Thursday, June 5, 2008

Revealed: Secret plan to keep Iraq under US control

Patrick Cockburn in The Independent (UK)

Bush wants 50 military bases, control of Iraqi airspace and legal immunity for all American soldiers and contractors.

A secret deal being negotiated in Baghdad would perpetuate the American military occupation of Iraq indefinitely, regardless of the outcome of the US presidential election in November.

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.

But the accord also threatens to provoke a political crisis in the US. President Bush wants to push it through by the end of next month so he can declare a military victory and claim his 2003 invasion has been vindicated. But by perpetuating the US presence in Iraq, the long-term settlement would undercut pledges by the Democratic presidential nominee, Barack Obama, to withdraw US troops if he is elected president in November.

Please read the rest of this.

Teach your children and grandchildren well. Teach 'em Arabic, marksmanship, and how to keep their heads down so they can have children and grandchildren whom they can teach these things to and so on and so on.

Damn Bush.


Think Progress

An Iraqi government official today said that a “July target for negotiating an agreement on future relations between Iraq and the United States is likely to be missed.” The AP reports:

U.S. and Iraqi officials began talks in March on twin agreements on the status of U.S. military forces in Iraq after 2008 and a strategic framework agreement that defines long-term bilateral ties. […]

“I don’t think that we can meet this date. There is a difference in viewpoints between Iraq and the U.S. I don’t think that time is enough to end this gap and to reach a joint understanding … Therefore, we are not committed to July as a deadline,” he told al-Arabiya television. […]

The talks have angered many Iraqis who suspect the United States, which led the 2003 invasion of Iraq and has around 155,000 troops in the country, of wanting to keep a permanent presence there.

Update - Spencer Ackerman also notes, "Now this is really starting to get interesting. Tomorrow at 2 p.m., for the first time, Congress is going to receive testimony from two Iraqi parliamentarians opposed to the impending Bush-Maliki long-term-occupation deal."

What's wrong with these Iraqis? Don't they know it's traditional, perhaps written in stone or the Bible, that imperialistic white people are entitled to dominate and enslave little brown people over natural resource wealth? Yeesh.

Maybe the Iraqis are starting to think for themselves. Good.

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