Saturday, November 25, 2006

Iraqi Insurgency Is Self-Sustaining (Which Is More Than The U.S. Can Say)

The insurgency in Iraq is now self-sustaining financially, profiting from oil smuggling, kidnapping, counterfeiting, corrupt charities and other crimes that neither the Iraqi government nor the U.S. have been unable to prevent, a classified United States government report has concluded.

The report, completed in June and obtained by the New York Times, estimates that groups responsible for many insurgent and terrorist attacks are raising as much as $200 million a year from illegal activities. It says $25 million to $100 million of that comes from oil smuggling and other criminal activity involving the state-owned oil industry, aided by “corrupt and complicit” Iraqi officials.

“If accurate,” the report says, its estimates indicate that these “sources of terrorist and insurgent finance within Iraq — independent of foreign sources — are currently sufficient to sustain the groups’ existence and operation.” And then comes the truly scary observation: “In fact, if recent revenue and expense estimates are correct, terrorist and insurgent groups in Iraq may have surplus funds with which to support other terrorist organizations outside of Iraq.” However, experts don't believe this is happening ... yet.

(For comparison: the insurgents spend an estimated $200 million a year; the U.S. spends roughly $265 million a day in Iraq.)

***

While the report suggests the insurgency is self-sustaining, the same cannot be said for the U.S.-led war effort.

Back in 2002, White House economic adviser Lawrence Lindsey estimated the cost of the Iraq War to be no more than $200 billion. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said the cost would be "something under $50 billion." He and other officials expressed optimism that Iraq itself would help shoulder the cost once the world market was reopened to its rich supply of oil.

Alas, that hasn't happened. Not even close. Some now estimate the cost to be as much as $2 trillion, while other estimates place the cost -- assuming the U.S. begins deploying troops within three years -- at closer to $700 billion.

***

Why can't we stop money from reaching the Iraqi insurgents?

The report says American efforts have been hamstrung by a weak Iraqi government and its nascent intelligence agencies, a lack of communication, and the fact that the insurgency is sustained by couriers carrying cash rather than more easily traceable means involving banks and the hawala money transfer networks traditional in the Middle East.

Another factor for the United States, the report says, was its inability to persuade foreign governments -- most recently France and Italy -- to “stop paying ransoms.”

Ah, but that would require diplomacy from the U.S. Is that possible from the Bush Administration?

9 Comments:

Anonymous Ditto said...

You mean Iraqi insurgents are NOT borrowing all their war money from China too? Can we put Halliburton on their side? We might have a chance if they get bankrupted too.

2:44 PM  
Anonymous whoop4467 said...

History has shown time and time again that powerfull military nations over extend themselves because they think they can dominate others with impunity. History has shown that these strong military nations lose world support for their actions, especially the big bully type of actions and also lose because they go broke by wastefull spending.

Wars are started by and for the wealthy, but fought by the poor!

Can anyone imagine what the U.S. would be like if we had chosen to become the most peacefull nation, fighting only those wars that were absolutely necessary but being the most influencial monetarily, being the best representative republic in the world, showing repsect for all other nations in the world and not be the control freak of the world?

We are run now by bunch of mongering fanatics: Fear-mongering, war-mongering, scandal-mongering, debt-mongering, control-mongering, religious-mongering, division-mongering, name calling-mongering, and hate-mongering!!

Can anyone imagine how much energy and other resources that we could have saved if we had become a different type of nation? Mind boggling!

8:50 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

Oh jeeeze, whoop! You're pathetic.

Name the country, and I'll buy you a one-way ticket there, and don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out.

11:38 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

whoop4467 said...
"History has shown time and time again that powerfull military nations over extend themselves because they think they can dominate others with impunity."


Whoop, man-child. We are not the bad guys. We aren't interested in taking over the world. We're interested in spreading liberty around the globe, so that other countries can lift themselves out of poverty. And democracies tend not to attack other democracies, which is also a good policy.

History has shown time and time again that we help nations that need help, and then we leave. We're happy to remain in our own country. We are not an imperialist nation. I think you're confusing us with Iran.

12:43 AM  
Anonymous whoop4467 said...

trinity said...
whoop4467 said...
"History has shown time and time again that powerfull military nations over extend themselves because they think they can dominate others with impunity."

