The Left & Their Conspiracies About Iraq


The left has been in a constant state of anxiety recently over their perceived notion that Bush is planning on permanent bases in Iraq.

The White House, responding to what it considers rumors being spread by, liberal blogs such as and Democratic lawmakers, this week tried to persuade key lawmakers that President Bush is not attempting to bind his successor to a long-term military presence in Iraq.

Senior White House officials have briefed Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat, and other congressional lawmakers about their negotiations with the Iraqi government and will continue to meet with other legislators next week.

“The argument that we seek permanent bases is a constant red herring of and other interest groups who want us to retreat from Iraq, with no regard for our national security interests or the fate of the Iraqi people,” White House press secretary Dana Perino said.

The White House and administration officials say talks between the U.S. and Iraqi governments on a “status of forces agreement,” or SOFA, are preliminary, do not require congressional approval and are not about troop levels.

SOFA’s have never required, nor will they ever require congressional approval. Michael Rubin before the House a few weeks ago on SOFA’s and Treaties:

Typically, they serve to vest the United States with criminal jurisdiction over our forces in a host country. Usually, this entails a commitment to hold our troops and personnel legally responsible for any criminal conduct under the Uniform Code of Military Justice or some such arrangement. Unknown in the case of Iraq would be the status of private security contractors. Many SOFAs also address exemption from inspections and customs duties, travel document requirements, and tax exemptions for the PX. Today, the United States has approximately 100 SOFAs.

Generally, SOFAs constitute agreements rather than treaties. It is a rare occurrence if a SOFA is sent to the Senate for approval. With regard to NATO, Japan, and Korea, security guarantees are covered in separate treaty structures above and beyond the SOFA itself. For example, in 1953, the United States and the Republic of Korea signed a Mutual Defense Treaty, which the Senate ratified in 1954. The Pentagon then negotiated in 1966 a “Facilities and Areas and the Status of United States Armed Forces in Korea” which came into force on February 9, 1967, with an exchange of letters rather than separate ratification.

To determine whether ratification is necessary, what an agreement is called is less important than its contents. There is a point that an agreement can go so far in obligating the United States to defend another country that the Senate should ratify it. That line is when the obligation to defend another country becomes legally binding under international law. If such language is embedded in an Iraq SOFA, then there is little question that the SOFA should be voted on as a treaty by the U.S. Senate.

What turns the switch is if we are entering into an agreement with a country to protect them from an external threat, like Iran for example. If this were the case then the Senate would have to vote on it as a treaty. But this is not the case.

Brett McGurk in todays USA Today:

The Iraqi government has asked for an agreement with the United States, similar to ones we have with countries around the world, to help remove Iraq from U.N. Security Council oversight and normalize relations between our two countries.

The purpose of this agreement is to provide basic authorities and protections for U.S. military and civilian personnel serving in Iraq beyond Dec. 31, 2008, when our present U.N. authorizations are set to expire, and establish a basic framework for economic, diplomatic and security relations.

Bipartisan commissions on Iraq and leading members of Congress from both political parties have long sought such an accord. The Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group advocated a series of longer-term missions (including counterterrorism, training and equipping Iraqi forces, and reassuring the Iraqi government) whose implementation would require a basic agreement with the Iraqi government.

When those missions are completed, Iraq and the United States will benefit. There are key misperceptions about this agreement:

* This agreement will not tie the hands of the next president. It will ensure that the next president has the authorities necessary to exercise every prerogative of the office. Indeed, far from constricting the options available, the agreement will ensure that every policy option remains on the table, including going after al-Qaeda and training Iraqi security forces.

* This agreement will not specify troop levels. It will set the basic parameters for U.S. forces to operate in Iraq, but it will say nothing about the number of U.S. troops remaining in Iraq at any given time.

* It does not establish permanent bases in Iraq. The United States does not need and will not seek permanent bases in Iraq. The agreement will affirm this principle. U.S. forces remain in Iraq only at the request of the Iraqi government — and to support them in a common fight against terrorists and extremists.

But the left, who have never seen a conspiracy they couldn’t believe, is now in an uproar over the latest signing statement issued by the White House. With titles like “Signing statement: Bush asserts right to permanent bases, Iraqi oil” from KOS and “Bush Issues Signing Statement On Defense Act, Waiving Ban On Permanent Bases In Iraq” from Think Progress they have fanned the flames of the tinfoil hat wearing glee club.

