At what point do we finally ask for an accounting of all of the money that Bush has been given for the Iraq occupation?
The US agency overseeing reconstruction in Iraq has told the BBC that economic mismanagement and corruption there is equivalent to "a second insurgency".
The chief auditor assigned by Congress, Stuart Bowen, said the Iraqi government was failing to take responsibility for projects worth billions of dollars.
Mr Bowen also said his agency was investigating more than 50 fraud cases.
Meanwhile, nearly a third of Iraq’s population is in need of emergency aid, a report by Oxfam and Iraqi NGOs says.
So, let’s start with a basic fact. Iraq had a population of 25 million before the war, and now has a population of about 20 million. In addition to the half trillion we’ve spent over there, they are also pumping about 2 million barrels of oil per day; not up to previous levels, but still a significant amount of money.
Yet, they have a humanitarian crisis, and have yet to build even the most basic infrastructure?
It gets more interesting, though…
He added: "We have performed 95 audits that have found
instances of programmatic weakness and waste, and we’ve got 57 ongoing
cases right now, criminal cases, looking at fraud."
Mr Bowen said the transfer of projects to Iraqi
government control was "troubling", and expressed concern about delays
and cost overruns.
The report gave the example of the Doura power station,
rebuilt with tens of millions of US dollars, which fell into disrepair
once it was transferred to Iraqi control.
This is another Bush FUBAR, folks; don’t blame it on the Iraqis.
UIraq once had one of the most advanced economies in the region, and had a very highly educated professional class. Most of them have fled to other countries since the invation and the occupation. Iraq needs them back, but who in their right mind would go back to a civil war?
Mr Bowen also said Iraqi ministries were struggling to administer funds.
Last year, Prime Minister Nouri Maliki’s government only
spent 22% of its budget on vital rebuilding projects, while spending
99% of the allocation for salaries, he said.
He said "a pathway towards potential prosperity" could
be found only if oil production was brought up to optimal levels, and
security and corruption effectively managed.
So, we have an Iraqi government, hand-picked by Bush (you don’t think they were really chosen democratically, do you?), that is just as corrupt as the Bushies. They get all of their money, and a really long vacation, while the people of Iraq get exactly dick.
More than $500 billion has been spent in Iraq, and for what?
For the money, that’s why. Imagine having $500 billion to throw around, without having to be accountable for it. You could make an awful lot of your rich donors very happy, couldn’t you? Well….
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