Deep Politics Forum

Full Version: The Lies Of These Wars & Why Your Grandchildren Will Be Paying For Iraq/Afghanistan.
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
283 Bases, 170,000 Pieces of Equipment, 140,000 Troops, and an Army of Mercenaries: The Logistical Nightmare in Iraq
By Jeremy Scahill, AlterNet
Posted on March 30, 2009, Printed on March 30, 2009

With last week's announced escalation of the war in Afghanistan, including an Iraq-like "surge" replete with 4,000 more U.S. troops and a sizable increase in private contractors, President Barack Obama blew the lid off of any lingering perceptions that he somehow represents a significant change in how the U.S. conducts its foreign policy.

In the meantime, more reports have emerged that bolster suspicions that Obama's Iraq policy is but a downsized version of Bush's and that a total withdrawal of U.S. forces is not on the horizon.

In the latest episode of Occupation Rebranded, it was revealed that the administration intends to reclassify some combat forces as "advisory and assistance brigades." While Obama's administration is officially shunning the use of the term "global war on terror," the labels du jour, unfortunately, seem to be the biggest changes we will see for some time.

Underscoring this point is a report just released by the War Resisters League, which for decades has closely monitored the military budget, revealing how many tax dollars are actually going to the war machine. The WRL puts out its famous pie chart annually just before tax time as a reminder of what we are doing exactly when we file our returns. Noting that 51 percent of the federal budget goes to military spending, the WRL said it does "not expect the military percentage to change much" under Obama.

While Obama -- and public attention -- shifted foreign policy focus last week to Afghanistan, lost in the media blitz was another important report that examines how taxpayers will continue to pay for the Iraq occupation for years to come, withdrawal or not. This report, released in March by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, provides a sobering look at Obama's "massive and expensive" Iraq plan, identifying several crucial questions that have yet to be addressed.

Whether or not the Obama administration actually intends to withdraw U.S. forces from Iraq in numbers large enough to claim to be "ending the war" as many believe, this kind of official review of the U.S. reality in Iraq -- and the congressional oversight to which Obama will (or will not) be subjected in the coming months -- bears intense scrutiny.

First, there's the money. "Although reducing troops would appear to lower costs, GAO has seen from previous operations … that costs could rise in the near term," according to the 56-page report, which is titled "Iraq: Key Issues for Congressional Oversight."

In addition to the massive funds required to move tens of thousands of troops, the GAO points out that the Army estimates "it would cost $12 billion to $13 billion a year for at least two years after the operation ends to repair, replace and rebuild the equipment used in Iraq."

The cost of closing U.S. bases will also "likely be significant;" even after military units leave Iraq, the Pentagon will need to invest in training and equipment to return these units to levels capable of performing "full spectrum operations." (The GAO report does not even mention the costs of providing much-needed medical and mental health services to veterans.)

The Obama administration is likely to portray the costs of "withdrawing" from Iraq as a painful necessity made inevitable by the Bush administration. But there are already calls for Obama to not allocate any new funds for such an operation. Retired Army Col. Ann Wright, a veteran diplomat who reopened the U.S. embassy in Kabul after Sept. 11 (and, while in the military, worked on plans for an Iraq invasion), says, "Everyone in the Department of Defense -- military and civilian -- knows well the expense of going to war and the expense of bringing troops back to the United States.

"DOD has plenty of money to withdraw equipment and personnel and no doubt has had monies specifically for that purpose built into its budgets for years. The Congress should not provide additional funding for withdrawal, but instead require DOD to use existing allocations."

In fact, the GAO characterizes the Pentagon's monthly reports on financial obligations under the global war on terrorism as being of "questionable reliability," adding that it "found numerous problems with DOD's processes for recording and reporting its war-related costs."

"Without transparent and accurate cost information," the GAO warns, "Congress and DOD will not have reliable information on how much the war is costing, sufficient details on how appropriated funds are spent, or the reliable historical data needed to develop and provide oversight of future funding needs."

