THE WALL Street Journal reports that the “The Bush administration’s embrace of a flexible timeline for pulling U.S. troops from Iraq has accelerated negotiations between Washington and Baghdad over a long-term security pact.”
Let’s see: I was under the impression that the reason we helped to give the Dems control of Congress was to end the war/occupation in Iraq. I don’t know about you, but I don’t see that happening. Do you? I thought not.
Every day, it’s becoming clearer that the Bush administration, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, and presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain are reaching a new consensus, which can be summed up as “let’s not and say we did.”
What does Arnove mean by this?
Let’s not end the occupation. Let’s not withdraw all the troops. Let’s not resolve the fundamental problems created by the U.S. invasion and occupation. But let’s all pretend we did (or will soon enough, though certainly never “precipitously,” so leave us alone).
The Modus Operandi of empire: Lie, but make it sound reasonable! Just what we need. al-Maliki is playing this magnificently for himself and his backers (us). He gets to seem like he’s standing up to the US, while he subverts the aspirations of the Iraqi people. McCain gets to claim the surge worked and maintain his dreams of 100 years of occupation. Barack gets to seem like he’s not an imperialist as he plans to shift some of the troops to Afghanistan. Wheee! Everybody wins! Well, everybody who really matters wins. We, the survile masses in the US, Iraq and Afghanistan lose!
Talk of “permanent bases” is a smokescreen, as Kyle Chrichton of the New York Times has rightly pointed out. There will be long-term bases in Iraq, troops in Iraq and the world’s largest embassy in Baghdad for many years to come–unless we demand a real end to the occupation.
Note: The demanding includes removal from office, and not supporting those who would contine, for those who want us to stay in the Mideast/Central Asia until the oil runs out and those who will not stop this from happening.
To start, we have to challenge this new consensus. A “flexible timeline” is not a timetable. Redeployment of some or even all “combat troops” is not withdrawal. Limited Iraqi sovereignty is not sovereignty. Continuing the occupation is not ending it.
The wars will not end with Obama in power (well, unless we depopulate the mideast and Central Asia, which I wouldn’t put past us). The same with McCain. They won’t end with the current Democratic leadership and many (if not most) of the Democratic members of both the House and Senate (not to mention virtually all of the Repug members).