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View Full Version : Wireless bidding in Iraq excludes most all but US Cos.


Ugg
Aug 5, 2003, 10:41 PM
Link (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/3114591.stm)

First they shut down the Bahrain service now they more or less exclude the majority of Arab Wireless operators as well as many European ones. They are also requiring cdma compatability although 70% of the world uses GSM. This is a pretty important issue and one that should involve the Iraqis and serve their best interests. Colonization anyone?

zimv20
Aug 5, 2003, 11:40 PM
i'd seen other stories that said GSM would be used. not sure this story confirms the CDMA use, only that some are pushing for it (of course).

still, the rule about a gov't owning a certain amounts seems deliberately punative. and would seem arbitrary if its intent weren't so transparent.

Desertrat
Aug 6, 2003, 08:32 PM
From the article, "The rules...ban governments from "directly or indirectly own(ing) more than 5% of any single bidding company or single company in consortia".

After reading further, about the amount of government ownership in the various telecoms, the questions arise: Why should foreign governments get the contracts? Why don't these various governments get out of private-enterprise business? Why let foreign governments do this "colonizing", instead of private companies?

Now, it seems to me that since neighboring countries use the GSM technology, GSM is the only way to go.

'Rat

zimv20
Aug 6, 2003, 08:36 PM
Originally posted by Desertrat
Why should foreign governments get the contracts?


the flipside i'd ask is: who can best provide iraq w/ service?

Backtothemac
Aug 6, 2003, 08:39 PM
Well since I work for Verizon, and we use CDMA, I have to say that it is a superior network at this time than GSM. We have fewer dropped calls, and much much more coverage in the US. I know that is not the case in Europe.

Most of the companies in Europe though are state owned. So why reward the countries that did not support us in the war with monetary contracts that reward those countries.

This isn't colonization, it is just business. And good business if you ask me.

zimv20
Aug 6, 2003, 08:46 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
CDMA, I have to say that it is a superior network at this time than GSM.


i bought a GSM phone because i travel abroad, even though i (obviously) live in the states. having a single handset that works just about everywhere is important to me and i firmly believe the GSM option should be available to iraqis.

here's my crazy suggestion: offer both and let the market decide.

So why reward the countries that did not support us in the war with monetary contracts that reward those countries.

This isn't colonization, it is just business. And good business if you ask me.

i believe being punative is bad business. additionally, if this war really was "for the iraqis," why not allow a bidding process to get the best solution for the iraqis?

Ugg
Aug 6, 2003, 08:57 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
Most of the companies in Europe though are state owned. So why reward the countries that did not support us in the war with monetary contracts that reward those countries.

This isn't colonization, it is just business. And good business if you ask me.

It is true that many EU telcos are partly owned by their respective governments. While USPS continues to be a government monopoly in the US, much of Europe has privatized their postal service. They have allowed the market to decide unlike the US. It serves no point to point the "government owned: finger. It seems pretty darned funny that the US has welcomed with open arms T-Mobile (Germany), Orange (France) and Vodafone (UK) into US markets they are essentially banning them from Iraq. Where is the logic in this? They're good enough to sell their services in the US but not in Iraq?

GSM continues to get the best overall rating when compared to cdma.

Also, installing two systems in tandem will only make the system more expensive for the Iraqis. By the way, who is paying for this? If the US is then shouldn't they be doing what is best for Iraq, not for the US?

zimv20
Aug 6, 2003, 09:08 PM
Originally posted by Ugg

Also, installing two systems in tandem will only make the system more expensive for the Iraqis.

the bahrain system was up and running, at least in part, for only $5 million. before the US made them take it down. sounds like sour grapes to me.

Ugg
Aug 6, 2003, 09:16 PM
Originally posted by zimv20
the bahrain system was up and running, at least in part, for only $5 million. before the US made them take it down. sounds like sour grapes to me.

