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Outraged about U.S. plan in Iraq

Posted: Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I'm writing in response to an editorial, "Iraqi government signals desire for Alliance with U.S.," from the Washington Post, which ran in the Juneau Empire on June 16.

The editorial covered the topic of an agreement the Bush administration is trying to finalize with the Iraqi government by this summer.

The author paints a picture of Iran pressuring Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to resist the deal being offered by the U.S. government, and then even goes on to accuse Democrats in Congress of siding with the "evil Iranians" by protesting the deal themselves. I'm astounded this author seeks to insult the intelligence of so many Americans with such obvious nonsense.

I have read several articles outlining this deal the president is so desperately trying to slip under the radar of Congress and the American people. It goes something like this:

1) The United States will maintain more than 50 permanent military bases inside Iraq indefinitely. Although the president has assured us time and again the U.S. has no intention of building permanent bases in Iraq, they have indeed spent billions of dollars building mega-bases described as being like small American cities, with apartment buildings, malls, theaters, fast food.

2) The United States will maintain total control of Iraqi airspace to 29,000 feet.

3) The United States will be free to conduct military operations at will, is under no obligation to get permission from the Iraqi government, or even notify it.

4) The United States insists upon full immunity for all troops, diplomats, private contractors.

5) The United States can jail and interrogate any Iraqi at will, for any length of time. The Pentagon has already awarded millions of dollars to U.S. companies to build huge prisons in Iraq, which will be run by U.S. companies. We already hold thousands of Iraqi prisoners in subhuman conditions, many of them yet to be charged with any crime.

6) Other provisions include commercial privileges, such as freedom from all import/export duties, a sweet deal for the big oil companies.

This agreement will keep Iraq under total U.S. control indefinitely. These demands are outrageous, no wonder tens of thousands of Iraqi citizens have taken to the streets in protest. Every American should do the same.

I hope every member of Congress is outraged the president seeks to commit U.S. troops and billions of U.S. dollars in an agreement lasting long into the future without any congressional approval or oversight.

Colette Hill

Hoonah



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