Friday, June 6, 2008

Permanent U.S. military presence in Iraq


Secret Security Pact Will Ensure Permanent Iraq Occupation
Election of new U.S. president will not change policy

Steve Watson
day, June 5, 2008

The London Independent reports:

The terms of the impending deal, details of which have been leaked to The Independent, are likely to have an explosive political effect in Iraq. Iraqi officials fear that the accord, under which US troops would occupy permanent bases, conduct military operations, arrest Iraqis and enjoy immunity from Iraqi law, will destabilise Iraq's position in the Middle East and lay the basis for unending conflict in their country. [...]

Under the terms of the new treaty, the Americans would retain the long-term use of more than 50 bases in Iraq. American negotiators are also demanding immunity from Iraqi law for US troops and contractors, and a free hand to carry out arrests and conduct military activities in Iraq without consulting the Baghdad government.

Further details have emerged from senior Iraqi military sources who have detailed the wish on behalf of the White House to control Iraqi airspace below 29,000ft and secure the right to launch military campaigns against other countries from inside Iraq:

The military source added, "According to this agreement, the American forces will keep permanent military bases on Iraqi territory, and these will include Al Asad Military base in the Baghdadi area close to the Syrian border, Balad military base in northern Baghdad close to Iran, Habbaniyah base close to the town of Fallujah and the Ali Bin Abi Talib military base in the southern province of Nasiriyah close to the Iranian border."

Naturally, the details have provoked strong reaction from the Iranian government. Iraq's most revered Shia cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani has stated that he will not allow Iraq to sign the deal with "the US occupiers" as long as he was alive.

It is thought that the Iraqi government will do so as it is effectively powerless without U.S. backing and would almost certainly be ousted.

Even both Democratic presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have previously asserted that the Bush junta is trying to lock a new president into a long-term presence. The security pact would mean any proposals to withdraw troops from Iraq by Obama, should he be elected, would effectively be scuppered.

The neocon militaristic approach to globalist domination of the region would therefore continue into a Obama presidency, whether his own power brokers and kingpins, such as Trilateral Commission founder Zbigniew Brzezinski, liked it or not.

Bush-a-like John McCain's views on the occupation are now legendary thanks to his "100 years is fine" comments.

Earlier this year, White House Press Secretary Perino provided an example of the administration's incredible doublespeak on permanent bases, arguing the White House does not view any U.S. military installations overseas as being "permanent":

"The United States, where we are, where we have bases, we are there at the invitation of those countries. I'm not aware of any place in the world — where we have a base — that they are asking us to leave. And if they did, we would probably leave," said spokeswoman Dana Perino. […]

Top aides to US President George W. Bush have countered that the strife-torn country's government could ask US forces to leave at any time, meaning that bases are not technically "permanent."

Administration officials have keenly used the words "continuing" or "enduring" in reference to bases, rather than "permanent" bases.

Though Congress voted to ban permanent bases in Iraq last year, the administration effectively ignored the ruling as the President issued a "signing statement" claiming he reserved the right to disregard a section that bars funding for permanent bases as he signed the fiscal year 2008 defense authorization bill into law.

Defense Secretary Gates commented in January "I think it is pretty clear that such an agreement would not talk about force levels. It would not involve -- we have no interest in permanent bases,".

Back in February, Gates and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice wrote in the Washington Post, "nothing will authorize permanent bases in Iraq (something neither we nor Iraqis want)."

Despite this empty rhetoric, the Pentagon continues to spend billions on the construction of permanent bases. And still the military continues to deny that it has plans for any permanent military bases.

Many analysts have documented the desire to establish a long-term military presence in Iraq as one of the primary reasons behind the 2003 neocon led invasion. Joseph Gerson, a historian of American military bases, said:

"The Bush administration's intention is to have a long-term military presence in the region ... For a number of years the US has sought to use a number of means to make sure it dominates in the Middle East ... The Bush administration sees Iraq as an unsinkable aircraft carrier for its troops and bases for years to come."

Zoltan Grossman, a geographer at Evergreen State College in Washington, said:

"After every US military intervention since 1990 the Pentagon has left behind clusters of new bases in areas where it never before had a foothold. The new string of bases stretch from Kosovo and adjacent Balkan states, to Iraq and other Persian Gulf states, into Afghanistan and other central Asian states ... The only two obstacles to a geographically contiguous US sphere of influence are Iran and Syria."

Former President Jimmy Carter has also spoken of the plan for permanent bases in the region:

"[T]here are people in Washington … who never intend to withdraw military forces from Iraq and they're looking for ten, 20, 50 years in the future … the reason that we went into Iraq was to establish a permanent military base in the gulf region, and I have never heard any of our leaders say that they would commit themselves to the Iraqi people that ten years from now there will be no military bases of the United States in Iraq."

Congressman Ron Paul also highlighted the ongoing effort to establish a permanent occupation during the presidential debates last year when he said:

"They attack us because we've been over there. We've been bombing Iraq for 10 years. … We've been in the Middle East," Paul said in explaining his opposition to going to war in Iraq. "Right now, we're building an embassy in Iraq that is bigger than the Vatican. We're building 14 permanent bases. What would we say here if China was doing this in our country or in the Gulf of Mexico? We would be objecting.

We have previously covered in depth the documented Pentagon programs to stoke violence and civil war in Iraq as a pretext to stay there, build permanent bases and dominate the region.

The invasion and occupation of Iraq was never about the "democracy crap", as one unnamed official so succinctly put it. The neocon architects of the invasion always intended to gain total control over the country in order to secure a permanent ability to launch attacks and military interventions anywhere in the region, be it Iran, Syria, or any other nation who might challenge the new world order President H.W. Bush so proudly announced in 1991.

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