Thursday, June 07, 2007


My brain is still twisted around the train wreck of a press conference the president gave last month. While re-reading my earlier post on the subject, I became increasingly puzzled about this amazing non-sequitur buried deep, deep within the rubble:

THE PRESIDENT: We are there at the invitation of the Iraqi government. This is a sovereign nation. Twelve million people went to the polls to approve a constitution. It's their government's choice. If they were to say, leave, we would leave...

I would hope that they would recognize that the results would be catastrophic. This is a sovereign nation, Martha. We are there at their request. And hopefully the Iraqi government would be wise enough to recognize that without coalition troops, the U.S. troops, that they would endanger their very existence. provides a number of meanings for the term sovereign. Basically, it all boils down to the actual ability of an entity to physically control a particular piece of territory. Sovereignty is:
  1. Supremacy of authority or rule as exercised by a sovereign or sovereign state.
  2. Royal rank, authority, or power.
  3. Complete independence and self-government.
  4. A territory existing as an independent state.
Let's look at that again:

without coalition troops ... they would endanger their very existence
the results would be catastrophic

So the Cheerleader in Chief acknowledges that our troops are the only thing propping up this phantom regime and providing it with a thin veneer of legitimacy. It's no surprise that this is factually the case, but it's pretty amazing to see Bush contradict himself in the space of a single paragraph.

A sovereign nation should have authority and command over the security forces it relies upon, no? Bush says the Iraqi government can compel our troops to leave. But they can't compel them to stay, if we get a rational president on January 20, 2009, or if somehow Bush is forced to face reality before then. U.S. troops are not under the direction or control of the Iraqis. They get their orders from Washington, not Baghdad. Therefore, it follows that the Iraqi government exercises neither authority nor independence over the territory it claims to rule as a sovereign entity, so it can't, in fact, be considered a legitimate sovereign. Again, no surprise.

More importantly, in Bush's construction, the U.S. military in Iraq is serving two masters. As he has repeatedly told us, our troops are there to protect and defend U.S. interests, fighting them there so we don't have to fight them here, standing on the front lines in the decisive ideological struggle of our time, etc. But they're also being used as Hessians for an ineffectual local government that would collapse if they weren't there (and might still even if they remain).

(The pic above is chav rapper Lady Sovereign, the M.I.A. of U.K. council housing.)

Stop The Occupation.

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