BASES IN IRAQ….Matt raises (again) a point that doesn’t get enough attention:

[As] near as anybody can tell the administration is still trying to finagle some kind of permanent military basing agreement in Iraq. That the administration has managed to hew consistently to this agenda without ever stating that this is one of their major policy goals is astounding, and that the American media is consistently unwilling to discuss the point is appalling. What’s even more astounding about it is that one regularly hears and reads in expert commentary that we ought to “make clear” that this isn’t what we’re doing. Apparently, it’s impolitic to note that Bush isn’t making it clear that we don’t want permanent bases because we do, in fact, want permanent bases.

Of course the White House wants permanent military bases in Iraq. Just look at a map. As long as we have bases in Iraq and Afghanistan we have easy access to all of the Middle East and Central Asia ? and of the two Iraq is by far the most central and most critical.

Like Matt, I’m also a little surprised this doesn’t get more attention. You can argue all day long about whether permanent U.S. bases in Iraq are a good idea or not, but the Bush administration has made it plainly obvious that they want them. Why then does there seem to be an underlying assumption in press accounts that as soon as everything calms down we’ll pull out our troops and leave? The odds of that happening are slim and none.

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