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Iraqi Freedom: You Break The War--You Pay For It.
September 9, 2003 7:14 AM   Subscribe

Iraq Estimates Were Too Low, U.S. Admits
The White House acknowledged Monday that it substantially underestimated the cost of rebuilding Iraq and that even the additional $87 billion it was seeking from a wary Congress would fall far short of what is needed for postwar reconstruction. Administration officials said President Bush's emergency spending request - which would push the U.S. budget deficit above the half-trillion-dollar mark for the first time - still left a reconstruction funding gap of as much as $55 billion.
Reserve Tours Are Extended
With U.S. forces stretched thin in Iraq and the Bush administration still searching for additional international peacekeepers, the Army has ordered thousands of National Guard and Army Reserve forces in Iraq to extend their tours in the country to a year, months longer than many of the troops had anticipated, Army officials said yesterday.
$87,000,000,000 + $55,000,000,000=$142,000,000,000
One year tours for National Guard and Army Reservists
Hope you enjoyed your meal--here's your bill...
posted by y2karl (93 comments total)

 
it substantially underestimated the cost of rebuilding Iraq and that even the additional $87 billion it was seeking from a wary Congress

Let's just save some lives there and send the check directly to Halliburton.
posted by Danf at 7:22 AM on September 9, 2003


Oh, and the idea paying for everything with Iraqi oil? Dream on...

Iraqi oil revenues not materializing

The promise of oil revenues which US officials had counted on as an essential component of their plan to rebuild Iraq has not materialized, and it is beginning to look like it won't for at least two or three more years at best, even if continuing sabotage can be foiled.

While in mid-April various experts were predicting that oil exports could resume in a matter of weeks, that has not happened as quickly as it should have and oil facilities continue to be sabotaged today.

Oil industry experts have long known that a large share of the oil income would have to be spent to repair and upgrade those facilities. That means that the money for reconstruction efforts has to come from the international community and not from the Iraqi oil sector.

The reality is there won't be any surplus Iraqi oil income for at least three to five years under a best-case scenario. Considering that American administrator L Paul Bremer said, when last in Washington, that "oil revenues are 100 percent of our budget", that means that the Iraqi council next year that is going to be responsible for the 2004 budget is going to be allocating a deficit, and a huge one at that.

posted by y2karl at 7:44 AM on September 9, 2003


Amazing. It actually took less than 24 hours for the $87 billion figure to be announced as crap.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:45 AM on September 9, 2003


For the sake of comparison, Iraq's GDP is $57 billion.
posted by samuelad at 7:49 AM on September 9, 2003


Don't forget the $79,000,000,000 already authorized:

$79,000,000,000 + $142,000,000,000 = $221,000,000,000

We're looking at a total of nearly a quarter of a trillion dollars in bills.

Now, let's see, a near quarter trillion dollars payed back with Iraqi oil revenues at 12-14 billion dollars a year? Oh, yeah, that'll work...
posted by y2karl at 8:00 AM on September 9, 2003


I can only wonder that there is anyone of sound mind left in this country who supports the Bush Admin.

And yet on NPR last night I heard some folks in Maine being interviewed and one old codger got real testy: "We shouldn't be second-guessing the President. He was elected. Let him do the job."

Diagram those comments to analyze the factual inaccuracies and mind-boggling sheep-like attitude.
posted by NorthernLite at 8:11 AM on September 9, 2003


How much do the tax cuts amount to? 150 bil, according to conservative estimates?

America, they're robbing you blind.
posted by muckster at 8:16 AM on September 9, 2003


So....anyone got any better ideas for rebuilding iraq?
posted by angry modem at 8:29 AM on September 9, 2003


I think it's kinda namby-pamby to bitch about the cost of freedom.

I can only wonder that there is anyone of sound mind left in this country who supports the Bush Admin.

every-stinking-breathing american adult. He was elected even if it was close and he stole it. $87 billion is small change. so sound mind huh, and hussein was the poster child....nevermind.

so how much would YOU have spent on Rwanda or Cambodia.
posted by clavdivs at 8:32 AM on September 9, 2003


Legalize drugs, and tax them. Would generate SO much money.

/thread jack
posted by rosswald at 8:33 AM on September 9, 2003


$150B dollars. Hmmm. Yesiree, sounds like some real money right there. Out of a budget of 2.14 Trillion dollars, that's about 1/15th of the whole thing! That is, for one year.

So, for $150B dollars, we buy the friendship of a powerful nation with the world's second largest oil reserves, and cheap oil for at least a decade or two, which also results in the effective neutralization of OPEC; a couple of military installations in the most troubled regions in the world, right next door to a nation quite probably in the process of developing aggressive nuclear weapons; a democracy in a region filled with dictators; and an economic foot in an upcoming regional economic powerhouse.

This sounds like a smashing good deal for Cold War standard "chump change."
posted by kablam at 8:42 AM on September 9, 2003


So....anyone got any better ideas for rebuilding iraq?

Um, give them an NFL franchise? It'll kill two birds with one stone. Exactly which two birds, I'm not sure.
posted by eatitlive at 8:43 AM on September 9, 2003


we buy the friendship of a powerful nation with the world's second largest oil reserves,

"We buy the friendship" pretty well sums it up.

and cheap oil for at least a decade or two

No comment.

a couple of military installations in the most troubled regions in the world

Yes, that's working out great in Saudi Arabia.

a democracy in a region filled with dictators;

Unless they elect the wrong people.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 8:49 AM on September 9, 2003


Well, we can now re-invade and take over Kuwait and add that oil revenue to the mix.
posted by HTuttle at 8:52 AM on September 9, 2003


This will come as bad news to Register.com, who rushed to register 87billion.com and cybersquat it after the pResident's speech.
Domain Name: 87BILLION.COM
Registrar: REGISTER.COM, INC.
Whois Server: whois.register.com
Referral URL: http://www.register.com
Name Server: DNS9.REGISTER.COM
Name Server: DNS10.REGISTER.COM
Status: ACTIVE
Updated Date: 07-sep-2003
Creation Date: 07-sep-2003
Expiration Date: 07-sep-2004

posted by Outlawyr at 8:54 AM on September 9, 2003


clavdivs, I am having some trouble understanding your quasi-random arrangements of words, so forgive me if I am misinterpreting you...

I think it's kinda namby-pamby to bitch about the cost of freedom.

