U.S. Forces IMF into secret Iraqi debt 'forgiveness' scheme
Latest | Recent Articles | Multimedia Page | TV | Search | Blog

Email this article | Print this article | Link to this Article

If you don't get MER, you just don't get it!
11 Oct 2004 - MiddleEast.Org - MER is Free
News, Views, & Analysis Governments, Lobbies, & the
Corporate Media Don't Want You To Know

The most honest, most comprehensive, and most mobilizing news and
analysis on the Middle East always comes from MER. It is indispensable!"
Robert Silverman - Salamanca, Spain

Comment on this and other MER articles in the MER FORUM

MIDDLEEAST.ORG


'SECRET' U.S. PLAN - Iraqi $80 Billion 'Forgiven'

U.S. FORCES I.M.F. TO KEEP
IRAQ 'DEBT RELIEF' SECRET
Germany, France, Gulf Countries Forced to take biggest hits

MER - Mid-East Realities - MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 11 October:
While the U.S. has been noticeably unsuccessful getting other countries to send troops to Iraq -- even after considerable political threats and financial bribes have been used -- when it comes to 'forgiving' Iraq's huge international debt to other countries the U.S. is making much more progress.

Though the issues were not finally resolved at the recent G7 and I.M.F./World Bank meetings in Washington, the secrecy involved in matters involving more than 120 billion dollars is quite unprecedented.

This secrecy issue however has not really been focused on by the major media. For instance, in this key article in the New York Times last week there is a kind of aside comment made without any explanation at all:
"...the plan will not be made public."

There are three main reasons for the unprecedented 'secrecy' in this matter.

Even though Iraq is in reality a potentially tremendously rich oil state -- second largest proven reserves in the world in fact after Saudi Arabia -- the U.S. is insisting that nearly the entire past Iraqi debt be completely 'forgiven'. There has never been such an oil state default in history.

Second the debt involved is primarily to European countries -- especially France and Germany -- as well as some of the secretive Gulf states including Saudi Arabia. There's already enough negative opinion about the United States in these countries and disclosure of what is being done would not only exacerbate this situation but possibly could have very negative political consequences for those in power in those countries.

Third at the same time that oil-rich Iraq is being 'forgiven' many of the poorest impoverished countries in the world who also suffered under former regimes and international policies are not. This is especially the case for countries in AIDs ravaged Africa. And explaining why U.S. occupied Iraq is being treated to 'forgiveness' and these other countries continue to bleed funds to their past international donors is becoming more and more difficult.

But maybe most of all in the longer run, and unspoken now for all of these reasons by the powers that be, once Iraq's prior debt to other countries is 'off the books', the new U.S.-installed and CIA-controlled government in Baghdad is free to sign agreements with the Americans -- secret or otherwise -- that will essentially mortgage Iraq's future oil revenues to the U.S.A. and those it approves.




U.S. Moves Closer to Relief of Iraqi Debts to the West

By ELIZABETH BECKER

New York Times - 3 October: WASHINGTON, Oct. 2 - The administration moved closer to its goal of winning forgiveness for the debt that Iraq owes Western nations, the primary aim of the United States here at the annual meeting of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund this weekend.

Forgiving the debt is considered critical to Iraq's future, as is quelling the insurgency. Even if considerable aid is offered to Iraq at international meetings in the future, Washington believes that Iraq will never attract the foreign investment it needs to revive its oil industry and its economy so long as it carries it unsustainable debt of $120 billion.

"Iraq faces two basic problems: the terrible security situation and the terrible debt situation," said Robert D. Hormats, vice chairman of Goldman Sachs in New York, who is working with Iraq and the administration on this issue. "You have the chance to solve the debt problem here in Washington this weekend."

The Group of 7, which includes most of the important creditor nations in the West, approved an Iraq debt relief program devised by the International Monetary Fund on Friday night; the plan will not be made public.

In a statement, the finance ministers of the Group of 7 nations - the United States, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan - said, "We welcome the approval of the I.M.F. of a sound and credible program for Iraq, which is an important step toward our commitment to resolve Iraq's debt before the end of the year."

However, the I.M.F. put off any decision on a proposal to forgive 100 percent of the debt of the world's poorest countries and, instead, asked that a study be prepared by year's end that will present the best alternatives for eliminating the debt.

While the details of the accord reached here are unclear, the United States would like to cement a deal when the group of industrial nations known as the Paris Club meets later this month. But there are evident stumbling blocks.

Other poor countries, especially in Africa, are buried in debt amassed by ruthless dictators. They are demanding that generosity toward Iraq should be matched in their cases, so that they can climb out of the debt that has tied their hands in the fight to stop AIDS.

