: The French Connection


jfpoole
Mar 13th, 2003, 06:06 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2003/03/13/opinion/13SAFI.html

<blockquote>France, China and Syria all have a common reason for keeping American and British troops out of Iraq: the three nations may not want the world to discover that their nationals have been illicitly supplying Saddam Hussein with materials used in building long-range surface-to-surface missiles.

...

A shipment of 20 tons of HTPB, whose sale to Iraq is forbidden by U.N. resolutions and the oil-for-food agreement, left China in August 2002 in a 40-foot container. It arrived in the Syrian port of Tartus (fortified by the Knights Templar in 1183, and the Mediterranean terminus for an Iraqi oil pipeline today) and was received there by a trading company that was an intermediary for the Iraqi missile industry, the end user. The HTPB was then trucked across Syria to Iraq.

...

The French connection — brokering the deal among the Chinese producer, the Syrian land transporter and the Iraqi buyer — is no great secret to the world's arms merchants. French intelligence has long been aware of it. The requirement for a French export license as well as U.N. sanctions approval may have been averted by disguising it as a direct offshore sale from China to Syria.</blockquote>

used to be jwoodget
Mar 13th, 2003, 06:27 PM
Of course.... that's the reason! Silly me thought it was the need for the US troops to find and destroy the importation documents linking various members of George W's cabinet to ellicit sales to Iraq. People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

The fact that 90% of the French population is ardently against war (and a similar fraction in Germany) has nothing to do with it I suppose, because 90% of British people feel the same way yet Tony Blair is standing side-by-side with the President.

P.S. The movie of the same name will now be termed the Freedom Connection so as not to offend American sensibilities.

The pathetic dissing of the French (and anyone else who dares stand up to the belligerent stance of the US at the UN) suggests the Bush administration has descended to childish tactics, rather than reason. They should hire OJ and his legal team.

jfpoole
Mar 13th, 2003, 06:38 PM
used to be jwoodget wrote:
The pathetic dissing of the French (and anyone else who dares stand up to the belligerent stance of the US at the UN) suggests the Bush administration has descended to childish tactics, rather than reason.

Are you able to distinguish between the US government and the media? The article was from the New York Times (a paper not known for its support of the current US administration).

Did you even read the article? I'd imagine not, since you just seemed to recite anti-American rhetoric like most anti-war people are inclined to do these days rather than actually respond to the article itself.

MACSPECTRUM
Mar 13th, 2003, 06:53 PM
Halliburton and Iraq

The United Nations’ inspection of Iraqi weapons sites appears to be going well. But if the process turns south, the Bush administration may decide to move forward with its planned invasion of Iraq.

The military operation would benefit many corporate sectors in the United States. Let’s take a look at how Vice President Dick Cheney’s old company, Halliburton, may benefit and how it has profited in the past from business relationships with so-called rogue nations.

A recent report by Deutsche Bank says oil field services companies like Halliburton are in a prime position to profit from a U.S. invasion of Iraq.

William Nordhaus of Yale University writes in an Oct. 29 paper on the “The Economic Consequences of a War with Iraq” that China, Russia and France “are probably suspicious of American economic designs on postwar Iraq, particularly given the powerful influence in Republican circles of construction and oil exploration companies like Bechtel and Halliburton.”

When Cheney was running Halliburton, it sold more equipment to Iraq than any other company did. As first reported by The Financial Times on Nov. 3, 2000, Halliburton subsidiaries submitted $23.8 million worth of contracts with Iraq to the United Nations in 1998 and 1999 for approval by its sanctions committee.

Halliburton also has had dealings with Iran and Libya, both on the State Department’s list of terrorist states. Halliburton’s subsidiary Brown & Root, the Texas construction firm that does much business with the U.S. military, was fined $3.8 million for re-exporting goods to Libya in violation of U.S. sanctions.

