Independent Christian Voice

Wednesday

Iraq = The Money Pit

Today, we find out that the military will request another $100 billion for Iraq next year. That's in addition to the $50 billion in the pipeline and the $225+ billion spent to date. Think Progress has the report:

During his response to President Bush this afternoon, Murtha revealed, for the first time, that the Pentagon will ask for an additional $100 billion for operations in Iraq next year:

MURTHA: Twenty years it’s going to take to settle this thing. The American people is not going to put up with it; can’t afford it. We have spent $277 billion. That’s what’s been appropriated for this operation. We have $50 billion sitting on the table right now in our supplemental, or bridge fund we call it, in the Appropriations Committee. They’re going to ask for another $100 billion next year.

QUESTION: Can we come back to the $100 billion? You said that you expect the military to ask for $100 billion. Where are you getting that figure?

MURTHA: Where I get all my figures: the military.

Murtha has reason to know. He’s the ranking member of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. The total cost of the Iraq war is quickly approaching the cost of Vietnam, which lasted 8 years.

Think Progress also tell us that the administration is changing its story when it comes to how the Iraq oil revenues will help pay war costs.

Before the war, we were promised by the Bush administration that Iraqi oil revenues would finance the bulk of their reconstruction. Here’s Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz on 3/27/03:

The oil revenues of Iraq could bring between $50 and $100 billion over the course of the next two or three years…We’re dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon.

Now we are being told that the oil revenues might not pay for any of the reconstruction – it’s completely up to the Iraqis. Scott McClellan today:

QUESTION: Iraq’s reconstruction costs — how much of that should be paid for by Iraq with its oil revenues?

MCCLELLAN: Well, Iraq’s oil revenues are for the Iraqi people. It is overseen by an Iraqi ministry and all those revenues go to help the Iraqi people.

McClellan later instructs the reporter to look for the National Strategy for Victory In Iraq because it “talks about the oil sector and the progress that’s being made there.” Actually, that document acknowledges “oil production is slightly down from a year ago.

Maybe it’s appropriate for the United States to finance Iraqi reconstruction, but the administration should have been upfront with the American people from the beginning. U.S. taxpayers have already spent $18 billion on Iraqi reconstruction, with no end in sight.

Again, the administration has proved itself untrustworthy.

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