Tuesday, September 20, 2005

One Beeeelion

Erm, yeah, tip to those in the Bush administration who are chattering about how well the training of the Iraqi army is going:

All the training in the world won't matter when the defence minister hightails it with the money that was supposed to buy weapons.

Well, ok, that's not quite fair. They did get weapons:

The "robbery" is believed to include the signing of multimillion-dollar deals with companies to supply equipment that was sometimes inappropriate for the new army or was years out of date. It is also alleged that the ministry paid huge premiums for some military hardware.

Mr Allawi said the rampant corruption and fraud at the defence ministry had left the new Iraqi army with second-rate weapons with which to confront the insurgency. "Huge amounts of money have disappeared. In return we got nothing but scraps of metal," Mr Allawi said.
Guess what the guy's excuse is?

Mr Shaalan, who is understood to be living in Jordan, has denied complicity in the scandal, saying that his actions as defence minister were ultimately the responsibility of the US authorities in Iraq.
This is likely true- the Iraqi government isn't going to say "boo" right now without the US authorities holding up a cue card. Either the US authorities didn't know, or didn't care. "Didn't know" is possible, but "didn't care" is much scarier, because it implies that the authorities know that they aren't going anywhere anytime soon, and that all this "training" is a mirage.

Considering that the people describing Iraq as a "permanent base" haven't exactly gone anywhere except under political cover, it seems that "didn't care" is likelier as well.

Even had Katrina not already ruined its credibility, the Bush administration seems doomed to it in Iraq anyway. Katrina just sped up the timeline.

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