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Iraq's financial free ride may end

ProfJohn

Lifer
Jul 28, 2006
18,268
4
0
I think we can all agree that if we are going to be in Iraq then Iraq needs to help foot some of the bill.

And it looks like that may actually happen. Let's keep our fingers crossed.
Personally, I think Iraq should be paying nearly all of our costs, but we may be a ways away from that yet.
link
WASHINGTON - Iraq's financial free ride may be over. After five years, Republicans and Democrats seem to have found common ground on at least one aspect of the war. From the fiercest foes of the war to the most steadfast Bush supporters, they are looking at Iraq's surging oil income and saying Baghdad should start picking up more of the tab, particularly for rebuilding hospitals, roads, power lines and the rest of the shattered country.

"I think the American people are growing weary not only of the war, but they are looking at why Baghdad can't pay more of these costs. And the answer is they can," said Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska.

Nelson, a Democrat, is drafting legislation with Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine and Democrat Evan Bayh of Indiana that would restrict future reconstruction dollars to loans instead of grants.

Their bill also would require that Baghdad pay for the fuel used by American troops and take over U.S. payments to predominantly Sunni fighters in the Awakening movement. Plans are to propose the legislation as part of a war bill to cover spending through September.

Likewise, Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said he wants to add a provision to a defense policy bill that would force the Iraqi government to spend its own surplus in oil revenues to rebuild the country before U.S. dollars are spent.

These senators, well-known war skeptics, could find allies in lawmakers who support Bush's current Iraq policies. In hearings last week, Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., asked Defense Secretary Robert Gates whether Baghdad should start paying some U.S. combat costs, and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., raised the possibility that an anticipated Iraqi budget surplus this year could be used to help Afghanistan, whose $700 million in annual revenue represents a small fraction of Iraq's $46.8 billion budget.

Bush has suggested that Congress is preaching to the choir. Last week, he noted that Baghdad's latest budget would outspend the U.S. by more than 10 to one on Iraq reconstruction, with American funding for large-scale projects "approaching zero."

"Ultimately, we expect Iraq to shoulder the full burden of these costs," he said.

But lawmakers are dubious. Considering that past predictions on Iraq have fallen short, the legislation would ensure Iraq assumes more of the financial burden, they say.

On the surface, it looks as though the U.S. has about split the costs of rebuilding efforts with the Iraqis: Congress has appropriated about $47.5 billion since 2003 while the Iraqis have budgeted $50.6 billion. International contributions have totaled $15.8 billion.

And, as Bush pointed out, Iraq's latest budget is on track to outspend the U.S. when it comes to rebuilding. Baghdad has devoted $13.4 billion in 2008 for capital expenses, more than a quarter of its $48.6 billion budget.

However, there is a key difference: Whereas the U.S. has spent most of the money it has approved, Iraq hasn't, according to the watchdog agency that audits reconstruction efforts. In 2006 and 2007, for example, Iraq spent only $2.9 billion of its designated $16.3 billion capital budget, which is used to invest in reconstruction projects.

Bush administration and military officials say the lack of spending isn't sinister.

"Part of it's a lack of expertise. Part of it is a lack of trained people. And part of it, in the past, has probably been politics," Gates told Congress last week. "We think they're making headway on all of those."

Levin said he doesn't buy it, including Bush's declaration that the U.S. is no longer in the business of major reconstruction. Congress received notice on April 3 that the Pentagon planned to transfer $590 million in its war budget to cover construction and infrastructure improvements for Iraq security forces.

"I just think it's totally unacceptable that we say they don't know how to cut a check," Levin said.

A primary cause for the unhappiness in Congress is the high price of oil as the U.S. heads into election season. While Americans are complaining of gasoline prices, officials predict Iraq is headed toward a major windfall because of the soaring price of oil and record-setting production levels.

For years after the 2003 invasion, a lack of infrastructure kept Iraq's oil production and exports down. But with rebuilding efforts bearing fruit, including U.S.-aided actions to prevent the illegal tapping of pipelines, production had recovered to an average of about 2.4 million barrels per day by late last year compared with 2 million a day earlier in the year and 1.3 million in early 2003.

Adding to Baghdad's projected surplus is Iraq's conservative estimate of the oil's worth. The country's 2008 budget of $46.8 billion was calculated based on $57 per barrel of oil, roughly half of today's market rate, according to a report by the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction.

Stuart Bowen, who heads the IG office, predicted in a March hearing that Iraq's oil revenue could climb to as high as $60 billion this year, from early estimates of $35 billion.

