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Old 01-30-2008, 10:14 AM   #1
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Angry "Allies" fall short on Iraq aid pledges

Quote:
By Matt Kelley, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON — Nearly five years after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, allied countries have paid 16% of what they pledged to help rebuild the war-torn country, according to a report scheduled for release today.

Foreign countries have spent about $2.5 billion of the more than $15.8 billion they pledged during and after an October 2003 conference in Madrid, according to a new report by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction.

The biggest shortfalls in pledges by 41 donor countries are from Iraq's oil-rich neighbors and U.S. allies: Saudi Arabia spent $17.4% and Kuwait 27% of the $500 million each had pledged more than four years ago, according to a separate report released last month by Congress' Government Accountability Office. Spokesmen at both countries' U.S. embassies did not respond to repeated messages seeking comment.

The United States, so far, has spent $29 billion to help rebuild Iraq, the inspector general's report says. Congress has approved an additional $16.5 billion.

The lack of aid from Arab countries in particular infuriates Rep. Gary Ackerman, who heads the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on the Middle East.

"They're charging $100 per barrel of oil, making record fortunes, lecturing everyone else, and then they stiff everybody, including their cousins who they contend to be so very concerned about," the New York Democrat said in an interview.

From 2003 through 2006, Saudi Arabia exported about $95 billion in crude oil to the USA, as its average price more than doubled from $25 to $56 a barrel, according to the U.S. Energy Department.

President Bush met with Saudi, Kuwaiti and other leaders two weeks ago during a trip to the Middle East. Bush discussed "the need for countries in the region to offer their support" during those talks, and the Arab leaders all pledged their help, National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe said in an e-mail.

The United Arab Emirates, one of the countries Bush visited, has spent about $62.6 million of the $215 million it pledged, UAE Embassy spokeswoman Nora Abusitta said in an e-mail.

Deputy Treasury Secretary Robert Kimmitt, named by Bush in 2006 as an international envoy on Iraq aid, said in a telephone interview that obstacles to international aid for Iraq include high levels of violence and corruption and the inability of the Iraqi government to manage its budget.

"A lot of work remains to be done," he said.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/i...iraq-aid_N.htm

I'm fed up with helping the rest of the entire world out with my tax dollars, when there isn't another country out there that gives a shit or ever says "thanks."

:bang:
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Old 01-30-2008, 10:35 AM   #2
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Why should they pay because we decided to play Risk?

We made the decision to go into Iraq. We broke it. We have to fix it.

And really. If the US government really believed we would see even 25% of that money, they were being naive. Hell, some of those countries listed hate us as much as Iraq did/does.

Might as well ask Iran to pony up some cash.
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Old 01-30-2008, 10:49 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by jaric on 01-30-2008 at 09:35 AM
Why should they pay because we decided to play Risk?

We made the decision to go into Iraq. We broke it. We have to fix it.

And really. If the US government really believed we would see even 25% of that money, they were being naive. Hell, some of those countries listed hate us as much as Iraq did/does.

Might as well ask Iran to pony up some cash.
My issue is they pledged to give the money and now aren't. If they didn't want to give the money, they shouldn't have pledged it.

Remember what John Q told his son before he was going to shoot himself?:

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Old 01-30-2008, 11:04 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by tmack on 01-30-2008 at 10:49 AM
My issue is they pledged to give the money and now aren't. If they didn't want to give the money, they shouldn't have pledged it.
What would you tell the most powerful military on earth who just ran roughshod over your neighbor if they asked for some cash?

Bottom line, to think we would get any money from people who by and large hate us, is optimistic at best.
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Old 01-30-2008, 11:05 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by tmack on 01-30-2008 at 10:49 AM
My issue is they pledged to give the money and now aren't. If they didn't want to give the money, they shouldn't have pledged it.

Remember what John Q told his son before he was going to shoot himself?:
Agreed, but I never expected any of these countries to live up their promises anyway...they never do.

...and $45 Billion is peanuts anyway. That's about $11 billion a year, right? That's such a tiny amount of our budget.

I don't know the current cost...but in FY2006 Social Security alone cost $544 Billion.

It would take 50 years of rebuilding Iraq at the current cost to equal just one year of Social Security, so let's keep it in perspective.
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Old 01-30-2008, 11:14 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Baron Samedi on 01-30-2008 at 10:05 AM
Agreed, but I never expected any of these countries to live up their promises anyway...they never do.

And yet we always do, or we're publicly chastised for it. What a BS double standard. I'm tired of sending money overseas (not Iraq related) to countries that are ungrateful and don't fulfill their promises. What a waste of the taxes I pay.
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Old 01-30-2008, 11:22 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by tmack on 01-30-2008 at 11:14 AM
And yet we always do, or we're publicly chastised for it. What a BS double standard. I'm tired of sending money overseas (not Iraq related) to countries that are ungrateful and don't fulfill their promises. What a waste of the taxes I pay.
It basically equates to international welfare.

And though I agree with you, that it's irritating that alot of the money we spend we rarely even get so much as a "thank you," I have to wonder what would happen to the world if we just said "f' it" and stopped giving money towards humanitarian aid.

