Monday, September 5, 2011


We should not be surprised at our current ongoing financial crisis in the USA.  We have been conducting extravagant excruciating wars without asking anyone, but the soldiers & citizens in direct contact with destruction, to pay for them.  The Iraq War was promoted as a war that would pay for itself out of oil revenues, no U.S. national sacrifice necessary.  As the Afghanistan War was launched we were told by leaders the patriotic duty was to go out and spend.  To find that spending money, you might have to run up your credit card, take it from a home equity loan, or flip a condo.  It was a magnificent misrepresentation--nothing conservative about it.  The blind following blind leadership, and now we have the devil to pay.
An armed guard poses beside pallets of $100 bills in Baghdad. In the first months of the 2003 invasion almost $12billion in in cash was spent by the US-led authority---picture by UK Guardian

What does spending in our wars look like?  The excerpts below from articles, still worth reading through on their links {little read at the time} tell a small part of this scandalous story.

'Iraq was awash in cash. We played football with bricks of $100 bills'  

At the beginning of the Iraq war, the UN entrusted $23 billion of Iraqi money to the US-led coalition to redevelop the country. With the infrastructure of the country still in ruins, where has all that money gone?  Callum Macrae and Ali Fadhil on one of the greatest financial scandals of all time.    Mar. 20, 2006 -- UK Guardian
 "Iraq was awash in cash - in dollar bills. Piles and piles of money," says Frank Willis, a former senior official with the governing Coalition Provisional Authority. "We played football with some of the bricks of $100 bills before delivery. It was a wild-west crazy atmosphere, the likes of which none of us had ever experienced."

 How the US sent $12bn in cash to Iraq. And watched it vanish Special flights brought in tonnes of banknotes which disappeared into the war zone   UK Guardian,  Feb 7, 2007
The US flew nearly $12 billion in shrink-wrapped $100 bills into Iraq, then distributed the cash with no proper control over who was receiving it and how it was being spent.  The staggering scale of the biggest transfer of cash in the history of the Federal Reserve has been graphically laid bare by a US congressional committee.
In the year after the invasion of Iraq in 2003 nearly 281 million notes, weighing 363 tonnes, were sent from New York to Baghdad for disbursement to Iraqi ministries and US contractors. Using C-130 planes, the deliveries took place once or twice a month with the biggest of $2,401,600,000 on June 22 2004, six days before the handover.
 ‘One official was given $6.75m in cash, and was ordered to spend it in one week before the interim Iraqi government took control of Iraqi funds."

A truck carrying rebel fighters driving toward the oil refinery in Zawiyah, Libya , Aug. 23, 2011---Bob Strong-Reuters
And History again repeats itself.  Recent lead for National Public Radio Story-----
The Libyan assets frozen during the civil war included crates full of money. Before the uprising began, Moammar Gadhafi ordered the printing of a billion and a half dollars worth of bank notes from a British company. Delivery of that Libyan cash was blocked as the uprising began. Yesterday, the money started to flow. The British Air Force flew in crates of cash worth more than $227 million. The cash will be used to pay public workers and replenish ATMs.
Even as they try to distribute money, Libya's new leaders are hoping to collect weapons. Before the uprising began last February, few Libyans were allowed to carry a weapon. Even those in the military had restricted access. Now officials say almost every Libyan has a gun.    ---   NPR Morning Edition story 9-1-11

We and our British allies are at it again, throwing away mountains of cash in once oil-rich, now decimated dictatorships, to curry favor with survivors.   We leave them with the oversight of our deadly drones, and the slim hope of one gun one vote democracy—at least one automatic weapon in every home, well-armed if nothing else.
And here at home USA?  The big beefy military industry gets the lion’s share of all our tax money that is not invested in social insurance programs [and borrows that too].  It’s always spoiling for a fight.  Fighting is their business, and is especially willing to be provoked, as the war industrialists themselves are never sent to the front lines.  The distribution of free-flowing guns bombs and cash worldwide has become the bulwark of U.S. foreign policy—the disaster of destroyed societies the only constant byproduct.    Our own society itself is drawn into the downward spiral.   You get what you pay for.

Our leadership can’t seem to listen to the Gospel admonition, "What father among you, if his son asks for bread, would give him a stone, or if he asks for a fish, would give him a snake instead?"  Lk 11:11

Pray God for the grace to become leaders and citizens that believe in the multiplication of loaves and fishes---converted from the billions now devoted to our deadly military industries. 
The Angelus, by Millet

Related sources---

Feb. 6, 2007---House Panel Criticizes Shipments of Cash to Iraq
 Mar. 6, 2006---Iraq's Missing Billions
 Nov. 8, 2007---Will 'armloads' of US cash buy tribal loyalty?


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