Saturday, November 05, 2011

This week's fallen in Iraq identifed (Lt Dustin Vincent)

Todd Pittenger (KSAL) reports 25-year-old Lt Dustin Vincent was the US soldier killed Thursday in Iraq. NBC DFW adds that he "is from Mesquite [Texas]. He graduated from Mesquite High School in 2005." Dallas WFAA (link has text and video) notes that his survivors include his wife.

He is the fourth US service member killed in the Iraq War since President Barack Obama gave his speech declaring "all" US troops would be coming "home." Little did most people know that "all" didn't mean "all" or that, for some, "home" would be Kuwait. The editorial board of the Cherokee Tribune offers this take on the latest phase of the Iraq War:

The U.S. already has a substantial presence in Kuwait, but they are generally logistics personnel in support of the Iraq mission. Presumably, they would be phased out in favor of combat and special operations troops.
This would not be a precedent for Kuwait. Between the two Iraq wars, we had a full combat brigade and massive stockpiles of military supplies stationed there. The continuing military presence will certainly irritate those who believe we should be out of the region altogether.
Maintaining a substantial U.S. presence in the region only seems a reasonable insurance policy against a general collapse in Iraq or threats from Iran — although the better option, had not Obama and lead negotiator Joe Biden not bungled talks with Iraqis so badly, would have been to keep a strong residual force in Iraq itself.

And as unanswered questions linger, Alan Boraas (Anchorage Daily News) offers a look back at the start of the war and offers:

Before the Iraq invasion Saddam Hussein did two things that jeopardized United States oil interests. First, in 2000, he began selling oil in euros rather than dollars, setting the stage for petrodollar warfare. The dollar had been the international standard for petroleum exchange and that meant national banks had to hold large dollar reserves which they naturally invested in the U.S. Had there been a significant shift to petro-euros, the U.S. economy would have fallen much further than it already has, conversely the euro would likely be stronger.
One of the few who spoke out against "dollar hegemony" was Rep. Ron Paul, currently a Republican presidential candidate. But he was a tiny voice against the neo-conservative power behind the George W. Bush presidency that was not about to let euros become the standard for oil exchange.
Second, in 2002, Saddam placed an embargo on selling Iraqi oil to the U.S. because of our support of Israel's expansionist policies in potential Palestinian areas. Other Arab oil producers considered following suit. Using oil exports as a weapon to blackmail the U.S. into conforming to Arab interests created instability in U.S. oil supplies and did not bode well for the future. and Wally and Cedric updated tonight:

And swiping from Wally and Cedric, we'll note the community posts since Thursday night:

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