How Not to Respond to Maliki Part II

Well, I think we all saw this coming, especially if you know anything about John McCain’s epic sense of self-righteousness:

“I have been there too many times. I’ve met too many times with him, and I know what they want. They want it based on conditions and of course they would like to have us out, that’s what happens when you win wars, you leave. We may have a residual presence there as even Senator Obama has admitted. But the fact is that it should be — the agreement between Prime Minister Maliki, the Iraqi government and the United states is it will be based on conditions. This is a great success, but it’s fragile, and could be reversed very easily. I think we should trust the word of General Petraeus who has orchestrated this dramatic turnaround.

It’s pretty fair to say that this has been brewing since, at least, 2005. It was inevitable that at some point the clear Iraqi wish of the Iraqi people for the US to leave was going to have to be asserted by someone, unless of course we were rigging the democracy. Apparently Maliki doesn’t think anything is rigged, because he’s doing what was always going to have to be done; publicly endorsing some sort of withdrawal plan now (then again, with the way CENTCOM keeps forcing him to walk it back, maybe he’s not so sure).

The problem is that this clearly comes into conflict with the neoconservative design of the whole bloody thing; an endless presence in Iraq as a US base of operations in the heart of the richest area for energy resources in the world. Control of such an area is a huge club of national power, and thus far we’ve been pretty successful at rolling out every step of the plan, except now that those ungrateful Iraqi people aren’t taking to having a foreign army occupying their country. Why do Iraqis hate America?

In any event, there’s no good way out of this for McCain. Put simply, we either respect the wishes of the sovereign Iraqis or we don’t, in which case we are a hostile occupying power by any stretch of the word. There’s just no two ways around it. John McCain might have the luxury of being quite sure he knows what’s best (a really scary trait that has long been the over arching pattern to his politics about a lot of things), but even if he really does know better than the Iraqi people, Maliki, and the government in general, that’s irrelevant because he does not have soveriegnty over Iraq, the Iraqis do. Of course, we’ve got the strongest military in the world, so we can do whatever we want to do, but somehow I don’t think we’re all that comfortable yet with in-your-face occupation and empire.

And since John McCain likes to talk about honor above all else, how is it honorable for the United States to occupy a sovereign nation against their wishes?