Development experts and activists had hoped to link debt relief for Iraq with help for the poorest nations, but their strategy appeared to crumble late on Friday when the Group of 7 approved a plan dealing only with Iraq.

Gordon Brown, the British chancellor of the exchequer and the author of a plan to pay off the debt of the poorest nations by revaluing I.M.F. gold, said he was not disappointed with the outcome of the meeting.

"There has been considerable progress made this weekend," Mr. Brown said, pointing to what he called a "growing consensus" that poor nations' debt was an urgent problem.

He also said that there was no link between Iraq's debt, which is largely owed to individual countries, and the debt of the poor nations, which is owed to international financial institutions.

But Mr. Brown did offer a challenge to the world's other wealthy nations to follow his lead and unilaterally forgive a portion of this mounting debt of the poor. Last week Britain announced that it would pay off 10 percent of that debt.

Iraq's debt is almost four times larger than the $32 billion needed to pay off all the debt of several dozen countries.

Behind the scenes, France and Germany have been holding out against the United States' demand for a 90 to 95 percent forgiveness of Iraq's debt, saying that Iraq must repay some of its debts when it becomes a successful oil-producing nation in the future.

The two European countries suggested that only half of Iraq's debt to them be forgiven, but the senior Treasury Department official, who asked not to be identified, said late on Friday night that "anything like 50 percent debt forgiveness is unworkable."

The I.M.F. plan is neutral on whether the Paris Club should reduce the debt by 50 percent or 95 percent, said an I.M.F. official, who asked not to be identified.

The French finance minister, Nicolas Sarkozy, said here on Friday that the disagreements had narrowed but that differences remained.

The United States is hoping that a nearly full forgiveness of the debt owed to the Paris Club will set a precedent in regard to the $80 billion of debt that Iraq owes to other Middle Eastern and Persian Gulf countries.

Administration officials are arguing that countries that refused to send troops to Iraq should assist the economic recovery of the nation that has become pivotal in the future of the Middle East.

The Group of 7 meetings were held on the sidelines of the annual meetings this weekend of the monetary fund and World Bank here.

Please forward MER articles to others in their entirety with proper attribution.
Your comments and information and welcome in the new MER FORUM.
Make Sure You are Subscribed to receive MER - it's free, it's vital, it's exclusive



MID-EAST REALITIES - www.MiddleEast.Org
Phone: (202) 362-5266 Fax: (815) 366-0800
Email: MER@MiddleEast.Org
Copyright 2004 Mid-East Realities, All rights reserved

If you don't get MER, you just don't get it!
Click here to subscribe by email


October 2004


Magazine



Iran Next - Part 1
(October 31, 2004)
In a few days the American election itself will be history. The likelihood is the Bush/Cheney/neocon regime will remain in power; hard as that still is for so many to imagine and understand. Should the Democrats win the White House Middle East policies will be largely in the hands of the neoliberals and the super money-men like Haim Saban who when it comes to the Middle East and Israel have far more in common with the neocons than has yet been realized by many who will vote for them. Whatever happens on Tuesday next the build-up to attacking and if at all possible regime changing Iran is well underway and the showdown increasingly imminent.

Osama, Bush, Kerry - Past, Present, Future
(October 30, 2004)
Few Middle East realities have been heard during this long grueling American election campaign. Most of the rhetoric has been extraordinarily self-righteous and self-serving, disingenuous and dishonest. Sad and tragic as it is to have to say, for many in the Middle East and around the world beyond American shores, tactics aside, the words of Osama Bin Laden ring more true to their experience and perspective regarding U.S. foreign policy than those of either George Bush or John Kerry.

Fahrenheit 9/11 - Watch It On Your Computer This Weekend
(October 30, 2004)
Who would have imagined on 9/11 more than three years ago now that the top front-page story in the Washington Post Saturday before the 2004 election would be a picture of Osama Bin Laden addressing the American people! Reality keeps trumping fiction time after time in our era!

Escalating War Against the World after November 2nd?
(October 29, 2004)
Whether the Americans are lead by Bush and the neocons, or by Kerry and the neoliberals, the reality is that both of the great American political parties are today dominated by their super-hawkish Israeli-connected elements and that both are heavily mortgaged to major, however competing, segments of the Israeli-Jewish lobby in Washington.

ARAFAT - Pathetic Symbolism for the 'Grand Old Man' of the Palestinians
(October 29, 2004)
There is often such pathetic symbolism surrounding Yasser Arafat even as many of his people cling to his legacy as the 'symbol of Palestinian nationalism' -- itself nearly as tattered and frail as the Grand Old Man has himself become.

