Are We Stupid, Or What!
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by Ron Cruger
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        The news article appeared on page five of our local daily newspaper. The headline read “50,000 ‘GHOST SOLDIERS ON IRAQI ARMY PAYROLL .
        It seems that the Iraqi army has been paying monthly salaries to at least 50,000 soldiers who don’t exist. Even worse, Hamid al-Mutlaq a member of the parlimentary defense and security committee, says the problem of paying soldiers who aren’t there “Could be more than triple this number.”
        Read that sentence carefully. What it means is that part of your tax money and mine is going into the pockets of Iraqi officers who pretend to have more soldiers on their books to pocket the “ghosts” salaries.
        Amidst this rape of the Iraqi and United States’ pockets the Pentagon is requesting $1.2 billion to train and equip the Iraqi army next year. The United States has spent more than $20 billion on the Iraqi army from the 2003 invasion until U.S. troops withdrew at the end of 2011. And, after all the money we’ve poured into these rascals we have almost nothing to show for it.
        Entry level Iraqi soldiers draw $600 a month. This “ghost” soldering will cost Iraq alone at least $380 million a year.
        And even with the awesome power of the U.S. air might dropping thousands of bombs on the forces of the Islamic State the Iraqi army is failing in its inept strategy of stopping the invasion of this potent enemy.
        The United States has spent billions on equipping and arming this shameful excuse for an army and yet we continue to take tax money from Americans to feed the endless appetite of crooked Iraqi chiselers.
        This farce called the Iraqi army would be a comical exercise if it weren’t so serious. Here we have a nation about to be swallowed up by a group of barbaric and bloodthirsty believers that would remove the heads of all Americans who oppose their beliefs. Already the sadistic Islamic State controls a third of Iraqi territory. Do our own army generals and leadership actually believe that a fictional army of “ghost” soldiers can impede the eventual takeover of the Iraqi nation by the Islamic State.
        And where is the outraged voice of Americans after they have read about this folly of the Iraqi “ghost” army and the wasting of billions of American dollars that could be used to feed and clothe our own hungry and needy?
        Our citizens’ silence on the wasting of billions of American dollars speaks loudly of our own corruption and profound lack of interest.         Where do Americans think the billions of dollars handed to these Iraqi crooks originate?
        The silence of millions of Americans and the unwillingness to complain to our elected officials gives an indication of the state of mind of the majority of Americans.
        It is your money and mine, Mr. and Mrs. America. It is our money that is being thrown into the pockets of a group of men in a faraway land. Men who mock and deride the very country that lines their pockets with billions of American dollars.
        There was a time when news of the wasting of billions of dollars would be front page news. Today it becomes a small news item on page five.
What has happened to America?