6 June 2007 at 10:39:04 AM
Hillary Clinton plans to leave troops in Iraq even after the *war* in Iraq ends, even while saying there is no intention to occupy Iraq on a permanent basis. So, if someone came into your home and trashed it, and you thought, good, you're FINALLY leaving, but they said, we're going to leave some people in one of your spare bedrooms, but we don't plan to be here permanently, that would be okay?. From Clinton's website.
The President would be required to come to Congress to seek new authority. Following deauthorization, Senator Clinton would not support any new legislation that did not start to remove our troops from the middle of this sectarian civil war.
Did not *START* to remove?
She has also proposed a cap on troop levels to January 1, 2007 levels and put forth a comprehensive roadmap for ending the war. If it is followed, Hillary's bill, the Iraq Troop Protection and Reduction Act of 2007, will end the war before the next president takes the oath of office. But she has also been clear: if George Bush refuses to end the war, when she is president, she will.
Hillary opposes permanent bases in Iraq. She believes we may need a vastly reduced residual force to train Iraqi troops, provide logistical support, and conduct counterterrorism operations. But that is not a permanent force, and she has been clear that she does not plan a permanent occupation.
Um. How can one be said to be ENDING the war if one is planning to LEAVE troops in Iraq? Plus, on permanent bases, etc.
The Bush administration has also continually said they are not planning permanent bases in Iraq... all the while getting money to BUILD military bases and a gawdawfullly huge embasssy in Iraq.. they aren't buidling TENTS, for gosh sakes. From TomDispatch
Recently, Oliver Poole, a British reporter, visited another of the American "super-bases," the still-under-construction al-Asad Airbase (Football and pizza point to US staying for long haul). He observes, of "the biggest Marine camp in western Anbar province," that "this stretch of desert increasingly resembles a slice of US suburbia." In addition to the requisite Subway and pizza outlets, there is a football field, a Hertz rent-a-car office, a swimming pool, and a movie theater showing the latest flicks. Al-Asad is so large -- such bases may cover 15-20 square miles -- that it has two bus routes and, if not traffic lights, at least red stop signs at all intersections.
There are at least four such "super-bases" in Iraq, none of which have anything to do with "withdrawal" from that country. Quite the contrary, these bases are being constructed as little American islands of eternal order in an anarchic sea. Whatever top administration officials and military commanders say -- and they always deny that we seek "permanent" bases in Iraq -– facts-on-the-ground speak with another voice entirely. These bases practically scream "permanency."
Unfortunately, there's a problem here. American reporters adhere to a simple rule: The words "permanent," "bases," and "Iraq" should never be placed in the same sentence, not even in the same paragraph; in fact, not even in the same news report. While a LexisNexis search of the last 90 days of press coverage of Iraq produced a number of examples of the use of those three words in the British press, the only U.S. examples that could be found occurred when 80% of Iraqis (obviously somewhat unhinged by their difficult lives) insisted in a poll that the United States might indeed desire to establish bases and remain permanently in their country; or when "no" or "not" was added to the mix via any American official denial. (It's strange, isn't it, that such bases, imposing as they are, generally only exist in our papers in the negative.) Three examples will do:
The Secretary of Defense: "During a visit with U.S. troops in Fallujah on Christmas Day, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said ‘at the moment there are no plans for permanent bases' in Iraq. ‘It is a subject that has not even been discussed with the Iraqi government.'"
Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmett, the Central Command deputy commander for planning and strategy in Iraq: "We already have handed over significant chunks of territory to the Iraqis. Those are not simply plans to do so; they are being executed right now. It is not only our plan but our policy that we do not intend to have any permanent bases in Iraq."
Karen Hughes on the Charlie Rose Show: "CHARLIE ROSE: …they think we are still there for the oil, or they think the United States wants permanent bases. Does the United States want permanent bases in Iraq? KAREN HUGHES: We want nothing more than to bring our men and women in uniform home. As soon as possible, but not before they finish the job. CHARLIE ROSE: And do not want to keep bases there? KAREN HUGHES: No, we want to bring our people home as soon as possible."
Still, for a period, the Pentagon practiced something closer to truth in advertising than did our major papers. At least, they called the big bases in Iraq "enduring camps," a label which had a certain charm and reeked of permanency. (Later, they were relabeled, far less romantically, "contingency operating bases.")
Oh. So as long as you don't call them *permanent bases* but something else, like *enduring camps*, it's okay. THAT is the type of question that needs to be asked of the Democratic candidates-not "Do you support permanent bases" but WHAT HAPPENS and WHO WILL OCCUPY the buildings that are being built? Will they STOP being built? Will they be turned over to the Iraqis? If so, then WHEN? After benchmarks, like the Iraqi's signing away their oil rights?
I have one more thing to say about the issue of militarism with regard to BILL Clinton and am putting that on another post.
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