By saying that Korea is the model for the US military presence in Iraq, the president is saying that he envisions the US military presence in Iraq continuing for many decades into the future.That post was pre-empted by the publication of a reader's letter:
Or let's put that in more stark terms, for most of you reading this post, the president envisions US troops remaining in Iraq long after you're dead.
Talking about drawdowns in late 2007 or by the end of 2008 is basically a joke, in other words. Countries can really only think on forty or fifty year horizons. So what this means is that the US military presence in Iraq is permanent.
As TPM Reader DS made clear in the email we posted earlier, there's only one goal that makes sense of that strategy. And that is to permanently dominate the cluster of oil fields in southern Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iran. Nothing to do with democracy, as though that needed saying. But also nothing to do with terrorism. We're permanently occupying Iraq to lock down the world oil supply.
I have believed, from the beginning – though I have always hoped to be proven wrong – that the Bush White House (i.e. Cheney) has had as its principal goal in Iraq the establishment of a permanent military presence in that country. The neocon dream of transforming the region (from the PNAC manifesto and elsewhere) has always envisaged such a military presence. These people see America’s long-term national interest in terms of (overwhelmingly, though not exclusively) energy security and therefore the control of energy supplies. This means control of the flow of oil from the Middle East...Marshall's TPM site has grown to the point where he is now a major (if often unacknowledged) influence on the US media. Let's hope many others follow his lead.
Occam’s Razor supports me in this; the creation and maintenance of a long-term military presence is the only policy objective that unifies, aligns and makes sense of everything Bush has done. If any other goal is posited, his policies and actions are incoherent; but if this goal is posited, they all make sense.
If Bush is finally forced to acknowledge that control of oil really is, and always has been, his major strategy goal in Iraq, where does that leave John Howard?
UPDATE: Atrios joins the debate:
George Bush started the war because Saddam tried to killed his Dad and because he wanted to prance around on an aircraft carrier in a flight suit. He later got stubborn about the whole thing when those mean Democrats started criticizing him, and he began to buy into the transformational rhetoric due to his increasing messianic bent. And, now, it's about his "legacy."
Dick Cheney started the war because of his insatiable lust for the black stuff. Dick Cheney keeps us in Iraq because of his insatiable lust for the black stuff.
Don Rumsfeld went to war to prove that he could achieve any military result with 3 marines, an armed aerial drone, and his left pinky. He stayed in Iraq because George Bush told him to and because he still needed to prove his awesomeness.
AEI and Viceroy Jerry went to war because they were excited about their new libertarian paradise laboratory.
Paul Wolfowitz had grand dreams about transforming the Middle East into who knows what.
Tom Friedman and others went to war because they have the mentality of 5 years olds and they thought that the smartest thing we could do was whip out our giant schlong and wave it around for awhile. Tom Friedman and others stay in Iraq because they think that if they don't keep popping cialis ("If your occupation lasts longer than 6 months...") the world will notice our little tiny shriveled up thingy.
Karl Rove went to war so his boy could prance on the aircraft carrier and win re-election. He stays because leaving Iraq will anger wingnuttia.
Lots of other people stay in Iraq just because they don't like to admit they're wrong. Their egos are more important anything.
The sensible liberals at Brookings were so stupid they thought Saddam was a threat. They were the stupidest people of all, because that was about the only thing which had nothing to do with why we invaded Iraq. They stay in Iraq because they're unable to accept responsibility for their actions.
Democrats went to war because they were scared of losing their elections. They stay there because they're scared of losing elections.
Ultimately it's all centered around oil, the endless needs of the military industrial complex, and various other financial interests masquerading as ideology. But there isn't one reason, just a grand harmonic convergence of wingnuttery.