Talking Points Memo reports that Bush and al-Maliki have sealed a deal whereby he, on behalf of the Iraqi people, will allow Bush’s cronies to economically rape their country, and Bush, on behalf of the American people, promises to keep al-Maliki in power.
Iraq’s government is prepared to offer the U.S. a long-term troop presence in Iraq and preferential treatment for American investments in return for an American guarantee of long-term security including defense against internal coups, The Associated Press learned Monday.
More here. Sounds like a great deal for everyone concerned, except the American and Iraqi people, both of whom will pay dearly for this little sweetheart deal. I always thought that deals like this required treaties, but silly me, that’s so 18th century.
Lots of folks are pointing out that just a few short years ago anyone who claimed we would never get out of Iraq was a fevered conspiracy theorist. Now that a permanent presence has been announced as the American policy we always knew it was, it will likely cause barely a ripple among those who denied the obvious years ago. That included the Bushies, by the way, as TPM also documents.
Once again we follow in the Roman way, establishing client kings in distant lands through whom we rule our empire. (I know we’ve done it before, but never quite so blatantly. Some might call the explicit coup insurance rather tacky). Whether for good or ill we lack the talent the Romans had for Empire. But even the Romans, at least the general populace, found that there was little profit in Empire, and what there was went to the— you guessed it: the Emperor’s cronies. This permanent occupation will be, among other things, a great, albeit inefficient, mechanism for transferring what is left of the wealth of the American middle class into the pockets of the top 1% of the top 1%.