Roger Whittaker

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Presidential Elections

Monday 9th June 2008

Some people are over-excited about the possibility of change as a result of Bush leaving power.

The Americans are digging in for a very long occupation of Iraq, as these stories in the Independent clearly show:
Revealed: Secret plan to keep Iraq under US control
US issues threat to Iraq's $50bn foreign reserves in military deal.

A secret deal being negotiated in Baghdad would perpetuate the American military occupation of Iraq indefinitely, regardless of the outcome of the US presidential election in November.

The US has repeatedly denied it wants permanent bases in Iraq but one Iraqi source said: "This is just a tactical subterfuge." Washington also wants control of Iraqi airspace below 29,000ft and the right to pursue its "war on terror" in Iraq, giving it the authority to arrest anybody it wants and to launch military campaigns without consultation.

The US is holding hostage some $50bn (£25bn) of Iraq's money in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to pressure the Iraqi government into signing an agreement seen by many Iraqis as prolonging the US occupation indefinitely, according to information leaked to The Independent.

Those plans (which include the right to make war from Iraqi territory and extra-territorial rights for US citizens in Iraq -- in other words, not even a pretense that the Iraqi government has any power) are unlikely to change even if Obama is elected.

As to whether he will be elected, it's important never to forget that the administration is in charge of events and can "make the weather" politically.

"An optical illusion may be influencing our opinions: the comforting idea that the real problem is George Bush and not America," a German commentator on America, Josef Joffe, wrote last week. "Why is this a mental delusion? First, because anti-Americanism is older than the younger Bush. Second because Obama (probably) comes, but the superpower stays. America, this steam hammer of a nation, is fundamentally a destroyer."