Sunday :: Jun 3, 2007

What are they thinking?

by Erin Alecto

Bill Scher at Liberal Oasis points out an interesting section of the recent Iraq funding bill H.R. 2206 that hasn’t gotten much play in the blogosphere: a ban on funding for permanent bases. He points to these lines in particular:

SEC. 3301. None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this or any other Act shall be obligated or expended by the United States Government 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 over any oil resource of Iraq.

It seems to me that this is a big deal, considering the administration has lately declared their hope is to create a US presence in Iraq much like the one in South Korea. As Bill points out, the administration has been very careful not to express any explicit intent to establish permanent bases – and now, it would be illegal to do so.

If Bush is aware of this ban on permanent bases (as well as a ban on US control over the oil), why is he suddenly talking about a long-term occupation of Iraq? And isn’t that the perfect opening for the Democrats to show that they are using the “power of the purse” to curb Bush’s imperial ambitions? Is this section of the bill the “victory” Pelosi and Reid were talking about after its passage? If so, why did they allow the capitulation narrative to continue once Bush signed the legislation? It should have been easy to cut him off at the knees the moment he started making noises about a long-term presence in Iraq, why didn’t they speak up? Why are they silent still?

Erin Alecto :: 9:38 AM :: Comments (18) :: Digg It!