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Jun-18-2008 17:26printcomments

Op Ed: YOU Own a Network
Of Iraq War Bases
'Built for Permanence'

Billions-on-Billions Spent "Quietly" for Fortress-Towns.

Iraq embassy image with blood
This image does not bode well for the future of U.S. embassy building in Iraq. While people there have complained about a lack of real support for rebuilding a country destroyed largely by western bombs and other weapons, Americans fund the construction of permanent embassies for our planned, prolonged stay there. Courtesy:

(EUGENE, Ore.) - Now we know why Presidential candidate McCain talks of "100 years in Iraq".

The U.S. has been building world-record massive military installations across Iraq --funded lushly with taxpayer money at monstrous levels, ever since early-on-- and continuing to this very day.

Whether unintentional --or in full knowledge of this ongoing effort-- McCain’s time-period, untl now simply a campaign-time "joke", becomes extremely and painfully understandable.

Only now --years into this tremendous enterprise in Middle East domination-- are partial press reports now surfacing, forcing further”intriguing questions” on our real Mid East policies.

See "THE GREATEST STORY NEVER TOLD: Finally, the U.S. Mega-Bases in Iraq Make the News"; or at

Did YOU know YOU owned (as a U.S. taxpayer) a share in such a massively-threatening string-of-bases in Iraq; AND an equally massive “U.S. Embassy” there, in Baghdad? Did Congress KNOW that such massive monies were being so-expended? Very early-on, even before 2003.

Does restricted information about this surely-striking now-revealed development perhaps answer that puzzling question on WHY impeachment is so firmly "off the table"?

We also now are receiving first detailed reports about "the largest U.S. Embassy-center in the world", with thousands of employees and military, contractor and associated workers and facilities. It is massively constructed "for the ages" --to preserve, protect, and provide comprehensive services and systems for its developing mission in the Middle East.

That Embassy occupies 104 acres --"Vatican-size", Engelhardt reports-- and is costing $750 million (so far), with operating costs of $1.2 billion (sure to increase). It will serve 1,000 ‘diplomats’, as he describes its "very-checkered/career" occupants.

This new U.S. Embassy structure clearly will now dominate the entire U.S. diplomatic-mission in the Mid East area. Its presence surely demeans any other possible mission for US --that’s you-and me !-- except further sure-to-be bloody-steps into the maelstrom of the Middle East.

Did YOU "sign on" for that Bush-cabal outcome?

Did Congress somehow let this one slip through -- with no definitive public hearings-- perhaps failing to exercise their Constitutional responsibilities for probing supervision of the Executive in all things?

We are learning --for the first time-- about a whole series of "fortress-cities costing billions on billions" and already spanning the entire Iraq area. There are several absolutely-huge military air bases, with air-traffic equal or exceeding Chicago’s O’Hare or London’s Heathrow; Air Base Balad, 60 miles N. of Baghdad, is a 16-mile-square fortress housing perhaps 40,000 U.S. troops, contractors, special-ops types, and Defense Department employees", Englelhardt reports.

There’s a growing string of other "mega-and-mini" military-operational bases --perhaps 200, as reported by some sources, now. In 2003, Lt. Col. David Holt, Army engineer in charge, reported “several billion dollars” ALREADY INVESTED THEN.

Within 2 1/2 years, the U.S. acknowledged "106 bases, mega-to-micro, all across the country", the report from Engelhardt states.

Surely SOMEbody "in the media" reporting from those areas, some traveling via Air Force planes; or among those distinguished persons and politicians who have traveled there (including McCain); must have done so through --or at least over !--one or more of these huge operational air bases; or other construction-areas and special-facility situations.

As Engelhardt details, hundreds of thousands of American have passed through some of the mega-bases, including not only troops, but contractors, mercenary warriors, Pentagon gurus, Congressional delegations, even Presidential candidates.

