Now that UK troop withdrawals from Basra have been suspended (BBC) it may help to make sense of what is happening in Basra, and why - this series of articles is an excellent starting point. Dick Cheney, (67, 4 heart attacks wears a pacer, has gammy leg) is home from a 10-day tour that ranged from Iraq and Afghanistan to Turkey and Saudi Arabia - his first visit to Istanbul wher he took some time to visit the stunning Topkapi Palace and to read Rick Atkinson's The Day of Battle, about the U.S. Army's campaign to capture Sicily and mainland Italy during World War II.
Cheney’s “peace” trip to Middle East prepares new wars[21 March 2008]
Martha Raddatz of ABC News asks Cheney , “It doesn’t bother you that some of the troops themselves want to get out of there?” To which Cheney replied, “They’re a broad cross section of America. I think they’ve overwhelmingly supported the mission. Every single one of them is a volunteer.”
He told the service men in an address at Balad airbase in Iraq...."“This long-term struggle became urgent on the morning of September 11th, 2001. That day we saw clearly that dangers can gather far from our own shores and find us right there at home. So the United States made a decision: To hunt down the evil of terrorism and kill it where it grows, to hold the supporters of terror to account, and to confront regimes that harbor terrorists and threaten the peace."
......and we were all told it was because that pesky dictator Saddam had WMD's ... now exactly where was Veep Cheney that morning on September 11th 2001 ?****
Iraqi regime launches assault on Basra[26 March 2008]
Repeated US air strikes in Basra and Baghdad [March 31st 2008]
On May 8, 2001 - four months prior to 9/11 - the president placed Dick Cheney in charge of "All federal programs dealing with weapons of mass destruction consequence management within the Departments of Defense, Health and Human Services, Justice, and Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, and other federal agencies…" This included all "training and planning" which needed to be "seamlessly integrated, harmonious and comprehensive" in order to "maximize effectiveness." This mandate created the Office of National Preparedness in FEMA, overseen by Dick Cheney.
Dick Cheney was placed directly in charge of managing the seamless integration of all training exercises throughout the entire federal government and all military agencies. On 9/11 Cheney oversaw multiple war games and terror drills, including several exercises of NORAD, the Air Force agency whose mandate is to "watch the sky."