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This Is What Democracy Looks Like

Today's Note From a Madman

April 9, 2008


Why Are We Still Paying For It?

"The cost of the occupation, the cost for the military administration and providing for a provisional (civilian) administration, all of that would come out of Iraqi oil,"
-Then-Deputy secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, in a December 13, 2002 briefing

Presidential economic advisor Lawrence B. Lindsey in 2002 stated that the Iraq war and occupation could cost us all between $100 and $200 billion. He was then given his gold watch for doing his job. Mitch Daniels, then Director of the Office of Management and Budget was then forced to say that Lindsey's estimate was "very, very high". His estimate came in at between "$50-$60 billion" and was endorsed by then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

Let's just say that the predictions of the cost of the Iraq war and occupation were not only wrong, but plain stupid. It's a lot like Condoleezza Rice saying that "no one would have predicted" that al-Qaeda would use airplanes as weapons AFTER an intelligence report had just come out predicting that same thing.

The bush administration has lived on lies to keep us in Iraq just as John McCain, the GOP Presidential nominee in 2008 is using those same lies as his reasoning for keeping us in Iraq for up to "one hundred years".

We heard estimates that the Iraq war would cost us no ore than $1.5 billion; we heard the likes of Dick Cheney predict that the Iraqi people would "throw flowers at our feet"; and we heard Rumsfeld prediction that the Iraq war "could last six days, six weeks, (but) I doubt six months."

Wrong again.

So yesterday we heard US troop commander David Patreaus and US Ambassador in Iraq Ryan Crocker tell us that our "successes" in Iraq must be followed up with more troops and more money for their prediction of future successes to some true.

Wouldn't it be nice for any Bush administration prediction to come true...ever?

"A lot of American money, a lot of taxpayers' money, was spent in Iraq. I would say that it could have been spent better,"
-Iraqi Ambassador Samir Sumaida'ie to US Senators yesterday

And with that, we find out that the Iraq government has money to spend on their own reconstruction and their own protection.

It seems that Iraq oil is flowing and that Iraq has a surplus in their treasury. And they have this surplus as we - the US middle class - keeps pouring our recession dollars into their country for a war and an occupation that has no end.

What's wrong with this picture?

I think that Senator Carl Levin (DEMOCRAT-MI) put it best yesterday:

"Rather, we need to put continuous and increasing pressure on the Iraqis to settle their political differences, to pay for their own reconstruction with their oil windfalls, and to take the lead in conducting military operations,"

And that sentiment was echoed on the other side of the aisle as well:

"Isn't it time for the Iraqis to start bearing more of those expenses, particularly in light of the windfall in revenues due to the high price of oil?"
-Senator Susan Collins (REPUBLICAN-ME)

And isn't it time for those associated with the Bush administration to begin telling us the truth, and for the likes of senator John McCain to stop hiding their mistakes?

And speaking of McCain, he has really got to stop confusing the different sects in Iraq. Again, and after being corrected by his friend Senator Joe Lieberman just last month in the middle east about the relationship between Iran and al-Qaeda (one does not exist, no matter what McCain says), "The Maverick did it again:

Al Qaeda is an "obscure sect of the Shi'ites,"

This is not something which should be ignored. It wasn't cute when Ronald Reagan did it, and it isn't cute today either.

-Noah Greenberg

In response to US Trade Representative Susan Schwab's, "We recognize that trade can also have a negative impact on some of our citizens and that in those cases the government has a responsibility to help workers obtain the skills to successfully reenter the workforce," Robert Scardapane writes:

So, why did the Bush administration and GOP Congress cut funding for trade adjustment assistance (TAA)? When many IT workers were laid off in the Bush's first recession, why were they denied TAA? The Bushies actions never reflect their words.

By the way, is Susan Schwab related to Charles? Word has it that Bush really likes Charles Schwab. He must be one of his "have mores". I just wondering if this is more cronyism.

There is no relationship anywhere on the Internet between Charles and Susan Schwab. Although Charles and Helen Schwab reside in San Francisco, and had five children together, there is no mention of any of their names. There is one correlation, however: Both Charles and Susan Schwab gained their Masters Degrees from Stanford University (Charles also obtained his Bachelor's degree there).

Although there is a mention of Susan Schwab's father being a State Department employee, like the Schwab children's names, there is no mention of a name anywhere. -NG

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-Noah Greenberg