The Pantagon As Global Landlord - pizzaman777 - 07-17-2007 06:16 AM
How the Pentagon Came to Own the Earth, Seas, and Skies
By Nick Turse
Recently, the Wall Street Journal reported on a proposal, championed by Defense Secretary Robert Gates, to reduce the number of U.S. troops in Iraq in exchange for bipartisan Congressional support for the long-term (read: more or less permanent) garrisoning of that country. The troops are to be tucked away on "large bases far from Iraq's major cities." This plan sounded suspiciously similar to one revealed by Thom Shanker and Eric Schmitt in the New York Times on April 19, 2003, just as U.S. troops were preparing to enter Baghdad. Headlined "Pentagon Expects Long-Term Access to Four Key Bases in Iraq," it laid out a U.S. plan for:
"a long-term military relationship with the emerging government of Iraq, one that would grant the Pentagon access to
. perhaps four bases in Iraq that could be used in the future: one at the international airport just outside Baghdad; another at Tallil, near Nasiriya in the south; the third at an isolated airstrip called H-1 in the western desert, along the old oil pipeline that runs to Jordan; and the last at the Bashur air field in the Kurdish north."
Shortly thereafter, then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, denied any such plans: "I have never, that I can recall, heard the subject of a permanent base in Iraq discussed in any meeting
" and, while the bases were being built, the story largely disappeared from the mainstream media.
Even with the multi-square mile, multi-billion dollar, state-of-the-art Balad Air Base and Camp Victory thrown in, however, the bases in Gates' new plan will be but a drop in the bucket for an organization that may well be the world's largest landlord. For many years, the U.S. military has been gobbling up large swaths of the planet and huge amounts of just about everything on (or in) it. So, with the latest Pentagon Iraq plans in mind, take a quick spin with me around this Pentagon planet of ours....
The rest of the article is at http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/174818