That and the fact that I'm sure the US wants to be able to tap into the system at will. Nothing like ruling a country with no legal system in place, they can just make up the rules as they go and spy on whomever, whenever and however they want.

zimv20
Aug 6, 2003, 09:36 PM
Originally posted by Ugg
That and the fact that I'm sure the US wants to be able to tap into the system at will. Nothing like ruling a country with no legal system in place, they can just make up the rules as they go and spy on whomever, whenever and however they want.

maybe the WH felt it wasn't beneficial for reporters' cellphones to suddenly start working.

Backtothemac
Aug 6, 2003, 09:55 PM
I don't know this, so I am asking. Are they saying it has to be CDMA? Cingular is GSM, T-Mobile is GSM, At&T, is GSM I think. I am almost sure that they are not CDMA.

I know that Verizon is CDMA. So are they saying that the network has to be CDMA?

Backtothemac
Aug 6, 2003, 09:57 PM
Wait a sec. They are not banning GSM, they are only saying that they don't want Government ran cell companies coming into Iraq. As I have said, there are plenty of US carriers that use GSM.

zimv20
Aug 6, 2003, 10:03 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
They are not banning GSM

right. CDMA was mentioned because some are suggesting. i strongly suspect it's those whose only chance at making $$ off the deal is by setting up a CDMA system.

assuming the system will be GSM, i still don't think it makes sense to limit the bidding to US companies. again, it's punative to other countries and not necessarily the best deal for the iraqis.

Ugg
Aug 6, 2003, 10:06 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
Wait a sec. They are not banning GSM, they are only saying that they don't want Government ran cell companies coming into Iraq. As I have said, there are plenty of US carriers that use GSM.

Yes, there are, but what government doesn't in some way subsidize its phone system? Germany, France and the UK, the most likely EU bidders, have only nominal interests in their telcos. This move isn't about what is best for Iraq, it is about what is best for America and to punish those who didn't support it during the war.

Is a CDMA system best for Iraq when it is surrounded by GSM? I don't think so.

Ugg
Aug 6, 2003, 10:17 PM
Here (http://www.cpa-iraq.org/ministries/mobile_phones.html) is a link to the CPA's page outlining the bidding requirements. From my reading, there has been no decision made as to whether Iraq will have either CDMA or GSM or both.

Backtothemac
Aug 6, 2003, 10:20 PM
http://www.cpa-iraq.org/pressreleases/Mobile_competitionQandA.html

It says that both can be bid on, but they are looking at costs. I personally don't see what the big deal is here. There has to be other companies in other countries that are not state owned that can bid on the project.

All they are saying is that they will not let the countries that stood against the liberation of the Iraqi's come in and make money off of them.

I say Kudos on this policy.

zimv20
Aug 6, 2003, 10:27 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac

I say Kudos on this policy.

i call shenanigans. i'd like to see us take the high road on this one.

pseudobrit
Aug 6, 2003, 10:55 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
All they are saying is that they will not let the countries that stood against the liberation of the Iraqi's

Oh, are the Iraqi people liberated now?

Oh. Could have fooled me.

Ugg
Aug 6, 2003, 11:03 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
It says that both can be bid on, but they are looking at costs. I personally don't see what the big deal is here. There has to be other companies in other countries that are not state owned that can bid on the project.

All they are saying is that they will not let the countries that stood against the liberation of the Iraqi's come in and make money off of them.


Once again, a partial investment in a company does not make them state owned.

