Today, Donald Trump celebrated his birthday with a rant that scapegoated the brave American soldiers who risked their lives under false pretenses in the early days of the Iraq War, accusing them of being thieves and blaming them for the failed policies of the last Republican administration in the White House.
It was the just kind of self-destructive, lie filled hate speech you’d expect from the floundering Trump lately, but usually directed at Muslims, Mexicans or the media (like how he ‘banned’ the Washington Post this week). The vulgarian Republican presidential nominee shot from the hip as usual and blamed America’s hard working and selflessly courageous men and women of the Army for the colossal mismanagement of the Iraq War by the Bush Administration and the neocon stooges they sent to run the Coalition Provisional Authority.
“How about bringing baskets of money, millions and millions of dollars and handing it out. I wanna know, who are the soldiers who had that job. Because I think they’re living very well right now, whoever they may be.“
It is patently untrue that American soldiers grafted away some meaningful chunk of our tax money. The Bush Administration’s incoherent and off-the-cuff “plan” amounted to little more than an airdrop with $60 billion dollars into Iraq. At least $8 billion pf those dollars or more are totally unaccounted for, lost to the shifting sands of Iraq. Former President Bush’s “envoy” L. Paul Bremer outlined one Republican “plan” in 2003 whereby they literally gave away $8.8 billion US taxpayer dollars to Iraq’s ministries without any method to track the result. ABC News reported that “Rep. Waxman said that ‘bags of money’ were taken from the Federal Reserve in New York, loaded onto wooden palettes and put on cargo planes that were flown into Baghdad.”
The brilliant war Republican Vice President Dick Cheney boldly claimed would see American troops “welcomed as liberators” devolved into a scrum by mercenary contractors who bilked $138 billion in US tax dollars for the failed war, with $72 billion going to the top 10 companies alone. Cheney’s former company Halliburton owned subsidiary KBR who took in an astonishing $39.5 billion in no-bid contracts all by itself!
Then soldiers were actually dispatched the ministries to hand out the new Iraqi currency, because according to Bremer, “The country was in chaos socially, economically and politically. We were in the middle of a war, working in very difficult conditions, and we had to move quickly to get this Iraqi money working for the Iraqi people.”
Meanwhile, the Republican congressional majority – led by pedophile of the House Dennis Hastert – turned a completely blind eye to its oversight role, and to the Republican’s war orgy of profligate waste, allowing Bush, Cheney and the neo-cons to send our troops to war without even proper equipment.
He’s the only Republican I’ve ever seen who wants to be Commander-In-Chief so badly that he would dare to insult our veterans and blame all the waste and greed of the Iraq War on the men and women who risked their lives so that defense contractors and their Republican sponsors could make a killing.
Grant Stern is an Editor-At-Large for OccupyDemocrats and published author. His new Meet the Candidates 2020 book series is distributed by Simon and Schuster. He's also mortgage broker, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida., as well as the producer of the Dworkin Report podcast. Grant is also an occasional contributor to Raw Story, Alternet, and the DC Report, and a senior advisor to the Democratic Coalition