Surprise, surprise! The New York Times reports that the Pentagon expects "four key bases in Iraq." Yeah, you know, military bases. Old Europe has proven itself unworthy and unreliable, and it’s time to connect the dots for a new kind of United States security.
When we stood against communism, against the USSR and its proxies, our overseas force structure worked. We were ready for anything coming through the Fulda Gap.
But after the Cold War, what to do with all that excess capacity? Surely the military couldn’t shrink, not given the military-industrial-congressional complex we had been warned eloquently about early on by Major General Smedley Butler, later by General and President Eisenhower in his farewell speech, and still later by Robert Higgs. Of course not.
We now have five relatively new bases in what was part of Yugoslavia and surrounding countries. To achieve that purpose, Yugoslavia was allowed self-determination and democracy. For decades, the country had been held together by the force of a brutal tyrant blessed by the United States and the United Kingdom (No, not Saddam! Marshall Tito, silly!). But, for an odd grouping of Muslims and Christians to slip over the Great Power-defended precipice into self-determination, military basing opportunities for the U.S. had to have weighed heavily. I mean, it isn’t like Serb-dominated Yugoslavia was going to give us basing, but why not an independent Bosnia and Kosovo?
Then came Afghanistan. A crossroads where every major power that came to conquer was sent home bruised, declaring victory for the home crowd and scribbling a hasty "Note to Self" not do that again. We had been in Afghanistan before, covertly, of course, where we first allied ourselves with Osama Bin Laden. Now it’s different, and it’s a fortunate thing for Unocal and the recently revived trans-Afghanistan gas pipeline project, I might add! Anyway, between Manas Air Base in Kyrgyzstan, Kandabad Air Base in Uzbekistan, Ashgabat, Kalai Mor and Kerki in Turkmenistan, and Bagram, Khowst, Kandahar and Mazar-e Sharif in Afghanistan, we have the second vertex.
Finally — the prize, jewels that truly complement our bases in Qatar, elsewhere south and our special friendship with Israel. Shiny new bases in Baghdad, southern Tallil, one in the western desert along the old oil pipeline that runs to Jordan, and one at the Bashur air field in the Kurdish north. The first exercise will be to shut off that evil marketing of oil to Syria (don’t worry Turkey — your smuggled oil through Kurd country is "good" marketing).
We have a new triangulation. Rummy and Perle are right — "Old Europe" may be more advanced, more modern, and more global than "New Europe," but in terms of Pentagon war planning and global empire maintenance, Old Europe is clearly and obviously decrepit, annoying and of little use. Rummy and Paul and Dick and Richard have long known exactly how Baby Jane felt having to keep running upstairs to take care of her crippled old sister Blanche. And the rest of our nation is just now catching on! These guys not only geniuses, I bet they can sing and dance, too!
Spain and Turkey are still "current" of course, because we need overflight and refueling stops as we take care of our Mesopotamian triangle. But as we look east and south to the oil fields once coveted by Hitler and the rest of Old Europe, we can now see a lovely plan coming together.
It isn’t a Golden Triangle — this venture initially has and ultimately will cost us far more than it will ever benefit us as a country. The control of oil flows and oil marketing will have political usefulness for some, but it is a stability based on false pretenses. I mean theft is a kind of a false pretense, isn’t it?
It does have some characteristics of a Love Triangle. The excitement of conquest and joy of liberation comes with a lot of lying and posturing and scheming, and in the end more than three people get hurt.
It isn’t a Bermuda Triangle, because when planes get knocked out of the sky and vanish in our new airspace, and around the world, we will know the reason.
It isn’t a Pink Triangle — it has nothing in common with the Nazi’s mark for homosexuals. The Pink Triangle was a fascist state’s bureaucratic mechanism, a public symbol designed to achieve unquestioned and unquestionable citizen responses. Our triangle is not public, not meant to be recognized, not efficient. Whether our triangle will make a fascist state stronger and more effective…well, I guess we’ll see.
Now, I realize this is all just conjecture on my part — who is to say that our new post Cold War overseas basing structure resembles a triangle around major Central Asian and Middle Eastern oil and gas fields when you connect bases in New Europe, Central Asia, and Iraq?
But, with Sunday’s New York Times, is does seem clear that this triangle is not just some happy accident. Cultivating Saddam years ago made sense, as does occupying Iraq now.
The heart and mind of American people, as ephemeral as Rousseau’s General Will, seems to be on board now with the Bush team’s foreign policy of domination for democracy, forcing the world to be free, and to pay us for the privilege.
For this reason, I think the time is right for Karl Rove to seriously consider the benefits of using a simple slogan, with an associated symbol for those too busy to read. Why not America’s Mesopotamian Triangle, or the All-American Babylonian Trigon, or the United States Gas and Oil Trilateral? We need something catchy and resource-rich sounding to help us pass the bloated budget, lift those bothersome deficit spending caps, formally implement Enron rules into government financial operations, make war a way of life, and get Bush re-elected.
Karl, I’m thinking bumper stickers (perhaps something in black), and talk show host themes, patriotic, proud and loud, with plenty of repetition and all following the same talking points! Like A-1 steak sauce, this triangle must be saved at all cost, and we need to control the spin before people start talking. Yeah, it’s that important!