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Monday, April 14, 2008


Uneasy lies the chutzpah crown

No sooner had I awarded the chutzpah crown to Tzipi Livni (post below) than along come some other contenders:
Iraq's financial free ride may be over. After five years, Republicans and Democrats seem to have found common ground on at least one aspect of the war. From the fiercest foes of the war to the most steadfast Bush supporters, they are looking at Iraq's surging oil income and saying Baghdad should start picking up more of the tab, particularly for rebuilding hospitals, roads, power lines and the rest of the shattered country.

Their bill also would require that Baghdad pay for the fuel used by American troops and take over U.S. payments to predominantly Sunni fighters in the Awakening movement.
Perhaps the Republicans and Democrats are under the impression that Iraq asked to be invaded and have its country destroyed (not to mention the destruction caused during the preceding decade of sanctions and bombing imposed by the "civilized" world). Needless to say, they didn't, and every cent needed for rebuilding that shattered country should be coming from the millionaires and billionaires and huge corporations in the United States who this war was intended to benefit, not from U.S. taxpayers and certainly not from the Iraqi people, who have already paid the price many times over in shattered (and ended) lives.

As a reminder, in the Paris Peace Accords which ended (or began the end of) the U.S. war against Vietnam (a.k.a. the Vietnam War), the U.S. promised to pay $3.5 billion in reparations to Vietnam. Not a cent was ever paid. If the Iraqis are "hoarding" their money now, perhaps they, unlike Americans, actually learned a lesson from Vietnam, and are taking their reparations "in advance," rather than waiting in vain for them to show up after the Americans finally get out of their country.

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