Iraqis Are Outraged at Suggestion that They Pay Part of War Costs Through Fuel

It was bad enough when polls of Iraqis were polled as overwhelmingly supporting attacks on U.S. personnel. Now, Iraqi officials have expressed absolute outrage at the suggestion that they should bear a small fraction of the costs of the war through cheap fuel for the U.S. military. Iraqi officials have said that the U.S. has a greater debt to pay Iraq and that the request is “immoral.”

With costs projected as high as $2 trillion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (with an additional $108 billion in war funding just sought by the Bush Administration), some in Congress made the modest suggestion that the Iraqis provide fuel for the military. Here is the response from Abdul Basit, the head of Iraq’s Supreme Board of Audit: “America has hardly even begun to repay its debt to Iraq. This is an immoral request because we didn’t ask them to come to Iraq, and before they came in 2003 we didn’t have all these needs.”

Now, let’s take account of the current view from Iraq. Attacks on U.S. personnel is permissible and moral. The U.S. has lost roughly 4000 people with tens of thousands of wounded, but it still have a greater debt to pay for ridding the country of Saddam Hussein. Finally, Iraq can demand such sacrifice, but should not be asked to contribute a dime for the effort. Sounds like a good deal, why is everyone so mad at Bush?

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26 thoughts on “Iraqis Are Outraged at Suggestion that They Pay Part of War Costs Through Fuel”

  1. Let’s see…

    The Iraqi government installed by the United States is “negotiating” for multiple-decade oil rights contracts from Iraq to the likes of Exxon and BP. Wonder who makes out on that one? I do hope these executives will have the chance to visit out fabulous new multi-billion dollar “Vatican II” embassy in Iraq when they arrive for the signing.

    Maybe China should liberate Iowa and then negotiate a 20 year deal for all the corn production in the state. That should go over well too.

    On the other hand, in terms of taxing a different commodity in Afghanistan – opium – I would be entirely open to that.

    How about legalizing cocaine and taxing it, thus saving taxpayers hundreds of billions in law enforcement and incarceration expenses, all the while restoring some personal liberties, raising revenues, and removing the near-monopoly Afghanistan has over opium production? Oh — almost forgot to mention the lower property crime rates, diminished power of gangs and organized crime, and reduction in government corruption that would be an unavoidable consequence of such a radical action.

    Too risky you say? We can’t have a few individuals accidentally addicted to cocaine (instead of the more palatable and socially acceptable Oxycontin), lest they wind up in some mythical Hell for all eternity. Better that the rest of us sacrifice some freedom today so that these souls can be kept from temptation. It’s a moral imperative, just like the war against these “evildoers” in Iraq, Iran, Syria, and whomever else might seek to live independently of our enlightened ways.

  2. Where a Wolfowitz?

    Der a Wolfowitz…

    “On March 27, 2003, Wolfowitz told a Congressional panel that oil revenue earned by Iraq alone would pay for Iraq’s reconstruction after the Iraq war; he testified: “The oil revenues of that country could bring between $50 and $100 billion over the course of the next two or three years. Now, there are a lot of claims on that money, but … We are dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction and relatively soon.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Wolfowitz#Wolfowitz.27s_economic_arguments_pertaining_to_the_Iraq_War

  3. Let’s suppose JT left out one itty-bitty word:

    ************************

    Sounds like a good deal, ( so ) why is everyone so mad at Bush?

  4. Hundreds of thousands of dead civilians, lack of drinkable water, lack of security, armed militias running huge sections of the country, religious fanaticism merging with government, insufficient electrical power…you’d have to be high to think that the Iraqis aren’t already paying an astronomical cost for this war that WE forced on THEM.

  5. No, but I expect I won’t have time for much blogging because I’ll be studying for an LLM. Who knows, though, maybe I will.

  6. VC – What – they don’t have the Internet where you’re going? You sparked an interesting conversation and you made very solid points.

  7. Believe me, the US is hardly ‘detached’ over Iraq and if you read the papers, Bush has a mere 22% approval rating.

    Not that it makes a lot of difference, but I, and plenty of others like me, opposed the war from the beginning. And if I were Iraqi, I think I’d probably feel the same way you do. I say ‘probably’ only because I can’t really know how you feel.

