The war in Iraq and the national reconstruction costs that Bush promised would be paid for by Iraqi oil revenues to renew the country have instead cost American taxpayers $511,046,890,000+ dollars at the time of this writing, and are increasing in cost by the second.
And while Iraq oil production has slowly increased closer to the levels before the 2003 war, a GAO report just last week claimed that the Iraqi government has spent just 4.4% of the oil revenues on reconstruction in the nation or efforts to build schools, hospitals, provide clean water projects, etc. In fact, it is an open secret that billions of dollars has instead been put into Swiss bank accounts or other world bank accounts by Iraqi government officials.
This corrupt situation where funds do not advance the welfare of the nation is unfortunately very similar to the problems when massive American financial aid was given to the Yasser Arafat Palestinian Authority Fatah government in the hopes of advancing peace with Israel, but instead much of the money ended up in Swiss bank accounts rather than helping the Palestinian people. In fact Yasser Arafat's widow had well over $100 million in funds in Swiss bank accounts at the time of the death of her husband, much of it coming from the American reconstruction aid funds.
And even worse, the American military is paying around $3.35 a gallon for gasoline in Iraq, which has become one of the biggest costs of this war, while the Iraqi government offers gasoline to the Iraqi people for about $1.35 a gallon. The Bush Administration has completely failed to work out some sort reduced fuel cost deal with Iraqi government officials, who instead are profiting handsomely from the continued American presence in their country and either embezzling much of the oil revenues from rampant government corruption or else tucking funds away in world bank accounts.
And while Republican candidates are once again running for office this year on some sort of a nonsensical anti-tax platform as they usually do, the Republican Bush White House and most Republicans in Congress including John McCain only continue to vote for more and more tax dollars for Iraqi reconstruction projects that the Iraqi government fails to repay the United States for. Another fact is that many of the highest paid reconstruction contractors are not even American firms, so huge payments are flowing out of the U.S. to many European firms who are profiting handsomely from this war.
Some of the highest paid private contractors for the Iraq War and the reconstruction include: AMEC, as much as $600 million in Centcom contracts for water reconstruction projects. Aegis, who have been awarded $430 by the Pentagon to pay for private security. Erinys, a London based petroleum exploration company who has been paid in excess of $86 million British pounds. Petrel Resources, a London and Dublin, Ireland based oil well construction firm has been paid $56.6 million British pounds. HSBC, the third largest banking institution in the world, earned over $36.8 million British pounds.
In addition many former British, Welsh and Scots Guard military commanders are profiting handsomely to the tune of millions of British pounds for companies they head that are providing reconstruction to Iraq, much of it paid entirely by the American taxpayer while Iraqi oil revenues could top $100 billion dollars this year, and the corrupt Iraqi government offers no fuel tax breaks to the American military.
Way to go Mr. Bush. Meanwhile Americans are paying record prices for oil products. Oil was only $28 a barrel when Mr. Bush was elected in November 2000, but has topped over $110 a barrel today. You would hardly know that Mr. Bush has an MBA in business management skills or ever took an accounting class in college.
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