Saturday, July 12, 2008


Just the other day the Iraqi government approved allowing several big OIL corporations from the United States to set up shop in Iraq and start exporting Iraqi oil back to the United States.

Isn't this what the Iraq War was all about in the first place?

President Bush and Vice President Cheney were in the oil business before ending up in the White House and starting a war with Iraq under the false premise Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

It was ALWAYS about oil and these extremely graphic images on this video are a testimony to what happens when warmongers take over a government.

To activate the video click on the diamond-shaped arrow.

WARNING: Not suitable for children.

Commentary by BILL CORCORAN, editor of CORKSPHERE


There is still an Iraq War going on even though the media in the United States would make you think the U.S. has won the war. Not so. Every single day there are more car bombings and more violence and there appears to be no end in sight.

This video, with a song by Louis Armstrong, captures the essence of the Iraq War. Some of the scenes are very graphic, but there is no other way to tell the story about the Iraq War without graphic violence.

Click on diamond-shaped arrow in middle of picture to activate video.



The Iraq War has always been about two things: Oil and politics.

We learned earlier this week that a deal has been made where some of the major oil corporations in the United States will begin setting up operations in Iraq to export Iraqi oil to the United States.

The political side of the war was ALWAYS contingent on the Presidential election and the 160,000 U.S. troops in Iraq were simply pawns in a political chess game.

Now NEWSWEEK reports the Pentagon will issue a report calling for a faster troop drawdown than anyone expected and if approved it will happen just before the November Presidential election.

The Bush administration has once again figured the average American is a dummy.

Who Says Less Troops?

Michael Hirsh
Updated: 1:21 PM ET Jul 12, 2008


Barack Obama is taking heat for hinting that he might refine his 16-month timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq. But a forthcoming Pentagon-sponsored report will recommend an even steeper drawdown in less time, NEWSWEEK has learned.

If adopted, the 300-page report by a defense analysis group at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., could transform the debate about Iraq in the presidential election.

Expected to be completed in about a month, it will recommend that U.S. forces be reduced to as few as 50,000 by the spring of 2009, down from about 150,000 now. The strategy is based on a major handoff to the increasingly successful Iraqi Army, with platoon-size U.S. detachments backing the Iraqis from small outposts, with air support. The large U.S. forward operating bases that house the bulk of U.S. troops would be mostly abandoned, and the role of Special Forces would increase.

The report's conclusions have been discussed inside Secretary Robert Gates's Defense Policy Board, a body of outside experts. And they've found favor with some former members of the Iraq Study Group, such as former White House chief of staff Leon Panetta. "That's basically the approach we thought made sense--embedding some of our forces at smaller outposts, transferring major combat to the Iraqis," says Panetta.

Like the Study Group, this report also calls for a regional diplomatic effort complementing negotiations with the Iraqi tribes, which echoes the previous recommendations of such analysts as John Arquilla, a professor at the Naval Postgraduate School. "Even with a small leavening of American troops the Iraqis perform quite well," he says.

The biggest problem: Iraq commander Gen. David Petraeus, who oversaw the surge, is said to oppose the recommendations, according to a Defense contractor who is privy to the discussions. Asked about the report, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman told NEWSWEEK that Gates "feels the most important military advice he gets is from his commanders on the ground." As the next head of Central Command, Petraeus will soon have responsibility for Afghanistan and Pakistan too, which could change his views on troop deployments and the new report. Spokesman Col. Steve Boylan says Petraeus "is focused on Iraq at this point and will continue to be."


This video shows the U.S. Marines during an assault on Fallujah, Iraq during "Operation Phantom Fury" by the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines of the United States Marine Corps.

Click on diamond-shaped arrow in center of picture to activate video.


The invasion and occupation of IRAQ displaced more than 2 MILLION Iraqis who fled to Syria, Jordan and other Middle East countries and now NEWSWEEK is reporting the same refugee condition is happening in Afghanistan, another country invaded and occuped by U.S. forces and NATO troops.

Refugees International researchers were surprised when they showed up in Taghi Naghi, an area in northwestern Afghanistan in June to assess one of the country’s 11 “land allocation schemes” for returning refugees. What they found differed sharply from the government’s plans for the hundreds of thousands of people returning from exile in Pakistan and Iran. Despite UN objections, the shelters had been built in the desert, an hour’s trip to the nearest city of Herat. A water pump was hooked up to a dry well, but an NGO trucking in water said their contract was going to run out soon after the visit. Only 12 families were occupying the more than 200 shelters that had been built, none of whom had any means of finding employment. According to one man living at Taghi Naghi, he might be forced to move his family to Herat despite being unable to pay its high city rents, since it was becoming increasingly difficult to feed his children.
By Katie Paul

The floundering Taghi Naghi project, one of 55 planned across Afghanistan, cost $2 million, and is just one example of how the refugee situation in Afghanistan is bad and growing worse, according to a Refugees International (RI) report published July 10. Since things started looking up for Afghanistan in 2002, the largest-ever refugee homecoming brought more than 5 million Afghan refugees back into the country, some of whom had been living in exile for three decades as their country weathered war with the Soviets, Taliban rule, and the NATO invasion. But over 3 million people are still stranded in exile, RI says, while many of those who have returned are ill-equipped to deal with Afghanistan’s harsh land and security crises.