The U.S. military isn't reaping those benefits. American troops in Iraq are buying fuel on the open market at $3.23 a gallon and spending some $153 million a month, according to a recent report by The Associated Press.

Collins says the Iraqis should cover those costs.

"It's really difficult for Americans who are struggling with the high cost of the energy to see us paying for fuel costs in a country that has the second-largest oil reserves" and a burgeoning budget surplus, she said.
 

Blackjack200

Lifer
May 28, 2007
16,008
1,678
126
I agree. We should make the Vietnamese pay for all that napalm we dropped on their heads too.
 

GrGr

Diamond Member
Sep 25, 2003
3,204
0
76
"Iraq's financial free ride may be over."


HAHAHA

oh yes the grateful Iraqis shall have the pleasure of paying for the privilage of having American Overlords rule them...

How noble of the murderous forces behind the invasion and occupation to dictate to the Iraqis that they are free to pay their imperial masters. So much for Iraqi freedom and independence...

:roll:





 

chucky2

Lifer
Dec 9, 1999
10,038
36
86
Originally posted by: GrGr
"Iraq's financial free ride may be over."


HAHAHA

oh yes the grateful Iraqis shall have the pleasure of paying for the privilage of having American Overlords rule them...

How noble of the murderous forces behind the invasion and occupation to dictate to the Iraqis that they are free to pay their imperial masters. So much for Iraqi freedom and independence...

:roll:
Wow...I wasn't aware that the Iraqi elections were faked, and that the by far vast majority of deaths over there have been US forces pulling the trigger...wait...you mean, oh, I see...you mean the opposite is true. But, wait...that would make your post....utter BS...

Got it.. :roll:

Chuck
 

NoStateofMind

Diamond Member
Oct 14, 2005
9,716
6
76
Originally posted by: chucky2
Originally posted by: GrGr
"Iraq's financial free ride may be over."


HAHAHA

oh yes the grateful Iraqis shall have the pleasure of paying for the privilage of having American Overlords rule them...

How noble of the murderous forces behind the invasion and occupation to dictate to the Iraqis that they are free to pay their imperial masters. So much for Iraqi freedom and independence...

:roll:
Wow...I wasn't aware that the Iraqi elections were faked, and that the by far vast majority of deaths over there have been US forces pulling the trigger...wait...you mean, oh, I see...you mean the opposite is true. But, wait...that would make your post....utter BS...

Got it.. :roll:

Chuck
So I guess you think we would have allowed an anti-US elected government? :disgust:
 

NoStateofMind

Diamond Member
Oct 14, 2005
9,716
6
76
ProfJohn, I guess you wouldn't mind me coming to your house, telling you what to do, taking your resources and have you pay me for it?
 

Blackjack200

Lifer
May 28, 2007
16,008
1,678
126
Don't forget to bring Lynndie England with you to sodomize him on his basement floor. That's $5 extra.
 

bamacre

Lifer
Jul 1, 2004
21,034
1
61
Originally posted by: PC Surgeon
ProfJohn, I guess you wouldn't mind me coming to your house, telling you what to do, taking your resources and have you pay me for it?
Hey, if PJ is picking up the tab, you may as well bring Blackwater with you. And don't forget the US border guards to keep his neighbors of your, uhh, I mean, PJ's yard.
 

chucky2

Lifer
Dec 9, 1999
10,038
36
86
Originally posted by: PC Surgeon
Originally posted by: chucky2
Originally posted by: GrGr
"Iraq's financial free ride may be over."


HAHAHA

oh yes the grateful Iraqis shall have the pleasure of paying for the privilage of having American Overlords rule them...

How noble of the murderous forces behind the invasion and occupation to dictate to the Iraqis that they are free to pay their imperial masters. So much for Iraqi freedom and independence...

:roll:
Wow...I wasn't aware that the Iraqi elections were faked, and that the by far vast majority of deaths over there have been US forces pulling the trigger...wait...you mean, oh, I see...you mean the opposite is true. But, wait...that would make your post....utter BS...

Got it.. :roll:

Chuck
So I guess you think we would have allowed an anti-US elected government? :disgust:
I don't think we would have 'allowed' any government at all. We gave them the framework, and anyone short of an al-Sadr could have run for election. The Iraqi's picked who they picked...and they kill who they kill.

If Muslims want to end the Muslim suffering, they just have to be nicer to themselves...it's not US causing the death over there...

Chuck
 

jpeyton

Moderator in SFF, Notebooks, Pre-Built/Barebones
Moderator
Aug 23, 2003
25,387
140
116
Originally posted by: ProfJohn
I think we can all agree that if we are going to be in Iraq then Iraq needs to help foot some of the bill.
I think if we look at the replies so far, we clearly don't 'all agree' that we need to be in Iraq, or that they need to pay for our decision to turn their country into a war zone.
 

