Political Moron

I will be the first to admit that I am a political moron.

I am turning to the millions for an answer to this question. What is the political reason why the Iraqis can not be forced to pay for the war bill out of oil revenue or in oil? Can’t we make this happen?

Would appreciate input. Thanks.

because fixing their refineries will cost some millions first.
(which is why it’s not done at the moment)

because it’s like sending the widow of an executed man the bill for the bullet.
(which is why it would be politically stupid)

They’re also in debt to the tune of $100 Billion dollars already from the previous regime. So piling on more is just going to be adding debt that won’t be repaid.

because fixing their refineries will cost some millions first.
(which is why it’s not done at the moment)

because it’s like sending the widow of an executed man the bill for the bullet.
(which is why it would be politically stupid)

Thanks but still lost. Millions are cheaper then BILLIONS and your analogy suggests Iraqi is a victim as opposed to a beneficiary. Also, if I may expand on my question while also exhibiting an even greater degree of ignorance; what is this billions dollar debt for?

Iraq IS the victim.

It’s THEIR OIL.

Let’s do this again shall we?

  1. Iraq was invaded/liberated by the US et al.
  2. Iraq owes ~$100 Billion to various world lenders
  3. Iraq financial decisions are now made by [b[Americans**
  4. Iraq’s potential oil revenues are just that potential. The damn stuff is in the ground. There is no way you could pump it out quick enough to cover reconstruction etc.

Now explain why, exactly, Iraq should be made to take a loan from a country that just walked in and took it over? Well just cancel all that debt you might say. You can’t do that. Other countries would like their money back too. Besides if you eliminate the current debt (rather than reschedule it) you wind up crippling Iraq in the future when it wants to borrow on world markets again. It’s like declaring bankruptcy and then expecting you bank to give you a mortgage.

You (the US) opted to take out Saddam, and rebuild Iraq. Iraq is now your responsibility.

Yes, I understand it is their oil. (Not quite THAT much of a moron).
I politically repressive regime was essentially eliminated. If a democratic government is set up, the assets previously held selfishly by that regime should become public assets and therefore used to pay both public and private debt. What political reasoning says that the war debt should not be repaid by the new government when it is helped into place?
The refinary answer was a very good one but wouldn’t the US be better off assisting in that area? If you teach a man to fish…yada yada? Perhaps I will just give all understanding in this matter and continue to write my tax bill quietly.

To my understanding, the allieds were really surprised, when they saw in what pittyful condition the Iraqi refinaries, pipelines, etc. were. And what about the port of Basra? I’m not sure it can be used at the moment. That’s for the feasibility of taking Iraq oil to pay.

As for the political issue, that you initially asked about. Sure you can use the oil money - once it’s pouring - to rebuild the place. But you can’t justify to use it for the war-bill. After all the US came as an illegal invader, not as an invited guest.

To my understanding, the allieds were really surprised, when they saw in what pittyful condition the Iraqi refinaries, pipelines, etc. were. And what about the port of Basra? I’m not sure it can be used at the moment. That’s for the feasibility of taking Iraq oil to pay.

As for the political issue, that you initially asked about. Sure you can use the oil money - once it’s pouring - to rebuild the place. But you can’t justify to use it for the war-bill. After all the US came as an illegal invader, not as an invited guest.

A brief study of history indicates that there is a heavy price to pay if you burden a defeated country with ongoing hardship. Compare the situations in Europe at the close of the first and second World Wars. After the First World War, Germany was left in severe economic condition and the people suffered a great deal in trying to rebuild their country and pay back debts. This contributed significantly to the ability of the Nazi party to appeal to extreme nationalistic emotions and gave rise to the regime which launched the Second World War. After the Second World War, the Allies did a great deal to help rebuild Europe and Japan and not burden the defeated peoples (as heavily) with debt. While there was a lot of grousing on the American side about how we built Germany and Japan into economic powerhouses to compete with us, I think it’s clear that we’re better off with democratic/capitalist rivals than authoritarian enemies. This is a simplistic view of history which may ignore a lot of subtle factors in both these situations, but the point is that we have clear precedent that making the loser pay is going to cost more later.

IMO, it would be very short-sighted to try to extract too much repayment from Iraq. Humanitarianism aside, we stand to gain much more for ourselves in the long run by quickly rebuilding Iraq and helping its people attain a comfortable standard of living.

On top of all of this, the U.S. would like to see other countries forgive some of the existing debt that Iraq owes them, in the hopes that it would help Iraq get back on its feet. Getting a democracy going will be tough enough, but if the new government has to start off by implementing austerity measures in order to pay off its existing debts, it’ll be even tougher.

So, if the U.S. wants other countries to forgive some of the existing debt, it would be a pretty tough sell if the U.S. were, at the same time, adding to that debt!

So, does anybody have the figures to these questions:

How much a year would Iraq be spending to pay off it’s $100 billion debt (and how much for $120 billion if we force them to repay $20 billion we’re using for rebuilding)?

And, how much a year income would Iraq be expecting if the oil production and exporting was brought back online?

Thanks in advance.

Let’s put it this way, the 2004 Iraq budget is about 13 Billion dollars. That’s with projected oil revenues.

Does that budget include debt payments?

from the CPA budget.

Note I made a mistake in that 13 Billion in 2003 is from July to December. Scale it to $26 Billion and you can see the staggering debt load the country has. For comparison sake, Canada has a budget of ~180 Billion, a debt load of $600 Billion, and a much better debt rating.

Excellent post, micco!
But with what we are seeing these last days happening in Bagdad, debt issues are really a minor problem.
Unfortunately it’s much to simple to blame Bush for not having a plan in advance. I have not heard anyone come up with a halfways reasonable solution for the current mess. Has anyone?

<whistle>

Yellow flag down on the thread.

This post is political witnessing and not a discussion of a factual question. Save your politicking for Bush in GD.

Peace.

must…resist…urge…to…argue…back…

As to the financial part of the mess, one hopes there are proper controls on the costs of the contracts being issued.

moriah, you are right of course. Sorry. Still I think, micco has provided the right answer to the OP.

MaryEFoo, don’t be sure about proper controls on the costs of the contracts. In the latest issue of the TIME Magazine there are some disturbing numbers: An American contractor should build a factory for 15million$. Since he failed some deadlines, an Iraqi company did the job - for 800 000$.

Gah.