... from rebuilding Iraq.
Well now that I've got your attention with an obviously biased thread title, let me move on to my argument. First the article:
BAGHDAD -- The Bush administration does not intend to seek any new funds for Iraq reconstruction in the budget request going before Congress in February, officials say. The decision signals the winding down of an $18.4 billion U.S. rebuilding effort in which roughly half of the money was eaten away by the insurgency, a buildup of Iraq's criminal justice system and the investigation and trial of Saddam Hussein.
Just under 20 percent of the reconstruction package remains unallocated. When the last of the $18.4 billion is spent, U.S. officials in Baghdad have made clear, other foreign donors and the fledgling Iraqi government will have to take up what authorities say is tens of billions of dollars of work yet to be done merely to bring reliable electricity, water and other services to Iraq's 26 million people.
Ok so obviously our troops aren't going anywhere any time soon. I have so many problems with this complete cut of funding to reconstruction. If we ARE going to stay until the mission is finished, doesn't that include fixing what we broke? Electricity and oil output is below pre war levels, residents in Baghdad are lucky if they get six hours of electricity a day, and the oil money that was supposed to fund the reconstruction... well that just isn't happening.
I understand that a lot has been done in terms of reconstruction already, even if the government hasn't been telling us the specifics about it. But why stop? As long as our troops are there, why stop rebuilding what we destroyed? Even if it has been ridiculously inefficient and the money hard to track, why stop funding it.
We're not giving a timetable to how long the troops will be there. We're not saying how much more money we're going to spend on this war. But we're so certain on saying that we won't fund Iraqi reconstruction anymore.
All seems very wrong to me.