Freedom is not what the Iraqis are experiencing right now: they are experiencing occupation, terror, deprivation, and chaos, simply of a different sort than they experienced under Saddam. Nor has Bush's warmongering enhanced the freedom or security of Americans, at home or abroad.

$87 billion is small change.

Many would disagree. But the point is that it was an unnecessary cost, and - if it needed to be incurred - it could have been distributed more equally among many countries had the Bush regime built a strong, politically nuanced case for going to war.

so how much would YOU have spent on Rwanda or Cambodia.

What a bizarre argument! Conservatives are attempting to portray the invasion of Iraq, retroactively, as a humanitarian intervention, which they are on record as opposing. Meanwhile, they portray the less costly, risky, and politically contentious interventions in Kosovo, etc., as distasteful, utopian exercises in 'nation-building.' Well, I think most liberals would be willing to bear significant burdens in support of broadly-supported, multilaterally driven humanitarian interventions regardless of where they occur. I know I was ashamed of Clinton's failure to act in Rwanda - but just because Bush overthrew a tyrant doesn't mean I approve of how he did it, or what is going on now.
posted by stonerose at 8:55 AM on September 9, 2003


Kablam, I haven't seen it put exactly that way before, but I like it.

"We buy the friendship" pretty well sums it up.
Yes it does. We free a fractious people from under the foot of their strongman, and we pay for the privilege of doing so. If we were historical France or Germany, say, we'd rape the countryside blind and enslave the populace in order to pay for our aggression. That pretty well sums it up indeed.

and cheap oil for at least a decade or two

No comment.
Why? Because you'd be a hypocrite for using a computer which is run on the very same oil that we're talking about while naysaying the operation used to get it to you?

Yes, that's working out great in Saudi Arabia
This time perhaps we'll do it by our own rules rather than those of the country we're garrisoning. Difference - here we've invaded, there we were renting. Here we dictate the terms, there we did not.

Unless they elect the wrong people.
We've elected the wrong people before - Dick Nixon - Jimmy Carter - Bill Clinton - The Bush Family... And we're doing just fine, thanks. The funny thing about elections is that if your system is structured properly, they keep coming, and you keep electing people until you get one you like.

(When I say we, I mean the Americans on MeFi and I)
posted by swerdloff at 9:00 AM on September 9, 2003


I think it's kinda namby-pamby to bitch about the cost of freedom.

Right, the proper thing is to lie about it: " Did I say 87 billion? y bad, I meant 142. Yep, that would be on top of the 79 that I already received"

we buy the friendship of a powerful nation with the world's second largest oil reserves, etc.

This has to be tongue-in-cheek. you're basically repeating pre-war chickenhawkish arguments. This time, instead of war, it's 150 bn that we have to swallow. My guess is that it will not fly. But good luck to you.

If we were historical France or Germany, say, we'd rape the countryside blind and enslave the populace in order to pay for our aggression

H-I-S-T-O-R-I-C-A-L??????????? Where did the native americans go again????????????


In related news,

The International Committee of the Red Cross is asking for 20.6 million euros (22.8 million dollars for the Iraqi health service.
posted by magullo at 9:02 AM on September 9, 2003


Attention American taxpayers!

Stop questioning your leaders (and social betters).

Just shut up, and open your wallets.
posted by pooligan at 9:04 AM on September 9, 2003


"we buy the friendship of a powerful nation"

"buying friends" is a tricky endeavor. plus, there is not much goodwill at the moment towards Americans in Iraq -- unless you buy the WH latest spin, i.e. it's just some terrorist who are fighting against the occupation and ther rest of Iraq is really happy to have been liberated from Saddam, electricity, running water, jobs etc

"a democracy in a region filled with dictators;"
so if/when the Iraqi Shia democratically elect some ayatollah, are you going to be happy with that? or, somebody will just erase the election's result if the fundamentalists win, like it happened in Algeria (generating an appalling civil war virtually unreported by the US media)

"I think it's kinda namby-pamby to bitch about the cost of freedom".
it's also namby-pamby to equate the Iraq Oqqupation mess with the Marshall Plan. Bremer is certainly smarter than his laughable predecessors (Garner and Bodine), but there's very little evidence of a real Marshall Plan for Iraq
plus, it seems by now pretty clear that Bush could either have his tax cuts or his invasion/occupation. seems he's stuck with both, we'll see what Congress is going to think about that (I humbly remember you guys that even Bush-loving Republicans will have to run for reelection in their States/districts where people could ultimately complain about deficit spending and the inherent cuts in popular services
posted by matteo at 9:06 AM on September 9, 2003


$87 billion is small change.

Tell that to Oregon as they had to close public schools early last school year because they couldn't afford to light their classrooms. Assuming that Bush doesn't ask for even more money in the future, he will have spent twice the entire nation's education budget in Iraq. He could have given every state $3 billion dollars to hire more teachers.
posted by archimago at 9:07 AM on September 9, 2003


I think it's kinda namby-pamby to bitch about the cost of freedom.

Remind me again please exactly what plans Saddam had to invade the US? How many nukes did he have pointed at the US? How many of his troops were being transported to invade our shores? How many missiles filled with chem/bio weapons did he have pointed in our direction? Oh wait, there weren't any.

The only ones that are free are the Iraqis, free to starve, free to die of disease, free to live without electricity, free to die in terrorist attacks etc.......... Oh yeah and we as Americans get to pay for it all. What a country.

Keep wearing that flag as a blindfold my friend, you'll be happier that way.
posted by whirlwind29 at 9:08 AM on September 9, 2003


Let me first note that I am not a "Bush supporter". I'm a firm believer in our need to rid ourselves (and the world) of the scourge of terrorism, and so long as Bush facilitates that, I support him. Should he start to threaten that, I will no longer support him.

That being said, several people have wondered what kind of thought process (or, charitably, lack of one) went on in the heads of those eeeeeevil, and ever so stupid, Bush supporters.

Well, let's see what's been going on recently, shall we?

1) "Ohhh no! Look at this! Soldiers are dying every day! The war has been mismanaged!" Um, whether you call it a "war" or an "occupation" it still puts American men (and women) within bullets-reach of psychos who want to kill them. It's armed conflict, and people will die. (And, besides, it's not every day -- we just went through a 7-day period with no American deaths in Baghdad, the longest since we first set foot in the city limits).

2) "Ohhh no! Look at this! The war is costing us money!" War is expensive. Thanks for letting me know. Some of us understood this going in, and are not surprised and mortified by this fact now. And yet we have our intellect and worldliness questioned.

