Leadership: The Thieving Politicians Of Iraq

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April 17,2008: Several dozen Iraqi government officials have been caught making a corrupt $833 million deal, with Serbia, for weapons and military equipment. The deal was done last Fall, about the time rumors started coming out of Serbia about sales to Iraq. But the Iraqi government denied it. Earlier this year, Iraqi complaints about the deal grew louder, as well as anger over the abolition of the Supreme Economic Committee, which was supposed to examine and approve any government contract for more than $50 million.

The Serb deal reeks of corruption, and is expected to show, if examined closely, large amounts of cash paid in "commissions" to Iraqi government officials. Iraqi generals are also distrustful of the Serb ability to deliver quality gear, and provide warranty support. The Serbs did some deals with Saddam, and that rubs many Iraqi generals (who are Shia, and lost kin to Saddams thugs) the wrong way. The U.S. preferred that Iraq bought military equipment from nations (like the United States) that had anti-corruption rules in force. That did not go over with many Iraqi politicians, who see taking a percentage of government percentages as a deserved fringe benefit. Corruption is widespread in Iraq, despite efforts by the U.S., and many Iraqis, to curb these practices.

 


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