Fact finders from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank will go to Iraq to assess the hugely expensive costs of reconstruction as soon as it is safe to do so….

The United States had pushed for teams from the two lending organizations to go to Iraq as a way of showing Iraqis they would benefit quickly from the end of President Saddam Hussein’s rule. European countries, including some opposed to the U.S.-led invasion, at first blocked the assessment because it appeared to them the United States intended to dominate the reconstruction effort. To resolve the issue, the United States agreed to a new Security Council resolution that would replace sanctions imposed on economic transactions with Iraq. Finance ministers left the wording of a new resolution to their diplomats….

Iraq’s needs are expected to be massive, ranging from $20 billion per year for the first several years to $600 billion over a decade. [Associated Press, 4/14/03]

Since when did America all of a sudden become responsible for Iraq’s “needs”? And for this we have decided to go back to the UN Security Council for… another resolution!

And all of this is not to mention the fact that if you let the IMF and the World Bank in the door, you might as well kiss your economy goodbye. See, for example, Robert Tracinski’s column a year ago last January about how IMF policies ruined Argentina’s economy–or David Holcberg’s September 2002 article on the IMF’s “loans” to Brazil and many other countries–or Andrew West’s August 2000 article on the IMF in Asia and his September 2000 critique of the IMF’s “World Economic Outlook”–or his April 1999 article on the World Bank’s anticapitalistic policies. If this crowd gets its foot in the door, Iraq will be poor for many years to come, oil or no oil.

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