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July 31, 2003 1:42 PM   Subscribe

The war just got $30mil more expensive. (More inside)
posted by dirtylittlemonkey (30 comments total)
 
Sorry to those who see this as another Iraq/Hussein Bros/Newsfilter post, but I'm curious if these sort tactics really help. Whether you are a Green Monkey or a Rubber Ducky there may be a price on your head. $25million for Papa Hussein or Bin Laden; who determines the price we are willing to pay? With their regimes and groups scattered what power do these single men really hold?
posted by dirtylittlemonkey at 1:44 PM on July 31, 2003


I suppose we could look at it as a cut of the military funding saved when Q and U were found sooner rather than later. But still, $30M seems excessive.
posted by orange swan at 1:54 PM on July 31, 2003


When I read this earlier today my initial reaction was anger at the ridiculousness of spending $30mill of taxpayers' money on this. What, $10mill wasn't enough? $3mill? But then a co-worker pointed out that it's obviously part of the plan to get someone to turn in Saddam and 'end the war' - which, since this war is costing $1.5 bill a day (will look up to confirm) is actually a sound investment. Not sure how I feel about this - what do you guys think?
posted by widdershins at 1:55 PM on July 31, 2003


The power of symbolism.
posted by Busithoth at 1:59 PM on July 31, 2003


I think it would have been a hell of a lot easier if we just offered a $50 million cash reward (sans taxes) for someone to hand him over to us before the war. I bet a few of his bodyguards or lower-ranking soldiers would have taken up the offer.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 2:02 PM on July 31, 2003


The number had to be high enough to motivate someone who is probably already very wealthy to inform. My assumption is that Saddam made all those to whom he was close, very wealthy.

And $30m is cheap compared to the many lives potentially lost and the great cost per day to keep soldiers in Iraq.
posted by Red58 at 2:05 PM on July 31, 2003


But what if the $30 million is just funnelled to Al Queda?
posted by shoepal at 2:06 PM on July 31, 2003


But what if the $30 million is just funnelled to Al Queda?
interesting point. maybe they're holding out to see how high the US will go before turning Saddam in.
posted by carfilhiot at 2:10 PM on July 31, 2003


I dunno, what's the fair market value these days for a dictator? Does number of deaths caused drive up his P/E ratio?

Personally, I think $30 million is a bargain.
posted by Asparagirl at 2:11 PM on July 31, 2003


I have a feeling that the guy who turned them in is already looking to buy a passport from some place like the Seychelles or the British Virgin Islands, so as to get him and his family the hell out of Iraq. He's got two huge targets painted on his back now -- the one for the $30 mil and the other for turning in those two.

And $30 mil will go a LONG LONG way in most of the countries in the world...
posted by badzen at 2:11 PM on July 31, 2003


Thirty million well spent dollars. Let's hope we quickly get to spend another fifty million on Saddam and Osama.
posted by caddis at 2:24 PM on July 31, 2003


But if Saddam were turned in tomorrow would there be any less troops in Iraq come Monday? I think not. If Osama was caught would the War on Terror be over? uhm nope.
posted by dirtylittlemonkey at 2:25 PM on July 31, 2003


dirtylittlemonkey had an agenda with this FPP.
posted by stbalbach at 2:28 PM on July 31, 2003


Given that it's been reported that they found ~$100 million with Uday and Qusay, the U.S. actually made money on that deal. Not bad for a day's work.
posted by gyc at 2:39 PM on July 31, 2003


but I'm curious if these sort tactics really help ;

The bath toys floating since January 1992 have the words “the first years” inscribed on them. That’s the name of the company that made the ducks and is now putting up the reward for any of the toys that show up in New England, Canada or Iceland through this summer. Love the ocean may be it will pay me back.

