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Jun 22

Written by: Diana West
Wednesday, June 22, 2011 8:00 AM 

More evidence (not) that the Iraq "surge" was an epic success, ready for fabulous replication throughout the Islamic world.

First, Iraq's clerics are saying US forces mission will be "haram" after 2011; now, Iraq's parliament is accusing "US institutions" of stealing  $17 billion.

(Please,  pretty please, can our troops remain in Iraq forever?)

The Australian reports:

Iraq says $US17 billion is missing, and was stolen by corrupt US institutions.

"Nujaifi [speaker of Iraq parliament] is visiting the United States to discuss several issues, including the missing funds," Araji [head of Iraqi parliament's "anti-graft committee"] said. "We spoke with the US forces in Iraq (about this issue) but we didn't receive an answer," he said, adding that Baghdad had approached the United Nations to help trace the money.

The United Nations "help trace" money? Does that trough of Un corruption known as the "Oil for Food" scandal, ground-breakingly reported by Claudia Rossett, ring any bells? Are we supposed to keep a straight face here -- and if so, why?

The cash was from the proceeds of Iraqi oil sales after the 2003 US-led invasion. It was placed in the Development Fund for Iraq, but went missing in 2004, when US envoy Paul Bremer's Coalition Provisional Authority was governing Iraq.

Aha?

In a May 11 letter to the UN Security Council, the Iraqi parliament's anti-graft committee accused US institutions working under the CPA of stealing the money.

"The US institutions (occupation forces) working in Iraq committed a financial crime, stealing the money of the Iraqi people that was allocated for the development of Iraq," said the letter to the UN.

"The sum was $17 billion," it said....

Having been accused on the world stage as a nation of the grossest of thefts (with simultanesouly pouring trillions of dollars down the Iraqi drain), the US response was all too naturally, less than vigorous. Tepid.

"The US and Iraqi governments share a commitment to transparency and accountability with regards to the history of the Development Fund for Iraq," said embassy spokesman David Ranz.

Sorry, Dave. The US and Iraqi govs share nothing.

"Our two governments are working together, and with the Special Inspector-General for Iraq Reconstruction, to account for all of the funds expended from DFI to benefit the Iraqi people."

Hark, the voice of the Iraqi people:

Hardline MP Jawad al-Shehaili said: "The issue is not about returning the money.

"It's about revealing that the US side did nothing for Iraq. It gave from the right hand and stole from the left," said Shehaili, who is a member of an alliance led by the radical and anti-American Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.

Doesn't "success" in Iraq feel good?

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