Rebuilding Iraq

How should the US raise the $87 billion to pay for rebuilding Iraq?

  • Open a dunk tank in Iraq with Bush and Cheney alternating in the seat. $2 a throw.
  • Bush-twins-sponsored keg parties with a $100 cover charge.
  • Give Pres. Bush and his staff shopping carts so that they can collect aluminum cans, plastic, etc., to take to the recycling center. Let him earn that $87 billion.

0 voters

President Bush said he will asked Congress for a whopping $87 billion more to help rebuild Iraq and pay for the US military occupation there. That kind of dough is tough to scrounge up in these tough economic times. US taxpayers won’t go for it. So where will the money come from? Any suggestions?

America should have realised it was going to cost money. They wanted it, now they gotta pay for it. Asking others (who didn’t want it) to pay is not an option.


If I would be Rascal and wanted to annoy Tigerman I would just say they knew but didn’t tell anyone. :wink:

US$87,000,000,000 – big deal. Congress wastes more than that on Medicare before lunch.

When comparing 1945 dollars to today’s dollars, we wasted a lot more than that on Germany, I’ll bet. Of course, the krauts didn’t deserve it – bunch a’ cannibals and werewolves. They’re still better than the frogs, though.

Ah. Wikipedia says US$100,000,000,000 (in 2003 dollars) from 1948-1951 to rebuild Europe. That doesn’t include the 220,000+ Americans who died in WWII, though, so Iraq is a comparative bargain.

BTW, I’m including the zeroes because certain European types think that a “billion” is a “million million” rather than a “thousand million”. Well, when you’re using American figures, it’s a “thousand million”. :stuck_out_tongue:

[quote]BTW, I’m including the zeroes because certain European types think that a “billion” is a “million million” rather than a “thousand million”. Well, when you’re using American figures, it’s a “thousand million”.

WTF? You’re telling me my entire savings of eleventy billion dollars is really just pocket change?

US$87 billion. Yeah so what? It’s for BOTH Iraq and Afghanistan and only US$20 billion is for rebuilding Iraq (so perhaps here there is room to argue that the US expected more oil revenue but… there is also less mass damage to repair etc. See in February to see US administration authorities predicting US$100 billion MINIMUM the first year. Everyone is second guessing the administration from the time of the war (QUAGMIRE) to now OH MY GOD. IT’s been 5 months and the US has not mopped up all the insurgencies!!! To date, with the whole war and everything 350 people have died!!! Oh my GOD QUAGMIRE QUAGMIRE QUAGMIRE VIETNAM VIETNAM VIETNAM AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH.

Let’s see. What happened to the Stalingrad that was supposed to happen in Baghdad, the looting of the art, the cholera outbreak, the starvation, the lack of power, the civil war, the Iran style shia revolt. Yawn! People these are the same people in the media that were saying these things all along and guess what? No one is giving them any shit, but George w. and Tony Blair may have been wrong about the wmds and this will never end until the messiah comes. Christ almighty. People get a fucking clue and a major grip. These journalists reported for months and months and months things that have proven to be wrong wrong wrong and you all still treat them like they have the TRUTH.

Okay, now that we all have that out of our systems, let’s talk reality. There are 60K police and soldiers lined up in those five to six months and these have been debaathized as opposed to doing the easy thing and just rehiring saddam’s ex police and soldiers. Will it take time, yes, and I have been arguing from the very fucking beginning to give this two years. So let’s wait and take a fucking patience pill before running for the hills screaming that the sky is falling. (actually better to run for a ditch if the sky is falling the hill would be the first place hit right?)

Syria and Lebanon are suprisingly vibrant these days. Wonder the fuck why? That little business in Iraq having something to do with it? No way. That would be too much of a benefit.

Okay. I concede on the wmds. I believe Iraq was a threat, but now I really am getting doubtful that anything would be found. Does it change the overall good of the effort? No. So I think those who are gloating now should realize that from day one THE US NEVER ASKED FRANCE OR GERMANY FOR ANYTHING AND ARE NOT EXPECTING THEM TO GIVE ANYTHING NOW. THE FIGHT IS ABOUT THE FACT THAT THEY OPPOSED THE EFFORT ACTIVELY RATHER THAN SAY WE WON’T SUPPORT SO DON’T ASK FOR ANYTHING.

