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No one wants this disastrous war to end faster than those of us with children who have served -- or are serving -- in Iraq.

While today's bold and lengthy New York Times editorialwas encouraging -- "It is frighteningly clear that Mr. Bush’s plan is to stay the course as long as he is president and dump the mess on his successor. Whatever his cause was, it is lost" -- it's been a while since I felt The Times's influence has made any difference to how this nightmare is prosecuted. The Bushies will do as the Bushies want.

Full stop.

And while I'd rather believe that the editorial's wish list will be punched post-haste by the Bush-Cheney Empire and its dwindling coalition-of-the-drilling, a recent piece in the U.K.'s Guardian offered a more sobering outlook.

On June 9, the Guardian published an article by Middle East historian Patrick Seale entitled "Withdrawal Won't Happen."

With the subhead "The U.S. plans permanent military bases in Iraq, confirming to many that it really was all about oil," Seale cites the hard evidence of plans for a long-term U.S. military presence in Iraq. In his view, the ultimate goal is to maintain American control of Iraq's enormous crude-oil reserves.

A few excerpts:

On a visit to Honolulu on May 31, Robert Gates, the defence secretary, said that the United States was looking for a "long and enduring presence," under an arrangement with the Iraq government. . . . Last week the White House spokesman Tony Snow confirmed that President Bush wanted a lengthy troop presence in Iraq. "The situation in Iraq, and indeed, the larger war on terror, are things that are going to take a long time," he said.

It's all twaddle...

Such statements, and the planning that goes with them, make nonsense of the current debate - in Congress, the press and the public - about a date for withdrawal from Iraq, and whether the surge is producing results. The administration is looking way beyond that.

The agenda...

If there were no oil in Iraq, the US would not be there. Another is the ability to project US power over the whole of the oil-rich Gulf and beyond, a vast area from central Asia to east Africa. Other motives include confronting hostile Iran and Syria; making up in Iraq for the loss of bases in Saudi Arabia; and, not least, being on hand to protect Israel. Indeed, these were the main reasons for the invasion four years ago.

The military-industrial-political-think-tank complex is bigger than dKos...

Jimmy Carter was prescient when he declared last year: "There are people in Washington ... who never intend to withdraw military forces from Iraq ... the reason that we went into Iraq was to establish a permanent military base in the Gulf region."

And finally:

Yet the building of US military bases in Iraq continues apace, at a cost of over $1bn a year. Shortly after the invasion, the US established 110 bases in Iraq. The present plan appears to consolidate these into 14 "enduring bases" in Iraqi Kurdistan, at Baghdad airport, in Anbar province, and in the southern approaches to Baghdad. This does not point to an early US disengagement. And nor does the construction of a US embassy able to house 1,000 staff on a 100-acre site on the banks of the Tigris - the biggest US embassy in the world.

My U.S. Marine son is scheduled to return to Iraq next February. It's going to take a lot more than an editorial in The Times to bring home the troops home by then.

Postscript: Last night at a dinner party here in the U.K., visiting scholars from Lawrence, Kansas -- a liberal pocket in a very red state -- told us of folks there who honestly believe that reading The New York Times is akin to helping the jihadists.

Originally posted to demetroula on Sun Jul 08, 2007 at 04:31 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The Project for the New Am Century (12+ / 0-)

    laid out these plans in the 90's to grab the Worlds oil and use it to control the Planet Earth and the Space above it. bush will attack Iran before he leaves office. They want that oil. It just makes me sick and unless we can sway enough people this is our future. War upon war. I wish I could offer hope for you and your son but I have none. Keep fighting for Peace.

    "Though the Mills of the Gods grind slowly,Yet they grind exceeding small."

    by Owllwoman on Sun Jul 08, 2007 at 04:55:08 AM PDT

    •  Thanks, Owllwoman.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bouwerie Boy, tobendaro

      Your comments are always kind regarding my son. I just hope your opinion on Iran is mistaken, for all our sakes.

