Fables of the reconstruction.
January 2, 2006 11:25 PM   Subscribe

Fables of the reconstruction. The Bush administration does not intend to seek any further funding for Iraqi reconstruction, leaving only $3.5 billion left to spend out of the $18.4 billion the US budgeted. Approximately half of all reconstruction costs spent so far -- $7.5 billion -- have been eaten up by increased costs due to the insurgency. All remaining reconstruction costs will depend entirely upon foriegn contributions and Iraq's oil industry. But will foriegn aid come through if its too dangerous to work there? Can Iraq's oil industry pay for reconstruction when its output has been in a tailspin for well over a year, falling from 2.8 million barrels a day in May 2004, to 1.82 million barrels per day in January 2005, to 1.2 million barrels a day by November. and ending the year with a low of 1.1 million barrels a day in December? As for the Iraqi infrastructure left to be rebuilt, water and sanitation is still poor in most areas, and electricity production, which looked promising last summer after imports from Iran and Turkey, has deteriorated again, falling to only 3700 megawatts in November 2005, essentially at the same level produced in May 2004.
posted by insomnia_lj (26 comments total)
"My belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators." -- Dick Cheney
posted by neuron at 11:32 PM on January 2, 2006

"The Loser President: Let us count the things that were lost on Bush's watch, then let us hang them around his neck ... He immediately lost the budget surplus. Then he lost the World Trade Center. Damn near lost the Pentagon, too. Then he lost America's moral standing in the world. He lost an entire American city--New Orleans. Nobody's ever lost a whole American city before. Then, he lost the war in Iraq." -- Larry Beinhart in The Huffington Post
posted by neuron at 11:37 PM on January 2, 2006

Post-War Planning Nonexistent
by Warren P. Strobel and John Walcott, Knight Ridder Newspapers
17 October 2004

In March 2003, days before the start of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, American war planners and intelligence officials met at Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina to review the Bush Administration's plan to oust Saddam Hussein and implant democracy in Iraq.

Near the end of his presentation, an Army lieutenant colonel who was giving a briefing showed a slide describing the Pentagon's plans for rebuilding Iraq after the war .... He was uncomfortable with his material, and for good reason. The slide said: "To be provided".

And let's not forget that the State Dept had a detailed plan for post-war Iraq, but Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld wouldn't look at it.
posted by neuron at 11:45 PM on January 2, 2006

Lost: "political capital".
posted by stbalbach at 11:46 PM on January 2, 2006

Next time, on Lost: the 2001 election.
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Awesome at 11:57 PM on January 2, 2006

It's "the Pottery Barn rule" just like Powell said, "You break it, you ow... QUICK MAKE A RUN FOR IT!!!"
posted by wfrgms at 11:59 PM on January 2, 2006

Stay the course, my ass. 300 billion for the invasion and lining the pockets of Halliburton... less than 20 billion (about 6.5%) for actually getting the country going again.

You can bet the conservative radio stations will be spinning this one like mad..."we've spent enough on those bastards, let them fix it themselves now."

If the mission was raping US taxpayers to make Halliburton rich, well...mission accomplished!
posted by Malor at 12:35 AM on January 3, 2006

coupla things:

1) if Gore had created this immense disaster the Right would be calling for impeachment on general principle of criminal incompetence

2) isn't subsaharan africa like $30B in debt to the west?

ah yes, here it is:

“The limitation that the Bank has is a limitation of our capital,” says Bank president James Wolfensohn. “It is a limitation that we have $29 billion of capital and if we forgave all the debts of 63 developing countries which are on the list, we would have to give up $29 billion of debt. That would bankrupt the institution.”

Spending $300B to liberate 20M, a wise investment. Spending $30B to liberate ~700M, uh, that's socialism. (Not that dropping the debt would actually solve anything in the 3rd world, I just find he numbers interesting, how nobody is batting an eye at this $300B disaster Bush created. If there were a direct tax surcharge, people would notice, but it's just $100B/yr of noise on a budget that already $450B in the red).
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 12:47 AM on January 3, 2006

The idea of $7.5 billion being spent on security services over in Iraq is a metric buttload.

