Bush's Secret Iraq Bases Deal

The Independant in London, reports that Bush is trying to rush through a deal with the Iraqi government before his term ends that would have major long term effects and will become an issue in the Obama v. McCain campaign.

A secret deal being negotiated in Baghdad would perpetuate the American military occupation of Iraq indefinitely, regardless of the outcome of the US presidential election in November.


The terms of the impending deal, details of which have been leaked to The Independent, are likely to have an explosive political effect in Iraq. Iraqi officials fear that the accord, under which US troops would occupy permanent bases, conduct military operations, arrest Iraqis and enjoy immunity from Iraqi law, will destabilise Iraq’s position in the Middle East and lay the basis for unending conflict in their country.

But the accord also threatens to provoke a political crisis in the US. President Bush wants to push it through by the end of next month so he can declare a military victory and claim his 2003 invasion has been vindicated.

The reporter, Patrick Cockburn, has had impeccable sources in the past. If this one is true, it’s time for the Democrats to raise a ruckus. Obama needs to ask McCain if he supports this new Bush Policy of a permanent American force in Iraq. The long term oil price and fiscal situation is bad enough. This is going to make it worse

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0 Responses to Bush's Secret Iraq Bases Deal

  1. gage says:

    As we’ve invested so many lives and so much treasure supposedly toward an autonomous democracy in Iraq, shouldn’t we be listening to the Iraqis themselves, or has all of this been a ruse? It’s a rhetorical question.


  2. Morgan Warstler says:

    There you go again.

    I’ve been talking about this issue in your blog, so you can’t feign ignorance – but this is a silly interpretation of events.

    The Status of Forces Agreement is PROOF the Iraqis are thinking for themselves, and thats a good thing. The issues that will be resolved in their favor:

    1. The US won’t be able to us Iraq to launch attacks on neighboring countries Syria and Iran. Notice Maliki is meeting with Iran this weekend to discuss, Iran stopping funding the Sadr / Mahdi baddies and to assure Iran the agreement will not let US attack Iran.

    2. Rule of Iraqi law over soldiers and contractors.

    3. Coordination of US military operations with Iraqi police/military.

    They are not “permanent bases” – but neither are Korea, Japan, or the ones we had in Saudi Arabia.

    We can only stay as long as they are asking. They are thinking for themselves, and they have chosen WESTERN OIL companies and are asking the US to stay.

    Let’s celebrate the win and start drawing down.

  3. Kenneth says:

    Whether or not the issue will be decided in the Iraqi’s favour (and I doubt it), what does it mean when the US wants its troops to operate outside and above Iraqi law? Where does American exceptionalism come from anyway?

  4. Rick Turner says:

    And who are “they”…the Iraqi government? A bunch of hacks propped up by the Republican Junta. Time for a revolution.

  5. gage says:

    Another possibility for Bush’s haste to firm this up is that the agreement will be tantamount to a treaty, in which case the next president will be obliged to honor the treaty.

  6. Kenneth says:

    Honour a treaty? I thought you guys don’t do that anymore.

  7. Zhirem says:

    Gage, I think the age of honoring treaties set up under a previous administration has passed. I offer as evidence the historical Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. This was heralded at the time as a move that would save the planet from obliteration.

    Then along comes Bu$hco, and well… not so much.

    – Zhirem

  8. The Senate has to ratify a treaty.

    I’m actually on Morgan’s side with this one. We already have bases in the region, granted our ‘allies’ are a bit squishy when it comes to using them, but then again, we don’t have a country as a religious enemy right across the water. That enemy being Iran who hates the ruling Saudis even more than the Great Satan, meaning America. Iraq and Iran fought a war that makes our little adventure seem like a barroom brawl. Iran’s goal is to rule the Middle East, period.

    That being said, if the current administration thinks that a preemptive strike on Iran is a good idea, then they are insane and creating a “Gulf Of Tonkin” pretext is even more insane. Short of nuclear weapons or instituting a military draft, the armed forces cannot invade Iran and no matter what the Air Force or CIA would have you believe, bombers and drones don’t win wars, boots on the ground do, and all of them are in Iraq.

    All done.

  9. Dan says:

    It sounds like impeachment time to me.

    But then it sounded like impeachment time back in 2003.

  10. Morgan Warstler says:

    Dan, you are tone deaf, huh?

    This is the sound of Iraqi political strength – they are acting as nation – so don’t worry, be happy.

    You don’t have to massage Bush’s feet or anything, but give the guy credit, we’re winning the war. Which is better than a loss, and that’s how we count wars, as wins and losses.

  11. Daniel says:

    Google “Enduring Bases”.This was started long ago. The U.S. can”t return the militaryto Saudi soil and will defend the region from Iraq.

