Recently, an inquiry has been reviewed about the disappearance and lack of accountability for the $40 billion Iraqi money that has been referred to as the biggest financial mystery of all time.
After the invasion of Iraq by American troops in 2003, the U.S. Federal Reserve shipped $40 billion in cash of Iraqi frozen money by the Air Force to Baghdad International Airport. The money was supposed to be used for civil and economic restoration after the collapse of Saddam Hussein’s government. During the past few years, investigators in the U.S. and Iraq have failed to trace or even find evidence to account for what happened to that huge sum of money. (readersupportednews.org, 10/27/11). Even congressional hearings and inquiries in Washington and Baghdad have failed to find out what happened to that huge amount of money. It is a very puzzling situation. If the amount that was missing was equivalent to one or a few billion it might be understandable in light of the corruption that was rampant in Iraq even before the invasion and which increased drastically after. In addition, of the greedy and corrupt foreign contractors, many were American and have abused and taken advantage of the absence of control and accountability during the past eight years of fighting in Iraq. Many of these contractors were investigated in the U.S. and some were found guilty. Even some American officers were involved in such corrupt deals.
CNBC has reported that former Congressman Christopher Shays co-chaired the commission on wartime contracting, digging into waste, fraud and abuse in Iraq, has traveled there many times and was unable to find any trace of that huge amount of money. He continued to say “It just blows you away”. (CNBCNews, 10/26/11).
The money was shipped from the U.S. and was designated as “Development Fund For Iraq”. The $40 billion were frozen Iraqi assets as a result of the sanctions imposed on Iraq by the U.S. and the U.N. prior to the Iraqi invasion of 2003.
It should also be made clear that since the American Invasion of Iraq, corruption became a way of life at all governmental and civil levels. This is attributed to a number of factors, but the most important one is the absence of official accountability in various governmental institutions. This led to the rapid deterioration of public services in nearly all economic and physical structures of Iraqi society.
According to an international report on corruption issued in Belgium, Iraqi corruption was referred to as a virus that has contaminated all governmental institutions and has led to the deterioration of Iraq’s economic, political, physical and social institutions.
One of the main factors behind such corruption has been attributed to the fact that government high officials who were responsible for the prevention of corruption were afraid to investigate high government officials due to threats on their lives. It has been reported by the Iraqi press that some journalists and public officials who tried to report on corruption have been killed.
The report also revealed that in various governmental ministries, corruption takes place as part of business contracts where government funds are being abused due to the lack of accountability. The U.S. government ahs bragged that the war removed Saddam Hussein’s authoritarian regime and turned Iraq into a democratic state. It is unfortunate to point out that the new government in Iraq has been created as a result of a free election, and yet is worse than Saddam Hussein’s authoritarian regime. At least prior to the invasion there was stability politically, economically and socially in Iraq, while the present regime in Iraq resembles mafia rule because the election was based on sectarianism which has directly and indirectly fed the conflict between the major Iraqi religions and ethnic groups such as Sunni versus Shiaa, Arabs versus Kurds, Kurds versus Turcoman and Assyrians, and Muslims versus Christians.
For example, during the entire period of Saddam Hussein’s rule, not a single attack against Christian churches took place, while many attacks and bombings of churches have taken place in Iraq since the invasion in 2003. It was reported that half of the Christian population in Iraq has left the country to escape potential threats.
Furthermore, under Saddam Hussein, Iraq was among the most secular states in the Middle East region. Saddam was the number one enemy of bin Laden when he described the regime in Iraq as more dangerous to Islamic militant groups than the U.S.
What did the American invasion of Iraq accomplish? Nothing but destruction, physically, environmentally, politically, economically and socially. Many Iraqis are yearning for the days where Saddam Hussein was in power. People felt secure economically and physically as long as they did not interfere in governmental affairs. At the present, many Iraqis fear even leaving their homes and wonder if they will return home safely at the end of the day.