At the beginning of June, before the U.S. offensives began, the reward for killing an American soldier was about $300, an Army officer said. Now, he said, street youths are being offered as much as $5,000 -- and are being told that if they refuse, their families will be killed, a development the officer described as a sign of reluctance among once-eager youths to take part in the strikes. from this FPP

(Can't find the posted article, thought it was on Meta), An article talked about how the son's arrived at his home what the neighbors were told and saw; then his position in the ranks to Saddam. IIRC he was not too popular before the war and he only hid the sons in fear of his life, they just showed up one day.

Also this has been said before, Good use of my tax bucks.

But if Saddam were turned in tomorrow would there be any less troops in Iraq come Monday? I think not. Osama was caught would the War on Terror be over? uhm nope. Most of the operatives searching for Osama are searching Iraq for Saddam now. So they would leave to go find Osama.
posted by thomcatspike at 2:42 PM on July 31, 2003


Well, I'd rather have our money spent to whack our runaway imposed-dictator's kids than to fly Duh-bya around in a jet for his 2004 reelection campaign. The imposed dictator being Saddam... I don't want those little drunk Bush girls killed, or his junkie niece, for that matter...they're cool with me.
posted by zekinskia at 2:47 PM on July 31, 2003


As gyc said, the brothers Hussein were found with $100 million on them, so the war actually got $70 million cheaper.
posted by Frank Grimes at 3:10 PM on July 31, 2003


Excuse the piss outta me, but what makes any of you think that just because we pooped U and Q when they had $100 mill, that one red cent of that money belongs to us? Are you assuming that Iraq now has to pay us back for our tasty little liberation? Or are we now muggers with Tomahawks?
posted by Wulfgar! at 3:35 PM on July 31, 2003


*I meant popped, but pooped works too*
posted by Wulfgar! at 3:37 PM on July 31, 2003


No one on this thread seems to have noticed that the prevailing opinion among informed observers is that most of the attacks on US troops in Iraq now have little to do with Saddam Hussein and much more, as time goes by, with fury at American actions - notably, the killing of innocent civilians.

As more and more US troops are killed and wounded in the increasingly sophisticated and deadly ambushes, they grow more and more jumpy - and so innocent civilians get shot up. Of course the last thing US soldiers want to do is kill innocent civilians (including families, and children) - but in an environment where a deadly attack could come from anywhere, and in any guise, it's inevitable that frayed nerves will lead to tragic mistakes.

It's a "rock and a hard place" situation for US soldiers to be in, and absurdly unjust. As for the Iraqis.....well they still would be - in the long run - far better off than under Saddam if the Americans actually stick to their promises to foster a working democracy. But the nurturance of democracy requires a certain underlying stability - a stability unlikely to emerge as Iraqi rage at the Americans grows.

This weblog here details a number of incidents of the most recent accidental killings of Iraqi civilians by US troops: and what of the killings of US troops? - They certainly count in the minds of the American public (and of course also among the US military) but I very much doubt that they weigh heavily in the minds of most Iraqis. This is simply a basic feature of human instinct that, in Iraq, the Americans are the "other" - sadly unavoidable. So, even if the number of US troops killed and wounded in ambushes exceeded the number of Iraqi civilians accidentally killed it would not matter much, I think, in the minds of Iraqis who would, I'd say, mourn each civilian casualty as a new outrage.

It's a lose-lose situation, and one that will not be magically "fixed" if Saddam is found and either ritualistically killed, or imprisoned to await trial.
posted by troutfishing at 3:38 PM on July 31, 2003


Excuse the piss outta me, but what makes any of you think that just because we pooped U and Q when they had $100 mill, that one red cent of that money belongs to us? Are you assuming that Iraq now has to pay us back for our tasty little liberation? Or are we now muggers with Tomahawks?

