- Donald Rumsfeld says the US does not want its troops
in countries where they are not welcome. "You want to be someplace
that people want us, you really do," he admitted in an interview.
"We don't want to be places that we're not wanted. We simply don't."
- No word if the interviewer laughed or even scoffed. What
Rumsfeld said is so deceptive that it transcends absurdity. He said the
size of the US military force in the Gulf region would likely shrink now
that the Iraqi military no longer poses a threat to its neighbors. "With
the absence of the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq, the need for a US presence
in the region would diminish rather than increase," he said. The US
has troops in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates.
- So, will the US simply yank up its tent stakes and go
- Consider the investments. The United States spent a bundle
on a state-of-the-art air command center at Prince Sultan Air Base in Saudi
Arabia. It recently shelled out $1.5 billion for an air base at Al-Udeid
in Qatar. In Central Asia, the US acquired the Manas Air Base in Kyrgyzstan
last year. It concluded US base agreements with Pakistan and two former
Soviet republics, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Many of these agreements are
classified -- contained within documents known as "status of force
agreements" -- in order to prevent opposition on the part of the locals.
Secret agreements and local opposition aside, Russian journalists reported
that the United States and Uzbekistan signed an agreement leasing the Khanabad
base for 25 years.
- Before the invasion of Iraq Deputy Defense Secretary
and neocon Paul Wolfowitz discussed US bases in an interview with the New
York Times. "Their function may be more political than actually military,"
he explained. US bases "send a message to everybody, including important
countries like Uzbekistan, that we have a capacity to come back in and
will come back in."
- Is it possible Rumsfeld is telling a lie -- hardly a
rarity for the duplicitous Bushites -- in order to mask the Pentagon's
true intentions? Last Sunday the New York Times quoted unidentified Bush
administration officials as saying the United States wants to keep four
permanent military bases in Iraq. More than likely these bases will be
situated at the international airport, the H-1 airfield, Tallil airfield
near Nasiriya, and Bashur airfield. "The impression that's left around
the world is that we plan to occupy the country, we plan to use their bases
over the long period of time, and it's flat false," Rumsfeld said
about the New York Times story.
- "Whenever America goes to war, the spoils of victory
invariably include more US military bases overseas," writes Ian Traynor
of the Guardian. "The Iraqi deployment plans fall into the century-old
pattern of US foreign bases being built on the back of military victory.
They are also the latest episode in an extraordinary surge in America's
projection of military muscle since September 11... From Camp Bondsteel
in Kosovo, a result of the 1999 Nato campaign, to the Bishkek airbase in
Kyrgyzstan, appropriated for the Afghanistan war, the Americans are establishing
an armed presence in places they have never been before."
- Either Rumsfeld falls asleep during Pentagon meetings,
or he is smoking crack on his lunch break. As head honcho at the Pentagon,
Rumsfeld should know about the upgrades to the Krzesiny air base at Poznan
in western Poland. He should be aware of the visit of General Gregory Martin,
the top US air force officer in Europe, to Bulgaria and Romania where Martin
checked out real estate for a move into the Balkans. "All of those
places now represent opportunities for us to create relationships that
some day will allow us the access we need," Martin told the Stars
- "In every meaningful sense, the reach and spread
of the US bases is growing very strongly, alarmingly from the point of
view of the rest of the world," Marcus Corbin, a security analyst
at the Center for Defense Information think tank in Washington, told the
Guardian. "The big thing to come out of Iraq is that the US will redouble
its efforts to diversify its assets and potential."
- It's helpful to read between the lines when Rumsfeld
and the neocons speak. Obviously, a large and undisguised presence of US
troops in the Middle East and Central Asia would make the locals nervous
-- and has the potential to destabilize governments in the neighborhood.
The Bushites are looking for permanent access, not permanent basing. "Our
basic interest is to have the ability to go into a country and have a relationship
and have understandings about our ability to land or over-fly and to do
things that are of mutual benefit to each of us," Rumsfeld said last
year aboard an Air Force C-32 bound for Central Asia. "But we don't
have any particular plans for permanent bases."
- If not for permanent bases, and thousands of obtrusive
and resented US troops, how will the Bushites impose "democracy, development,
free markets, and free trade to every corner of the world," as the
neocon national security strategy characterizes it?
- Think Reza Pahlavi, the shah of Iran. Think Suharto,
the brutal dictator who ruled Indonesia for 32 years. Think General Castillo
Armas in Guatemala, General Joseph Mobutu in Zaire, General Pinochet in
Chile, or Jonas Savimbi in Angola. In fact, think of Saddam Hussein, the
obscure Ba'ath Party hit man who eventually "came to power on a CIA
train," as Ali Saleh Sa'adi, the Baath Party secretary general, described
it. All of these dictators were catapulted to power by the US with the
covert and often not so covert help of the CIA. No invasions were necessary,
no conspicuous "footprint" was required.