3) "Still no WMD!" Yes, you're right. And yes, it does concern me. But WMD were never the key point for me; Iraq was simply the first logical step (after Afghanistan) in a wider campaign to democritize and pacify the middle east. I was willing to grant Bush his WMD offensive as long as it compelled the war. Now that it is starting to look like the claims weren't quite on, for whatever reason, I want to know why. I demand to know why. Was our intelligence misled? Did someone fuck up massively somewhere? Was it the deliberate campaign to hoodwink the world that most of you seem to think it was? I don't know. Does it mean I support Bush less? Yes, it does -- if he based the Iraq operation on intelligence that he was less than 100% sure of, that threatens the wider war, and that makes me unhappy. Does it mean I support the war less? Hell no.
posted by jammer at 9:12 AM on September 9, 2003


Because you'd be a hypocrite for using a computer which is run on the very same oil that we're talking about while naysaying the operation used to get it to you?

Feel free to rationalize your own overconsumption as you see fit; I'll keep riding a bicycle to work. Being a dirty hippie, I'd also pay more and use less if that's the only alternative to invading other countries so we can get their resources on the cheap.

Speaking of hypocrisy, don't you feel even slightly sick spouting platitiudes about freedom when what you really wanted was the ability to keep gas-guzzling for a few more decades?
posted by Armitage Shanks at 9:13 AM on September 9, 2003


This sounds like a smashing good deal for Cold War standard "chump change."

Oh, Kablam? You conveniently forgot to to add the $79 billion already authorized. It's more like $221 billion--for this year.

For what? Oil revenues of $12 billion a year total--if we can stop them blowing up the pipelines... That's your change, chump.

And if Iraq truly is a democracy, what makes you think they won't stay in OPEC? Democracy is not installing a set of lackeys. And one of the key demands from our Security Council members is that we speed up turning things over to the Iraqis before they play with us--that means write a constitution sooner, hold elections sooner, appoint Iraqis to run the major ministries, not merely be figureheads, sooner. We're the one's holding out on those.

The PNAC gang forecast a ''democratic'' Iraq that would give away their oil industry and recognize Israel--not even Chalabi would sign off on that one: he suggested putting it up to a national referendum. Just imagine how many votes that would get... If the Iraqis get the vote, they're not going to elect our stooges or necessarily even quit OPEC. If Iraq truly becomes a democracy, we won't even get a base out of it.
posted by y2karl at 9:14 AM on September 9, 2003


So, Jammer, what it amounts to is this: we're already getting raped, but the role of the rape victim is to understand that rape is sometimes painful, unpleasant, and gets blood on your sheets - still, that's no reason to whine. Just lay back and shut up, right?
posted by stonerose at 9:17 AM on September 9, 2003


so if/when the Iraqi Shia democratically elect some ayatollah, are you going to be happy with that? or, somebody will just erase the election's result if the fundamentalists win, like it happened in Algeria (generating an appalling civil war virtually unreported by the US media)

Right. So, since you think they might elect someone we wouldn't like, we shouldn't even give them the chance. Right, that's it! Back under the boot heel with you, ragheads! There's your bleeding-heart liberalism for you...

The only ones that are free are the Iraqis, free to starve, free to die of disease, free to live without electricity, free to die in terrorist attacks etc.......... Oh yeah and we as Americans get to pay for it all. What a country.


Um, I read the original poster's comment about freedom as meaning the Iraqi's freedom, not ours. I think that was pretty obvious. (By the way: last I checked, it was mostly Americans (and UN officials) we were dying in terrorist attacks. You also forgot to include in your little tirade that they're now free to own satellite dishes and listen to news from the world, rather than that handed to them for years by Sadaam's on Politburo. They're free to start their own free press; there are literally hundreds of startup newspapers and magazines being published and distributed in Iraq now, with viewpoints covering the entire gamut. And, oh yes, they're free to not see their daughters raped infront of them, and free to not have to be quiet about it lest they be feed into an industrial shredder feet first.

Keep wearing that flag as a blindfold my friend, you'll be happier that way.

Keep wearing that Noam Chomsky book as a blindfold, my friend. You'll be happier that way.
posted by jammer at 9:21 AM on September 9, 2003


So, Jammer, what it amounts to is this: we're already getting raped, but the role of the rape victim is to understand that rape is sometimes painful, unpleasant, and gets blood on your sheets - still, that's no reason to whine. Just lay back and shut up, right?

From your point of view, maybe. From mine, we knew this job was going to be hard going into it, and that we were probably going to come out of it tired and sore, and probably pick up a black eye and a couple nasty cuts in the process, but that it was necessary to do it.

No rape, just a strong determination to do what must be done, whatever the cost.
posted by jammer at 9:23 AM on September 9, 2003


"So....anyone got any better ideas for rebuilding iraq?"

Pretty much anyone outside inner circle that has been tasked with the job.

Keep in mind that the Pentagon is the agency in charge of rebuilding Iraq and establishing a new government. (Let's just pass over the ridiculousness of that statement.) The State Department has had better ideas all along, and they have been shut out. Ditto for the French and the Germans. It turns out they were right all along, but we continue to exclude them from having some say in the rebuilding efforts.

The better ideas are everywhere. Bush & Co has nothing but contempt for them.

"So, for $150B dollars, we buy the friendship of a powerful nation with....."

Ummmm........ What news are you watching??? They hate us. For $150 billion we've bought a puppet government and a civil war
posted by y6y6y6 at 9:25 AM on September 9, 2003


IN terms of the US GNP - about 7 trillion or so? - the additional 87 billion the Bush administration claims is necessary to garrison and rebuild Iraq isn't that much, BUT.........

Given that this year's Federal Budget Deficit is close to $500 billion ALREADY, we can safely assume, I'd say, that with that extra 82 billion tacked on and also accounting for typical deficit underestimation, this year's deficit should top out at $700 billion or so.

10% of US GNP, more or less. Wow. Now bear in mind that - except for a brief recent brush with federal fiscal sanity during the Clinton years when the yearly deficit almost disappeared ( partly driven, to be fair, by Internet Bubble economics ) - we add that yearly deficit to the federal debt year after year after year. Sure, the economy is growing. But not at THAT sort of rate.

As has happened in the developing world, this debt load will sooner or later drag down American standards of living.