Halliburton Logging Services, a former subsidiary, was charged with shipping six pulse neutron generators through Italy to Libya. In 1995, the company pled guilty to criminal charges that it violated the U.S. ban on exports to Libya. Halliburton was fined $1.2 million and will pay $2.61 million in civil penalties.

Posted by Mark Hand, December 11, 2002

Copyright © 2003, Mark Hand, www.pressaction.com (http://www.pressaction.com)

jfpoole
Mar 13th, 2003, 07:18 PM
macspectrum wrote:
When Cheney was running Halliburton, it sold more equipment to Iraq than any other company did. As first reported by The Financial Times on Nov. 3, 2000, Halliburton subsidiaries submitted $23.8 million worth of contracts with Iraq to the United Nations in 1998 and 1999 for approval by its sanctions committee.

(Emphasis mine, of course).

I'd presume the contracts submitted by Halliburton are somehow related to the oil-for-food program started by the UN. Plus, these contracts went through the sanctions committee, so if there was anything sold to Iraq that was dual use, it wouldn't have been let through.

The sale of HTPB to Iraq wasn't done through the sanctions committee (probably because the sale of HTPB to Iraq is forbidden by UN resolutions), and I doubt HTPB is dual-use (in that I don't think it has a civilian application). How is this comparable to Halliburton's dealings with Iraq?

MACSPECTRUM
Mar 13th, 2003, 07:20 PM
jfpoole missed:
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> Halliburton Logging Services, a former subsidiary, was charged with shipping six pulse neutron generators through Italy to Libya. In 1995, the company pled guilty to criminal charges that it violated the U.S. ban on exports to Libya. Halliburton was fined $1.2 million and will pay $2.61 million in civil penalties. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

used to be jwoodget
Mar 13th, 2003, 07:21 PM
jfp wrote: <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> Did you even read the article? I'd imagine not, since you just seemed to recite anti-American rhetoric like most anti-war people are inclined to do these days rather than actually respond to the article itself. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes I did (read Safires article). Please give examples of recitation of anti-American rhetoric. Equating "anti-war" with "anti-American" is the same arrogant error that the US Administration is making in berating anyone who dares challenge their predilection for invading Iraq. I am not anti-American by a long shot. I am not a fan of George W. Bush either but that does not make me anti-American - except, perhaps, in his eyes.

And I did respond to the article.... it starts out with "a common reason...". Do you really think that a shipment of explosive is why France is refusing to allow passage of a second motion that would permit invasion?

You've posted pointers to some very insightful commentries, jfp. IMHO, this wasn't one of them.

jfpoole
Mar 13th, 2003, 07:41 PM
macspectrum wrote:
jfpoole missed:

You miss stuff all of the time, too. Shall I go back and point them out, too?

Halliburton Logging Services, a former subsidiary, was charged with shipping six pulse neutron generators through Italy to Libya. In 1995, the company pled guilty to criminal charges that it violated the U.S. ban on exports to Libya. Halliburton was fined $1.2 million and will pay $2.61 million in civil penalties.

A US company misbehaved and was punished for it. I see no such action from the French government.

jfpoole
Mar 13th, 2003, 07:44 PM
used to be jwoodget wrote:
Yes I did (read Safires article). Please give examples of recitation of anti-American rhetoric.

P.S. The movie of the same name will now be termed the Freedom Connection so as not to offend American sensibilities.

The pathetic dissing of the French (and anyone else who dares stand up to the belligerent stance of the US at the UN) suggests the Bush administration has descended to childish tactics, rather than reason. They should hire OJ and his legal team.

Equating "anti-war" with "anti-American" is the same arrogant error that the US Administration is making in berating anyone who dares challenge their predilection for invading Iraq.

I'm not equating anti-war with anti-American, although lately it seems the two go hand-in-hand.

used to be jwoodget
Mar 13th, 2003, 08:21 PM
jfp:

Ummm... those statements were the products of my very own neurons, originally produced just for that reply. They weren't "recitals" of pre-existing, published or otherwised previously thought about utterances.

