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Imperial Capital but America-First Nation

Imperial Capital but America-First Nation

Imperial Capital but America-First Nation

Is America still the world’s last superpower with global policing obligations? Or should we shuck off this imperial role and make America, again, in Jeane Kirkpatrick’s phrase, “a normal country in a normal time”?

“Let someone else fight over this long blood-stained sand,” said President Donald Trump in an impassioned defense of his decision to cut ties to the Syrian Kurds, withdraw and end these “endless wars.”

Are our troops in Syria, then, on their way home? Well, not exactly.

Those leaving northern Syria went into Iraq. Other U.S. soldiers will stay in Syria to guard oil wells that we and the Kurds captured in the war with ISIS. Another 150 U.S. troops will remain in al-Tanf to guard Syria’s border with Iraq, at the request of Jordan and Israel.

And 2,000 more U.S. troops are being sent to Saudi Arabia to help defend the kingdom from Iran, which raises a question: Are we coming or going?

In his conflicting statements and actions, Trump seemingly seeks to mollify both sides of our national quarrel:

Is America still the world’s last superpower with global policing obligations? Or should we shuck off this imperial role and make America, again, in Jeane Kirkpatrick’s phrase, “a normal country in a normal time”?

In Middle America, anti-interventionism has carried the day. As Trump says, no declaration at his rallies is more wildly welcomed than his pledge to end our Middle East wars and bring the troops home.

But in this imperial capital, the voice of the interventionist yet prevails. The media, the foreign policy elite, the think tanks, the ethnic lobbies, the Pentagon, the State Department, Capitol Hill, are almost all interventionist, opposed to Trump’s abandonment of the Kurds. Rand Paul may echo Middle America, but Lindsey Graham speaks for the Republican establishment.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Peak oil in Asia: where will the oil come from for the Asian Century?

Peak oil in Asia: where will the oil come from for the Asian Century?

Asian oil production peaked above 8 mb/d for the period between 2008 and 2016 (with spikes in 2010 and 2015). The 2015 peak was mainly caused by peak oil in China. Since then Asia’s decline  was almost 800 kb/d or 9%.

Asia-Pacific-oil-production_BP-1965_2018
Fig 1: The Asian oil peak lasted 8 years

The rest of Asia peaked already in 2000 (the year Australia peaked) followed by a very modest decline of 1.1% pa. Let’s go through the countries one by one.

In the following, net oil imports are defined as the difference between oil consumption and production. Please see the note at the end of this post.

Indonesia_oil_production_vs_consumption_1965-2018
Fig 2: Indonesia is in terminal production decline since the 1990s
Australia_oil_production_vs_consumption_1965-2018
Fig 3: Australia’s net oil imports
Malaysia_oil_production_vs_consumption_1965-2018
Fig 4: Malaysia is a net importer since 2010
Vietnam_oil_production_vs_consumption_1965-2018
Fig 5: Vietnam’s net imports are increasing fast
Thailand_oil_production_vs_consumption_1965-2018
Fig 6: Thailand was always a net importer

Thailand’s consumption increases faster than production.

India_oil_production_vs_consumption_1965-2018
Fig 7: India’s consumption exceeded 5 mb/d in 2018

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Lebanon’s President Announces Israeli Attacks Are “Declaration Of War”

Lebanon’s President Announces Israeli Attacks Are “Declaration Of War”

After pro-Iran allies in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq were all hit in suspected Israeli strikes in the space of less than 24 hours, signalling a new aggression out of Tel Aviv and willingness to risk yet another major Middle East war, Arab capitals are now alerting their armed forces to be on a war footing

Lebanese President Michel Aoun on Monday condemned the “Israeli assault on the southern suburbs of Beirut” and told the country’s United Nations Special Coordinator, that the recent spate of drone strikes on Lebanon amount to a “declaration of war”.

banese President Michel Aoun, file image via Reuters.

Especially in Lebanon, where the most powerful military force is not the Army but Shiite paramilitary group Hezbollah, tensions are soaring after Hezbollah media offices in Beirut were targeted by Israeli drones overnight Sunday.


New Video of alleged Israel strikes in east Lebanon ~ an hour ago, targeting Palestinian Group PFLP.

