Reading at the Crossroads

Reading at the Crossroads is an archive for columns and letters which appeared in the Terre Haute Tribune Star. I also blog here when my patience is exhausted by what I feel is irritating, irrational and/or ironic in life. --gary daily

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Location: Terre Haute, Indiana, United States

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

WAR -- The Money [Part 11]

It seems the word “bitter” is coming up a lot lately. I say it’s about time to be bitter about the massive waste of our money in Iraq. The article below goes on for paragraph after paragraph and not a bit of news that can help anyone feel the Iraqi government is nearly ready to “Stand Up So We Can Stand Down.” Our guys in Iraq are taking very large gulps at the American money spigot in the Green Zone, freshly piped in thanks to Bush/Petraeus/Crocker policies, and approved by a solid block of Republicans and a squishy block of Democrats in Congress.

So, yeah, I’m bitter.
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Secret Iraqi Deal Shows Problems in Arms Orders

By SOLOMON MOORE
New York Times April 13, 2008

BAGHDAD — An $833 million Iraqi arms deal secretly negotiated with Serbia has underscored Iraq’s continuing problems equipping its armed forces, a process that has long been plagued by corruption and inefficiency.

The deal was struck in September without competitive bidding and it sidestepped anti-corruption safeguards, including the approval of senior uniformed Iraqi Army officers and an Iraqi contract approval committee. Instead, it was negotiated by a delegation of 22 high-ranking Iraqi officials, without the knowledge of American commanders or many senior Iraqi leaders. [only 22!]

The deal drew enough criticism that Iraqi officials later limited the purchase to $236 million. And much of that equipment, American commanders said, turned out to be either shoddy or inappropriate for the military’s mission. . . .

A high-ranking Iraqi government official who spoke on condition of anonymity, for fear of reprisals against him and others in his office, said, “We have no confidence in the Iraqi contracting process.” . . .
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Full article at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/13/world/middleeast/13ar...rtner=rssnyt&emc=rss

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