Friday, June 01, 2007


"Western oil interests closely influence military and diplomatic policies, and it is no accident that while American companies are competing for access to oil in Central Asia, the U.S. is building up military bases across the region."
~ Anthony Sampson.

So, the US is talking about using a South Korean model for Iraq. Let's see . . . how long has the US been in South Korea? Fifty-seven years, since 1950. Sounds like very long term to me, and they're going to want "mutual agreements," according to Defense Secretary Gates.

If you want to know about how "mutual agreements" operate, or how the US operates in countries like South Korea or Okinawa, I recommend Chalmers Johnson's The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic.

The question in your mind might be: Are they really going to do this? Are they really going to stay for decades? Well, take a look at the State Department's new digs in Baghdad, courtesy of Cryptome:

A portion of the new U.S. embassy under construction is seen from across the Tigris river in Baghdad, Saturday, May 19, 2007. The new $592 million embassy occupies a chunk of prime Baghdad real estate two-thirds the size of Washington's National Mall, with desk space for about 1,000 people behind high, blast-resistant walls. The compound is a symbol both of how much the United States has invested in Iraq and how the circumstances of U.S. involvement are changing. (AP Photo)

Kinda reminds you of one of Saddam's palaces, doesn't it? I guess they found a way to recycle all those gold toilets, which must have been one of the more pressing issues for the Bush administration.

Cryptome also references a post at Think Progress, which has graphics of the new imperial palace. At that link, you can read that the American ambassador will enjoy a private residence of 16,000 sq. ft., while the deputy chief of mission has to squeak by in a residence of only 9,500 sq. ft.

Oh, did I forget to mention that the imperial State Department ordered Think Progress to remove the photos of the new imperial palace on the Tigris?

Construction of the imperial palace has not been held to the same kinds of work and safety standards that you'd find in the US, which makes you wonder--if you ever really believed it--just what kind of "democracy" and "free market" capitalism the State Department's Baghdad staff is going to rule over. From IraqSlogger:

In the months following September 2005, complaints began coming in to the US State Department that all was not well with its most ambitious project ever: a sprawling new embassy project on the banks of the ancient Tigris River. The largest, most heavily-fortified embassy in the world with over 20 buildings, it spans 104 acres-- comparable in size to the Vatican.

[ . . . ]

The Americans protested that construction crews lived in crowded quarters; ate sub-standard food; and had little medical care. When drinking water was scarce in the blistering heat, coolers were filled on the banks of the Tigris, a river rife with waterborne disease, sewage and sometimes floating bodies, they said. Others questioned why First Kuwaiti held the passports of workers. Was it to keep them from escaping? Some laborers had turned up "missing" with little investigation. Another American said laborers told him they were been misled in their job location. When recruited, they were unaware they were heading for war-torn Iraq.

After hearing similar allegations during much of 2006, Howard J. Krongard, the State Department's inspector general, flew to Baghdad for what he describes as a "brief" review on Sept. 15. He now reports that the complaints had no substance.

"Nothing came to our attention," he wrote in a nine-page memorandum posted recently on the State Department's Web site.

[ . . . ]

One former labor foreman at the embassy site who recently read Krongard's review called it "bull shit." Another former First Kuwaiti employee viewed it as "a whitewash."

What a great bunch of humanitarians the imperial bureaucrats are, eh? Here they are, engaging in slave labor, or at least a modern version of indentured servitude. Don't you want these people ruling your country? Don't you want them teaching you all about "democracy?"

Why does the US government need a massive complex, the size of the Vatican, in Iraq? Oil. Specifically, the control of oil, which is the basis of the American dollar. Don't forget the roles of the World Bank and IMF, or the fact that Ted Koppel began to spin the same argument this morning on NPR.

Yep. Looks to me like they're there to stay.

Büyükanıt says military "equipment" was found in the train derailed by HPG earlier this week.

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