Thursday, June 01, 2006

Wrong steps in Iraq

The White House is right to insist that our postwar goal is a unified Iraq, as opposed to one divided along ethno-religious lines. So why is the administration taking so many actions that make holding the country together virtually impossible?

In January, President George W. Bush diverted nearly half the money allocated to reconstruction in Iraq to other needs, including security. Bush's decision sent a terrible signal to the Iraqis about our resolve. It is even less understandable given that the expense of the reconstruction program is only a fraction of our annual costs in Iraq.

Next the administration deeply cut financing for democratization efforts, many of them undertaken by nongovernmental groups. The proposed budget for fiscal 2007 asks for a paltry $63 million. This token sum - in a war that costs some $200 million a day

Continue reading here

Is undermining democracy what the Bush administration really wants? One could potentially argue that spending money on reconstuction is useless when it will be destroyed the very next day, whether by Iraqis or Americans. What ever happened to the slogan "You break it, you bought it"?

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