So I for one am happy to stew in this awful mess. Maybe by the end of the year 400 soldiers will be dead and only 93 percent of the country will be completely pacified. Also notice that NO US targets have been hit. First, the Jordanian embassy, then the UN and then the Shia mosque in Najaf ALL UNGUARDED.

So my final word, let’s see what happens in April/May 2005. Anyone think that is fair?


314 dead American soldiers as of today, and 175 since that asshole stood in front of a “Mission Accomplished” sign wearing a Halloween costume.
Bet those U.S. soldiers who sent in all those absentee ballots for Bush in 2000 feel like real chumps. :blush:

[quote]Throughout the summer, Democrats rightly slammed the Bush administration for minimizing the difficulty of rebuilding Iraq. “It’s been hide the ball every step of the way,” fumed Senator Kent Conrad in July. “They’ve consistently understated the cost by a factor of several-fold.” Two weeks later, Office of Management and Budget chief Joshua Bolten’s refusal to estimate the costs of occupation led Senator Joseph Biden to ask, “When are you guys starting [sic] to be honest with us?”

Biden got his answer on September 7. In his speech that night, President Bush did what Democrats had been demanding: He abandoned the fiction that Iraq could be rebuilt on the cheap. His $87 billion request even included new money for Afghanistan, where Democrats had hammered his insufficient commitment to nation-building.

You’d think Democrats would have applauded the president’s conversion, perhaps even claimed credit for it. Instead, leading Democrats responded to Bush’s U-turn with one of their own. With the polls showing that a majority of Americans, and a huge majority of Democrats, don’t want to spend more money on Iraq, prominent Democrats decided Bush was too committed to nation-building. Almost overnight, it was Democrats who wanted to reconstruct Iraq on the cheap.

Democrats support the $51 billion Bush has requested for Iraqi military operations. But they want him to separate that from the roughly $20 billion he has requested for rebuilding Iraq’s hospitals, electrical grid, and police. Ask Democrats whether they support that latter request, and they give three responses, each more dishonest and opportunistic than the last. [/quote]

Read the rest here:

Fred wrote:

Everything’s fine as long as people you don’t know, or Americans in general are not being hurt and killed. You truly are a fine human specimen Mr. Smith. [/list]


Don’t you get morally sanctimonious with me. That is a shitty thing to say and you are wrong for doing so. While I did not give two shits about ModLang’s joke in the other thread, I must say this is the most offensive thing that anyone has posted to me to date on this forum and if I were Alien I would say: Fuck you.

Stick to the debate at hand. Fighting wars entails deaths. I am saying it is not the TRAGEDY all caps that everyone has this portrayed as being. I am willing to stick it out. So if those like me who are not fighting the war cannot be allowed to debate it (I guess that leaves you with your mouth firmly shut too) then those who do not pay more than minimal taxes or not at all if teaching English in Taiwan had better keep their traps shut about how Bush divvies up the dough. Just curious what kind of standards govern your “moral” world. Besides, there’s a whole new freer climate over in the Middle East these days with people talking about politics openly and freely and governments considering political and economic liberalization. I think the two go hand in hand.

Dr Pangloss wrote:

If that’s all you were saying I wouldn’t have responded as I did. But look at your words Fred. It’s not the first time you’ve written in such a cavalier way about the death and suffering of others, especially non-US citizens. There’s an undeniable subtext in your words that you feel a US life is worth more than another. Since I’m not an American, I find this violently distasteful.

As for a grip on reality, I have it quite firmly in my hands. You’ve obviously never read anything I’ve had to say about this war. Before it started I stated that I supported the broader goals of the war but not how it was being implemented. I wanted the justification for war shifted to the humanitarium goal of freeing the Iraqi people (away from the controversial and indefensible WMD issue). I also wanted the US to go back and spend more time persuading the world to support this war. One because it would give it greater legitimacy, and two, it would only help in the reconstruction of Iraq to have more countries contributing money and soldiers. How am I doing so far?

