Thursday, June 12, 2008

It Depends What Your Definition Of "Permanent Military Bases" Is

Webb then observed, "It doesn't really mean anything," to which Long replied, "Yes, senator, you're right. It doesn't." She added that "most lawyers... would say that the word 'permanent' probably refers more to the state of mind contemplated by the use of the term."

... As Iraqi sources have now revealed to Western reporters, however, the US has proposed access to dozens of military bases without a time limit that would be technically Iraqi bases but which would actually be fully under US control.

The ploy of turning over legal control of US bases to a client regime is one that US administrations had used on at least two previous occasions to get around legal/political problems associated with continuation of US base rights.

In the 1973 Paris peace agreement that ended the Vietnam War, the US pledged to dismantle all of its military bases in South Vietnam within 60 days. But it had already secretly transferred the deeds to the bases and equipment to the South Vietnamese government and then had them "loaned back" to the United States. US officials then claimed that there were no US bases to dismantle.