It could be argued, that international instability is a far greater issue, and would have far more negative effects on us as a nation than hurt feelings because countries don't appreciate the things we do.
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Old 01-30-2008, 11:29 AM   #8
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Hasn't there been billions of U.S. money that has just disappeared in Iraq?

I guess I'll have to google this.

You'd have to be crazy to fulfill those "pledges".

Maybe those allies (whoever they are) will fulfill those pledges once the situation in Iraq stabilizes.
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Old 01-30-2008, 11:31 AM   #9
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Maybe our allies are reluctant to contribute their pledges after reading stuff like this:

http://edition.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/me...30/iraq.audit/


http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,,2008189,00.html
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Old 01-30-2008, 12:20 PM   #10
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Without clicking the links.....I can see that Thomas is one of the "Blame America First" types.
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Old 01-30-2008, 01:32 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Baron Samedi on 01-30-2008 at 12:20 PM
Without clicking the links.....I can see that Thomas is one of the "Blame America First" types.
Well if the information reported in those articles is true, then I have some blame to throw on America's shoulders.
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Old 01-30-2008, 03:36 PM   #12
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Falling short of the promise.

That phrase pretty much sums up the entire Iraq war experience.
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Old 01-31-2008, 07:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by jaric on 01-30-2008 at 10:35 AM
Why should they pay because we decided to play Risk?

We made the decision to go into Iraq. We broke it. We have to fix it.

And really. If the US government really believed we would see even 25% of that money, they were being naive. Hell, some of those countries listed hate us as much as Iraq did/does.

Might as well ask Iran to pony up some cash.
Then why is the same pattern occurring in the "good war", Afghanistan?

In that one, world opinion supported the actions taken, The UN approved the operation, heck NATO was put in charge of the whole thing.

So why are the Canadians so pissed off at the other NATO coutries?

Quote:
Canada Presses NATO for Afghan Help

By ROB GILLIES
The Associated Press
Monday, January 28, 2008; 8:29 PM

TORONTO -- Canada will extend its military mission in Afghanistan only if another NATO country puts more soldiers in the dangerous south, the prime minister said Monday, echoing the recommendation of an independent panel to withdraw without additional forces.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservative government is under pressure to withdraw its 2,500 troops from Kandahar province, the former Taliban stronghold, after the deaths of 78 soldiers and a diplomat. The mission is set to expire in 2009 without an extension by Canadian lawmakers.

The panel, led by John Manley, a former Liberal deputy prime minister and foreign minister, recommended last week that Canada continue its mission only if another NATO country musters 1,000 troops for Kandahar.

European allies' refusal to deploy to Afghanistan's dangerous south and east has opened a rift with Britain, Canada, the Netherlands and others which, along with the United States, have borne the brunt of Taliban violence.

The U.S. contributes one-third of NATO's 42,000-strong International Security Assistance Force mission, making it the largest participant, on top of the 12,000 to 13,000 American troops operating independently.

NATO spokesman James Appathurai said the alliance had no immediate reaction to the comments from Harper, who said he would begin negotiating with allies prior to the next meeting of NATO leaders in early April.

"NATO's reputation is on the line here," Harper said. "NATO's efforts in Afghanistan as a whole are not adequate, but particularly in Kandahar province . . . It is the focal point of the insurgency and of the Taliban's longer term plans to return to power."

Harper said Canada has done more than its fair share and needs help.

"If NATO can't come through with that help than I think frankly that NATO's own reputation and future will be in grave jeopardy," Harper said.

Harper said he also agreed with the panel's recommendation that the defense department speed the purchase of helicopters and surveillance aircraft.

"Both of those recommendations will have to be fulfilled or Canada will not proceed with the mission in Afghanistan," he said.

Opposition parties have threatened to bring down Harper's minority government if he does not end the increasingly unpopular combat mission.

"It looks like a design for a never-ending mission," Liberal leader Stephane Dion said. "This we are completely against. We think it's a mistake for Canada, for NATO and for Afghanistan. A timeline is necessary because it gives the incentive for everyone to come with targets."

Harper has promised to consult with Dion and to put the future of the mission to a vote in Parliament, where the opposition parties hold the majority of seats.

Harper declined to detail how Canadian soldiers have been handling detainees in Afghanistan since November, when they stopped transferring prisoners to local authorities after a prison visit showed evidence of torture. The government only announced the change last week.

"We are not going to publicly discuss how many Afghan prisoners we have _ and where they are," Harper said.
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Old 01-31-2008, 08:14 PM   #14
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Ahhh, Canada. I won't even start.
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Old 02-01-2008, 12:39 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by tmack on 01-31-2008 at 08:14 PM
Ahhh, Canada. I won't even start.
To be clear, the problem I was pointing out isn't with Canada, but with the other NATO countries who are putting restrictions on how their forces can be used in Afghanistan.

As the article said, only Denmark, Britain, Canada, and the US are willing to send their forces in harms way.

So can someone explain to me just why having "allies" like that is so important?
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