PEPE ESCOBAR, TRNN ANALYST: The debate in the United States about the surge in my view is completely misguided, first of all because the surge is not a strategic option. The surge is a figment of George Bush and Dick Cheney’s and a few of their allies’ imagination. You cannot control what is uncontrollable with 21,000 extra troops. First of all, the Americans don’t control anything in Iraq apart from the Green Zone, sometimes the way from the airport to the Green Zone, a few places around the Green Zone. They don’t even control Haifa Street—they have to battle in Haifa Street practically every week now. And al-Anbar province they lost completely. And they have their friends the Kurds in the north, but nobody cares about the Kurds. Iraq is about the Sunni provinces, the mixed provinces, and the Shiite, South. Kurdistan—Iraqis don’t even care about Kurdistan. They never go there. Kurdistan from them is like central Asia or the Caucasus; it’s very remote. So the places that matter, the Americans don’t control, it seems. They are caught in crossfire. And they are supporting a government that has killing spree militias right in their midst, in the Ministry of the Interior. So, obviously, the surge cannot work. They are going to fight a national popular liberation movement, which is what Muqtada al-Sadr is all about. The only way to subdue Muqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army, the influence of Muqtada, is to kill all of these people, and you also have to kill his supporters in Najaf, in Kufa, in southern Iraq, which will obviously rise against the American intervention. So the only way for the Americans to take out Muqtada, as some generals in the Pentagon are saying and some American journalists are repeating, is to kill all these people. So: genocide. What they are not analyzing is why this surge was conceived and what for. And in my reading, it’s because we have to have some more troops in Iraq, American troops, to protect Anglo-American oil interests. And this is all related to the hydrocarbon law, the oil law. As soon as this law is passed, the way is clear for big oil, especially Anglo-Americ(ans), start exploiting Iraq’s oil. The Americans could pull out of Iraq if they have the oil law in the bag. As long as the oil law is not passed the way the IMF wanted, the way Washington wanted, the way the American energy secretary wanted, the way Wall Street wanted, and the way big oil wanted, nothing moves in Iraq. This in my view is the crucial fact, which is barely touched by American mainstream media, American TV, and most global mainstream media. So I would suggest everybody to, you know, take a look at what happens with the oil law, depending on the terms of the oil law passed, then we can talk about American withdrawal. If the law is not passed, the Americans will be there forever.
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