Friday, March 24, 2006

Even More Good News From Iraq

Just to show you that good news is coming out of Iraq all the time, the Associated Press is reporting that at least 20 people have been killed in sectarian violence (drive-by shootings, roadside bombings, revenge killings) over the last 24 hours while the LA Times is reporting that the Bush administration is requesting hundreds of millions of dollars to construct large military bases that some people worry are going to be permanent.

Ron Paul, A Republican Congressman from Texas, worries that these permanent military bases in Iraq will create more problems than they'll solve:

"It's the kind of thing that incites terrorism," Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) said of long-term or permanent U.S. bases in countries such as Iraq.

Paul, a critic of the war, is co-sponsoring a bipartisan bill that would make it official policy not to maintain such bases in Iraq. He noted that Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden cited U.S. military bases in Saudi Arabia as grounds for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
The LA Times article goes on to note that:

Long-term U.S. bases in Iraq would also be problematic in the Middle East, where they could lend credence to charges that the U.S. motive for the invasion was to seize land and oil. And they could also feed debate about the appropriate U.S. relationship with Iraq after Baghdad's new government fully assumes control.

State Department and Pentagon officials have insisted that the bases being constructed in Iraq will eventually be handed over to the Iraqi government.


But the seemingly definitive administration statements mask a semantic distinction: Although officials say they are not building permanent U.S. bases, they decline to say whether they will seek a deal with the new Iraqi government to allow long-term troop deployments.

Asked at a congressional hearing last week whether he could "make an unequivocal commitment" that the U.S. officials would not seek to establish permanent bases in Iraq, Army Gen. John P. Abizaid, the commander in charge of all U.S. forces in the Middle East and Central Asia, replied, "The policy on long-term presence in Iraq hasn't been formulated." Venable, the Pentagon spokesman, said it was "premature and speculative" to discuss long-term base agreements before the permanent Iraqi government had been put in place.

So there you go Rush and Laura Ingraham and all you other media critics who are claiming the press doesn't cover enough of the "good news" coming out of Iraq - while we did get the story about the sectarian killings and drive-by's this morning from the AP, we also got the article from the LA Times talking about all the construction the U.S. is doing in Iraq.

It just happens to be that the construction that we're doing is on permanent military bases, but that's almost like a story about constructing hospitals and schools, right?

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