If true, this may be 4th military incident in Lebanon-Syria-Iraq involving Israel in 24 hours. Via @tobiaschneider


A separate Israeli operation the day following reached deep into Lebanon, killing a PFLP-GC leader in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley (a Palestinian paramilitary group). 

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah described the weekend aggression as was the first Israeli attacks inside Lebanon since the devastating month-long 2006 war; however, Israel has yet to claim the Beirut attack.

Global Warming and U.S. National Security Diplomacy

Global Warming and U.S. National Security Diplomacy

Old power station, West Linn, Oregon. Photo: Jeffrey St. Clair.

Control of oil has long been a key aim of U.S. foreign policy. The Paris climate agreements and any other Green programs to reduce the pace of global warming are viewed as threatening the aim of dominating world energy markets by keeping economies dependent on oil under U.S. control. Also blocking U.S. willingness to help stem global warming is the oil industry’s economic and hence political power. Its product is not only energy but also global warming, along with plastic pollution.

This fatal combination of the national security state’s mentality and oil industry lobbying threatens to destroy the planet’s climate. The prospect of raising temperatures and sea levels along the coasts while inland regions suffer drought is viewed simply as collateral damage to the geopolitics of oil. The State Department is reported to have driven out individuals warning about global warming’s negative impact.[1]

The only attempts to restrict oil imports are the new Cold War trade sanctions to isolate Russia, Iran and Venezuela. The aim is to increase foreign dependence on U.S., British and French oil, giving American strategists the power to make other countries “freeze in the dark” if they follow a path diverging from U.S. diplomatic aims.

It was the drive to control the world’s oil trade – and to keep it dollarized – that led the United States to overthrow the Iranian government in 1953, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney to invade Iraq in 2013, and most recently for Donald Trump to isolate Iran while backing Saudi Arabia and its Wahabi foreign legion in Syria, Iraq and Yemen. Sixty years earlier, in 1953, the CIA and Britain joined to overthrow Iran’s elected President Mohammad Mosaddegh to prevent him from nationalizing the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. A similar strategy explains U.S. attempts at regime change in Venezuela and Russia.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Mystery Airstrikes On Iraqi Camp Were Israeli Stealth Jets In “Anti-Iran” Escalation

Mystery Airstrikes On Iraqi Camp Were Israeli Stealth Jets In “Anti-Iran” Escalation

Regional experts had immediately suspected the possibility of an Israeli air raid after a pro-Iranian militia arms depot in Iraq was obliterated during a mysterious attack on July 19, and another reported follow-up attack this past Sunday.

The attack happened around 80 km from the Iranian border and 40 km north-east of Baghdad at Camp Ashraf, former home to the Iranian exile group Mojahedin-e Khalq, but now reportedly in the hands of Iranian intelligence and paramilitaries. 

Speculation was rampant in the days that followed as to the source of the ‘mysterious’ air strikes – or what was also initially reported as a drone strike – however, some pointed the finger at an American operation targeting Iranian militants inside Iraq.

Israeli F-35 stealth fighters. File image: Israeli Defense Forces

But now Israeli and regional media, citing western diplomats, have confirmed it was a nearly unprecedented Israeli operation on Iraqi soil — representing a major escalation and expansion of Israel’s anti-Iran operations. 

Israel reportedly launched a total of two separate air strike operations on the camp using its US-supplied F-35 stealth fighter jets. 

According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz:

Israel has expanded the scope of its anti-Iranian attacks and struck targets in Iraq, the London-based Arabic newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat reported Tuesday.

According to the report, which cites anonymous Western diplomats, Israel struck Iranian warehouses storing arms and missiles at Camp Ashraf, north-east of Baghdad, twice in the past month.

On July 19, the base was struck by an Israeli F-35 fighter jet, the sources added. The base was allegedly attacked again on Sunday.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Tomgram: Michael Klare, It’s Always the Oil

Tomgram: Michael Klare, It’s Always the Oil

What more did you need to know once Secretary of State Mike Pompeo insisted that a suicide bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan, claimed by the Taliban, was Iranian-inspired or plotted, one “in a series of attacks instigated by the Islamic Republic of Iran and its surrogates against American and allied interests”? In other words, behind the Sunni extremist insurgents the U.S. has been fighting in Afghanistan since October 2001 lurks the regime of the Shiite fundamentalists in Tehran that many in Washington have been eager to fight since at least the spring of 2003 (when, coincidentally enough, the Bush administration was insisting that Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi regime had significant ties to al-Qaeda).

