Canada’s CBC Newsworld produced this documentary.

What an eye opener. The article doesn’t do it justice. The money was sent to Iraq in $100 notes and they referred to it in terms of how many tons were being shipped and they showed front end loaders loading the stacks and stacks of cash. There was no way this money could be adequately managed. I was a fiasco.

George W. Bush declared that billions of dollars entrusted to the American Coalition would go toward developing infrastructure in Iraq. Rich with close to 20 billion dollars of Iraq’s money, and full of promises, the coalition went into the war torn country. But after only fourteen months, nearly all of the money was spent. No accountability. No records. With Iraq’s essential services now worse than before the war, where has all this money gone? How can this be explained?

In a hospital room in Iraq, a newborn baby struggles to breathe. Doctors are deeply frustrated by the severe lack of equipment to save her. The hospital, meant to have benefited from a $4 million refit, is a germ-infested, dilapidated structure with raw sewage leaks in the kitchens and operating rooms. It has melted lighting fixtures. Ants crawl around on the floors. This hospital is just one example of how the huge funds allocated for restoration have somehow gone missing.

In this revealing documentary, Dr. Ali Fadhil, a young Iraqi doctor, sets out to learn what has led to the catastrophic results when money was put into the care of the U.S. led coalition. What emerges is a disturbing tale of corruption and fraud.

As word spread of the kind of money that could be made in Iraq, foreign contractors negotiated deals fast and furiously.

There was no oversight of projects. “As trustees, we did a very poor job,” admits Frank Willis, a senior member of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA). “We should have spent the money on the Iraqi people, rather than putting it in the pockets of foreign business.” According to the United States’ own figures, Iraq’s essential services are worse than before the war, with the country producing less electricity, oil or clean water.

Iraq’s Missing Billions is produced and directed by Callum Macrae. Chris Bryer is the executive producer.

July 31, 2007 | 1 Comment »

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  1. There are stories floating about that there are lots of new Iraqi millionaires walking the streets of Europe and the Middle East awash with US cash. Iraqis (Arabs) have a culture of corruption; it’s ubiquitous in the Arab world, so why should it be different in Iraq? Shouldn’t we just trust that they want the same strong, free, representative government for themselves and for their children that we want for ourselves and ours, that all parents want for their children, and that they will see the opportunity we are helping them seize. Hardly. The yearning for freedom is not the same in every human heart, regardless of how good it sounds in a speech.

    One very lucrative fraud apparently common among Iraqi military commanders is to stock the security forces rosters with ghost soldiers and pocket their pay. And apparently the pay is quite good, especially if as much as 70 PERCENT OF THEIR ROSTER IS FAKE. So forget about all those quoted numbers of Iraqi security forces our commanders and politicians tell us are going to take over after we leave. They ain’t there. Just more theatre for the unwashed ignorant masses.

    Screwed by the Arabs (and US politicians) again.

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