Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Circling the Spigot in Iraq

Via Political Animal, Larry Diamond concedes on TPM Cafe that establishing military bases was a significant factor in the invasion and occupation of Iraq. He also admits that,counterproductively, a permanent military presence in Iraq gives the resistance its legitimacy.
[T]hat intense opposition to US plans to establish long-term military bases in Iraq is one of the most passionate motivations behind the insurgency. There are many different strands to the violent resistance that plagues Iraq: Islamist and secular, Sunni and Shiite, Baathist and non-Baathist, Iraqi and foreign. The one thing that unites these disparate elements is Iraqi (or broader pan-Arab) nationalism—resistance to what they see as a long-term project for imperial domination by the United States. Neutralizing this anti-imperial passion—by clearly stating that we do not intend to remain in Iraq indefinitely—is essential to winding down the insurgency.
When will the Democrats start demanding this promise from the President? It seems like a slam-dunk issue. However apathetic we believe the American public to be, they have no taste for imperialism. I'm sure most don't know we have at least 700 military bases strategically located throughout the world. And while they no doubt help keep the peace in certain locations, they also function to ensure we have the ability to strike if any of our trade routes or our access to strategic resources -- ie. that dark oily goodness we devour -- are threatened: a crucial element of imperialism.

If the Democrats would make permanent military bases in Iraq an issue, I'm sure the American public would respond favorably.

(Man, this sounds like a Bernie Sanders issue.)