The grand oil theft has begun: Oil giants poised to move into Basra

Western oil giants are poised to enter southern Iraq to tap the country’s vast reserves, despite the ongoing threat of violence, according to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s business emissary to the country.

Michael Wareing, who heads the new Basra Development Commission, acknowledged that there would be concerns among Iraqis about multinationals exploiting natural resources.

Basra, where 4 000 British troops are based, has been described as “the lung” of Iraq by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. The region accounts for 90% of government revenue and 70% of Iraq’s proven oil reserves. It has access to the Persian Gulf and is potentially one of the richest areas in the Middle East, but continues to be plagued by rival militias.

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North American Army created without OK by Congress

In a ceremony that received virtually no attention in the American media, the United States and Canada signed a military agreement Feb. 14 allowing the armed forces from one nation to support the armed forces of the other nation during a domestic civil emergency, even one that does not involve a cross-border crisis.


U.S. Air Force Gen. Gene Renuart, commander of USNORTHCOM, signs agreement Feb. 14, 2008, with Canadian Air Force Lt. Gen. Marc Dumais, commander of Canada Command (USNORTHCOM photo)

The agreement, defined as a Civil Assistance Plan, was not submitted to Congress for approval, nor did Congress pass any law or treaty specifically authorizing this military agreement to combine the operations of the armed forces of the United States and Canada in the event of a wide range of domestic civil disturbances ranging from violent storms, to health epidemics, to civil riots or terrorist attacks.

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Former Halliburton subsidiary KBR’s 4th quarter profits up 65%

HOUSTON (AP) — Former Halliburton subsidiary KBR Inc. said Tuesday fourth-quarter profit rose 65 percent, lifted by contributions from natural-gas projects, work in Iraq and a tax benefit related to a 2006 asset sale.

The Houston-based military contractor and engineering and construction firm said profit for the October-December period was $71 million, or 42 cents a share, up from $43 million, or 28 cents a share, in the prior-year period.

The most-recent quarter included income from discontinued operations of $23 million, or 14 cents a share, due to tax benefits from the 2006 sale of its production services group.

The prior-year period included a loss from discontinued operations of $2 million, or 1 cent a share.

Wall Street expected KBR to earn 32 cents in the quarter, excluding one-time items.

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14 Iranians in US custody in Iraq

The US troops in Iraq currently have fourteen Iranians in their custody, they had freed 10 others last year, a military official says.

The Iranians are “being held as imperative threats to security in accordance with United Nations Security resolution,” the US Central Command claimed in a statement from its headquarters in Tampa, Florida.

“The dates and times of their individual capture are not immediately available,” Major Brad Leighton, spokesman for the US military in Iraq told AFP on Monday.
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Narco Aggression: Russia accuses the U.S. military of involvement in drug trafficking out of Afghanistan

The global proceeds of the Afghan drug trade is in excess of 150 billion dollars a year. There is mounting evidence that this illicit trade is protected by the US military.Historically, starting in the early 1980s, the Afghan drug trade was used to finance CIA covert support of the Islamic brigades. The 2003 war on Afghanistan was launched following the Taliban government’s 2000-2001 drug eradication program which led to a collapse in opium production in excess of 90 percent.

The following report, which accuses the United States of using military transport planes to ship narcotics out of Afghanistan confirms what is already known and documented regarding the Golden Crescent Drug Trade and its insiduous relationship to US intelligence.

Russia, facing a catastrophic rise in drug addiction, accuses the U.S. military of involvement in drug trafficking from Afghanistan.

Afghanistan produced 8,200 tonnes of opium last year, enough to make 93 per cent of the world’s heroin supply.

Could it be that the American military in Afghanistan is involved in drug trafficking? Yes, it is quite possible, according to Russia’s Ambassador to Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov.

Commenting on reports that the United States military transport aviation is used for shipping narcotics out of Afghanistan, the Russian envoy said there was no smoke without fire.

“If such actions do take place they cannot be undertaken without contact with Afghans, and if one Afghan man knows this, at least a half of Afghanistan will know about this sooner or later,” Kabulov told Vesti, Russia’s 24-hour news channel. “That is why I think this is possible, but cannot prove it.”

Afghan narcotics are an extremely painful issue for Russia. They first hit the Russian market during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s when Russian soldiers developed a taste for Afghan heroin and smuggled it back to Russia.

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Israel and the Kurdish Regional Government assist Turkish attacks against Kurds

LONDON – Israel has been supporting Turkey in its oppression against the Kurdish people, revealed local sources.
A spokesperson of the PKK stated that in the current conflict, the Israeli army is assisting the Turks in their oppression of Kurds.
The Turkish Prime Minister stated that the incursion is coordinated with “the local administration in Northern Iraq.” This implies that the Kurdistan Regional Government, which Turkey terms as the administration of Northern Iraq, avoiding using the words “Kurd” or “Kurdistan,” have been coordinating with Turkey.
By mentioning the coordination with the “local administration in Northern Iraq” the Turkish Prime Minister may mean Jalal Talabani, the head of PUK and the President of Iraq. Abdulla Gul telephoned Talabani on Friday. Turkey refuses to recognise any Kurdistan Regional Government. In fact, Turkey refuses to fully recognise an ethinc group known as Kurd.
However in a statement, 24 hours after the incursion and under huge pressure from media and the people of Kurdistan, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) issued a statement condemning the incursion.

Women’s lives worse than ever

And here is me thinking we were there to help those poor supressed women, Sounds like we succeeded, eh?

By Terri Judd
Monday, 25 February 2008

Grinding poverty and the escalating war is driving an increasing number of Afghan families to sell their daughters into forced marriages.

Girls as young as six are being married into a life of slavery and rape, often by multiple members of their new relatives. Banned from seeing their own parents or siblings, they are also prohibited from going to school. With little recognition of the illegality of the situation or any effective recourse, many of the victims are driven to self-immolation – burning themselves to death – or severe self-harm.

Six years after the US and Britain “freed” Afghan women from the oppressive Taliban regime, a new report proves that life is just as bad for most, and worse in some cases.

Projects started in the optimistic days of 2002 have begun to wane as the UK and its Nato allies fail to treat women’s rights as a priority, workers in the country insist.

The statistics in the report from Womankind, Afghan Women and Girls Seven Years On, make shocking reading. Violent attacks against females, usually domestic, are at epidemic proportions with 87 per cent of females complaining of such abuse – half of it sexual. More than 60 per cent of marriages are forced.

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