It's The Permanent US Bases, Stupid
Larry Diamond is a former consultant to the U.S. occupation authority in Iraq and author of "Squandered Victory: The American Occupation and the Bungled Effort to Bring Democracy to Iraq". He has a four-point plan for ending the insurgency in Iraq, the key issue being a US pledge not to establish permanent military bases.
From the Los Angeles Times:
[Diamond] believes the United States should "declare some sort of time frame" — but not a rigid deadline — for withdrawing troops.Back in February, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld told the Senate:
He thinks the United States should negotiate more with Sunni political groups connected to the insurgency, and he wants to enlist other countries as an "honest broker" in such efforts.
But at the top of Diamond's list is an unambiguous, unconditional pledge from Bush not to establish permanent U.S. military bases in Iraq.
"Intense opposition to U.S. plans to establish long-term military bases in Iraq is one of the most passionate motivations behind the insurgency," Diamond wrote last week on the liberal website TPMCafe.com. "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."
"We have no intention at the present time of putting permanent bases in Iraq."Bush uses the standard joke line:
"That's going to be up to the Iraqi government..."Yeah, just like the current constitition fiasco is all up to the Iraqis.
Meanwhile, John E. Pike, a defense analyst at GlobalSecurity.org, points out that the US is training Iraqis to "fight the insurgents" but the Pentagon has not taken any steps to build an Iraqi military capable of defending the country against its neighbors:
To Pike that means that although the United States might reduce its troop level in Iraq, the fledgling nation, like Germany or South Korea, will require the sustained presence of a large American contingent, perhaps 50,000 soldiers. "We are building the base structure to facilitate exactly [that]," he says.Blind Freddy could see three years ago that this was a key motivation for the US invasion of Iraq, particularly after the Bush administration very quietly acquiesced to Bin Laden's demand for the removal of US bases from Saudi Arabia. The fact that this issue has never received wider scrutiny is yet another testimony to the pathetic failures of the US mainstream media.