According to a report in The Washington Post, Gen. David Petraeus and other American military commanders were given access to $5 billion in discretionary funds to spend on various projects like a now-defunct $1 million water park in Baghdad. Here are some of the places the money went to:
Last week, the U.S. occupation of Iraq officially ceased being a combat mission as the military entered the stability phase of its operations. Here are some of the major victories of the seven-and-a-half-year war.
CAMP SPRINGS, MD—"For nearly a decade, our mission in Iraq has been to root out those who would choose violence over peace, to create a stable Iraqi government, and to transfer power to an incorruptable civilian police force," Obama said. "And, in a manner of speaking, we sort of did some of that, right? More or less?"
With military recruitment at an all-time low and American forces overextended in Iraq and Afghanistan, the president announced today that he will begin calling up Civil War re-enactors for active duty in Iraq.
BAGHDAD—The people of Iraq celebrated the passage of their new constitution Monday, in a formal ceremony that included a stirring speech by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, a series of explosions that left 77 dead, and a traditional dance performed by Iraqi schoolchildren.
After many weeks of squabbling and protracted negotiations between Kurds, Sunnis, and Shiites, the historic document was declared the law of the land and destroyed...
WASHINGTON, DC—Almost a year after the cessation of major combat and a month after the nation's first free democratic elections, President Bush unveiled the coalition forces' strategy for exiting Iraq.
WASHINGTON, DC—Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld announced Monday that he shows no favoritism to the Iraq war and, in fact, loves all his wars equally. "Afghanistan, my first Gulf War, and all my covert operations in Central America—I may not say it often enough, but I'm as proud of them as I am of Iraqi Freedom," a beaming Rumsfeld said. "Sure, I may be giving Iraq more of my time now, but that's because it's so newly liberated. When those other wars had just started, I was just as involved with them." Rumsfeld added that he expects "a little jealousy" when mounting tensions in Syria begin to demand the Defense Department's attention.
WASHINGTON, DC—In an effort to relieve the burden on his overextended armed forces in Iraq, President Bush placed a four-line classified ad in the Monday edition of 75 U.S. newspapers. "WANTED: motivated, dedicated, obedient people looking for career in growing field of nation liberation," the ad read. "90,000 jobs avail. F/T days, nights, weekends. No exp. necessary. Will train. Arabic a plus. Starter pay, solid bnfts." To further boost military enlistment rates, Bush plans to post the job offer at employment offices in 300 cities across the country.
BAGHDAD—With little more than two months remaining until the American-led occupation force hands sovereignty to an interim government, Iraqi citizens are joyfully arming themselves in anticipation of independence.
WASHINGTON, DC—Responding to recent criticism of reconstruction efforts in Iraq, the U.S. Defensive Department released a statement to the public Monday suggesting that perhaps they could do better, since they're obviously so smart.
VICKSBURG, MS—Fabric-store manager Bonnie Reedner told reporters Monday that her 18-year-old son, Pfc. Matthew Reedner, is "over there, fighting in Iraq, or something." "I guess he's stationed in Baghdad or Basra—some place beginning with a B," Reedner said. "I don't really know. I should check the return address on one of his letters. I think there's another one over on the microwave with the unopened mail." Though Reedner said she hopes for her son's safe return, she admitted she should probably pick up a newspaper one of these days to get an idea of when that might be.
AN NASIRIYAH, IRAQ—In an accident air-and-space-traffic controllers called "inevitable," a CNN satellite collided with an MSNBC satellite over southern Iraq Monday. "Frankly, it's a miracle something like this didn't happen sooner," said Ian Graham of BBC One. "Right now, there are roughly 950 network news satellites crammed into a 125-cubic-mile area of space above Iraq, with more being launched every day." Less than an hour after the crash, an MTV News satellite grazed an Oxygen satellite, temporarily cutting off Oxygen News reporter Lisa Hood's live report on a firefight between U.S. and Iraqi forces near Basra.
BALTIMORE—The Pentagon has obtained vital information on Iraqi chemical weapons from Alcolac International, the Baltimore-based company that sold them to the Mideast nation in the '80s. "It's terrifying what Iraq has," Pentagon spokesman James Reese said Monday. "Saddam possesses massive stockpiles of everything from ethylene to thiodiglycol, according to sales records provided by Alcolac." The Pentagon has also been collecting key intelligence on Iraqi nuclear weapons and guidance systems from Honeywell, Unisys, and other former U.S. suppliers to Iraq.
WASHINGTON, DC—In spite of recording artist Sheryl Crow's strong protestations, including the wearing of a "No War" guitar strap, the U.S. went to war with Iraq last week. "Making the decision to go to war is never easy, but it's that much harder when you know Sheryl Crow disapproves," White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said at a press conference Monday. "It is this administration's sincerest hope that it can one day regain the support and trust of the woman behind such hits as 'All I Wanna Do' and 'Soak Up The Sun.'" Fleischer issued similar apologies to Martin Sheen, Janeane Garofalo, and Nelly.
BAGHDAD, IRAQ—Baghdad resident Taha Sabri, killed Monday in a U.S. air strike on his city, would have loved the eventual liberation of Iraq and establishment of democracy, had he lived to see it, his grieving widow said.
Contrary to what he would have you believe, President Bush's plans to invade Iraq have nothing to do with such high-minded goals as liberating the Iraqi people or saving the world from terrorism. His "principled" stand is actually just a thinly veiled attempt to gain control of the oil-rich Middle East at the cost of human lives. It is time for the people of the United States to rise up and say, "No blood for oil!"
WASHINGTON, DC—With concern over North Korea's nuclear capabilities growing, President Bush reassured the American people Monday that "extreme force" will be used to remove Saddam Hussein from power if the Iraqi president fails to give up suspected weapons of mass destruction.
ARLINGTON, VA—The U.S. Defense Department apologized to Skokie, IL, dentist Ira Nussbaum Tuesday following a bombing campaign aimed at removing the 37-year-old from power. "Apparently, the intelligence source who drafted the attack plan against Iraq failed to strike the 'Q' key hard enough," Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said. "The 'Q' was always a little stubborn on that keyboard. Sorry." This marks the first military action taken against Nussbaum since a malfunctioning shift key prompted Ulster Unionists to detonate his Ford Taurus in 1998.