Letters: Doubtful about Iraq withdrawl
Doubtful about Iraq withdrawal With talk of downsizing the number of US troops in Iraq by the end of 2006, the increased funding of permanent bases continues. If we are not planning to be there permanently, why are we spending additional millions...
With talk of downsizing the number of US troops in Iraq by the end of 2006, the increased funding of permanent bases continues. If we are not planning to be there permanently, why are we spending additional millions on "enduring bases?"
Of course it is difficult to get information on the building and expansion of these bases because of the "enduring" secrecy surrounding the projects.
Of the 106 or so bases spread throughout Iraq, four are being pinpointed as permanent: Al Asad in the western desert, Tallil Air Base near the southeastern city of Nasiriya, Camp Taji just north of Baghdad and Balad Air Base 42 miles north of Baghdad.
At Balad Air Base, a brand new town has been built complete with shops and restaurants catering to American tastes. The 20,000 soldiers and civilians who live there can visit, among other fast food shops, a Subway, Pizza Hut and a 24-hour Burger King. Principally, Balad is a state-of-the-art Air Force base.
Once named Anaconda, Balad came to public attention within the past weeks here at home with President Bush's requests for millions of dollars in addition to the billions already spent on these super bases.
These four base fortresses situated strategically on Iraqi soil and controlled by the US make Iraqi democracy a mirage and the American claim of bringing democracy to the Iraqis a farce.
Whatever the administration wordsmiths have devised to call these bases: "enduring" or "contingency operating" or "permanent access," they are still a permanent presence to the Iraqi people. And the ceding of the smaller US bases to the Iraqi government should not distract the American people. Whatever goals the US government lists for this war, "spreading democracy" can be eliminated by our permanent overpowering military presence in Iraq.