“The real problem is not that we are different, nor that we disagree and have conflict. It's that most of us automatically view conflict as something negative rather than as a tool God can use to help us better understand ourselves and one another.

--Robert Ricciardelli”

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

11/13 Morning Report

While the Turks and the Kurds are busy blowing each other up, the Kurds and the Iraqi government are arguing over the oil. It seems the Kurdistan regional government (KRG) has awarded 12 new exploration contracts, including 6 to foreign companies and 1 to itself.

"It is the first and only constitutionally based legal framework to attract investments to Iraq, which is designed for Iraq-wide revenue sharing, an essential element of future stability in Iraq that the constitution also rightly mandates," Hawrami added, and that the KRG hopes a similar framework will be adopted throughout Iraq.
Baghdad, on the other hand, has continually said such contracts are illegal, pending the ratification of a draft oil law. But, that draft and a resolution on Kurdish status in Kirkuk are still in limbo.

(…given the speed of Iraqi government accomplishments, the Kurds will be rich before it gets settled…then what will Baghdad do?...)

In other Iraq news, the troop surge is being reversed. 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry division, is already heading home to Ft. Hood, leaving combat strength at 19 brigades.
Between January and July - on a schedule not yet made public - the force is to shrink further to 15 brigades. The total number of U.S. troops will likely go from 167,000 now to 140,000-145,000 by July, six months before President Bush leaves office and a new commander in chief enters the White House.
True, there had been no timetable for withdrawal. However, the plan had been to put a surge of troops in to provide some stability, and then withdraw. In some areas the plan succeeded, in others it did not, and in others the results are mixed. The best news result is that more and more Sunni insurgents are joining against al-Qaeda, and showing a trust for American forces. It seems Bush has kept his promise, or is at least trying to.

(…I wonder what the lefties will make of all this…I also wonder if this will do anything to help Republican candidates this fall?...probably not since they can’t seem to focus on anything…)

In case you wondered what the lefties would do with the situation…they attack from the left! The WahsPo (…of course…) released this story. Citing such things as higher oil costs and unemployment costs due to veteran related issues, Democrats are saying the real cost of the war will be some $1.5 trillion. This is according to a report by the Democratic staff of Congress's Joint Economic Committee who, according to the WashPo, examines the hidden costs of wars. While Republican members of the committee could not be reached for comment, other experts (…according to Reuters…) say calculating the effect of the war on oil prices is difficult.

(…well…hasn’t stopped the lefties, yet...)