FW: US paying insurgents


Paying Insurgents Not to Fight

By Paul Craig Roberts

19/02/08 "ICH <http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/> " -- -- It is
impossible to keep up with all the Bush regime's lies. There are simply
too many. Among the recent crop, one of the biggest is that the "surge"
is working.

Launched last year, the "surge" was the extra 20,000-30,000 U.S. troops
sent to Iraq. These few extra troops, Americans were told, would finally
supply the necessary forces to pacify Iraq.

This claim never made any sense. The extra troops didn't raise the total
number of U.S. soldiers to more than one-third the number every expert
has said is necessary <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Shinseki> in
order to successfully occupy Iraq.

The real purpose of the "surge" was to hide another deception. The Bush
regime is paying Sunni insurgents $800,000 a day not to attack U.S.
forces. That's right, 80,000 members of an "Awakening group," the "Sons
of Iraq," a newly formed "U.S.-allied security force" consisting of
Sunni insurgents, are being paid $10 a day each not to attack U.S.
troops. Allegedly, the Sons of Iraq are now at work fighting al-Qaeda.

This is a much cheaper way to fight a war. We can only wonder why Bush
didn't figure it out sooner.

The "surge" was also timed to take account of the near completion of
neighborhood cleansing. Most of the violence in Iraq during the past
five years has resulted from Sunnis and Shi'ites driving each other out
of mixed neighborhoods. Had the two groups been capable of uniting
against the U.S. troops, the U.S. would have been driven out of Iraq
long ago. Instead, the Iraqis slaughtered each other and fought the
Americans in their spare time.

In other words, the "surge" has had nothing to do with any decline in

With the Sunni insurgents now on Uncle Sam's payroll, with neighborhoods
segregated, and with Sadr's militia standing down, it is unclear who is
still responsible for ongoing violence other than U.S. troops
themselves. Somebody must still be fighting, however, because the U.S.
is still conducting air strikes and is still unable to tell friend from

On Feb. 16, the Los Angeles Times reported that a U.S. air strike
managed to kill nine Iraqi civilians and three Sons of Iraq.

The Sunnis are abandoning their posts in protest
<http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/iraq/article3386809.ece> ,
demanding an end to "errant" U.S. air strikes. Obviously, the Sunnis see
an opportunity to increase their daily pay for not attacking Americans.
Soon they will have consultants advising them how much they can demand
in bribes before it pays the Americans to begin fighting the war under
the old terms. If Sunnis are smart, they will split the gains.
Currently, the Sunnis are getting shafted. They are only collecting
$800,000 of the $275,000,000 it costs the U.S. to fight the war for one
day <http://www.nationalpriorities.org/costofwar_home> . That's only
about three-tenths of one percent, too much of a one-sided deal for the

If the Sunnis negotiate their cut to between one-quarter and one-half of
the daily cost to the U.S. of the war, the Sunnis won't need to share in
the oil revenues, thus helping the three factions to get back together
as a country. Even 20 percent of the daily cost of the war would be a
good deal for the Sunnis. A long-term contract in this range would be
expensive for Uncle Sam, but a great deal cheaper than John McCain's
commitment to a 100-year Iraqi war.

If Bush's war turns out to be as big a boon for the Sunnis as it has for
Tony Blair, we might have a modern-day version of The Mouse That Roared
iwarbookstore/> - a movie about an impoverished country that attacked
the U.S. in order to be defeated and receive foreign aid - only this
time the money comes as a payoff for not fighting the occupiers.

As the world now knows, Blair's "dodgy dossier" about the threat
allegedly posed by Iraq was a contrivance that allowed Blair to put
British troops at the service of Bush's aggression in the Middle East.
Now that Blair is out of his prime minister job, he has been rewarded
with millions of dollars in sinecures from financial firms such as JP
Morgan and millions more in speaking engagements. As part of the payoff,
the Bush Republicans have even put Mrs. Blair on the lucrative lecture

Ask yourself, do you really think Blair knows enough high finance to be
of any value as an adviser to JP Morgan, or enough about climate change
to advise Zurich Financial on the subject? Do you really believe that
after hearing all the vacuous speeches Blair has delivered in those many
years in office anyone now wants to pay him huge fees to hear him give a
speech? Even when it was free, people were sick of it.

Blair is simply collecting his payoff for selling out his country and
sending British troops to die for American hegemony.

The Sunnis seem inclined to do the same thing if Bush will pay them

Is the next phase of the Iraq war going to be a U.S.-Sunni alliance
against the Shi'ites?

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during
President Reagan's first term. He was Associate Editor of the Wall
Street Journal. He has held numerous academic appointments, including
the William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic and International
Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover
Institution, Stanford University. He was awarded the Legion of Honor by
French President Francois Mitterrand.


Isn't this policy effectively nothing more than reversing Rumsfeld's(?) de-Baathification policy of 2003, subsequently widely regarded as a mistake that fueled the insurgency, in which masses of Iraqi army troops were laid off?

  Unless I'm mistaken, the U.S. government (USgov) is also subsidizing the official (Shi'ite-dominated) Iraqi military, but would stop doing so if it were attacking USgov forces. The only differences seem to be that the "Sons of Iraq" are a paramilitary force rather than the official military, and that many of them were formerly fighting on the side of the insurgency. But presumably the insurgents also pay their personnel in one form or another, and would stop paying those who started attacking fellow insurgents. It seems more embarrassing for them than for USgov, that the people they were paying are now fighting on USgov's side!

  Hopefully this trend of parallel military organizations, which avoids the problem of trying to integrate Sunnis and Shiites into the same military organization, will lead toward a peaceful dissolution of Iraq rather than the two armed groups trying to coexist in one country. At this point that seems likely to be the least bloody outcome. The recent secession of Kosovo from Serbia reaffirms the important principle that national borders are not sacrosanct and self-determination takes precedence.

Love & Liberty,
        ((( starchild )))