2005/03/15

Democrats scolded on Iraq

First of all, the writer Sebastian Mallaby comments on the Democrat's refusal to offer a detailed Social Security plan of their own. Atrios has a whole list of links to people who have commented on this. Basically, it's a stupid idea because after nearly five years of pushing for the privatization of Social Security, the Bush Administration is not offering a detailed plan either. For the Democrats to offer a plan in the absence of any plan by Bush simply makes their plan the target for attack ads. It's Bush's pet project, let him offer the plan. Mallaby says:

Last year Democrats impaled themselves on the Iraq war. They were so anxious to denounce the invasion that they failed to acknowledge the most basic point of all: that, having waded into Iraq, the United States could not leave prematurely. By attacking the Bush policy relentlessly, Democrats sounded negative. By refusing to say clearly that they would finish the Iraq job, they sounded irresponsible.

Now, when a person sets a price for a house or a car, a process known as negotiating takes place. The Bush Administration has shown absolutely zero interest in negotiating anything whatsoever about the Iraq War. One does not negotiate with bad, evil people (Well, in theory one does not negotiate with, for instance, Iranian hostage-takers, but somehow the Reagan Administration did so.) And the Bush Administration has demonstrated time and again that it considers opponents of the Iraq War to be bad, evil people.

Must the US "stay the course"? Is maintaining a US presence in Iraq at all costs something that the US must do? Here's a letter from a 60-year-old Iraqi citizen who was educated in the US:

We Iraqis are afraid to go out for fear of being kidnapped by criminal gangs roaming the country with an ineffective police force. We are also afraid of going out for fear that we might be killed by a bomb directed at your troops, or killed, or shot at by trigger-happy and nervous American troops.

The innocent Iraqi population is not using armored personal carriers, nor do they use armored cars to help them protect themselves. More innocent Iraqi civilians are killed by your troops shooting at them than those killed by the criminal gangs. You probably know, Mr. President, that your trigger-happy and nervous troops enjoy freedom from prosecution for these unlawful killings. From what I have witnessed those killers do not even stop to say "sorry" for their actions.

Allow me respectfully to remind you, Mr. President, that now more than 60% of the Iraqi work force in your "liberated" Iraq is unemployed as compared to 30% before your liberation. It looks like your action has doubled the number of Iraqis "liberated" from earning a decent pay or a decent work.

The U.S. Congress issued a report on Iraq at the end of June 2004. In that report they say that, in May 2003 (just after the invasion), 7 out of the 18 governorates had more than 16 hours of electricity per day. It also says that this number was reduced to one governorate in May 2004, one year after the invasion. Now, we are very lucky if we get 6 hours of electricity per day in Baghdad, a city of 5 million people.

Health services have continued to deteriorate during the past 22 months of occupation. Hospitals still lack even the simplest things. Drugs are not available. Fewer patients seek medical treatments or examination because of the security situation and the closed streets. Doctors are not safe at hospitals. They have been physically attacked by relatives of patients blaming, or venting their frustration on the poor helpless doctors.

Due to lack of security and poor police force, criminal gangs have kidnapped for ransom a few hundred doctors. Some were threatened. As a result, hundreds of highly qualified doctors have fled the country and it has resulted in a further deterioration of health services. These highly qualified doctors did not run away from the tyranny of the dictator, Mr. President, but because of the chaos and lawlessness in your "liberated Iraq."

Records show, Mr. President, that the Iraqi government smuggled up to a hundred thousand barrels a day of refined diesel fuel through Turkey, with your government's knowledge. These figures indicate that the Iraqi refineries had an excess refining capacity allowing the country to export refined oil products.

During the "liberation" of Iraq, refineries were not targeted as they had been In 1991, so one assumes that the damage was minimal. I wonder why refineries are not fixed yet after 22 months of "liberation." I still cannot understand why Iraq continues to import refined oil products from Turkey, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia -- and to my amazement from Israel. We Iraqis need to know why our money is being spent, unwisely, to import gasoline now, when we were an exporting nation. I might understand that Halliburton and KBR needed to import gasoline for a few months, but not after 22 months of "liberation."

In 1991, our refineries were severely damaged by the bombing. We the Iraqi people were able, despite the sanctions and without help from the Halliburtons, to fix the refineries in only a few months. We kept them working and going for 13 years and we were exporting products. Similarly the Iraqi people were able to restore the electricity in a few months. The Iraqi people reconstructed every building damaged by the war of 1991 in less than a year. Seeing the lack of any reconstruction efforts after 22 months of "liberation" makes me sad.

Mr. President, in 1991 America promised that Iraq will be returned to the "pre-industrial" age and they nearly did that by bombing and destroying everything. The Iraqi people surprised the world by reconstructing what was bombed. On top of that, new projects were implemented despite the sanctions. As an Iraqi this makes me extremely proud of our achievement in 1991. We the Iraqis set the standards of reconstruction. After 22 months of "liberation" and the lack of honest and visible reconstruction work I feel that America miserably failed to meet that standard.

For 13 years, Iraqis were living on food rations given by the government. We were told that our government was robbing us and providing us with only 2200 Kcal per day. The "liberated" government of Iraq after the liberation is still providing us with about 2200 Kcal per day of food rations.

The government of Iraq used to spend about $150 million a month to import and distribute the food rations. According to your CPA Inspector General, $8.8 billion dollars were unaccounted for in one year. Mr. President, these $8.8 billion are enough to feed all the people of Iraq for nearly 60 months. This fiscal irresponsibility and the lack of transparency in spending our money make me wonder about the aim of the "liberation" of Iraq. I'm sorry to say that the Iraqi people are being robbed blind. We are also being "liberated" from our wealth.

So what I'm not at all clear on is: exactly what constructive good are Americans doing in Iraq? What exactly are Americns accomplishing? We "must" stay in? Why?

1 comment:

Richard kanegis said...

richardkanegis@aol.com 215-563-2866 May 25th, 2007
THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE UNITED ON THE WAR BUT DIVIDED ON GAY MARRIAGE GUN CONTROL ETC. This is true among those most vehemently opposed to the war as well. No issues of common solidarity among the majority of war opponents like during Vietnam. I would like to see Kucinich and Ron Paul meet, debate, then part of the time discuss how to together they can stop the war, and Paul and Kucinich supporters likewise, get together to discuss how they can together end the war while part of the time argue diversive issues.
Richard Kanegis 215-563-2866 PO Box 31913 Phila PA 19104. RichardKanegis@aol.com. I’m the guy that usually argues that bin Laden is winning an overwhelming victory plunging the world into hate
`~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`

I copied the following from the Common Dreams website, that shows that the most active antiwar activists are on both sides of domestic moral issues.




1. When I reflect on what Nixon did to be impeached and what Clinton did to be impeached, the 110th congress has no courage. Bush and his neo-conservaties (all of them) should be removed from office and put on trial.
My representatives in the state of Florida (Martinez, Nelson and Mica) are cool, calm and collected whiffle ball cowards to stand up and stop the war. Shear cowards.
Ron Paul for president