Saturday, October 22, 2005

Fascism & Chaos in Iraq: Tax Dollars Flushed Down the Toilet

An unlikely source, The American Conservative, contains an article written by Philip Giraldi explaining in detail the extent of the corruption of the Coalition Provisional Authority, in which countless gobs of US Government money was mishandled, misplaced, and misapropriated.

One shocking paragraph describes:

Money also disappeared in truckloads and by helicopter. The CPA reportedly distributed funds to contractors in bags off the back of a truck. In one notorious incident in April 2004, $1.5 billion in cash that had just been delivered by three Blackhawk helicopters was handed over to a courier in Erbil, in the Kurdish region, never to be seen again. Afterwards, no one was able to recall the courier's name or provide a good description of him.
The fact that we have conservative sources like this online magazine and George Will harping about the corruption of this current administration can only mean good news.  Democrats will face an uphill battle if they have to confront a unified Republican party in 2006.  But Republicans are heading for a trainwreck.

They even go into trashing Halliburton:

Halliburton has frequently been questioned over its poor record keeping, and critics claim that it has a history of overcharging for its services. In May 1967, a company called RMK/BRJ could not account for $120 million in materiel sent to Vietnam and was investigated several times for overcharging on fuel. RMK/BRJ is now known as KBR or Kellogg, Brown and Root, the Halliburton subsidiary that has been the focus of congressional, Department of Defense, and General Accountability Office investigations. Defense Contract Audit Agency auditors have questioned Halliburton's charges on a $1.6 billion fuel contract, claiming that the overcharges on the contract exceed $200 million. In one instance, the company charged the Army more than $27 million to transport $82,000 worth of fuel from Kuwait to Iraq. Halliburton has also been accused of billing the Army for 42,000 daily meals for soldiers, though it was only actually serving 14,000. In another operation, KBR purchased fleets of Mercedes trucks at $85,000 each to re-supply U.S. troops. The trucks carried no spare parts or even extra tires for the grueling high-speed run across the Kuwaiti and Iraqi deserts. When the trucks broke down on the highway, they were abandoned and destroyed rather than repaired.

The whole article is a pretty good read.  And remember, of course, to send it to all your conservative friends!

11 Comments:

At 10/23/2005 12:00:00 AM, Blogger thetruthisthelight said...

First of all, if Clinton had done his job back in 1992 when the World Trade Center first got bombed by Osama, none of this would have happened. But unfortunately it did. It could be much worse..instead of all these tax dollars being wasted, we could have dropped a few nuclear bombs on iraq and made the world uninhabitable. As for the USA withdrawing from this conflict, that is no longer an option, since if we did withdraw now we would quickly become a target of more terrorist attacks, because the rest of the world would perceive us as weaklings and press their advantage. I'm not advocating war per se, but since it has started then we must unfortunately finish it. Let us hope and pray it finishes quickly and Iraq can then help themselves as a democracy.

 
At 10/23/2005 11:54:00 PM, Blogger Bru said...

"if we did withdraw now we would quickly become a target of more terrorist attacks, because the rest of the world would perceive us as weaklings and press their advantage."

Recent history suggests otherwise. Two prime examples are the UK and Spain. They found out in the worst way possible that sending troops to Iraq not only failed to make them less vulnerable to terrorists, but actually made them more vulnerable.

Spain had troops in Iraq when its March 2004 terrorist attacks happened in Madrid, killing almost 200 people. Three days later, the man who put troops in Iraq, Jose Maria Aznar, was ousted by Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, who soon after his election pulled Spain's troops out of Iraq. Spain has not seen a major terrorist attack since then.

The UK has the second largest number of troops in Iraq. And we all know what happened in London on July 7 of this year, when terrorist bombings killed over 50 people.

Speaking of the UK, things are looking worse and worse for British troops every day in Iraq. They have been facing heavy insurgency in Basra, many troops who went on one tour in Iraq are refusing to go on another, and a recent survey found that millions of Iraqis feel that suicide attacks on British troops are justified.

I'm sorry but there is little to no logic in your statement.

 
At 10/24/2005 07:58:00 PM, Blogger thetruthisthelight said...

Then please explain to me why The Twin Towers and The Pentagon were bombed? Why did they bomb the Twin Towers the FIRST time? Why did they bomb the USS Cole? When we (the United States)were not doing anything to Osama and his co-horts? We were peacefully minding our own business when we were attacked. Multiple attacks of that nature says to me that they would have continued(and gotten MUCH worse)if the United States had NOT stepped in and said ENOUGH. That, sir/madam, is my logical explanation.

 
At 10/25/2005 03:04:00 AM, Blogger JohnnyCougar said...

The White House just put out a report about 9 or so terrorist attacks since 9/11 that they thwarted. So people are still trying to attack us over here. Remember the New York subway scare?

