Paying Iraqi Insurgents Not to Fight

Launched last year, the "surge" was the extra 20,000-30,000 U.S. troops sent to Iraq. These few extra troops, Americans were told, would finally supply the necessary forces to pacify Iraq.

[While taking credit for the success of the surge, the Bush Administration] is paying Sunni insurgents $800,000 a day not to attack U.S. forces. That's right, 80,000 members of an "Awakening group," the "Sons of Iraq," a newly formed "U.S.-allied security force" consisting of Sunni insurgents, are being paid $10 a day each not to attack U.S. troops.

In other words, the "surge" has had nothing to do with any decline in violence.

Currently, the Sunnis are only collecting $800,000 of the $275,000,000 it costs the U.S. to fight the war for one day.

If Bush's war turns out to be as big a boon for the Sunnis as it has for Tony Blair, we might have a modern-day version of The Mouse That Roared – a movie about an impoverished country that attacked the U.S. in order to be defeated and receive foreign aid – only this time the money comes as a payoff for not fighting the occupiers.

[Excerpt of an article by Paul Craig Roberts, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan’s first ter, and former Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal]

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