The Smoking Gun, Part II: Permanent Occupation

As a continuing public service, I’m endeavoring to separate the smoke from the smoking gun on the potentially important issue of whether we intend to permanently occupy Iraq or really turn it into a sovereign, free country any time soon like we say we are. After exhaustive research, I herewith submit Exhibits “A” (the “Smoke”) and “B” (the “Smoking Gun”) for consideration by the court of public opinion:

Exhibit A, the “Smoke”:

" . . . I’m honored to stand with the Prime Minister of a free and sovereign Iraq."

" . . . Mr. Prime Minister . . . you’ve accomplished a great deal in less than the three months since the transition to [color=blue]a free Iraq that is governed by Iraqis. . . ."[/color]

“The first step was achieved on June 28th, not only on time, but ahead of schedule, [color=blue]when the coalition transferred full sovereignty to a government of Iraqi citizens.”[/color]

– President Bush

Exhibit B: the “Smoking Gun”:

Suppplemental defense appropriations for 2005, $81.9 billion, page 23. Status: passed by Congress and approved by the president.

($687.3 for Army military construction projects in Iraq and Afghanistan)

“This proposal will allow the Army to provide temporary facilities, and in some very limited cases, permanent facilities required to station (Brigade Combat Teams) . . . These facilities include barracks, administrative space, vehicle maintenance facilities, aviation facilities, mobilization-demobilization barracks, and community support facilities.”

Am I talking to myself? I am telling you Spook there is no smoke, there is no gun, we will be in Iraq for 60 more years. WE have been bellowing this out loudly so don’t pretend that this is something we are trying to keep secret. BUT why it will be a bad thing is beyond me unless you can point to similar “occupation” in Germany, Japan, Philippines, Korea, Turkey, etc. as being somehow malicious, exploitative or ultimately bad for freedom, democracy and stability in those nations.

Ditto to what Fred said.

Another example of creating a myth.

A great example of dezinformatsia on the board.

Does “WE” include anyone in the Bush Administration or the U.S. government or just some private citizens posting under pseudonyms in a foreign country and suffering from delusions of grandeur?

When I say “we” spook, I am talking about the evil and nefarious neocons that you so frequently disparage. Where did I get all this from? Articles up the wazoo talking about how we should try to reshape the Middle East and that we would be making a commitment to Iraq on the level of Japan, Germany and South Korea. I am an avid reader of various Internet sites for magazines, newspapers and political discussion all over the world. If I could access these sites and read these articles and even critics were aware that we would be “buying it when we broke it” and this would involve a LENGTHY commitment, I am left scratching my head when you think that this is somehow some evil, dark secret. The only delusions of grandeur around here seem to be from those who think that they have found some elusive smoking gun…

So no official statements by any U.S. policy maker or administration official that we intend to occupy Iraq for the next sixty years? Just comments like the White House press conference statements I’ve listed above?

Do you honestly believe the Iraqi people know we intend to occupy their country for the next sixty years?

I am not aware that the US ever made any such statements about any country that it “occupied” and such statements would be highly inflammatory and irresponsible. I think most Americans would not like it, nor would most Iraqis and therefore I think it is best if we just leave it unsaid. So scream it to the high heavens if you wish but in this case I think Iraq’s leaders are open to the idea as are America’s but to make it a political issue as occurred in the Philippines is in no one’s best interests. Surely you see that. Anyway, we never made similar announcements or commitments with Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, Turkey etc. Let’s just let this play itself out. Again, why are you so worried about this? Do you think we are exploiting Iraq? grabbing their oil? doing something wrong? or are you just upset that somehow Israel might benefit from this?

That’s just the definition of “Smoke” though since in a practical sense it’s impossible to leave it completely unsaid because people will just naturally wonder how long we might expect to spend a billion dollars or so a week and lose on average ten or fifteen soldiers a week in a foreign occupation. Not to mention occupy ones country if you’re Iraqi. That’s where the following statements come in:

" . . . Mr. Prime Minister . . . you’ve accomplished a great deal . . . since the transition to a free Iraq that is governed by Iraqis. . . ."

“The first step was achieved on June 28th . . . when the coalition transferred full sovereignty to a government of Iraqi citizens.”

First Spook:

Are we running the country? No. We have troops there. Do we also tally up on a day-to-day basis the costs of our “occupations” of Germany, Japan, South Korea, et al. ALSO, I am convinced though we are badly behind schedule that we will get these troop levels down in early 2006 and eventually reach the 35k to 50K I was talking about earlier. That was the originally hoped for target. AGAIN, how will having those troops remain in Iraq be any worse than the experiences any other nation with US forces had? How will we be running the country, etc.? Perhaps, one day like the Philippines we will really seriously be asked to leave and I have no doubt we will, but as in Germany, as in Japan, as in Korea, as in the Philippines, what a lot of politicians say in public is very different from what they want in private. It is a matter of maturity. AND by the way, just how great have things been in the Philippines with the US forces gone? I think they made a mistake. We have moved on and managed just fine from Guam, but how have the average Filipinos made out and they ironically were the mob most responsible for trying to get us out. Now they have been granted their wish and who suffers most? ironic but sad.

