TADHAMUN تـضـامـن

Tadhamun (solidarity) is an Iraqi women organization, standing by Iraqi women's struggle against sectarian politics in Iraq. Fighting for equal citizenship across ethnicities and religions, for human rights, and gender equality.

جمعية تضامن تدعم المساواة في المواطنة بغض النظر عن الأنتماء الأثني أو الديني وتسعى من أجل العدالة الأجتماعية و حماية حقوق الأنسان في العراق

Friday, August 8, 2008

Playing Politics With Iraqi Oil Money

"Much of the money that was spent by US taxpayers on Iraq's initial reconstruction went directly into the pockets of private US corporations "

Thursday 07 August 2008
by: Matt Renner, t r u t h o u t Report

Washington, DC - Republicans and Democrats have been in an uproar over a new report that examines the amount of money the government of Iraq has been taking in and where they have been spending it. However, according to a leading Iraq economy scholar, the report is being misinterpreted and the political fall-out could be extremely harmful. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) report (.pdf), released on Tuesday, shows that the government of Iraq has spent less money than the United States in reconstructing vital infrastructure despite a growing surplus in Iraq's treasury. Focusing on raw dollar figures, the report estimates that the government of Iraq has spent $3.9 billion since 2005 on security, oil, water and electricity projects.
Because of high oil prices, the government has been taking in more money than it's spending, accumulating billions of dollars during this same time period. Currently Iraq's budget surplus is estimated at $29 billion, with a possible surplus of an additional $50 billion in 2008.
In statements, senators from both parties compared the seemingly paltry Iraqi expenditures with the $23.2 billion spent by the US government in these specific reconstruction areas since the 2003 invasion.
"The Iraqi government now has tens of billions of dollars at its disposal to fund large-scale reconstruction projects. It is inexcusable for US taxpayers to continue to foot the bill for projects the Iraqis are fully capable of funding themselves," Senator Carl Levin (D-Michigan) said. Levin is chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. "Despite Iraq earning billions of dollars in oil revenue in the past five years, US taxpayer money has been the overwhelming source of Iraq reconstruction funds," Senator John Warner (R-Virginia), ranking member on the committee, said.
Antonia Juhasz, a fellow with Oil Change International and author of the forthcoming book "The Tyranny of Oil," takes issue with many conclusions being drawn from the GAO report.
"Pinning the failure of reconstruction and the poor functioning of the Iraqi government on the Iraqi government is obscene," Juhasz told Truthout. Instead, she blames reconstruction failures on the Bush administration's Iraq policy, adding, "It is politically expedient and an obscene rewriting of history to say that the US should not be giving the Iraqis any more money for reconstruction because the Iraqis have plenty of money of their own."
Much of the money that was spent by US taxpayers on Iraq's initial reconstruction went directly into the pockets of private US corporations under the direction of L. Paul Bremer, former head of the Coalition Provisional Authority, which ruled Iraq in the months following the invasion. His decision to fire the roughly 120,000 Iraqi government workers and completely privatize the country's reconstruction has been blamed for much of the political chaos that has gripped the country since the invasion.
According to Juhasz, the amount of money spent by the US government on reconstruction does not accurately reflect the amount of actual work done. "The US gave the reconstruction money to US corporations. The corporations took the money and failed to do the reconstruction," Juhasz said.
Juhasz views the report very differently from those who are trying to make political hay out of the anger over the ongoing occupation of Iraq and extraordinary gas prices - in fact, there are bright spots contained in the GAO data that give Juhasz hope for Iraq's future.

The GAO report points out that Iraq has been increasing oil exports every year since the invasion and profiting greatly as a result.
"The Iraqis are essentially doing fine on their own running their oil industry. They are making money and increasing production and exports. Because oil is so expensive, Iraqis will have the money to invest and rebuild their oil infrastructure without investment from US oil companies," Juhasz said.
The need for oil infrastructure investment has been the main argument pushed by the Bush administration and some Democrats who favor passage of a law that would give foreign oil companies access to Iraq's oil for the first time since Iraq's oil industry was nationalized in 1973. Proponents of such a law argue that the companies would provide the infrastructure investment needed to increase productivity, without which Iraq's oil-based economy would sputter.
However, the proposed law has been held up in Iraq's parliament because it does not have popular support. Iraq's oil industry is a source of great national pride, and attempts to privatize it have met with fierce resistance. Iraqi and international activists have been working to educate foreign governments and the press about the state of oil politics in Iraq and the ongoing negotiation with foreign companies over Iraq's oil. According to Juhasz, these efforts have helped to slow down the rush to privatize the oil fields.

Petition sign and circulate:

Release Iraqi women hostages, victims of terrorism themselves

بعيدا عن الوطن؛ حراك التضامن مع الوطن فنا، شعرا وكتابةً
Away from Home; Memory, Art and women solidarity: you are invited to an evening of poetry and music 22/3/2017 18:30 at P21 Gallery London click here for more details
Public meeting at The Bolivar Hall, London Sat.14/5/2016 at 15:00 IDPs : Fragmentation of Cultural and National Identity


Protest the suffering of Iraqi Christians: No to terrorism No to state terrorism.Hands off our minorities. Hands off our people. Shame on the human rights violators on all sides. Assemble 11:30 on 28/7/14 near Parliament Square, near Westminister tube station London. For more past events click here


Useful links

Halt All Executions! Abolish The Death Penalty!

We women of Tadhamun condemn the persisting practice of arbitrary arrests by the Iraqi security forces. We condemn their arrests of women in lieu of their men folk. These are 'inherited' practices. We are alarmed by credible media reports of the Green Zone government’s intentions of executing hundreds of Iraqi men and women.

For more info click here

Professor Zaineb Al Bahrani of Columbia University NY speaking at a our meeting on the destruction/damage to historical sites in Iraq

On youtube: Part1
Part 3
One more video:

Human Rights Watch: No woman is Safe


Articles published on this site do not necessarily reflect the opinion of WSIUI or its members

المقالات المنشورة على هذا الموقع لا تعكس بالضرورة آراء منظمتنا أو أعضاء منظمتنا

Samarra Minrate built in 852 AD

Samarra Minrate built in 852 AD
Building of 1 500 massive police station !
From the angle of the photo, it is possible to calculate that the complex is being built at E 396388 N 3785995 (UTM Zone 38 North) or Lat. 34.209760° Long. 43.875325°, to the west of the Malwiya (Spiral Minaret), and behind the Spiral Cafe.
While the point itself may not have more than Abbasid houses under the ground, it is adjacent to the palace of Sur Isa, the remains of which can be seen in the photo. While the initial construction might or might not touch the palace, accompanying activities will certainly spread over it.Sur Isa can be identified with the palace of al-Burj, built by the
Abbasid Caliph al-Mutawakkil, probably in 852-3 (Northedge, Historical Topography of Samarra, pp 125-127, 240). The palace is said to have cost 33 million dirhams, and was luxurious. Details are given by al-Shabushti, Kitab al-Diyarat.
Samarra was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO at the end of June. The barracks could easily have been built elsewhere, off the archaeological site.--
Alastair Northedge Professeur d'Art et d'Archeologie Islamiques UFR d'Art et d'Archeologie
Universite de Paris I (Pantheon-Sorbonne) 3, rue Michelet, 75006 Paris
tel. 01 53 73 71 08 telecopie : 01 53 73 71 13 Email :
Alastair.Northedge@univ-paris1.fr ou anorthedge@wanadoo.fr