Dollars aside, the new GAO report report raises serious questions about how Obama will handle key challenges that will ultimately determine Iraq's future and the extent of the U.S. presence in the country. Among the questions the Obama administration has yet to answer: How to dismantle or hand over the 283 U.S. installations in Iraq (including more than 50 large military bases); What to do with the 160,000-plus private U.S. contractors in Iraq; Who will provide security for the massive -- and likely expanding -- army of diplomats deployed in the country at the monstrous U.S. embassy in Baghdad?

Iraqis Could Vote the U.S. Out: Would Obama Listen?

Obama, of course, has always said that his Iraq policy is not set in stone and that he will adjust it according to "conditions on the ground" -- a sweeping disclaimer that could mean a 180-degree shift on a dime.

The GAO report acknowledges that under the Status of Forces Agreement, Iraq and the U.S. can "extend the draw-down time frame" if necessary, adding, "Either government can unilaterally terminate the security agreement by providing 12 months advance notice." In the absence of clearly identified conditions for the stability of the U.S.-backed Iraqi government, one scenario that could result in Obama extending the U.S. occupation is if the Washington-backed Baghdad regime is threatened by an uprising.

Statistics presented by the GAO are worth considering: "[T]he number of Iraqi army and police forces nearly doubled from about 320,000 in January 2007 to just over 600,000 in October 2008. However, according to the Department of Defense, over the same period, the number of Iraqi army units capable of conducting operations independently remained at about 10 percent of total units."

Iraq is scheduled to have a national referendum on the SOFA this summer, and the GAO report notes that "the Iraqi government has said it would abide by the results." This means that if Iraqis reject it, "U.S. forces would have to leave Iraq by as early as July 2010." At this point, it seems impossible to imagine Obama having all U.S. forces out of Iraq a year from now -- and certainly not his residual force of up to 50,000 troops. The GAO report suggests that Congress ask the Obama administration, "What are the U.S. contingency plans in the event that Iraqis vote against the security agreement in July 2009?"

More broadly, the GAO asks, "To what extent will the United States attempt to renegotiate provisions of the security agreement if security conditions deteriorate or other conditions are deemed insufficient to draw down responsibly?"

These questions will prove crucial in determining the sincerity of Obama's campaign pledge to end the war.

Will the U.S. Walk Away From its 283 Bases in Iraq?

In a dramatic understatement, the GAO notes that the U.S. "has an extensive basing footprint in Iraq. … Closing or handing over U.S. installations in Iraq will be time consuming and costly." With no fewer than 283 such installations throughout Iraq -- 51 large bases and 232 smaller bases -- the Obama administration has not said how it will approach this formidable task.

This is no minor detail. "According to U.S. Army officials, experience has shown that it takes one to two months to close the smallest platoon -- or company -- size installations, which contain between 16 and 200 combat soldiers or Marines."

However, the U.S. "has never closed large, complex installations -- such as Balad Air Force Base, which contains about 24,000 inhabitants and has matured over five years. U.S. Army officials estimate it could take longer than 18 months to close a base of that size." Obama should explain clearly how he intends to dismantle these bases or to what forces he is going to give control over them.

It is very hard to imagine that the U.S. will simply walk away from large bases it spent years building. So, will they be turned over to Iraq? If so, to whom? What guarantee is there that they would not be used as operating bases for death squads? Will some be destroyed? What about the environmental impact?

In addition to the bases, the GAO reveals that, as of of March 2008, "the United States had in place about 170,000 pieces of equipment worth about $16.5 billion that would need to be removed from Iraq." Erik Leaver, a senior analyst at the Institute for Policy Studies, says,"An example of a tough question: What to do with MRAPs [Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles]?"

"The MRAPs are so heavy, transport back to the U.S., plus the rehab charges may make it cost-effective to actually destroy them," says Leaver. "Plus, if you need to move 120,000 soldiers in a rapid time frame, do you even have the space to bring them back if you take the MRAPs?"

Then there are the facilities in Iraq currently being run by U.S. contractors. According to the GAO, Defense Contract Management Agency officials estimate "there is at least $3.5 billion worth of contractor-managed government-owned property in Iraq."

