Oil Smuggling out of Basra

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Von-Ryan, Jun 9, 2007.

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  1. The part that really angers me , is DM and others had and demonstrated a solution for this in the immediate aftermath. I may have the timeline wrong, but didn't the CPA tell us we couldn't do things along the lines we'd been told we'd were there for in the first place?

    Net result, local 'mafias' filled the void. Quelle suprise.
     
  2. The interesting part (for me) is that this has been known about for a long time. But it doesn't make news.

    Is that censorship, or crap reporting or both?

    I think it's about crap reporting: too many journos with Sven Syndrome (Right War/Wrong Reasons = Anything Goes).

    Ask yerself who is making £££ out of these smuggling ops?

    Nobody with any interest in the governance of Iraq, or any part of thereof would have any interest . . . . obviously . . .

    It fecking reeks. 8)

    And no British soldier should die for it.
     
  3. The CPA were utterly corrupt Pongo. There's been no metering of how much of the stuff has been coming out of the ground since we got there. This has been deliberate.
     
  4. I saw a very damn fine Officer from my Regiment get a grip there Goodkurtz, a proper enlightened grip.

    There are others much closer to Arrse who did similar. My understanding , is they were told to wind their necks in.

    This was a case of British Officers doing everything we expect of them, and being told no. I do not know the reasons why , but I know the aftermath.
     
  5. Oh I don't doubt you at all pongo. I know lots of British service people and Americans would have been of good heart, energy and initiative trying to help the Iraqis. It is one of the crying shames in the veritable waterfall of crying shames that is Iraq that at every turn the efforts of the good would have been underminded deliberatly by the powerful and the bad. Did you read the story of the U.S Lt. Col's posted by Stonker on the Bagdad thread?

    One of the casualty lists not compiled, recorded and published monthly is the death and serious injury to idealism and good will in the hearts of men that happens with monotonous regularity with the cycle of each day.

    Its a feature that of course happens in all wars, but in dishonest ones that kind of damage will happen all the quicker and be all the greater.
     
  6. I echo PTP's earlier comments.

    This situation has been allowed to happen, with the compliance of the CPA. I guess the question is whether this compliance was tacit or explicit?

    As Iraqi oil installations came under British "control" during TELIC, key figures were well aware, that the resources to "secure" oil assets, were simply not there. It was also well known, that especially in Southern Iraq, that Shia tribes (some named in the Guardian article) had well established mechanisms for smuggling oil out of the Basra terminal area.

    So, with simply too few men on the ground - we have "turned a blind eye" to this trade - Stonker is absolutely right, this is yet another area that does not get reported on. Hardly surprising, in essence, the smuggling / syphoning off, of fuel oils in this manner, has been a well established "black economy" in Southern Iraq since GW1, where the parlous state of Iraqi oil infrastructure was easily exploited by local tribes.

    Goodkutz comment, relating to the lack of control / audit, is indicative of where the problem lies. And whilst, it's easy to say that the CPA is / was utterly corrupt, it is a little unfair on many of those working in it, but I fully understand the sentiment. My own view is that the lack of "moral courage / grip" on this by senior figures, both CPA and Mil has inevitably led to this type of story emerging - and I doubt this to be the story that will do the most damage.

    I wonder what the future would have held, for the CPA figure who backbriefed the Cabinet Office in 2003, and said in words of one syllable that we simply did not have enough boots on the ground, to properly secure and control the oil assets?

    In the event, the military commanders on the ground have had little way of influencing events, and in many ways, this lack of control, probably led to less confrontation between the military and extremist elements in the key tribes, and the emerging Sadr militias. Let's face it, what would you prefer to be doing - smuggling oil, and making money, or taking a pop at a military force, more than able (at that point) to respond robustly?

    Again, the huge pity is that the British Miliitary and specifically, some well known personalities in the STRE's did a truly remarkable job in 2003, in actually getting the oil flowing again, and making sure that the country could start producing income.

    I imagine there are a few people, reading the Guardian article, with a feeling of "why the feck did we bother?" - on the other hand, I don't think the smuggling of oil is the only topic that comes out Iraq, that results in this feeling.
     
  7. My Dear Albrighter, if I had still had a heart left to break, posts like your one above would break it.
    You sound like one of those many decent people who thought, (apart from a fib or two to get us there) that the Iraq adventure was a clean one.

    It wasn't, it isn't.
    Look how ordinary U.S. soldiers were encouraged to think of the 'Hajji' as being guilty for 9/11. This ensured that aggression and disorder would ensue. The disbanding of the Iraq Army wasn't a mistake. The repercussions were foreseen and desired. IT WAS A DELIBERATE POLICY.

