The head of a conservative civil liberties organization says despite the talk about withdrawing U.S. combat troops from Iraq, the United States government has spent billions of dollars for a long-term stay there. John Whitehead, president of the Rutherford Institute, says he is concerned about efforts in both the Senate and House to force the premature withdrawal of American fighting forces from Iraq.
While Congress talks about pulling U.S. troops out, lawmakers have spent billions of tax dollars for about a dozen so-called "enduring bases," Whitehead observes. "These are large mega-bases, at least 15 that we've now built in Iraq at the cost of billions of dollars, and the president needs to tell us that. The Congress needs to tell us that," he insists.
And the conservative civil liberties advocate feels there is a problem with staffing these bases with 50,000 to 60,000 non-combat soldiers. "We're saying we're going to leave non-combat troops there; but the problem with that is the insurgents over there ... don't see them as non-combat," he explains.
"People have to realize, American soldiers are going to continue to be killed in Iraq," Whitehead says. "It's different in Germany. I mean, there's not an insurgency in Germany. I'm not sure we should be even pulling the combat troops out [of Iraq]," he says.
"The point is that people don't realize that we have these huge bases that have Burger Kings, Pizza Huts, car dealerships, biker trails, and all that," the head of the Rutherford Institute contends. "I mean, these are mega-cities here, and the average American doesn't know these things exist," he says.
The United States could have a presence in Iraq for the next 30 years, Whitehead points out. Under the circumstances, he says the American people need to know that despite all the talk about withdrawing U.S. combat troops from Iraq as early as next year, the government has already spent billions of dollars in preparation for a long-term American presence in Iraq.
I was hoping we had long term plans to stay in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is a very important strategic position in the Middle East. We are there to stifle Iran and Syria's plans for the region. Iraq puts us between Iran and Syria and gives us access to the Persian Gulf. You can get a better idea of Iraq's importance on this map.
Let us not forget that Iraq is important to Usama Bin Laden as well. He wants to make Baghdad to be the capital of his Islamic Sunni Caliphate. Iran, of course, wants Iran to be the Capital of its Islamic Shite Empire. Keep in mind Iranians are Persians, not Arab. Studying the history of the region, known as Mesopotamia, this makes sense.
Did you know the City of Babylon is in Iraq and Saddam was rebuilding it?