It couldn’t have made more sense once you thought about it. I don’t mean Pompeo’s claim itself, which was little short of idiotic, but what lurked behind it.  I mean the knowledge that, only a week after the 9/11 attacks, Congress had passed an authorization for the use of military force, or AUMF, that allowed the president (and any future president, as it turned out) “to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons.”

In other words, almost 18 years later, as Pompeo knows, if you can link any country or group you’re eager to go to war with to al-Qaeda, no matter how confected the connection, you can promptly claim authorization to do your damnedest to them. How convenient, then, should you be in the mood to make war on Iran, if that country just happens to be responsible for terror attacks linked to the Taliban (which once did harbor al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden).

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

You had better memorize the term: de-dol-la-ri-za-tion

You had better memorize the term: de-dol-la-ri-za-tion 

Some say it was Colonel Muammar Qaddafi, who wanted to dethrone the dollar, and so he paid for it with his own life. Others say it was Iraq’s President Saddam Hussein, who wanted to make settlements in a currency other than the US dollar, and he was hanged. Now it is Russia and China, which want to do the same. Just days ago an agreement was signed to this effect. 

(i) Russia and China have decided to begin to make mutual settlements increasingly in their respective national currencies, and 

(ii) they have decided to bypass the SWIFT system, introducing their own instead.1)

Moscow has also revealed lately that Russia has stopped using the US dollar and the SWIFT system for settlements in arms trade.2)

The exchange of goods between Russia and China is significant; Russian weaponry has a lot of clients around the globe. On the other hand both countries, and especially China, have large dollar reserves. And both states are under attack from the West, be it economic sanctions against Moscow, be it American trade war against Beijing. 

To administer punishment for such a daring act was a child’s play in the case of Libya and Iraq: the two countries were swiftly dealt with. What can one do with a nuclear superpower on the other hand and Asia’s largest economic tiger on the other?

If Washington has wanted to weaponize Moscow against Beijing or the other way round as it seems it has, then the strategists on the Potomac must swallow a bitter pillow. The hybrid war waged against Russia in Georgia, Ukraine, Moscow, the Baltic States, Poland as well as in Venezuela and Syria rather than weakening the target state have cemented its embrace with the Middle Kingdom.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Persian Gulf oil export peak after tanker attacks?

Persian Gulf oil export peak after tanker attacks?

Tankers holed and burning in the Gulf of Oman are not a good sign for future oil exports from the Persian Gulf.

Front_Altair_13Jun2019
Fig 1: Norway’s Front Altair burning with 75,000 tons of naphtha on board en route from Ruwais (UAE) to Kaohsiung (Taiwan)
The tankers Front Altair and Kokuka Courageous movements are shown in this still image taken from an animation obtained on Thursday from social media
Fig 2: Movements of Front Altair and Kokuka Courageous on 13 Jun 2019
https://in.reuters.com/article/mideast-tankers-facts/latest-on-suspected-attacks-on-tankers-in-gulf-of-oman-idINKCN1TE1H3

Oil exports from the Persian Gulf have been peaking in the last 3 years 2016-2018 at around 22.3 mb/d. That was before the US sanctions on Iran were tightened in the 1st half of 2019.

Persian-Gulf-oil-exports_1965-2018
Fig 3: Persian Gulf oil exports 1965-2018

Exports are defined here as the difference between oil production (crude oil, condensate and NGLs) and oil consumption with latest data taken from the BP Statistical Review published 11/6/2019.
https://www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/energy-economics/statistical-review-of-world-energy.html

Let’s go through this country by country with a focus on the period since 2005 when global (conventional) crude oil production started to peak.

SaudiArabia_net-oil-exports_1965-2018

The drop in Saudi exports after 2005 happened in 2 phases: first, production decline until mid 2007 – which contributed to the oil price shock in 2008 and then secondly lower demand during the 2009 financial crisis. The warnings in Matt Simmons’ book “The coming Saudi oil shock and the world economy” has materialized to some extent without this being recognised by governments, the private sector, the media and the public at large.