Unless, of course, the White House is lying to make themselves look more competent.

Your call:

Is the White House lying?

-or-

Are terrorists still trying to attack us?

Your options are mutually exclusive, so you have to pick one of them.

 
At 10/25/2005 03:34:00 AM, Blogger Bru said...

"We were peacefully minding our own business when we were attacked."

"Minding our own business" is just about the most inaccurate description of American foreign policy in the last 50 years. American foreign policy is riddled with instances of supporting fascist dictators in exchange for economic or strategic military perks. Through military campaigns, trade agreements, or the shady practices of the World Bank (which is essentially run by the U.S.), we have meddled in sovereign countries' affairs and sought to impose our own will, societal structure, or culture. By the early 1990s, when the first World Trade Center bombings occurred, this foreign policy structure was firmly entrenched.

How does giving a $3 billion annual blank check to Israel (a nuclear power, by the way), and letting them use the money to buy loads and loads of weapons with which to use in disproportionate and unjust military operations against Palestinian citizens while policing their lives and taking over their rightful lands constitute "peacefully minding our own business?"

This was probably, and still is, one of the main reasons for Osama bin Laden and other Arab groups' hatred of the U.S. Now, of course, as misguided as our outright military aid to Israel might be, it does not justify any of the attacks on American citizens. But in bin Laden's twisted mind, it does.

You forget that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11, and that Iraq only became a terrorist haven after we invaded them. Meanwhile, countries with much worse terrorism problems, e.g. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, are untouchable because we are bedfellows with their corrupt rulers.

Not to mention the Iraq war, in addition to the massive sums of needless deaths it has caused, nor the huge taxpayer money pit it has become, is a gross diversion of resources away from doing what is actually important to stop future terrorist attacks. For instance, the various sites in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union states that have unsecured nuclear material or nuclear weapons that could be obtained by terrorists to make a dirty bomb could have been secured or downgraded for a fraction of the cost of the Iraq war, but today there is still a dangerous risk of nuclear material going in to the wrong hands.

Of course, Bush bootlickers that clung to his hollow claims that he was "tough" on terrorism during the 2004 election were too delirious to realize that John Kerry actually had a coherent plan for securing these sites. But now I digress, my point having been made long ago.

 
At 10/26/2005 11:29:00 AM, Blogger Airdale said...

test

any blog entries that won't be cut/paste?

just wondering what the exposed truth in Syria will lead to.
any comments on France position in the tribunal proposal ?

 
At 10/27/2005 03:47:00 PM, Blogger thetruthisthelight said...

"Minding our own business" is just about the most inaccurate description of American foreign policy in the last 50 years. American foreign policy is riddled with instances of supporting fascist dictators in exchange for economic or strategic military perks. Through military campaigns, trade agreements, or the shady practices of the World Bank (which is essentially run by the U.S.), we have meddled in sovereign countries' affairs and sought to impose our own will, societal structure, or culture. By the early 1990s, when the first World Trade Center bombings occurred, this foreign policy structure was firmly entrenched."
Do you have SPECIFIC examples of this? Elaborate please...if you can. However, I believe the major reason for attacks on the US stem from jealousy of our accomplishments(from a Third World perspective), and not just from hatred brought on by our support of Israel. Johnny, I do not believe that the government is lying when they post terrorist attacks which are continuing. Granted, no one is perfect, and I'm sure the government could use a good overhauling(witness the checks Congress wrote to themselves a few years back). But I do give credit where credit is due. Again, if CLINTON had done his job in 1992, then we would not be debating this now, bottom line.

 
At 10/27/2005 09:17:00 PM, Blogger JohnnyCougar said...

Johnny, I do not believe that the government is lying when they post terrorist attacks which are continuing.

So the attacks are continuing, even though we invaded Iraq. This seems to contradict your argument that attacking Iraq would stop terror over here. Most experts now believe that the Iraq war has fueled even more hatred in the Arab world over the US.

Again, if CLINTON had done his job in 1992, then we would not be debating this now, bottom line.

Ahh, the Clinton argument. If you think Clinton didn't do his job, then you better look back at the Regan administration with Rumsfeld as the special envoy to the Middle East. This was about the time that the US was funding the Afghan war led in part by Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan to fight the Soviets. This was also about the time when Saddam Hussein was sold weapons from the US governemnt. Guess who Reagan's special envoy to Iraq was then? Donald Rumsfeld. Have you seen this picture?

So that's right...Osama bin Laden
and Saddam Hussein rose to power during the Reagan administration with America's help. Funny you should blame these problems on Clinton. it was Reagan who took Iraq off the list of countries that supported terror and made them our ally, and sold them chemicals to make the chemical weapons that we now accuse him of using. Sounds insane? Yes, it does, but it is true. Reagan presided over all this.

