This blog aims to accomplish two things. Given how quickly events are reported, misreported, and dropped by the MSM, we want to go back and see if we can't find some answers to questions that were and were not asked. Second, because the lazy MSM's chief tool for what passes as journalism is to quote pundits without having done any homework,the right questions don't get asked. We want to provide our readers the contact information for these pundits so we can ask them directly.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Here is an excerpt and link to a State Dept. Press Brief of 9/4/03, topic, the upcoming donor conference for Iraq to be held Oct 23-24 in Madrid:

"U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE Office of the Spokesman September 4, 2003


With Alan P. Larson Under Secretary for Economic, Business and Agricultural Affairs On Financing Reconstruction in Iraq and Donors Conference held in Brussels

September 4, 2003 Washington, D.C."

"...Q: And I was wondering, the U.S.'s -- Americans, the taxpayer, simply, is bearing a heavy burden for reconstructing Iraq. There are figures like $60- and $70 billion floating around, and as money the U.S. will have to spend on reconstruction.

Number One, I have lost track of the argument the administration made before and during the war that Iraq is an immensely rich country, rich resources, very skillful people, and if they could just get out from under Saddam Hussein -- it isn't like Afghanistan, you know, poor country -- they'd be off and running.

And all of a sudden, I find, you know, we're raising -- we're spending $60-$70 billion on this allegedly, potentially very rich country which produces oil, and we've looked at the gas station price -- the prices at the gas station. So here -- let me boil it down.

What will these donations do to the proportion that -- if you can estimate, that America now bears? How many tens of billions of dollars do you think can be raised by donations? And most of all, why is the world obliged to bail Iraq out, first of all, from the U.S.-led war, but secondly, bail out a country that's supposed to be potentially enormously rich?

LARSON: OK. Let me work backward.

First of all, we have made the case everywhere, including in testimony before the Congress and in meetings like the one we had yesterday, that this is about a responsibility the international community has to the Iraqi people; and that if you look at the hole that they find themselves in, it was not the result of a 25- to 30-day war, it's the result of a long period of neglect, misrule and so forth. And I think that argument is fairly substantially accepted by our friends in the international community.

Secondly, we have expressed the view that Iraq does, because Iraq has oil and other resources including a fairly well educated elite, that one can shoot for a reconstruction process that very quickly is financed predominantly by their own resources and by foreign investment and domestic investment. But there is no doubt that in the very short run there is going to need to be substantial requirement for foreign government assistance.

Now, the numbers you quoted -- the Secretary [Secretary of State Colin Powell] -- I'm not going to add -- the Secretary commented on the numbers today, basically, by saying he wasn't going to comment. I'm not going to go any further than --"



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