They have ransacked the Iraqi larder and stripped it of everything they could lay their hands on. They have transferred billions upon billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars into the hands of a few well-connected cronies, secret bagmen, soulless gun-runners and elite investors with nice clean fat white hands.
It is for this reason that George W. Bush sent U.S. forces into Iraq -- illegally, in the middle of the UN weapons inspection process that he himself had insisted upon. It is for this reason that he has caused the needless deaths of tens of thousands of innocent people, that he has brutalized, traumatized, overstrained and decimated the military forces of the United States. It is for this reason that he has gutted the American treasury, criminalized the American government and tyrannized the American people.
For money. Murder, for money. Easy money, greasy money, blood money. That's all there is to it, that's what the war in Iraq is all about. Anyone who tells you different is either deluded -- or hoping to get in on the scam.
Here now is the indefatigable Patrick Cockburn of The Independent on the latest outrage in this on-going epic rapine:
What has happened to Iraq's missing $1bn?
Excerpt (but read the whole thing): One billion dollars has been plundered from Iraq's defence ministry in one of the largest thefts in history, The Independent can reveal, leaving the country's army to fight a savage insurgency with museum-piece weapons....
The Iraqi Board of Supreme Audit says in a report to the Iraqi government that US-appointed Iraqi officials in the defence ministry allegedly presided over these dubious transactions. Senior Iraqi officials now say they cannot understand how, if this is so, the disappearance of almost all the military procurement budget could have passed unnoticed by the US military in Baghdad and civilian advisers working in the defence ministry. Government officials in Baghdad even suggest that the skill with which the robbery was organised suggests that the Iraqis involved were only front men, and "rogue elements" within the US military or intelligence services may have played a decisive role behind the scenes....
The [total] sum missing over an eight-month period in 2004 and 2005 is the equivalent of the $1.8bn that Saddam allegedly received in kick- backs under the UN's oil-for-food programme between 1997 and 2003.
Juan Cole has more:
Security Situation in Baghdad Sinking like the Titanic