Perhaps that will clarify what the US has been doing overseas for quite some time.

If you need more explaination, perhaps I will do a more detailed blog entry on the history of the US sponsoring terrorists and crooked regimes under Republican governments. The Middle East could be it's own diary in and of itself, not to mention Central and South America. Speaking of Reagan, do tou know what Iran-Contra was all about?

 
At 10/27/2005 11:31:00 PM, Blogger Bru said...

"Do you have SPECIFIC examples of this? Elaborate please...if you can."

I'd be glad to. A good place to start would be the Shah of Iran. Mainly through SAVAK, Iran's version of the KGB, the Shah brually murdered, tortured, or jailed dissidents or those he thought were dissidents, all the while attempting to impose Western culture on the country and an economic structure that favored exploitation by large Western corporations. The Shah was put in power by a coup organized by the CIA in 1953 to depose Mohamed Mossadeq, who had gained power more legitimately through parliament but angered British oil tycoons by nationalizing Iran's oil industry.

The Shah had overt support from the United States despite our knowledge of his many human rights abuses. Eventually common people in Iran hated him for the class gulf he created between his favored elites and everybody else, and they were driven to a Revolution under the leadership of Khomeini. Angry students raided the U.S. Embassy, took hostages and held them for 444 days. They were released the day of Reagan's inauguration, and it is a possibility that Reagan negotiated a secret deal with the Islamists in power to hold the hostages until after Carter lost the election.

The US also supported the Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, whom the US, under the Nixon administration, helped bring to power through a bloody coup in 1973 when the democratically elected leader, Salvador Allende, was shot and killed. Additionally, the US, especially during the Reagan administration, supported dictators, generals of death squads, and terrorists in Central and South America. Guatemala's dictator Rios Montt, who massacred thousands of people, was trained at the U.S. Army School of the Americas in Georgia. John Negroponte, whom Bush has appointed as the National Intelligence Director, supported brutal generals in Honduras -- such as General Alvarez Martinez -- and was involved in the Iran-Contra scandal. As Ambassador to Honduras, Negroponte virtually micromanaged the Contras' campaign against the government of Honduras. The US also supported dictator Fulgencio Batista in Cuba, before he was overthrown by Castro.

The US also supported Pakistan and military ruler General Yahya Khan during its bloody massacre of Bangladeshis in 1971 when Bangladesh (formerly East Pakistan) declared its independence from (West) Pakistan. That support for Pakistan has resurfaced today with our aid to the cruel ruler Pervez Musharraf.

The top two recipients of US aid today are Israel and Egypt despite both countries' extensive human rights abuses. This is not to mention our support of Saudi Arabia's oligarchy, predicated on our nation's dependence on their oil.

 
At 10/29/2005 02:09:00 PM, Blogger thetruthisthelight said...

Then what you are both saying is that the United States government needs a complete overhaul, and that we are in a world of trouble because there's no one at the rudder who is capable of taking charge and getting something constructive done. Any takers for the job?

 
At 10/30/2005 07:46:00 PM, Blogger Bru said...

A group of orangutans would be an improvement over the current administration. In terms of humans, however, John Kerry, for starters, would have been a much better president. And if the election were held today instead of a year ago, he WOULD be president, according to polls.

He would have done a better job because we at least would have been willing to explore ways of getting out of Iraq with alternatives not considered by the Bush administration because of personal/corporate/political grudges/favors. For example, Kerry mentioned repeatedly during his campaign the need to incorporate the UN in managing Iraq in the longer term. Since Bush already snubbed the UN in his march to war, and since his administration hates the UN, he put this option out of his mind.

Additionally, Kerry would have given himself more flexibility because he would not have played wet nurse to Halliburton and Bechtel in maintaining contracts. This is one of the reason Bush wanted to "go it alone" in Iraq as much as possible; he could thus have a larger dominion in which to dole out no-bid contracts to his sponsors, at a cost of billions of dollars to US taxpayers, as JohnnyCougar's orginal post mentioned.

Besides Kerry, Wesley Clark, a decorated veteran of US military and foreign policy, would have been a huge step up over Rumsfeld, most likely because he has advocated a more nuanced, thoughtful way of approaching our relations with nations. Rumsfeld, however, is so hard-headed that his head could be used as a wrecking ball. He knows only "shock and awe" and torture as (failed) means of "changing hearts and minds."

But those are just two suggestions. It could be extended to any number of potential administrations who have principles enough not to lie to get us into a brutal and harmful war and then compromise national security by gossiping classified information to reporters about a CIA spy whose husband called out those lies.

Hell, since Bush has flat out given up on trying to carry out his function as president, I'd give the nod to anyone willing to even try.

 

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