So, the Iraqis may pay a huge premium for their telephone service and it may not be compatible with the regional services but the US' pride and its policies are more important? I fail to understand how this serves the best interests of the Iraqi people.

mactastic
Aug 7, 2003, 09:54 AM
So not only would we be punishing a country for not supporting the war, we would be punishing the citizens of the country (who are likely investors in these companies), whether they supported the war or not. What if a US company was run by someone who was anti-war? Or a French company run by someone who was a war supporter? Who gets to bid then?

mactastic
Aug 7, 2003, 10:29 AM
We should stop pretending we took action in Iraq for the benefit of the Iraqi people. It was clearly taken with the US's best interest at heart. Any benefit to the Iraqi people will be coincidental. I guess we shouldn't be surprised that US companies will get most of the rebuilding contracts, if not directly then through intermediate subcontracting. The position of most conservatives I have met (and any of you conservatives here feel free to inform me otherwise) has been that the military is only to be used to protect US interests and our national security, and that humanitarian relief is not what the military is designed for. That argument is fine, I can understand it even if I disagree. But now we are told that we did this to help the poor Iraqi citizens who were suffering under a brutal regime, and that we will be acting in the best interests of the Iraqi people. Yeah right! Somehow I don't see the US sticking this out long enough to actually make it work. In fact I am waiting for the calls to start removing troops from both Iraq and Afghanistan to come from polititicians during this next presidential election cycle. I was not a supporter of the war, but that is history now, and we need to make the best out of what we have. We need to have frank and honest discussions about the cost we will be incuring, and the length of committment for our soldiers. I heard a Brookings Institute analyst saying we have about 3/4 of our military deployed abroad, with only 1 complete division (10th Mountain, I believe) intact and ready to be deployed right now. As Gen. Shinseki said, beware the 12 division strategy with a 10 division army. Even thought Rumsfeld says we don't need a larger military, all he wants to do is shift some of the administrative jobs to civilians, whom the government will still be paying, even if it doesn't show as part of the military budget. Shrinking the size of government indeed. (sarcasm):rolleyes:

Backtothemac
Aug 7, 2003, 10:51 AM
Originally posted by mactastic
We should stop pretending we took action in Iraq for the benefit of the Iraqi people. It was clearly taken with the US's best interest at heart. Any benefit to the Iraqi people will be coincidental. I guess we shouldn't be surprised that US companies will get most of the rebuilding contracts, if not directly then through intermediate subcontracting. The position of most conservatives I have met (and any of you conservatives here feel free to inform me otherwise) has been that the military is only to be used to protect US interests and our national security, and that humanitarian relief is not what the military is designed for. That argument is fine, I can understand it even if I disagree. But now we are told that we did this to help the poor Iraqi citizens who were suffering under a brutal regime, and that we will be acting in the best interests of the Iraqi people. Yeah right! Somehow I don't see the US sticking this out long enough to actually make it work. In fact I am waiting for the calls to start removing troops from both Iraq and Afghanistan to come from polititicians during this next presidential election cycle. I was not a supporter of the war, but that is history now, and we need to make the best out of what we have. We need to have frank and honest discussions about the cost we will be incuring, and the length of committment for our soldiers. I heard a Brookings Institute analyst saying we have about 3/4 of our military deployed abroad, with only 1 complete division (10th Mountain, I believe) intact and ready to be deployed right now. As Gen. Shinseki said, beware the 12 division strategy with a 10 division army. Even thought Rumsfeld says we don't need a larger military, all he wants to do is shift some of the administrative jobs to civilians, whom the government will still be paying, even if it doesn't show as part of the military budget. Shrinking the size of government indeed. (sarcasm):rolleyes:

This is off topic, but ok, the war was multi-faced. 1st. Remove Saddam from Power. 2. Remove any terror organizations from Iraq. 3. Restore order and humanitarian need to the Iraqi people. 4. Find, and destroy all of the WMD's in Iraq. 5. Rebuild the country so that the people can have a democracy in a region surround by brutal regimes that do not represent the people of their country.

As far as the cost of the war. How much did 9/11 cost? Have you seen the final estimates? This was part of the war on terror. Saddam funded suicide bombers in the middle east. Allowed free passage to Al Queada members through Bagdad, and even had Iraqi intel meet with Mohammad Atta. The man was a bad man, and needed to be removed from power.

