It’s time to add another star to the flag. We’re never leaving Iraq. Ever. The Sun will go red giant in about five billion years, and we’ll still be in Iraq.
So it begins. After years of obfuscation and denial on the length of the U.S.’s stay in Iraq, the White House and the Maliki government have released a joint declaration of “principles” for “friendship and cooperation.” Apparently President Bush and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki signed the declaration during a morning teleconference.
As TPMM points out, the agreement doesn’t explicitly discuss a military presence, and when it does refer to our protecting a “democratic Iraq”:
A “democratic Iraq” here means the Shiite-led Iraqi government. The current political arrangement will receive U.S. military protection against coups or any other internal subversion. That’s something the Iraqi government wants desperately: not only is it massively unpopular, even among Iraqi Shiites, but the increasing U.S.-Sunni security cooperation strikes the Shiite government — with some justification — as a recipe for a future coup.
In other words, Iraq’s “government” will remain our puppet. Should they have the temerity to attempt to do anything of which we disapprove, we can simply threaten to withdraw our protection. Needless to say, this will not be popular with most Iraqis, but when have their opinions- or lives- mattered, anyway?
When MLDB diaried this, this morning, his linked article was a little different from the one I read. Here’s what I consider key, as reported by the Associated Press:
The two senior Iraqi officials said Iraqi authorities had discussed the broad outlines of the proposal with U.S. military and diplomatic representatives. The Americans appeared generally favorable subject to negotiations on the details, which include preferential treatment for American investments, according to the Iraqi officials involved in the discussions.
As I said in MLDB’s diary:
Let’s be clear: this is Naomi Klein’s disaster capitalism. Let’s be doubly clear: we, the taxpayers, will be paying for an exclusive security force whose sole mission will be the protection of the private corporations who will own and operate Iraq.