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Author Topic: US court screws our allies the Kurds
Pete at Home
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http://fortune.com/2014/07/29/u-s-court-puts-brake-on-iraqi-kurds-efforts-to-go-it-alone/?xid=ob_rss

quote:
Texas District Court ruling is a boost for Baghdad as it tries to stop the oil-rich Kurdish region from breaking away.

A U.S. court has ordered the seizure of a $100 million cargo of oil shipped from the Kurdistan region of Iraq, giving a boost to Baghdad’s efforts to keep the autonomous region bound into the fraying fabric of the Iraqi state.

Magistrate Judge Nancy K. Johnson of the District Court for the southern District of Texas satisfied a request from the Iraqi government in Baghdad to impound the cargo, which the government said was shipped illegally.

The United Kalavyrta tanker, carrying around 1 million barrels of crude, arrived off Galveston Bay Saturday but has yet to unload, Reuters reported. It’s been wandering the seas in search of a buyer for over a month since sailing from the Turkish port of Ceyhan, according to Bloomberg.

The ruling is a blow to the government of the Kurdistan Regional Government, which has tried to achieve de facto independence from Iraq since government troops fled the region to escape the advance of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIS, in June.

Kurdish forces, which have kept ISIS at bay since June, have taken control of the main oil town of Kirkuk, which lies just outside the territory of the autonomous region. They now claim to have brought it under their jurisdiction–a claim bitterly disputed by a Baghdad government that is trying to keep the country together.

Sales of oil from Kurdistan are governed by an agreement dating back some 10 years, brokered by the U.S., that aims to ensure a fair distribution of oil revenues across the country. But last week, the KRG’s finance minister Rebaz Muhammet said the government intended to take all the profits from oil exports, claiming that the money was needed to fill a shortfall in the regional budget because Baghdad was no longer sending money to Kurdistan.

How are they supposed to fight ISIS if we do this to them?

The Shia Iraqi government has completely abandoned them. Doesn't send them proceeds. What sort of allies are we?

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Pete at Home
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Right now the US courts seem to be ISIS' main ally in murdering the Yazidis and otherwise raping Northern Iraq:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/how-the-us-got-mixed-up-in-a-fight-over-kurdish-oil--with-a-unified-iraq-at-stake/2014/08/04/4a00a6e2-1900-11e4-9e3b-7f2f110c6265_sto ry.html

Since the Shiite Iraqis have abdicated military responsibility in the north and have cut off promised payments to the north, America's great betrayal over this oil issue threatens to incapacitate the best hope for defeating ISIS without a long bloody genocidal war.

If Obama lacks the guts to free the Kurds to sell oil in America, the US Congress should take action, if necessary barring the US courts from authority in the issue.

Funny that Turkey is the only country that is giving the Kurds support on this issue.

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seagull
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There were news of a Kurdish tanker going to Israel a few months ago.

Has been buying Kurdish Oil for many years but usually it is off the books because it makes it harder for the Kurds to make Arab alliances if they formally admit that they are doing business with Israel.

Being off the books means that middlemen get a cut of the profits but it has always been cheaper to send tankers from Venezuela to the US and from Iraq to Israel. The official papers say that the Tankers satisfy the whims of the courts but it is cheaper to exchange papers that to exchange tankers.

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Seneca
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Pete this is what you get from a lack of US leadership. Russia and China are running wild expanding their spheres of influence and Islamist regimes are on the move.
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Pete at Home
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It's another reason to call Barry "George Bush III". This is one of many Bush foolishnesses that Barry has lamentably maintained. But "bush" started it fails as an excuse in a president who specifically ran his first presidential campaign on the focused promise to not be another George Bush.

Not that Barry deserves the brunt of the blame here. I don't hear congress or the Republicans doing anything useful here either.