    •  Please help me understand (0+ / 0-)

      I'm not sure I am following the thread of thought here.
      Is it the point that nothing is worth fighting for?
      Is it the point that oil shouldn't be controlled?
      Is it the point that governments should confiscate oil reserves (as in Venezuela) or should not (as in Exxon/Mobile)?
      Would it be appropriate to go to war to ensure that another entity didn't use oil to enslave us (or other people) or to manipulate foreign policy?

      Or are we just latching on to something else to complain about because Bush are bad folks?

      What is the goal, no oil, and oil free economy, global poverty, global equality of quality of life, pro-nuclear, pro-coal, anti war, empowering despots who will take by force?

      Please help me understand the point.

      Ban Intolerance Now!

      by brahma on Sun Jul 08, 2007 at 06:00:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The overall point is... (7+ / 0-)

        that this resource war was waged with fear-mongering propaganda fueled by the God-fearing, xenophobic gullibility of a post-9/11 nation. The patriotism of young kids, including my own son, was exploited in the call to arms, to fight the infidel over there "so we don't have to fight them over here."

        The point is that blood of thousands and over $1.2 trillion was sacrificed for oil, under the guise of democracy. Frankly, I don't think the freedom to drive gas-guzzling SUVs is worth fighting for.

        •  Not just the oil (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          antifa, demetroula

          Spending on war materials such as weapons, ammunition, spare parts, etc accounts for hundreds of billions. Stockholders and senior execs of defense contractors are making out like, well, bandits.Duke Cunningham was just the tip of the iceberg.

          Withdrawal won't happen as long as Big Oil and Big War run the show, and their money buys Dems as well as Rethugs. But the really tragic thing to consider here is that if we were just to up and pull out, the result  would probably be something that would make Cambodia and Rwanda look like a hippy love-in. That, and the fact that all that oil would be controlled by folks that have really good reason to hate us.

          There's no easy solution, in fact probably no solution at all, but we should at least consider the possibility that pulling out could make things worse. Look what happened in Afghanistan after the Russians left.If anything, regular US forces should be withdrawn to patrol the borders and guard the oilfields, and security in the cities should be turned over a highly-trained, highly motivated force of secular Muslim military police under the UN banner who would be tasked to disarm and suppress the radical militias. However, it's probably too late to assemble such a force, assuming it could ever have been done in the first place.

          Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

          by drewfromct on Sun Jul 08, 2007 at 06:42:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The Buggerer's Dilemma . . . (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            drewfromct, podster, demetroula

            Yep. It's the ol' Buggerer's Dilemma, for sure.

            Once you've kidnapped, robbed, raped and beaten someone silly, what do you do? Let them go? Apologize? Pay them for their trouble?

            America woke up on Independence Day, just sitting there on the box springs wondering what to do with Iraq, now that the banging around and buggering is pretty thoroughly covered.

            We can't let Iraq go, we can't apologize, we can't pay for the damage in a century, and we can't keep at it much longer.

            What's an international buggerer to do, I ask ya?

            "The rule of the wise must be absolute . . . rulers ought not to be responsible to the unwise subjects." ~ Professor Leo Strauss

            by antifa on Sun Jul 08, 2007 at 07:23:32 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  We just might (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              be able to apologize and get away with it, but it would mean arresting, trying, convicting, and sentencing the cabal of neo-con war criminals who perpetrated this crime in our names.

              Keep an eye on the weather channel, as I expect these events to take place the minute it starts snowing in hell.

              Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

              by drewfromct on Sun Jul 08, 2007 at 07:29:50 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Dear Troll: (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        antifa, podster, demetroula
        Few at dKos will support war for oil. However, the oil economy is still quite profitable, the most profitable business on earth. Bush/Cheney saw a good business opportunity in taking over Iraq.

        I agree: they will not let the US retreat from Iraq. There is too much money to be made by a few fat cats in America. There are enough Americans who insist on driving 5,000 lb. SUVs and trucks at 70MPH on the highway to justify world military adventures to control oil. Remember this: ownership is not controlership. The USA does not have to own Iraqi oil to control it.

