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Apr 9

Written by: Diana West
Wednesday, April 09, 2008 8:12 AM 

From the AP:

Iraq has about $30 billion in surplus funds stored in U.S. banks, according to [Sen. Carl] Levin.
Iraq is looking at a potential boon in oil revenue this year, possibly as much as $100 billion in 2007 and 2008. Meanwhile, the U.S. military is having to buy its fuel on the open market, paying on average $3.23 a gallon and spending some $153 million a month in Iraq on fuel alone.

What's wrong with this picture? Shouldn't the U.S. military in Iraq be filling up for ... free?

While Iraq
pays for fuel for its own troops...

Mighty big of them.

...it has relied heavily on U.S. dollars to provide people with basic services, including more than $45 billion for reconstruction.

"Heavily" isn't the word.

Lacking the votes to order troops home by a certain date, Democrats see fencing off reconstruction money as an alternative to challenging the Bush administration's Iraq policies. And several Republicans have signaled their concerns about burgeoning Iraqi oil revenues at a time when the war is growing increasingly costly.
"Isn't it time for the Iraqis to start bearing more of those expenses, particularly in light of the windfall in revenues due to the high price of oil?" said Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine.

Is concern over Iraq hoarding its billions and its oil while America spends and spends really just a matter of politicking? Isn't this a bi-partisan congressional concern? (Susan Collins hardly counts as a Republican.) After all, way back when, Paul Wolfowitz predicted Iraqi oil would pay for the whole war in Iraq.

Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, agreed but said it would take time. "I think what we've got to focus on in the period ahead is this kind of transitioning," Crocker said. "And it'll be, like everything else in Iraq, a complex process."

Why does it simple simple to me to expect Iraqis to provide free fuel to the US troops sacrificing blood and treasure to build a country for them?

Iraq has about $30 billion in surplus funds stored in U.S. banks, according to Levin.
 Iraq is looking at a potential boon in oil revenue this year, possibly as much as $100 billion in 2007 and 2008. Meanwhile, the U.S. military is having to buy its fuel on the open market, paying on average $3.23 a gallon and spending some $153 million a month in Iraq on fuel alone.
 While Iraq pays for fuel for its own troops, it has relied heavily on U.S. dollars to provide people with basic services, including more than $45 billion for reconstruction.
 Lacking the votes to order troops home by a certain date, Democrats see fencing off reconstruction money as an alternative to challenging the Bush administration's Iraq policies. And several Republicans have signaled their concerns about burgeoning Iraqi oil revenues at a time when the war is growing increasingly costly.
 "Isn't it time for the Iraqis to start bearing more of those expenses, particularly in light of the windfall in revenues due to the high price of oil?" said Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine.
 Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, agreed but said it would take time.
 "I think what we've got to focus on in the period ahead is this kind of transitioning," Crocker said. "And it'll be, like everything else in Iraq, a complex process."

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