[Homestead] Trying to get by on the cheap always a disaster

tvoivozhd tvoivozd at infionline.net
Thu Sep 16 08:02:22 EDT 2004

Cheap in trying to get by with 140,000 grunts when 500,000 would be more 
appeopriate---a consequence of the Bush passion for concealing true cost 
of anything, military or domestic.'  Cheap in trying to hide the trur 
cost of Iraq reconstruction, and cheap in stealing funds from that 
reconstrucyion for security.  Fact is that Iraq security does require 
more money and fact is that Iraq reconstruction requires more 
money---the too little, too late sickness runs deep in the Bush psyche. 
unnecessarily killing American troops, unnecessarily destabilizing 
Iraq---as the CIA now predicts, totally out of control---all the men and 
money we have spent wasted by the fool in the White House.

I don/t mean to say that the two billion dollars a month we spend in 
Iraq is sheap, but not asking for and not spending the true requirement 
means the two billion a month accomplishes nothing except total 
failure.  El Estupido can't get anything right.


The Boston Globe <http://www.boston.com/news/globe/>

  Two GOP leaders attack Iraq policy

    Lugar and Hagel cite slow pace of reconstruction

By Bryan Bender, Globe Staff  |  September 16, 2004

WASHINGTON -- Two leading Republican legislators yesterday attacked the 
Bush administration's approach to rebuilding Iraq, in one of the 
strongest indictments of the administration's Iraq policy from members 
of President Bush's party.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee heard testimony from State 
Department officials seeking to divert almost 20 percent of the $18.4 
billion in US reconstruction funds to security operations instead of 
public works projects and economic development.

But the hearing quickly became a forum for attacking what the Republican 
committee chairman, Senator Richard G. Lugar of Indiana, referred to as 
the ''dancing-in-the-street crowd" that wrongly predicted that Iraqis 
would be celebrating after the fall of Saddam Hussein a year and a half 
ago. He said the same White House officials have repeatedly failed to 
make necessary course changes.

''Now, the nonsense of all [the predictions] is apparent; the lack of 
planning is apparent," he said.

Senator Chuck Hagel, Republican of Nebraska, addressing two of the State 
Department's point men on Iraq, said the pace of reconstruction has been 
''beyond pitiful. It's embarrassing. It is now in the zone of dangerous."

''You don't win the hearts and minds of the people at the end of a 
barrel of a gun," Hagel, a Vietnam War veteran, said. ''You do that 
through the process that we started here in the Congress appropriating 
$18.4 billion."

As for the original architects of the Iraq war, he added: ''Maybe we 
ought to have a hearing with the inventors of this, have them come back 
up, all these smart guys that got us in there and said, 'Don't worry.' "

The criticism signaled the growing worries in both parties that Iraq is 
slipping out of control, with large areas of country under guerrilla 
control and rising attacks on troops and Iraqi civilians. It also sent a 
clear signal to the White House that some Republican supporters of 
Bush's decision to invade Iraq last year are worried that the 
administration's Iraq policy is veering off-track.

To try to beef up security, the Bush administration Tuesday announced it 
was asking Congress for permission to reallocate about $3.5 billion of 
the $18.4 billion in reconstruction funds Congress approved last November.

Most of the money would finance more training for Iraqi police. A 
smaller portion would be used to establish a nationwide work program to 
combat the estimated 50 percent unemployment rate in Iraq and deter 
young people from joining the insurgency.

US rebuilding funds have created 111,000 new Iraqi jobs, according to 
State Department figures, far below what specialists agree is necessary 
to prevent defections to the insurgents.

Administration officials told the Senate panel yesterday that the 
proposed funding shift is part of a new strategy by the State 
Department, which took over responsibility for Iraqi reconstruction from 
the Defense Department in June.

''An uncertain security situation affects all potential economic and 
political development," said Joseph Bowab, deputy assistant secretary of 
state for foreign assistance programs.

As of last week, only $1.14 billion out of the $18.4 billion pot that 
was approved on an emergency basis last year has been spent because of 
contract delays and the growing attacks on public infrastructure by 
guerrillas and Islamic extremists.

Most of the frustrations expressed by the senators centered on the slow 
pace of reconstruction.

''This is an extraordinarily ineffective administration procedure," 
Lugar said of the reconstruction. ''It is exasperating for anybody 
looking at this from any vantage point. We're in favor of the security 
aspect, but we're still also in favor of getting money out to these 
towns and villages.

''Although we recognize these funds must not be spent unwisely, the slow 
pace of reconstruction spending means that we are failing to fully take 
advantage of one of our most potent tools to influence the direction of 

© Copyright <http://www.boston.com/help/bostoncom_info/copyright> 2004 
The New York Times Company

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