A View From The Handbasket

Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Not permanent, just a very long time
Posted by neros_fiddle at 1:02 PM

The Nero's Fiddle "Week of Slapdash Blogging" continues, as I lazily link to interesting stories between real life obligations.

Here's a topic I've been meaning to write about for a while, but could find precious little raw material for in the media -- our plans for permanent bases in Iraq. Indeed, Tom Engelhardt writing in Salon ran into the same problem, but a couple of recent articles have filled in some of the blanks.

Even though the administration insists that we are eager to leave Iraq and hand it over to whatever fundamentalist Shiite faction we leave in charge, we are at the same time paying Halliburton billions of dollars to build at least four enormous bases that we show no sign of abandoning any time soon, in addition to an "embassy" of gargantuan proportions.

Well worth a read (and as always, you might have to endure an ad if you're not a Salon subscriber).

Among the articles Engelhardt references is this one from the Washington Post. Here's a taste:

Of the 20,000 troops at Balad, only several hundred have jobs that take them off base. Most Americans posted here never interact with an Iraqi, and some never see one, said Army Lt. Col. Larry Dotson, who is effectively the city manager. The closest some troops here come to experiencing the Iraq seen on the evening news is the miniature golf course, which mimics a battlefield with its baby sandbags, little Jersey barriers, strands of concertina wire and, down at the end of the course, what appears to be a tiny detainee cage.

How this fits in to our purported desire to "liberate" Iraq is not immediately obvious.

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