About that Air Base in Iraq

by | Jan 7, 2020

After the Iraqi parliament (sans Sunni and Kurdish members) voted to oust US troops from Iraq, Trump said, “We will charge them sanctions like they’ve never seen before, ever. It’ll make Iranian sanctions look somewhat tame. We have a very extraordinarily expensive air base that’s there. It cost billions of dollars to build. We’re not leaving unless they pay us back for it.”

Trump threatens economic warfare as casually as other people announce their intention to go shopping. We couldn’t count the number of times he’s done so. At any rate, it seems like a strange way to treat a presumed friend that the US government created. What’s a few more miserable Arabs anyway?

As for demanding money “back” for the airbase, that is even more bizarre. The US government didn’t buy the base for the Iraqis; it was for the American power elite and military-industrial complex. Were Iraqis free to reject it when the base was first proposed? The US government made a risky “entrepreneurial” decision when it built the base, so if access is denied, well, tough luck. It was an “investment” gone bad. You know about such things, don’t you, Mr. Trump?

About Sheldon Richman

Sheldon Richman is the executive editor of The Libertarian Institute, senior fellow and chair of the trustees of the Center for a Stateless Society, and a contributing editor at Antiwar.com. He is the former senior editor at the Cato Institute and Institute for Humane Studies, former editor of The Freeman, published by the Foundation for Economic Education, and former vice president at the Future of Freedom Foundation. His latest book is Coming to Palestine.

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