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Seneca
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Congress's role when it comes to foreign policy is very narrow and limited. Obama is showing a huge lack of leadership and into that vacuum steps Russia, China and the Islamo-Nazis.
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Pete at Home
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Even if that were generally true, here, the stuff that the courts are ruling on now are obsolete treaties that were ratified by the Senate. Congressional legislation is what would be most proper to abrogate those treaties.
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Pete at Home
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I agree wholeheartedly that Barry should speak and lead, but it's Congressional action that's required to stop this atrocity. The president, AFAIK lacks power to unilaterally abrogate a treaty.
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Seneca
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He could rally Congress in a heartbeat if he linked defeat of ISIS to aiding the Kurds and we had assurances from Turkey they wouldn't object.
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Pete at Home
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Turks are the main folks helping the Kurds sell the oil in the first place! The Kurdish tanker that america just hijacked, it sailed from turkey, and was filled from the Turkish oil pipe from Kurdistan.
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Pete at Home
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It's time that ISIS' useful idiots in the US government realized that the so called Iraqi government has been the primary provider of heavy artillery to ISIS. Iraqi central incompetence and the US fantasy that Iraq adequately represents the north has allowed ISIS victory and genocide. Central Iraq takes proceeds from Kurdish oil and refuses to give Kurds any share as agreed. Consequently the Kurds didn't even have bullets to repell ISIS until the West recently stopped climbing off its ass.
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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
He could rally Congress in a heartbeat if he linked defeat of ISIS to aiding the Kurds and we had assurances from Turkey they wouldn't object.

I don't blame you seneca, for assuming that it's the duty to rally congress. That's what most Americans think since FDR. but that notion has no roots in the constitution, and would have been repugnant to the founding fathers. Congress should rally itself to do its legislative duty.

Yes, obama should rally Congress, and we all should write letters to congress too. But that doesn't excuse CongresCongress was never intended to be a body that needed to be herded from the outside like a flock of sheepd from the outside like a flock of sheep

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Seneca
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You may want to check out article 2 sections 2 and 3 of the Constitution...
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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
You may want to check out article 2 sections 2 and 3 of the Constitution...

OK. That's part of what I was referencing above, but I'll check in case I missed something:

quote:
Section. 2.

The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.

Section. 3.


I see nothing in there about the president having the right to break a treaty without Congressional approval. As for court rulings, there is no official ruling on whether the President has the power to break a treaty without the approval of Congress, and the courts stated correctly that they lacked constitutional power to arbitrate when President George W. Bush unilaterally withdrew the United States from the ABM Treaty in 2002, six months after giving the required notice of intent. But IIRC you and I agree, Seneca, that the President and Congress have at least some duty to follow the constitution even when the Supreme Court isn't holding them to a provision.

Ah, is this what you meant?

quote:
He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.
In that light I must concede that your position -- that Obama has a duty to herd Congress in this matter -- is reasonable. Reasonable but arguable, since "may" isn't necessarily a duty, although it is certainly a power. Thanks also for raising this, since the duty to receive Ambassadors reminds me -- I do hope that he's fulfilling his duty to receive any representatives the Kurds may have sent him for hearing on this matter.
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Pete at Home
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Is anyone still in contact with Viking Longship? I miss his sources on these matters.
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Seneca
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Yes. It's Obama's duty to convene Congress under extraordinary circumstances like this war with ISIS.
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Pete at Home
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OK, I've found a more recent article, and am having a hard time reconciling this with facts from the article linked in the OP. Any ideas here?

http://rt.com/usa/186112-iraq-kurdish-tanker-oil/

quote:
Iraq has refiled in US court in an attempt to control a Kurdish crude oil tanker that has been stationed around 60 miles off Texas since late July. The refiling comes days after the court said it lacked jurisdiction to seize the cargo.

Iraq has urged a US district court to intervene and take control of the United Kalavrvta tanker’s cargo until the dispute is resolved, according to Reuters, claiming that the US court does have jurisdiction given the case involves business conducted in the United States.

Iraq's position is particularly hypocritical given that it's OWN Supreme Court has ruled against it!

quote:
As recently as June, Iraq’s central government made an attempt at barring Kurdish oil sales but it was ultimately rejected by Iraq’s Supreme Court.

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Pete at Home
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Ah, here's what I missed:

quote:
As recently as June, Iraq’s central government made an attempt at barring Kurdish oil sales but it was ultimately rejected by Iraq’s Supreme Court.
So ... as best I can reconstruct, the timeline goes:

-Iraq stops giving Kurds money for their oil.
-Kurds start selling their oil independently.
-Iraq sues Kurds in Iraqi courts.
-June 2014 Iraqi Supreme Court rules for the Kurds.
-Iraq says, screw our own courts, let's sue in a US court.
-US court issues an initial order to seize the Kurdish ship when it comes into US territorial waters.
-(a couple days ago) US court, on reviewing the case, says no, we don't have jurisdiction.
-Iraq re-files its case (pending).

So Kurdish oil is tied up in red tape when both the Iraqi court and the US court have ruled against it. Obama and Congress should do something about this.

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