GrGr

Diamond Member
Sep 25, 2003
3,204
0
76
Originally posted by: chucky2
Originally posted by: PC Surgeon
Originally posted by: chucky2
Originally posted by: GrGr
"Iraq's financial free ride may be over."


HAHAHA

oh yes the grateful Iraqis shall have the pleasure of paying for the privilage of having American Overlords rule them...

How noble of the murderous forces behind the invasion and occupation to dictate to the Iraqis that they are free to pay their imperial masters. So much for Iraqi freedom and independence...

:roll:
Wow...I wasn't aware that the Iraqi elections were faked, and that the by far vast majority of deaths over there have been US forces pulling the trigger...wait...you mean, oh, I see...you mean the opposite is true. But, wait...that would make your post....utter BS...

Got it.. :roll:

Chuck
So I guess you think we would have allowed an anti-US elected government? :disgust:
I don't think we would have 'allowed' any government at all. We gave them the framework, and anyone short of an al-Sadr could have run for election. The Iraqi's picked who they picked...and they kill who they kill.

If Muslims want to end the Muslim suffering, they just have to be nicer to themselves...it's not US causing the death over there...

Chuck
Nonsense. The US wanted to put Ahmed Chalabi on the puppet throne but the Shiite clerics made it very clear that they would join the Sunni rebellion unless there was an election so the US had to cave in. The "democracy" song and dance is just a figleaf to pretend the invasion is not an imperial power grab...

Now the US is busy meddling for all it's worth in Iraqi politics, bribing some with money, some with weapons and political power while fighting other Iraqi politicians who wants to see a free and independent Iraq.




 

chucky2

Lifer
Dec 9, 1999
10,038
36
86
Originally posted by: GrGr
Originally posted by: chucky2
Originally posted by: PC Surgeon
Originally posted by: chucky2
Originally posted by: GrGr
"Iraq's financial free ride may be over."


HAHAHA

oh yes the grateful Iraqis shall have the pleasure of paying for the privilage of having American Overlords rule them...

How noble of the murderous forces behind the invasion and occupation to dictate to the Iraqis that they are free to pay their imperial masters. So much for Iraqi freedom and independence...

:roll:
Wow...I wasn't aware that the Iraqi elections were faked, and that the by far vast majority of deaths over there have been US forces pulling the trigger...wait...you mean, oh, I see...you mean the opposite is true. But, wait...that would make your post....utter BS...

Got it.. :roll:

Chuck
So I guess you think we would have allowed an anti-US elected government? :disgust:
I don't think we would have 'allowed' any government at all. We gave them the framework, and anyone short of an al-Sadr could have run for election. The Iraqi's picked who they picked...and they kill who they kill.

If Muslims want to end the Muslim suffering, they just have to be nicer to themselves...it's not US causing the death over there...

Chuck
Nonsense. The US wanted to put Ahmed Chalabi on the puppet throne but the Shiite clerics made it very clear that they would join the Sunni rebellion unless there was an election so the US had to cave in. The "democracy" song and dance is just a figleaf to pretend the invasion is not an imperial power grab...

Now the US is busy meddling for all it's worth in Iraqi politics, bribing some with money, some with weapons and political power while fighting other Iraqi politicians who wants to see a free and independent Iraq.
Another amazing bit of information you have! I wasn't aware that Chalabi was elected??? Wait??? Um...he wasn't??? And, oh sh1t, you mean the US didn't step in and put him in charge anyways??? And, I'm sure this must be wrong, the people who the Iraqi's themselves elected actually ended up being their government???

I think I can speak for all Americans when I say there is no one more that'd like to see a free and independent Iraq....because that'd mean we can finally GetTF out of there.

That you attribute the bulk of the problems in Iraq to the US is laughable...so laughable it borders on the insane.

What's next? Blaming airline passengers for jetliners going down because their weight contributed to the total load?

Chuck
 

First

Lifer
Jun 3, 2002
10,530
271
136
Originally posted by: chucky2
If Muslims want to end the Muslim suffering, they just have to be nicer to themselves...

Chuck
Ridiculous oversimplification FTW.
 

chucky2

Lifer
Dec 9, 1999
10,038
36
86
Originally posted by: Evan Lieb
Originally posted by: chucky2
If Muslims want to end the Muslim suffering, they just have to be nicer to themselves...

