Bush Will Ask For Another 70 Billion

Bush will ask for another $70 Billion
Allawi Slams Bush over Troop Massacre

The Bush administration will ask for another $70 billion for Iraq in another month or two if re-elected. Remember in the debates when Kerry said Iraq had cost $200 billion, and Bush corrected him that it was only $120 billion? Well, it turns out that Kerry was right, but Bush was being dishonest in postponing the further request until after the election. Another example of how the Bush administration is government by “representation” in the sense that Michel Foucault used the term rather than in the civics sense. Foucault said that people have a tendency to represent reality, and then to refer to the representation rather than to the reality. (This is also the way stereotypes and bigotry work.) So Bush represented the Iraq war as a $120 billion effort, and actually corrected Kerry with reference to this representation. But the representation was a falsehood, hidden by a clever fiscal delaying tactic. So Kerry is made to seem imprecise or as exaggerating, when in fact he was referring to the reality. Bush made representation trump reality.

Edward Said in his Orientalism shows the ways in which Western travelers and writers have often invented a representation of the Middle East that then gets substituted for Middle Eastern realities so powerfully that the realities can no longer even be seen by Westerners. Said cites travel accounts by eyewitnesses who report falsehoods that had already entered the literature. So these travelers let the representations over-rule what their own eyes saw.

In a sign that Iyad Allawi finally realizes he needs to distance himself from the Americans if he is to have any political future (or perhaps even just future) in Iraq, he blamed the US military for neglecting to arm and escort the recruits that were found massacred on Sunday. He accused the US military, and by extension the Bush administration, of “gross negligence.”

Allawi was contradicted by his Defense Minister, Hazim Shaalan, who blamed the recruits for being too eager to get home after training, for leaving the base at midnight and without arms, and for taking an unprotected route.

The Bush administration is not forgiving about criticism from allies, so although Allawi will get points with the Iraqi public for finally speaking out about US incompetence in this regard, he may well find a long knife in his back if Bush gets back in. And, obviously, Shaalan is angling for Allawi’s job by blaming the victims.