Thursday, February 16, 2006

Permantent Bases in Iraq

In the run-up to the mid-term elections, keep this in mind when you hear lawmakers make claims of drawdowns or troop withdrawls. The plan is to never leave. We are building substantial, permanent bases there.

These bases do at least three things. 1) Ensure we don't have to leave our, sorry the Iraqi, oil behind. 2) Provide instant access to Iran. 3) Guarantee the war on terrorism will never stop. But you won't hear about this in the US media. The story goes on to say reporters are told not to use the works "permanent", "bases" and "Iraq" in the same story. Hahaha, I got all three into my title. Thankfully, shrub doesn't control all the media in the world.

Recently, Oliver Poole, a British reporter, visited another of the US "super-bases", the still-under-construction al-Asad Airbase. He observes of "the biggest marine camp in western Anbar province" that "this stretch of desert increasingly resembles a slice of US suburbia". In addition to the requisite Subway and pizza outlets, there is a football field, a Hertz rent-a-car office, a swimming pool and a movie theater showing the latest flicks. Al-Asad is so large - such bases may cover 40-50 square kilometers - that it has two bus routes and, if not traffic lights, at least red stop signs at all intersections.

There are at least four such "super-bases" in Iraq, none of which have anything to do with "withdrawal" from that country. Quite the contrary, these bases are being constructed as little American islands of eternal order in an anarchic sea. Whatever top administration officials and military commanders say - and they always deny that the US seeks "permanent" bases in Iraq - facts on the ground speak with another voice entirely. These bases practically scream "permanency".

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