May 15, 2005

Permanent Iraqi Footprint

A special editorial to the Seattle P-I argues that building permanent facilities in Iraq makes the situation on the ground more dangerous:

A year ago, President Bush boldly said: "Iraqis do not support an indefinite occupation and neither does America." Yet Congress is posed to finalize the president's $82 billion request for the Iraq war that includes a half-billion dollars for permanent military bases and another half-billion for building the world's largest embassy. Despite the president's assurances, the United States is preparing for a lengthy stay in Iraq.

... A January 2005 Zogby poll in Iraq found that 82 percent of Sunnis and 69 percent of Shiites favor U.S. withdrawal either immediately or after an elected government is in place. A clear majority of Iraqi voters interviewed in exit polls after the Jan. 30 elections cited their desire to see an end to the military occupation as a major impetus for voting. Building permanent bases directly violates the will of these Iraqis.

The construction of the U.S. Embassy in Iraq also raises serious questions about the footprints our nation is leaving in Iraq. The embassy will be located on 104 acres and will house 1,020 staff and 500 guards. That would make it the world's largest embassy. ...

South Knox Bubba has a list of other appropriations included in this emergency spending program. Some of the projects actually sound more useful to this country's long-term health and security than irritating the Iraqis, mainly because they will continue to provide some use to US citizens (even if, as in some cases, only a very few of them) long after the helicopters have departed from the roof of the US embassy in Iraq.

Posted by natasha at May 15, 2005 02:30 AM | Iraq | Technorati links |