30/10/2018 Saudi Update October 2018 http://crudeoilpeak.info/saudi-update-october-2018

5/7/2018 Saudi Arabia was supposed to pump almost 14 mb/d in 2018
http://crudeoilpeak.info/saudi-arabia-was-supposed-to-pump-almost-14-mbd-in-2018

Iraq_net-oil-exports_1965-2018

Sanctions imposed on Iraq after Desert Storm were replaced by an oil for food program started in 1995. It limited Iraq’s oil exports to around 2 mb/d. The objective of the 2003 Iraq war was remove this cap. It was only in 2011 that this export level was exceeded.

Iran_net-oil-exports_1965-2018
Fig 6: Iran net oil exports

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Most Crucial Pipeline Of The Middle East?

The Most Crucial Pipeline Of The Middle East?

Pipeline

Contemporary Middle Eastern history is strongly influenced by energy politics. Besides providing revenue for the state’s coffers, oil is also a potent geopolitical tool in the hands of resource-rich countries. Recently, officials from Lebanon, Syria and Iraq have engaged in talks to restart the dysfunctional pipeline that once connected oilfields near Kirkuk in Iraq with the coastal city of Tripoli in Lebanon. Restarting the pipeline could have long-term political, economic, and strategic consequences for the involved states and the wider region.

The original infrastructure was constructed during the 30s of the previous century when two 12-inch pipes transported oil from Kirkuk to Haifa in British mandated Palestine and Tripoli in French-mandated Lebanon. The Tripoli line was supplemented by a 30-inch pipeline in the 50s which could transport approximately 400,000 barrels/day. The Kirkuk-Tripoli pipeline was suspended by Syria during the Iraq-Iran war in an attempt to support Tehran in its struggle against Baghdad.

(Click to enlarge)

Paving the way

The current political climate, which has enabled cooperation between Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq, is the consequence of one country’s foreign policy. Since the U.S. invasion of Iraq and the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, Iranian influence has grown considerably across the Middle East. Tehran’s support for proxies in neighboring countries has strongly influenced regional politics and made Saudi Arabia nervous of what it sees as “Persian encroachment”.

The Iranian support for Syria’s President Assad provided a lifeline to the regime during the country’s civil war. Tehran has invested significantly in maintaining the position of its ally in Damascus. In neighboring Iraq, the democratization process installed a Shia-dominated parliament which is supported by powerful paramilitary groups funded and organized by the Quds force, the branch of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard responsible for extraterritorial activities. Despite significant military and political gains, consolidation is required to cement the ties between Iran’s Arab partners, which would also benefit Tehran.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Turkey Invades Northern Iraq In Operation Against Kurdish Militants

Turkey Invades Northern Iraq In Operation Against Kurdish Militants

Turkey has launched a cross-border operation into neighboring Iraq against Kurdish militants in a mountainous northern region of the country. 

The Turkish defense ministry confirmed its military unleashed a barrage of artillery fire and air strikes on Monday afternoon before ground forces entered northern Iraq to “demolish the caves and shelters that are being used by terrorist groups and to eliminate terrorists”  a reference to the outlawed PKK. 

“The operation, with the support of our attack helicopters, is continuing as planned,” the statement said further. While cross-border shelling has happened somewhat frequently in the past, Turkey has rarely sent ground troops.

Back in December 2015 when Turkey, claiming to be engaged in counter-ISIS and general counter-insurgency operations, crossed into Iraq with a large ground force then Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar Abadi demanded Turkey cease violating Iraqi sovereignty, in a standoff which proved a major embarrassment for Baghdad. 

Turkish state media released video footage of its operation inside Iraq:

Embedded video

Turkey launches a counter-terrorism operation dubbed Pence, which means claw in Turkish, , in northern Iraq https://www.trtworld.com/article/27052

Not only has Turkey not been bashful about routinely violating the sovereignty of both Iraq and Syria ostensibly to “fight terrorists”, it has often positively boasted about it and published video footage of the incursions. 