I agree that there is a very troubling equation of anti-war opinion with anti-American opinion. The fact is that the US adminstration seems to be the main prognosticator of that connection (amplified by elements of the media) by pressuring countries that aren't voting with the Superpower.

I'm glad you clarified you don't agree with that view as it wasn't obvious in your reply ("you just seemed to recite anti-American rhetoric like most anti-war people").

I think the US Adminstration would have gotten a much less hostile audience at the UN and elsewhere if it hadn't been so one-track minded about the need for invasion. By hardening their attitude to the nay-sayers, they have stirred up public protest in many European countries. The main reason the US is trying to get a second resolution is that without it, Blair is a dead-duck.

The presence of the US forces in the Middle East has been the primary driving force in getting Hussein to make concessions. That pressure can be maintained or escalated without a full blown invasion. Bush's problem is that the overall magnitude of the US military presence in the Gulf is so great that he has backed himself into a corner. He has to invade (whether its right or wrong) to maintain his authority as a world leader.

Diplomacy seems to be antithetic to George W's style. He has said plied the US populace with a series of poorly reasoned justifications and has gotten to the end of the road. He considers Saddam Hussein a mortal threat to America (without clear evidence in support). He doesn't need the permission of the rest of the world to act unilaterally. The fact that he hasn't yet gone it alone suggests he is listening to advice that such a unilateral act would cause irreparable damage to world relations and lead to general destabilization.

jfpoole
Mar 13th, 2003, 09:15 PM
used to be jwoodget wrote:
The presence of the US forces in the Middle East has been the primary driving force in getting Hussein to make concessions. That pressure can be maintained or escalated without a full blown invasion.

I don't think the pressure can be maintained at its current level (i.e., that an invasion could come "any day now"). It's stressful on the people in the region, for one thing, and I'd imagine it's quite expensive to maintain a force of that size (250,000 last I checked) at combat readiness indefinitely. Plus, there's a large concentration of troops in a small area, which makes a very inviting target for a WMD.

The rest of your points are interesting (even if I don't necessarily agree with them). The point I made about anti-American rhetoric was a bit of a knee-jerk on my part; I guess I'm getting grumpy in my old age :D

used to be jwoodget
Mar 13th, 2003, 09:26 PM
jfp wrote: ...and I'd imagine it's quite expensive to maintain a force of that size...

You betcha. George W. will need to submit a request to the House for special funding within the next few weeks. It'll be in the billions. Typically, such supplemental budget requests are not done until after conflict begins as the House is hardly likely to question the need or amount while the bullets are flying. The supplement probably won't include replacement munitions costs which will be found later.

The cost of going to war is not insubstantial, especially if the US goes it alone. Since 90% of the $60 billion cost of GW1 was paid by other countries, this is another reason for Bush wanting some military support from other nations. Some estimates put GW2 costs at around $100 billion (http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2003-01-15-war-cost-usat_x.htm). It all depends how long it lasts and who decides to join.

used to be jwoodget
Mar 13th, 2003, 09:37 PM
And jfp, the argument about the insustainability of the gulf forces is one of the reasons that Bush's decision to send so many troops in the first place was, in effect, a de facto decision to invade. The calculation was made that by the time the build-up had peaked, the UN would be on-side. It was poor diplomacy that screwed up that plan.

I have no clue about what tensions and logistical problems there are in maintaining such a powerful force in such an inhospitable area but I do think that the US should try to find a way to keep up the brinkmanship going without invading. If that means quietly standing down some of the troops, that's fine. Hussein responds to pressure and is in an ever compressing box. He'll implode.

Dr.G.
Mar 13th, 2003, 11:23 PM
jwoodget, just watched the CBC news, and the estimates of waging the war and then rebuilding Iraq have been estimated at $600 billion!!!!! I was shocked!!! :eek: :eek:

To think what that money could buy in terms of food, medicine and shelter for children around the world makes me want to scream.

MACSPECTRUM
Mar 14th, 2003, 12:01 AM
Dr. G.,
don't forget that Bush tax cut !
unemployment up!
smaller tax base and less tax dollars!

