Behind the US "ISIS" Crisis

'Eliminating' Iraq, 'Unity by Dismemberment, has always been US 'exit strategy
US strategic communications/public diplomacy is the lynchpin since revising its state terror crisis 'news'''narrative' is critical to its never-ending--in-crimes-in-progress
"Dismemberment for unity": Imperialist geostrategists must rewrite US divide-to-conquer history to sell an 'enduring regional" solution to salvage its failed global supremacy

US-IRAQ sudden miraculous discovery of ISIS threat to the entire 'middle east' and US 'homeland'
How an arrest in Iraq revealed ISIS $2bn jihadist network
6/14/14 http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/15/iraq-isis-arrest-jihadists-...
Seizure of 160 computer flash sticks revealed the inside story of the ISIS band of militants that came from nowhere with nothing, to having Syrian oil fields and control of Iraq's second city
Officials, including CIA officers, were still decrypting and analysing the flash sticks when Abu Hajjar's prophecy was realised. ISIS swept through much of northern and central Iraq over three stunning days, seizing control of Mosul and Tikrit and threatening Kirkuk as three divisions of the Iraqi army shed their uniforms and fled. The capitulation of the military and the rapid advances of the insurgents have dramatically changed the balance of power in Iraq, crippled prime minister Nouri al-Maliki, allowed Kurdish forces to seize control of the disputed city of Kirkuk and galvanised a Shia fightback along sectarian lines, posing a serious threat to the region's fragile geopolitics...

National Strategy for Victory in Iraq
http://www.whitehouse.gov/infocus/iraq/iraq_strategy_nov2005.html
"The United States has no intention of determining the precise form of Iraq's new government. That choice belongs to the Iraqi people. Yet, we will ensure that one brutal dictator is not replaced by another. All Iraqis must have a voice in the new government, and all citizens must have their rights protected. Rebuilding Iraq will require a sustained commitment from many nations, including our own: we will remain in Iraq as long as necessary, not a day more."
President George W. Bush February 26, 2003

Mideast Plan: Attack, Divide Conquer
12/8/2002 Eric Margolis http://www.globalpolicy.org/security/issues/iraq/attack/2002/1208divide....
Arms inspections are a "hoax," said Tariq Aziz, Iraq's deputy prime minister, in a forthright and chilling interview with ABC News last week. What the U.S. wants is not "regime change" in Iraq but "region change," charged Aziz...a manufactured war against Iraq to redraw the political map of the region, under permanent U.S. military control, and its vast oil resources....Senior administration officials openly speak of invading Iran, Syria, Libya and Lebanon...radical transformation of the Mideast being considered by the Bush administration is potentially the biggest political change since the notorious 1916 Sykes-Picot Treaty in which victorious Britain and France carved up the Ottoman-ruled region.
Regional scenarios under review at the highest levels: [...]
.n of U.S. influence.

The Intrigue Lying Behind Iraq's Jihadist Uprising | Stratfor Global Intelligence
@stratfor on Twitter | Stratfor on Facebook
#SykesPicotOver trended on jihadist Twitter feeds... The Destruction of Sykes-Picot pictures confirm the group's intent to upend nearly a century of history in the Middle East..the 1916 borders secretly drawn by British and French imperialists to divide up Mesopotamia...Keffiyeh-wrapped rebels set to a purring jihadist chant, celebrating as the mouth of a bulldozer bursts through an earthen berm forming Iraq's northern border with Syria... just wide enough for U.S.-made, Iraqi army-owned now jihadist-purloined Humvees to pass through in single file...
Today, the most ardent defenders of those colonial borders sit in Baghdad, Damascus, Ankara, Tehran and Riyadh while the Europeans and Americans, already fatigued by a decade of war in this part of the world, are desperately trying to sit this crisis out.

Iraq: U.S. President Will Not Consider Send Ground Troops
6/13/14 http://www.stratfor.com/sample/situation-report/iraq-us-president-will-n...

U.S.Troops to Iraq, Mulling Airstrikes
6/16/14 ForeignPolicy.com

 Obama announced the U.S. is sending 275 Marines and Army soldiers to protect its Baghdad embassy and other U.S. interests in Iraq...an additional 100 soldiers are on standby.. military options are still being considered ...U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf to conduct airstrikes to stop an ISIS advance to from reaching Baghdad but any greater mission would risk escalation...

