Friday, March 16, 2007


by Thomas Riggins

(New York City, 3-15-2007) According to today’s New York Times Hillary Clinton has decided to keep American troops in Iraq should she become the next president She is quoted in an article by Michael Gordon and Patrick Healy [Clinton Says Some G.I,’s in Iraq Would Stay if She Took Office].

The whole tone of the article indicates that Clinton has moved to the right of center, has tacitly accepted the Bush strategy of establishing greater U.S. imperialist control of the middle east and of taking control of Iraq’s oil. In other words, she has moved into the neocon camp with respect to Iraq.

She says we will have a “remaining military as well as political mission in Iraq” after Bush departs and she is in control. This view flies in the face of the views of most Americans who want a total withdrawal from Iraq.

Clinton said troops would have to stay because of our “remaining vital national security interests in Iraq.” She means the troops will be needed to guarantee that we will get control of the Iraqi oil reserves. Iraq, she said, “is right in the heart of the oil region. It is directly in opposition to our interests [she means if a non-pro-U.S. government emerged], to the interests of the regimes [?], to Israel’s interests.[i.e., to keep Arab land and not go back to its 1967 borders]--tr]” By all means lets put Israel’s interests, and those of “the regimes” and the oil companies, before those of the American people.

The more you read the article the more contradictory and confused Clinton’s statements become. “So it will be up to me,” she said, “to try to figure out how to protect those national security interests and continue to take our troops out of this urban warfare, which I think is a loser.” The article reveals that she doesn’t want to take the troops out of Iraq, just out of the urban areas which she doesn’t think they can hold.

Another reason to keep troops in theatre is that Iraq “serves as a petri dish for insurgents and Al-Qaeda,” she is quoted as saying. This ignores the facts that the insurgency is fueled by the presence of U.S. troops and Al-Qaeda's raison d’etre in Iraq would vanish with our withdrawal. Most knowledgeable commentators think the insurgency would turn on Al-Qaeda which makes up a tiny part of the opposition to the occupation.

Clinton thinks she will inherit an unstable situation in Iraq. She will have to protect the Iraqi government, the Kurds (from the Turks) and prevent Iran from “having too much influence.”
Clinton will try to be Bush lite.

She wants to remove our troops from active combat and settle them outside the urban areas where they will allow the Sunnis and Shia to slug it out. They might as well just come home (except for all that oil). Where will they be stationed? Probably to the north of Baghdad and in the west of Anbar province.

How many? A former Pentagon official [under Rumsfeld] estimates that 75,000 troops should do it. It is simply ridiculous for Clinton to even contemplate keeping 75,000, or even 50,000, troops in Iraq during her term in office. This is simply a watered down version of Bush’s imperial folly. If Clinton wants to be the next president she had better get more in tune with the American people than with the military-industrial complex.
Thomas Riggins is book review editor of PA his email is

1 comment:

FSJL said...

This is what happens when you're trying to look presidential, trying not to alienate the base, and trying to make yourself as appealling as possible to everyone.

Of course, the chances of getting Dennis Kucinich for president are very, very low, but he'd be a good choice.

I'm interested in seeing how Barack Obama turns out over the next few months. He's certainly annoying the usual suspects on the right, and that's not a bad thing.