View Full Version : Help me out, is it true that we're paying the average Iraqi on the streets?

01-12-2008, 06:22 PM
I was out canvassing today and there was one war veteran who told us his son was Iraq. His son told him that when the surge started we also started paying average Iraqis some $500/month to stay in their homes as much as possible and not be out causing trouble. His son claimed that had the biggest effect on decreasing the violence of anything they did.

I have looked for evidence to back this claim ever since I got home. I can't find it. Can anyone confirm this?

01-12-2008, 06:33 PM
I'm in Europe and I recently saw a documentary were they were even paying iraqis to rebuild their homes. They went as far as to pay for things that were damaged, no matter if an american or an enemy did it. This soldier just handed out cash to a couple of people, telling the camera guy that it helped to win them over - although he said that they still wanted them gone anyway.

01-13-2008, 12:10 AM
Once Insurgents, Now Allies

If it wasn't just the surge, how did it happen?

It could be, in part, exhaustion among Sunnis, tired of fighting and dying. Or also, in part, a cease-fire declared by the largest Shiite militia, others say.

But another part, and possibly the most significant, can be traced to the end of last May. That month, 126 U.S. troops died; it was the second deadliest month for U.S. forces during the war. Petraeus was under pressure to reduce those casualties.

"Petraeus seems to have concluded that it was essential to cut deals with the Sunni insurgents if he was going to succeed in reducing U.S. casualties," Macgregor says.

The military now calls those "deals" the Concerned Local Citizens program or simply, CLCs.

It's a somewhat abstract euphemism. The CLC program turns groups of former insurgents, including fighters for al-Qaida in Iraq, into paid, temporary allies of the U.S. military.

McCaffrey just got back from a five-day trip to Iraq where, he says, he "went to a couple of these CLCs, you know, five awkward-looking guys with their own AKs standing at a road junction with two magazines of ammunition — and they're there as early warning to protect their families in that village. I think that that's good."

Creating a New Force

Some 70,000 former insurgents are now being paid $10 a day by the U.S. military. It costs about a quarter billion dollars a year.

It's a controversial strategy, and Macgregor warns that it's creating a parallel military force in Iraq that is made up almost entirely of Sunni Muslims.

"We need to understand that buying off your enemy is a good short-term solution to gain a respite from violence," he says, "but it's not a long-term solution to creating a legitimate political order inside a country that, quite frankly, is recovering from the worst sort of civil war."

That civil war has subsided, for now. It's diminished because of massive, internal migration, a movement of populations that has created de-facto ethnic cantons.

"Segregation works is effectively what the U.S. military is telling you," Macgregor says. "We have facilitated, whether on purpose or inadvertently, the division of the country. We are capitalizing on that now, and we are creating new militias out of Sunni insurgents. We're calling them concerned citizens and guardians. These people are not our friends, they do not like us, they do not want us in the country. Their goal is unchanged."

Macgregor, a decorated combat veteran and a former administration adviser, articulates a view that is privately shared by several former and current officers. It's not that they believe the plan isn't working. It's that they see it as a dangerous one with potentially destructive consequences.

But McCaffrey argues that at $10 a day, the gamble is worth taking.

"We can pay them that for 10 years if we had to," he says. "Better we provide an infusion of cash where we're keeping a local night watchman for us on duty than we conduct combat operation. Money isn't even a factor we ought to take into account."


01-13-2008, 12:16 AM
As they say - if you can't kill them, bribe them.

01-13-2008, 12:21 AM

01-13-2008, 12:28 AM
Won't that screw up their economy? That's like giving them more than a quarter of a million dollars a month.

More likely it will screw up our economy. Where do you think those dollars are coming from. From the Federal Reserve. The over abundance of dollars in the market is resulting in the declining value of the dollar. And that is bad for our economy. It devalue value of your labor (your salary didn't go up , did it?), value of your savings/college/retirement account. When you account for all of that value that you are loosing, you are actually paying for all of these political tricks. This is what Ron Paul calls "inflation tax".