Monday, August 02, 2004

Fables of the reconstruction

One of the mysteries of the American occupation of Iraq is why the Americans have not spent more of the over $18 billion Congress has approved for Iraqi reconstruction. Only $458 million, less than three per cent of the total, has been spent. One reason for the reticence to spend the money may be that the Bush Administration plans (or, partly, here) to use part of the $18 billion to cover Iraq's sovereign debts to the U. S. It is a complete mystery of how much debt there is, but it may amount to $5 billion or even more (see chart here). Since they don't know how much they'll need or even if this repayment scheme will fly, the Americans are probably in no hurry to disburse money to the benefit of the Iraqis. Since this money was earmarked to help pay for some of the damage caused to the Iraqi economy by the American attack, and since it is part of the American propaganda effort to prove that American motives in attacking Iraq were pure, it is ridiculous to use bookkeeping to make a large part of it disappear. It is even more absurd to do this while the American government insists that other countries simply write off their sovereign debt (a process that isn't going very well, possibly in part due to foreign knowledge that the Americans don't expect to have to do the same thing themselves). To add to the absurdity, the Bush Administration is actually paying all the massive amounts to military contractors like Halliburton out of Iraqi oil moneys. So the oil is stolen from the Iraqi people to enrich Bush's military-industrial complex friends, a large chunk of the reconstruction money is simply turned around back into the U. S. treasury, and all the other countries of the world who were owed money from Iraq are expected to write it off so even more oil money can be diverted to American carpetbaggers. Ain't accounting grand?

2 comments:

emily said...

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amber said...

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