Bush Uncensored; Cheney Unauthorized
(October 28, 2004)
MAKE SURE TO WATCH THESE TWO VIDEOS ABOUT GEORGE BUSH and DICK CHENEY

Gaza Scam + Dem Party Emails American Jews
(October 27, 2004)
The price for the past political trickery has already been very high. The poison of the Israeli-Arab conflict has spread continually for decades now and played a substantial role in bringing about today's 'Clash of Civilizations' whose end is yet in sight. The eventual future price for what is happening these days threatens to be higher yet, potentially catastrophic.

IRAN Attack Imminent?
(October 24, 2004)
Though few in the world may fully realize it, international society is now at a historic moment and the future, even a potential World War III, is in the balance. Hence the leaks coming from Washington from those trying to warn, and to prevent, what the top neocons and Israeli operatives are pushing hard to bring about. Hence last month's extremely unusual 'Israeli Spy Scandal' which had officials in the FBI charging people working on the Iranian attack in coordination with the Israeli-Jewish lobby with espionage for Israel. Hence, as this article by a former National Security Council operative suggests: "Intelligence circles report that both intelligence agencies (CIA and Pentagon) are in open revolt against the Bush White House." It appears to have been quickly written and then quickly internet published using LebanonWire in the Middle East.

Cheney Uncovered - An Unauthorized Documentary by the CBC
(October 23, 2004)
Reporter Jean Heller presented Soviet satellite photos which did not show Iraqi troops amassed on the Saudi border to the Pentagon. "It's what it (the photos) didn't show that's more important. What you expected to see were tanks on the border. There was none that we could see. I said, look, if you can prove to me that our story isn't true, we won't run it. And they just ignored it. They have never shown those (U.S. satellite images) photos. Not then and not since."

New CIA 'Shocking' Cover-Up
(October 22, 2004)
Completed in June, mandated by Congress nearly two years ago, the CIA Report that names names is being suppressed until after the election. "What all the other reports on 9/11 did not do is point the finger at individuals, and give the how and what of their responsibility. This report does that," said the intelligence official. "The report found very senior-level officials responsible."

Talk about American Imperialism and Chutzpah!
(October 22, 2004)
The reaction in many quarters must be 'Oh My God'. Bill, Hillary, and Tenet all seek higher office! Talk about American Imperialism and Chutzpah!

The WARLORDS of AMERICA
(October 21, 2004)
Regardless of what happens on 2 November in the U.S. election, one group or another of "the Warlords of America" will be in power in Washington. And the years now immediately ahead, regardless if the President is named Kerry or Bush, are quickly shaping up as likely to be the most dangerous in modern history.

America on the Edge
(October 20, 2004)
The amazing thing about this American election is that in view of what has happened in the U.S. and in the world the Democrats should be running away with it -- and yet they are struggling everywhere and likely to go down to defeat.

Israel on Road to being Pariah State
(October 15, 2004)
Indeed Israeli policies and attitudes have for some time now seriously poisoned political relations throughout the Middle East, substantially helped bring about the era of the 'Clash of Civilizations', and through the powerful Israeli/Jewish lobby in Washington pushed the United States into the invasion of Iraq and other militarist isolated policies whose dangerous and destructive ramifications will be felt for many years to come

The Next Generation of Palestinians
(October 13, 2004)
If what has happened in Gaza in recent years would have happened in the USA (adjusted for population size) more than 100,000 Americans would have been killed and more than a quarter million homes destroyed by a foreign occupying army using battle tanks and attack helicopters against small resistance groups in cities and towns.

AMERICAN SECRET GULAG EXPANDING
(October 14, 2004)
THE CIA has greatly expanded its activities throughout the Middle East including in Jordan and Egypt as well as Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and other countries throughout the region. Of course the CIA and the Mossad are working more closely together than ever to control the region and enforce what is now essentially the militarily imposed 'new world order' first announced during the current President father's days in the White House. Before President Bush I became President he was in fact the Director of the CIA, whose main headquarters is now named after him.

AOL Censors MER
(October 20, 2004)
AOL -- one of the largest internet service providers -- is blocking and censoring MER. Persons who subscribe to MER using an AOL email address can not receive MER -- it is being secretly censored from their mailboxes by AOL without notice of any kind. It is believed persons working for AOL may be censoring MER in coordination with Jewish Zionist groups. It may be that AOL has a special relationship with Jewish.com and other Israeli-connected groups in some way. It is all being done in secret with no notice of any kind to either AOL users or MER. A few of the messages we have received from AOL subscribers to MER follow:

Major Iraq Attacks on Hold Until After U.S. Vote
(October 11, 2004)
The Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld made an unannounced visit to Iraq in recent days. And soon after the American election the superpower military will be much more fully unleashed throughout the country preparing to push the U.S.-appointed strong-man Iyad Allawai forward in the carefully staged 'election' that will proceed if 'conditions are right'. In other words, just as Hamid Karzai was U.S. -installed and then essentially U.S.-elected in Afghanistan, the same template is now planned for Iraq.

