Tuesday, February 10, 2004

With friends like these......

This is a true story that happened to one of my close relatives who decided to visit Baghdad. Since Iraq has no direct flights going into it, most Iraqis go to Amman-Jordan, and then rent a car that takes them straight to Baghdad. On the way to Baghdad at the border the driver of the rented car turns around to my relative and asks her for $20, so that he can payoff the policeman, who will in turn wave them through, bypassing the usual checks and inspection procedures. After being paid the $20 the policeman at the border, let them through without even a glance at the car .I was really pissed off at that incident, imagine if somebody was smuggling drugs, weapons, or any other banned products. For $20 you can do some serious damage to ordinary people.
But then again, when you think of it, the policeman is only trying to make a living, his action seems to be minute, to the fact that people at the top are indulging in siphoning millions if not billions out of Iraq. Till now, the CPA won’t account to $ 4 billion out of Iraq money, and where it spent it. On the Iraqi side, rumours are rife that bidding for the mobile networks in Iraq was not transparent, that in turn has prompted the pentagon general inspector to open an internal investigation to ascertain what really had happened in the tendering process. The latest financial scandal comes from our Interior minister (related to one of the IGC members through marriage), who authorised the transfer of 9.5 billion new Iraqi Dinars to Lebanon, when challenged on the issue, he claimed that it was some payment for some companies. Just want to say to the dude… Haven’t you heard of bank transfers, and other transparent banking methods to deliver money, it really beats the mafia style operation you have run in smuggling those Dinars?

It seems like when it comes to money, there is no difference between what Saddam did, and few of our new leaders, in cheating the nation out of its wealth.



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