Iraqs Oil Exports Nixed By Basra

Iraq’s Oil Exports Nixed by Basra Sabotage

US Commits $2 billion of Past Iraq Oil Revenues

Eric Eckholm’s article in the New York Times:

‘ Multibillion-dollar Pentagon contracts to support military operations and reconstruction in Iraq have been plagued by “inadequate planning and inadequate oversight,” the government’s chief budget investigator told Congress on Tuesday, citing management deficiencies that have fostered waste and cost overruns. ‘

And now, the Iraq Revenue Watch of the Open Society Institute is reporting that the Coalition Provisional Authority (i.e. the Bush Administration in Iraq) is rushing to give away $2 billion in Iraqi oil revenues in reconstruction bids before the so-called turn-over of sovereignty on June 30. This move is obscene. When the US knows very well that an Iraqi government is going to be recognized in only a couple of weeks that will have rightful claim on how that money is used, it is just ethically wrong for the Americans to commit the money now.

‘ “With so much money available for cash give-aways, and so little planning on how the process will work, it will be all but impossible to avoid corruption and waste” said Svetlana Tsalik, director of OSI’s Revenue Watch. ‘

Yup. See Erik Eckholm’s piece in the New York Times again after you’ve read the Iraq Revenue Watch report. The move is a disgusting piece of American colonialism in the worst tradition of money-grubbing through sheer imperial power. It is unfortunately probably not illegal, just revolting. And, it is another thing for which the Iraqis are going to find it difficult to forgive us.