Republican politicians just can't manage money anymore. Spend! Cut taxes for the rich! Spend some more ! Cut taxes some more! It all adds up as one awful financial mess bequeathed to children now growing up. We consigning them to a future of debt slavery
posted by troutfishing at 9:26 AM on September 9, 2003


Well, I suppose I admire your optimism...
posted by niceness at 9:26 AM on September 9, 2003


"So, for $150B dollars, we buy the friendship of a powerful nation with the world's second largest oil reserves"

Powerful? How you figure? If anything this war has shown just how impotent the oft touted as powerful Iraqi military really was.

"and cheap oil for at least a decade or two, which also results in the effective neutralization of OPEC"

Providing this promised cheap oil ever materializes, what if the newly elected democratic government of the newly freed Iraqi people chooses to join OPEC?

"a couple of military installations in the most troubled regions in the world"

See above, what if they don't want military installations?

"a democracy in a region filled with dictators"

Does this democracy only count if they follow the American model and elect people we like? Has the thought ever occurred to you that they could just as likely vote to install a fundamentalist government who's first action would be to nationalize the new American funded infrastructure?

"and an economic foot in an upcoming regional economic powerhouse."

Will this economic power be based on anything but oil? I wonder, does this newfound Iraqi freedom include the choice to have nothing to do with the Americans?
posted by cedar at 9:27 AM on September 9, 2003


Wow. Stonerose, you know what? That's the first time reading a comment on MeFi has actually made me feel dirty and that this place allows for some truly despicable people to air their thoughts. Comparing the citizens of a representative democracy to rape victims, and doing so so eloquently and virulently. I just feel dirty and that my IQ is now lower having read that.

Thanks!

Magullo - The Native Americans were slaughtered first by colonial British subjects (and the French (witness, Louisiana)) then by Americans. Your point is what? That you misunderstood what I was saying when I suggested that "pacifistic" France and Germany have historically been colonial powers set on raping and pillaging? That you missed the use of "Say" as a conjunction to imply that these were not the only powers so inclined, but used as an example? I think you might want to check your question mark key, it seems to be stuck. Or were you trying some sort of emphasis?

What I don't see reported on MeFi are the reports I keep seeing from soldiers in the field. If MeFites care so much about American Blood, shouldn't we listen to what they're saying? I've seen many verifiable sites by American Soldiers (Witness LT-Smash and Chief Wiggles) and their take seems a bit different from what we're hearing here. Why no coverage of the positive aspects of what's going on? Why no attention them?
posted by swerdloff at 9:30 AM on September 9, 2003


whatever the cost

jammer, is there no limit?

I still question that it had to be done in the first place. The fact that the rationale for the war-mongering keeps changing makes this a dubious administration. Perhaps you missed Bush's address Sunday night where he yet again stated that Iraq had WMDs.
posted by archimago at 9:32 AM on September 9, 2003


swerdloff: "What I don't see reported on MeFi are the reports I keep seeing from soldiers in the field."

Funny, the reservist who I am currently filling in for as an officer in my local volunteer fire department-- who has been informed that his services will be required for significantly longer than he was led to believe when he was called up several months ago-- isn't quite as enthusiastic as the blogging contingent you reference.

His children aren't thrilled either.
posted by cedar at 9:36 AM on September 9, 2003


And, oh yes, they're free to not see their daughters raped in front of them

In postwar Iraq, women lead a life of fear

Iraqi women, frightened by reports of a rash of kidnappings and rapes, are donning veils, staying indoors and avoiding school, frustrating those who hoped that the collapse of Saddam Hussein’s regime would usher in an era of freedom and greater equality for women.
.
Coalition authorities and the local police do not keep statistics on kidnappings and rapes of girls and women, crimes one women’s group says occur 20 times a day in Iraq now that the harsh punishments meted out by Hussein’s regime are no longer a threat to criminals.


Females can no longer leave their homes alone. Each time I go out, E. and either a father, uncle or cousin has to accompany me. It feels like we’ve gone back 50 years ever since the beginning of the occupation. A woman, or girl, out alone, risks anything from insults to abduction.
posted by y2karl at 9:37 AM on September 9, 2003


jammer, is there no limit?

In my mind, if there is one, it is extremely high. Now that we're up to our neck in it, it would be both unwish and highly immoral, imo, to cut and run just because it was getting a bit too pricey for our tastes.
posted by jammer at 9:38 AM on September 9, 2003


In postwar Iraq, women lead a life of fear

And, of course, that's our fault.
posted by jammer at 9:40 AM on September 9, 2003


" It's armed conflict, and people will die."

Yep. War is hell. The problem is that our troops aren't being given the resources they need to get the job done. They are under fire with no hope of prevailing because we don't have enough troops on the ground. The generals originally asked for double the current force. That got shot down. They've now given up on that and are asking foreign nations to send troops.

Let me say that again.

Our generals need more troops, but the administration is refusing to send them, so they're asking foreign governments for aid. I don't support the war. But if we have to be there, and obviously we have no choice now, Bush had better God damned give the military what they need. He isn't. Our troops are dying because Bush can't admit the problem is bigger than anticipated.

"War is expensive."

Which is why we need to weigh the cost vs benefits. What is the benefit here? The situation in the region is getting worse. Iraq *was* contained, disarmed, and impotent. Now it is a terrorist breeding ground. A civil war between Moslem sects is going on. And our democratic government looks like it will fail the same way (and for the same reasons) our hand picked government in Afghanistan failed. No WMDs were destroyed. No terrorists were harmed. Arabs hate us more than ever. And for this we paid $200 billion????? How is that worth it?

Afghanistan was worth it. Iraq is a quagmire.
posted by y6y6y6 at 9:40 AM on September 9, 2003


swerdloff, my analogy was deliberately set up to elicit a feeling of discomfort. it's a rhetorical tactic intended to make the reader see similarities between situations which s/he may not have seen as similar. the analogy would indeed have been reprehensible if it made light of rape, rather than drawing attention to two related instances of discourse that are both morally repugnant in most people's eyes. the American people have been lied to, stolen from (in terms of security, money, lives, blood, and global 'soft power'/esteem), and are now being told to shut up while it continues.

do you want to to try address the substance of the analogy, or is it enough for you to just say 'yuck!' and try to belittle me?
posted by stonerose at 9:41 AM on September 9, 2003


I've seen many verifiable sites by American Soldiers (Witness LT-Smash and Chief Wiggles) and their take seems a bit different from what we're hearing here. Why no coverage of the positive aspects of what's going on? Why no attention them?

