So I’m reading today that Congress has voted to turn half of the money Bush wanted to rebuild Iraq ($20 billion) into a loan.

That’s right. A loan. To be paid back later. A brand new country that isn’t even formally recognized yet is being loaded down with a $10 billion debt to the country that liberated them.

But wait. It gets better.

Bush (who argued against this stupid idea) is allowed to forgive the debt if other creditors to Iraq, such as France, Russia, and Saudi Arabia, waive 90% of the debt (about $130 billion) they are owed by Saddam’s now-defunct government.

It’s not your imagination that this is a plan whereby the United States frees Iraq from an artificially imposed financial burden at the largesse of creditor nations who have absolutely no vested interest in forgiving said debt, and everything to gain by continuing to try to collect on it.

Seems to me that once Saddam and the Baathist regime are gone, any deals they made with other countries are, ipso facto, null and void.

Or at the least, we have the right to say they are, being the ones who actually did all the work (and still are).

Is this some kind of special cruelty thought up in the back rooms of Capitol Hill by people who are high on something? You can’t rebuild a country from ashes while it has a $10 billion debt. That’s asinine. It’s a debt that they did not ask to assume — we are imposing it on them at, essentially, gunpoint.

Evil, evil, evil. Anybody who blames this on Bush automatically gets pimp slapped.

9 Responses to “The Iraqi Bait and Switch”
  1. ... says:

    Of course, we could have avoided this problem all together if we hadn’t invaded a country that was no threat to anyone except maybe Iran, and had nothing to do with 9/11.

  2. Susan says:

    Your post is sooooooo ignorantly overdone you sound like a snotty nosed stuck-up child, time to move on.

    How about presenting ideas that may aid in helping the devastated people in Iraq instead of demeaning their lives with selfish political BS.

    But then, perhaps you are one to spend all your concerns on simply hating Bush to the extend you have no room left to offer any useful ideas.

    The problems we are facing now is the result of having avoided these problems in the past, so your suggestion is worthless.

    “a country that was no threat to anyone, except maybe Iran”
    TRY SAYING THAT TO THE PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN IRAQ!

  3. Anne Haight says:

    Clearly, Susan, you have not been paying attention if you can conclude that 1) I hate Bush, and 2) that I have not offered any useful suggestions on helping the devastated people of Iraq. I refer you to my blog entry about the Toy Drive that Chief Wiggles is running.

  4. Susan says:

    Anne

    It never occurred to me that your comment was intended satire.

  5. Kyle Haight says:

    It looks to me like there is a bit of miscommunication going on here. Anne did not put up the original comment containing the lines (“a country that was no threat to anyone, except maybe Iran”) that Susan was criticizing. It follows that Susan’s comments were directed to the (anonymous) first commenter, and not to Anne.

    With respect to those original comments, I think they exhibit a kind of moral obtuseness that pervades a disturbingly large segment of the antiwar movement. There are at least 3 aspects of that comment I find problematic:

    1) The insistence on fighting the last battle over. There were reasonable arguments for opposing the war. I found them unpersuasive, but reasonable people could disagree. But the point remains that the country debated the issue and decided to support Bush. For better or worse, we invaded Iraq and overthrew Saddam Hussein. In doing so, we assumed a responsibility to put the pieces back together. But some who opposed the war now seem to want the reconstruction to fail, as though that would retroactively validate their opposition, as though it were more important that they be proven right than that millions of Iraqis become prosperous and free.

    2) The tendency to ignore the Iraqi people. There are what, 22 million of them, now freed from what was by any measure a vicious tyranny. But the poster thinks the Iraqi government wasn’t a threat to anyone except perhaps Iran. The mass graves we’ve uncovered, the torture, the rape, the murder — that was just stuff the government was doing to the Iraqi people, and that apparently doesn’t count. Governments can only pose a threat to other countries, not to their own citizens. Carried to its logical extreme, this would imply that if Hitler had only stuck to exterminating the Jews in Germany there wouldn’t have been a problem.

