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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080414/ap_on_go_co/us_iraq_free_ride_over_2;_ylt=AgmGIhdNb_pnvzHh5aR2.LYE1vAI

Rather disgusting article with an even more disgusting title. The US blundered into Iraq, bombing and shelling, and doing a poor job of rebuilding the country, thus losing the hearts and minds for which they claimed to be campaigning. Now, with the country still mired in chaos and only partially rebuilt, they snipe petulantly about Iraqi oil budgets and “surplusses”. Hands up if you still believe the US isn’t waging this war for oil…

The country’s 2008 budget of $46.8 billion was calculated based on $57 per barrel of oil, roughly half the market rate, the inspector general noted in its latest report.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military isn’t reaping those benefits. American troops in Iraq are buying fuel on the open market at $3.23 a gallon and spending some $153 million a month, according to a recent report by The Associated Press.

Collins says the Iraqis should cover those costs.

“It’s really difficult for Americans who are struggling with the high cost of the energy to see us paying for fuel costs in a country that has the second-largest oil reserves” and a burgeoning budget surplus, she said.

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