- As former CIA agent John Stockwell has noted, after successful
coups in the Third World, the US went about setting up and training secret
police. "We created and left behind [in Nicaragua] a National Guard
with officers trained in the United States who would be loyal to our interests.
This arrangement was the decisive feature of the new era of neocolonialism...
The CIA was, in fact, forming the police units that are, today, the death
squads in El Salvador. The leaders were on the CIA's payroll, trained by
the CIA in the United States. We had the public safety program going throughout
Central and Latin America for twenty-six years, in which we taught them
to break up subversion by interrogating people: interrogation, including
torture, the way the CIA taught it."
- In post-invasion Iraq, however, the CIA appears to building
a complete "intelligence service" from the ground up. "You
really want whatever emerges on Iraq to reflect favorably on the CIA,"
Vincent Cannistraro told the Newhouse News Service. "That almost certainly
means, in this case, starting over with new people. You're going to have
to start from scratch." Cannistraro is probably best known as the
man in charge of the CIA's collusion with the contras in Nicaragua in the
- More than likely the "new people" mentioned
by Cannistraro will be former Ba'athists who worked for Saddam Hussein
and Mukhabarat, or the Department of General Intelligence or the General
Directorate of Intelligence (Al-Mukhabarat Al-A'ma). Chances are the US
will get a better understanding of how Mukhabarat operated so effectively
-- creating, in essence, a hermetically sealed dictatorship and, as Pepe
Escobar of the Asia Times writes, "a parallel state in Iraq"
-- now that Farouk Hijazi, the former operations director for Saddam Hussein's
secret police, was allegedly captured near the Syrian border.
- A new CIA-fashioned Mukhabarat, working undetected deep
within the inscrutable domain of spooks and secret police to circumvent
political movements unacceptable to the US-imposed government of Iraq,
may reduce the US military "footprint" so abhorred by Iraqis
and other Arabs, but ultimately, if the tenacity of the Shi'ites are any
indication, it will fail. If the Bush neocons need an example of what very
well may happen in Iraq sooner before later, they need look no further
than Iran where demonstrations against a pro-US government in 1978 eventually
resulted in the downfall of the shah and Khomeini's declaration of an Islamic
republic. "The radical fundamentalist regime that rules Iran today,"
writes Mark Zapezauer, "could never have found popular support without
the CIA's 1953 coup [against democratically elected prime minister Dr.
Mohammed Mossadegh] and the repression that followed."
- Even as the Bushites have demonstrate their ability to
engage in pathological lying (most notably in regard to WMD and attempting
to finger Saddam as a supporter of al-Qaeda), they cannot deny or easily
paper over the current situation -- Iraqi Shi'ite demands for a dominant
role in Iraq's future, a future many of them want to be dictated by the
precepts of religion.
- In Washington, policy hacks and Pentagon officials are
now beginning to realize the Shi'ites are far more organized and dedicated
than previously believed. Last Monday, according to the Washington Post,
"one meeting of generals and admirals at the Pentagon evolved into
a spontaneous teach-in on Iraq's Shi'ites and the U.S. strategy for containing
Islamic fundamentalism in Iraq." In fact, the Bushites are so clueless
about the influence of Shia Islam in Iraq that Rumsfeld made himself look
foolish by blaming it all on the Iranians. Attempts to ""transform
Iraq in Iran's image will not be permitted," Rumsfeld blustered. "We
will not allow the Iraqi people's democratic transition to be hijacked
by those who might wish to install another form of dictatorship."
- Moreover, as if to send the message that he is not only
an ignoramus, but a racist as well, Rumsfeld said the "Shias in the
country are Iraqis and the Shias outside the country from Iran are Persians.
My guess is that the Iraqi people would prefer to be governed by Iraqis
and not Persians... The government of Iran has encouraged people to go
into the country [Iraq] and... they have people in the country attempting
to influence the country." Rumsfeld seems incapable, or unwilling,
to accept the fact Islam refuses to be contained by borders -- borders,
incidentally, established by the British and French -- or is Islam circumscribed
- As the journalist Robert Fisk told Amy Goodman of Democracy
Now, Bush's plans for Iraq are doomed to failure. "I think a war of
liberation will begin quite soon, which of course will be first referred
to as a war by terrorists, by al Qaeda, by remnants of Saddam's regime...
but it will be waged particularly by Shi'ite Muslims against the Americans
and the British to get us out of Iraq and that will happen... We now have
American troops occupying the wealthiest Arab country in the world. And
the shockwaves of that are going to continue for decades to come, long
after you and I are in our graves, if that's where we go. And I don't think
we have yet realized -- I don't think that the soldiers involved or the
Presidents involved have yet realized the implications of what has happened.
We have entered a new age of imperialism, the life of which we have not
attempted to judge or assess or understand."
- Kurt Nimmo's Another Day in the Empire http://nimmo.blogspot.com/