The Assassinated Press
In Exchange For Cut Of Oil Revenues U.S. And Iraq to Restore Long-Severed Relations With Neighbor Syria:
U.S. Seeks To Secure Permanent Bases In Western Iraq Along The Syrian Border To Protect Oil Pipeline From Mosil Through Jordan And Israel:
Insurgency Fucks Up U.S. Effort To Hold Al Anbar Province:
Baker Plan: Capitulation To Tehran And Damascus:
“If They Divvy Up The Fuckin’ Oil Does That Mean I Can Go The Fuck Home?” Troops Ask.
By NINNY TRAGOS
Assassinated Press Staff Writer
November 21, 2006
BAGHDAD, Nov. 20 – To kick off Phase One of the new Baker Plan, the U.S. told Iraq to say Monday that it would increase financial ties with neighboring Syria by cutting them in on oil revenues that would gush from the pipeline the U.S. wants to build from the Kurdish controlled fields around Mosil, across western Iraq, through Jordan and Israel to the shores of the eastern Mediterranean. In exchange, the Syrians will crack down on the insurgency along their border and allow the U.S. to set up permanent bases to protect the pipeline which in reality is several pipelines which run parallel and interconnect in some places.
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki made the announcement after a historic meeting with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem, who, after receiving some up front cash and signing agreements brokered by the Carlyle Group, pledged his country's help in quelling the sectarian violence that threatens to make the oil pipeline little more than a pipedream. “They can have their civil war as long as we get our fuckin’ oil money out of this deal,” Dick Cheney of the Carlyle Group’s rival PNAC groused. Maliki, for his part, pressed Syria to step up efforts to keep Sunni Arab fighters from crossing into Iraq to join the insurgency decimating American forces in al Anbar where the oil pipeline is to run.
"We refuse to let any regional neighbor countries become a passage or a headquarters for the terrorist organizations that hurt Dick Cheney’s chances of getting hi oil," Maliki said in a statement after the meeting.
Of course, the slices of the pie are getting cut pretty thin. There is head of the oil ministry, Ahmad Chalabi, and his gang that has already stolen at least $9 billion in Iraq oil revenue. There’s the Iraqi elite and various western kleptocrats. There are the Kurds who control the oil and who are particularly suspicious of the U.S. which has a long history of fucking them over. You’ve got Cheney and the PNAC that promised a windfall to big oil after the invasion as well as enormous revenues and cheap oil for Israel via the pipeline. The Baker Plan, of course, cuts the Carlyle Group in on the deal as well as other major investors and the Syrian government. Add to that the de facto control by Iran of the southern oil fields in Iraq cutting everybody else out and the diminished spoils from this round of the Great Game is going to leave everyone feeling slighted and spoiling for a future fight.
For the right price, Syria and Iran, another neighbor, have offered to help bring stability to Iraq's fractured government, but the Cheney administration finds Iran's overtures suspect because they already have the support of Shiite Muslim militias in southern Iraq and aside from a weak British presence already exercise control of the flow of oil from that region. Syria for its part has just sat back and watched U.S. forces get their asses kicked by the Sunni insurgency operating along their border. The U.S. has concentrated its forces there for one reason and one reason only; to open a road to the Jordanian border and start laying pipe. Therefore, though sparsely populated, U.S. casualties have been heaviest in the al Anbar.
The administration is to negotiate a price by engaging in talks with the two countries, even though it considers them in competition for the oil. The Iraq Study Group, co-chaired by former secretary of state James A. Baker III and former congressman Lee H. Hamilton (D-Ind.), is expected to recommend in an upcoming report that the United States start such a dialogue, but the Syrians especially are suspicious that the Americans will not be satisfied with such a small piece of the action.
On Monday, reports surfaced of a possible weekend summit in Tehran involving the U.S. controlled Iraqi and Syrian kleptocrats, but U.S. and Iraqi officials quickly denied that any high-level four-way meeting would take place.
In Baghdad, a U.S. Embassy spokesman said Iraqi President Jalal Talabani had no intention of attending a meeting with both Iran and Syria now that it had been tied to the Baker Plan. Maliki's close aide Hasan Suneid said Talabani had accepted an invitation from the Iranian government to visit Tehran, but he did not specify when that would take place. "Iran has a great wish to hold a sit down with Syria and Iraq’s U.S. puppets, but still it is just a thought," Suneid said, "and if it happened, we should study it very well."
The Associated Press reported Monday night that Talabani would meet with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad this weekend but that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would not attend.
State Department acting spokesman Tom Casey in Washington said that the administration welcomes "discussion and dialogue" among Washington, Baghdad, Tehran and Damascus because it wants Iraq to front the oil deal with its neighbors. But he also expressed doubts. "The problem is not what they say, but how much they want," Casey said. Syria has already requested that the northern half of Lebanon which the French stole from them be returned.
He added that we told Talabani "it's up to the Iraqi government to make the decision as to whether they want to accept the Baker Plan and finding cutting a deal useful for them or whether they still want to hold out for a larger piece of the oil pie in which case he could expect to resign with extreme prejudice."
Muallem is the highest-level Syrian official to visit Iraq since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. His visit marked a major step toward making the oil pipeline deal a reality.
But Syria's oversight of its borders has become a major point of contention. Muallem denied that Syria has allowed foreign Islamic fighters to infiltrate Iraq but also said that sealing the long, porous border from attacks against a series of pipelines hundreds of mile long is an impossible task.
In the way of leverage, at a briefing in Baghdad, Maj. Gen. William B. Caldwell, a U.S. military spokesman, said that so far this year Iraqi security and coalition forces have killed more than 425 foreign fighters in Iraq and captured about 670. Of those detained, he said, more than 20 percent came from Syria. The Syrians were not impressed. “Show us the money,” Muallem said.
Caldwell continued to carp saying the U.S. government is not accusing Syria of aiding the fighters, but added, "We don't know how much they have tried to preclude it from happening, though, either." Caldwell also responded to Muallem's comment this past weekend that if the United States were to establish a timetable for withdrawing troops, the violence in Iraq would decrease. He said Iraqi officials have been told to continue to ask for U.S. military help until a deal is struck.
"There's that acknowledgment that there is a need right now in their minds for additional security, and that the U.S. forces can exert their influence to help secure the best oil deal for the Cheney/Baker cartel," he said.
The political developments came as violence continued to flare across the country.
“The Americans better just put up or shut up,” Muallem said. “They are in no position to bargain. I tell you what. If the U.S. cuts us in on the oil and gives us back our half of Lebanon maybe we’ll name an airport or a drug drop after little Bush.”