Case closed.

mactastic
Aug 7, 2003, 11:01 AM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
This is off topic, but ok, the war was multi-faced. 1st. Remove Saddam from Power. 2. Remove any terror organizations from Iraq. 3. Restore order and humanitarian need to the Iraqi people. 4. Find, and destroy all of the WMD's in Iraq. 5. Rebuild the country so that the people can have a democracy in a region surround by brutal regimes that do not represent the people of their country.

As far as the cost of the war. How much did 9/11 cost? Have you seen the final estimates? This was part of the war on terror. Saddam funded suicide bombers in the middle east. Allowed free passage to Al Queada members through Bagdad, and even had Iraqi intel meet with Mohammad Atta. The man was a bad man, and needed to be removed from power.

Case closed.

Ok, that was a very good job of listing the objectives of the war, but you conviently skipped over the justification part of it, which is more what I was interested in. My point was that we did this out of our own interests rather than Iraqi's. But I guess since you closed the case, that's all that is allowed on this subject.

Backtothemac
Aug 7, 2003, 11:03 AM
Originally posted by mactastic
Ok, that was a very good job of listing the objectives of the war, but you conviently skipped over the justification part of it, which is more what I was interested in. But I guess since you closed the case, that's all that is allowed on this subject.

;)

Not at all. The justification was weapons, that the world knew he had. Weapons that they (the world) had demanded for over a decade that he give up and he would not. Why? Because he intended to use them eventually? That would make logical sense because he has used them before. Now, given that we took action because of intel from various sources that led us to war. The same evidence that Daschle and Gephart, and other dems saw that made them call for his removal in 98.

Ugg
Aug 7, 2003, 11:07 AM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
Not at all. The justification was weapons, that the world knew he had. Weapons that they (the world) had demanded for over a decade that he give up and he would not. Why? Because he intended to use them eventually? That would make logical sense because he has used them before. Now, given that we took action because of intel from various sources that led us to war.

What weapons? The invisible ones?

Backtothemac
Aug 7, 2003, 11:10 AM
Originally posted by Ugg
What weapons? The invisible ones?

No, the ones that we went to war over that haven't been found yet. As rat said in another thread. When they find them, will you then say the war was justified?

We know he has them. The amounts of the weapons from Iraq's own documentation were known. It is known how much was destoryed by the UN. What isn't known is exactly where the remaining weapons are.

If you are right and there are no WMD's, then the UN caused one of the greatest humanitarian crisis in the world in Iraq.

Do you really think that all of the countries of the SC would have supported the sanctions for so long, especially Syria, if they knew the weapons were not there. What should be said is not that if the weapons are not found that Bush lied, but that the WORLD lied.

mactastic
Aug 7, 2003, 11:11 AM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
;)

Not at all. The justification was weapons, that the world knew he had. Weapons that they (the world) had demanded for over a decade that he give up and he would not. Why? Because he intended to use them eventually? That would make logical sense because he has used them before. Now, given that we took action because of intel from various sources that led us to war. The same evidence that Daschle and Gephart, and other dems saw that made them call for his removal in 98.

So Bush went to war based on 3 year old intel? I find that hard to buy. If he used the same intel as Clinton, he's a fool for not getting an intel update. And if he had new intel, why was it so bad? Bush has about 6 more months to dig up some of those weapons that were the justification for war, or there will be hell to pay on the campaign trail. Oh wait, now it's "We did this all because we felt bad for those horribly opressed Iraqi's." Mass graves were the justification after all.

Backtothemac
Aug 7, 2003, 11:14 AM
Originally posted by mactastic
So Bush went to war based on 3 year old intel? I find that hard to buy. If he used the same intel as Clinton, he's a fool for not getting an intel update. And if he had new intel, why was it so bad? Bush has about 6 more months to dig up some of those weapons that were the justification for war, or there will be hell to pay on the campaign trail. Oh wait, now it's "We did this all because we felt bad for those horribly opressed Iraqi's." Mass graves were the justification after all.

Well look. For me, yea, that was part of it. The oppressed Iraqi's anyway.