Troops Withdrawal, Contractor Surge?

Despite his much-celebrated troop withdrawal announcement, Obama has said nothing publicly about what he intends to do with the 163,000 "security contractors" deployed in Iraq, whose ranks outnumber U.S. troops. This is most likely because, as the GAO reports, there is no plan.

"From late 2007 through July 2008, planning for the redeployment of U.S. forces did not include a theaterwide plan for redeploying contractors," the GAO report reveals.

In fact, the GAO raises the prospect that Obama will actually increase reliance on private contractors -- including armed contractors like those who work for Blackwater -- particularly given the Obama administration's stated intention to increase diplomatic and reconstruction work in Iraq, which will create a greater need for "diplomatic security."

According to the GAO, the State Department spent about $1.1 billion from 2006 to 2008 on 1,400 private security contractors in Iraq. As of January 2009, the State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security (the main employer of Blackwater and other armed contractors responsible for guarding U.S. diplomats and occupation officials), has already experienced a drastic increase in workload.

"State's reliance on contractors may increase as the department currently depends on DOD to provide some services," says the GAO, citing the examples of Bosnia and Kosovo, where "contractors assumed responsibility for certain support functions that had been previously performed by military personnel."

Of course, executives at private security companies have long suggested that a U.S. military draw down could mean a greater role for private forces in Iraq.

"To what extent does State have contingency plans in place if Embassy Baghdad is unable to decrease its reliance on U.S. civilian government personnel over the next 5 years?" asks the GAO report.

The report also addresses question of accountability for contractors, noting that they are no longer officially immune from prosecution under Iraq's legal system. Indeed, after the suspension of the Paul Bremer-era Order 17 and the signing of the SOFA, contractors are now ostensibly bound by Iraqi law -- but not one has been prosecuted in Iraq for any crime, and it seems doubtful that any U.S. president would allow this to happen.

According to the GAO, "a joint U.S.-Iraqi committee is working to establish procedures and guidelines for exercising Iraqi jurisdiction for private contractors operating in Iraq, including those covered by the security agreement." In other words, believe it when it happens.

No More Bailouts Until Iraq Has Clean Drinking Water

The GAO report is a pretty dry read, but seasoned observers of the Iraq occupation might find humor in one of the report's graphs. It maps the drastic decline in the number of nations participating in the Iraq occupation, the so-called coalition of the willing, from 2004 to the present.

"As of March 2009, only three coalition partners remain in Iraq -- Australia, Romania and the United Kingdom," the GAO reports, illustrating the point with a sharp, steep slope. "These coalition partners have an agreement with Iraq to remove their troops by July 2009. At that time, the United States will be the sole remaining nation with troops stationed in Iraq."

Another important figure included in the report that is anything but humorous -- and rarely talked about -- is the huge number of people imprisoned or detained by the U.S. in Iraq: 15,000. Many of these prisoners are being held without charge or access to due process. Under existing agreements between Iraq and the U.S., they are slated to either be turned over to Iraq's legal system or released.

Interestingly, the GAO report does raise concerns about the dismal shape of Iraq's legal system, citing a December 2008 Human Rights Watch report that "concluded Iraq's central criminal court 'seriously' failed to meet international standards of due process and fair trials." The GAO cites "concerns that detainees in Iraqi custody may be tortured or mistreated because Iraqi officials often rely on coerced confessions instead of physical evidence, particularly in criminal cases."

It is telling that the GAO raised this concern in a section about the prospect of U.S. contractors being stripped of immunity and subjected to the Iraqi justice system, not Iraqis handed over to the Baghdad regime by the U.S. Regarding the fate of the Iraqi prisoners, the GAO report dryly notes, "many implementing details for this process must be resolved."

Perhaps the saddest portion of the GAO report relates to what should be done to address the massive suffering in Iraq and what the U.S. responsibility should be for paying for the tremendous devastation of Iraq's civilian infrastructure over the past 20 years.