Citing the defense ministry, Reuters reports the following of the ongoing, controversial operation:

It said the operation targeted Iraq’s Hakurk region, just across the border from Turkey’s southeastern tip, which also borders Iran. The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant group is based in northern Iraq, notably in the Qandil region to the south of Hakurk.

Video published by the ministry showed helicopters landing commandos on mountainous terrain. It also shared photos showing shells fired by howitzers and soldiers perched on ridges, surveying hillsides with their rifles.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Exxon Evacuates All Foreign Staff From Iraqi Oilfield On Security Concerns

Exxon Evacuates All Foreign Staff From Iraqi Oilfield On Security Concerns

At the end of a week that’s witnessed a dangerous US military build-up in the Persian Gulf amid anti-Iran war rhetoric, Exxon Mobil has evacuated all of its foreign staff from Iraq’s West Qurna 1 oilfield, flying them to Dubai until “the situation is secure,” according to a company statement. 

Total staff evacuated is about 60, cites Reuters, and comes days after the US ordered all non-emergency personnel to leave the US embassy in Baghdad in an extremely rare security move, claiming intelligence that shows Americans are under immediate threat from Shia milias backed by Iran. Oil field in southern Iraq, via Iraq’s Ministry of Oil

Iraq’s state-owned South Oil Company, which owns the oil field from which the Exxon Mobil employees have been evacuated, announced Saturday that production is continuing without disruption at 440,000 barrels per day (bpd) under the operation of Iraqi engineers. 

“Exxon Mobil’s evacuation is a precautionary and temporary measure. We have no indication over any dangers, the situation is secure and very stable at the oilfield which is running at full capacity and producing 440,000 bpd,” a South Oil spokesman said.

And Exxon Mobile in a separate company press release said, “ExxonMobil has programs and measures in place to provide security to protect its people, operations and facilities. We are committed to ensuring the safety of our employees and contractors at all of our facilities around the world.”

The evacuation was reportedly completed early on Saturday in phases which had started on Friday: “Last night 28 employees were evacuated to the airport and the rest were sent to the camp. This morning they were evacuated to the airport and no (foreign) staff remain in the field,” according to a security firm which oversaw their emergency departure.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Iraqi Parliament Poised to Evict US Troops

Iraqi Parliament Poised to Evict US Troops

Talk of US attacking Iran has many Iraqi officials keen to get rid of them.

Iraq has spent the better share of the last 16 years under US military occupation. Despite this, time and again US-Iraqi relations have come to be defined by US hostility toward neighboring Iran, and Iraq’s desire to not get mixed up in that.

So while Iraq’s parliament was already bristling under Pentagon talk of staying in Iraq, and Trump saying that the US was staying in Iraq to “keep an eye on Iran,” the recent escalation of US rhetoric about a war against Iran has sparked action within parliament. 

On Saturday, Iraq will be voting on a bill that would aim to expel all foreign troops from Iraqi soil, and singles out US troops in particular as needing to leave. The bill is endorsed by Iraq’s top two Shi’ite blocs, and is expected to pass fairly easily. 

What happens then is the real question. Iraq’s parliament is already being spun as “pro-Iran factions,” and it’s been a long time since US officials, Pentagon or otherwise, gave any indication that they thought staying in Iraq was up to the Iraqi government. 

So while the Iraqi Prime Minister is warning the US that they can’t use Iraq to launch a war on Iran, the US is browbeating Iraq over its government-aligned Shi’ite militias, and doing everything they can to try to portray that Shi’ite-dominated Iraqi government as effectively in league with the Iranians, and subsequently a threat to US interests. No matter what happens, it seems certain US-Iraqi ties will suffer for it. 

Top British Commander In Rare Public Dispute With US Over Iran Intelligence

Top British Commander In Rare Public Dispute With US Over Iran Intelligence

An awkward public exchange unfolded between the US military and its closest allied military coalition force during a Pentagon press conference on Tuesday wherein a top British commander in charge of anti-ISIS coalition forces rebuked White House claims on the heightened Iran threat. 

