Friday, March 17, 2006

Permanent bases versus diversion

(Submitted to Times-News 03/17/2006)

On March 16 the house approved by voice vote an amendment of Representative Barbara Lee, declaring that no funds will be used to enter into military base agreements between the US and Iraq. This administration has repeatedly denied the reality of permanent bases in Iraq, although on March 15, General John Abazaid, told the House Defense Appropriations committee that we could in fact end up having permanent bases in Iraq. Abazaid is in charge of the US troops in Iraq.

But it was Operation Swarmer that inundated the cable news channels this week. A guest on CNN accused cable news channels of irresponsibility in their ramped-up coverage of such a non-event.

Now look for the disconnect here. Have you heard anything about permanent bases? Why not? And how newsworthy is it for 800 Iraqi and 700 American soldiers to sweep an area that only contains 1,500 people? How many “permanent” bases already exist?

Tom Engelhardt writes, “...these bases, with some of the most expensive and advanced communications systems on the planet, are like vast spaceships that have landed from another solar system. Representing a staggering investment of resources, effort, and geostrategic dreaming, they are the unlikeliest places for the Bush administration to hand over willingly to even the friendliest of Iraqi governments.”

Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski spoke about the Iraq debacle: “It is a failed occupation as a consequence of a decision-making process that compounds errors, that involves a very narrow group of true believers, and that evades responsibility and accountability – for errors and even crimes. No one responsible for wrong judgments has been fired. No one responsible for setting in motion a chain of events that produced extraordinarily embarrassing crimes has been put on trial.”

Every trembling, fear-filled American who has swallowed the lies of this administration needs to look at the reality that many other Bushco creations will likely impact their life before Bush’s bogeyman terrorist. Things like the poles melting and not reforming for two years; unprecedented economic imbalances; loss of U.S. manufacturing; unavailable clean water, the selling of America; loss of civil rights; the 1,500 foreign purchases in America, CFIUS approved..

We cannot just focus on the “disaster of the moment” with this group. It’s almost a given that the moment attention is diverted elsewhere, they get busy under the radar...and those elected who have failed to protect our rights should never be elected again.

Stan Metcalf

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