The signing statement was in response to a few parts of the recent Defense Authorization Act which try to tie the hands of the President by overriding the constitutional power granted to him. Specifically number 1222 of the DAA which says:

No funds appropriated pursuant to an authorization of appropriations in this Act may be obligated or expended for a purpose as follows:

(1) To establish any military installation or base for the purpose of providing for the permanent stationing of United States Armed Forces in Iraq.

(2) To exercise United States control of the oil resources of Iraq.

Dana Perino in response to the Washington Times query:

“It merely protects the constitutional prerogatives of the President and preserves Commander in Chief authorities — for this President and future Presidents.”

Mrs. Perino said that the U.S. policy on bases is that “we don’t need and won’t seek permanent bases in Iraq.”

“There’s nothing to today’s rumor du jour that we have changed our long-standing position and now want permanent bases in Iraq,” Mrs. Perino said. “And the ‘war for oil’ is a tired line and clearly not true based on the past few years experience.”

Mrs. Perino’s statement had this caveat: “And as a reminder, in rare circumstances and for temporary military necessity, the President as Commander-in-Chief must preserve the right to protect or manage a particular resource where combat operations are ongoing (for example, to protect an oil field from control by terrorists) — but we don’t anticipate such a circumstance in Iraq, and preserving inherent constitutional authority has nothing to do with our policy on Iraq’s natural resources.”

The uproar is just the latest attempt by the Democrats to tie Bush’s hands when it comes to Iraq. How in the world they thought it wise to add a caveat that the US could never protect oil fields in Iraq if attacked by terrorists is beyond me.

As for the “permanent” bases, Michael Rubin again:

The differentiation within U.S. discourse between permanent and non-permanent bases is more political than legal. For the United States to establish or lease a base in another country often requires an agreement rather than a treaty. Many of these basing agreements or their renewal agreements involve political and economic commitments. This has been the case, for example, with the Incirlik Air Base in Turkey. Ankara frequently requests economic incentives. During the 2005 renegotiation, the Pentagon sought a “blanket” agreement in which the U.S. military would have full use for the period of the agreement, while some Turkish officials demanded that Ankara be able to approve every flight in order to maintain their leverage over Congressional discussions of the Armenian Genocide Resolution and other issues. Rent was the major subject of U.S.-Kyrgyz base renewal talks in 2006, while expansion of facilities to provide better force protection became the issue dominating discussions to expand Camp Lemonier in Djibouti. Sharing of maintenance costs for U.S. facilities in Japan is the contentious issue in U.S.-Japanese negotiations.

Sometimes host countries wish to receive security guarantees in exchange for hosting a U.S. base or U.S. forces. Again, whether or not the basing agreement should be subject to Senate ratification depends upon the strength of the guarantee. Such demands for assurances are not always stated upfront, and often enter the conversation over years or during renewal discussions.


While some critics of the Bush administration’s Iraq policy suggest that the United States should confine itself to a limited number of forward operating bases or even redeploy its forces “over the horizon” into neighboring countries or Iraqi Kurdistan, such a strategy would hamper our ability to respond and protect the U.S. forces training Iraqi counterparts and providing the space for Iraqi politicians to advance reconciliation efforts. The insurgency spread when U.S. forces were confined to a handful of bases and forward operation bases (FOBs). Part of General Petraeus and General Odierno’s “surge” strategy involved saturating troops throughout their areas of operation. The strategy worked. U.S. and Iraqi negotiators will not be anxious to roll back success by again concentrating Multinational Forces to a few FOBs, but will rather seek to maintain the security regime until political reconciliation can occur. Any language, however, which would commit U.S. forces to defend Iraq in the face of an external threat would transform the agreement into a treaty subject to Senate ratification.

In such a case, not only would the eyes of Tehran and Damascus be on the U.S. Senate, but also observers in Taipei, Jerusalem, and Seoul, for the U.S. willingness to support and defend our allies regardless of where we are in the election cycle is at the heart of our credibility and our relationships not only in Iraq, but the world over.

