The end of the occupation…?

Finally, we will see an end to the war in Iraq. One of the final moves in the ‘end game’ is for the Iraqi government to block the installation of permanent US bases in the country.

The Pentagon had wanted the bases to help counter growing Iranian influence in the Middle East. Just a few years ago, the US had plans for leaving behind four large bases but, in the face of Iraqi resistance, this plan had to be scaled down this year to a force of 10,000. But even this proved too much for the Iraqis.

Is this really surprising? What do you think almost every US citizen would say when presented with an occupying Russian force, who wanted to leave 10,000 permanent troops, housed within 4 huge bases?

This is not a major victory for Iran at all. This is a victory for the people of Iraq. How on earth do the Americans expect them to independently govern themselves with a continued military presence in the country?

One of the strongest arguments which I heard during the initial years of the conflict and the start of the terrorist/insurgent phase, was that the very presence of the American military occupation was actually causing the insurgency. The insurgency and lack of security was one of the main reasons for the continued military presence, but if this presence was itself causing the violence, should the American military not leave the country?

I lost track of the number of statements and interviews from Al-Qaeda representatives saying their targets were the American soldiers, or they hoped to cause enough carnage to force them out.

My one major concern is still the presence of the Taliban and their affect on the people, particularly on women’s rights and religious extremism. I’m not sure this is something which the US military can actually sort out, much like their ‘war on drugs’, or their ‘war on terror’. Violence breeds violence. Fighting fire with fire creates a larger fire.