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Iraqi council turns to U.S. Congress for more self-rule

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Barrett808 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 03:06 PM
Original message
Iraqi council turns to U.S. Congress for more self-rule
BAGHDAD - In a 6,000-mile end run around American and British occupation authorities, leaders from the Iraqi Governing Council say they will go to Congress this week to argue that U.S. taxpayers can save billions of dollars on Iraq's reconstruction by granting sovereignty more rapidly to the council, the 25-member interim government here.

In interviews, the Iraqi leaders said they planned to tell Congress about how the staff of L. Paul Bremer III, the American occupation administrator, sends its laundry to Kuwait, how it costs $20,000 a day to feed the Americans at Al Rashid Hotel in Baghdad, how American contractors charge large premiums for working in Iraq and how, across the board, the overhead from supporting and protecting the large American and British presence in Iraq is less efficient than granting direct aid to Iraqi ministries that operate at a fraction of the cost.

"The Americans are spending money here to secure themselves at a rate that is two to three times what they are spending to secure the Iraqi people," said Ahmad al-Barak, a human rights lawyer and a member of the Governing Council. "It would be better for us if we would be in charge of how to spend this money and, of course, they could monitor how it is spent."

He estimated that in some cases the savings could be a factor of 10. "Where they spend $1 billion, we would spend $100 million," he said.

In the spirit of demonstrating such savings, the Governing Council this month canceled the $5,000-a-day contract that Bremer had arranged to feed the 25-member body and its staff and found a cheaper supplier. Barak said he did not know the cost of the new contract.

(more)

http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/0922bremer22.htm...
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Mandate My Ass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 03:14 PM
Response to Original message
1. Wow! This is bold move -- perhaps risky
Edited on Mon Sep-22-03 03:25 PM by Monica_L
I hope news of this spreads far and wide. $5,000 a day to feed 25 people while our troops rely on care packages from home and those wounded in action are billed for their hospital meals. Good grief.

But the good will is wearing thin as the interim Iraqi leaders, most of them from the opposition groups that had helped persuade the Bush administration to topple Saddam Hussein, become increasingly frustrated with the deteriorating security in the country and the impatient expectations of Iraqis to see some fruits of what the United States is calling their liberation.

I fear if they want to see any fruits of their liberation they're going to have to buy some Halliburton stock.
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Sagan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 03:14 PM
Response to Original message
2. $5K a day to feed 25 people????

JEEZUS... I could feed 25 people LAVISHLY for 500 a day. EASY.

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htuttle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 03:28 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. I could eat 3 times a day at the best restaurants in my state...
...and STILL spend less than $200/day on food ($5,000/25 members).

Maybe they are leaving REALLY big tips? For a caterer?
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oldcoot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 03:17 PM
Response to Original message
3. Wow!
This does not sound like a bad idea. I hope Congress seriously considers this request.
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Dhalgren Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 03:21 PM
Response to Original message
4. If their oil was gone,
we'd be outta there tomorrow. They need a way to sign over owership of their oil, then we'd pack-up.
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ScrewyRabbit Donating Member (522 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 03:34 PM
Response to Original message
6. This is the most hysterical vote of no confidence
I've ever heard! I can't stop laughing -- it's a devious move to discredit the administration. Brilliant!
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wryter2000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 05:38 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. It is, indeed, brilliant
I hope what they say gets a lot of air time.
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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 05:41 PM
Response to Original message
8. It's not for the US to grant sovereignty to Iraq!
Iraq is a sovereign nation, and the US Congress is not some damned British colonial office bestowing privileges to the natives. Iraqis should take what is rightfully theirs, by force if necessary.
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