An extraordinary appeal to Americans from the Bush administration for money to help pay for the reconstruction of Iraq has raised only $600 (£337), The Observer has learnt. Yet since the appeal was launched earlier this month, donations to rebuild New Orleans have attracted hundreds of millions of dollars.This really reaches beyond pathetic, and touches on "completely lost." A direct appeal for aid from the very people whose grandchildren will be paying for this war, or working for China to pay for this war?
The public's reluctance to contribute much more than the cost of two iPods to the administration's attempt to offer citizens 'a further stake in building a free and prosperous Iraq' has been seized on by critics as evidence of growing ambivalence over that country.
This coincides with concern over the increasing cost of the war. More than $30 billion has been appropriated for the reconstruction. Initially, America's overseas aid agency, USaid, expected it to cost taxpayers no more than $1.7bn, but it is now asking the public if they want to contribute even more.
It is understood to be the first time that a US government has made an appeal to taxpayers for foreign aid money. Contributors have no way of knowing who will receive their donations or even where they may go, after officials said details had be kept secret for security reasons.
What context would Tim Russert like for that appeal?
USaid's Heather Layman denied it was disappointed with the meagre sum raised after a fortnight. 'Every little helps,' she said.Well, I suppose Ahmed Chalabi can get those two new iPod's he's been wanting, anyway.
Still, I'm left wondering: with this kind of appeal going on (and obviously very much 'under the radar'), why are we concerned with how the "right" perceives who comes to our anti-war rallies?
These people are not just beaten; they have themselves admitted they are completely irrelevant, and matters are totally out of their control. They have abandoned all hope, and turned to truly desperate measures.