Deteriorating conditions in recent months due to a food crisis and an insurgency again on the rise have further complicated matters, while an impending Pakistani threat to bulldoze camps in their country by the end of 2009 has contributed an added time pressure to deal with the problems.

“The situation in Afghanistan is worsening, and we’re running the risk of losing the gains we’ve made in the past few years,” said RI advocate Patrick Duplat, who produced the report after traveling with a colleague for a month to meet with refugees in Pakistan and returnees in Afghanistan. “Of course, the situation in general in Afghanistan is quite dire. From 40 to 60 percent of the country is inaccessible, so all Afghans are vulnerable. But that being said, a large percentage of the population--5 million people--are particularly vulnerable.” The report blames a lack of planning and coordination on the part of both Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s government and its international backers, who provide over 90 percent of the country’s budget. While billions of dollars have been invested in reconstruction projects in Afghanistan since 2001, too few have made their way to real development projects, RI contends; large-scale infrastructure and counter-insurgency efforts have sapped most of the funds.

As a result, RI is calling on donors to coordinate and fund their efforts in Afghanistan at a joint UN and Afghan conference in Kabul in November. “What we’d like to see is the returnees being integrated into the mainstream national programs,” said Duplat, cautioning that a failure to act could lead refugees to either try their luck at returning to Pakistan or swell the ranks of Afghanistan’s urban poor. A lack of resources is not the problem, he says; the international community just needs to put its money where its mouth is to integrate refugees without forcibly displacing them, whether they want to come back to Afghanistan or stay in Pakistan permanently.


Read details here:


BRITAIN'S ability to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan has been questioned as it emerged that almost half of all military personnel are ready to quit.

Half of British troops want to quit: survey
Michael Evans July 11, 2008

The first survey of attitudes across thearmy, navy and air force, released yesterday, reveals unprecedented levels of concern over equipment, morale andpay.

The research was conducted by the Ministry of Defence and involved more than 24,000 military personnel. It found the sense of overcommitment means that 47 per cent of soldiers and army officers think regularly of resigning.

Patrick Mercer, Conservative MP for Newark and a former commanding officer, said the findings reflected the duress under which military personnel were operating. "The tempo of operations has produced such a level of stress on the families that it is no wonder so many are thinking of leaving," he said.

The report highlights the pressures on the forces of enduring two medium-scale military campaigns simultaneously. Having soldiers return for second and third tours has affected their families.
The same sense of overstretch is reflected across all three forces, and 45per cent of those questioned admitted they were unhappy with the level of separation from family and friends.
Asked whether they regularly considered leaving, 47 per cent of soldiers and officers in the army agreed that they did. The same percentage of Royal Navy personnel agreed, as did 37 per cent in the Royal Marines and 44 per cent in the RAF. The regular army is already 5000 soldiers short, and experienced young officers are leaving at an increasing rate.
The survey was carried out between July and October last year, when 20 service personnel were killed in Afghanistan and 15 in Iraq.


U.S. forces may be close to unlocking the mystery of who is behind a deadly innovation in Iraqi insurgents' weapons, a "lob bomb" now being used in Baghdad to target U.S. and Iraqi combat outposts, a senior American general said Friday in an Associated Press interview.

By ROBERT BURNS, AP Military Writer 4 minutes ago

Maj. Gen. Jeffery Hammond, commander of U.S. forces in Baghdad, called the weapon "the greatest threat right now that we face," and he likened the shadowy group behind it to the American military's elite Delta Force.

The weapon is particularly worrying because it is designed to cause catastrophic damage and cannot be stopped once it has been launched, Hammond, commander of the 4th Infantry Division, said in an interview in his office at this U.S. military headquarters compound just west of the capital.

U.S. forces detained a man on Thursday who Hammond said could provide valuable insights into the group behind the bombmaking. "We think we have defined the network," he said. He would not elaborate, although other American officers said in interviews that the group is Shiite and may have links to Iran.

"We think we might have picked up a guy that could lead us — could be a big lead in this," Hammond said.

It's not clear whether this small group is related to efforts by anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr to revitalize his Mahdi Army, which had held sway in the Sadr City section of Baghdad until U.S. and Iraqi forces wrested control after seven weeks of fighting that ended in May.

Arguing against a link to such an al-Sadr initiative is the fact that the group that Hammond described has been operating since at least late 2007, although it has become more active in recent months.