June 15, 2007



Bush's imperial designs on Iraq
by Jim Hightower

At last we have a date for the withdrawal of our troops from Iraq...and Bush can't veto this one. It's January 20, 2009. That's when George W's term is up and he has to withdraw from the White House, taking "Buckshot" Cheney with him. The shame is that so many more of our troops will die or be maimed in the months between now and then.

But wait, even then we might not leave Iraq. That's because the Bushites are trying to establish a permanent U.S. military presence in Iraq — an imperial inhabitancy atop that nation's oil fields.

Even if congress mandates a withdrawal from fighting, the Pentagon says it has no plans for "total drawdown," instead working quietly but feverishly to establish a series of installations it calls "enduring bases" around the country. The centerpiece is the lavish, new, billion-dollar "embassy" being constructed inside Baghdad's Green Zone — a sort of militarized emerald palace the size of Vatican City, totally self-sustaining and independent of the Iraqi government.

But other bases are being built as well, perhaps as many as 15 self-contained military pods that would support a total of 30-50 thousand U.S. troops for an indefinite period of time — estimated to be several decades — costing us billions of dollars a year. Why? Reason number one is to preserve U.S. economic interests in Iraq, which is to say oil.

When did we vote for this colossally bad idea? In fact, in the last election, Americans clearly said "Get Out!" — not "dig in." Indeed both houses of congress voted last year to declare that America would not create permanent bases in Iraq — but this declaration magically disappeared from the final version of the bill. Now that Democrats are in charge of congress, it's time for them to re-pass that provision, make it stick in the law and de-fund the Pentagon's imperial designs.

For more information on Jim Hightower's work — and to subscribe to his award-winning monthly newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown — visit www.jimhightower.com


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