After the war, I applauded the US for toppling Saddam with a minumim of loss of life on both sides. But still, for the pro-war side of Forumosa that is not enough. I have not converted to their world-view wholesale and so might as well be a Baathist.

Reality Fred? Like most conservatives you are far less pragmatic and far more ideologically driven than you think. That’s why I keep warning newbies about getting involved in the war debates. You guys think you are discussing policy and issues with a sunlight clarity of thought. To everyone else, it seems like a dark episode in cheerleading.

I can’t speak for Fred, but I read his statement to mean that not everyone in Iraq hates the Americans… indeed some of the targets of attacks have been the UN, or Iraqi scientists assisting US investigators, or Iraqi clerics.

I think its a bit of a stretch to interpret Fred’s words as him being indifferent to the suffering and death of others. Very few people, with the exception of people like Saddam and his boys, are so cold. Fred’s statements in many threads have been directed at getting people to put some perspective goggles on when viewing the number of deaths in Iraq. Being realistic about the price of war is not the same as being indifferent to the costs.


I do not get you at all. I think that my comments have always been very clear. The figures for the cost were always available. The US$87 billion is not out of line with the US$100 MINIMUM predicted in February by administration officials. Where is the cheerleading. Did no one know the costs here? I did. The administration did. It was reported on endlessly in the press prior during and after the engagement.

Second, no where that I can tell has it ever been said that wmds was the ONLY reason for the war. Yes, this is a PR problem, but there were several other reasons for getting rid of Saddam. Rather than constantly berating the US and its policies, I would like to hear how you justify those of France, Germany and Russia or how this example is the first time action has been taken without a UN resolution or how this is some new precedent for pre-emption given previous similar actions.

Finally, thanks for warning the newbies about us as if they cannot take care of themselves. Anyone who has a valid argument can stick around and argue as long as they want. Wow must be a pretty sensitive group to go running off because of us. Yet, maybe it is that they cannot substantiate their debates. Yours is just another emotional stream of invective because you cannot buttress your views. In fact, I have very little understanding of your views because I imagine that you probably do not have more than an emotional reflexive understanding of these issues.

Cheerleading? how so? When there are 314 dead for various reasons only 200 plus from military action in a WAR. This was a WAR and now there is policing of a country the size of California going on and while each death is to be regretted, this is a WAR. Does this mean firemen should not fight fires and policemen should not chase criminals because there is a chance they might die? And you should know that the Republicans have always hesitated about war because it might involve deaths to soldiers who we as a party respect much more than the Democrats with their throw away in and out campaigns in Haiti, Somalia, Kosovo and Bosnia. In Iraq and Afghanistan there were SECURITY issues as well. Just because it was not 100 percent humanitarian does not make it worthwhile or bad because it takes America’s interests into consideration.

Finally, I think there is no deodorant like success and the US is being very successful so far. The changes in the Middle East have been most refreshing and positive. What I do not understand is that given all the good that is coming to the Muslim and Arab world because of the fall of Saddam Hussein, rather than repeatedly explaining why we supported and still support the war, why civilized Europeans do not? I mean my whole problem with so many of the posters on this thread is that given their stated objectives, moral systems and beliefs, how could anyone be against this? Now that it is fait accompli no matter that you did not agree with the war, what are your reasons for not helping America in its stated objectives to get out as soon as possible? Do you think that America wants to keep 140K troops in Iraq? So what’s this debate really all about. It seems to me that more are motivated by anti Americanism which they confuse and wrap up with their fear of globalization, modernization and change. The ones you will find on this thread are generally not those benefiting most strongly from globalization or their fears and insecurities would not be so manifestly apparent. Do not blame the US for underemployment or poor job prospects. Without American and globalization, most would be in the same boat.

Muzha Man’s interpretation of what Fred said, was how it seems to me. Actually, I couldn’t make out what he was trying to say in the first post, but then he clarified with;

Seems to say to me, war, or maybe this war, is not that bad. I can put up with it.

Maybe that’s not what FS meant to say, but I can’t blame someone for interpreting it that way.

