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Becoming Desperate in Iraq


It seems that President Bush’s wish to enter into an agreement with Iraqi officials to extend the U.S. occupation of Iraq is reaching a point of desperation.

After all, for years Bush has steadfastly opposed a fixed timetable for Iraq. Yet, in his quest to achieve an occupation agreement with Iraq, guess what he has done. Bush has agreed that U.S. forces would exit Iraq in 2011. That’s a fixed timetable for withdrawal.

Moreover, Bush has always stood resolutely against the Iraqi government’s having jurisdiction over crimes committed by U.S. forces and contractors. Yet, that’s exactly what he’s done in the proposed agreement, at least for crimes committed outside military operations and off U.S. military bases.

Once Bush caved in on those terms, he thought he had reached a deal with Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki. But there was one obstacle. While Bush takes the position that he doesn’t need congressional approval, despite the U.S. Constitution’s requirement that the U.S. Senate ratify all treaties, Maliki takes the opposite position with respect to the Iraqi parliament.

It seems that such approval is not a foregone conclusion. Apparently there are many Iraqi legislators who take the issue of sovereignty seriously. They know that the proposed agreement violates Iraqi sovereignty and they don’t like it.

The Iraqi foot-dragging has been met with an icy response from the Bush regime. In fact, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates says that if the agreement is not signed by December 31, all U.S. forces in Iraq will simply remain in their bases and not come out. Gates says that “the law” would require this.

Now, that’s an interesting position. After all, how much concern was there for “the law” when Bush and the Pentagon invaded Iraq, a country that had never attacked the United States? What law empowered them to do that? What law empowered them to kill, maim, and torture countless Iraqis in the name of WMDs, democracy-spreading, or making Iraq the “central front” in the war on terrorism?

Let’s also not forget that Bush never secured a congressional declaration of war before he invaded Iraq. That’s what the law required. It’s in the Constitution, the higher law that we the people have imposed on Bush and all other presidents.

Let’s also not forget that Bush never secured the approval of the UN before invading and occupying Iraq. Therefore, his claim that he was enforcing UN resolutions requiring Saddam Hussein to disarm was bogus. Only the UN, not the U.S., has the authority to enforce its own resolutions. Bush’s invasion of Iraq violated the UN charter, which prohibits countries from attacking, invading, and occupying other countries

Moreover, hasn’t Bush been telling us for years that Iraq is the “central front” in the war on terrorism? Hasn’t he been telling us that killing people in Iraq is necessary to protect Americans from the terrorists who otherwise would be boarding ships and planes to attack, invade, and occupy the United States? Hasn’t he said that such killings are necessary for the “national security” of the United States?

Well, isn’t that interesting? Because it now seems that unless Bush gets his agreement by December 31, U.S. forces are going to remain inside the Iraqi bases playing pinochle while the terrorists implement their plans to take over America, the IRS, and the public schools. And all because U.S. officials have suddenly decided that it’s important that they begin complying with “the law.”

The ideal, both from the standpoint of the American people and the Iraqi people, would be if the Iraqis voted that all U.S. forces immediately vacate their country and if Bush complied with that directive.

The second-best outcome would be if the Iraqis fail to enter into an agreement with Bush, who then follows through with his threat to keep U.S. forces in Iraq inside their bases. At least they would no longer be killing, maiming, and torturing Iraqis. Moreover, Americans would be able to see that Bush’s claim that the occupation of Iraq was necessary to the national security of the United States has always been as bogus as all the other rationales for invading and occupying the country.

This post was written by:

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.