Will 'armloads' of US cash buy tribal loyalty?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by poncho, Jan 18, 2008.

  1. poncho

    poncho
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    TIKRIT, Iraq - Inside a stately guesthouse on the grounds of Saddam Hussein's palace in Tikrit on the banks of the Tigris, sheikh Sabah al-Hassani jokes that the initials "SH" of the former dictator etched on the walls are his.

    "I have a weakness for Cuban cigars, French cologne, and Spanish-made loafers," he says with a wide grin.

    Since June, Mr. Hassani, who claims to be one of the princes of the legendary Shammar tribe, which numbers nearly 7 million across the Arab world, says he has received at least $100,000 in cash and numerous perks from the US military and the Iraqi government.

    With his help, at least $1 million has also been distributed to other tribal sheikhs who have joined his Salahaddin Province "support council," according to US officers. Together, they have assembled an armed force of about 3,000 tribesmen dubbed the "sahwa [awakening] folks."

    All of these enticements serve one goal: To rally Sunni tribes and their multitude of followers to support coalition forces.

    The payments are a drop in the bucket given the billions spent annually in Iraq by the United States. And paying tribes to keep the peace is nothing new. It was one of Mr. Hussein's tools in his selective patronage system designed to weaken and control all institutions outside his Baath party. The British also tried it when they ruled Iraq last century.

    But the strategy is fraught with risks, including the serious potential for wars among the tribes themselves and the creation of militias in die-hard Sunni Arab lands where many continue to question the legitimacy and authority of the Shiite-led central government in Baghdad.

    FULL ARTICLE

    Are things really getting better in Iraq or are we just "paying them to keep the peace"?
     
  2. Bro. Curtis

    Bro. Curtis
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    You mean it didn't work to that effect in Pakistan ? How about the billions we've dumped into Gaza, don't they like us over there yet ?
     
  3. poncho

    poncho
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    Seems to be the essence of "our" foreign policy either pay em off or blow em up. Or blow em up then pay em off.
     
  4. carpro

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    Loyalty to the U.S is not necessary from the Iraqis.

    Co-operation is, and can frequently be paid for.
     
  5. poncho

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    We're only buying co-operation. Okay I get it.

    How many sheiks do we have to pay to keep them co-operating 32 or all of them?

    What happens if we pay some and not others?

    How many sheiks are there in Iraq?

    Do we have to borrow ten billion dollars from china to buy this co-operation? And if so at what rate?

    "We're gonna make ya an offer ya can't refuse, either take the money and co-operate or we'll rub ya out".

    Pretty much this is what we expect gangsters to do right?
     
    #5 poncho, Jan 18, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 18, 2008
  6. carpro

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    :laugh:

    Nice rant. Useless but cute.
     
  7. poncho

    poncho
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    I wouldn't say useless exactly. It helped to show that you don't care much for answering questions didn't it? :laugh:
     
  8. carpro

    carpro
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    Not pointless ones, no.

    Your point is the question. The answers don't matter. At least not to you.
     
  9. poncho

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    No way! I really want to know if we're borrowing the money from China to buy co-operation in Iraq. Don't you wanna know too?

    And I'd really like to know if you think buying co-operation is going to work this time around after it has failed so many times in the past. And why.

    But what I'd really really like to know is...are things really getting better in Iraq because of "the surge" like our leaders and mass media keep telling us (same folks that have been telling us the economy has been doing so great) or could the violence be down for other reasons?

    Wouldn't you like to know too? I mean you'll be the one responsible for paying back the communists along with the rest of us including our children and their children. Seems like you'd like to know anyway, but I could be wrong. :tonofbricks:

    So we're just buying co-operation to reduce violence levels. How's that working out?

    Violence levels are down, but attacks have not ceased. "Nine U.S. soldiers were killed in 24 hours, U.S. B-1 and F-16 bombers dropped over 40,000 pounds of special munitions on the Arab Juboor villages just south of Baghdad, and Awakening (militia paid for by the U.S.) leaders and senior police officers are being assassinated all over Iraq, yet U.S. army leaders and top officials say Iraq is safe and sound," lawyer and human rights activist Mahmood al-Dulaimy told IPS.

    SOURCE


    BAGHDAD, Jan 14 (IPS) - The newly formed 'Awakening' forces set up by the U.S. military are bringing new conflict among people.

