News Release

U.S. Occupation of Iraq: * $87 Billion * U.N. Vote

PHYLLIS BENNIS
ennis is a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies and author of Before & After: U.S. Foreign Policy and the September 11 Crisis. She said today: “As the Bush administration vetoes a resolution supported by most of the U.N. Security Council criticizing Israel’s theft of Palestinian land in the guise of construction of the wall cutting through Palestinian territory, it is simultaneously pushing a resolution designed to give the appearance of international legitimacy to its occupation of Iraq…. The U.S. should transfer on-the-ground responsibility to a temporary United Nations authority mandated to oversee a rapid transition to Iraqi sovereignty.”
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JAMES PAUL
Executive director of Global Policy Forum, which monitors the U.N., Paul said today: “Washington appears to have forced, cajoled and bribed its way to the required number of votes for the resolution on Iraq … but it will have little real impact. Few troops and little money will be forthcoming from the international community — and as Kofi Annan has noted, as long as the occupation lasts, the resistance in Iraq is likely to grow.”
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RANIA MASRI
Masri’s articles include “Reconstructing or Deconstructing Iraq?” and “End Both Occupations.” She said today: “According to Rep. Henry Waxman’s recent letter to the Office of Management and Budget, U.S. companies are overcharging taxpayers by a factor of ten. This is the conclusion of numerous members of the Iraqi Governing Council, the Coalition Provisional Authority, and a number of U.S. military commanders in Iraq….” Masri is co-director of the Campaign to Stop the War Profiteers and End the Corporate Invasion of Iraq at the Institute for Southern Studies.
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CHARLIE CRAY
Cray is with the Center for Corporate Policy and recently wrote the article “Iraq and Corporate Patriotism: It’s Time to Stop the War Profiteers.” He said today: “There are good reasons to fear that the contracting bonanza will serve to enrich the Bush administration’s corporate cronies more than it benefits the Iraqi people. Top Republican lobbyists like former FEMA director Joe Allbaugh and former House Appropriations Committee chairman Bob Livingston are lining up clients who stand to benefit. Rep. James Moran has complained that a company from his district was essentially told that ‘if they want the money they really have to go through Halliburton.'”

ANITA DANCS
Dancs is research director with the National Priorities Project. She said today: “The president’s request for $87 billion for war and occupation, if spent on other priorities, could pay for: $15 billion for school construction resulting in 356,000 new jobs, 105,000 new affordable housing units creating 258,000 new jobs, $15 billion for local and state roads and bridges creating 423,131 new jobs, 221,000 school teachers, 84,000 firefighters and health coverage for 5,700,000 people.” The group has also done a state-by-state breakdown of what the $87 billion could be spent for.
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167