WHY have we seen no tv-news footage, no stand-ups with those visiting Iraq, a any of these bases? Bush himself met Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki at "the enormous Al-Asad Air the Western desert of Iraq" --with journalists-in-tow-- just last year. BUT we never saw even a glimpse of the base itself then or at any other time before or since.

WHY no fully-detailed reports of this particularly sensitive and very high-cost continuing heavy-investment in Iraq? It’s been FIVE MORE YEARS since 2003 and its reported billions already invested --THEN? How much-more, for-what, has NOW been SPENT?

Did you see any-such image-building coverage or read any detailed description, or encounter any even-partial explanation of the-WHY for this surely all-too-visible operational activity in Iraq?

During that continuing-operations five-year/stint which has so clearly NOW taken place?

I can’t recall any Congressional hearing-report, or even any Congressional news-squib, about justification --much less actual approval-- for such huge, obviously special-purpose, expenditures. DO YOU recall any?

Has Congress resigned its notably significant work in shaping U.S. foreign policy? The Constitution and separation-of-powers leaves foreign policy, mostly and usually, to the Executive.

But Congress has always played a major role, as it needs must since relations with other nations is so highly politically-charged and so tightly-connected with the economy, trade, tariffs, immigration and other areas.

Has that notorious "unitary chief executive" theory already forced its way further into our Constitutional pattern for governance? Has the President acted not only to overwhelm the Constitutionally-assigned Congressional war-decision, but also supersede its surveillance role for foreign affairs?

Where was "the mainstream media" while all this striking change in our American governance was happening ? Where were the investigative reporting specialists? Where were the foreign-affairs analysts?

For any commonsense person, such display of armed forces intentions "to flex-muscle and make-huge-fist", made possible only by secretive Presidential action, is sure indication the U.S. has no intention whatsoever to allow Iraq rapid return to its independent national sovereignty or democratic governance--any time soon.

When coupled with parallel massive-multiplication of the Embassy facilities, clearly preparing for a much larger demanded-role there, the image begins to sharpen and take on added very-threatening larger-dimensions.

What it does demonstrate --without a shadow of doubt possible, if these now-surfacing reports are anywhere near the reality-- is that U.S. intention was not just to manipulate and manage "regime change" in Iraq --but something/more from Day One.

For "regime-change" one needs "preemptive attack" and some critical deployment, over some period of time, while truly democratic governance is readied and installed. Then troops come home and the new nation goes on its own.

BUT there is simply no need for billions-on-billions of world-record big-fortress cities and world/record air bases, constructed "with every modern facility just like home" and manned with many thousands of troops, contractors, special-forces personnel, and government workers. That presages ongoing extensive operations.

When such facilities are "built-for-the ages" and equipped with "their own defense installations, their own power production facilities, their own water supplies, and their ow streets, stop-lights, ‘fast-food’ franchises, and everything else to make Americans feel right at home out here", there is only a single meaning possible: That kind, size and cost-of-effort can only be fully intended to "militarize, monopolize, manipulate and massively manage every square foot for U.S. interests".

What does such extended, exceedingly expensive effort tell you, rapidly and unmistakably, about our NEXT STEPS? Where else is oil --in reserve and in large quantity ready for shipment-- to be found, now? What other nation --so we have heard, for months now-- "is right in our sights" and being set up for new bombing attack?

Who is the major driving force behind those often repeated manipulative threats, based again on the same (still doubtful) charge of "the possession of atomic means" for mass destruction?

That can only be understood as clearly and quietly mirroring 18th and 19th Century empire-building --as in previous power-hungry world-trade piracy--most had thought far-outmoded ever since our own American Revolution set off similar resistances to national freedom.

You will recall that our Revolution preceded the French nation’s freedom-snatching efforts, sharing its philosophical foundations. For decades thereafter world history has been wracked and riddled by similar efforts in many smaller and larger "developing nations"; every one of them seeking to emulate the American model we once offered as democracy "with a dream".

