The Turkish paper Zaman reported Sunday that the U.S. is said to be planning to build a large military base at Erbil (also transliterated Arbil or Irbil) in Iraqi Kurdistan to accomplish the function currently filled by the base at Incirlik.[1]  --  As historian Chalmers Johnson says, "America's version of the colony is the military base."  --  Johnson wrote not long ago:  "Since December 2002, the United States has been building a new base for its Special Forces in the former French colony of Djibouti, separated by only a twenty-mile strip of water from the port of Aden, at the entrance to the Red Sea.  We have long deployed several thousand personnel at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey, as well as around fifty F-15 and F-16 fighters and A-10 tank busters, although in the wake of Turkey's refusal to let the United States use its territory for the 2003 assault on Iraq, the Pentagon quickly withdrew most of them.  We have also stationed dozens of aircraft close to the Iraqi border in Jordan and have often used 'Cairo West' air base in Egypt for refueling and airlift operations.  —  Most of these Middle Eastern military bases were hardened and outfitted specifically for the second war with Iraq and then used during that war.  Iraq, however, is but part of a larger picture.  Over the past half century the United States has been inexorably acquiring permanent military enclaves whose sole purpose appears to be the domination of one of the most strategically important areas of the world.  Of course the United States has an interest in the oil of the region, but the carrier task forces that have already turned the Persian Gulf into an American lake would be sufficient to protect those interests.  The permanent deployment of American soldiers, sailors, and airmen whose culture, lifestyles, wealth, and physical appearance guarantee conflicts with the peoples who live in the Middle East, is irrational in terms of any cost-benefit analysis.  In fact, given the widespread political unrest and a strong revival of militant Islam, the United States seems inexplicably intent on providing future enemies with enough grievances to do us considerable damage. . . . The question is:  Have these bases become ends in themselves?  Does their existence cause the United States to look for ways to use them?  Was the assault against Iraq driven by Iraq's actions or by military capabilities in American hands?  It may be that the ultimate causes of twenty-first-century mayhem in the Middle East are American miltarism and imperialism -- that is, our empire of bases itself" (Chalmers Johnson, The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic [Metropolitan Books, 2004], pp. 252-53)....



Zaman (Istanbul)
October 15, 2006

The United States is allegedly planning to construct a big military base in northern Iraq as part of its military plans for the Middle East.

A news article published on the Firat News Agency website, which is known to have close connections to the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK), said that U.S. officials in agreement with the regional Kurdish administration in northern Iraq have begun to construct a military airport in the Arbil region. A small model of the base will be established in Suleymaniya.

Technical material for the bases is provided by companies close to the Turkish army. Reportedly, Incirlik Base operations in Turkey will be carried out by the Erbil base. Equipment is being transported to the region by container from the Habur Border Gate. Jalal Talabani, the Kurdish president of Iraq, had asked the United States to establish two bases in northern Iraq.