The story of U.S. counterinsurgency “success” and military withdrawal is a bed-time tale told to put the American public to sleep. So argues Hannah Gurman in a Salon piece that punctures several propaganda balloons floated by the ObamAdmin, GOP and Dem hawks, and the usual right-thinkers among the commentariat. Here is one to keep in mind as the president seeks to “move forward”:

The oil and gas companies are not the only ones who will profit from the postwar order in Iraq. The United States military and defense industry will make out well, too. Despite claims to the contrary, this is not the end of the U.S. military presence in Iraq. In addition to the several bases that will remain active, housing the soldiers and private contractors whose titles will change to advisors, there will be an indefinite state of dependency on U.S.-manufactured weapons and technology. Defense companies, such as ARINC will continue to make hundreds of millions providing Mi-17 helicopters and other military hardware and logistics to Iraq.

While the Ministry of Information does not advertise the reality of America’s enduring military presence in Iraq, it is quick to announce a civilian “surge” in the country. Along these lines, officials have been boasting about the massive U.S. embassy in Baghdad. “Along with the Great Wall of China,” said Ambassador Hill, “its one of those things you can see with the naked eye from outer space. I mean, it’s huge.” Indeed. At 104 acres, it is the largest U.S. embassy in the world. In addition to six apartment buildings, it has a luxury pool, as well as a water and sewage treatment plant. Stop for a second and reflect on these last two amenities. They give you some measure of what American officials really know but aren’t saying about the state of drinking water and sanitation in Iraq. The State Department has requested a mini-army to protect this Fortress America — including 24 Black Hawk helicopters and 50 bomb-resistant vehicles. Again, stop for a minute and ask yourself what this really suggests. The shadow army says a lot more than the official pronouncements do about the true state of security in Iraq.

We’ll be back. We have barely left. Think of the U.S. embassy in Iraq as a kind of well-armed anchor baby.

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