Framing Flaw: War/Occupation Vs. Colonialization
By: Mark W Adams

What else would you call a perpetual occupation of Iraq, the "hundred years" presence John McCain envisions? Right now, contrary to the desires of the vast majority of Iraqi citizens, and quite different from the way both Senators McCain and Obama frame their positions on the "war," we are negotiating an agreement with our clients obstensibly governing Iraq that would require the US military to stay indefinitely in those permanent bases we've been building.

As observant folks have been warning from the get-go, that Billion Dollar "Fortress America" Embassy in the Green Zone as well as the 14 permanent bases are being built to last. [Oh, excuse me. The politically correct term is "temporary bases" which our aptly name Iraq Ambassador, Crocker says we intend to occupy "indefinitely."]

I think this is a framing issue. McCain and Obama will argue for the next five months about judgment and experience, rehashing who was right when about the start of the war and the "surge" and what to do, (if anything) about Iran/Afghanistan/Pakistan, until we're just sick to death of it. However, disturbing as it may sound, their respective ideas for every Middle Eastern nation other than Iraq aren't all that different, never were.

But when Obama states, eloquently I might add, that "We must be as careful getting out as Bush was careless getting into Iraq," and speaks of the best case scenario for doing so, the idea that he represents the anti-imperial sentiment both here and abroad is somehow not emphasized enough. John McSame offers the failed dystopian dream of Pax Americana, a world where we enforce our dominance, just for the sake of continuing our world-wide domination, through aggression and war and cluster bombs and tanks and laser guided munitions, and a lot of our blood and treasure as we take and destroy a lot more of other people's blood and treasure.

On this issue more than any other, a nonchalant attitude about the length of our stay in Iraq, peacefully or otherwise, is the continuation of the Bush/Cheney brand of imperialism.

The choice between the two can be summed up in one question. Do you believe America should make Iraq a permanent colony?

There are honest arguments on both sides of that question, but in the end (as usual) the Republicans know that they can never win that debate if honestly presented -- which is of course why we were lied into this catastro-phuque in the first place.