  8. It’s much easier to be polite when issues are merely an intellectual exercise, and no personal sacrifice is involved. I suspect, however, that as the dollar continues to collapse, Americans will not feel so detached over Iraq. I guess I have an attitude problem, because I feel a touch of schadenfreude already, hearing about piles of unsold SUVs as gas hits $4 a gallon. But don’t worry, I plan to leave soon for a country with a sane, moral and informed citizenry so you’ll be spared the inconvenience of hearing ingratitude over the blessed “liberation”.

  9. I guess we’ll have to ask him when he gets back!

    I think it must have been tongue-in-cheek
    – maybe some thought or sentence got left out.

    Dunno.

  10. Patty C, I am mystified by that essay. Could it be that JT does not do all the writing?

  11. by the way, attacks on an occupying army are legally defensible under international law and morally defensible as well. the fact that that army is supported by a puppet government should make no difference.

  12. “Sounds like a good deal, why is everyone so mad at Bush?”

    JT, that was a rhetorical question, right?

  13. Yikes – I didn’t mean Dunder – no offense Dunder ole boy. I meant VC !!!! Many apologies. Shouldn’t do this when on conference calls.

  14. While I don’t intend to suggest that I share Dunder’s lust for personal attack or insult to our host – I have to say I find myself completely in agreement with the core of his message.

    It is bewildering to me how the media has bought this assertion that the Iraqis are responsible for what has occurred during an invasion of their country. I continue to be amazed that even those far more eloquent and thoughtful than I will ever be, repeat this illogical thesis as though it were sound reasoning. We’ve cut the cultural and virtual legs out from under them and we pose the argument (with a large political masquerade ball) about standing up on their own feet ??

    Just as Mission Accomplished should be insulting to the free world, so should the notion that Iraqis brought this on themselves. We invaded the LEADING Secular Nation in the Middle East, replaced it with an Theocracy and ignited not just one … but several civil wars. We’ve crippled our military, and all but guaranteed that to get our military in order we will go into further debt and have to get creative to restore faith in our Guard and Reserve Programs.

    I’m also deeply offended every time I hear someone refer to the Iraqis (as a people) being responsible for their demise. Their leadership are puppets in a largest production of Punch and Judy ever performed. We’re talking about costs – yet the Iraqi workforce has essentially been shut out of the process of reconstruction. The Iraqi leadership is in concert with renegade contractors empowered by the US and the Iraqi people have to be further dissed ??

    Just what would the Iraqi’s pay with ?? Oil revenues that they have only a portion of the proceeds because Paul Bremmer saw to it that 95 percent of Iraqi’s oil is controlled by foreign oil companies and the money doesn’t pass through.

    There are many sources to understand precisely what is not being discussed in the American Press. Sinan Antoon and the documentary film ‘About Baghdad’ are a good start. I know I’ll hear from-the- bag-of-poop-on-fire-on-your-porch cadre of students posing as a poster but Al Jazeera – English and reporting from Washington DC, although, curiously, many broadband providers block the broadcast and no major cable providers carry the feed in the US. However, it is available everywhere else in the world. This freedom is catching on like wildfire….

  15. I have to say I agree with VC. We pre-emptively invade their country, without allowing them time to comply with pertinent UN resolutions, and then want them to help defray the cost of reconstruction?

    Here’s an analogy from experience (partly). I was when young, I was one of those overgrown schoolyard bullies that took advantage of my size to terrorize smaller students. Bad character abd bad Karma, I agree.

    Suppose I knocked some kid down and tore the top buttons off their shirt (from grabbing and twisting it). Now I tell the kid I will buy them a new shirt, but they need to give me a few quarters to help defray costs….. Does that seem like a reasonable request on my part?

  16. listen to the charlie rose show with Sinan Antoon and learn something.

  17. JT:

    And you point is? Do you really believe Iraqis should pay for their “liberation” when they had no choice in the matter, when the real motivation was oil, when 600,000 Iraqis have been killed, when we continue to occupy them, when we bombed that country back a hundred years and did not bother even to set up running water and electricity after 5 years of occupation?

    As an alum, I find your lack of knowledge of Middle East foreign policy an outrage and an embarrassment.

  18. uh, shouldn’t this headline be fixed. Shouldn’t it say “SOME’ Iraquis outraged because the majority of them are not saying or thinking what this headline implys.

    Shame on the media for finding a couple of squakers and making it sound like they speak for 25 million Iraquis.

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