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Friday, April 4, 2003 Postwar Iraq would need more than oil funds, experts say By Warren Vieth / Los Angeles Times WASHINGTON -- To hear some Bush administration officials tell it, the reconstruction of Iraq will largely pay for itself, thanks to a postwar gusher of petroleum revenue. "The one thing that is certain is Iraq is a wealthy nation," said White House press secretary Ari Fleischer. A look at the national balance sheet tells a different story. Iraq will emerge from the war a financial shambles, many economists say, with a debt load bigger than that of Argentina, a cash flow crunch rivaling those of Third World countries, a mountain of unresolved compensation claims, a shaky currency, high unemployment, galloping inflation and a crumbling infrastructure expected to sustain more damage before the shooting stops. And the more oil Iraq produces to try to pump up its earnings, the more likely it becomes that prices will fall, leaving it no better off than before. "Clearly, it's a basket case," said Dean Baker, co-director of the liberal Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington. "Once you start talking about it, you see what an impossible situation it is. I don't think the Bush administration is anxious to have that conversation." ...[...] http://www.detnews.com/2003/nation/0304/04/nation-128284.htm _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk