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Four Color Politics

Mainly the Quotes of the Morning, with occasional Other Crap.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Quotes of the Morning: All Your Base Are Belong to Us

“Ok.. First. The headline is correct. It is an obscure reference. Sorry.”

“White House officials were steamed when Andrew S. Natsios, the administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, said earlier this year that U.S. taxpayers would not have to pay more than $1.7 billion to reconstruct Iraq -- which turned out to be a gross understatement of the tens of billions of dollars the government now expects to spend.
Recently, however, the government has purged the offending comments by Natsios from the agency's Web site. The transcript, and links to it, have vanished.”
-Washington Post, December 18, 2003

“Bush made a 20-minute speech to a crowd of about 500 party faithful in the main ballroom of the Hanover Marriott at a $2,000-a-plate evening fund-raiser.

Not breaking any ground, Bush highlighted the accomplishments of his administration, saying he had eliminated the terror threat from Afghanistan and weapons of mass destruction from Iraq and ensured that Medicare will remain solvent.
‘I came to this office to solve problems and not pass them on to future presidents and future generations,’ Bush told the crowd.”
-Associated Press, December 2, 2003

“Yep. We were going to take out Saddam and restore Iraq to a working nation on about $1.7 billion during Bush’s Administration. Then things got a little, um, bad.”

“President Bush said Friday that it's not yet clear when Iraqi forces will be able to take control of their country's security, a key step in bringing U.S. troops home.
Making that determination depends on an assessment of the new government in Baghdad, which just on Thursday installed a new defense minister and other top national security posts, Bush said.”
-Associated Press, June 9, 2006

“Mr. Bush on Friday made clear that the American commitment to the country will be long-term. Officials say the administration has begun to look at the costs of maintaining a force of roughly 50,000 troops there for years to come, roughly the size of the American presence maintained in the Philippines and Korea for decades after those conflicts.”
-New York Times, June 11, 2006-06-12

“Well, if it’s a government that works, we can probably sustain the U.S. troops, 50,000, 60,000, 70,000 troops there for 10 years and hope that Iraq turns into a responsible governmental entity that doesn’t attack its neighbors, doesn’t build WMD. I still think that’s a likely outcome if the political system can come together on the ground.”
-General McCaffrey, Meet the Press, June 11, 2006

“Wow. We didn’t know that things were going to get so bad. The Iraqi people must just be dangerous. I mean, I thought that the evil in Iraq came from Saddam, but now I hear that it is going to take 50,000 troops to make sure that the Iraqi people, who currently have a shattered economy and civil war, don’t all suddenly get together and invade someone. Apparently we’ve needed to change our plans in Iraq to create some permanent bases for our troops. We never originally planned on doing that. It was just something that happened.”

“But a dozen is the number of so-called ‘enduring bases’ located by John Pike, director of GlobalSecurities.org. His military affairs website gives their names. They include, for example, Camp Victory at the Baghdad airfield and Camp Renegade in Kirkuk. The Chicago Tribune last March said US engineers are constructing 14 ‘enduring bases,’ but Mr. Pike hasn't located two of them.
Note the terminology ‘enduring’ bases. That's Pentagon-speak for long-term encampments - not necessarily permanent, but not just a tent on a wood platform either. It all suggests a planned indefinite stay on Iraqi soil that will cost US taxpayers for years to come.
The actual amount depends on how many troops are stationed there for the long term. If the US decides to reduce its forces there from the 138,000 now to, say, 50,000, and station them in bases, the costs would run between $5 billion to $7 billion a year, estimates Gordon Adams, director of Security Policy Studies at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. That's two to three times as much as the annual American subsidy to Israel. Providing protection for Israel is one of several reasons some analysts cite for the US invasion of Iraq.
So far, the Bush administration has not publicly indicated that it will seek permanent bases in Iraq to replace those recently given up in Saudi Arabia, a possibility mentioned by Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz before US forces moved into Iraq. The US already has bases in Kuwait and Qatar.
At an April 2003 press conference, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said any suggestion that the US is planning a permanent military presence in Iraq is "inaccurate and unfortunate." With the presidential election weeks away, he is unlikely to alter that pronouncement on such a politically touchy matter. Such a move would almost certainly attract fire from Democratic candidate John Kerry.
Nonetheless, several military experts in Washington assume Iraq's new government will need the support of American troops - and thus ‘permanent’ bases - for years, perhaps decades, to come.
The US already has 890 military installations in foreign countries, ranging from major Air Force bases to smaller installations, say a radar facility. Perhaps bases in Iraq would enable the Pentagon to close a few of those facilities. As part of a post-cold-war shift in its global posture, the Defense Department has been cutting the number of its installations in Germany, which total more than 100. Last week Mr. Rumsfeld testified about a global "rearrangement" of US forces to the Senate Armed Forces Committee.”
-Christian Science Monitor, September 30, 2004

“Ok, we planned on it for years. But at least they’re telling the American people who will need to pay for it (in blood and money) finally.
The Quotes of the Morning will be going on a quick hiatus. Business trip. See you all Friday.”


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2:50 PM  

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