Sent to DS from Dawn
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Bush’s Legacy of Conquest and Compromise In Iraq
NOV 24-Michael Schwartz’s book, War Without End, the Iraq War in Context, discuses the continuation of American interests in Iraq. In particular the Status of Forces Agreement, or SOFA, a rarely talked about document outlining the stationing of military forces, suggests the US had long foreseen plans of promoting American interests in the region indefinitely.
“The US has made all these expansive demands, and then signed an agreement that was less expansive. This is a statement to the world that the United States was negotiating not from a position of strength and ended up having to give up a tremendous amount of ground. If they [US] were to break the agreement I think the world will see this as another act of desperation by the US government. ”
The original SOFA agreement gives an indication of what the Bush Administration’s intentions were and what the US had to concede to get SOFA signed. The original agreement calls for an indefinite American presence in Iraq, with no withdrawal deadlines. In addition, the original US demands included control over the Iraqi airspace; any American operations underway would be under strict US command without Iraqi veto power, as well, the US would be free to use Iraqi lands for permanent military bases to stage possible operations against their neighbours if necessary. The Iraq war has been viewed alternately as one of conquest for oil and unprecedented economic compromise allowing American enterprise to operate in the region.
Michael Schwartz is Professor of Sociology and founding director of the Undergraduate College of Global Studies at Stony Brook University in New York.