Who should bear the cost in Iraq?

Re “Is this any way to rebuild Iraq?” Opinion, Aug. 15

The report that over the last two years Iraq earned nearly $100 billion and spent just $2 billion on capital investments while U.S. taxpayers have spent $48 billion for that country’s reconstruction reminds me of that wonderful Buddy Hackett joke.

A degenerate gambler visits a wealthy friend and pleads for him to loan him the money to pay for his critically ill wife’s surgery. The friend refuses the loan, claiming the man will use it to gamble. “No,” says the man. “I have money set aside for gambling.” Obviously, our administration hasn’t even the good sense of a punch line in a late-night joke.

Sandor Stern


Beverly Hills

It was the U.S. that carried out attacks on Iraq and destroyed much of the infrastructure. It was the U.S. that invaded Iraq and continued the destruction and killing of men, women and children for, obviously, oil. It is the U.S. that maintains an illegal occupation of Iraq, where the killing continues.

Millions of Iraqi civilians have been displaced from their homes and millions from their country. Reliable sources indicate that more than a million Iraqis have been killed by U.S. forces, both civilian mercenaries and military. And now Linda Bilmes and Joseph Stiglitz want Iraq to pay for it! What’s next, taking Iraq to the international court in The Hague for being the victim of all this?

James Steeves


Albuquerque, N.M.