Saturday, December 3, 2011

Nine Years Later, Iraq Hawks Discover that Trying to Run the Whole World is EXPENSIVE

image: Cops, Baghdad. "What'cha gonna do when they come for you, Abdul?"

As a follow up to the story I posted earlier this morning about Baghdad being rated the worst city in the world in which to live, there was a Washington Post article published on Thursday about the future of U.S. funding to train the Iraqi police. It seems now that America is finally removing its last combat troops from the country, that our great and glorious “leaders” are losing their appetite for dictating to the Iraqis how to run their own affairs:
Democrats and Republicans joined Wednesday to criticize harshly a State Department program for continued training of Iraq’s police force, calling the nearly $900 million set aside in the 2012 budget a waste of money.

Lawmakers at a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee hearing cited an October report from the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction that said the training program lacked focus, could become a “bottomless pit” for U.S. dollars and may not even be wanted by the Iraqis.

That audit also found that only about 12 percent of the money actually will go to helping the Iraqi police. It said most of the dollars will go for security and other items such as living quarters for trainers.

Since 2003, the U.S. has spent nearly $8 billion training Iraqi police. The Defense Department has managed the program since 2004.
One would think that having spent a billion dollars a year for the past eight years creating an Iraqi Police Force that the country would now be a model of public safety admired the world over. Alas:
Rep. Gary Ackerman, D-N.Y., asked Darby when the Iraqi police would be able to operate without U.S. support. “I wish I could answer that question,” she said.
Ummm…obviously the common sense answer to that question would be: NEVER. If the galling sum of $8 billion spent in eight years is not enough to lift, for example, security in Baghdad above the point where the gets ranked as the very worst in the world in which to live, then you have to figure that NO amount of money or effort is going to do the job.

But what was particularly galling is this quote from this story from one of the Congresscritters conducting the hearing who voted for the war in the first place:
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., said the U.S. experience in Iraq has been a waste of American lives and money.

“Whatever we are spending now should be terminated,” Rohrabacher said. “Who cares about whether their police are good or not? Let them determine whether their police are good or not, and let them spend the money and make the commitment to do that themselves.”
No shit, asshole. Maybe you should have thought of that BEFORE you and the many other warmongering simpletons in Congress voted to spend over a trillion dollars, squander the lives of over 4,000 U.S. soldiers and kill several hundred thousand Iraqis. Considering the massive amount of death and destruction caused by his own actions, if Congressman Rohrabacher and every other member of Congress who voted for the war had one honorable bone in their bodies, they would resign in disgrace if not actually perform Seppuku.

President Hopey-Changey, of course, wants the U.S. to keep borrowing money it doesn’t have to pour into the Iraq black hole, but ultimate isn’t likely to get his way:
Subcommittee members seized on a statement in the inspector general’s report from Adnan al-Asadi, who oversees daily operations at the Iraq Ministry of Interior, or MOI. He indicated the U.S. should spend the money on the American people instead.
How any rational America citizen can read that last paragraph and not shake their head in sheer disgust is beyond me. That is EXACTLY the argument I was making nine years ago in the run up to this catastrophe. It may not have unfolded quite the way those of us who opposed the war from the very beginning predicted, but this is how the Iraq War ends…not with a bang, but with a whimper.

Bonus: Chief Wiggum to the rescue


  1. One man's expense is another man's profiteering. I recently passed through the Washington Dulles airport and couldn't help but note the hundreds of new equestrian-acreage mansions that have bloomed out of the pine barrens over the past decade. Sort of sickening, but at least, from 1200' up on a downwind left, you can see where the money went.

  2. @Mr. Sunshine - it is even more dramatic in wealth enclaves like Great Falls, Clifton and Potomac. There are a LOT of people getting rich off human misery in this town.