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    phantom controlled demolitions..., 2006-10-26 17:04:49 | Main | everything you need to know about the changing state of iraq..., 2006-11-01 11:27:40

    a blueprint for building the chutes and ladders of a new candyland:

    They don't explain how we're going to continue exercising strategic control over Iraq's foreign policies, so obviously nothing like it will ever be implemented. Not a bad plan though, if we lived in the kind of fantasy world where publically announced goals were actual policies it might even stand a chance. Oh well.

    They put 1.5 billion for police and civil corps training and 5.5 billion for blue helmets. $250 mil for a survey of unexploded ordinance and some offering to help actually clean it up. Some share of the old World Bank estimate of $25 billion for reconstruction (that's what the WB estimate was when we went in, so I dunno how they figure it's not gone up...) in loans and grants, plus $1 billion to pay for an Iraqi-run version of the trashed Future of Iraq project to coordinate said reconstruction. $750 million for cultural and archeological recovery. Any "funds misused or misappropriated by U.S. officials should be repaid to the proper Iraqi authority" after completion of the independent audit that was required of but never completed by the CPA. $1 billion in death and injury compensation (this number is very probably about half what it should be, they're using the numbers from Fall of 2004). A few million for compensation to torture victims. $500 million in education funding to help rebuild the professional class that's been decimated by the war, plus $500 million in enticements to return proffesionals from the Iraqi diaspora. $420 million to do what we already paid Parson's Corporation $200 million to bungle. My favorite line item: $500 million to pay Iraqis to destroy edifices of the occupation. The idea is to kick the economy in gear by providing some marginal level of employment in public works. Idle hands have become very busy as devil's playthings, afterall.

    They total it up to about $17 billion, a savings to the tune of $200 billion: really this is too conservative. The Bush Administration is talking about staying 10 years, at a cost of $250 $100+ billion a year.

    Oh yes, and there's the bit about control over the oil industry, which of course this was never, ever, about:

    The United States should not object to the Iraqi government voiding all contracts entered into for the exploration, development, and marketing of oil during the American occupation. These contracts clearly should be renegotiated or thrown open to competitive international bids. The Iraqi government and public believe that because Iraqi oil has been sold at a discount to American companies, and because long-term "production-sharing agreements" are highly favorable to the concessionaires, an unfair advantage has been taken. Indeed, the form of concession set up at the urging of the CPA's consultants has been estimated to deprive Iraq of as much as $194 billion in revenues. To most Iraqis, and indeed to many foreigners, the move to turn over Iraq's oil reserves to American and British companies surely confirms that the real purpose of the invasion was to secure, for American use and profit, Iraq's lightweight and inexpensively produced oil.

    Conservative pundits - convinced their failures can be attributed to the Iraqis' inferiority - will absurdly rail against the "high cost" and "waste" of such spending, even when proposed in terms of the number of days it takes the occupation to drain the same blood and treasure uselessly into the sand. Hawks will gnash their teeth behind closed doors at the prospect of closing down the permanent base infrastructure or giving up those precious PSAs. Those were, afterall, pretty much their cunning plan: to move those bases in Saudi Arabia to Iraq, and to have Iraq pay for its "liberation". Being as the most cynical outlook possible has never steered me wrong on this war: I would expect any American policy of withdrawal, when and if it's ever implemented, will probably be utterly vindictive and hateful. It's just the way their minds work.


:: posted by buermann @ 2006-10-30 14:35:20 CST | link





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