I've been meaning to write a post about Gwynne Dyer's new book, The Mess They Made, but I think it's too full of gems to pass it off with a review. If you're at all concerned about the Middle East, radical Islam, the United States, or Canada living in the shadow of America, you really should read this book. To try to get you hooked, I'll be doing a few posts based on excerpts from the book.
In this part I'll deal with one of Dyer's conclusions as to why the US won't leave Iraq:
...the U.S. authorities in Iraq expend a great deal of energy in ensuring that an official request for the withdrawal of foreign troops does not see the light of day. The only logical explanation is that, while the Bush administration would love to bring most of the troops home and ease the political pressure there, it still has not accepted the necessity of bringing them all home. It still imagines, in some incoherent way, that it can manipulate events in Iraq so that the insurgency dies down, the economy stabilizes, and a grateful Iraqi government welcomes the permanent stationing of twenty or thirty thousand American troops on its territory. The fourteen "enduring bases," with which the White House planned to replace the bases in Saudi Arabia that have become a political liability for the Saudi government, are still under construction, and as far as the White House and the Pentagon are concerned the game is still afoot. Chickens do tend to run around for a bit even after their heads are chopped off.
...in order to avoid demands for withdrawal the Iraqi government must be kept weak. Prime Minister al-Maliki has publicly said that he cannot move even a company of soldiers without U.S. permission. It is the CIA that pays the entire budget of the main Iraqi intelligence service, not the Iraqi government, so guess who it works for. ...al-Maliki's government, unable to raise anything like the amount of revenue it needs from the devastated Iraqi economy, is on a very short financial leash held by the Americans.