Chill out dude. Here's my thought process. Tell me if I'm wrong. We're paying (at least a small amount) to help rebuild Iraq. An extra $100 million for the Iraqis for them to spend on reconstruction is $100 million less we have to spend on it. So we're not just confiscating the money. Even if we don't get our hands on it ourselves we still benefit when the Iraqi treasury increases my $100 million.
posted by gyc at 4:07 PM on July 31, 2003


Wulfgar the seized assets both in Iraq and USA, unable to determine where it would flow. Any one know? besides a guess. Hoped it would go back to them but greed alone will stop that.
posted by thomcatspike at 4:16 PM on July 31, 2003


If they spend it on reconstruction, and if we were going to spend it otherwise, you might have a point. Two mighty big assumptions, considering they don't have a government yet, nor even a national currency to agree upon, and we've set such a great precedent for rebuilding in Afghanistan. Either way, it sounds to me like you're just covering your ass for a really bogus and Amurcan-arrogant statement.

Somehow or another, we've come to regard Iraq as ours; it isn't and it never has been. Its people are not ours to buy (dead or alive the posters say), its decisions are not ours to make. Making rich folk of those who turn in the people we don't like won't change that one bit.

One final thing, the Iraqis that we liberated are not the ones who've chosen this path. Why on Earth should they have to pay American companies to rebuild what we destroyed?
posted by Wulfgar! at 4:19 PM on July 31, 2003


I turned in Saddam's barber and all I got was this lousy t-shirt.
posted by planetkyoto at 4:30 PM on July 31, 2003


Tell me if I'm wrong. We're paying (at least a small amount) to help rebuild Iraq
2.5 Billion was set aside to be spent over the next 18 months, 1.2 Billion or more to USAID(iirc) Not small change. C-span showed this in progress; the rebuilding of schools, food storage facilities & other infrastructures. Remember one school they were at and a comment was made that this school was destroyed during the war the reason it needed to be rebuilt. The head of USAID made it clear it was not; thought ok how do we know? Then I saw that the ceilings and walls which showed the neglect. You could see large spots of mold and other signs of a neglected building. One thing to think too, democracy does not spring up anywhere over night, takes work which does not pay the bills, unless we are paying their Iraqi leaders too.

Why on Earth should they have to pay American companies to rebuild what we destroyed? Greed, any organize company lend a helping hand to you lately? Not saying they don't but heard little let alone anyone saying, hey I'm going to Iraq and donating my services. If there are outstanding.
posted by thomcatspike at 4:58 PM on July 31, 2003


> As gyc said, the brothers Hussein were found with $100 million on them, so the war actually got $70 million cheaper.

That's Iraqi money, not American i.e. that can't go towards paying for the war but it can probably go towards reconstruction.
posted by skallas at 7:25 PM on July 31, 2003


Giving information can be dangerous: Villagers Force Execution of Suspected U.S. Informant by Father and Brother
posted by homunculus at 8:42 PM on July 31, 2003


One thing I've heard here so far I agree with completely: it doesn't matter if we catch every pokemon in the deck, it isn't going to change the course of our occupation by a single day.

We have decided to create Iraq in our image - a country that has for the last 5,000 years been ruled by tribes and factions. Most of those tribes and factions despise each other, but increasingly we're probably going to find that they're going to despise us a whole lot more. "Those guys in the north are really dicks, but at least they Belong here." Add to that the folks who simply hate our presence in their country (you don't need to be John Birch or Ultra Right to take up arms if a country invaded and occupied the US), and we've got a mess there that our very presence will continue to enflame, not extinguish.

Frankly, the money may as well be flushed down the toilet anyway - it is a drop in a bucket compared to the kabillions we're bleeding in our occupation. So, go ahead - waste a couple more million for all I care. But anybody who thinks this is going to clear up the skies over Baghdad in any significant amount is going to be surprised in the long run.

And it will be a very long run.
posted by Perigee at 7:31 AM on August 1, 2003


Yes, that's $30 million really well-spent. Sleep well, America.
posted by holycola at 8:49 AM on August 1, 2003


So, question: For thirty million dollars would you personally assassinate a brutal dictator, provided there was no chance of harm to yourself or loved ones?

[cut to clip from Grosse Pointe Blank]
posted by mecran01 at 9:53 AM on August 1, 2003


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