Qatari: U.S. intervention in Iraq would be seen as war on Sunni Arabs
6/16/14 Updated 20 hours ago http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2014/06/16/230512/qatari-us-intervention-in-i...
Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad al Khalifa, former Qatari ambassador to the US....said “ISIS is a tiny element in the bigger revolt by Iraq Arab Sunnis who suffer so much under the sectarian Maliki regime...."Any intervention in Iraq to prop up criminal al Maliki will be seen by Sunni Arabs and Muslims as war against them.Gulf states should inform the West any intervention in Iraq or military cooperation with Iran to prop up al Maliki will be considered unfriendly". Qatar, a close collaborator with the US in Syria and elsewhere, is home to US Central Command forward Air Base outside Doha....Khalifa, who retired from Qatar’s diplomatic service in 2007, remains an influential voice in Qatari foreign-policy...
The Sunni and Shiite split dates to the seventh century, but drives modern rivalries between Shiite-led Iran and Sunni-led Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf monarchies....

The sectarian myth of Iraq
Sami Ramadani, http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jun/16/sectarian-myth-of-i...
We coexisted peacefully for centuries, and need neither brutal dictators nor western intervention...One of the greatest testaments to the tolerance that exists between the various communities in Iraq is that Baghdad still has up to a million Kurds, who have never experienced communal violence by Arabs. Similarly, about 20% of Basra's population is Sunni. Samarra, a mostly Sunni city, is home to two of the most sacred Shia shrines. Its Sunni clergy have been the custodians of the shrines for centuries. Every tribe in Iraq has Sunnis and Shia in its ranks. Every town and city has a mix of communities. My experience of Iraq, and that of all friends and relatives, is of an amazing mix of coexisting communities, despite successive divide-and-rule regimes.
The most serious sectarian and ethnic tensions in Iraq's modern history followed the 2003 US-led occupation, which faced massive popular opposition and resistance. The US had its own divide-and-rule policy, promoting Iraqi organisations founded on religion, ethnicity, nationality or sect...exacerbated three years ago when the US, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar backed sectarian groups in Syria...Whether Iraq can survive this serious threat to its existence remains to be seen. But those who claim it could only if divided into three states do not appreciate Iraqi society – the three regions would quickly fall under the rule of violent sectarians and chauvinists. Given how ethnically and religiously mixed Iraq's regions are, particularly in Baghdad and central Iraq, a three-way national breakup would be a recipe for permanent wars in which only oil companies, arms suppliers, and the war lords will be the winners.

National Security
Political Upheaval: U.S. Middle East Policy at a Time of Regional Fragmentation and Competition
Lessons for U.S. from the Past Three Years
6/16/14 http://americanprogress.org/issues/security/report/2014/06/16/91809/u-s-...
The ongoing fragmentation in Iraq and Syria is the latest episode in a series of events shaking the foundations of today’s Middle East. The region has entered a fluid period of transition involving the growing power of non-state actors, including new Islamist extremist groups, at a time of increased competition for influence among the key countries in the region. For decades, the United States has grappled with formulating a Middle East strategy that advances both its interests and its values...
The United States remains the dominant military power in the region but lacks sufficient diplomatic, political, and economic tools to influence regional political trends...major changes underway in regional power dynamics point to a need to make U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and North Africa more adept at understanding and responding to political currents that reflects U.S. core security interests and values. Simply focusing... a particular country...is too narrow and inadequate to deal with the historical changes sweeping the region upending its political balance. A wider range of state actors are seeking to advance their interests and values across the region, and the landscape now includes non-state actors that have broader reach and impact than they did in previous eras. Many in the region still examine what the U.S. says and does very closely. Most of its key governments take active steps to shape the trajectory of U.S. policy. The U.S. should make the most of these diplomatic engagements to craft a wiser engagement policy to isolate and defeat extremist ideologies in the ongoing battle of ideas.
Brian Katulis is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. Peter Juul is a Policy Analyst at the Center.