You've got the same posting rights as everyone else here. You really should at least link them when referring to them if you want consideration to be given.
posted by Ufez Jones at 9:45 AM on September 9, 2003


Um, whether you call it a "war" or an "occupation" it still puts American men (and women) within bullets-reach of psychos who want to kill them.

Um, If I go out at night, I'm subject to locals in my US of A neighborhood who have guns and shoot others.

And it has been like this for years here.

Where is *MY* combat pay for liv'n in the US of A?
posted by rough ashlar at 9:46 AM on September 9, 2003


$THE_SAME_METAFILTER_ARGUMENT_OVER_AND_OVER_AND_OVER_AGAIN_DONT_YOU_EVER_TIRE_OF_YOURSELVES
posted by xmutex at 9:46 AM on September 9, 2003


swerdloff - there's a spectrum of opinion and sentiment among US troops in the field although, in general, US troops in Iraq don't ( of course ) want to talk down their mission. Would you? And US troops are also doing some positive things in parts of Iraq. But the the cultural and linguistic boundaries and - most crucially - the ever present threat of attack have forced US soldiers to maintain a protective distance from Iraqis. This hinders their effectiveness and erodes goodwill among the Iraqis who tend to perceive Americans from the business end of an assault rifle. Not that I blame US soldiers for that. I'd do the same.

But on the balance I would call the situation a horrendous mess. How will the US deal with even a few thousand guerrilla fighters hidden amongst the Iraqi civilian population? Draconian methods will only alienate the populace and swell the ranks of those fighting the US.

Unless the US is willing to allow elections SOON, and not sham-elections of US approved candidates but free elections of emergent Iraqi leaders who have true public support, well.........

I can make 3 predictions: More US troops casualties, more Iraqi deaths and...............$ Katchiiiinnng!

xmutex - would you care to elaborate on that point?
posted by troutfishing at 9:49 AM on September 9, 2003


swerdloff - thank for your answer. I now know that:

A. Going for the genocide option is ok as long as someone else starts.

B. Modern established democracies cannot defend a peaceful option due to their past history.

C. Due to A, B does not apply to the US

Makes lots of sense - thanks.

/over and out
posted by magullo at 9:51 AM on September 9, 2003


Here, xmutex. This should distract and soothe you.
posted by stonerose at 9:53 AM on September 9, 2003


jammer, I think we've already surpassed the limit. If you believe Bush then we live in constant threat of another attack, so where is the logic of having 70% of our military stationed outside of the country? If we are so threatened by terrorism that we have to go out into the world and stop it, and if we didn't see 9/11 coming and therefore can not assume something just as bad isn't also on its way at any moment, then we are sitting ducks.
posted by archimago at 9:55 AM on September 9, 2003


"So, since you think they might elect someone we wouldn't like, we shouldn't even give them the chance."

We? You mean America? Are you implying that America had an obligation to give Iraqis a democratic vote? And that that obligation was important enough to go to war against a nation that has never threatened us? Important enough to trash our relationship with Europe and the UN?

If so, how do you feel about the current civil war that will make a real election pretty much impossible?

I've opposed the war all along, but at the end of the day I'd be happy if the war led to a democratic Iraqi and a new ally against terrorists. It's just that I don't see that happening. In fact the Bush plan seems hell-bent on failure. I thought it would be bad, but I'm astounded at how bad it's turned out.
posted by y6y6y6 at 9:58 AM on September 9, 2003


In postwar Iraq, women lead a life of fear

And, of course, that's our fault.

We went in thinking, First whip pathetic army, then add water--poof! democracy and civil society. That was about the extent of planning for postwar Iraq. To police Iraq in, say, the manner we police Bosnia and Kosovo, it would take at least 500,000 troops.

Fuck, yes, it's our fault.
posted by y2karl at 9:59 AM on September 9, 2003


If Congress was doing it's job it would not approve any of this request unless there was a very clear and concise plan to bring the rest of the major powers into the rebuilding of Iraq both militarily and economically, a request to raise taxes on the top 10% income level and top 50 % corporations to pay for this, and if they had any sense a promise that he would not run for reelection. Otherwise let him twist in the wind.
posted by mss at 10:06 AM on September 9, 2003


$150B dollars ... chump change.

well, as was pointed out, it's actually $221B, this year. For reference, the Dept. of Ed. gets $63B per year.
posted by badstone at 10:15 AM on September 9, 2003


i wish, mss...they're going to approve this, and say they want more accountability, but given this administration's non-forthcoming nature (to put it mildly), will not enforce that or make it a provision to actually approving this expenditure (and another 80something billion next year and the year after and the year after). They also can't be seen not to be supporting the troops, who are sitting ducks.

I'd be really surprised if we get any real committment of troops from any other country, given the risks versus rewards.
posted by amberglow at 10:18 AM on September 9, 2003


I think it's kinda namby-pamby to bitch about the cost of freedom.

Fine, forget the money. I'll bitch about dead GI's. That's a cost we can do without, I think.

seriously, clav, that was pretty harsh.
posted by jonmc at 10:19 AM on September 9, 2003


What is $87 billion worth?
A chart in the Washington Post offers the following comparisons.

Bush Tax Cuts 107.8
Health & Human Services 66.2
Education 53.1
Homeland Security 41.3
Highway & Construction 29.3
State Dept and Foreign Aid 27.4

Of course, we know that $87 billion is not the final answer.
As for a ground level view from an enlisted man, see turningtables - moja vera, the author will be leaving iraq for home in about a week.
posted by madamjujujive at 10:22 AM on September 9, 2003


"....then add water--poof! democracy and civil society." y2karl - You must be thinking of that "Tasty-Treat Instant Middle East Democracy Falafel Mix" ( just add water and a healthy dollop of oil ) that was on sale that same month as the "Healthy Choice" frequent flier miles offer.

I really screwed up that one. I blew off the Healthy Choice puddings for 25 cents each and instead bought ten cases of the "Middle east Democracy Falafel Mix". That was all well and good.........but I stored the damn stuff in my cellar, and worms got to it. It really, really sucked when I found out. I was going to offer the lot to the Bush Administration for a modest price markup of 100 million percent.
posted by troutfishing at 10:29 AM on September 9, 2003


I kind of miss Saddam. He did right by me.
He killed:
Iranians
Kurds
Iraqis
Kuwaitis
family members
friends
enemies

It was all good by me. I was sad to see us(USA) get involved and put an end to it.

You cannot force things on people that don't want it. Even "freedom." Freedom as defined by another culture may not be what they want.