        My fervent hope is that we run out of oil soon. It will not come soon enough for me. I have had enough of oil wars and Semite quarrels in the Middle East.

        •  I'm just trying to get through the hyperbole (0+ / 0-)

          to get to the point, although your point is clearly understood, anyone who doesn't drink your particular brand of kool-aid must be a troll. No chance of real thinking going on here.

          The Saudis control the price of oil. They crank up the production to keep the price low enough to thwart alternative energy development. So, unless you think the Saudis are paying the current government in charge to destabilize the global energy economy enough to be manageable through minor increases and decreases in production, you're all wet.

          Who benefits if the world runs out of oil? Probably the US. We can institute programs to develop and deliver alternative energy faster than anybody. Who benefits if we don't? Probably the US, cheaper maintenance of the lifestyle we (some of us non-hermits) choose. Any controllable outcome can be manipulated to our benefit. And those that will benefit will be the same in either case.

          Those with capital, and the restraint to plan and execute for delayed satisfaction will always benefit. There is no upside to delaying a particular  unavoidable outcome. Just upside in anticipating and planning for it. In the meantime, the suckers get suckered, such as with ethanol from corn. Uses more fuel than it creates, creates more pollution, consumes food stock. Who are the idiots that forced funding for this idea? Oh, that's right, the save the planet crowd, who can't see past hurting big oil. So now we have big farm, worse energy policy sucking up essential funding from something potentially useful, like off shore wind farms, that environmentalists aren't crucifying Tedward Kennedy for fighting.

          Stop whining, understand the problem, try to find a solution instead of wishing ill on your enemies, and if you really feel the need, take a couple of hundred thousand of your closest buddies and move to  central Africa, or the Amazon basin and set up a model community that creates more energy than it consumes, with no pollution and no other adverse effect on the planet.  

          Ban Intolerance Now!

          by brahma on Sun Jul 08, 2007 at 10:45:56 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Dick Cheney, is that you? (0+ / 0-)

        "You'd better get this straight. Wise up before it's too late." - Sister Sledge.

        by Andy Lewis on Sun Jul 08, 2007 at 06:51:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Access to oil isn't an issue (0+ / 0-)

        As long as there's demand, the US will be getting relatively inexpensive oil, at least until it runs out. The issue is controlling OTHER countries' access to oil so we can tell them what to do. This is the ultimate goal of the PNAC.

  •  hmm... (9+ / 0-)

    Well, sort of.

    The United States doesn't need the oil for it's own consumption.  The point isn't so much that we want the oil, we want to control who the oil goes to, and be able to stop it going there if we want to (hint: China).  There is always the spoil sport Plan B, the one that was followed in Indochina - mess it up so bad no one can get it.  It's entirely possible to fuck things up so badly there, both destroying the infrastructure entirely and making it a basket-case of warring factions, that no one could touch Iraqi oil for 20-30 years.  In that Plan B, we all have to tip our hats to the Bush team, they're doing one hell of a job.

    Recovering Intellectual. 12 days stupid.

    by scionkirk on Sun Jul 08, 2007 at 04:59:49 AM PDT

    •  Kind of like, if we can't have it (0+ / 0-)

      no one can. We just have to work to get a democrat elected in 08. And they will try to steal that election anyway they can.

      "Though the Mills of the Gods grind slowly,Yet they grind exceeding small."

      by Owllwoman on Sun Jul 08, 2007 at 05:12:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Supply and demand (0+ / 0-)

        If the infrastructure is so fucked that no one can get the oil out of the ground, the price of oil will remain high. That's probably a good thing for the oil companies and certain Texans.

        Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

        by drewfromct on Sun Jul 08, 2007 at 06:16:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Add Australian Comment (5+ / 0-)

    Brendan Nelson is Australia's Defense Minister.  A couple of days ago he caused a dust-up.