    The criminal nutters from the PNAC had seen what happened when communism collapsed in Russia. For a while there, there was a blasted economic landscape in which most people suffered but which offered golden opportunities for those who knew how to play it. A small cabal of Americans intended to bring this situation around and become the new oligarchs of Iraq.

    Look at some of peripherals. If the Americans had been of good heart in their intentions to help rebuild the Iraqi nation they would have protected its ancient sites and antiquities. Iraq was the birth place of civilisation for fcuks sake!
    And how better to help encourage Iraqi national pride in themselves and their nation than to protect these artifacts? By doing so the Americans would of also been showing the Iraqis that they the Americans respected them and their country. In other words it would have been one of the most major, long lasting and serious 'Hearts & Minds' operation that could have taken place.

    Yet the U.S. policy has been one of what one can only concluded is deliberate neglect. They want Iraqis history thrown on the pyre. I really promise you, I'm not being 'excitable' when I say they wanted to year zero the place.

    Now and again a poster or two will crop up on one thread or the other and comment on the usage that 'incompetence' is put to by the Americans.
    It must constantly baffle those serving there thinking intentions are good how come there is ALWAYS shortages of resources, human and other, to do what it is that is both necessary and beneficial? But the American admin ensured that that situation should occur. That's why they sent out a whole string of young PNAC loyalists with a low grade of competence to run the CPA. There is nothing mistaken here. People were deliberately hired for their level of clueless incompetence. And if they were bible thumping god botherers, so much the better. Those kind of people were just the kind of dopes who wouldn't be able to detect contractor fraud and scamming going on right on under their noses.
    (I personally knew this situation would arise, where good men's energies would be used in the service of great crime because I had read PNAC literature and had already been primed long ago into how this one works by reading Kurt Vonnegut who despaired that his worse nightmares were coming true shortly before he died.)

    Its deliberate, behind a veil of Iraqi disorder and Coalition incompetence, with good men's hands full dealing with the fallout the real bad guys plans move forward a foot.
    If the story of our involvement in Iraq was one of good intentions marred by mistakes at least sometimes things would also, as if by mistake go blindly right. But they never do.

    The clue staring us in the face is the CONSITANCY of the 'incompetence'.

    If I can dig out the article by an Iraqi who worked in a state owned cement company I'll post it. His story of the CPA's dealings with this one factory revealed the entirety of the CPA's commercial intentions viz a viz the Iraqi industrial sector.
    In years to come these matters will become the matter of international war crimes trials as the CPA paid no attention whatsoever to Geneva's sanctions on what or what not an occupying force may do with the resource's of the occupied country.
    Oh, and watch out. I have heard murmurings by neo cons that perhaps Iraq ought to be designated a 'failed state' all over again.

    Since the time we got there through to now and for the foreseeable future, the only moons rising over Iraq are going to be bad ones.
     
  8. Digging back, the New York Times published this piece about 3 weeks ago:


    Sadly, for some reason, I didn't pick up on it, so there's no precis over on the "90 Days to victory" thread.

    It did lead me to this, however; a report published by the United States Government Accountability Office (they must have their work cut out for them lately :wink: )

    From (dodgy) memory, USA press in general picked up on the report because of its reflections on levels of violence, rather than the oil smuggling and more general climate of corruption which it addresses.directly.

    The opening summary (4 paragraphs) follows. Note how it clearly hints at the US DoD is denying information to Congress, misleading Congress over the effectiveness of US-trained Iraqi units, mismanaging contracts ($43m/year wasted on free meals for contractors who also receive a gummint-funded per-diem subsistence allowance FFS!!) and ignoring repeated recommendations of the GAO. In addition, by inference, GAO seems to be saying that - in the absence of good governance of the Equip and Train programme - DoD has no idea how much of the kit supplied by US taxpayers is being used to kill American and British troops.

    You'd think Dubya would want to get his own house in order, before pointing the finger at Iran, wouldn't you?

    (N.B. Emphasis in the text below is mine)
    Now, go and enjoy your sunday lunch (but you'll have to get rid of the nasty aftertaste this leaves in your mouth first) 8)
     
  9. I am in agreement with previous posters, the entire situation is orchestrated, in regards to oil smuggling the refusal to fund basic Oil flow monitoring equipment (only 2 million dollars and standard on ALL of the worlds Oil shipping facilities) means that no one knows how much Oil is being pumped or sold or what.

    Sure beats flying Heroin around to finance ops.
     
  10. Reminds me a bit of Chechnya. Every little warlord with his own oil racket.
     
  11. You bet. And with all those nasty regulations in place prohibiting banks from laundering money what a sweet new way to clean up filthy dosh.
    Pay the smugglers with the filth and collect clean green when the oil gets to the broker.