As I would imagine that is the case for anyone that has ever been there and seen what the regime was like. As for the WMD's. Personally, I don't care if they find them because for me it was about Iraq. However, I understand your point. They will find them. They are there. Bush went in on new intel, that was solid, very solid intel.

mactastic
Aug 7, 2003, 11:27 AM
The only part of the rational for war I ever was really behind was the fact that Saddam was a waste of oxygen. Bush could have come out looking much better if he had used that as his main arguement, rather than all the other convoluted and shifting reasons we have been given. Further, since Bush had decided that he was going to go it alone if necessary, there was really no need to justify it on any other grounds to anyone. My gut feeling is that Bush gambled that Saddam had WMD's at the ready, and that our troops would find them easily.

Backtothemac
Aug 7, 2003, 11:30 AM
Originally posted by mactastic
The only part of the rational for war I ever was really behind was the fact that Saddam was a waste of oxygen. Bush could have come out looking much better if he had used that as his main arguement, rather than all the other convoluted and shifting reasons we have been given. Further, since Bush had decided that he was going to go it alone if necessary, there was really no need to justify it on any other grounds to anyone. My gut feeling is that Bush gambled that Saddam had WMD's at the ready, and that our troops would find them easily.

Well, I agree with you except there were two senerios. 1. that Saddam had them at the ready and would use them. 2. that he had them very well hidden to try to keep them from being found, stick around, wait till American's leave, and then try to come back to power. I personally don't think that he thought that we would get him, or any of his people.

zimv20
Aug 7, 2003, 11:32 AM
Originally posted by Backtothemac

Iraqi intel meet with Mohammad Atta.

this has been all but debunked.

Backtothemac
Aug 7, 2003, 11:33 AM
Originally posted by zimv20
this has been all but debunked.

Actually, they have uncovered new evidence of it. No, I don't have a link, but it was Hannity & Colmes the other night, and even Alan said it happened.

mactastic
Aug 7, 2003, 11:40 AM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
Well, I agree with you except there were two senerios. 1. that Saddam had them at the ready and would use them. 2. that he had them very well hidden to try to keep them from being found, stick around, wait till American's leave, and then try to come back to power. I personally don't think that he thought that we would get him, or any of his people.

I still think Bush would have looked better if he had gone in under the auspices of humanitarian intervention (democrats could hardly argue against that) and hedged his bets on the WMD's. Then how good would he have looked when he went in front of the world and said "Wow, we knew Saddam was a real SOB, but look at these weapons we found!" This would work under either of those 2 scenarios.

Backtothemac
Aug 7, 2003, 11:48 AM
Originally posted by mactastic
I still think Bush would have looked better if he had gone in under the auspices of humanitarian intervention (democrats could hardly argue against that) and hedged his bets on the WMD's. Then how good would he have looked when he went in front of the world and said "Wow, we knew Saddam was a real SOB, but look at these weapons we found!" This would work under either of those 2 scenarios.

Oh, yea, but Condi was soooooo right in her self rightous ways. I love her, but damn, she has to take personal opinion out of policy.

pseudobrit
Aug 7, 2003, 06:52 PM
Originally posted by zimv20
this has been all but debunked.

Ah, but a lie told again and again will remain unchallenged at least once, thus becoming the truth.

So, you see, Atta did meet with Iraqi intel.

Backtothemac
Aug 7, 2003, 08:42 PM
Originally posted by pseudobrit
Ah, but a lie told again and again will remain unchallenged at least once, thus becoming the truth.

So, you see, Atta did meet with Iraqi intel.

As I said, they discussed this on Hanity and Colmes the other night, and they said they now have more documentation, and in fact Atta did meet with Iraqi intel. Twice.

pseudobrit
Aug 8, 2003, 12:08 AM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
As I said, they discussed this on Hanity and Colmes the other night, and they said they now have more documentation, and in fact Atta did meet with Iraqi intel. Twice.