Just take the issue of water. As of now, according to the report, "many Iraqis are without water or have access to water that puts them at risk of diseases such as cholera and dysentery, as evidenced by outbreaks in 2007 and 2008. According to the United Nations, only 40 percent of children have reliable access to safe drinking water; with water-treatment plants operating at only 17 percent capacity, large volumes of untreated waste are discharged into Iraq's waterways. The health risks associated with a lack of access to potable water and proper sewage treatment are compounded by the shortage of medical professionals in Iraq's health care system."

According to the World Bank, it would cost $14.4 billion to rebuild the Iraqi public works and water system. In other words, about five weeks of the overall cost of the U.S. occupation.

Instead of discussing U.S. reparations or restitution, as groups like Iraq Veterans Against the War have demanded, the report asks the Obama administration what more the Iraqi government can do to fund reconstruction projects. "We've just spent $700 billion to bail out Wall Street," says IPS' Erik Leaver. "While the report notes that the U.S. spent $9.5 billion and Iraq budgeted for $17.2 billion for reconstruction of a war torn society. The scale of what we've done on the civilian end is absurd."

Before one more cent is spent on bailing out corrupt corporations that destroyed the U.S. economy, Iraqis should have clean drinking water. After all, it was the illegal U.S. wars that took it from them in the first place. And that is not logic based on lies.

Jeremy Scahill, an independent journalist who reports frequently for the national radio and TV program Democracy Now, has spent extensive time reporting from Iraq and Yugoslavia. He is currently a Puffin Writing Fellow at The Nation Institute. Scahill is the author of Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army.
© 2009 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.
View this story online at:
The ever insightful Jeremy Scahill writes:

Quote:Will the U.S. Walk Away From its 283 Bases in Iraq?

In a dramatic understatement, the GAO notes that the U.S. "has an extensive basing footprint in Iraq. … Closing or handing over U.S. installations in Iraq will be time consuming and costly." With no fewer than 283 such installations throughout Iraq -- 51 large bases and 232 smaller bases -- the Obama administration has not said how it will approach this formidable task.

This is no minor detail. "According to U.S. Army officials, experience has shown that it takes one to two months to close the smallest platoon -- or company -- size installations, which contain between 16 and 200 combat soldiers or Marines."

However, the U.S. "has never closed large, complex installations -- such as Balad Air Force Base, which contains about 24,000 inhabitants and has matured over five years. U.S. Army officials estimate it could take longer than 18 months to close a base of that size." Obama should explain clearly how he intends to dismantle these bases or to what forces he is going to give control over them.

It is very hard to imagine that the U.S. will simply walk away from large bases it spent years building. So, will they be turned over to Iraq? If so, to whom? What guarantee is there that they would not be used as operating bases for death squads? Will some be destroyed? What about the environmental impact?

Which of course begs the question of whether all those politicians were fools or liars?

Quote:Iraq's US/UK Permanent Bases : Intentional Obfuscation

By Sarah Meyer

Global Research, April 11, 2006
Global Research and Index Research

US permanent bases in Iraq?1
(click to enlarge)

[for original article and photos click]

There is Pentagon and US governmental obfuscation surrounding United States permanent bases in Iraq. Whilst Donald Rumsfeld, US Secretary of Defence, continues to deny a permanent US presence there, the facts appear to contradict his statements.

In February 2002, Zoltan Grossman wrote the following cogent perception entitled New US Bases: Side Effects or Causes of War? “Even if this administration pulls combat troops out of Iraq in the future, it intends to keep at least four large permanent military bases, and access or 'basing rights' to many smaller bases, to keep control over oil supplies and shipments, support counterinsurgency operations, and to use Iraq as a launching pad against Iran or Syria. The only way that Washington can avoid this impression is to explicitly renounce any future permanent military bases in Iraq."

