What Permanent Iraq Presence?

What the Beltway crowd said way back when about how long we’d be in Baghdad.


“It is never our intention to go and stay in a place and to impose our will by the presence of our military forces.” —Secretary of State Colin Powell, October 2002

“We will stay as long as necessary to make sure that the Iraqi people have a government of, by, and for the Iraqi people. And then we’ll come home.” —George W. Bush, May 2003

“We have no desire to stay any longer than necessary.” —American envoy Paul Bremer, July 2003

“I assured [Iraqis] that America wasn’t leaving. When they hear me say we’re staying, that means we’re staying.” —George W. Bush, November 2003

“I can’t say whether it is going to be 2006, 2007…It is not going to be months for sure.” —British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, January 2004

“As a proud and independent people, Iraqis do not support an indefinite occupation—and neither does America.” —George W. Bush, April 2004

“We have no intention, at the present time, of putting permanent bases in Iraq.” —Then secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld, February 2005

“We have no goal of establishing permanent bases.” —Zalmay Khalilzad, then US ambassador to Iraq, March 2006

“US troops could be in Iraq for a thousand years or a million years…It’s not American presence; it’s American casualties.” —John McCain, explaining his “100 years” remark to Mother Jones, January 2008

“[America’s Korean and German bases] have been there for 50 years; they are US facilities in the sense that they are US-only in many instances. That’s not what we have in mind…We have no desire for permanent bases in Iraq.” —Defense Secretary Robert Gates, June 2008

OUR NEW CORRUPTION PROJECT

The more we thought about how MoJo's journalism can have the most impact heading into the 2020 election, the more we realized that so many of today's stories come down to corruption: democracy and the rule of law being undermined by the wealthy and powerful for their own gain.

So we're launching a new Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption. We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We'll publish what we find as a major series in the summer of 2020, including a special issue of our magazine, a dedicated online portal, and video and podcast series so it doesn't get lost in the daily deluge of breaking news.

It's unlike anything we've done before and we've got seed funding to get started, but we're asking readers to help crowdfund this new beat with an additional $500,000 so we can go even bigger. You can read why we're taking this approach and what we want to accomplish in "Corruption Isn't Just Another Scandal. It's the Rot Beneath All of Them," and if you like how it sounds, please help fund it with a tax-deductible donation today.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate