Sunday, February 3, 2008

Federal Reserve Stealing Iraqi Oil Revenues

Remember, the neocons told us the invasion of Iraq and the subsequent murder of over a million Iraqis was all about deposing the evil Saddam Hussein and gifting the Iraqi people with democracy.

Sure, and I have a pony for sale.

Of course, back in 2002 and 2003, when the criminal neocons made these absurd claims, only half wits with GWB bumper stickers on their pickup trucks believed them. Sadly, a large percentage of the American public is comprised of half wits, while an even large percentage, apathetic and decadent, didn’t give a wit about the invasion, so long as they or their children were not required to “serve,” that is to say, having survived IEDs and suicide bombers, come down with a case of Gulf War Syndrome.

At the time, some of us said the invasion was divided into two roughly equal parts — first, the cynical neocon desire to split Iraq in three parts with a heaping dose of “clash of civilizations” chaos and murder injected for good measure, and second the neolib plot to steal Iraq’s oil.

In regard to the first, the neocons provided plenty of evidence in their writings and white papers. Lieutenant-Colonel Ralph Peters — formerly of the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, within the U.S. Defense Department — even provided us with a map of this proposed carving up, not that the corporate media took notice.

As to the second, we now have confirmation that the banker and Wall Street neolibs — more interested in good old fashioned looting than engaging in the process of balkanization — indeed accomplished their scheme to rob the Iraqis blind.

“Increased Iraqi oil revenues stemming from high prices and improved security are piling up in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York rather than being spent on needed reconstruction projects,” reports the Washington Times.

Out of $10 billion budgeted for capital projects in 2007, only 4.4 percent had been spent by August, according to official Iraqi figures reported this month by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). The report cited unofficial figures saying about 24 percent had been spent.

Meanwhile, some $6 billion to $7 billion from last year’s budget is “being rolled over” and invested in U.S. treasuries, said Yahia Said, director of Iraq Revenue Watch, part of the private watchdog group Revenue Watch Institute.

So-called “de-Ba’athification” — the systematic removal and liquidation of Saddam’s functionaries and others — facilitated the process of robbery. “The country’s midlevel bureaucracy has either fled the country or been purged in de-Ba’athification, [and] a lot of ministers are politically appointed and not professional,” Yahia Said, director of Iraq Revenue Watch, told the Moonie controlled newspaper. “The result is that orders go out from the ministers in Baghdad, but there is no structure or staff at the middle level to carry out the instructions.”

As should be expected, the Bush administration tried to blame the victim. The “Bush administration, citing unofficial Iraqi data, reported in September that Iraq”s central government ministries had spent 24 percent of their 2007 capital projects budget as of July 15,” even though “this report is not consistent with Iraq”s official expenditure reports, which show that the central ministries had spent only 4.4 percent of their investment budget as of August 2007,” according to Said. “U.S. and foreign officials,” in other words neocons and their partners in crime, the financial sector neolibs, “told the GAO that weaknesses in Iraqi procurement, budgeting, and accounting procedures had stymied the completion of projects.”

“Provincial governments, which had little or no control of their finances under Saddam Hussein, are struggling to spend the money they have under new budget systems, said Joseph Saloom, an adviser to David Satterfield, the senior adviser to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and coordinator for Iraq.”

As the corporate media has told us for years now, the Iraqis are to blame, as they are unable to get a “central government up and running,” never mind their country is a depleted uranium poisoned wasteland, the civilian infrastructure is decimated, crime is rampant, and various death squads run in the streets. Most “of the people had never been ministers before, they had never managed large budgets,” explained Mr. Said. It’s all the fault of those silly Arabs, don’t you know.

Meanwhile, the money is “piling up” over at the Federal Reserve, same as Federal Express, that is to say there is nothing federal about it. No doubt it will disappear soon enough, same as trillions disappeared from the coffers over at the Pentagon.

It is hardly an exaggeration to say the Iraqis — indeed, the American people — are being played, same as a clueless bystander falls victim to a confidence game. But for the latter this is hardly a concern, mostly because the average person, distracted by plasma televisions and play stations, does not read the Washington Times and is thus none the wiser.

Dare I say it is a near perfect situation for the crooks at the Federal Reserve?