Chuck
Ridiculous oversimplification FTW.
I know...but it's about as rediculous as overblowing what the US is trying to accomplish in Iraq and then insinuating that we've installed a 'puppet' government.

I really seriously wonder sometimes if the posters on here are that far gone, just how brainswashed the normal ME'r is....

Chuck
 

StageLeft

No Lifer
Sep 29, 2000
70,214
2
0
Good, it's about time. I think if they don't have the money on hand, the US should lend it to them. I see nothing wrong with fvcking the stability and infrastructure of a country and then expecting them to pay or borrow the money to fix it. That's just common-sense, right? I have heard people complain about some paltry $25B Iraq has on hand, which is chump change to the real costs that are required to repair the clusterfvck America has done. You break it, you buy it. The national debt raging out of control, inevitable increase in taxes, these are all to be thanked to the current ruling party in the US and its supporters, like profjohn, so I hope you guys like your tax bill, because it's only going to get bigger.
 

Red Dawn

Elite Member
Jun 4, 2001
57,551
2
0
Cool, instead of stealing our money the extremely corrupt Iraqi Ministers can steal their own.
 

dmcowen674

No Lifer
Oct 13, 1999
54,912
46
91
www.alienbabeltech.com
Originally posted by: ProfJohn
Topic Title: Iraq's financial free ride may end
Topic Summary: Something we all may agree on.

I think we can all agree that if we are going to be in Iraq then Iraq needs to help foot some of the bill.

And it looks like that may actually happen. Let's keep our fingers crossed.
Personally, I think Iraq should be paying nearly all of our costs, but we may be a ways away from that yet.
Oh the ironing coming from the biggest false war supporter of all in here.
 

Jhhnn

No Lifer
Nov 11, 1999
61,658
13,737
136
The whole thing is lame and distractionary. We're spending $150B/yr in Iraq, but going on and on about the Iraqis spending $15B, or not...

It's not quite as bad as the current repub raving about the 1% earmarks in the federal budget, but in the same vein, and way, way off target, quite by intention.

We looked the other way and twiddled our thumbs as Iraqi military depots were looted early in the occupation, and have been handing out small arms and ammo like candy ever since- promising favor to whatever faction we're talking to at any given moment, usually more than one at a time. Supporters of the Admin somehow claim that we're not killing Iraqis- nah, we're just encouraging them to kill each other, and supplying the means, supporting the motives to accomplish it. Much of the violence is quite intentionally induced by our policy, the policy of the Salvador Option- The Admin is just making sure that nobody can run Iraq w/o our presence, playing everybody off against each other.

Middle Eastern politics have always been tricky and treacherous, but the neocons have brought that to a new level by introducing a whole new realm of deception and greed- it's munchausen by proxy on an international level.
 

Turkish

Lifer
May 26, 2003
15,549
1
81
Originally posted by: ProfJohn
I think we can all agree that if we are going to be in Iraq then Iraq needs to help foot some of the bill.

And it looks like that may actually happen. Let's keep our fingers crossed.

Personally, I think Iraq should be paying nearly all of our costs, but we may be a ways away from that yet.
Nah, I got a better idea. Find all those that voted for GWB in 2000 and 2004, and let them pick up the bill through higher taxes.
 

piasabird

Lifer
Feb 6, 2002
17,183
60
91
Most deaths in Iraqi are caused or killed by terrorists. Yesterday 40 people at a restraunt were killed by one car bomb. I guess you think GI's are dressing up as muslim men and killing people in Iraq? I am no fan of this war started by Bush & Company, but I am not stupid or naive either. The only people that voted for the war are people serving in Congress! People like Hillary Clinton. I dont agree with the idea that the USA people should have to pay for Bush's Mistake, or it is our job to fight all the terrorists in Iraq, and the murderers from Iran and elsewhere. If the people in Iraq dont want to solve their problems and run their own country, let them go to hell. They got all the oil so let them pay for and solve their own problems.

The only solution is to leave immediately. If we are unwilling to deal with Iran, we should run like chickens.
 

Bitek

Diamond Member
Aug 2, 2001
9,175
3,181
136
Originally posted by: Turkish
Originally posted by: ProfJohn
I think we can all agree that if we are going to be in Iraq then Iraq needs to help foot some of the bill.

And it looks like that may actually happen. Let's keep our fingers crossed.

Personally, I think Iraq should be paying nearly all of [their infrastructure costs], but we may be a ways away from that yet.
Nah, I got a better idea. Find all those that voted for GWB in 2000 and 2004, and let them pick up the bill through higher taxes.


I like both ideas.:beer:

The 1st blown-up bridge is on us, if they blow it up again they bought it.
 

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