On 19 April 2003, A NY Times headline said: “A NATION AT WAR: STRATEGIC SHIFT; PENTAGON EXPECTS LONG-TERM ACCESS TO KEY IRAQ BASES. … “military officials … spoke of maintaining perhaps four bases in Iraq that could be used in the future: one at the international airport just outside Baghdad; another at Tallil, near Nasiriya in the south; the third at an isolated airstrip called H-1 in the western desert, along the old oil pipeline that runs to Jordan; and the last at the Bashur air field in the Kurdish north.

On the 21st of April Rumsfeld said in a press briefing “I have never, that I can recall, heard the subject of a permanent base in Iraq discussed in any meeting … we don't plan to function as an occupier, we don't plan to prescribe to any new government how we ought to be arranged in their country… We have no desire to be there for long periods, we simply don't. And that's just a cold, hard fact."

On 23 March 2004, Christine Spolar said in The Chicago Tribune that there was a “long term military presence planned” in Iraq. “U.S. engineers are focusing on constructing 14 "enduring bases," long-term encampments for the thousands of American troops expected to serve in Iraq for at least two years. The bases also would be key outposts for Bush administration policy advisers.” Major Kimmitt said, “This is a blueprint for how we could operate in the Middle East." The US was making plans for Iraqi bases in Baghdad, Mosul, Taji, Balad, Kirkuk and in areas near Nasiriyah, near Tikrit, near Fallujah and between Irbil and Kirkuk. There were also plans “to renovate and enhance airfields in Baghdad and Mosul, and rebuild 70 miles of road on the main route for U.S. troops headed north.”

In June ’04, major construction (Parsons / KRB) at Taji Military Base was completed. Major construction on other US bases continued.

In August 2004, an order was issued to vacate the former presidential palaces in Mosul, Tikrit, Ramadi, Basra and Baghdad, but this order was rescinded in 11.04. No further news …

September ’04, and Rumsfeld was speaking before the Senate Armed Forces Committee. “Rearranging our global posture … is essential to our success,” he said.

On 30 September, Dick Francis of the Christian Science Monitor quotes Jessica Mathews, president of the Washington’s Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, as saying that permanent bases in Iraq are a “disastrously bad idea.”

In February 2005, Rumsfeld reported again to the Senate Armed Services Committee: "we have no intention, at the present time, of putting permanent bases in Iraq.”

In April 2005, a new report from the Congressional Research Service, commissioned by Congressman Dennis Kuchinich, showed “that the United States is investing hundreds of millions of dollars in the construction of "long-term" bases in Iraq … some projects … suggest substantial U.S. investment to improve facilities that could be used for the longer-term." These long-term projects in Iraq include, $214 million for the Balad Air Base and $49 million for the Taji Military Complex.

The March-April ’05 Mother Jones report by Joshua Hammer fully discusses ‘enduring bases’, and contains interesting quotes from General Garner, Bremer, General Zinni, Brig. Gen. Pollman, Karen Kwiatkowski and Jessica Matthews of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, D.C., who said: "It will convince people across the Arab world that we went there to install an American regime in the Middle East."

On 22.05.05, Bradley Graham wrote in the Washington Post that Commanders were planning “eventual consolidation of US Bases in Iraq.” This “entailed the construction of longer-lasting facilities at the sites, including barracks and office structures made of concrete block instead of the metal trailers and tin-sheathed buildings that have become the norm at bigger U.S. bases in Iraq… But they said the consolidation plan was not meant to establish a permanent U.S. military presence in Iraq.”

Congress approved an $82m supplemental ‘war spending bill’, also in May ’05.

In the summer of 2005, a Kuwaiti firm was ‘awarded’ the $592million contract for the new US embassy in Baghdad, to be completed by 2007. Built to withstand attack, this Ozymandius on the Tigris, composed of a cluster of 21 buildings, will have “a gym, swimming pool, barber and beauty shops, a food court and a commissary. In addition to the main embassy buildings, there will be a large-scale US Marine barracks, a school, locker rooms, a warehouse, a vehicle maintenance garage, and six apartment buildings with a total of 619 one-bedroom units. Water, electricity and sewage treatment plants will all be independent from Baghdad's city utilities. The total site will be two-thirds the area of the National Mall in Washington, DC.” It will be the largest US embassy in the world.

