As reported in The Nation on January 31, US Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction informed the US Congress that based on audit conducted by it,  approximately $ 2 billion have remained unaccounted for, which is a polite way of saying that the amount has been misappropriated, rather stolen to be b exact. The offence seems far more serious when one considers that the amount fiddled was out of a total sum of approximately $ 3 billion made available by Iraqi government to the defence department, which means that the ‘trustees’ helped themselves to two-third of the total funds, enriching themselves instead of improving the lot of hapless Iraqis. This of course is over and above the money they would be receiving from the military-industrial complex and other vested interests in the form of returned ‘favours’ out of the huge profits that they are enabled to make through a non-ending stream of wars that the US military arranges for their mutual benefit. Here, the American taxpayers pay through the nose the cost of these adventures. No wonder the Americans receive a much lower level of social benefits as compared to the Europeans because the bulk of the money gets wasted on making wars and preparing for yet more wars, with not much left in the kitty to improve the living standards of the American people, a significant proportion of whom lives in poverty, as reported in the US press.

No wonder the US military personnel keep creating and promoting conflicts around the globe, because this provides them ample opportunity to line their pockets. Unfortunately, people in the developing world, especially the Muslim world, as well as American taxpayers have to pay the cost of this greed, but that is just too bad and none of their concern either.

S.R.H. HASHMI,

Karachi, January 31.