FAILED: US 'stability and pacification' operations killing over 1,450,000 Iraqis since 2003
Telling the Truth About Iraqi Casualties from the U.S. Invasion and Occupation

miraculous discovery of threat to the entire region and US 'homeland'
How an arrest in Iraq revealed ISIS $2bn jihadist network
6/14/14 http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/15/iraq-isis-arrest-jihadists-...
Seizure of 160 computer flash sticks revealed the inside story of the ISIS band of militants that came from nowhere with nothing, to having Syrian oil fields and control of Iraq's second city
Officials, including CIA officers, were still decrypting and analysing the flash sticks when Abu Hajjar's prophecy was realised. ISIS swept through much of northern and central Iraq over three stunning days, seizing control of Mosul and Tikrit and threatening Kirkuk as three divisions of the Iraqi army shed their uniforms and fled. The capitulation of the military and the rapid advances of the insurgents have dramatically changed the balance of power in Iraq, crippled prime minister Nouri al-Maliki, allowed Kurdish forces to seize control of the disputed city of Kirkuk and galvanised a Shia fightback along sectarian lines, posing a serious threat to the region's fragile geopolitics...

A REQUIEM FOR IRAQ
From the Potomac to the Euphrates: Steven Cook examines developments in the Middle East and resonance in Washington.
6/17/14 http://blogs.cfr.org/cook/2014/06/17/a-requiem-for-iraq/
... The Iraqi political class has failed the country. The chances that, in this crisis, they can put aside mutual antipathy and forge an effective government to challenge ISIS are not good,.. CFR's Leslie Gelb and then-Senator Joe Biden set off a bruising debate in May 2006 at another desperate moment, suggesting Iraq be dismembered for the sake of Iraqis and the poor Americans stuck in the middle of someone else's civil war. Iraq...on the verge of collapse, but U.S. arms and a policy out of the colonialist handbook, enlisting locals —with copious amounts of "awakening/Sahwa'" money—to fight for U.S. side, rescued the country. There will be no surge this time, however, and no 'sahwa' ('awakening') or 'sons of Iraq' to fight off al Qaeda of Iraq"...

Maliki: Iraqi Forces 'Regaining the Initiative'
6/18/14 RFE/RL http://www.rferl.org/content/iraq-militants-refinery-attacked-religious-...
In a televised address June 18 said government forces are "regaining the initiative and striking back" ... the "shock" of the militants' advance has helped restore Iraq's national unity...he admitted the army suffered a setback, but said "not every setback is a defeat."

"The U.S.' Grand Plan In The Gulf"
3/7/99 Sanaa Al Said, Al Wafd
...The United States imposed the status quo since it created the no-fly zones in the north and south, disregarding international legitimacy. The embargo it imposed on Iraq in 1991 was the beginning of the real division of Iraq into three entities....The shelling is increasing day after day. Secretary Cohen confirmed this. His tour of the Gulf, Egypt, Jordan and Israel is certain proof that the countdown is about to end and the United States is about to implement its plans--oust the regime and divide Iraq."

" Iraq would no longer exist"
U.S. Considers Dividing Iraq Into Three Separate States After Saddam
Oct 1, 2002 http://www.profutures.comarticle.php/91/%20, FORECASTS & TRENDS, Stratfor.com http://www.stratfor.com/ reports that one of the leading long-term strategies being considered by US war planners is to divide Iraq into three separate regions. Iraq would cease to exist. Stratfor says such a plan reportedly was discussed at a July meeting between Crown Prince Hassan of Jordan and pro-US Iraqi Sunni opposition members in London...

Discussing actual US crisis and "ISIS" opportunity to "rebalance" entire middle east region
Discussion about the crisis in Iraq with Robin Wright and Leslie Gelb, President Emeritus Council on Foreign Relations. 2014-06-16 http://www.charlierose.com/search
Wilson Center Scholar Robin Wright and Les Gelb, President Emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations on “Charlie Rose” talk about the escalating crisis in Iraq whose central government is steadily losing control of its territory."An internal error has occurred": Jun 17, 2014, http://www.wilsoncenter.org/article/robin-wright-the-crisis-iraq