By mid-2005, the U.S. military had 106 ‘forward operating bases’ in Iraq, including what the Pentagon calls 14 "enduring" bases (twelve of which are located on the map) – all of which were to be consolidated into “perhaps” four bases that could be used in the future.2” By 2006, 34 of the (now admitted) 110 bases had been vacated.3 Two palaces in Tikrit and one in Mosul were due to be turned over to the government in Iraq at the end of 2005. No further news …

In an Agence France report on 11 March ‘06, Zalmay Khalilzad, one of the signers of the 1998 PNAC letter to President Clinton supporting regime change in Iraq, and since November ’05 the US ambassador in Baghdad, said his country “did not want permanent military bases in Iraq and that he was willing to talk to Iran about the war-torn country's future.”

Oil anarchy threatens Iraq's future suggested a Reuters headline. “Rampant corruption and political anarchy have pushed Iraq's oil industry to the brink of collapse and may drive away the experts needed to save it.” On the same day (15.03), another Reuters report said that “While the Bush administration has downplayed prospects for permanent U.S. bases in Iraq, Gen. John Abizaid told a House of Representatives subcommittee he could not rule that out.” Abizaid also said the “United States and its allies have a vital interest in the oil-rich region ... Ultimately it comes down to the free flow of goods and resources on which the prosperity of our own nation and everybody else in the world depend." Also on the 15th, 700 more US troops from Kuwait were being dispatched to Iraq.

On 16 March ’06, the US Congress passed the Lee-Allen-Hinchey-Schakowsky Amendment, assuring that "None of the funds in this Act may be used by the US government to enter into a basing rights agreement between the United States and Iraq."4 An April Senate vote is pending.

Peter Spiegal picked up this thread in his Los Angeles Times story, ‘Bush's Requests for Iraqi Base Funding Make Some Wary of Extended Stay,’ quoting the exorbitant DoD expenditures on US bases in Iraq.

20 March ’06: White House Press Conference
Q.: “…will there come a day when there will be no more American forces in Iraq?”
THE PRESIDENT: “That, of course, is an objective, and that will be decided by future Presidents and future governments of Iraq.”

21 March: Charles Hanley of the Associated Press, after visiting US bases in Iraq, said that “Elaborate U.S. bases raise long-term questions.” Zinni, a former Centcom chief, said of long term bases: “It's a stupid idea and clearly politically unacceptable.” Hanley says, “In early 2006, no one's confirming such next steps, but a Balad "master plan," details undisclosed, is nearing completion, a possible model for al-Asad, Tallil and a fourth major base, al-Qayyarah in Iraq's north.” Except for Balad, these are different ‘permanent’ bases than those first mentioned in 2003.

A recent story (30.03.06) in Stars and Stripes says that six bases will produce their own drinking water. Perhaps this is ‘the’ clue for future ‘permanent’ US bases? These are: Camp Anaconda, located at Balad Air Base; Camps al-Asad; Speicher; TQ; Q-West and Victory.

Condi Rice, on 04.04.06, "brushed aside suggestions that the United States wants an indefinite troop presence and permanent military bases in Iraq."

Prime Minister Blair also has the habit of obscuring his intentions. One can almost be sure that if he, or a member of his government, says, “there is no plan …”, there IS, indeed, a plan. We read on the 28.02.06, in Hansard, the following written question, followed by the written answer from Adam Ingram, Minister of State (Armed Forces), Ministry of Defence:

"Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions he has had with his US counterparts over their plans to set up 14 permanent military bases in Iraq. [218827]

Mr. Ingram: Ministers at the Ministry of Defence are in continuous dialogue with all of our allies, including the United States, on a range of issues. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence has had no discussions with his US counterparts on plans to set up permanent military bases in Iraq."

On 2 April 06, Andrew Buncombe wrote an article with a new twist in the The Independent entitled: “US and UK forces establish 'enduring bases' in Iraq.” A spokesperson for the coalition forces, Major Breasseale, said: "The current plan is to reduce the coalition footprint into six consolidation bases - four of which are US ... We have no intention of remaining, or indeed retaining bases in Iraq long-term.”