“No – there’s been no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and Syria,” British Army Maj. Gen. Christopher Ghika, a deputy head of the US-led coalition, asserted confidently in a videolink briefing from Baghdad to the Pentagon in response to a CNN question. “We’re aware of that presence, clearly. And we monitor them along with a whole range of others because that’s the environment we’re in. We are monitoring the Shia militia groups. I think you’re referring to carefully and if the threat level seems to go up then we’ll raise our force protection measures accordingly.”British Army Maj. Gen. Christopher Ghika during the Pentagon briefing Tuesday. screenshot via OIR/US Army

The British commander’s words prompted a rare and swift rebuke from the US side hours later into the evening when US Central Command (CENTCOM) issued its own statement slamming Gen. Ghika’s words as inaccurate, insisting coalition troops in Iraq and Syria were an a “high level of alert” due to the “Iran threat”. 

“Recent comments from OIR’s deputy commander run counter to the identified credible threats available to intelligence from US and allies regarding Iranian-backed forces in the region,” the CENTCOM statement said.

“US Central Command, in coordination with OIR, has increased the force posture level for all service members assigned to OIR in Iraq and Syria. As a result, OIR is now at a high level of alert as we continue to closely monitor credible and possibly imminent threats to US forces in Iraq.”

16 Years After Iraq, the US Has Become a Nation of Passive Neocons 

ANTI WAR PROTEST

NEO-CONMEN 

16 Years After Iraq, the US Has Become a Nation of Passive Neocons 

After Iraq, the neocons began waging another war, one for America’s soul.

WASHINGTON (Opinion) — Sixteen years have passed and the memory of the Iraq War is distant for many, save for the millions of people — Iraqi and American alike — who saw their lives destroyed by one of the greatest lies ever sold to the American public. 

Yet, while plenty of Americans sleep easy thinking that such an atrocity as the invasion and occupation of Iraq could never happen again, the U.S. government has continuously been involved in many smaller, equally disastrous wars — both seen and unseen — largely thanks to the fact that those who brought us the Iraq War remain both respected and still present in the halls of power.

Indeed, the only thing the domestic outrage over the Iraq War seemed to accomplish has been a massive effort waged by the government and the corporate elite to engineer a public that doesn’t complain and doesn’t care when their government meddles or invades another country. 

For many Americans today, much like the war itself, the outrage over the Iraq War is a distant memory and comparable outrage has failed to emerge over any other U.S. government crime committed or contemplated on a similar scale — whether it be the “regime change” invasion of Libya, the ongoing genocide in Yemen, or in response to crimes the government is now setting up

Our forgetfulness has informed our silence and our silence is our complicity in the crimes — past and present — orchestrated by the neocons, who never left government after Iraq but instead rebranded themselves and helped to culturally engineer our passivity. As a consequence, we have again been hoodwinked by the neocons, who have transformed America in their image, creating a nation of neocon enablers, a nation of passive neocons.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

On The Anniversary Of The Iraq Invasion, Bush Press Secretary Claims Bush Didn’t Lie

On The Anniversary Of The Iraq Invasion, Bush Press Secretary Claims Bush Didn’t Lie

On the sixteenth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, as the US government threatens punitive actionagainst International Criminal Court investigators for attempting to look into US war crimes, former George W Bush administration Press Secretary Ari Fleischer has decided to publish a Twitter threadclaiming that Bush did not lie to the world about Iraq.

Here is a transcript of the full thread by Fleischer:

The Iraq war began sixteen years ago tomorrow. There is a myth about the war that I have been meaning to set straight for years. After no WMDs were found, the left claimed “Bush lied. People died.” This accusation itself is a lie. It’s time to put it to rest.

The fact is that President Bush (and I as press secretary) faithfully and accurately reported to the public what the intelligence community concluded. The CIA, along with the intelligence services of Egypt, France, Israel and others concluded that Saddam had WMD. We all turned out to be wrong. That is very different from lying.

After the war, a bipartisan group was created to determine what went wrong, particularly why the intelligence community’s conclusions about Iraq were so different from what was found on the ground after the war. The group of experts was named the Robb-Silberman commission. It’s report was issued in March 2005. It can be found in full here. Its key finding was that that a “major intelligence failure” took place. It also stated that no intelligence service was pressured by the Bush Administration to conclude that Saddam had WMDs.

Here are the key quotes from their report:

“Overall Commission Finding: The Intelligence Community’s performance in assessing Iraq’s pre-war weapons of mass destruction programs was a major intelligence failure.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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