Why does the new US Defense Secretary talk just like Donald Rumsfeld?
DefSec Leon Panneta has been making the rounds in Baghdad, begging the Maliki government to ask American troops to stay. The U.S. wants to maintain bases in Iraq that, in a pinch, could accommodate a lot more American forces. "In a pinch" by the way means if and when America decides to attack neighbouring Iran from those bases in Iraq.
Counterpunch attributes these quotes to a "senior Iraqi politician." "The fall of Mubarak means that the US can no longer rely on Egypt as its main ally against Iran, so it has a greater need to be an important player in Iraq. Whatever they may say in public, the Iraqi political class wants some US troops to stay to protect their interests."
Ah, so there it is. The Maliki government, that has earned itself a reputation for corruption and brutality, wants an American force on standby in case the "Iraqi political class" needs its interests protected.
Oh yeah, that Rumsfeld reference? This is what Panneta told American troops during his visit. "The reason you guys are here is because on 9/11 the United States got attacked." It sure sounds as though Panneta is linking the terrorists attacks with the occupation of Iraq. Maybe Obama should talk to the guy. Then again, maybe this line now works for Obama too.