Whoop, man-child. We are not the bad guys. We aren't interested in taking over the world. We're interested in spreading liberty around the globe, so that other countries can lift themselves out of poverty. And democracies tend not to attack other democracies, which is also a good policy.

History has shown time and time again that we help nations that need help, and then we leave. We're happy to remain in our own country. We are not an imperialist nation. I think you're confusing us with Iran.

Yes, grandma-women-child we were good guys in WWI and WWII and we only left military bases to still have influence and to an extent some help afterwards! Name another war where we were the good guys? In the Balkins with no ground troops and a lot of UN help and there was no OIL there?! Vietnam?( what did we do to help Vietnam afterwards?), South korea?( what did we do to help North Korea and we are still in South Korea). Afghanistan?( even there we are looking at oil exploration and ways to extract oil from the country and doing very little to stop their drug trade - now under control of UN troops with not a lot of re-construction at present. Plus we will have troops there a long time). Iraq? ( a real success there! and another invasion to liberate them from their OIL since they did not know how to handle it! - we are building the largest ever embassy there and several military outpost with plans to be there a long time ). Maybe you can give me a history lesson where we have fought a war where we have totally moved out of the sphere of influence?

Just because we are good guys does not mean that the ideals of PNAC and yours are not imperialistic in nature! Sugar coating yours and PNAC's imperialistic policy with trying to bring liberty or freedom, trying to lift them out of poverty or convert them to a democracy is just that - sugar coated imperialism.

There are a lot of ways to accomplish the worthwhile goals of encouraging nations out of poverty and into a democracy than by taking a big stick and hitting them across their heads which usually causes of lot of head injuries and in some cases death!

Are there not many nations that have a democratic type of government( not all the best like ours)that got that way by our non-military influence? The leaders of their country wanted to emulate the U.S. because we were good guys! We are good guys but the current administration is blurring that definition with their imperialistic, "my way or the highway", and "get on board the liberty train or die" policy and is aided by support of PNAC, you and many other imperialist.

2:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HA HA HO HAAAA! This is so funny I couldn't help but repost.

"As one American columnist pointed out last week, we wait for Bush and Blair to conduct an interview with Fox News entitled If We Did It, in which they spell out how they would have bungled this war if, indeed, they had done so."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,1957695,00.html

8:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trinity's argument lies on the floor in a bloody pool after that knock-out rebuttal from Whoop.

8:15 AM  
Anonymous Dave G. said...

Whoop, man-child. We are not the bad guys.

He didn't say we were the bad guys. He's talking about overextension. You've missed his point entirely.

Also, you don't speak for America. You have to live with people you don't like.

9:59 AM  
Anonymous whoop4467 said...

To Trinity - continuation of my previous post about our imperialism.

I did not mention The Mexican-American war fought from 1846-1848. The idealogy at that time was "Manifest Destiny". It basically meant the U.S. felt it had a God given right to occupy and civilize the whole continent. Two reasons given for the war was "Manifest Destiny" and the fact that Texas had won its independence from Mexico in its war and had joined the U.S as a state in 1845. Mexico was not happy about the bold act of land grab by the U.S. and the transfer of troops to Texas by President Polk. In early 1846, Mexico attacked.

When the war was over, the U.S had gained a lot of land from Northern Mexico which became part of Califronia, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Utah which we still occupy!.

I did not mention the Spanish-American war fought from 4/25/1898 - 12/10/1898 when the "Treaty of Paris" was signed. One reason for this war was to protect our financial interest in Cuba. Other resaons was to stop Spanish expansion in Puerto Rico, the Philippines and Guam. When the Treaty of Paris was signed Cuba was given its independence, Spain ceded Puerto Rico and Guam to the U.S. Spain sold the Philippines to the U.S. for $20M. We still occupy or have an influence on all of these!

The one difference between long ago and now about our imperialistic behavior is the policy now is to use sugar-coating terms to hide our real intent! In fact, the republican party prides itself in using sugar-coated terms to hide their real intent on all policies( like "Clear sky initiative", "No child left behind", the Iraq fiasco has about ten different names except its real name "Civil War", "faith-based initiative", and many others).

1:10 AM  

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