Loose Cannons

Issue 

Staying the course I

"US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday the United States is looking to a long-term military presence in Iraq under a mutually agreed arrangement similar to that it has long had with South Korea ... 'What I'm thinking in terms of is a mutual agreement where some force of Americans [...] is present for a protracted period of time', he said." — Agence France Presse, May 31. Tens of thousands of US troops have been in South Korea since 1950, still officially at war with North Korea.

Staying the course II

"Every weekday, at a secure commercial office building on Manhattan's East Side, a team of 20 UN experts on chemical and biological weapons pores over satellite images of former Iraqi weapons sites ... And they maintain a cadre of about 300 weapons experts from 50 countries and prepare them for inspections in Iraq ... The inspectors acknowledge that their chief task — disarming Iraq — was largely fulfilled long ago. But, they say, their masters at the UN Security Council have been unable to agree to either shut down their effort or revise their mandate to make their work more relevant." — Washington Post, June 2.

Just like the 2003 US invasion was

"Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al Maliki dismissed on Saturday reports on a long presence of US forces in Iraq similar to the South Korean model saying 'it is groundless as such an issue is only decided by the Iraqi people'." — Aswat al Iraq (Voices of Iraq) news agency, June 2.