Perfect recipe for an economic meltdown.

yeah, i know the DJIA posted its largest gain this year, today.

gordguide
Mar 14th, 2003, 05:22 AM
I think it will be difficult to get any decent esitmate of the costs; in January 2003 Cheney gave $60 billion as the cost, but we are now hearing $100 billion.

It's going to cost money, that's for sure.

Britain now has 1/3 of it's entire Armed Forces stationed in the Gulf. The price won't be trivial for them, either.

Dr.G.
Mar 14th, 2003, 07:14 AM
It's amazing how we now throw around the term "billion" as we once did "million". I am old enough to remember when Mays and Mantle were given the first $100,000 contracts to play baseball for the season. People were amazed at how this figure became a "magic number". Granted, everything needs to be viewed in perspective, but to throw billions into war efforts is insane. tongue.gif :eek: :(

macello
Mar 14th, 2003, 01:00 PM
Re: British troop strength. Does anyone have info on what Spain has on the ground in Iraq at this time ?

Dr.G.
Mar 14th, 2003, 02:49 PM
An interesting question. Outside of US and British forces, I know of only Canadian forces that might be involved in Iraq.

used to be jwoodget
Mar 14th, 2003, 03:27 PM
Based on this te demonstrations noted in this article (http://ttp://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1047639702169&call_pageid=968332188492&col=968705899037) it's not that clear what Spain has/will commit apart from naval support. Meanwhile, I'd speculate Spain may commit an additional 600 bull fighters, 100 Seat (http://www.seat.com/en/) Toledos and 15 paella chefs.

Interestingly, Spain was one of the first countries to call for easing of sanctions against Iraq as a means to undermine Hussein (who, they felt, was using the sanctions as a way to repress the people and get them to blame the UN and US for their troubles - while he continued to guild his palaces).

fül
Mar 14th, 2003, 05:12 PM
Peace whores / War whores

There are stinkin' whores on both sides. I prefer peace whores. Period.

What I'd like to see is not an anti-war (or anti-peace) movement, but an anti-whore movement. But that's another point altogether.

used to be jwoodget
Mar 14th, 2003, 05:39 PM
Agreed.... The outright hipocrisy issuing from the lips of the world "leaders" on both sides is sickening. In this Toronto Star article (http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1035779250980&call_pageid=968332188492&col=968793972154) Bush says he's going to unveil his road map for the future of the Middle East. Isn't that a bit like Bill Gates announcing a strategic plan for Apple?

In the article is this, straight-faced quote from Bush: "The time has come to move beyond entrenched positions and to take concrete actions to achieve peace." Why does he expect anyone in the Middle East to listen to one side of his face when the other side is calling for the opposite to happen in Iraq?

macello
Mar 15th, 2003, 12:48 AM
Someone in America decided to equate the word "french" with the word "freedom" and call that an insult to the French people. Republican congressmen thought this was brilliant (I guess that to the dim this would seem very bright) and voted to support it fully and to use it in the Halls of Congress, even in the cafeteria.
I have sent a copy of the above to the office of the President of France with highest regards.
On a less lighthearted note, about the motto " First Iraq then France" coined by the organisation giparty.org ; a whois search shows "contact na", geektools takes us to "offutt.af.mil" (55 wing usaf) which mission is " A professional team providing worldwide reconnaissance, real-time intelligence, command and control, information warfare and combat support to national leadership and warfighting commanders."
The plot sickens....

used to be jwoodget:
I suppose the Spanish navy chefs will be serving up the frozen baby turbot for George and Tony over the weekend.

Dr.G.
Mar 15th, 2003, 04:30 PM
Macello, if North Atlantic baby turbot is served, it will be interesting to see if Brian Tobin dons his cape and transforms once again into Captain Canada. We shall see. Tobin, when he was the Federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, gained international fame for his stand against the Spanish fleet literally raking up the turbot stock off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador.