by The Daily Mislead –
(September 23, 2003 ) — President Bush has had to reverse course and increase his request for reconstruction aid to Iraq more than eight-fold, from an original $2.5 billion to a current level of $20.5 billion (1), largely because he earlier disregarded a well-documented report revealing the poor state of Iraq’s oil industry.
Instead of using revenues from Iraqi oil to finance reconstruction, as the White House predicted before the war, the Administration now is asking for more than $900 million to import oil, propane, diesel and gasoline to the beleaguered country. (2, 3)
In March, as the war began, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz claimed revenues of $50-$100 billion from Iraqi oil could be expected within two to three years, declaring,
“We are dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon.” (4)
At the time, however, the Administration chose to ignore a UN-commissioned report from 2000 that had reported Iraq’s outmoded oil-producing facilities were clearly in disrepair. (5 )
Now the administration concedes Iraqi oil revenues will be zero this year, increasing only to $12.1 billion in 2004.(6)
1. “$87 Billion War Request Details Spending,” Washington Post, 9/18/03, p. A04.
“U.S. says oil in Iraq to pay for rebuilding,” Houston Chronicle, 3/28/03.
2. “Bush asks for more funds to repair Iraq oil industry,” International Herald Tribune, 9/15/03.
3. “$87 Billion War Request Details Spending,” Washington Post, 9/18/03, p. A04.
4. “Rebuilding Costs to Be Shared; Rumsfeld tells Congress that taxpayers will get help from oil revenue, international donations,” LA Times, 3/28/03, p. 12.
5. “Analysts: Poor Planning Boosted Iraq Costs, “John Ydstie, All Things Considered, National Public Radio, 9/11/03.
6. “The Struggle for Iraq: U.S. Budget; 78% of Bush’s Postwar Spending Plan Is for Military,” New York Times, 9/9/03, p. A12.