Barack Does Not Visit Iraq 17

Contrary to what the media are telling you, Barack Obama is not in any real sense visiting Iraq. He is visiting a US base which, under the Status of Forces Agreement, is US territory under US legal jurisdiction. He is not visiting Iraq any more than a vist to Guananamo Bay (Good Lord! Is that still open? What happened?) would be a visit to Cuba.

Which is a point worth making as he delivers an almighty snub to the Iraqi President and Prime Minister. For a visiting Head of State to come officially to your country and not meet the host President or host Government is an almighty breach of protocol, a gesture of supreme contempt. We are told he is going to telephone them. Well that’s OK then.

We already knew they were pointless American puppets. Isn’t he supposed to be hiding that?

The visit has the look and feel of an exercise in Imperial hubris, an entirely militaristic display. The Iraqis lost hundreds of thousands killed and saw the deliberate destruction of their water, electricity, sewerage and other civilian infrastructure. They are being visited by a new leader of their occupiers who made a virtue of opposing their invasion and their suffering. They might have expected him to walk on foot and say sorry to the Iraqi people, not glory in the power of his military and hand out medals.

The US occupation is coming unstuck again, in a way that is a familiar pattern to all students of Imperialism. Militias of all stripes, and particularly the “Sons of Iraq”, were bought off by the payment of huge bribes, or what in the British Empire were termed “Subsidies”. There always comes a stage when these large payments are scaled back in the interests of financial prudence. Then the militia,now much richer and better equipped, kicks up trouble again. It was the immediate cause of the British disaster in Afghanistan in 1841.

The Americans just cut their payments to the Iraqi militias, and the result has been 250 civilian deaths in a fortnight.

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17 thoughts on “Barack Does Not Visit Iraq

  • David McKelvie

    Can we expect him, in true Roman style, to have a Triumph next in Washington?

  • John D. Monkey

    “Can we expect him, in true Roman style, to have a Triumph next in Washington?”

    I suspect he’s more of a Harley Davidson man.

  • John D. Monkey


    Fair point about US territory – same applies here, the large number of US bases are off-limits to us, entailing a huge waste of resources.

    Except part of your criticism was a bit premature: he HAS met al-Maliki and is going to meet Talabani. And he reportedly told Mr Maliki that the US had “no claim on Iraqi territory and resources”

  • David McKelvie

    Somehow I can’t picture him on a Hog – I think he’s more of a Lambretta character.

  • writerman


    As usual, I agree with the core of your analysis. What’s interesting is how the situation in Iraq seems to be entering a new phase, now that the ‘cease-fire’ around The Surge, seems to be breaking down. It’s odd how little our media are bothered with the rising tide of violence in Iraq. But then our media have a crush on Obama that leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

    Personally I find the personality cult around Obama – disturbing and depressing. I think he’s a version of Tony Blair, and the difference between him and Bush’s policies is really only one of style not content.

  • Strategist

    Politics apart, there is a clear difference between Obama and Blair on good taste and intelligence.

    I think I see what you are doing Craig on puncturing any absurd hopes pinned on Obama, but, as an experienced operator, do you really think he could be going much further much faster than he is doing, given that the USA is what the USA is?

  • Craig


    I think he could go faster if he really wants to go. You never have as much goodwill again as when you start. Every President goes down in the approval ratings.

  • Craig

    John D

    Are you sure? According to the Guardian today, he asked them to come meet him in Camp Victory and they refused. The BBC yesterday was saying they were going to talk by telephone.

  • George Dutton

    9 April 2009

    “Red Cross report details CIA war crimes”

    “Obama’s pledge to protect CIA, military and Bush administration officials from investigation and prosecution must serve as a warning. Beyond the symbolic change in appearance and rhetoric, the change of administrations in Washington has done nothing to dismantle the US war machine and its monstrous methods.”

    “Unless the perpetrators face justice for their acts, disappearances, torture and worse will ultimately be used against Washington’s political opponents and wider layers of the population.”…

    This is where we are all going not just in…”Washington’s political opponents”… but in every countries political opponents.

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