Caitlin Johnstone today on the Rogue State’s refusal to leave:
If the initial invasion of Iraq was a violent sexual assault by a stranger in a dark alley, this one is more like an abusive husband raping his wife then making her cook him dinner.
Later, she notes the US State Department’s response to Iraq’s demand:
America is a force for good in the Middle East. Our military presence in Iraq is to continue the fight against ISIS and as the Secretary [Mike Pompeo1] has said, we are committed to protecting Americans, Iraqis, and our coalition partners. We have been unambiguous on how crucial our D-ISIS mission is in Iraq. At this time, any delegation sent to Iraq would be dedicated to discussing how to best recommit to our strategic partnership—not to discuss troop withdrawal, but our right, appropriate force posture in the Middle East. Today, a NATO delegation is at the State Department to discuss increasing NATO’s role in Iraq, in line with the President’s desire for burden sharing in all of our collective defense efforts. There does, however, need to be a conversation between the U.S. and Iraqi governments not just regarding security, but about our financial, economic, and diplomatic partnership. We want to be a friend and partner to a sovereign, prosperous, and stable Iraq.
I’ve written myself, here for instance, on the demonstrable truth that defeating ISIS is not the priority of America and its junior partners in the middle east. Far from it. As part of his broader geopolitical analysis after the murder2 last week of General Muhammad Soleimani, political economist Michael Hudson makes the case that since Vietnam, Western “democracies” have been constrained in their ability to wage imperial wars premised on massed ground forces.
Rather, they must rely on overwhelming air supremacy (which is why Russia’s 2016 intervention in Syria was a game changer). And on regional proxy forces – Islamists absolutely included.
For her part, Caitlin sticks with the rape theme:
Just as a side note, if you ever find yourself in any kind of relationship with someone who violates your personal sovereignty in this way and then uses the sort of I’m-your-friend, this-is-for-your-own-good language used by the State Department above to justify it, run, don’t walk, out the door. Because you’re dealing with a full-fledged sociopath.
Speaking of sociopathy at its most deranged and delusional, click on this image for a gem of Alice in Genocidal Wonderland reasoning …
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- Like Dick Cheney and the Clintons, Pompeo, a right wing Presbyterian, exemplifies the revolving door between what Eisenhower called the military-industrial complex and the Beltway. Says wiki: ‘In 1998, Pompeo and three other West Point friends acquired aircraft-part manufacturers Aero Machine, Precision Profiling, B&B Machine and Advance Tool & Die. Venture funding included a 2% investment from Koch Industries, Dallas-based Cardinal Investment, and Bain & Co. In 2006, he sold his interest to Highland Capital Management, its clients including Lockheed Martin, Gulfstream Aerospace, Cessna Aircraft, Boeing, Spirit AeroSystems and Raytheon Aircraft. Pompeo then became president of Sentry International, an oilfield equipment manufacturer that was also a partner of Koch Industries.’
- Corporate media slavishly echo Pompeo’s line of Soleimani planning “imminent attacks” on US personnel. Two points. One, Pompeo’s use of ‘imminent’ invokes the Bethlehem Doctrine, by which the US may take out anyone it deems a threat. If that doesn’t scare you, you are too far gone in your belief in the essential benignity of the Rogue State to be reached by reason. Two, Iraqi PM Abdul-Mahdi was to have met Soleimani the morning he was killed. Why? To discuss a diplomatic rapprochement Iraq was brokering between Tehran and Riyadh. Abdul-Mahdi told the Iraqi Parliament on January 5, the day after the killing, that Trump had personally thanked him for his peace efforts. This must have been calculated to convey that the Iranian general was safe to travel to Baghdad, even as the hit was being planned. The duplicity is chilling. Not that this exhonerates Trump’s Democrat critics, who begin their denunciations with “Soleimani was evil but …” For anyone not fully amnesiac, this from the party that cheered on Iraq’s invasion then started its own wars in Libya and Syria is a bit rich. As is the fact that such ‘liberal’ criticisms of Trump take as read the US of A’s god-given right to stay in Iraq as long as it sees fit. Which of course is the thrust of Caitlin’s post: a serial rapist so contemptuous of the law, so confident of his exceptionalist immunity from its writ – we’re an empire, we create our own reality – that he can stick around after the deed.