U.S. Forces IMF into secret Iraqi debt 'forgiveness' scheme
(October 11, 2004)
But maybe most of all in the longer run, and unspoken now for all of these reasons by the powers that be, once Iraq's prior debt to other countries is 'off the books', the new U.S.-installed and CIA-controlled government in Baghdad is free to sign agreements with the Americans -- secret or otherwise -- that will essentially mortgage Iraq's future oil revenues to the U.S.A. and those it approves.

Chomsky on American Force and Pre-emption
(October 10, 2004)
"Bush planners know as well as others that the resort to force increases the threat of terror, and that their militaristic and aggressive posture and actions provoke reactions that increase the risk of catastrophe."

IRAN - Targeted by U.S. and Israel
(October 9, 2004)
You would think after the Iraq debacle that the ability of the U.S. to blackball, sanction, and then attack, occupy and regime-change another country would be considerable reduced. Not so however as this article in Z Magazine helps explain with regard to Iran. Indeed, soon after the American election the situation will quickly escalate.

The Debates - Fixed and Controlled
(October 8, 2004)
The moderators -- both from the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) -- could have, and should have, asked hard, probing, unexpected questions like this:

Israeli AIPAC Spy Scandal - Update
(October 7, 2004)
It was just a month ago that the latest Washington spy scandal involving the very heart of the Israeli-Jewish Lobby had everyone buzzing. Then it faded from view as the corporate media moved on, as CBS News which originally broke the story found itself under assault, and as the election campaign and debates took center stage. Interesting, not one question from the PBS moderators about Israeli spying, nor even about the U.S. veto of the Security Council resolution condemning Israel, nor the International Court of Justice decision doing the same. Here's an update -- however inadequate -- from yesterday's L.A.Times. Though the real heart of the story should be AIPAC and the influence, tactics, and status of the Israeli-Jewish lobby; instead they focus on just the individual and not as they should on the large group of support persons and organizations. This should especially include, of course, the current cabal of largely Jewish neocons in top positions...including the one who hired Larry Franklin (Douglas Feith), and the ones who hired him (Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle).

AOL Blocks and Censors MER Articles
(October 6, 2004)
AOL is blocking and censoring MER articles because of pressures originating with Jewish and Israeli groups.

Emergency U.N. Security Council Meeting on Israel
(October 4, 2004)


The Springsteen 'Vote For Change' Concerts
(October 5, 2004)
"The press has let the country down. It's taken a very amoral stand, in that essential issues are often portrayed as simply one side says this and the other side says that. I think that Fox News and the Republican right have intimidated the press into an incredible self-consciousness about appearing objective and backed them into a corner of sorts where they have ceded some of their responsibility and righteous power." - Bruce Springsteen

Israel's Peacenik - Uri Avneri: Realities
(October 5, 2004)
"Uri Avneri, along with many Israelis and Jews, rightly fears that at some point Israel will be the direct target of blame for it's major contribution to having brought about such terrorism in the world and pushing the U.S. into invading Iraq. It is an understandable fear; for it is to a significant degree true."

Iraq is a "disaster...that will haunt the U.S. for decades" - Wall Street Journal Reporter
(October 2, 2004)
Iraq is a "disaster" that has deteriorated "into a raging barbaric guerilla war" that will haunt the United States for decades.

The Passion of the Bush
(October 2, 2004)
As the modern-day American-Israeli led Christian-Jewish crusade to remake the Middle East in the name of 'democracy and freedom' proceeds, this new documentary is telling indeed. It was first shown at the Republican Convention in New York a few weeks ago; and now, as a kind of Bush-loving counter to Fahrenhite 9/11, the DVD is being rushed out in advance of the upcoming election.

U.S. and Israel Prepare for Iran +
(October 1, 2004)
Even as the two branches of the American political establishment semi-debated last night who would fight the new wars better than the other, even as U.S. and Israeli battle tanks and attack aircraft bombed and killed in Iraq and Palestine worse than ever, preparations to either force compliance or attack Iran, Syria, Hezbollah (Lebanon), Hamas (Palestine), and North Korea soon after the American election are fast proceeding at the Pentagon and the CIA.




© 2004 Mid-East Realities, All rights reserved