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The Bush Years - Baghdad Billions - November 2006

(In a word - No) I'm not entirely sure enough time has passed to warrant a "look back" at the Bush presidency without stirring up a goodly amount o
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(In a word - No)

I'm not entirely sure enough time has passed to warrant a "look back" at the Bush presidency without stirring up a goodly amount of revulsion, anger, bitterness and pain on the parts of a lot of people. Maybe this is something to do a few years down the road. But since the recent campaign of billboards have sprung up asking if we've missed that particular dark spot on our history, I thought I would toss out a few things that may have missed the scrutiny of the day as a reminder of how things got bad and just how deep it went.

First off is a documentary that ran on BBC Radio 4 in November of 2006 asking the question what became of the billions of dollars earmarked for Iraqi aid and infrastructure rebuilding in the days following "mission accomplished".

David Oliver (Head of Finance – Iraqi Coalition) (when asked where the missing money went): “I have no idea. I can’t tell you whether the money went to the right things or didn’t. Nor do I actually think its important.”

BBC Interviewer: “Not important?”

Oliver: “No. The Coalition, I think it was between three hundred and six hundred people; civilians. And you want to bring in three thousand auditors to make sure the money’s being spent? I thought that I would accept the British trained auditors they had.”

BBC Interviewer: “Yes, but the fact is that Billions of dollars have disappeared without trace . . .”

Oliver: “Their money. Billions of dollars of their money. Yeah, I’m saying, what difference does it make?”

Their money, which we wound up replacing with our money and the reason why our little excursion into Nation Building has been hopelessly inept from the get-go. Face it - we know how to wage war, but we are up shits creek when it comes to waging peace.

Just another reminder why "the good old days" aren't missed and despite the smokescreens, diversions and baiting to the contrary it's important to stay focused on what the issues are.

Or it could be 2006 all over again.

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