THE PLOT THICKENS William Bowles 30/04/03


    Goodbye NATO – Hello EDF?

    A European Defence Force is something Tony calls "unhelpful". Unhelpful to who? In any case, as the US realigns its global military ‘posture’, it’s clear that a large US military presence in Western Europe is no longer necessary. And in any case, there’s all those ‘newly freed’ Eastern European countries dying to become satellites of the US,

    "The need for more than 70,000 U.S. troops in Germany has largely evaporated, according to [Defence Secretary] Rumsfeld and [Gen. James Jones, commander of U.S. troops in Europe]. In fact, they say, more than 20 percent of the 499 U.S. military installations in Europe are not needed at all anymore.

    "At the same time, Rumsfeld is looking kindly on a plan to shift some Germany-based forces to a number of smaller outposts in countries he has dubbed the "new Europe" - former Soviet bloc nations such as Poland, Bulgaria and Romania, that joined the Bush administration's "coalition of the willing" in the war in Iraq."
    Scripps Howard News Service April 29, 2003

    I like that, the most backward countries in Europe are now the ‘new Europe’ according to Rumsfeld. Black is white and white is black. The world is turned on its head as USUK rewrites reality.

    No more Mr Nice Guy
    But what is Tony up to? All this talk about a "new Cold War" only this time it’s the French who are the enemy? So Tony’s "being at the heart of Europe" stuff is really code for a dagger pointed at the heart of Europe.

    Interestingly, looking over the UK media, it’s as if the split is all about the UK not liking the French and vice versa. The essential element of competition between rival capitalisms is never, ever mentioned at all. The only thing the press here in the UK has cottoned on to is the fact that it’s no longer a grinning Tony Blair. No more Mr Nice Guy. The knives are out and no wonder, Blair has pinned his political future and that of the Labour Party on the alliance with the US. Note too that now, we hear Foreign Minister Jack Straw saying that Saddam "had" WMDs (BBC Radio 4 "Today" 29/04/03). Has, had, it’s all the same really. No point bothering about boring details now, it’s a done deal. We’ve trashed the country and its culture, it’s time to move on which it seems, the US is doing as I write,

    Time to move on
    As the US pulls out of Saudi Arabia and moves to Qatar. And not a moment too soon it would seem, though,

    ""I don't think it means we will start beating up on the Saudis," Walter Cutler said yesterday in an interview. Mr. Cutler, the only American to have served twice as ambassador to Saudi Arabia, said the overriding consideration is that "America still needs Saudi oil.""
    Globe and Mail, April 29, 2003

    Does the White House know something they think the rest of us don’t? There are strong hints being put about that the ‘House of Saud’ dynasty is coming to the end of its days. And its true the country is in a deep economic crisis and under a very real threat from its own population so the last thing the US needs right now is to be caught up in the middle of another social upheaval. And in any case, now it’s got its hands on all that Iraqi oil, why bother with the Saudis? Time to move on. Inshallah! Although according to another neo-con pundit from the Cato Institute on the Beeb this am, it’ll only take about "15 minutes" to take out Saudi Arabia (BBC Radio 4 "Today" programme 30/04/03). In and out, it’s a really small place, an F-15 could miss it if doesn’t slow down a bit. So maybe they’ll come back and sort them out inbetween taking out Iran and Syria.

    Oil, just too much of the stuff
    Saudi Arabia has around 9% of the world’s oil reserves, Iraq over 9%, Iran 9%, Venezuela about 7%, Russia around 5%. When Iraq comes back on stream, Saudi Arabia is going to have to take a hit, as OPEC cut backs on production,

    "…[to] 26-27 million barrels per day to about 24.5 million barrels, and eventually to cut back even further to make room for Iraq to reenter the market. The biggest reductions will have to be taken by the Saudis."
    Weekly Standard 30/04/03

    So by pulling out of Saudi Arabia, the US has killed two birds with one stone. Moreover, running the US base in Saudi Arabia costs around $50 billion which they’re going to need in order to build the next neo-con wet dream which is,

    Floating bases
    Aware of the fact that the bulk of the planet is very suspicious of US expansionist plans to protect its "vital interests", the latest idea to come out of the Pentagon is,

    "… the idea of creating offshore platforms that could serve as forward bases…. Dubbed "lily pads," these floating bases would function as a sort of cross between a land base and an aircraft carrier."
    Scripps Howard News Service April 29, 2003

    Science fiction meets the neo-cons. No need to permanently occupy, they’ll just float offshore, nip in and take out. Well as the saying goes, Pride goeth before a fall. Talking of which,

    Roman Legions?
    Back in Washington DC, although the ‘war’ is over a deathly silence hangs over the post-invasion situation as the reality of actually occupying Iraq sinks in. US occupation forces are resembling the Israeli occupation forces of Palestine more and more with every passing day as more Iraqis are shot (anybody keeping count?). And it’s clear that in spite of all the think-tanks working overtime around the Beltway, not much thinking has actually gone on in the tanks.

    I’ve read reams of Psy-ops papers on what to do when occupying a foreign country (see http://www.au.af.mil/au/aul/bibs/korea/psych.htm or http://www.cdi.org/terrorism/psyop.cfm for a more contemporary view).

    For an overview of the ‘theory’ visit, http://globalspecops.com/capcom.html where it’s all laid out but apparently all the manuals got left at home when the troops set sail. It’s all handled by US Army's 4th Psychological Operations Group headquartered at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. Below is an excerpt:

    "US Army Civil Affairs (CA) Organization

    "CA units are designed to provide support to both GP and SO forces at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels. The vast majority of army CA forces are in the reserve component (RC). The army's active component CA unit (96th CA BN, Ft. Bragg, NC) is capable of rapidly deploying one of its five regionally aligned CA companies to meet the initial CA support requirement, with transition to RC units beginning as soon as mobilization permits. The RC civil affairs units have functional specialties, with the unit's soldiers being assigned to functional teams.

Airborne

    "The functional specialties are:

    • Government Section
    • Legal
    • Public administration
    • Public Education
    • Public Health
    • Public Safety
    • Economic/Commerce Section
    • Economic Development
    • Civilian Suppl
    • Food and Agriculture
    • Public Facilities Section
    • Public Communications
    • Transportation
    • Public Works and Utilities
    • Special Functions Section
    • Cultural Relations
    • Civil Information
    • Dislocated Civilians
    • Emergency Services
    • Environmental Management

    It’s critical mission runs as follows:

    "It supports planning and coordination of CA and foreign nation support operations. The unit provides Civil Affairs functional area specialists in the following areas:

    • Public Administration
    • Dislocated Civilians
    • Civilian Supply
    • Public Communications
    • Public Health
    • Public Work and Utilities"

    Oh really? Not likely, judging by the performance of the conquerers so far. But when one looks at the people running this war, it’s not surprising as the major objective of the invasion wasn’t ‘nation building’ but nation destroying so it’s no wonder the 4th got left behind. So when you read in the news or watch on the TV reports about how unprepared the US was for the reality on the ground, just pay a visit to this site. But just in case you want to know how well prepared the US was for putting the frighteners on the Iraqi population before they invaded, there’s a link to a vast gallery of propaganda leaflets at http://www.centcom.mil/galleries/leaflets/showleaflets.asp.

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