  12. Chris Trebaol says:

    When did we become the Victorian British empire? We guarantee the freedom of rule to whoever runs the country in accordance with our wishes and we just hang out on the fringes to step in and hit anyone who doesn’t play by our rules. Worked great in India, and wasn’t enormously expensive or morally objectionable. The white man’s burden is a dead idea, and we need to not waste our money when our country is tanking. I’ve made it a hobby of mine to talk with as many people I know as possible who have served in Iraq and the only common thread they have is that we have no idea how often they are still under fire and how completely ignorant we are of their situation.

    They then always offer one of two choices, institute a draft and drop a million men in and place Iraq under the bans for all eternity or leave as fast as we can and admit defeat.

  13. Jon Taplin says:

    Goesdown bitter-Bush could sign a 20 year “Status of Forces” agreement as Morgan has suggested and never have to bring it to the Senate for approval. I’m not even sure he has to fully disclose what’s in the SOF.

    Anyone know that?

  14. Jon Taplin says:

    Morgan- You are a genius! You’ve come up with John McCain’s campaign slogan:


  15. Rick Turner says:

    Goesdownbitter, we have a religious enemy right across the Potomac River; they’re the born again Rapture promoters in Washington, DC. It is they who have been pulling the puppet strings and lobbying for a nuclear holocaust in the Middle East so as to hasten their ascension to Heaven. They’ve used oil as their weapon of choice to coerce the American public…and Morgan…into thinking we need to wage war there. Of course they really don’t care if we get any more oil at any price out of the deserts there because they don’t believe in an earthly future anyway.

  16. Patrick Freeman says:

    We have Status of Forces Agreements with, among other nations, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, and Australia. There are probably another 100 or more SOFs in force with various other nations. As far as I know, none of these SOFs exempt US military personnel from host nation laws, and none relinquish control of host nation airspace. If, indeed, what Cockburn is describing is a Status of Forces agreement, it goes far beyond the norm. It sounds much more like a document dictated by a conqueror, than one negotiated by friendly allies.

  17. Morgan Warstler says:

    Sorry Jon, that’s just my slogan for Dan. I felt he needed some kind of daily prayer of mantra.

    For McCain’s slogan, I’m thinking, “Let’s give Taplin a seizure”

  18. Dan says:

    I find this discussion ironically similar to my own local situation. We’re trying to stop Wal-Mart from dropping a gargantuan 24-hour store right smack into the middle of our neighborhood. Once the deal is signed, we’re screwed, and we know it. The store will be there for eternity, relatively speaking (I’m not getting any younger), and the village board has clearly made the decision to let Wal-Mart in. We go to the meetings and we tell them we don’t want it, but it’s a done deal.

    It’s enough to give me deja vu.

    On the other hand, I can go to the village meetings and stand up and speak, and the people making the decisions actually hear what I’m saying, even if they approve the Wal-Mart anyway. Instead of simply issuing a signing statement.

  19. Kevin says:

    Why does GW Bush think future administrations will be bound by this? He’s already set precedent for the Executive Branch to ignore any treaty it feels like.

  20. Fentex says:

    The idea that this deal is any way in Iraqs interest or wanted by any independent Iraqis is preposterous.

    It is not neccessary for a helping friend to be ceded such priviledges.

    If Iraqis were willingly pursuing this deal, then they’d be no need for the following threat to Iraqs public treasury by the U.S: (as reported by the ‘Independent’)…

    Iraq’s foreign reserves are currently protected by a presidential order giving them immunity from judicial attachment but the US side in the talks has suggested that if the UN mandate, under which the money is held, lapses and is not replaced by the new agreement, then Iraq’s funds would lose this immunity. The cost to Iraq of this happening would be the immediate loss of $20bn. The US is able to threaten Iraq with the loss of 40 per cent of its foreign exchange reserves because Iraq’s independence is still limited by the legacy of UN sanctions and restrictions imposed on Iraq since Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in the 1990s. This means that Iraq is still considered a threat to international security and stability under Chapter Seven of the UN charter. The US negotiators say the price of Iraq escaping Chapter Seven is to sign up to a new “strategic alliance” with the United States.

  21. Rick Turner says:

    Hah! Even the hand picked “they” don’t want us there for much longer:


    Sounds good to me…

    But Morg will just move the goal posts…

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  23. Dan says:

    Secret bases, secret prisons, undisclosed locations, Offices of Special Plans.

    It would all be so totally cool if it were a Johnny Quest episode. Brock Samson is a member of the Office of Special Intelligence in “The Venture Brothers.”

    Now if they could open an Office of Special Education for the president.

  24. Morgan Warstler says:

    Steve Rodgers: Special people?
    Dawn Weiner: Yeah.
    Steve Rodgers: Do you know what “special people” means?
    Dawn Weiner: What?
    Steve Rodgers: Special people equals retarded. Your club is for retards.

  25. Ken Ballweg says:

    Not surprising that a film about people who were unpopular in Junior High would resonate with you Morgan. Now if we could just figure out if it does because you were the picked on, or the bully.

    Hummmm. I wonder.

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