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Sunday, March 11, 2007

Pentagon Insider Verifies U.S. Ambitions

There is a remarkable interview over at Truthdig with retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Karen Kwaitkowski, a former Pentagon worker who verifies what is being said here and elsewhere about U.S. ambitions in the Middle East. Thank you to Mike's Blog Roundup over at Crooks and Liars.

The interview is about a half-hour long, and well worth listening to - Truthdig also has the transcript.

Every American who has any vestige of commitment to government of, by, and for the people need to hear this. They need to see just how far out of our hands the mighty machinery of power that we have funded has fallen. That is our military, and it has been criminally hijacked to a degree which just may be too far gone to do anything about anymore.

"I think we just need to wake up and see what’s being done, and then we need to decide if we want to be a part of it. It’s like that old thing, I’m not a child of the 60s, but you’re either working to fix the problem or you are the problem." So says Karen towards the end of this interview.

(BTW - This is the first I've heard of four permanent U.S. military bases in Iraq.)

Again, listen or read the whole thing. Here is what I want to highlight (edits and emphases are all, of course, mine).
These [neocons] had an agenda. In fact, one of the things that I did learn as a result of having my eyes opened in that final tour in the Pentagon is that neo-conservatives, their foreign policy is very activist, you could say that’s a nice way to say it, very activist, it’s very oriented towards the United States as a benevolent dictator, a benevolent guiding hand for the world, particularly the Middle East...

...Most of which, in fact, probably all of the Pentagon shared a neo-conservative world vision, which has a particular role for us, and that included the topping of Saddam Hussein, and it includes the toppling of the leadership in Tehran. These guys are...putting all the propaganda, they’re spreading stories, planting stuff in the media. They’re doing that to people in The Pentagon, the Civil Service core in The Pentagon...and...uniformed military officers...

[Karen goes on to be quite specific in just how they manipulate our own military with false intel. It is fascinating.]
...While we as American citizens do not like being lied to, particularly being lied to into a stupid quagmire that makes no sense [Oh, it makes sense, all right, and Karen herself goes on to say why]...Congress doesn’t like being lied to. However, many in Congress, and certainly in this administration agree, and this is Democrats and Republicans, like the idea that we have gone into Iraq, we have built four mega bases, they are complete. Most of the money we gave to Halliburton was for construction and completion of these bases. We have probably, of the 150,000, 160,000 troops we have in Iraq probably 110,000 of those folks are associated with one of those four mega bases. Safely ensconced behind acres and acres of concrete. To operate there indefinitely, no matter what happens in Baghdad, no matter who takes over, no matter if the country splits into three pieces or it stays one. No matter what happens, we have those mega bases, and there’s many in Congress and certainly in this administration, Republican and Democrat alike that really like that. Part of the reason I think that we went into Iraq was to reestablish a stronger foothold than we had in Saudi Arabia, but also a more economical, a more flexible, in terms of who we want to hit. If you want to hit Syria, can you do it from Iraq? Of course you can. And now you can do it from bases that will support any type of airplane you want, any number of troops in barracks. I mean we can do things from Iraq. And this is what they wanted. So, yeah, we don’t like being lied to. But quite frankly, many people in the Congress, and certainly this administration, when they call Iraq a success, they mean it, and this is why.

We’re in Iraq to stay...

...They are illegal bases, okay. But yes, they’re gonna stay, absolutely, they’re gonna stay. And I’ll tell you, there are guys that have been with this administration for awhile, people, in fact one of the guys was an Air Force General...[Jay Garner]...gave an interview in Government Exec Magazine, February 2004, he said “we will be in Iraq, and the American people need to get with this program, we will be in Iraq like we were in the Philippines for anywhere from 20 to 30 more years. That’s the time frame that we’re looking at. And that is the life span of the bases that we’ve constructed there. Yeah, we are not leaving these bases, and a Democratic president, I don’t care who they are, will keep those bases there. They will justify them and they will use them and we love that. We love it. So it’s not about what the American people think is right or wrong, it’s not about if we got lied to, what matters is, they did what they wanted to do, and as Bush says, and as Cheney says, “it’s quite the success.” And this is very frightening. Because none of this has ever been admitted to the American people, it’s only been hinted at by people that know. And of course the facts speak for themselves. The facts are, we are in Iraq, we have the finest military installations in the world, the newest military installations in the world, and we’re not leaving them. We’re not turning them over to a Shiite government, we’re not turning them over to a Sunni government, we’re not turning them over to a Kurdish government. We’re not doing that. They are American bases. We’ve got our flag there. And this is kind of the way they used to do things, I guess back in the Middle Ages. Maybe the Dark Ages. A king decided he wanted to go do something, he went and did it. And this is George Bush. We call him an elected president. I mean, he’s operating much as kings have operated in the past...

...The number of soldiers being killed will probably actually reduce in many ways because we will withdraw to our bases and we will not interface with Iraqis who hate us. This idea of what they’re doing right now, this so called three-block program, let’s meet more Iraqis so they’ll like us, that’s totally for show. The more Iraqis meet us, the more they hate us. So I actually do think though, over time, fewer Americans will die, and look how easily, look how easily this country has accepted the loss of those 3,200 soldiers that have died...and America has eaten it up, we have not complained one bit. They’re spread out over 50 states, hey, it’s no big deal. So I think we can certainly, as a country, accommodate future deaths and I think the death rate will drop. The problem is, it’s immoral, it’s illegal, it engenders hatred for Americans, contempt for Americans. It makes every American in the world a target for terrorism. It’s just plain wrong, it’s unconstitutional. I mean, there’s a lot of problems with it. Dead Americans [or dead Iraqis - mjp], unfortunately doesn’t seem to be the problem for most of us, which is a shame. We don’t like looking at ugly people, I will say that. And we’re seeing a lot of folks come back pretty deformed, mentally and even more obviously physically, deformed from their experiences in Iraq. And I think that could, that might give, I hate to say give hope, but realize the real moral price that we’re paying for this, that that can help. But quite frankly, I have no hope of us leaving Iraq. I think the intention was for us to put bases there, to stay there, operate militarily from there. And I think that’s what we’re going to do, Democrat, Republican, Independent, I can’t imagine anybody but Ron Paul, if you elect Ron Paul as president, those bases will be closed down. Otherwise…

JOSH SCHEER: Or Dennis Kucinich.

KAREN KWIATKOWSKI: Or Kucinich, there you go, Kucinich would do it too. So these are the guys we are able to elect, but chances are, I hate to say, the machine is not behind these men. So yeah, we got a problem. ..I’m pessimistic that any single American can do much to prevent what seems to be going to happen here, attacking Iran and also this terrible thing we’ve done to Iraq which I think will continue to go on for many years. It will fester, fester for many years...

Karen Kwiatkowski goes on with many interesting observations regarding the "war on terror" that are well worth reviewing. Please go and read the whole thing.

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