Archive for Thursday, September 4, 2008

Iraq sieve needs to be plugged

September 4, 2008

The Lawrence Journal-World said in a recent editorial:

With today's jam-packed news and analysis offerings about international affairs and American involvement overseas, a number of important items slip through the cracks and fail to get nearly the attention they deserve.

The Vindicator of Youngstown, Ohio, latched onto one of these "missing links" and amplified it, justifiably. The subject is Iraq's financial surplus, and the Vindicator asks why those funds are not being used a lot more differently.

Said the Ohio newspaper editorially:

"When it comes to American taxpayer dollars, Iraq is a sieve.

"That is why the report by the Government Accountability Office on the Iraqi government's estimated $79 billion budget surplus at the end of the year has caused such an uproar on Capitol Hill and around the nation. ...

"The excuses from the administration for why Iraq is not being forced to pay for its own reconstruction are at once not persuasive and insulting. To contend that the Iraqis do not have the knowledge or the wherewithal to spend their own money on their own needs - there are parts of the country that still lack all-day electricity supply and clean water - is to beg the question, 'If not now, when?' ...

"Given the shaky (American) economy ... and the high price of gas, Americans are justified in asking why oil rich Iraq isn't supplying the U.S. at bargain prices, seeing as how their oil industry has been revived by American taxpayers."

If there was much of an initial uproar about the Iraqi surplus, it faded fast and certainly escaped the notice of a lot of Americans and their officials. We revived the Iraq oil industry and are clearly paying many huge bills, in a number of categories, that they should be taking care of.

Time to plug up the sieve.

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