If you look at what is going on in Iraq from the US point of view the big "success" story has been the building of the
While much space in our papers has, of late, been devoted to the administration's lack of postwar planning, next to no interest has been shown in the planning that did take place.Not that there has not been any news about the bases. Engelhardt among others has been highlighting these bases over and over again. Globalsecurity.org has a decent sized list of the bases. Even before the war people were pointing out that the PNAC had called for permanent US bases in the Middle East to preserve US global hegemony long before The War Against Terror. For example, here is an article by Jay Bookman in the Atlanta Constitution dated September 29, 2002, entitled "The President's Real Goal in Iraq" in which he describes the September 2000 PNAC report.
This was in 2002. But now it seems that when the bases are mentioned they are mentioned in an abstract manner - as an ideological imperative, rather than as a very basic part of US foreign policy. That is not the case with this article in the London Review of Books by Jim Holt (h/t Sullivan). It begins:
To preserve the Pax Americana, the report says U.S. forces will be required to perform "constabulary duties" -- the United States acting as policeman of the world -- and says that such actions "demand American political leadership rather than that of the United Nations."
To meet those responsibilities, and to ensure that no country dares to challenge the United States, the report advocates a much larger military presence spread over more of the globe, in addition to the roughly 130 nations in which U.S. troops are already deployed.More specifically, they argue that we need permanent military bases in the Middle East, in Southeast Europe, in Latin America and in Southeast Asia, where no such bases now exist.
Iraq is ‘unwinnable’, a ‘quagmire’, a ‘fiasco’: so goes the received opinion. But there is good reason to think that, from the Bush-Cheney perspective, it is none of these things. Indeed, the US may be ‘stuck’ precisely where Bush et al want it to be, which is why there is no ‘exit strategy’.Holt places the base in the context of US foreign policy. It actually didn't seem like earth shattering analysis. It just seemed like a statement of reality. Which is what so frustrating. If it is actually so obvious why is it not the context in which Iraq is analyzed in most of the media? Or maybe it is not so obvious. In any case go read it.