Now we are seen as seeking to overwhelm Iraq completely for our own military domination of the Middle East --and its world-supplying oil reserves. Can anyone blame other nations for asking, now that the construction pattern in Iraq is becoming so visible, who our next victim will be? AND when?

Makes one want to ask those famous Watergate Questions: "What did the President know, and when did he know it?"

The impeachment process cannot possibly operate without scanning, probing, overturning silence and subterfuge and secretive actions, while seeking "the answers" now made more necessary than ever by these new reports.

Only this time we must, willy/nilly, also seek answers from those we elected to serve in Congress, too. They swore an oath to protect and preserve our Constitution --even from an "imperial President".

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Henry Ruark June 23, 2008 4:44 pm (Pacific time)

STS et al: Thank you for the hmor-link.. takes strong insights to see need-constantly for that, these days, whenever it can work. Helps us "intense"-ones perhaps more than some others, since soothes and "quiets" when properly appreciated !!

sts June 23, 2008 7:03 am (Pacific time)

ooops...forgot to post the link..silly me!

sts June 23, 2008 7:00 am (Pacific time)

I enjoy your comments also Henry. And Albert knows what is going on also. Many people just do not wish to believe the truth. As far as this article may I add this statement to the last paragraph? "meanwhile, the U.S. levees and bridges and entire infrasture in the U.S. are falling apart". ALbert, you are probably already aware of, another good news websight is I also want to leave you with a fun video. TV could be a good thing if there were more shows like this. After opening the website, click on the video "stick it..closing arguments" on the lower right hand part of the page. Its great!

Albert Marnell June 22, 2008 7:53 pm (Pacific time)

Watch the You-Tube clip "Rockefeller Reveals 9/11 Fraud to Aaron Russo". The Corporation called the United States is a total fraud and myth. It always was. Yet it is so ingrained in our psyches since childhood most people's minds buck even the mention of the truth which is not a concept but a cold reality.

Think June 21, 2008 1:52 am (Pacific time)

As far as asking Bush to state that there will be no

Henry Ruark June 21, 2008 1:39 pm (Pacific time)

STS et al: No joke --but hard to tell which dollars for what or when with huge pile of piled-up monthly-demands from borrowed-money sources, sure to reach into grandchild's pockets. Then, too, with Iraq now promised democracy, they may then seize the whole damned works, refuse all due-bills, and convert facilities to ...what DO you DO with distressed-real/estate like monstrous military base, when there's NO LONGER any WAR ? AND occupants supporting all other enterprises long ago have left ?????? One more "unforeseen but deplorable consequence"... Thanks for your insight, even if wrapped humorously ! We have every right to seek possible return-somehow on those billions of dollars, and it sure ain't about to be by use-as-base to steal oil, NOW!

sts June 21, 2008 11:27 am (Pacific time)

since my money paid for some of the military bases in Iraq, can I sell my share? :-)

Henry Ruark June 20, 2008 7:42 pm (Pacific time)

To all: Simple question, for any member of W/DC press corps to ask Bush: "Sir, continuing rumor states there will be an "October Surprise", a bomb attack on Iran. "Will you take this opportunity to assure the nation that American forces will NOT attack Iran, nor will they assist any other nation to do so ?" If nothing else, that will surely force open record consideration of what action follows or is denied in advance, given usual restrictions surrounding any Presidential press conference at any time.

Henry Ruark June 20, 2008 2:51 pm (Pacific time)

To all: Please note CNN continuing emphasis--just started Friday pm-- on Israeli "practice run" precisely same-distance into Mediterranean as if had flown mission vs Iran atomic plant. Why do you suppose msmedia NOW begin to pick up on all clues building to some kind of final-situation, perhaps just beyond our grasp if set up to be perpetrated by others ? Does that test temperature on hot-items bearing on the probabilities ?? Would surely fit mind-set of Bush-cabal and its history, right ??