One day McDonalds will invade Iraq, and then they will know fear.

We never should have gone into Iraq. We are going to be there for a long, long time now.

I say we nuke it from orbit, just to be sure...
posted by a3matrix at 10:39 AM on September 9, 2003


Living in the state of Oregon, I've been thinking of starting a petition that would allow Oregon schools to develop WMD (or at least make it look like they are developing WMD.) After the invasion we could take the 87 billion and become a peaceful state that can keep it's schools open.

Really, isn't it impressive that Bush and Co. have managed to spend America into the largest deficit in 20 years without helping a single unemployed worker, uninsured citizen or undereducated child?
posted by elwoodwiles at 10:44 AM on September 9, 2003


...The criticism by Mr. Levin and other Democrats was not surprising. But some Republicans were beginning to join in it today, with Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska complaining that the administration had done "a miserable job of planning the post-Saddam Iraq." [nytimes, like it or lump it]
posted by stonerose at 10:53 AM on September 9, 2003


Other People's Sacrifice
posted by homunculus at 11:00 AM on September 9, 2003


In postwar Iraq, women lead a life of fear

And, of course, that's our fault


Yes! Not because we set out to disenfranchise women in Iraq, but because it was a predictable, knowable consequence of our actions, but we went ahead and did shit anyway. Hussein was a horrible man and a sham of leader from the get-go, but he is no longer responsible for the mess in Iraq. The anarchy? That's all us, man. The civil war? Ditto.

People are fond of saying "never attirbute to malice that which can be explained by incompetence." Geat, but that doesn't mean you should discount the horrors of incompetence.

The Vietnam parellel is disgusting. This is what happens when a bunch of intellectuals sit around and decide to fight a war based on an idea, to have kids die to prove their academic point. Neonconservatives, the Best and the Brightest, the Bolsheviks, it's all the fucking same.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 11:04 AM on September 9, 2003


So....anyone got any better ideas for rebuilding iraq?

ideally, we would not have tore it down in the first place.
posted by mcsweetie at 11:08 AM on September 9, 2003


we should turn it all over to the UN, under UN control and supervision, and cancel all american business contracts in the oil fields, etc, and let the UN do international competitive bidding. Bring some of our soldiers home but donate 100,000 or less of them to the un multinational peacekeeping force.

how's that?
posted by amberglow at 11:27 AM on September 9, 2003


So....anyone got any better ideas for rebuilding iraq?

ideally, we would not have tore it down in the first place.


Ideally, I'd have my own private spacecraft and an army of Alyson Hannigans as love slaves. But we don't live in an ideal world. So the question does need answering.
posted by jonmc at 11:29 AM on September 9, 2003


So the question does need answering.

river has an interesting idea.
posted by mcsweetie at 11:42 AM on September 9, 2003


Yknow what really pisses me off? What would $221 Billion Dollars buy other than a war?

Since we are so dependent on foreign sources of energy how much hydrogen power infrastructure, wind farms, or solar power stations could $221 Billion bought?

I think Bush is right if misguided in that we need to get out of the business of direct involvement with the Middle East countries in the long term. His plan of creating an uber democracy in Iraq seems fraught with a high cost (financially, politically, and in human lives) and has no guarantee for success.

At this point for me it's painfully obvious that the ends do not justify the means.
posted by aaronscool at 11:52 AM on September 9, 2003


"At this point for me it's painfully obvious that the ends do not justify the means."

It does if you and your pals are heavily invested in oil companies and defense contractors.

I used to think the idea that this was an oil war was 100% stupid. I'm rethinking that. The only people who look to benefit from the war are those we're paying to clean it up. Also note that gas prices are at an all time high, even though global oil prices have stayed flat.

How is this war justified? Follow the money.
posted by y6y6y6 at 12:31 PM on September 9, 2003


What would $221 Billion Dollars buy other than a war?

221 billion lotto tickets, for starters!
posted by jonmc at 12:32 PM on September 9, 2003


whatever the cost

jammer, is there no limit?

Of course there's a limit. War will be won in Iraq no matter the cost, except for rescinding tax cuts.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 12:36 PM on September 9, 2003


Not to sound too much like a 'damned those evil megacorps' crank, but how much of that $221B do you actually think is going to stay in Iraq?

Certainly part of that money is going to go into actual goods and materials, as well as support for the troops. But I would guess that a huge percentage of that money is going into payroll and profit for the contractors doing the rebuilding work. And remember who those contractors are?

Worse, there is at least one ancedotal account of an Iraqi contracting company who lost a bid to an American firm, even though the Iraqi firm had experience doing this type of work and their bid was over 150 times less expensive. If we really wanted to help the Iraqis rebuild their economy and society, shouldn't we be giving the locals 'most favored bidding' status?

This sounds an awful lot like a huge shell-game to me.
posted by moonbiter at 12:41 PM on September 9, 2003


As someone who works for a contractor with new business in Iraq, I can't help but notice that everyone keeps linking to Riverbend's blog entry on reconstruction costs.

A couple thing to remember. 1) She's an anoymous blogger people. 2) Her family was clearly closely tied to the Saddam regime as she openly admits she lived overseas in the 1980s/1990s while her father was an Iraqi diplomat. 3) She was clearly pro Saddam, starting one post "Whether you loved Saddam or hated him", which makes me ask, who possibly loved Saddam?

Another point to remember, there are absolutely no American contractors actually doing the physical reconstruction work in Iraq. All actual work is being done by Iraqi contractors, American's just operate as general contractors.

That's not to say that American bids are not too high, they probably are, but lets think about the source of this wildly optimistic claim.
posted by pjgulliver at 12:58 PM on September 9, 2003


That's not to say that American bids are not too high, they probably are, but lets think about the source of this wildly optimistic claim.

What bids?

Ideally, I'd have my own private spacecraft and an army of Alyson Hannigans as love slaves. But we don't live in an ideal world. So the question does need answering.

jonmc:
Keep ignoring people when they tell you not to be a crank. Seriosuly. What you wrote above is not charming or friendly, but it is--to my eyes, at least--the best summation of the current situation I have heard in a while. We may only be feeling it now, and it may only becom unpopular now, but our mistake was made months ago, and one of its consequences is that we are now responsible for Iraq whether or not we want to be. It is like a sort of semi-elective colonialism,

As a loyal member of the Homolefty Establishment (I think I am, at least. Can one be a Homolefty if one is not a homo? Is it being pro-homo what counts? Some clarification, please.) I thought that unilateral regime change in Iraq was unequivovally stupid, but that move would look like solving Fermat's theorem compared to pulling out and leaving Iraq in complete anarchy. Christ, at least some American and British troops are absorbing with tanks and body armor what 15-year-old guerilla fighters would be getting shot-up with if their brewing civil war didn't have any referee at all.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 1:10 PM on September 9, 2003


Yeah, but if people would just stop illegally downloading music, we could make back that $221 Billion in no time!
posted by spilon at 1:12 PM on September 9, 2003


IJR: Ha ha, good point.

