Council for a Livable World Hails Senate Passage of Amendment Barring Permanent Bases in Iraq

Washington, D.C. — Council for a Livable World today hailed the Senate passage of an amendment introduced by Delaware Senate Joseph Biden barring permanent bases in Iraq.

The amendment, adopted today by voice vote, bars spending in the Supplemental Appropriations Bill presently being considered by the Senate "to establish permanent United States military bases in Iraq, or to exercise United States control over the oil infrastructure or oil resources of Iraq."

The House of Representatives adopted the parallel Lee (D-CA) – Allen (D-ME) – Hinchey (D-NY) – Schakowksy (D-IL) on March 16 that barred permanent military bases in Iraq.

John Isaacs, president of Council for a Livable World, said: "These twin votes reflect the mood of the American people that it is time to begin winding down the American presence in Iraq and avoid leaving behind a permanent presence."

Yet, the Bush Administration refuses to rule out a permanent military presence in Iraq.

In fact, it has been vague and non-committal about whether the United States intends to maintain permanent bases in Iraq, instead using slippery formulations such as:

  • "at the moment, there are no plans for long-term bases"
  • "we do not intend to have any permanent bases"
  • "we want to bring our people home as soon as possible"
  • "no goal of establishing permanent bases in Iraq"
  • "it would be premature for me to predict"
  • "the policy on long term presence in Iraq hasn't been formulated"
  • "It is important to rebuild trust in Iraq and around the world to make it clear that the United States has no designs to remain in Iraq forever," continued Isaacs.

    "Congress has to take this action because President Bush refuses to. Good for Congress," concluded Isaacs.