The Three-State Solution
11/25/03 By LESLIE H. GELB, www.nytimes.com/2003/11/25/opinion/the-three-state-solution.html
Gelb, a former Times editor and columnist, is president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations.
...The only viable strategy, then, may be to correct the historical defect and move in stages toward a three-state solution: Kurds in the north, Sunnis in the center and Shiites in the south. Almost immediately, this would allow America to put most of its money and troops where they would do the most good quickly -- with the Kurds and Shiites. The United States could extricate most of its forces from the so-called Sunni Triangle, north and west of Baghdad, largely freeing U.S. forces from fighting a costly war they might not win. American officials could then wait for the troublesome and domineering Sunnis, without oil or oil revenues, to moderate their ambitions or suffer the consequences....
A strategy of breaking up Iraq and moving toward a three-state solution would build on these realities. The general idea is to strengthen the Kurds and Shiites and weaken the Sunnis, then wait and see whether to stop at autonomy or encourage statehood. The first step would be to make the north and south into self-governing regions, with boundaries drawn as closely as possible along ethnic lines. Give the Kurds and Shiites the bulk of the billions of dollars voted by Congress for reconstruction. In return, require elections within each region... Second, at the same time, draw down American troops in the Sunni Triangle and ask the UN to oversee the transition to self-government there. This might take six to nine months; without power and money, the Sunnis may cause trouble....a messy and dangerous enterprise, but the US would and should pay for population movements and protect the process with force.
The Sunnis could also ignite insurgencies in the Kurdish and Shiite regions. To counter this, the US would already have redeployed most of its troops north and south of the Sunni Triangle, where they could help arm and train the Kurds and Shiites... The third part of the strategy would revolve around regional diplomacy. All the parties will suspect the worst of one another -- not without reason. They will all need assurances about security... Allowing all three communities within that false state to emerge at least as self-governing regions would be both difficult and dangerous. Washington would have to be very hard-headed, and hard-hearted, to engineer this breakup. But such a course is manageable, even necessary, because it would allow us to find Iraq's future in its denied but natural past.

Text of the Biden-Gelb Amendment incorporated in H.R. 1585 and Sec. 1537 as passed by both Houses of Congress
http://www.operationsmartexit.com/biden-gelb-plan.pdf

Obama likes Biden-Gelb 'Soft Partition' Plan -- 'facilitate' eliminating Iraq by 'stabilization'
8/16/07 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_lH0w_103Ec
Drafting of U.S.-Iraq Security Agreement Began Nearly Five Years Ago
6/13/08 National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 252, http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article20138.htm
Documents obtained by the National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act indicate the U.S. started drafting the agreement in November 2003. - These preliminary planning documents show that from the outset U.S. aspirations for conducting military operations in Iraq were essentially without limit...the plan would give the U.S. more than 50 military bases in Iraq, provide complete freedom to conduct military operations, complete freedom to arrest and detain Iraqis, and grant U.S. forces and contractors total immunity from Iraqi law.

The Plan for Iraq is - and was - Partition
http://futureiraq.blogspot.com/2007/10/plan-for-iraq-is-was-partition.ht...

Nonpartisan Group Calls for Three-State Split in Iraq
Think Tank Report Says Country Is 'Near Total Collapse'
August 17, 2007, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/17/AR200708...
In a report to be released next week , the Fund for Peace calls for the "managed" break-up of Iraq into three separate states with their own governments and representatives to the United Nations, but continued economic cooperation in a larger entity modeled on the European Union. Prospects of Iraqi leaders being able to establish a multiethnic democracy are now "fanciful," the nonpartisan Washington think tank says in its report titled "A Way Out: The Union of Iraqi States." Based on data tracked monthly since before the U.S. invasion in 2003, the report authored by Fund president Pauline Baker concludes that Iraq is now "near total collapse. While there may be pockets of improvement from the troop 'surge,' these are transitory and limited achievements about four years too late ...Rather than fight fragmentation, it would be better to manage the trend with a view toward establishing an entirely new political order,"... There are a number of alternatives for Baghdad, the multiethnic capital, including making it the Brussels of Iraq as headquarters of the new "Union of Iraqi Sates" ...

