Tuesday, February 17, 2009

As much as $125 billion unaccounted-for reconstruction and military equipment money in Iraq

Juan Cole has some comments on the issue of corruption. He begins thus:
The US Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) has issued a report on as much as $125 billion unaccounted-for reconstruction and military equipment money in Iraq. Patrick Cockburn at the Independent quotes a US businessman active in Iraq after the US invasion who observed that Iraq was looted alright, but the big looting did not come at the hands of poor urbanites but rather at that of US officers. Although immense peculation was engaged in by Iraqi government and military figures, it seems unlikely that their US military minders were not complicit in the corruption.

As Digby points out, the same Republican congressmen who never hesitated to vote more hundreds of billions of deficit spending on the Iraq War are now suddenly shy about running a necessary Keynsian deficit to get us back out of the 2009 Depression. Their friends and cronies stole much of the money they used to just hand out like free samples. And they are now suddenly wise stewards of money and fiscal conservatives?

Cockburn says the Iraq embezzlement is a ponzi scheme bigger than that of Madoff. But both gigantic swindles were made possible by the same philosophy, that the "private sector" needs no government oversight or auditing, since the Magic Hand will operate to ensure probity. As Alan Greenspan recently admitted, his conviction that bankers would not steal from us because it would be bad for the bank was naive; I guess that is what comes of never growing out of Ayn Rand when you move into your twenties and later.
And, sweet Mother of God, people do need to grow out of Ayn Rand. Adolescent fantasies ill suit the real world.

BTW, did anyone think an alcoholic frat boy and failed businessman could be trusted with money? Can anyone be so stupid and live? [I know, the answer is: evidently, yes.]

It may take decades to clean up after these thieves.
--the BB


Richard said...

OMFG, your profile has you appearing to be about 50 yrs old, yet you write with the all the depth and petulance of a twenty year old. Get reading and learn a few things. I'm disgusted.

Paul said...

Richard, I am not unread but I do not share your views or your philosophical and political perspectives. It happens.

Based on your defense of Ms. Rand's thought (which I did not publish) it would appear you came here via a search on her name. While you may be quite right that I do not understand her, I also have friends who have read her avidly and, over time, come to other conclusions than hers. Yours is not the only analysis of what made America prosper in former eras.

An obvious cure for your disgust is to "turn the channel." You will find more congenial sites elsewhere.