Patric Cockburn reports in The Independent (London)
“Bush wants 50 military bases, control of Iraqi airspace and legal immunity for all American soldiers and contractors”
“A secret deal being negotiated in Baghdad would perpetuate the American military occupation of Iraq indefinitely, regardless of the outcome of the US presidential election in November.
“… US troops would occupy permanent bases, conduct military operations, arrest Iraqis and enjoy immunity from Iraqi law, will destabilise Iraq’s position in the Middle East and lay the basis for unending conflict in their country.”
“President Bush wants to push it through by the end of next month so he can declare a military victory and claim his 2003 invasion has been vindicated.”
“The timing of the agreement would also boost the Republican candidate, John McCain, who has claimed the United States is on the verge of victory in Iraq – a victory that he says Mr Obama would throw away by a premature military withdrawal.”