Any hard sources you care to link to other than what you heard from Sean Hannity?

Desertrat
Aug 8, 2003, 12:21 AM
All this "Yes, they did!" "No, they didn't!" stuff reminds me of the days when Nixon's adminsitration referred to the North Vietnamese sending some 15,000 soldier-types surreptitiously into South Vietnam. The anti-war protestors kept yelling "Liar, liar, pants on fire!"

In 1974 or 1975, the new government of All Vietnam said that Nixon was wrong. It wasn't 15,000.

It was 17,000.

:D, 'Rat

Backtothemac
Aug 8, 2003, 12:24 AM
Originally posted by pseudobrit
Any hard sources you care to link to other than what you heard from Sean Hannity?

Actually it was Alan Colmes, and Rat, you are right about that description. Great to have you around here man.

Desertrat
Aug 8, 2003, 07:54 AM
I'm starting to feel like I could do a Part 2 of Elmer Keith's "Hell, I Was There!" book. My mother, at 92, even more so.

I dunno if it's a modern penchant or an American penchant to ignore history. But, history is indeed ignored. Too many people with strong opinions who view the world, who view life, as snapshots taken yesterday.

That the Bushies articulated and empasized certain reasons to go into Iraq that have proven to be unimportant in the grand scheme of things does not at all mean there were no legitimate reasons to go in.

That the way things have been handled have been less than proper or efficient or competent does not mean that these things should not have been done at all. (I refer to the after-combat pacification, to the efforts at street-cop policing by Iraqis themselves, and efforts to establish a civilian government. And such items as the logistics of re-supply of our troops. Among other things.)

'Rat

mactastic
Aug 8, 2003, 09:16 AM
Originally posted by Desertrat


That the Bushies articulated and empasized certain reasons to go into Iraq that have proven to be unimportant in the grand scheme of things does not at all mean there were no legitimate reasons to go in.

That the way things have been handled have been less than proper or efficient or competent does not mean that these things should not have been done at all. (I refer to the after-combat pacification, to the efforts at street-cop policing by Iraqis themselves, and efforts to establish a civilian government. And such items as the logistics of re-supply of our troops. Among other things.)

'Rat

I agree with you that this was essentially the right action taken for the wrong reason, but that to me is just another way of saying that the ends justify the means.

whooleytoo
Aug 8, 2003, 03:50 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
No, the ones that we went to war over that haven't been found yet. As rat said in another thread. When they find them, will you then say the war was justified?

We know he has them. The amounts of the weapons from Iraq's own documentation were known. It is known how much was destoryed by the UN. What isn't known is exactly where the remaining weapons are.


The thing that gets me, is why is it taking so long to find the weapons? Before the war, the governments seemed certain the weapons there, now after months of 'occupation', they still haven't found them.

It seems to me, if any weapons are found, it will be more a matter of luck, than acting on good intelligence!


If you are right and there are no WMD's, then the UN caused one of the greatest humanitarian crisis in the world in Iraq.


True. Most likely the people of Iraq are much better off - the Shiite Muslims anyhow! It's just a lot of people doubt that had anything to do with the US getting involved.

You only have to look at the track record of the pro-war countries, the US, UK and Australia supporting the Indonesia regime, allowing arms sales, when it was invading East Timor. Look at Chile's human rights record! The US supported Pinochet because he wanted to overthrow the (democratically elected) Communist government, the UK sided with him because he supported them in the Falklands war. etc..etc..

Mike.

Backtothemac
Aug 8, 2003, 04:24 PM
Originally posted by whooley
The thing that gets me, is why is it taking so long to find the weapons? Before the war, the governments seemed certain the weapons there, now after months of 'occupation', they still haven't found them.



Well, think about it this way. We thought that we had destroyed their entire air force during the 1st gulf war. We just found over 30 aircraft buried in the desert. Iraq is the size of California, and Saddam had over 4 years to hide the weapons. They are going to be difficult to find, but they will find them.