Imagine if everyone in the country had to take part in the annual "Take a Blackwater Employee to Lunch" day... and they all ordered the lobster.
posted by insomnia_lj at 12:54 AM on January 3, 2006

Still, he can smirk with the best of them.
posted by maxsparber at 1:19 AM on January 3, 2006

posted by tozturk at 2:17 AM on January 3, 2006

I think I lost my lunch and my stomach somewhere in this time frame as well.
posted by loquacious at 2:33 AM on January 3, 2006

Sorry that one of the many supporting links was a self-link. It was unintentional. I was making a post in the computer room in between fetching a sick wife with a case of food poisoning toast and weak tea, and copy/pasted a link I previously posted in my journal without thinking of checking as to whether it was a self-link or not.

You may want to visit this link instead, which also gives the 1.2 million bpd figure for November '05.
posted by insomnia_lj at 2:56 AM on January 3, 2006

But I'll borrow a post from insomnia blog, posted by a prestigeous Mr Anonymous that is interesting

The key game is oil derivatives (options and/or futures contracts), not the oil itself.

Hold the right and/or the obligation to buy then bomb a gas terminal here, start a strike there, or blowup a pipeline. Hold the right and/or the obligation to sell then push opec to increase production here, make a good announcement there, or even fix the pipeline you blew up the day before. That's how profits are made when one controls the flow rate, thus the fluctuations, rather than the ownership of the product.

My guess is that the Iraq war was to help control the day to day fluctuations and use that for profit but also to push the oil price upward 5 times (from $10-$20 to $60-$70) along with reversal of the Iraqi petro-euro back to petro-dollar. This introduces asset inflation (fake profits) and maintains the debt bubble.

posted by elpapacito at 5:36 AM on January 3, 2006

The other day I saw Matt interviewing the acting head of the Red Cross. Matt really gave it to the guy, even interrupting him, regarding 200k that had been siphoned off from hurricane charity contributions of over one billion dollars. Has the Today show taken anybody to task regarding the $$$ that has been budgeted for Iraq reconstruction vs what has been spent vs what has been siphoned off.

If the Red Cross can figure out who siphoned off the 200k(over 30 people arrested? resigned?), why isn't the press demanding who siphoned of the millions in Iraq?
posted by MrMulan at 5:59 AM on January 3, 2006

at least this is the worst administration i will ever live through. it basically all gets better from here on out.
posted by wakko at 7:19 AM on January 3, 2006

Better knock on wood, wakko.
posted by you just lost the game at 7:29 AM on January 3, 2006

So this means yet another justification for the invasion is gone with this cut and run plan?
posted by nofundy at 7:49 AM on January 3, 2006

In the process, the United States will spend $437 million on border fortresses and guards, about $100 million more than the amount dedicated to roads, bridges and public buildings, including schools. Education programs have been allocated $99 million; the United States is spending $107 million to build a secure communications network for security forces. [...] Funds were also reallocated to provide a $767 million increase in spending on Iraq's justice system. The money has gone toward building or renovating 10 medium- and maximum-security prisons -- early plans called for four prisons -- and for detention centers nationwide.
Do you know -- I really didn't think it'd be this bad. But this is terminally bad. Eight times as much money for jails as for schools! We knew that that the US was obsessed with jailing people but this is still over the top.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 7:52 AM on January 3, 2006

Wakko, every time I think this administration couldn't possibly get any worse, it does.
posted by Soliloquy at 7:54 AM on January 3, 2006

wakko: you're right. Jeb seems a lot smarter to me.
posted by I Love Tacos at 10:25 AM on January 3, 2006

Let's see here. Invade and ocupy and totally fuck Iraq, get tired of it, plan to get out, suggest the rest of the world and the victim can clean up the mess, and then claim victory.

I smell a big parade coming this summer.
posted by wrapper at 12:16 PM on January 3, 2006

Now, what's the sound of a glass house being shattered from within by a crude nail grenade?

Oh yeah: BUUUUSH!
posted by squirrel at 2:20 PM on January 3, 2006

Well, don't forget guys, we're ramping up to take on Iran.

And Russia is threatening western Europe's energy...

Now we're broke, have overextended our military, and the party is just getting started. Wheeee!
posted by dejah420 at 2:31 PM on January 3, 2006

Gary Hart: End this evasion on permanent army bases in Iraq
posted by homunculus at 10:42 PM on January 4, 2006

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