Only 318 US troops dead. What about the Iraqis? Again, I can see why MM gets the feeling that FS is placing more value on the lives of Americans than others here.



Well what can I say Saddam killed 3 million and 8,000 Iraqis were killed in the recent war with America and UK of which some are Saddam’s fault because he placed military targets in civilian areas plus shot off missiles that landed in civilian areas or some were just caught in cross fire that was HALF Iraqi bullets. So what’s your point? Who does not care about life? Who only cares about American deaths? Guess the previous three million don’t matter because the US was not involved? Where is your concern then for the Russian action in Chechnya? Nope. Didn’t think so.

Of course there were. Rummy and the neo-cons spelt it out well before 911. Ensuring Amercan dominance in the Middle East and the world, and gaining American access to the Iraqi oil supplies.

But before the war and before the WMDs disapeared, the US wasn’t talking much about these reasons, it was all WMDs and terrorists.

Sure there may be a humanitraian reason too, and that’s the one theyt’re falling back on now “everone agree that Iraq’s better off without Saddam” they keep saying. Sure I agree there too, but that is not why the American public were told they were going to war and there’s plenty of other countries who would be better off without their current leaders in charge.


Where have you been hiding?

Look back at all the articles screaming about the neocon conspiracy prior to the war/invasion. You mean you did not see any of these? The issue at the UN (THE UN) was weapons of mass destruction. Do not confuse this with the issues on the plate. THE UN ISSUE WAS ABOUT WMDS. That is not to say other issues were not discussed in nauseating detail. By the way, Christopher Hutchins a well known liberal had a very public conversion to supporting the war PRIOR to the invasion. Read all about it. He used to be an editor at the Nation. Check it out. The reasons were all spelled out in his article. Just because you have selective or poor memory does not a case for you make.

Fred, was that last post directed at me? It doesn’t seem to have anything to do with what I said.

Try reading my post again, and I’l repeat the main point:

Weapons of mass destruction was the reason the US public and the world was given for going to war. We were told it was not about oil, or the desire to increase the US military presence in the world, but WMDs and maybe terrorists. Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheny, and Powell all stated quite clearly that Iraq had WMDs including chemical and biological weapons (not just a desire oir program to build them, but the actual weapons).


Fred, I don’t think you should bring Hitchens up, as he claimed that that it was only through a series of miscalculations, and general nefarious doings, and after years of pursuing totally self-interested goals in the middle-east that the US had accidentally ended up on the right side of history. :?

Anyway, regarding what I said and how you repied:

I’m not surprised you don’t get me since I never mentioned the cost of the war and yet you write as if responding to something I said.

[quote]Rather than constantly berating the US and its policies, I would like to hear how you justify those of France, Germany and Russia or how this example is the first time action has been taken without a UN resolution or how this is some new precedent for pre-emption given previous similar actions.

Who’s constantly berating the US and its policies? And why the obvious set-up Fred regarding UN resolutons and pre-emtive strikes? I’ve been following the debate. You guys use this issue over and over again to trip people up who haven’t your clear, broad, detailled historical knowledge. Your schtick is old man. :unamused:

Regarding France, Germany and Russia please show where I have ever applauded their actions in this war.

When will you and Tigerman get it through your heads that while you may read non-mainstream news sources, and even primary source such as UN resolutions, the majority of Americans don’t. They get their news through TV and they never would have given support for an invasion of Iraq simply for humanitarian reasons, or for complex foreign policy goals. Yes, WMD was not the only reason stated for war but its spurious to suggest that it wasn’t the matter that galvanized support for it, or the issue that was used and abused to garner the greatest support.