[quote=“fred smith”]First Spook:

Are we running the country? [/quote]

Would this count?

"American forces run detention centers at Abu Ghraib prison outside Baghdad, Camp Bucca near Basra and Camp Cropper, a site near Baghdad International Airport for high-value detainees, including Mr. Hussein. But the prison population is growing so quickly (15,000 and counting) that the United States will soon open a fourth major prison in northern Iraq . . . . The prison operations are requiring increasing numbers of American military police and prison guards, who are being diverted from other jobs in Iraq . . . ."

We seem to agree on the two central facts here:

  1. The Bush Administration intends to permanently occupy Iraq and has intended so from the beginning

  2. It doesn’t want people to know this fact, particularly the Iraqi people

Correct me if I’m wrong.

As usual Spook you are mostly wrong.

First point, the US wants to pass authority over the 15,000 detainees in Iraq to local troops. This has been widely reported in various newspapers in the past week. Didn’t you read about it?

Second, the US will not be “occupying” the country any more than we are “occupying” any other of our allies. We are there for stability.

Third, Iraq is already a sovereign nation and that will not change because we have troops stationed there for a long time.

Fourth, yes, I imagine that in many countries the presence of foreign troops is something that is easily politicized so the true intent of various governments is sometimes kept from public consumption or there is a great deal of public posturing. Take the recent passage of CAFTA for example. It would have been far greater than 217-215 but many of the Republican Representatives wanted political cover for voting for it. So they figured out how it could pass with some of them still voting no even though I seriously believe that most of them deep down support it. So you have political posturing. My dear little naif, is this your first inkling that this kind of dissonance between official government positions and public posturing are sometimes different?

Fifth in today’s Taiwan News page 9 you will find an article by Bob Herbert of the NY Times in which he discusses quite openly our little nefarious neocon plot, naturally in disparaging terms so can we stop talking about the “smoking gun” because for the rest of us who can and do read with great regularity, this ain’t a surprise. Sorry, you were not aware of it, but I have after all been telling you over and over and over again for 2 years that we were there to stay, right?

So true. I’m still reeling from the public humiliation of being completely wrong about the key issue to all this mess which was Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction arsenal. When those underground bunkers filled with nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons were unearthed after the invasion right where Colin Powell’s satellite photos showed they were I realized what an idiot I was for not believing President Bush and Secretary Rumsfeld from the beginning and trusting my own judgement instead.

I still can’t believe how I reacted afterwards though because I usually have enough self-respect not to resort to phony face-saving ploys when I’m proved wrong. Instead, I concocted some ludicrous sophistries about how Iraq really didn’t “have” weapons of mass destruction arsenals because Saddam had intentions of getting rid of them and already had programs in place to follow through on those intentions in the near future just as soon as the coast was clear.

I still think there’s some meat on the argument though that even if he did have weapons of mass destruction arsenals, so what?. This never really was about weapons of mass destruction arsenals in the first place so it’s completely irrelevant that they actually were found.

But enough talk about me. Let’s explore this interesting new development here just how the old Soviet propaganda ploy that occupying a country without the consent of its people isn’t really “occupation” because you’re there to “help” started being piped out of the loudspeakers at the U.S. White House of all places :

[quote=“fred smith”]
Second, the US will not be “occupying” the country any more than we are “occupying” any other of our allies. We are there for stability.

Third, Iraq is already a sovereign nation and that will not change because we have troops stationed there for a long time.[/quote]

Any thoughts?

I agree entirely. I guess 60 years is about how long it will take to completely drain Iraq’s oil reserves.

Just like we drained West Germany, Japan, Korea, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, etc. right?


Get over it. The invasion happened. There was a real concern that Saddam had or was trying to develop wmds. So none were found. That does not mean he was a threat. He proved his unwillingness to comply 17 times hence the 17 UN resolutions. He had 12 years to prove his willingness to comply. Robin Cook, Kofi Annan and others were more than happy to see the US and UK invade Yugoslavia over Kosovo where grave human rights violations were NOT (whoops) taking place. Yet, they were on a grand scale in Iraq. We have been over this so many times I guess you just will have to live with your anger until the next election. Talk about setting a dangerous new precedent? haha

[quote=“fred smith”]

Get over it. . . . There was a real concern that Saddam had or was trying to develop wmds. So none were found. That does not mean he was a threat.[/quote]

Here’s a question. Why is it of little or no apparent concern that Kim Jong Il has or is trying to develop wmds?

[quote=“spook”]Here’s a question. Why is it of little or no apparent concern that Kim Jong Il has or is trying to develop wmds?[/quote]spook -
Thats not exactly a well founded statement.

Concern over Kim Jong Il developing WMD

I’d say the concern is there and being acted upon as we chat.

There is and has always been concern. Ask your friend Jimmy Carter why he went to North Korea in 1994 and brought back a Peace in Our Time agreement. The difference is that we do not have options on the table. I think we may have to sit back for long-term containment. What do you suggest?

I think though to a large degree that your interest in North Korea and your condemnation of Bush administration policies is based more on your desperation to bang the pot about the poor decision to invade Iraq. We all get that. I understand you are upset. Have a good cry and try to learn to live with it cuz the milk has already been spilled. Fait accompli. Got it?