    For months now the U.S. military has been actively building what it calls 'Awakening' forces and "concerned local citizens" in an effort to reduce attacks on occupation forces.

    Members of the forces, which comprise primarily former resistance fighters and tribal groups, are paid 300 dollars monthly. There are at present about 80,000 recruits to these groups. The U.S. military plans to cap the number at 85,000.

    According to the U.S. military, 82 percent of the members are Sunni.

    The forces, which are opposed by the Iraqi government led by U.S.-appointed Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, are also being strongly criticised by Sunni residents in Baghdad and other cities.

    "The armed groups called 'Awakening' are now the only powerful players in many Sunni areas in Baghdad, and so they show their power the way others did," Qussay al-Tai'i, a lawyer from Saydiya town southwest of Baghdad told IPS. "It seems that violence has become routine procedure for American soldiers, Iraqi security men and now the so-called Awakening fighters."

    <snip>
    'Awakening' forces have been widely criticised for corruption and for brutal tactics. Many speak of them as "gangs", "criminals", "dogs of the Americans", and "thieves." But the Bush administration, and many media outlets in the west, credit the 'Awakening' forces with bringing stability to volatile areas.

    SOURCE

    FALLUJAH, Dec 26 (IPS) - The controversial move of the U.S. military to back Sunni "Awakening" forces has created another wedge between Sunni and Shia political groups.

    Following disputes between the tribal groups assembled into Awakening forces and the Iraqi government, the creation of these forces has become also a political issue.

    U.S.-backed Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who heads a Shia political bloc, has adamantly opposed the U.S.-military policy of backing tribal groups and former resistance fighters.

    To date, the U.S. military has paid more than 17 million dollars to these fighters, whose groups it calls "Concerned Local Citizens" and "Awakening Forces." Each member receives around 300 dollars monthly. Many are former resistance fighters who used to attack occupation forces.

    These new forces now have a strength of more than 76,000. According to the U.S. military, at least 82 percent are Sunni. It hopes to add another 10,000.

    The groups have been credited with chasing foreign fighters out of cities in al-Anbar province to the west of Baghdad, and also from parts of Baghdad. But members of these groups are often accused of extortion, corruption, and brutal tactics.

    SOURCE

    Sounds like we're just replacing bad guys with bad guys over there. I don't see how that equates to "things being better in Iraq". Temporarily quieter maybe but not better.

    Okay Carpro your turn, give us Hannity's and the warfare/welfare state's opinion now and tell us how great and wonderful interventionism and nation building is. Or try to blow it all off with another smug and cutsie remark.
     
    #9 poncho, Jan 18, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 18, 2008
  10. NiteShift

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    To maintain the fixed currency peg between the yuan and dollar, the Chinese central bank buys foreign currency and foreign debt, mostly U.S. Treasuries. It’s not like we go to them, hat in hand and ask for a loan. Governments, corporations and pension funds compete to buy at auction every three months.

    The largest holder of Treasury debt is the U.S. government itself (about 50 percent of the total). About 25 percent is held by foreign countries; Japan, China, and the UK principally. The rest is held by state governments, public and private pension funds, credit unions and so on.

    The massive top-down attempts at rebuilding in Iraq failed miserably. The new strategy turned that around by working the traditional tribal leadership. It’s how things are done there, and after we leave the Iraq government will no doubt deal with them in much the same way.

    A year ago death squads roamed the streets in Baghdad retaliating for massive al Qaeda bomb attacks. Every week hundreds of Iraqis were kidnapped and killed. In Baghdad now, sectarian killings are down 80 percent, truck and suicide bombings are way down. US and Iraqi casualties have dropped sharply, and commanders now get some 23,000 tips a month, four to five times the level of a year before. Something like 40,000 refugees are returning home each month. And a significant sign of reconciliation, the Iraqi parliament passed a bill this month allowing for former Baathists to return to government jobs and collect their pensions. Only Congressional Dems (and other hard cases) refuse to see the progress.

    LINK

    What folks in the press are telling us the economy is so great? I’ve seen nothing but gloom and doom from them.







     
  11. poncho

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    All this from just one conglomerated press article? I'm not impressed. Let's hear from some independent unembedded (uncontrolled) reporters for a change.

    What folks in the press were telling us the economy was doing great? Is your memory really that short? C'mon. :rolleyes:
     
    #11 poncho, Jan 19, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 19, 2008

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