Henry Ruark June 19, 2008 3:28 pm (Pacific time)

Vic et al: Surely do NOT want to wait to discover what it may be...we have wit, wisdom, WILL of the American people to act at once as guarantee it "can never happen again" --and set precedent for current cleanup cleanout and for history. Meanwhile I see imperial Bush want flooded families and ruined businesses to know he is "hearing them".

Vic June 19, 2008 2:08 pm (Pacific time)

Awesome article, Henry ! The recent "concessions" by Israel...truce with Hamas, overtures to Syria re Golan and to Lebanon are worrying to me because it appears that Israel is hurriedly "carrying out its part of the deal" ...what is "our" part of the deal?

Henry Ruark June 19, 2008 12:04 pm (Pacific time)

To all: "Bomb IRAN ?!" That's crazy now, many would say. But it could happen. "See with own eyes" below: ( Bomb Iran? What's to Stop Us? By Ray McGovern June 19, 2008 It’s crazy, but it’s coming soon – from the same folks who brought us Iraq. Unlike the attack on Iraq five years ago, to deal with Iran there need be no massing of troops. And, with the propaganda buildup already well under way, there need be little, if any, forewarning before shock and awe and pox – in the form of air and missile attacks – begin. This time it will be largely the Air Force’s show, punctuated by missile and air strikes by the Navy. Israeli-American agreement has now been reached at the highest level; the armed forces planners, plotters and pilots are working out the details. Emerging from a 90-minute White House meeting with President George W. Bush on June 4, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said the two leaders were of one mind: “We reached agreement on the need to take care of the Iranian threat. I left with a lot less question marks [than] I had entered with regarding the means, the timetable restrictions, and American resoluteness to deal with the problem. George Bush understands the severity of the Iranian threat and the need to vanquish it, and intends to act on that matter before the end of his term in the White House.” Does that sound like a man concerned that Bush is just bluff and bluster? A member of Olmert’s delegation noted that same day that the two countries had agreed to cooperate in case of an attack by Iran, and that “the meetings focused on ‘operational matters’ pertaining to the Iranian threat.” So bring ‘em on! A show of hands please. How many believe Iran is about to attack the U.S. or Israel?"

Henry Ruark June 19, 2008 8:15 am (Pacific time)

To all: Proof of probing examination to find mission billions in Iraq herewith: New York Times EDITORIAL June 19, 2008 Editorial Mr. Smith Goes to War With KBR "In the annals of Iraq war profiteering, put Charles Smith down as one of the casualties. Four years ago, Army auditors notified Mr. Smith, a Pentagon contract manager, that KBR, the Bush administration’s most favored defense contractor, could not adequately explain more than $1 billion in war billings. "Mr. Smith, a career civilian employee, did his duty: He confronted KBR and warned that unless they supplied credible justification, he would levy penalties of 15 percent on future work payments while also, needless to say, blocking any performance bonuses for the company. "Whoops. Mr. Smith was replaced suddenly by the brass in overseeing the contract and the Pentagon took the unusual step of second-guessing its own auditors by hiring an outside contractor to reconsider the claims from KBR. Such is the clout of the Texas-based company and largest Pentagon contractor in Iraq, once part of the Halliburton conglomerate so dear to the heart and wallet of Vice President Dick Cheney. "Sure enough, KBR’s claims were soon unblocked. The contract Goliath got performance bonuses, too. "The risks of bucking KBR from inside the defense establishment were disclosed by Mr. Smith to James Risen of The Times. “Ultimately, the money that was going to KBR was money being taken away from the troops, and I wasn’t going to do that,” said Mr. Smith, now retired. The Pentagon insists that it had good management motives in reversing Mr. Smith and heeding KBR’s warning that penalties would erode basic services for the troops. The military dares to maintain that Mr. Smith was not taken off the job because of political pressure." "Nothing much seems to have stood in the company’s way since Mr. Smith was purged. KBR just snared a big piece of a new 10-year, $150 billion Iraq contract."

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