From this morning’s L.A. Times:
BAGHDAD — Two Army sergeants went searching for saws Friday to clear away branches that were blocking their Humvees. But they stumbled across a sealed-up cottage that aroused their curiosity – and ultimately led to the discovery of an estimated $650 million in cash.
The sergeants tore down a cinder-block and concrete barricade at the cottage door and found 40 sealed galvanized aluminum boxes lined up neatly on the stone floor. Breaking open one box, they were stunned to discover 40 sealed stacks of uncirculated $100 bills — $100,000 per stack, or $4 million in the box. In all, the 40 boxes were assumed to contain $160 million.
Now one of the pre-war discussion was on the cruelty of the U.S. government in maintaining sanctions which impoverished the Iraqi people, and led to stories of starving children, as Matt Welch noted:
Are “a million innocent children…dying at this time…in Iraq” because of U.S. sanctions, as Osama bin Laden claimed in his October 7 videotaped message to the world? Has the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) discovered that “at least 200 children are dying every day…as a direct result of sanctions,” as advocacy journalist John Pilger maintains on his Web site? Is it official U.N. belief that 5,000 Iraqi children under the age of 5 are dying each month due to its own policy, as writers of letters to virtually every U.S. newspaper have stated repeatedly during the past three years?
I hope we’re starting to get the idea about why the Iraqi people suffered during the B’aath regime. And I hope that in other Middle Eastern countries run by brutal kleptocrats, this news get out…
…me, I’m going to go rent “Three Kings” again tonight.