Cheerleading. Absolutely, because you refuse to criticize your government in any way. You think Iraq is a giant success. Yet:

  1. Bush was completely wrong on the WMD issue. Iraq was not a threat to the US. Neither imminent nor growing. The conclusive proof of this has embarrassed the admin and caused more bad blood around the world.
  2. Tigerman berated me in the spring for suggesting that containment could work (even though of course I wasn’t arguing for containment). It wasn’t working he said. Yet clearly, as the Kay report shows, it was working. Working brilliantly. As far as neutralizing the threat of Saddam, Clinton had it right. (As far as freeing the Iraqi people from a ruthless dictator, I agree it was doing nothing.)
  3. The Bush admin thought they could ignore or circumvent the UN. Now they are back looking for support. Another thoughtless blunder. It’s 10 times harder now than it would have been before the war. Resources and people that could be used more productively are bogged down.
  4. The admin seriously erred in believing the Iraqi people would rise up in suport. Again, responding to situation took more resources, and lives, than anticipating and preparing for it would have.
  5. The admin misjudged how much infrastrucure damage would result from the war and from deliberate sabotage. Again, they were unpepared.
  6. They misjudged how many troops would be needed to secure peace in Iraq. While this does not mean the situation is a quagmire, it does again mean that more lives are lost, more time is lost, and more resources squandered or wasted than necessary.
  7. Before the war, the Bush admin promised that Iraq would pay for itself with oil revenue. That is almost certainly not going to happen. The war is going to cost more and add to your debt. Was this clearly spelled out to the American people? Of course not. The war was going to be a cakewalk and pay for itself.

You call this campaign a success. I think it is working in spite of the people running it, not because of them. And I am not writing this with the benefit of hindsight. All these issues were out there before the war.

I call you a cheerleader because you never suggest that matters could be better. You never take your government to task for the obvious blunders they have committed. Instead you quote tendentious articles about the immaculate conception theory of foreign policy to excuse egregious errors.

What I worry about now is that Bush will lose the next election to a Democrat who will want to pull US troops out of Iraq prematurely. Iraq will then turn into a sham democracy at best. The entire exercise will have proven a massive waste of time, money and human life.

I worry Bush will lose because of the WMD fiasco, the cost of war (exasperated by tax cuts and a lingering joblessness), the unexpected cost of human life, and just the fact that given all the above and more, people just no longer trust the man?

You may say Bush can’t control this but I say he will be directly responsible for such an outcome, as it is his handling of the war now and in the past than has led to people’s mistrust. Build an insecure structure and don’t be suprised if people come along later and need to or want to tear it down.

I want to see Iraq succeed. My criticism is that your government has increased the odds that in the long run, it won’t. And it has done so through arrogance, intimidation, deceit, willful blindness, and a too strong belief in what they are doing that precluded reasonable second-quessing.

You keep telling everyone to wait a few years before they judge the success of the Iraqi war. Please be consistent and hold the same wait-and-see attitude toward the region at large. It’s far too early to gloat or cheerlead.

I love America, which is why I follow the events there more closely than in my own country. I also am a supporter of globalization, a liberal atheist (and so modern), and live to Taiwan because I enjoy change.

Is this directed at me?

Let’s see, I wrote:

“After the war, I applauded the US for toppling Saddam with a minumim of loss of life on both sides.”

Wheres is the invective Fred?

Do you ever read what you have written Fred? Let me rephrase the above for you:

I don’t understand much of what you’ve written because even before reading your words I decided that you don’t understand the issue.

I DID support the war you utter imbecile. And how am I not supporting America’s goal of getting out of Iraq? You’re asking for reasons for something I’m not doing.

Now you know why I warn newbies. Not because I think they may be too sensitive, but too sensible to waste their time arguing with someone who reads at an ESL level.

And let’s not forget the President’s speeches, wherein he has detailed his plans, reasons and hopes for current US foreign policy, which are broadcast and printed in every major mainstream media source…

I hate to sound elitist… but I’m not about to argue with you that the masses are not the asses. But, seeing as every one of Bush’s speeches were broadcast on every major media source and re-printed and analyzed by virtually all popular media sources…

… I don’t see how it is really fair to blame any misunderstanding of the reasons for going to war on the President. The foreign policy goals are not, IMO, all that complicated.

For the record, I long ago noted your stance on the ovarall issue at hand and hope that you have noted that I have not misrepresented, mistakenly or intentionally, your opinion.

Finally, I don’t think the verdict is yet in on the issue of Saddam’s WMD and or programs for the same.