    3) The problem that Susan pointed out. There is plenty to criticize about the way the occupation and reconstruction has been carried out so far. But most of what I hear from the critics is a mixture of “See, we should never have been there in the first place” and “We should pull out right now and leave the reconstruction to the United Nations.” I’ve seen very little in the way of positive suggestions for actually improving the speed or effectiveness of the reconstruction, or any understanding of the larger strategic goals we are trying to achieve in the middle east.

  6. ... says:

    I didn’t realize that it was the US’s responsibility to overthrow all the nasty tyrants in the world. Also, it doesn’t seem like the Iraqi people particularly wanted a foreign power to overthrow their government and occupy their country for an inderminate amount of time.

    That’s not to say I don’t want the reconstruction to succeed, but it’s worth pointing out that the bad situation we are in now was foreseeable and could have been avoided. Now that we are in this situation, we have no choice but to see it through as best as we can.

  7. Susan says:

    you “didn’t realize it was the US’s responsibility to overthrow all the nasty tyrants in the world”?

    So, I suppose if a person is being beaten or raped right in front of you, you would walk away because it is not your responsibility, the responsibility to stop the beating and raping belongs to the person who is being beaten and raped?

    Perhaps you may recall that the Iraqi people tried several times to overthrow Saddam, asked for assistance from both the United Nations and the specifically the US twice, under Bush 1 and under Clinton, but both turned their backs and walked away, because of the idea that it was not our responsibility, whereby allowing Saddam to slaughter his people en masse.

    The irony I find in your line of reasoning is that the US, at the insistence of the United Nations, needed to immediately confront Charles Taylor in Liberia and send in US troops to remove the tyrant, yet years of brutality imposed by Saddam in Iraq is not our responsibility.

    Actually, it is the responsiblity of the United Nations to confront tyrants but unfortunately this organization has shown itself to be useless. All that the United Nations has managed to do over the years is support and appease tyrannical dictators! One example that comes to my mind is the worthless “Food for Oil” program.

    We are responsible for helping to feed the oppressed but we are not responsible for helping to free the oppressed.

    My suggestion would be to stop blinding our eyes to the devastating oppression tyrants continue to impose on all humanity.

  8. Anne Haight says:

    Well, the United Nations isn’t really a power unto itself. Its military might and its money come from its member nations, of which the United States is by far the most powerful. Therefore, whenever the UN decides to do something, it’s really our money and our troops and our equipment that wind up doing the work.

    As to overthrowing tyrants, the reason we do it is because it has to be done and there’s no one else to step up to the plate. No other country has the wealth, the might, and the expertise to carry out such operations on a large scale without bankrupting themselves or opening themselves to attack from other fronts.

    I think that, as a powerful nation, we have a certain responsibility toward other nations who need our assistance. We are obliged to crush evil and injustice because no one else can.

  9. Kyle Haight says:

    I have to disagree that it is somehow the “responsibility” of the United States to overthrow foreign dictators. The primary responsibility of the U.S. government is the protection of the rights of United States citizens, and by extension the rights of resident aliens living in U.S. jurisdiction. Those who say the United States is not the world’s policeman have a point.

    However… 9/11 demonstrated that terrorist organizations and rogue governments pose a significant threat to the lives and safety of U.S. citizens. To perform its primary function, it thus may be necessary for the government to overthrow such rogue regimes, not simply because they are evil but because they do pose a threat to us in the long term. Steven Den Beste has an (IMHO) excellent strategic overview of this larger war here.

    I also have to disagree with your claim that the Iraqi people did not want to be liberated from Saddam. A number of independent polls have been performed in Iraq and they all consistently show substantial majorities who believe they are better off because of the war, who expect things to improve significantly in Iraq over the next five years, and who want the coalition forces to stay in Iraq for at least another year. (To my knowledge nobody has been talking about “indefinite” occupation; raising that claim looks like a straw man to me.)

    The post-war planning could definitely have been better. But the reconstruction to date has been far from a disaster, and seems to be improving with time. Even under the best of planning the reconstruction would be difficult, expensive and time-consuming; the only way to avoid it would have been to not invade, and I think the likely consequences of doing that would have been much worse than any problems I’ve seen in the reconstruction to date.

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