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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Associated Press - Democrats want Iraqis to use oil surplus

Democrats want Iraqis to use oil surplus
Anne Flaherty - AP

"Now that will be 'war for oil'"

WASHINGTON (AP) - Democrats plan to push legislation this spring that would force the Iraqi government to spend its own surplus in oil revenues to rebuild the country, sparing U.S. dollars.
The legislation follows a recommendation by Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, that the Bush administration halt troop withdrawals in July. Petraeus on Wednesday was wrapping up two days of congressional testimony in which he has said security gains in the war zone are too fragile to promise further drawdowns.

Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said pausing troop reductions would signal to the Iraqis that the United States was committed to the war indefinitely.

"Rather, we need to put continuous and increasing pressure on the Iraqis to settle their political differences, to pay for their own reconstruction with their oil windfalls, and to take the lead in conducting military operations," said Levin, D-Mich.

Iraq has about $30 billion in surplus funds stored in U.S. banks, according to Levin.

Iraq is looking at a potential boon in oil revenue this year, possibly as much as $100 billion in 2007 and 2008. Meanwhile, the U.S. military is having to buy its fuel on the open market, paying on average $3.23 a gallon and spending some $153 million a month in Iraq on fuel alone.

To read more: http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D8VUB9AO3&show_article=1

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