US Jamestown Foundation (decades of Brzsezinski anti-Russian ops including support for Chechen terrorists) + RadioFreeEurope/Radio Liberty /US Broadcast Governor Board
Central Asia: Regionally Dysfunctional In Face Of Common Threats
6/15/14 http://www.rferl.org/content/central-asia-threats-roundtable-discusssion...
Faced with a security threat that could destabilize the whole region, what will the Central Asian governments do? That was the topic of a roundtable discussion hosted by RFE/RL Turkmen Service, Azatlyk...Participants included the Jamestown Foundation and other publications and media outlets...The record of Central Asian cooperation when confronted with a common threat is not good. In September 1996 when the Taliban captured Kabul, all Central Asian leaders, with the exception of the Turkmen president, held hastily arranged meetings discussing dire possibilities and for a few months seemed to be working toward a coordinated policy...But several things wrecked those efforts....Turkmenistan is the perfect place to start a review of Central Asian responses to threats from Afghanistan, because Turkmenistan has never shown any interest in security or military cooperation with its neighbors...Ever since Turkmenistan gained official UN status as a neutral country in December 1995 it has hidden behind this title to avoid entering into military alliances with other countries or multinational security organizations...rather than oppose the Taliban....at the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) meeting in Shanghai last month, attended by all Central Asian leaders. China and Russia seemed anxious to play a greater role in Central Asian security.... But what sort of roles are unclear...

Text of Iraq Options paper - March 8, 2002, Overseas and Defence Secretariat Cabinet Office military options for implementing regime change.
http://downingstreetmemo.com/iraqoptions.html
SUMMARY
Since 1991, our objective has been to re-integrate Iraq into the international community. Implicitly, this cannot occur with Saddam Hussein in power. As at least worst opinion, we have supported a policy of containment which has been partially successful. However:
* Despite sanctions, Iraq continues to develop WMD,. although our intelligence is poor Saddam used WMD in the past and could do so again if his regime were threatened, though there is no greater threat now than in recent years that Saddam will use WMD; and
* Saddam’s brutal regime remains in power and destablises the Arab and wider Islamic world.

We have two options. We could toughen the existing containment policy. This would increase the pressure on Saddanm [sic]. It would not reintegrate Iraq into the international community.
The US administration has lot [sic] faith in containment and is considering regime change. The end states could either be a Sunni strongman or a representative government.

Three options for achieving regime change are:
* covert support to opposition groups to mount an uprising/coup;
* air support for opposition groups to mount an uprising/coup; and
* a full-scale ground campaign.
These are not mutually exclusive....

CONCLUSION
In sum, despite considerable difficulties, overridng force in a ground campaign is the only option we can be confident will remove Saddam to bring Iraq back into the international community.
To launch such a campaign would require a staged approach:
* winding up the pressure: increasing the pressure on Saddam through tougher containment. Stricter implementation of sanctions and a military build-up will frighten his regime. A refusal to admit inspectors, or their admission and subsequent likely frustration, which resulted in an appropriate finding by the Security Council could provide justification for military action. Saddam would try to prevent this, although he has miscalculated beofre [sic];
* careful planning: detailed military planning on the various invasion and basing options, and when appropriate force deployment;
* coalition building: diplomatic work to establish international coalition to provide broadest political and military support for a ground campaign. This will need to focus on China, France and particularly Russia who have the ability to block action in the UN Security Council and on other Europeans. Special attention needs to be paid to moderate Arab states and to Iran;
*incentive guarantees will need to be made with regard to Iraqi territorial integrity
* tackling other regional issues: effort to engage US in a serious effort to re-energise the MEPP would greatly assist coalition building;
* the great benefits the international community could provide for a post-Saddam Iraq and its people should be published.
* sensitising the public: media campaign to warm [sic] of the dangers Saddam poses and to prepare public opinion...
[end transcription]

handy historical overview with good maps and documents
The Global Bases of US Empire 
November 2008, Cora Fabros,

Pentagon says Iraqi Forces Can Hold Baghdad
6/17/14 http://cdn.defenseone.com/defenseone/interstitial.htm
Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said Iraqi troops are being helped by Shiite militias...but the U.S. military is providing options for Obama... on whether to order military strikes in Iraq as the situation grows more dire by the day..The Pentagon has moved four warships into the Persian Gulf specifically available for Iraq strikes..,thousands of U.S. troops in Kuwait...