    Speaking this morning, Dr Nelson said oil was among the reasons to keep troops in Iraq.

    "Energy security is extremely important to all nations throughout the world, and of course, in protecting and securing Australia's interests," he said.

    "The Middle East itself, not only Iraq, but the entire region is an important supplier of energy oil, in particular, to the rest of the world."

    John Howard rushed to deny it, others rushed to deny it.
    Read it here at

  •  I'm with you (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    betson08, frandor55, Bouwerie Boy

    I just posted the following on the front-page Splurge diary, but it bears repeating.  Perhaps there is some small sliver of hope, but I'm not sanguine.

    July 2. Reps. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Tom Allen (D-Maine), David Price (D-N.C.) and Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), introduced H.R. 2929 on Thursday. The bill, which several Democratic sources predicted would be taken up by the House next month, would prevent the spending of any government funds to "establish any military installation or base for the purpose of providing for the permanent stationing United States Armed Forces in Iraq," as will as "to exercise United States economic control over the oil resources of Iraq."

    Still, we can dream.

    •  Um, hmm, with 110 U.S. bases in Iraq... (0+ / 0-)

      ...supposedly to be consolidated into 70 or so, and then down to around 14, it would appear that that bill is a little too late or being presented disingenuously. Or am I reading it incorrectly??

      •  You may be right (0+ / 0-)

        From TomsDispatch via on June 14:

        From 2003 to the present, the work building, maintaining, and continually upgrading these bases (and their equivalents in Afghanistan) has never ended. Though the huge base-building contracts were given out long ago, consider just a couple of modest contracts of recent vintage. In March 2006, Dataline, Inc, of Norfolk, Virginia was awarded a $5 million contract for "technical control facility upgrades and cable installation," mainly at "Camp Fallujah, Iraq (25 percent), Camp Al Asad, Iraq (25 percent), [and] Camp Taqaddum, Iraq (25 percent)." In December 2006, Watkinson L.L.C. of Houston was awarded a $13 million "firm-fixed-price contract for design and construction of a heavy aircraft parking apron and open cargo storage yard" for al-Asad Airbase, "to be completed by Sept. 17, 2007." In March 2007, Lockheed Martin Integrated Systems was awarded a $73 million contract to "provide recurring requirements such as operations and maintenance support for base local area network, commercial satellite communication, technical control facility, and circuit actions, telephone, land mobile radio and both inside and outside cable plant installations. ... at 13 bases in Iraq, Afghanistan and six other nations which fall in the United States Central Command Area of Responsibility."

        And major base-building may not be at an end. Keep your eye on Iraqi Kurdistan. According to Juan Cole, the Kurdish press continues to report rumors that American base-building activities are now switching there. Little is known about this, except that some in Washington consider Iraqi Kurdistan an obvious place to "redeploy" American troops in any future partial withdrawal or draw-down scenarios.

        I can't find much on Lee's resolution, but Kerry has S.679 referred to the Senate's Committee on Foreign Affairs as of February which, among other benchmarks demands a statement on "no permanent bases." No co-sponsor on this one as far as I can tell, but then again, there are numerous bills floating around where this demand is repeated, ad infintum.

        My only (weak) point being that perhaps the juggernaut can be stopped if the U.S. Congress grows some spine.

        Like I said, I'm not sanguine.

  •  What is so hard for people to understand? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    antifa, betson08, drewfromct, Bouwerie Boy

    I, a regular old American living a regular old life, knew it was about the oil all along.  I knew when Bush was elected this would be the result.  A friend and I cried together for the future of America after the election.  Yet there are plenty who, in lockstep, refuse to admit this is what it is about.  It is truly stunning and tragic that what matters to people is perception and not truth.  Meanwhile, the important religious leaders, like mine,  are spending time bringing back the Latin Mass  instead of fighting against such evil.

    "Do you want to tumble? Let's tumble." Stephen Colbert

    by tobendaro on Sun Jul 08, 2007 at 06:07:33 AM PDT

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