Constant's pations

If it's more than 30 minutes old, it's not news. It's a blog.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Iraq: Confusing assets and liabilities

US public told allies were contributing in a coalition, now the coalition wants a bailout -- That's not a contribution, but a liability


Watch their magic hand when they rename liabilities, "assets". The bills are showing up. Those things that were sold as being good thing with happy faces, are now bad things with upside down faces.

The grand coalition that wasn't

Ref The country was sold the idea of a "coalition" in that there would be allies, partners, and others providing support. Something about contributing to a grand cause.

Now all that appears to been a fantasy. Nothing new in the Rice-Bush paradigm.

Rice appeared before the appropriations committee asking for more money. Something about a special list came up: The US wants to pay the "Iraq coalition partners" money to cover their costs.

Hang on, wasn't the US Congress sold on the idea of an invasion on the basis that "we were not alone" and "there were others making valuable contributions."

With the supplemental request, the truth comes out. These partners are simply showing up for a government bailout. Just like Rice.

Promises of support, but for whom?

As National Security Advisor, before she was rubber-stamped Secretary of State, Rice made the case before the world that Iraq was important, that our coalition partners were a sign of international support.

I see no support. I see simply the US military being unable to cover its own requirements. And when the foreign "partners" want a bailout, they call their good friend in the State Department to go hat-in-hand for a bailout.

Strange, the US government has known since 2001 that it was going to invade, according to Treasury Secretary O'Neill. So it should not come as a surprise that "additional funding" is required.

Rather, Rice and Rumsfeld need to decide which branch is going to get cut in order to cover this well-known-but-not-planned-for requirement.

Why give them more money?

They've had since 2001 to get this right. Throwing more money at the problem isn't accountability. It's simply endorsing doing more of what shouldn't have been done: Throwing money at something without a specific plan [kind of like social security, but more about that later].

The public should call the Iraq-coalition what it is: Simply an extension of the US military. But the US is unable to fully fund the requirements, so they call it something else.

The President's Budget is a single request. Now the State wants a supplemental. Mind you, there's an Omnibus Bill that's also going to be used to slip in new funding.

Recall what happened in the wake of 9-11: They rammed the Patriot Act through without reading the legislation. It appears as though much remains the same in 2005.

Rice's Makeover

Except for the Tsunami efforts, this list essentially is the cost of ensuring that democracy prevails. These are the costs that were not included in 2001, when it was known, the US would topple Saddam. 9-11 is now the excuse to spend more money on countries that are not democratic, but call it a "supplemental".

$950M Tsunami. There's more to follow on this one.

$2B to ignore drug trafficking and non-democratic warlords in Afghanistan

$1.4B for Iraq, with $658M for a fortified embassy: They didn't need that if there was no invasion.

$100M for Pakistani border security, but don't ask about the information on where those nuclear weapons in Libya came from. The US doesn't want to upset friendly dictators.

$200M for Jordan to pretend to be an ally, in exchange for the US pretending it is democratic.

$400M for the coalition partners who are unable to provide a contribution.

$242M Darfor, and $100M for Sudan showing that it takes alot to be democratic

$780M UN Peacekeeping, raising questions about how much more money it will cost to spread democracy into the rest of the world.

$60M Ukraine, proving that democracy is an expensive thing. Maybe the US could've saved money if it asked the Ukrainians to have blue-flags [like the UN] instead of orange.

$200M for Palestine, in exchange for them not pointing out the US involvement in the assassination of the Lebanese Primer Minister.

What's changed is the bills are higher. This may not seem like much, but when you keep adding it up, the US financial status doesn't look all that stellar when compared to Argentina.

The world will for only so long extend credit to the United States. Whether Congress, State, Rice, and Bush recognize that reality remains another mystery.