It Is Only $60 Billions – Nothing Honorable About It

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by Sami Jamil Jadallah

 

If one is to look at facts on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan one can see the biggest international failures and fraud in US history. Not only did the military failed big time but the “rebuilding” of Iraq and Afghanistan was a total disaster.

The recent report issued by the US Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction released few days ago is an indictment of the failures of Congress, the White House, the Pentagon and the State doing their job and the mishandling of reconstruction with over $60 Billions simply wasted. Add to this the over $90 Billions for reconstruction of Afghanistan, with Afghanistan looking worst now than before the invasion.

This is not a few millions here; this is $60 Billions, no small sum of money by any mean. This report coincided with the BBC-The Guardian recent report of US military partnership and management of training sectarian militias that simply killed, murdered and tortured Iraqis engaging in systematic torture that should have sent military commanders including Pentagon officials right to the Hague.

It seems the Pentagon of the Axis of Evil (Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld) could not do any thing right. They enlisted war criminals who managed the “dirty wars” in Central America to manage the “insurrections” in post occupied Iraq and invited a bunch of crooks to manage the reconstruction. The US action sowed the seeds of a corrupt, sectarian and criminal regime in Iraq no different from that of the late Saddam Hussein.

According to Bob Adelmann of the New Americans the costs of the war when officially ended on December 15, 2011

“It is estimated to have costs American tax payers more than $800 billions in direct expenses and another estimated $1 trillion in additional health costs for those wounded in the war.”

Joseph Stiglitz co-author of the “ The Three Trillion War” arrived at $ 3 trillions as a conservative estimate.

Every American citizen should imagine perhaps using a calculator what a $60 Billions can do for their community, for their state certainly for their cities.

The US and for the last three decades with some minor exceptions is looking more and more like a third world country. Corrupt, incompetent with a government that is paralyzed by political ideologies and a Congress beholding to foreign lobby and corporate interests rather than taxpayers and constituents. A Congress that does nothing right anymore.

Stuart Bowen appointment (2004) was mandated by Congress “tasked with monitoring the use of funds”, and since 2009 the Special Inspector issued over twenty reports. The one issued last week was the latest and it is an indictment of the collaborative efforts between the US Military and civilian contractors. I guess no different from here at home.

In an interview on PBS with Judy Woodruff, Mr. Bowen was asked about his mission and he answered

“ To audit and inspect the programs and projects of the Coalition Provisional Authority and to provide advice and recommendations to the Congress on Iraq’s reconstructions”.

Mrs. Woodruff then followed with “ did you have an idea then of the magnitude of what you were going to be doing?”

Mr. Bowen responded

“Well the first sign of it was my first trip to Iraq in February of 2004, when I was walking the halls of the Republican Palace behind two people, and one turned to the other and said, we can’t do that any more. There’s new inspector general here. That sent me a signal that the challenges before me were quite substantial”.

Well that should have told the story and should have put both Congress, the White House and the Pentagon on “notice” that there are people out there “ Americans” playing with tens of billions of US tax dollars as “ monopoly” game.

If one is to look at Iraq now, with its destroyed and never built infrastructure, to look at its power grid line and city power connections and lines, to look at its streets that gets flooded with minor rain, to look at is neighborhood and see the utter absence of any thing new or improved. One can see what happened to these $ 60 billions.

I guess the Americans of (Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld) found themselves with equally crooked and corrupt Iraqi partnership with post Iraq Saddam, with tens of billions of Iraqi oil money went missing in make believe contracts.

If we are to compare what we did in Iraq and what happened in America with the subprime loans and collapse of the financial systems one can see that America is not what it was or used to be. The present political, economic and financial even military leadership is simply unfit and unqualified to lead this nation forward.

I conclude with this question is America too big to fail? Ah well with this kind of leadership certainly America is on its way to failure and collapse. In the words of Laurence Vance, ” the president should have proclaimed (it) a National Day of Dishonor. There is nothing honorable about the War in Iraq”.

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Sami, a Palestinian-American and a US Army Veteran (66-68), recipient of the "soldier of the month award and leadership award from the 6th Army NCO Academy, is an international legal and business consultant with over 40 years of international experience, in construction, hospitality services, conservation, and defense, in the Middle East, Europe, and North Africa. Sami is a holder of BA, MPA in Public and Environmental Affairs, Jurist Doctor from Indiana University. While at IU he was elected class president, student government president and chairman of the Indiana Students Association, Active in peace movement as a co-author of the pre-amble for the One State for All of its people and voluntary service program SalamNation. A frequent contributor on national and international affairs. He resides in the United States.