S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Monday, October 08, 2007

The Business of Sovereignty

What they do is our business - Though U.S airplanes fly (hopefully with permission) over other countries all the time, no foreign plane would invade sovereign U.S. airspace without being in mortal peril before long. The U.S. and Canada are a bit jittery about Russian bombers flying close to their borders. Alex Jones at reported that 'Two Russian strategic bombers fly along Alaska, Canada coasts." To quote,

Thursday September 20, 2007. MOSCOW (Itar-Tass) -

Two Russian Tu-95MS strategic bombers, within the scope of a long-range aviation drill, flew along the coasts of Alaska and Canada and returned to their home airfield via the North Pole on Thursday, Air Force spokesman Col AlexanderDrobyshevsky told Itar-Tass.

. . . "Tu-95MS flights were made in accordance with air patrol plans. During the mission, the bombers were accompanied by NATO planes," according to the spokesman.

. . . "The flights by long-range aviation were made according to international rules of the use of air space, over neutral waters, without violating the borders of other states,"Drobyshevsky said.
What we do is our business - U.S. military forces are seen as having permission to be in their host countries, of course, at some point after the invasions have taken place. U.S. bases spring up as time passes, acquiring a more or less permanent quality. This seems to be the case in both Iraq and Afghanistan. MyWay News carried this story headlined, "6 Years Later, US Expands Afghan Base." Quoting from the piece,
Six years after the first U.S. bombs began falling on Afghanistan's Taliban government and its al-Qaida guests, America is planning for a long stay.

. . . Originally envisioned as a temporary home for invading U.S. forces, the sprawling American base at Bagram, a former Soviet outpost in the shadow of the towering Hindu Kush mountains, is growing in size by nearly a third."We've grown in our commitment to Afghanistan by putting another brigade (of troops) here, and with that we know that we're going to have an enduring presence," said Army Col. Jonathan Ives. "So this is going to become a long-term base for us, whether that means five years, 10 years - we don't know."
What they do is their business. A House of Representatives hearing Friday spotlighted big differences between the levels of official and unofficial corruption in the United States and in Iraq. However, even though the U.S. government has expended billions and billions of dollars in Iraq, government auditors told a congressional committee recently that we cannot investigate Iraqi government corruption involving Iraqi monies because Iraq is a sovereign nation. Ryan Grim at covered the hearing, headlining, "Witnesses detail Iraqi corruption on Hill." To quote from his piece:
. . . today’s three witnesses: David Walker, the comptroller general of the U.S. and head of the Government Accountability Office; Stuart Bowen, special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction; and Judge Radhi Hamza al-Radhi, formerly head of the Public Integrity Commission in Iraq.

Al-Radhi may be putting his life in jeopardy by appearing here today. “Judge Radhi is under attack by the [al-]Maliki government, and he and his family are the targets of serious and persistent death threats,” says Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), the committee chair. “Thirty-one of Judge Radhi’s employees and 12 of their family members have been assassinated.”

In August, al-Radhi came to the U.S. for forensics and evidence training and hasn’t returned to Iraq. Waxman and other Democrats have signed a letter recommending him for asylum.

. . . Walker and Bowen both give a rundown of the state of Iraqi corruption, and it’s hard not to conclude, from their testimony, that Iraq is really, really corrupt. The corruption fuels the insurgency and funds sectarian militias, they report. Bowen calls corruption the “second insurgency” and quotes Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki dubbing corruption the “second war in Iraq.”
This sovereignty business turns out to be a very mixed bag. It is very hard for the U.S to stay true to this principle. We can say our land is ours, though our borders are very porous and easily crossed by visitors. We also behave in ways that deny our friends and enemies the same level of sovereignty we demand for ourselves. And we use the transparent excuse of sovereignty concerns, when we do not want to confront an unpleasant truth. No wonder nations around the world have their heads spinning trying to figure out how to get along with us, or what we truly mean when we say something.
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Cross posted at The Reaction

My "creative post" today at Southwest Blogger is about Internet treasures .


The Future Was Yesterday said...

"the sprawling American base at Bagram, a former Soviet outpost "
And we'll leave just like the Soviets did - with our tail between our legs.

"And we use the transparent excuse of sovereignty concerns, when we do not want to confront an unpleasant truth. "
Very well said!! It's rather like the Republican's "You're not supporting the troops!" shrieks and howls. It's all designed to cover up the fact neither are they...and it's their war.

Carol Gee said...

Howdy Future - yes, I don't know if we're going to get this right in the near term. We are so transparently hypocritical.
If Iraq and Afghanistan weren't so vulnerable, they could be really mad at us. And, of course, whole bunches of their individuals are. . . shooting mad.