's why there are few any examples in history of numerically, technologically, and economically inferior countries launching attacks on a superior country's home turf.

A nuclear attack on us even if successful in itself, would have zero chance of having positive political or economic results for the country that launched it.

You probably already knew this, but you can send it to your righty friends as Rush, O'Reilly, Hannity, Savage, and the other snake oil salesmen get their knickers in a knot about the threat from Iran.

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:: posted by Professor Smartass, 12:36 PM | link | (1) comments |

Friday, February 23, 2007

MOTIVATIONAL POSTER: Bush says "What's worse, if gov't knew or didn't?"

I was glad to see that President Bush finally understands how most of us feel about his performance on 9/11.




Actually, he was talking about the Iranian government's knowledge of weapons from Iran filtering into Iraq, but like a lot of things Bush says, it fits his own actions better than whoever he is trying to make us afraid of at the moment.

public relations

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:: posted by Professor Smartass, 12:56 PM | link | (0) comments |

Sunday, February 18, 2007

TV show depicted plane crashed into WTC six months before 9/11

Bush, Condi, and various other flunkies of the administration said they had no idea planes would be used as weapons. Even if they didn't notice the various military exercises on the scenario, you'd think a couch potato like Bush might have seen this pilot for THE LONE GUNMAN six months before 9/11 on Fox.

Here's a screenshot of the World Trade Center from the cockpit of the airliner:

CLICK TO SEE VIDEO:



Or maybe they saw it but had a good reason not to mention it that was also given in the show:

The Cold War's over, John. But with no clear enemy to stockpile against, the arms market's flat. But bring down a fully loaded 727 into the middle of New York City and you'll find a dozen tin-pot dictators all over the world just clamoring to take responsibility, and begging to be smart-bombed.
There was a similar line in WAG THE DOG, when presidential PR fixer Robert De Niro is caught by the CIA faking a nuclear terrorist threat and war in Albania, he talks his way out of trouble by saying there is no war but his war, and without his war the weapons contractors, Pentagon, and CIA would be out of jobs. So they let him go on his way.

MORE ON THE LONE GUNMAN PILOT

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:: posted by Professor Smartass, 12:22 PM | link | (2) comments |

Saturday, February 10, 2007

ZOGBY POLL: 73% say Iraq's oil a factor in the war

A couple of observations on this:
The Democrats victory last November will be meaningless if they don't bring the real issues out of the smoke-filled room and into the public debate, and instead just give us a nicer puppet show than the GOP one.

By not talking about this in public, they are tacitly approving of the agenda of invading another country, killing 600,000 of their people, 3,000 of our troops, and spending half a trillion of our tax dollars, to increase the profits of a handful of private corporations.

When Democrats start talking about the Cheney Energy Task Force and connect the dots between the oil industry, the neocons, and who exactly is profiting from this war, the American people will demand that it end NOW.

KEY EXCERPTS:

Analysis: Americans say Iraq war over oil

Ben Lando
UPI
January 29, 2007

WASHINGTON -- Most Americans think President George W. Bush invaded Iraq at least partly because of its oil. More than half rate him as "poor" in handling the subsequent war, and nearly all say that this has affected the price of gas at the pump.

The UPI/Zogby International interactive poll of 6,909 US adults January 16 to 18 found 32.7 percent considered Iraq's oil supply a "major factor" and 23.7 percent "not a factor" in the decision to invade the country. Another 40.7 percent were split somewhere in between, while 2.9 percent were "not sure."

The poll, released January 23, had a margin of error of 1.2 percent and comes as Iraq's draft oil law - still mired in factional fighting - has become a main focus of the Bush administration.

http://www.metimes.com/storyview.php?StoryID=20070129-0...

Credit to Hands off Iraqi oil for finding this story.

OIL MOTIVE for Iraq War resources
http://professorsmartass.blogspot.com/2006/09/iraq-oil-war-resources.html


public relations

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:: posted by Professor Smartass, 1:41 PM | link | (0) comments |

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Once upon a time, an ideological enemy we had no diplomatic relations with, tested a nuke...

At the time, we were in a war with that country's neighbor, concerned that more people might be enslaved the ideology we didn't like.

They went on to develop a nuclear arsenal that is today relatively modest by US & Russian standards, but nonetheless far more than Iran or North Korea are likely to have any time soon.

Our president, who hated the very bad ideology, did a very odd thing. He went and made friends with them even though we were still fighting in the neighboring country.

Those who wanted us to be very afraid of the very bad ideology were sure that the country with the nukes would attack us or at least infect us with the very bad ideology.

Today, we don't worry about that country nuking or even attacking us in the near future because we owe them too much money and we buy too much of the stuff they make since they seem to have become infected with our ideology even though we haven't been infected with theirs at all.