Click to enlarge

The 10 April Guardian shows a NY Times photograph by Doug Mills of George Bush at Centom joint operations centre in Fort MacDill in Florida. In the background is a large centcom map of Iraq, also on five computers in the foreground. On this map, the following bases are marked: Qayyarah West, Kirkuk, Al Sahra near Tikrit, al Asad, Balad, Al Taquaddum, H2 and H3, al Salman North and Talill. Baghdad is a large centre dot -- Camp Victory, the future US embassy and Baghdad airport are part of the Baghdad complex. A small part of this map is blocked by people / computers in the forefront.

The number of remaining US bases is now stated as being 75, one less than in 2005. We still have no firm idea of the US time-scale in Iraq. We now also have the confirmed confusion of “enduring” (that favourite PNAC word) UK bases in Iraq. And, surprise, surprise - ‘Our Tony’ had not informed the UK about this UK/Iraq agenda. We shall hopefully soon have another ‘leaked’ memo.

The US (and now apparently also that of the UK) administration’s subterfuge is transparent. The US building of bases in Iraq continues5, whilst any thought of US construction or humanitarian programme benefiting the Iraqi people is in the dustbin. The US government does not care about the Iraqi people. The US cares only about controlling Iraqi oil pipelines, pacifying its soldiers with comfortable mod coms and making a different kind of ‘killing’ from corporate DoD deals. Keeping Iraq in a perpetual state of violence, keeping Osama bin Laden alive (even if he is dead) is beneficial to the US government and its octopussy corporate purse-strings.

This article originally published on 3rd April 2006 on Index Research Sarah Meyer is a researcher living in Sussex, UK.

Other Source Material

1. 13.03.06. Dahr Jamail, uruknet Iraq: Permanent US Colony

2. 30 March 2006 Iraq bases spur questions over US plans

3. Ozymandius by: Percy Bysshe Shelley

“I met a traveler from an antique land
Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert... Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal these words appear:
My name is Ozymandius, King of Kings,
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”


[1] Further maps
[2] Baghdad International Airport; Tallil; H1; Bashur air field.
[3] Hanley, Charles, AP, 21.03.06
[4] Roll call vote (Democrats in italics) Abercrombie, Baldwin, Blackburn, Blumenauer, Campbell (CA), Cannon, Capps, Clay, Coble, Conyers, Cooper, Costello, Cubin, Deal (GA), Eshoo, Farr, Flake, Frank (MA), Gohmert, Grijalva, Gutierrez, Hensarling, Hinchey, Holt, Inslee, Jackson-Lee (TX), Johnson, Sam, King (IA), Kucinich, Lee, Lewis (GA), Maloney, Markey, McCollum (MN), McDermott, McGovern, McHenry, McKinney, McNulty, Meehan, Michaud, Miller, George, Moore (WI), Neal (MA), Neugebauer, Olver, Owens, Pallone, Paul, Payne, Pence, Petri, Rangel, Rothman, Schakowsky, Sensenbrenner, Serrano, Solis, Stark, Tancredo, Thompson (CA), Tierney, Velázquez, Waters, Watson, Watt, Waxman, Weiner, Westmoreland, Woolsey, Wu
[5] How American Contractors With The Help Of U.S. Government Raped Iraq. Iraq’s Missing Billions.
Jan Klimkowski Wrote:...whether all those politicians were fools or liars?

I'll put my vote as their being both. :joyman:
Why would the US ever completely pull out of Iraq when it went there specifically to protect Kuwait, Saudi, the friendly Gulf States and their oil? My guess is that US forces will be scaled down over time but a minimum force will remain in situ under long term agreements that allow for large rapid response forces to pile-in and re-occupy the various bases as and when needed.

Just my guess though.
Your right [I mean correct] David. Those bases will be there and fully manned to deploy an invasion force flown-in until the last drop of oil [ours] is gone. Then they'll be converted to shopping malls.