Tuesday, April 04, 2006
Rice to nobody: You are wrong, maybe.
"The presence in Iraq is for a very clear purpose, and that's to enable Iraqis to be able to govern themselves and to create security forces that can help them do that," Rice told the House Appropriations Committee's foreign operations panel.So Secretary Rice would have us believe that nobody thinks that the bases in Iraq are permanent. Unfortunately there are a whole lot of nobody's who believe just that! Let me bring a few to your attention: Ron Paul (whom I love to quote because he is heart and soul the conservative champion of libertarianism) is co-sponsoring a bill to outlaw the construction of permanent bases in Iraq:
"I don't think that anybody believes that we really want to be there longer than we have to," the chief U.S. diplomat added
However, Rice did not...directly answer Rep. Steven Rothman D-N.J., when he asked, "Will the bases be permanent or not?"
"I would think that people would tell you, we're not seeking permanent bases really pretty much anywhere in the world these days. We are, in fact, in the process of removing base structure from a lot of places," Rice replied.
We must soon, and Congress can do this through the budget process, stop the construction of all permanent bases in Iraq and any other Muslim country in the region.Our next nobody is Pat Buchanan, who writes in his column for The Amercian Conservative in Oct. of 2004:
Robert Novak cites Bush insiders as saying we may have to move to a rapid exit in 2005. Even Rumsfeld is saying we need not pacify Iraq before drawing down U.S. forces. But why then are we building those permanent bases?According to Secretary Rice's reasoning a full 80% of the Iraqi populace are nobodies as well:
A new poll of the Iraqi public finds a large majority of Iraqis think the U.S. plans to maintain bases in Iraq permanently, even if the newly elected government asks the U.S. to leave.We even see that denials from the administration that the bases in Iraq are permanent are actually couched in terms that leave the possibility open. Secretary Rice's comments above hardly constitute a ringing rebuttal to the question of permanent bases in Iraq. The L.A. Times has an indepth article which details widespread concern at the permanency of bases in Iraq. Check out this non denial from the top general in charge in Iraq:
Asked whether "the U.S. government plans to have permanent military bases in Iraq or to remove all its military forces once Iraq is stabilized," 80 percent overall assume that the U.S. plans to remain permanently, including 79 percent of Shia, 92 percent of Sunnis and 67 percent of Kurds.
Asked what they think the U.S. will do if the new government were to ask the U.S. to withdraw its forces within six months, 76 percent assume that the U.S. would refuse (67 percent Shia, 94 percent Sunni, 77 percent Kurds).
Asked at a congressional hearing last week whether he could "make an unequivocal commitment" that the U.S. officials would not seek to establish permanent bases in Iraq, Army Gen. John P. Abizaid, the commander in charge of all U.S. forces in the Middle East and Central Asia, replied, "The policy on long-term presence in Iraq hasn't been formulated."So Ms. Rice... anybody can see that alot of people are concerned about this issue, and for good reason. Maybe you ought to pay attention.
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