Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Quagmire in Iraq and oil supply

Asia Times
The failed mission to capture Iraqi oil

By Michael T Klare Sep 22, 2005
It has long been an article of faith among America's senior policymakers - Democrats and Republicans alike - that military force is an effective tool for ensuring control over foreign sources of oil. Read article
Blood for no oil by Tom Engelhardt Read article


Anonymous said...

I just wanted to say that for additional information about Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, you'll find news and photos at the US Central Command website, Mr. Klare's piece doesn't reflect the widespread humanitarian projects occuring as part of OIF and OEF.

I'm pasting below some of the most recent stories featured on the CENTCOM website. I hope they prove informative. Please pay a visit. Thanks.

SPC C. Flowers
CENTCOM Public Affairs

# # #

Marines Adopt the Children of Djibouti

By SPC Garth Gehlen, 304th MPAD

Djibouti City, Djibouti- When a handful of Marines show up at a school in this African city equipped with tools, paintbrushes and building materials, their mission is clear: help the children.

Servicemembers stationed in Djibouti as part of the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa routinely take part in community outreach programs to help the local citizens. Their endeavors often involve schools and orphanages, but they help improve other aspects of Djiboutian life as well. Many volunteers work during their free time, and it can be a very rewarding experience.

"I had never done humanitarian work before," said Lance Cpl. Justin Kuhnhausen, a Marine with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit . "I wanted to see what it would be like to go out and make a difference and help people who are less fortunate than myself. It was an experience I’ll never forget."

One school that has benefited from their labor is part of an orphanage for girls, about 100 of whom live there during the school year. Some of the girls go to visit relatives during the summer months when there are no classes to attend. Others, with no family, reside at the orphanage year-round.

Religious Programs specialist 2nd Class (RP2) Eric Fournier, a member of the Navy who works at the chaplain’s office in Djibouti and organizes outreach events, knows how much the efforts of servicemembers mean to these children.

“The work that we’re doing here is actually really important,” said Fournier. “This is a big deal to the Djiboutian country and CJTF-HOA.”

Djiboutian President Ismail Umar Guelleh also has an interest in the orphanage, said Fournier. He sends some of the girls from the school to college.

The work on the community outreach programs typically involves cleaning, painting, and small repairs.

“We’re just trying to beautify (the orphanage) and make it livable,” said Fournier.

Fournier was surprised to learn about the humanitarian mission in Djibouti and the Horn of Africa.

“I never expected anything like this happened in Africa at all,” he said. “I first heard about this place when I got my orders. It was the first time I heard about Djibouti, Africa. Now that I’ve been here, I love it. It’s a great place.”

# # #

Force Protection Delivers Humanitarian Aid

By PFC Vincent C. Fusco 20th Public Affairs Detachment

KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – Back-to-school shopping for students at Kandahar Airfield couldn’t be simpler. Army Sgt. 1st Class Jarrod Gozy delivered toys, school supplies and a backpack for every student on the first day of school Sept 5.

Gozy, of the 173rd Support Battalion, is an ordained deacon at the Cameron Baptist Church, Cameron, N.C., whose organization, “Give Children a Chance,” raises money to donate locally purchased materials to schoolchildren here.

“The reason I focus on children is they grow up with the same mentality their parents have,” said Gozy, “and the only way to change that mentality is to show them they have self-worth and people outside their village actually care about them.”

Gozy started doing these missions in September 1994 while passing candy and toys out to children in Haiti. Since then, he’s been stationed in Iraq, Bosnia, the Netherlands, the Virgin Islands, Germany and Belgium doing similar jobs. This was Gozy’s first major humanitarian aid mission in Afghanistan.

To make the project happen, Gozy talked with the school headmaster and discussed what kind of supplies the school needed.

After deciding what he wanted to do, Gozy bought up beef jerky with money of his own and sold it to Coalition troops, Kellogg, Brown and Root employees and the fire department. He raised $3,500 for the school.

With that money, he purchased 90% of the supplies from local vendors.

Additional assistance for the mission came from Army 1st Lt. John Boone, a Lexington, Ky., native and the G-2 mentor for the Afghan National Army’s 205th Corps.

“Lt. Boone saw the flyer for the jerky and asked if there was anything he could do,” said Gozy. Boone provided force protection with ANA and U.S. Army Soldiers.

“All we did was make sure [Gozy] had help with the distribution,” said Boone. “We had the assets available to go over there and do the right thing and help them out.”

“Anytime you have a large gathering with Soldiers and kids, you’re a target for attacks,” said Gozy. “Anytime you support a school, you become a target.”

Having the security in place, the distribution went quite smoothly.

