The New York Times has released an unusually clear view of the US' intention to remain militarily in the Middle East directly interposed with the difficulties the US is having in getting permission to remain from Iraq, a country it currently occupies and whose constitution it helped write.
Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said here on Monday that the United States military would have an “enduring presence” for many years in the Middle East. He pushed Prime Minister Nuri Kamal-al Maliki to name a defense minister and to let the United States know whether he wanted some American troops to remain in Iraq beyond the end of this year or not.For comic relief, Mr. Panetta tried to explain the US' occupation of Iraq to US troops there.
“The reason you guys are here is because on 9/11 the United States got attacked, and 3,000 not just Americans, but 3,000 human beings got killed, innocent human beings, because of Al Qaeda,” Mr. Panetta told Army troops at Camp Victory, the sprawling American military base in Baghdad.500,000 human beings were killed by US-orchestrated sanctions against Iraq in the years before 9/11. Beyond that, I'll leave it to the reader to count the different ways in which Panetta's statement conflicts with both morality and reality.
Importantly, US troops in Iraq have no idea why they are there. They are defending a US/Zionist colonial structure that fundamentally conflicts with the values the US most earnestly claims to hold. They are defending the idea that over 100 million Arabs must not have governments that represent their views or are accountable to them for the sake of 5.7 million Jewish people in Palestine.
Of course, Panetta has not helped clarify the soldiers' mission for them. Neither, ever, will Barack Obama.