The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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A hawk in dove’s clothing

After the excesses and imperial over reach of the Bush years, President Barack Obama provides a kindlier, gentler face for the American Empire.’

In his mission-accomplished speech on Feb. 27, he said America’s combat mission in Iraq will end.’ He also mentioned a ‘transitional force’ that will remain, doing three things, ‘training, equipping, and advising Iraqi Security Forces’ as well as ‘conducting targeted counter-terrorism missions; and protecting our ongoing civilian and military efforts within Iraq.”

He said this force would initially be ‘35,000-50,000 troops.’ As pointed out by Jon Stewart on The Daily Show on March 3, his intentions sound awfully similar to former President Bush’s plans from Sept. 13, 2007, ‘As this transition in our mission takes place our troops will focus on a more limited set of tasks, including counter terrorism operations and training, equipping and supporting Iraqi forces,’ said Bush.

Thank God Obama is going to change our troops’ role from ‘supporting’ Iraqi forces under Bush, to ‘advising’ them.’ For a second there, I thought he was continuing the war and occupation, but instead is just downsizing it and calling it something different.’ At least now it’s an occupation filled with hope and change.’ I’m sure that will help the families of dead Iraqis and American soldiers sleep at night.

The American embassy currently being built in Iraq is going to be the largest embassy in the history of the world.’ It will act as a permanent U.S. military base in Iraq. According to Jeremy Scahill, author of ‘Blackwater: the Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army,’ the initial plans for the embassy include hundreds of CIA operatives. The specific details remain a mystery, as it has been kept under wraps by the U.S. government.’

What are those CIA agents there for?’ Are they going to back a coup like they did in Iran in 1953 with Operation Ajax, overthrowing Prime Minister Mossadegh (who wanted to nationalize Iran’s oil) and install the Shah? Will they use that base to prop up an authoritarian Iraqi leader unpopular in his own country, but loved by Washington for letting America get its hands on Iraqi oil?

A Status of Forces agreement was reached between Bush and Iraq in late 2008. It makes 2011 the deadline for removal of U.S. military presence in Iraq.’ However, there are many loopholes.

The government of Iraq has no authority to force the U.S. troops to leave. It gives American troops immunity from prosecution in Iraq’s courts, and allows the U.S. troops to engage in any military operations to address any ‘threat,’ internal or external.’

When asked how many troops will constitute this ‘residual force’ in Iraq after 2011, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, a holdover from the Bush Administration, said, ‘My guess is that you’re looking at perhaps several tens of thousands of American troops.’

When America goes in somewhere under the banner of ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’ what it really means is multibillion dollar profits for its corporations through theft of raw materials, military bases to maintain its power and to launch attacks on other countries in the region, and a market for its goods.’

The situation in Iraq is no different.’ If you know our country’s history, you would know exactly what is going on over there, a typical American shakedown and extortion. We never really leave a country we ‘liberate’ unless we are forced out by an indigenous resistance.’

Let’s be that resistance at home and make sure the Iraqi people really are given their freedom.

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