Saturday, December 6, 2008

President-elect Obama and the Iraq War, or The Never-Ending Story

Jeremy Scahill has it dead spot on at while the public eye is focused on the economy, President-elect Obama has no intention of withdrawing US forces from Iraq:

The New York Times is reporting about an "apparent evolution" in president-elect Barack Obama's thinking on Iraq, citing his recent statements about his plan to keep a "residual force" in the country and his pledge to "listen to the recommendations of my commanders" as Obama prepares to assume actual command of US forces. "At the Pentagon and the military headquarters in Iraq, the response to the statements this week from Mr. Obama and his national security team has been akin to the senior officer corps' letting out its collective breath," the Times reported. "[T]the words sounded to them like the new president would take a measured approach on the question of troop levels."

The reality is there is no "evolution."

Anyone who took the time to cut past Barack Obama's campaign rhetoric of "change" and bringing an "end" to the Iraq war realized early on that the now-president-elect had a plan that boiled down to a down-sizing and rebranding of the occupation. While he emphasized his pledge to withdraw US "combat forces" from Iraq in 16 months (which may or may not happen), he has always said that he intends to keep "residual forces" in place for the foreseeable future.

It's an interesting choice of terms. "Residual" is defined as "the quantity left over at the end of a process." This means that the forces Obama plans to leave in Iraq will remain after he has completed his "withdrawal" plan. No matter how Obama chooses to label the forces he keeps in Iraq, the fact is, they will be occupation forces.

Can we afford to keep the American Empire and deal with our current economic meltdown?

Doesn't matter.

The defense industry has almost exactly the same pull with incoming administration as the banks had with the previous one.


Zafo Jones said...

I think that last statement is the best summary for the problems with the two-party system. They both carry too much baggage to make any substantive changes and have the gall to make needed changes. It is strange, though, that the incoming administration seems a little more "conservative" regarding foreign-oriented spending than the outgoing one. I guess this is the epitome of the Neo-Con philosophy...spend where it doesn't matter and save where it does. Can't we save taxpayer money both at home and abroad and finally give the states some sovereignty? Maybe.

Mberenis said...
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Zafo Jones said...

^Stop the spam, blogmaster!!!