The Reality of Empire

Wise man Juan Cole points us to this story, which is not just a smoking gun but a veritable MOAB which utterly destroys the big Bush lie that his war of aggression has brought "democracy" to Iraq. Jalal Talabani, the president of the supposedly "sovereign" nation of Iraq, has admitted – in front of the United Nations – that he has no power to stop the United States from using his "sovereign" nation as a launching pad for attacks on other countries – even though Talabani adamantly opposes such actions.

Middle East On-Line reports [Excerpt] Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said he opposed military action against neighbouring Syria but lacked the power to prevent US troops from using his country as a launchpad if it chose to do so. 

"I categorically refuse the use of Iraqi soil to launch a military strike against Syria or any other Arab country," Talabani told the London-based Arabic daily Asharq Al-Awsat in an interview published Tuesday. "But at the end of the day my ability to confront the US military is limited and I cannot impose on them my will." [End]

Professor Cole sums up the harsh reality of the situation:  "So let's get this straight. The president of Iraq elected six months after the US 'turned over sovereignty' on June 28, 2004 is saying before the United Nations that George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld decide whether his country can be used as a base to attack other countries, and he is unable to influence such decisions-- even though he categorically rejects any such action.

"For all those 'Bush's Iraq' boosters who laud the 'democratic' elections of January 30 and the recent constitutional referendum, this clear admission that Iraq remains under American military occupation, and that its government is helpless before American decisions about the fate of Iraq, is a rather strong refutation. After all, no country is a "democracy" where the military calls the shots, overruling the civilian president-- how much less so if it is a foreign military! Talabani is saying that Iraq is more like Burma, Pakistan or the Sudan than it is like democracies such as India or Brazil."