With Malice Aforethought: Iraq, Permanent Bases, and Iran
Throughout the entire tenure of the George W. Bush Administration, they have been lying to us. Congressional Republicans who served any time since 2001 can no longer deny their role and complicity. The final bits are coming to light now that vindicate the cries of those of us who insisted that the invasion of Iraq was intended from day one of this Administration's tenure -- long before 9-11 happened.
It also bodes ill for Iran's short-term prospects.
There's a dKos diary that hit with this news early -- by Framlingham. Go give Recommends & tips.
The implications -- for the US, for the next President, for the current pResident, for members of the GOP who were in Congress anytime during the 2001-2008 timeframe. Now, we're talking about intention to deceive and malice aforethought.
Now we're assured of an Administration leaving behind a unholy, historic legacy of treason, war crimes, crimes against humanity, dereliction of duty, war profiteering, negligence, graft, corruption, voter suppression, obstruction of justice, and even major violations of the RICO act.
The source article is in The Independent -- that's the one that Framingham cites, and is the one that I came across (hat-tip to pmeldrum of DelphiForums). But it's no surprise. We knew this was coming. The best diaries about this are the ones by Occams Hatchet from December of 2006. He did several diaries on or tangential to the topic (see here), but the best two are ISG + PNAC = O-I-L and Georgie Bush gets his pony. From ISG + PNAC = O-I-L there's this:
In September 2000, PNAC came out with its seminal work, Rebuilding America's Defenses, (PDF file) which contained, among much else, the following passages:
From an American perspective, the value of such bases would endure even should Saddam pass from the scene. Over the long term, Iran may well prove as large a threat to U.S. interests in the Gulf as Iraq has. And even should U.S.-Iranian relations improve, retaining forward-based forces in the region would still be an essential element in U.S. security strategy given the longstanding American interests in the region.
As a supplement to forces stationed abroad under long-term basing arrangements, the United States should seek to establish a network of deployment bases or forward operating bases to increase the reach of current and future forces. Not only will such an approach improve the ability to project force to outlying regions, it will help circumvent the political, practical and financial constraints on expanding the network of American bases overseas.
elements of U.S. Army Europe should be redeployed to Southeast Europe, while a permanent unit should be based in the Persian Gulf region [emphases added]
That study was signed by, among others, Paul Wolfowitz, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby and William Kristol.
Read the whole piece. Although this excerpt steals the meat from the nut, from Georgie Bush gets his pony, there's this:
With all this manure, there must be pony in here somewhere. And, in fact, amidst this huge steaming pile -- Little Georgie Bush has found his pony.
From page 84, in the section titled, "The Oil Sector":
The U.S. military should work with the Iraqi military and with private security forces to protect oil infrastructure and contractors.
- and further:
- The United States should encourage investment in Iraq's oil sector by the international community and by international energy companies.
- The United States should assist Iraqi leaders to reorganize the national oil industry as a commercial enterprise, in order to enhance efficiency, transparency, and accountability.[snip]
- The United States should support the World Bank's efforts to ensure that best practices are used in contracting. This support involves providing Iraqi officials with contracting templates and training them in contracting, auditing, and reviewing audits.
Hmm -- the same World Bank headed by arch-neocon Paul Wolfowitz, perhaps?
And, from page 61:
RECOMMENDATION 22: The President should state that the United States does not seek permanent military bases in Iraq. If the Iraqi government were to request a temporary base or bases, then the U.S. government could consider that request as it would in the case of any other government.
Not, "will not put" permanent bases; just, "does not seek" them. Oh, and if the Iraqi government should "request" them, why, then, we'll think about accommodating that request.
RECOMMENDATION 23: The President should restate that the United States does not seek to control Iraq's oil.
"The United States" does not seek to control Iraq's oil -- that's right, the government of the United States does not seek to; rather, "international energy companies" seek to control Iraq's oil.
Finally, from page xvi:
By the first quarter of 2008, subject to unexpected developments in the security situation on the ground, all combat brigades not necessary for force protection could be out of Iraq. At that time, U.S. combat forces in Iraq could be deployed only in units embedded with Iraqi forces, in rapid-reaction and special operations teams, and in training, equipping, advising, force protection, and search and rescue. Intelligence and support efforts would continue. . .
It is clear that the Iraqi government will need assistance from the United States for some time to come, especially in carrying out security responsibilities.
Go read -- and save a copy of -- the whole thing. Take a few minutes to digest the implications and give kudos below to Occams Hatchet for his 2006 work, and to Framingham for catching this news quickly. I'll have more analysis later in the week and early next week.