When they spoke earlier, the headmaster told Gozy he had 400 students, but only 270 children were available when Gozy’s team passed everything out.

The remaining bookbags were donated to another school in Kandahar City.

Each backpack contained two notebooks, two pencils and pens, two erasers, a pencil box and sharpener, and a pack of colored pencils. There were different kinds of bags available for boys and girls of all school ages.

“A lot of times, the girls in this culture are neglected,” said Gozy, who wanted to make sure everybody received something during the event.

In addition, supplies were donated to the 23 teachers and each of the 12 classrooms received whiteboards and markers.

“Educating the young people of a country is going to ensure good things for the country,” said Boone. “The missions help to support Afghanistan’s future and make sure young people are prepared to take control of the country.”

Gozy hopes to turn his humanitarian missions into something bigger.

“We hope to have a non-profit organization status soon,” said Gozy.

“The only way to change the future is to take care of the kids,” said Gozy. “A lot of people don’t do this for recognition. They do it because it’s the good and right thing to do.”

# # #

Afghan National Army Engineers Help Build Tarin Kowt Road

By Army, SFC Stephen M. Lum, 117MPAD

TARIN KOWT, URUZGAN, Afghanistan -- Back ‘home,’ away from the war, it was the Labor Day holiday, but here in Afghanistan is was another day of labor, especially for the newly trained platoon of Afghan National Army engineers working on the Tarin Kowt road.

Visiting the ANA soldiers doing their share to rebuild their country was Gen. Chopan, the chief of staff of the 205th ANA Corps, headquartered at Sher Zai Camp, outside Kandahar Airfield. Chopan’s host at the TK road project was Task Force Pacemaker and 864th Engineer Combat Battalion (Heavy) commander Lt. Col. Paul Paolozzi, an Ithaca, N.Y. resident.

Chopan, got to see first hand, how adapt his soldiers from the Support Platoon, Engineer Company, 4th Kandak, 1st Brigade, 205th Corps, are at heavy equipment road work. After a few days of intensive operation and maintenance training from TF Pacemaker’s Spc. Patrick Brock, they began the practical application of their newly acquired skills.

Embedded Tactical Trainers, Maj. Blake Settle, Maj. Derek Flaughter and 1st Sgt. Danny Holleran, from the 4th Battalion 1st Brigade 205th Regional Command Assistance Group Kandahar, Afghanistan, acted as the conduit to make this project of empowering the ANA to be a part of the rebuilding of their nation.

“It actually was the idea of the TF Pacemaker commander,” said Flaughter, a Hospice manager from Mays Lick, Ken. “We heard that he was interested in working with the ANA Engineers and we drove over to their headquarters to coordinate the mission. We saw this as a great training opportunity and jumped at the chance.”

“After convincing the Coalition command that we could make this worthwhile project happen,” said Settle, an antique dealer from Louisville, Ken., “we began the coordination of getting trainers and equipment for the ANA engineers. My previous tour here gave me an advantage of knowing who talk to and where to go to get results.”

“We were lucky to find a dedicated and knowledgeable engineer in Spc. Brock,” added Flaughter. “He not only taught the Afghan soldiers the fine points of maneuvering the multi-armed machinery like the grader, but the importance of inspecting and maintaining equipment before and after its use.”

Additionally, Brock, who calls Fort Lewis, Wash. home, taught them how to load and secure the heavy equipment on low boys (equipment trailers). Finally, he provided instruction on proper hand signals to coordinate the movement and safe direction of personnel and equipment.

“We were impressed with the young ANA platoon sergeant and his soldiers who cut over 13 kilometer of road in the past two weeks,” said Holleran, a postal carrier from Brooksville, Ken., and project noncommissioned officer in charge. “The platoon sergeant motivated his soldiers to take pride in their work. In days, they were operating bulldozers, graders, scrappers, rollers, and rippers (rock remover) like old pros.”

While at the site, the general observed his soldiers cutting culverts on the side of the road that would provide flood drainage. He congratulated them for their diligence and encouraged them to continue to serve their nation.

“These ANA engineers are making history,” concluded Paolozzi, of the Fort Lewis-based 864th Engineers. “They are the first ANA road crew. They’re sowing seeds of cooperation and victory. We engineers throughout the world are the same. We may wear different uniforms or speak different languages, but we all know our building mission encompasses hours of hard dirty tireless work.”

simin said...

here you can find a related article: "blood without oil"

simin said...

so can we link the US-China energy relations with the failure of the US to stabilize Iraq? Some US Congressmen say China would divert oil from the global market, but wait a second, how many oil does Iraq contribute to the world market and should the US be responsible for that?