Friday, September 07, 2007

More from Iraq

I was particularly struck by this summary at Cursor linking to Riverbend's posting about her flight from Iraq:
"The first minutes after passing the border were overwhelming," writes Iraqi refugee Riverbend, now among the estimated 1.5 million Iraqi refugees in Syria, with another 800,000 in Jordan, and 719 in the U.S.
Read those numbers again.

In Vanity Fair: Billions over Baghdad, where investigative reporters Bartlett and Steele "discover just how little anyone cared about how the money was handled."That's $12 billion in cash that was transferred from the Federal Reserve to Iraq, and of which only $3 billion can be accounted for.

That's only the beginning, and one trail leads to a contractor whose records are shady at best. Bartlett and Steele conclude:
There is no true method of calculating the human cost of the war in Iraq. The monetary cost, grossly inflated by theft and corruption, is another matter. One simple piece of data puts this into perspective: to date, America has spent twice as much in inflation-adjusted dollars to rebuild Iraq as it did to rebuild Japan—an industrialized country three times Iraq's size, two of whose cities had been incinerated by atomic bombs.


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