President Bush, acting as the Unitary Executive, is making secret deals with Iraq. Under the euphemism “Enduring Relationship,” a Declaration of Principles has been documented, which outlines in the most glowing terms, unending embroilment in the desert.
One of the “Principles” is “Supporting the Republic of Iraq in defending its democratic system against internal and external threats.” This is bothersome on many levels.
And under the law, the president is entitled to broker a status-of-forces agreement without congressional approval.
“The president, as the commander in chief, can enter into an agreement and in theory, certainly as complex an agreement as he deems appropriate and necessary under the circumstances,” says retired Gen. Michael Nardotti, formerly the Army’s top lawyer.
But in the case of Iraq, even the most optimistic assessments don’t expect the situation there to become as stable as Japan or South Korea for decades.
“Bases of the U.S. around the world are not situated in an occupied country,” explains Raed Jarrar, an Iraqi political activist who recently testified before Congress on this issue. “For example, U.S. forces in Japan can’t just go out of their bases and [set up] a checkpoint in Tokyo. They can’t go around Tokyo arresting Japanese people.”
And in Japan or South Korea, the U.S. military isn’t allowed to maintain internal stability. In other words, it can’t protect those governments from internal threats. Indeed, in South Korea, two governments have been overthrown in coups in the past 50 years. The U.S. military could not and did not intervene.
First we illegally occupy a sovereignty, destroy its government and prop up a puppetocracy in its place. Then we let the puppets kill the newly-deposed President. We next start negotiating - at gunpoint, of course - a business deal benefiting American oil companies. Since that failed, we are now negotiating to morph our armed forces into the Iraqi National Guard, to give us the right to protect the nation we broke from “internal and external threats.” We become their military. And, although unstated, I venture to guess that we will be the final arbiters as to who and what constitutes a threat.
Since the US is suffering the Pottery Barn effect (you break it, you buy it) with regards to Iraq, our Liar-in-Chief is tying up the loose ends of his failed hostile takeover bid of Saddam Hussein’s oilfields. As he does so, he is tying a noose around the necks of every single US Solider that will be killed in Iraq going forward, in perpetuity.
Coining vague catch phrases like “Enduring Relationship” or talk of an “Enduring Presence” in Iraq cannot sugar coat the reality that the US is an Imperial power creating a colony out of a previously autonomous nation. We’re there for the oil, and when it’s gone, we’ll leave. Not. Until. Then.
Luckily, people are asking the right questions, these days. Questions like “Is it legal.” the answer, as NPR notes, lies on the boundary between Agreement and Treaty. It’s down to semantics. Sadly, our government is ill equipped to handle the subtly of semantics. Bring in the lawyers.
Lawyering takes time, and our administration expects to broker this deal by Summer. We don’t have the time. We REALLY need to impeach these bastards.