Posts Tagged ‘economic sanctions’

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Daily Briefing—4th Aug 2010

Posted: 4 August 2010 by Editors in Daily Briefing
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With 70,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, President Obama yesterday dropped his 2009 pledge to remove all combat troops before September, extending the target date 15 months, Gareth Porter reported today at Inter Press Services. The drawdown is intended by the Administration to leave 50,000 ‘residual troops’ indefinitely, but investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill notes the so-called “withdrawal” is a replacement of combat troops with ‘private’ mercenary firms. Earlier today, he spoke with Amy Goodman at Democracy Now! (11:48):

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Of the $9.1bn allocated to the Pentagon for development in Iraq, $8.7bn is not ‘properly accounted for’—$2.6bn for which there are no records at all—according to a audit by the Spc.I.G. for Iraq reconstruction. “The report also said the U.S. military continues to hold at least $34.3 million of the fund, even though it was required to return it to the Iraqi government in December 2007,” Ernesto Londoño reported last week at The Washington Post after stating: “U.S. officials failed to create bank accounts for $8.7 billion in the Development Fund for Iraq, as mandated by the Department of Treasury”.

“Inside Story”, hosted by Mike Hanna at Al Jazeera English, discussed with:

  • Mundher Adhami, an analyst on Iraqi affairs;
  • Jeremy Carver, a board member of Tranparency International; and
  • Scott Lucas, a professor of American Studies at the University of Birmingham and editor of Enduring America.com

Mr. Adhami and Mr. Carver are right—this was no “blunder”, but a “deliberate effort”. Government accounting flaws, especially relating to international affairs, are calculated under-rug sweepings. the blunder is when the rug is lifted. Mr. Lucas added that, “ironically”, the policies to create what the U.S. calling a “free market economy” were antithetical to that of a free market, though still very different from the “State-controlled economy under Saddam Hussein” (24:41):

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The U.S. and Israeli presidents publicly affirmed their ‘special, unbreakable bond’ and sought to justify Israel’s nuclear proliferation, Patty Culhane reported today at Al Jazeera English (2:41):

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