And I respect the rest of your post. I don't understand how people think we can cut and run now.
posted by pjgulliver at 1:15 PM on September 9, 2003


Hmmmm....I'm not sure if the laughable nonsense NOW being used to justify this immoral, disgusting little war is originating with the White House, or with their supporters on MetaFilter. It all seems to be at about the same level.

Kinda funny how much acknowledgment is being paid even by Bush's buddies to the sad economic justifications for W's war....guess the "No Blood for Oil" folks were pretty much on the money with that prediction.

But obviously...."The War In Iraq Is Not Over and Neither Are The Lies To Justify It" And kinda looks like the American people ain't too happy about it right now:

A majority (52%) said it’s time for someone new in the White House, while just two in five (40%) said the president deserves to be re-elected. Last month, 45% said re-election was in order, and 48% said it was time for someone new.

A like number (52%) said the country is heading in the wrong direction, while 40% said it is the right direction.

Overall opinion of President Bush has also slipped to 54% favorable – 45% unfavorable, compared to August polling which indicated 58% favorable, 40% unfavorable.

Just two in five (40%) said they would choose Bush if the election were held today, while 47% said they would elect a Democratic candidate. In August polling, respondents were split (43% each) over President Bush or any Democratic challenger.


And now from the peanut gallery....

So, for $150B dollars, we buy the friendship of a powerful nation with the world's second largest oil reserves, and cheap oil for at least a decade or two, which also results in the effective neutralization of OPEC; a couple of military installations in the most troubled regions in the world, right next door to a nation quite probably in the process of developing aggressive nuclear weapons; a democracy in a region filled with dictators; and an economic foot in an upcoming regional economic powerhouse.

That's so right. 'Course, we get all exercised and indignant and self-righteous and stuff when those bad boys like Tojo et al were crooning the same self-serving drivel right before that "war of liberation" they launched over that other sovereign country back in the 40s. But we're America....we take what we want regardless of any ethical considerations.

No comment.
Why? Because you'd be a hypocrite for using a computer which is run on the very same oil that we're talking about while naysaying the operation used to get it to you?


Really, swerdloff? For all you know, the guy's using solar power. In addition, if I recall correctly, we seemed to be able to run our computers fairly well before the war. You know. Using oil we didn't steal.

But one suspects people like Saddam Hussein would appreciate your line of reason. Can you picture it? He invades Kuwait for a little extra oil revenue, and one of his citizens dares complain on MetaFilter. Swerdloff pipes up and calls the citizen a hypocrite for daring to purchase the regime's oil to try to change immoral actions of his own country.

~chuckle~

But let's play your silly little game. Your comment is kind of like asking you, swerdloff: since you're so all fired up and all about how this war is such a really super thing, how come you're sitting in front of your computer typing this drivel instead of out killing Your Ownest Own Commie for Mommie? How come you're not calling on our right wing friends here on MetaFilter to put down their keyboards, pick up their guns, point them (for once) away from their own feet, and march gaily into Iraq?

That all makes as much sense as your comment, right swerdloff?

~wink~

What I don't see reported on MeFi are the reports I keep seeing from soldiers in the field. If MeFites care so much about American Blood, shouldn't we listen to what they're saying? I've seen many verifiable sites by American Soldiers (Witness LT-Smash and Chief Wiggles) and their take seems a bit different from what we're hearing here. Why no coverage of the positive aspects of what's going on? Why no attention them?

Oh, right, swerdloff.

"The White House acknowledged Monday that it substantially underestimated the cost of rebuilding Iraq...

Translation for the weasel-word-weary: they lied.

Anyone keeping track of how many that makes? 'Course, none of these lies rises to the horrific level of lying about something like a blowjob fer chrissakes, so I guess it's all ok.....

~smile~
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 1:28 PM on September 9, 2003


I don't understand how people think we can cut and run now.

It is an odd view in that it is shared by many from the more naively ideological left and the callous "fuck 'em" school of foreign policy championed by the libertarian fringe. What odd bedfellows.

I do think, however, that the US leadership has clearly demonstrated itself to be unfit for this matter. The UN or even a real coalition of other self-interested parties (the whole "plunder ratio" is way out of wack right now. Maybe if the rest of the world's corrupt business elite could suckle a little away from Iraq as well then they would also assist with money and goon squads) ought to be slowly but resolutely transitioned into the primary decision-making role in the resource extractment colonization bleeding occupation of Iraq, because it needs to be brief and purposeful. Lasseiz-faire foreign policy is a piece of cake if all you're doing is subcontracting the murder of the occaisional Latin American union organizer or nun, but people who understand how to follow trules come in handy when you are trying to pacify an anarchic, armed, and ethnically divided populace.

It's hard to imagine, but shit in Yugoslavia would likely have been a lot worse if it was being run by Bechtel and Haliburton. At least those people owned their own fucking water.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 1:40 PM on September 9, 2003


trules=rules
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 1:45 PM on September 9, 2003


Interesting blog post by river, whether you love her or not. Personally I think these guys are gonna get the bridge-rebuilding contract.
posted by soyjoy at 1:50 PM on September 9, 2003


zing!
/quonsar
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 1:57 PM on September 9, 2003


Oops. Just noticed that the name of the business is not spelled out on the page. Click on the link at the bottom if unfamiliar...
posted by soyjoy at 1:58 PM on September 9, 2003


Why? Because you'd be a hypocrite for using a computer which is run on the very same oil that we're talking about while naysaying the operation used to get it to you?

AFAIK, the amount of power needed to run a desktop computer is fairly miniscule. The same amount of oil needed to generate the electricity to run my entire (400-person) company's computer systems probably wouldn't get an SUV across the Brooklyn Bridge. Please, come back to reality.
posted by mkultra at 2:08 PM on September 9, 2003


The same amount of oil needed to generate the electricity to run my entire (400-person) company's computer systems probably wouldn't get an SUV across the Brooklyn Bridge.