US TO PRESERVE IRAQS OIL FOR IRAQI PEOPLE , US Department of Defense
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_pden/is_200303/ai_3271024206

U.S. Plans to Run Iraqi Oil for A While
4/11/03 by Reuters, http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0411-09.htm
Map of U.S. 14 "ENDURING BASES" in Iraq (permanent}
http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/sociopolitica/sociopol_globalmilitaris...

How Fighting in Iraq Is Helping the Kurds and Oil Companies
6/16/14 http://www.defenseone.com/threats/2014/06/how-fighting-iraq-helping-kurd...
...among the early winners is the autonomous region of Kurdistan that encompasses northern Iraq—Kurdistan and international oil companies that have defied Baghdad to work there now appear to have a clearer shot at exporting their crude.Over the last three years, Kurdistan has signed a series of contracts with foreign oil companies, including ExxonMobil, Chevron and France’s Total. Al-Maliki has complained bitterly about the deals, but the companies continue to explore and develop local oil fields, and the financial and political impact of this activity has given Kurdistan the effective status of semi-statehood. The Kurds have an estimated 45 billion barrels of oil and have long planned to export 400,000 barrels a day this year, but until now dividends have been limited.
Kurdistan and foreign oil companies manage to export some of the crude, transported first by truck and then tanker, despite the Baghdad government’s declaration that all their activities are illegal. But, although a big export pipeline is now complete and millions of barrels of oil have been shipped through it to the Mediterranean port of Ceyhan, none of these volumes has been actually sold.
Tankers containing 2 million barrels of Kurdish oil are at sea awaiting buyers, apprehensive while Baghdad threatens to sue anyone who purchases it.
The current offensive by an al-Qaeda affiliate may be the tipping point. Disciplined Kurdish forces now control not only Kurdistan but the disputed, oil-rich region of Kirkuk just to its west. The region has been autonomous since the first Gulf War in 1991, and its army has steeled itself to defend Kurdistan against Baghdad’s forces. The Kurds’ army, the peshmerga, are skirmishing with fighters from the al Qaeda militia outside Kirkuk, and the fighting could go on for some time. The Kurds are likely to prevail—they not only are seasoned fighters but outnumber the militants more than 10-1—some analysts think they will parlay Kirkuk and a battle victory into agreement by Baghdad to allow the oil exports. The exports seem far likelier. But given the new turn of events, the Kurds are not likely to settle for just exporting any longer. Baghdad seems highly unlikely [*PAYWALL] to get Kirkuk back.

*
Kurdish military redraws map as ISIS surges
6/13/14 Iraq Oil Report, http://www.iraqoilreport.com/security/national-security/kurdish-military...
Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region has expanded its borders to include virtually all territories, including oil-rich Kirkuk, which for the past decade have been the subject of an intractable and volatile dispute. The opening for the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) was created with astonishing speed by a massive offensive by the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), which began in Mosul on June 7. Over the following days, between 1,000 and 2,000 militants flooded into the city...(further reading members only or request free trial)
6/16/14submitted request: 6/17 Dear liz burbank,Thank you for registration on Iraq Oil Report! Log-on to your member pages at:http://www.iraqoilreport.com/subscriber/member
6/17 Thank you for your request for a free trial to Iraq Oil Report. We changed our free trial approval process as a result of unauthorized use, such as republication. Please complete our free trial request using company email as we no longer accept personal email accounts/domains...

Iraq is breaking up. The Kurds have taken the northern oil city of Kirkuk they have long claimed as their capital...taking advantage of the disarray to seize territories along the “trigger line” stretching from north-east of Baghdad to the Syrian frontier west of Mosul... advanced further towards establishing an independent state
6/13/14 http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/iraq-crisis-islamist...

How US oil co.s have built their own country in northern irac
http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/07/31/houston_we_have_a_count...
...after Saddam's overthrow in 2003 oil companies from around the world rushed in...

The U.S. is also eager for a north-south agreement that could result in Kurdistan's natural gas flowing into Europe through the proposed Nabucco pipeline, with which the U.S. hopes to curb Russian market dominance of the continent.<">http://oilandglory.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/11/23/how_big_is_exxons_gamble_in_kurdistan_answer_big>