Likewise, the neighboring country we fought in so long to convince them not to adopt the very bad ideology tried it for a while and decided they'd rather be like us.

We don't get to pick those countries leaders or have troops there, but for some reason they like us anyway.

With the other bad idea, there were countries we made friends with, countries we were a little friendly with, and one or two we shunned.

The ones we became friends with changed quickly, the ones we were a little friendly with changed a little less quickly, and the ones we shunned didn't seem to change at all.

Now some of the same people who said to be afraid of the very bad ideology want us to be afraid of a different very bad ideology and say we must fight a very long war to convince them the ideology is a very bad idea and that one of those countries may get a nuclear bomb.

Which method is likely to get the quickest results? Kill a lot of people or make friends?

Sometimes in history, making friends doesn't work so well. Hitler and Stalin probably would have taken other people's land and killed a lot of people no matter what. But those countries were roughly our equals. Today, maybe two countries in the world are our peers, and the rest are fleas on our ass militarily. They might be difficult for us to invade and occupy, but they would have absolutely no chance of invading and occupying us.

Therefore, there is little danger in making friends (except to the people who wanted to steal stuff while we were fighting and invading).

Our elected leaders like to make up very simple stories that are easy for us to understand. Why don't they tell this one more often? Maybe because it has a happy ending for us--but not for the people who matter.




public relations

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:: posted by Professor Smartass, 12:08 PM | link | (1) comments |

Sunday, February 04, 2007

PROBE THIS: Sen Bob Graham said two 9/11 hijackers had direct ties to Saudi intelligence

And this was in the 27 classified pages of the Joint Congressional Inquiry into 9/11.

This is actually extremely urgent now, considering how badly the Bushies want their war with Iran, Cheney's recent trip to see the Saudis, and America's vulnerability to being hoodwinked by convenient boogeymen again.


KEY EXCERPTS:



9/11 hijackers tied to Saudi government, Graham says in book

By Frank Davies, Knight Ridder | September 5, 2004

WASHINGTON -- Two of the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers had a support network in the United States that included agents of the Saudi government, and the Bush administration and FBI blocked a congressional investigation into that relationship, Senator Bob Graham wrote in a book to be released Tuesday.

The discovery of the financial backing of the two hijackers "would draw a direct line between the terrorists and the government of Saudi Arabia, and trigger an attempted coverup by the Bush administration," the Florida Democrat wrote.

And in Graham's book, "Intelligence Matters," obtained by The Miami Herald yesterday, he makes clear that some details of that financial support from Saudi Arabia were in the 27 pages of the congressional inquiry's final report that were blocked from release by the administration, despite the pleas of leaders of both parties on the House and Senate intelligence committees.

***


He oversaw the Sept. 11 investigation on Capitol Hill with Representative Porter Goss. According to Graham, the FBI and the White House blocked efforts to investigate the extent of official Saudi connections to two hijackers.



http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2004/09/05/9...


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:: posted by Professor Smartass, 7:04 PM | link | (1) comments |

AP POLL: Bush worse villain than Osama, Saddam, & Satan

Now can the Democrats and media please start treating this guy with the respect he deserves (none)?




Youtube discussion on poll




poll

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:: posted by Professor Smartass, 12:18 PM | link | (0) comments |

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Ask Dems: We gave big oil Iraq, what did we get back?

I addressed this to Sam Husseini, because he has gotten in the face of top Democrats and Republicans and asked them about things like what they think of letting Big Oil write the law that gives them most of the profits from Iraq's oil.

You can see the video's here:
http://professorsmartass.blogspot.com/2007/01/sen-reid-...


Sam,

Your videos asking Democrats about Iraq's oil is the best "speaking truth to power" journalism I've seen. Even some very progressive radio people who will talk about the oil issue don't bring it up with Democrats unless they mention it first.

Since Democrats refuse to answer your question on screwing Iraqis out of their oil money, maybe you need to turn it around to an issue they will feel more uncomfortable avoiding:

How does canceling Iraq's oil contracts with foreign companies and giving them to American ones benefit the average American?
Was that worth the upwards of half a trillion dollars the war will cost, and the Iraqi and American lives?


If they give you anything like an adult answer it will be something like "strategic access to oil"

The follow up then is why would a country with one product not want to sell it to the consumer who uses 25% of it? Why don't we see China invading other countries to get strategic access, but using contracts and negotiations instead?

As always, these would be good questions for Republicans too, but the chances of getting an honest answer are even slimmer.





The answer to "what did Americans get" is of course demands from big oil for more tax cuts and subsidies, higher prices at the pump, and clearly their boy Bush is still angling to take on another top oil producing country, Iran. Any chance he wants to force terms on them favorable to our oil companies?


public relations

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