Archive for June 2008
Operation Enduring Pipeline
by Don Bacon
With John McCain and Barack Obama now arguing about widening the Afghanistan war and invading Pakistan, the TAPI natural gas pipeline has a better chance than freedom ever had. It would be an American-controlled cash cow that would hurt Iran. All the US needs to do is pacify Afghanistan with more troops (to safeguard TAPI) and balkanize Pakistan (to stymie IPI) while widening the war and antagonizing India. Freedom be damned. Freedom was never an option anyhow, especially when there’s money to be made by endless war.
Afghanistan crisis worse than Iraq
by Haroon Siddiqui
There’s a lot we know about Afghanistan and a lot more we don’t. An expert who knows much more than most of us – whose prescient insights I have benefited from for a decade and whom the John Manley commission consulted last year – says Afghanistan will get worse in the coming months.
According to previously undisclosed details obtained by the FT, the investigation also concluded that the air force could not account for many sensitive components previously included in its nuclear inventory.
One official said the number of missing components was more than 1,000.
Exxon Mobil, Shell, Total and BP — the original partners in the Iraq Petroleum Company — along with Chevron and a number of smaller oil companies, are in talks with Iraq’s Oil Ministry for no-bid contracts to service Iraq’s largest fields, according to ministry officials, oil company officials and an American diplomat.
The deals, expected to be announced on June 30, will lay the foundation for the first commercial work for the major companies in Iraq since the American invasion, and open a new and potentially lucrative country for their operations.
Wall Street banks and other large financial institutions have begun putting intense pressure on Congress to hold off on legislation that would curtail their highly profitable trading in oil contracts — an activity increasingly blamed by lawmakers for driving up prices to record levels.Representatives of Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, along with the trade associations for hedge funds and other financial groups, have lobbied the offices of key legislators, briefed senior staffers on committees that oversee pivotal parts of the energy markets and distributed research materials explaining their view about oil and how it’s traded.
At the very least, Democrats saved themselves an awkward confrontation on gas prices Wednesday when they canceled a committee vote on the Interior spending bill.Rep. John Peterson (R-Pa.) was planning to push his offshore drilling bill as a remedy for oil and gas costs, just as Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and President Bush made their tag-teamed push for drilling off the country’s coastlines.But the committee markup was canceled just two hours before it was to begin.
from IPS: 6/12/08
Two key pledges made by the George W. Bush administration on military bases in its negotiations with the government of Iraq have now been revealed as carefully-worded ruses aimed at concealing U.S. negotiating aims from both U.S. citizens and Iraqis who would object to them if they were made clear.
Recent statements by Iraqis familiar with U.S. demands in negotiations on the U.S.-Iraq “strategic framework” agreement have highlighted the fact that administration promises that it would not seek “permanent bases” or the use of bases to attack Iran or any other neighbouring countries were deliberately misleading. The wording used by the Bush administration appears to have been chosen to obscure its intention to have both long-term access to Iraqi bases and complete freedom to use them to launch operations against Iran and Syria.
from Scott Thill at Wired …
He burst into pop music in 1955 with a song named after himself and topped the R&B charts shortly afterward. A few years later, he built his own rectangular Gretsch, nicknamed “The Twang Machine,” which he would use to play thousands of concerts across decades of rousing performance. Along the way, he influenced everyone from Buddy Holly and Jimi Hendrix to The Stooges and The Sex Pistols, before passing away in Florida on Monday.
He was 79.
I’ve always had great respect and admiration for Bo and his influence.
Like Chuck and Muddy, they started it all.