'US squandering money on Iraq war'*
Mon Jun 13, 2011
Interview with Michael Burns, political and military analyst, New York
As the US is seeking to prolong its military presence in Iraq, an American analyst believes that the American citizens are war-weary and tired of seeing their resources being squandered.
Political and military analyst Michael Burns in New York talks to Press TV to share his insight on the prolonged US presence in Iraq. What follows is the transcript of the interview.
Press TV: Why would the US want to stay in Iraq? Considering the economic cost, the amount of human fatalities as far as the number of Americans who have been killed there, why would they want to stay?
Burns: Well, let me say a prefatory remark. The American citizens are war weary; the American citizens are tired of seeing our resources being squandered on these foreign affairs that we cannot get a grip or perception as to their merit, their goal and their target if you will.
To give an example, according to a treaty, if Taiwan was attacked by China, we would have to support Taiwan but we would have to borrow the money from China. So the American people are aware of this in this terrible situation so a part of the answer is Americans are very war-weary.
Having said that, and I will be brief on this point, we have a great amount of pride as a country and as citizenry as to not cut and run, a famous saying from the old West. It is very hard prospect to ingest, to walk away and [to] leave a failed state after we have spent 8 years and trillions of dollars.
Press TV: When US President Barack Obama was campaigning, he promised that he would take the troops home and bring them home out of Iraq. What has happened? Why has not that taken place? What does the average American think when Obama the candidate made such promises but now Obama the president is actually trying to pressure Baghdad right now to make sure that the stay of the Americans are extended?
Burns: Well, there is a wonderful phrase which says politicians, at least in America, campaign in poetry and they govern in prose. The fact is that all these grand predictions and aspirations and statements simply have fallen by the wayside. We have got several problems.
These interest groups, the neo-cons and several others, the military complex that do not want to lose this jewel and the crown as they see it. In the meantime, however, the American people are facing bankruptcy and bankruptcy really means, in its last spasm, the printing of money a mile a minute to try and hold up the American dollar and increase more and more debt.
Well, all this is happening domestically at home [and] we are seeing our military squandering money and resources on Iraq which looks ungovernable at the present time when you look at the forces at each other's throat and we have various interests, foreign and domestic, who want us to stay the course...
Press TV: So Mr. Burns, basically then what you are telling me when you say that there is a difference between the candidate and then the actual politician when he or she takes office is that there is a difference then between the policies of George W. Bush and Barack Obama concerning Iraq and so many issues, is there a difference?
Burns: Well, no. There was a difference starting out but there is no difference right now and they both have had the same policy basically.
Press TV: Mr. Burns, being that the largest embassy in the world is the American Embassy in Iraq which was recently built and currently employs 39,000 people. Doesn't it appear that the Americans have been planning to stay for the long term in Iraq? Why would any embassy need to be that large?
Burns: Of course, the truth is that Iraq sits on the largest supply of oil and this has never been lost to American policy makers, it has never been lost to our military industrial complex, it has never been lost to our oil companies and do not forget you can see the power the lobbies of our industrial might has a stranglehold on Washington. You see it time and time again even when you look at that oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.