Actually, 400 computers at 200 watts each is 108 horsepower, quite sufficient to get an SUV across the Brooklyn Bridge. This is equivalent to about 6 gallons of gasoline per hour, assuming 30% efficiency.
posted by JackFlash at 4:11 PM on September 9, 2003


"democracy is the worst form of government.. but everything else is worse."
- winston churchill
posted by mrplab at 5:13 PM on September 9, 2003


Please don't go any further with this... SDB would be good for 3000 words, until you can match that, please, for the sake of the children, leave this alone.

Facts and science will only confuse us.
posted by cedar at 5:14 PM on September 9, 2003


All actual work is being done by Iraqi contractors, American's just operate as general contractors.

This may be true, but why are Americans in the mix at all? What, no Iraqi companies are qualified to be general contractors? Given that the average salary in Iraq is probably a tenth (at least) of US salaries, I suspect that it would be much more cost-efficient to bid everything out to Iraqi companies. Moreover, it would be better for the Iraqis themselves, creating jobs for the locals and giving them something to do other than sitting at home and resenting the occupation.

That's not to say that American bids are not too high, they probably are, but lets think about the source of this wildly optimistic claim.

I agree with this, which is why I pointed out that it was an ancedotal story. Still, it is worth noting -- the story is entirely plausible, if for no other reason than the vast differences in GDP between 1st World America and 3rd World Iraq.
posted by moonbiter at 6:54 PM on September 9, 2003


(And, besides, it's not every day -- we just went through a 7-day period with no American deaths in Baghdad, the longest since we first set foot in the city limits).

Well, that's not counting the wounded--something most media outlets don't dwell on either. Guess what? We went two days between attacks. Whoa. Somebady call a press conference. Yeah, things are calming down alright.

US soldier killed in attack on tanker convoy
14 US soldiers wounded as new wave of attacks hit troops after 2-day spell

posted by y2karl at 7:47 PM on September 9, 2003


“Give me more money, give me more power- I’m doing this for you. Bechtel and Halliburton have nothing to do with it.” Doesn’t he ever get tired of saying the same words? Don’t people ever get tired of hearing them?
posted by specialk420 at 12:26 AM on September 10, 2003


The Big Dig in Boston at $14 Billion doesn't seem so expensive anymore.
posted by LinemanBear at 5:23 AM on September 10, 2003


jammer: ' (By the way: last I checked, it was mostly Americans (and UN officials) we were dying in terrorist attacks.'

That is probably because deaths of foreign nationals are not reported in the US. And you seem to have neglected to remember the British soldiers that are also dying.

The definition of 'terrorist attack' is somewhat nebulous. Is this an attack which is designed to cause terror, one against a civilian target, one perpetrated by a 'enemy combatant'? How do you define it?

It is interesting to live in a world where things which I see as glaringly obvious are invisible to some others. What makes people believe that the US has had any interest in democracy in the past 50 years? The US has undermined democracy for most of it's neighbors (and in countries further afield), viciously, calously and without conscience, but with extreme violence (see South America).

The children of Iraq are bearing the brunt of the sloppy use of unneccessarily dangerous ordnance in the recent invasion. Do you think that any child who has any relative or friend who has been injured (or killed) by any of the thousands of mines and cluster bombs littering Iraq is going to be well dispossed toward the invading troops and their countries? Not to mention the lack of clean water and power that has plagued the country since the invasion.

According to UNICEF figures from March 2003:

- Half of Iraq's population of 24.5 million are children.
- 1 in 8 children die before age 8.
- One in every four children under five is malnourished.
- 70% of all child deaths are from diarrhea or respiratory illnesses.
- Preventable disease has risen 100% since 1990.
- According to WHO over 15 million people now do not have access to clean water.

'Iraq Body Count has over 1000 listed deaths linked to cluster bombs and leftover munitions, and these are only the confirmed deaths in the news and from confirmed observations. It is reported by Al-Jazera that over 2000 have died from cluster bombs that they confirmed.'

The fastest way out of this disaster involves known sociopaths recanting and admitting their mistakes, greed and lies. They would then have to beg forgiveness from the global community and forego their desired (and unobtainable) control of Iraq.

I am not holding my breath.

Also, what moonbiter says.
posted by asok at 6:41 AM on September 10, 2003


Here's an interesting fact: Pentagon targets Latinos and Mexicans to man the front lines in war on terror:

Senior Pentagon officials have identified Latinos as by far the most promising ethnic group for recruitment, because their numbers are growing rapidly in the US and they include a plentiful supply of low-income men of military age with few other job or educational prospects.

Recruitment efforts have also extended to non-citizens, who have been told by the Bush administration that they can apply for citizenship the day they join up, rather than waiting the standard five years after receiving their green card. More than 37,000 non-citizens, almost all Latino, are currently enlisted. Recruiters have even crossed the border into Mexico - to the fury of the Mexican authorities - to look for school-leavers who may have US residency papers.

The aim, according to Pentagon officials, is to boost the Latino numbers in the military from roughly 10 per cent to as much as 22 per cent. That was the figure cited recently by John McLaurin, a deputy assistant secretary of the army, as the size of the "Hispanic ... recruiting market", and it has also been bandied about in the pages of the Army Times...

Recent statistics from the Pew Hispanic Centre, a non-partisan think-tank, show that Latinos are already doing the most dangerous combat jobs in disproportionate numbers. While they are still under- represented in the armed forces as a whole - they made up 9.4 per cent of enlisted men in 2001, compared with 13.4 per cent of the general population - they are over-represented in jobs that involve handling weapons (17.7 per cent).


There's a political time bomb...
posted by y2karl at 9:05 AM on September 10, 2003


come on karl
time bomb?
posted by clavdivs at 5:22 PM on September 10, 2003


Time bomb, clavdivs.
posted by y2karl at 7:59 PM on September 10, 2003


how so karl? when the us embassy is getting hundreds of requests from mexican citizens to fight for our country, in exchange for citizenship.
I mean, i can see the potential for a political fall-out but...
posted by clavdivs at 9:01 AM on September 11, 2003


Clavdivs:

1) This seems to be a one-stop-shop for would-be international terrorists: get first-class military training, experience dealing with the US armed forces, and fasttrack citizenship.

2) Hiring foreign nationals to fight your wars has disturbing implications vis a vis mercenaries.
posted by Ptrin at 9:12 AM on September 11, 2003


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