Prague Twin

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Permanent Bases in Iraq

Before the US invaded Iraq, I suggested that once the Army is there, it will never leave. This assumption is based on logic and empirical evidence. There are still bases in South Korea and Germany over half a century after the end of hostilities. The bases in Germany, although uncontroversial (the Germans don't mind, and actually benefit greatly from their presence), are especially worrying. There seems to be very little tactical rationale for maintaining permanent bases in Germany more than 15 years after the end of the cold war.

And yet, there they are.

So questions about the length of stay for the Army in Iraq I think are not only justified, but are highly pertinent. To date, Congress has approved $1.3 billion in emergency spending for base construction. Read the linked article for a full rundown. It seems congress is getting impatient, and eventually the administration will have to reaveal their plans to build permanent US bases in Iraq.

Which I contend, has been their plan all along.


  • We needed bases in S. Korea and Germany to stand against red expansion. Now we don't need bases in Germany as much. We do need bases in Iraq and I suspect a smallish contingent will be in big bases and rarely travel outside for a long time. Iran is probably next and it will be difficult.

    Now about your long comment. Let's make a distinction, as you don't want to do, between true beleiver and pragmatist willing to walk the walk for power's sake. I think Hitler was a true believer as were Trotsky and Lenin. Stalin might have been pragmatic. Mao, I don't know. But when I'm criticizing socialism, I'm not just opposed to the extremes, I think it all is a non-sustainable ponzi scheme that falls apart if your birth rate falls below growing, as it has in a big way in Japan, Russia and many countries in Europe. You have to shrink to insignificance or import your next generation and since the imported breeders were Muslim and African, big problems. Even the good socialist states like Sweeden are fighting a losing battle. America has immigration to shore up falling birth rates so we'll kick the can down the road the farthest. The excesses of capitalism have largely been tamed. Any good fair court system will stop the excesses. There can be a catastrophic recession again where the FDIC (if that is still its name) fails and unemployment averages 33% worldwide. That will be followed closely by huge bloodleting, but I don't see it coming but in the abstract. Still, a few years of extremely bad leadership and who knows. Nor do I fear huge transnationals. They don't have armies after all and walk a tightrope of gaining or holding power but staying out of the lime light. I guess I could have a blind spot to that due to my age (52) and lack of education in economics. I've only read Marx.
    Like you I don't see things in pure black and white, but there comes a time when the grey gets dark enough to stand out like black and the white has so few spots it really is pretty clean. Still I'm troubled by the lack of balance in political murder. Is it possible that the left is dagerous and the right is, well, more humane? Thanks for your reading me and your very thoughtful comments. Your blog is coming along nicely, any posts in the future about Czech or European subjects?

    By Blogger Roger Fraley, at 3:33 AM  

  • So basically you are okay with staying in Iraq indefinatley and then on to Iran?

    That is insane: total suicide. "Difficult" doesn't even begin to describe an Iranian invation.

    "Armegeddon" might be a better term.

    I agree with your assesment of the problems facing the current socialist states. Sweeden, France, and even the Czech Republic face similar problems as you describe. But the conservative response to this is a no response. Essestially by being "conservative" you are saying the government should be less involved in taking care of the aging populations. Economically, this makes sense, but the question becomes: What about all the old people? The corportaions are showing that they cannot afford to keep the promises they made either (Delta and GM to name a couple), so even those who thought they were setting themselves up for the future by working a good job with a solid company for 25 years may soon find themselves left out in the cold.

    I can't say I have the answer, but we (in the developed world) may be in more trouble than we even know. Soon they will deregulate rents in Prague, for example. There are so many old people here who live on a $100 per month pension who will suddenly be homeless. I have no idea what these people are going to do. I have this picture of these old people walking the streets with confused looks on their faces as if to say, "I worked my whole life for this society, and now you just throw me out on the street?"

    I don't believe in total socialism. However, I do believe that a rich country owes it to it's working citizens not to let them end up on the streets, with no food, and no medical care. It seems like the minimum that a rich country could do is provide the people who worked and paid taxes for 40 years a dignified death. This is what I think has been lost in the debate.

    The courts have been largely ineffective at curbing the excesses of capitalism. Witness the S&L scandal. The top 5% of the population is commanding a larger and larger share of the resources, and the only thing that can remedy that is taxes. But as you know, policy is moving in the opposite direction. If we remain on this course, we will get to a point where so much wealth is concentrated at the top, there will be full scale revolt. We are still a long way from that, but by what means will increasing stratification of wealth be remedied? I don't have the answer, and neither do the neo-liberals.

    I would fear transnationals. As they continue to provide more and more of the most essestial services, we become more and more dependent on them and we are thus subjugated. The private security forces in Iraq are the beginning of the transnational armies. But they don't need armies. They are already dictating policy in most of the countries of the world. They have the power to devestate a country simply by packing up and going home. This may be a more effective form of warfare (economic warfare) than a conventional one.

    Like I said, the left has been running things in the 20th century, thus the blood is on their hands. The 21st will be marked by blood-letting from the right.

    "Confessions of an Illegal Alien" is mostly about Czech. I'm working on an essay about post-comunist Czech Republic but it is hard! So much to consider.... I will have to do it in parts.

    Thanks for the interest. I realize I have never said it (probably becasue it is obvious) but I really enjoy your blog.

    When is Tony going to start one?

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 10:24 AM  

  • Before the US invaded Iraq, you suggested that once the Army is there, it will never leave. Did you make the same assumption during Iraq 1? :)

    By Blogger JasonSpalding, at 5:09 AM  

  • Funny you should ask, because I had a discussion with a friend of mine who grew up and "Army Brat." She was the first to point out that the Army's MO was indeed to leave behind a major contingent after each invasion. Thus her opposition to the first war was stated.

    Well, they left the contigent in Saudi Arabia, and according to Bin Laden, this is the main reason for his attacks on the US.

    Reason to fear leaving behind troops indeed.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 4:26 PM  

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