It’s very simple. If Iraq requests a guarantee that we will protect them from external threats such as Iran then the Senate would have to vote on that. But they are not asking for that, nor is the White House. They are negotiating a SOFA because when January 1st, 2009 rolls around the United Nations Security Council authority in Iraq ends. Which means the US will have no authority to protect our own troops, fight al-Qaeda or even train and equip Iraqi troops.

It’s that simple.

But the left must always have a conspiracy to cling to.

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The effort to paint President Bush and VP Cheney as Pinky and The Brain will never end-even if Democrats take control of the entire Federal govt, it will not end. The half truths, lies, and distortions must continue lest the Democratic Party’s leadership be held accountable for those lies, for deliberately dividing a nation in time of war, and for misleading so many so grossly. It’s easier to market the idea that tonight Bushco will try to do the same thing they do every night (try to take over the worrrrrrrrrrld) than it is to accept that the left’s political talking points re Iraq are political-not patriotic-in their intent, presentation, and substance (I use the term substance very loosely here).

I respect people who seek the truth.
I do not respect people who deliberately work hard to ignore it.

No regime ties to AQ-based on half truth, half quote, spun facts, and flies in the face of thousands of dead AQ bodies left in the USMC advance on Baghdad back in 2003

No WMD threat-based on lack of photo op of stockpiles as if stockpiles are the only possible threat, supported by half quotes, and incomplete denial of professional WMD inspectors’ assessment that there was in fact a WMD threat…just not a threat in the form of stockpiles

distorted casualty counts-based on politically-motivated studies that have no basis in substance and are as many as 20x higher than the number of bodies reported

distorted atrocities-US atrocities (Abu Ghraib) exaggerated in quantity and quality while enemy atrocities go completely unreported despite being downright medieval (Vlad the impailer would blush!)

distorted cost-opponents of the war NEVER have a problem exaggerating the cost of the war by combining the cost of the global war on terror, the war in Afghanistan, and the war in Iraq THEN, if that combined number (presented as the cost of the Iraq War) isn’t strong enough propaganda, they fund some “study” as is done for casualty figures, and the new cost presented is as much as 4x as high as the combined cost of the entire war on terror (global, Iraq, and Afghanistan).

The cover up of a cover up of a cover up of a cover up of a cover up of a cover up of a cover up theory-the idea that President Bush somehow knew everything about Saddam’s WMD and ties to AQ before the war, but ignored it, then post-war covered up this fact in not one, not two, not three, not four, but as many as a dozen different bi-partisan investigations.

visual denial-even when Zarqawi admitted to fleeing into Iraq in 2002 in a video, it’s dismissed. When tapes of Saddam ordering WMD strikes are presented as proof that he was willing to use wmd, they’re dismissed. When dozens of video and audio tapes of Bin laden have him flat out saying that the Iraq is the central front in their war against the US, the idea that Iraq is the central front is denied, and the very presence of AQ in Iraq is denied. Zawahiri tries the same thing with his video and audio tapes, and opponents ignore it. Izzat Ibrahim al Douri does it too, and it’s denied. Freelance reporters and photographers go to Fallujah, report security is breaking out all over Iraq, it’s ignored, dismissed, and even denied.

No, this pattern of post-war cherry-picking of open source intel is disgusting, and it is purely political…not at all patriotic.

One thing for sure, everything a democrat is briefed on is now in the hands of the enemy. Was Leaky Leahy in on the briefing, he has the enemy (any enemy) on speed dial.

Re: “One thing for sure, everything a democrat is briefed on is now in the hands of the enemy.”

Are you saying that to be a member of the Democratic Party is to be a traitor to the United States of America?

“Conservative hate America (among other things)”… Was that not one of your early Mantras Steve?

Considering Rockefeller had Memo-Gate and Leahy was embarrassed by his leaks (but not thrown from congress), Ted Kennedy’s office leaks like a open window, and democrat talking points are repeated by the islamofascists (or is it the other way around?), one would think the left has some serious issues.

But not you.

Oh Philly Steve — always the reactionary leftist. Read the posts carefully and stop trying to make a mountain out of a molehill (I know that’s hard to do as an emotionally driven lefty, but at least try).

wow, I thought for sure I’d have drawn a moonbat with that post. I’ll have to save it for later use ;p