US Hidden Agenda in Iraq Security Agreement

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Ismail Salami

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Iraq and the US are now at loggerheads over a new open-ended security agreement which would sanction continued presence of the US military in the country, envisage permanent military bases, and give the American military personnel and security contractors the license to kill more Iraqi civilians.

The US-proposed agreement would legalize the presence of the American military after the UN mandate expires after December 31. So the agreement if concluded will be the US ace in the hole in Iraq.

With their capitulatory right, the US military can freely detain the Iraqi civilians under the guise of military operations.

In November, US President George W. Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki signed a secret non-binding statement of principles for the negotiations for the conclusion of a final pact due to be in July. No one really knows the terms of the agreement. Yet, they can be easily surmised by a mind familiar with US policies.

The agreement brought swift condemnation from politicians and religious leaders who barely discern an iota of goodwill in the US-proposed agreement. Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani said he would not allow the Iraqi government to strike a pact with "the US occupiers" as long as he was alive.

Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, leader of the Islamic Supreme Council in Iraq, said that there was "a national consensus on rejecting many of the points put forward by the American side in the agreement, because they detract from national sovereignty."

The brave Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr also urged a referendum for the agreement.

Also in Iran, Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani believes that the United States is trying to enslave Iraqis through the deal.

He has said that the 'essence of this agreement is to enslave the Iraqis before the Americans if it is sealed. This will not happen. The Iraqi people, the Iraqi government and the Islamic nation will not allow it." He warned of a permanent occupation of the country which is to be seen a danger to all nations of the region.

Iraqi MP Hasan al-Sanid has told al-Iraqiyah that "Iraqi negotiators rejected all US demands and talks have been suspended to allow negotiators to refer to decision makers with the aim of changing US ideas."

One of the sticking points in the agreement is that the US has demanded absolute powers in the so-called anti-terror fight which would undermine Iraq's sovereignty. In fact, the agreement gives the US the blank check to render its own definition of terrorism in the world. In plain language, Iraq will remain a killing field so the US military may implement their policy of terror and coercion in the region.

The agreement artfully drafted by US officials will not only jeopardize the Iraqi sovereignty but will also give the US military the right to use Iraq as a launching pad for attacks against other countries, including Syria and Iran.

The US military, however, says that it has no plans for permanent bases in Iraq. Yet, if facts are taken into account, one will see but a hidden agenda behind the agreement.

The US has built overwhelmingly huge military bases including air bases, detention centers, ground force headquarters, and logistical depots in different parts of Iraq with the express intention of exercising complete control over the whole country. More than one billion dollars has been spent on the construction of these military bases. This also gives the negative signal to the Iraqi people that they are planning to perpetuate their presence in the country. Some of the main bases are; al-Balad, also known as Camp Anaconda, north of Baghdad; al-Talil, southwest of Nasiriya; al-Asad, west of Baghdad; al-Qayyara, southeast of Mosul; Camp Victory/Camp Liberty, a complex near the Baghdad International Airport. Many of these bases are well-equipped with diverse amenities to boost the morale of the military such as mess halls, sports facilities, Post Exchange department stores, fast food restaurants including a 24-hour Burger King, a Pizza Hut, a Starbucks knockoff called "Green Beans," and Baskin Robbins ice cream outlets.

The construction of a sizeable number of bases and a gargantuan embassy complex is certainly meant for long-term military and political activities.

The Iraqi people have constantly expressed resentment and concern over these military bases which can be interpreted as only long-term presence of the US military, exploitation of the country's resources and violation of independence, sovereignty and freedom.

Also, the construction of a mammoth embassy complex in Baghdad leaves no doubt in the mind that the US government harbors some hidden agenda in the country.

The one-billion dollar New Embassy Compound in the Green Zone occupies 104 acres - ten times the size of its kind anywhere in the world, and six times the size of the UN compound in New York. There are reportedly 1000 diplomats working there many of whom are CIA agents who are working there as technicians. As the Persian saying goes, they have anchored their ship of greed there.

Manifestly, the US government seeks to have a permanent presence in the country, have full control over air space and lands, secure the capitulatory right to immunize its army against the detention and killing of the Iraqis, and finally to use Iraq as a safe launching pad to attack the countries which antagonize the US expansionistic policies in the region including Iran and Syria.

The agreement is yet another US stratagem to practice its long-term policy of expansionism and military adventurism in the region.

It is to the best interests of the Iraqi people if the US troops just leave the land to the afflicted people and let them write their own fate. And it is better for the US government to pull out the teeth of greed and avarice it has long whetted for the region.

Ismail Salami is the author of 'Iran Cradle of Civilization' and numerous articles on Middle East and Asia.


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