Diana West

U.S. government reconstruction spending, of course, equals taxpayer dollars. Beyond our incredible largesse -- which (not including the astronomical cost of the war itself) comes to $53 billion, much of which is headed down the drain as Iraqis show little capacity to maintain U.S.-provided public works projects -- one market analyst told the Times, "U.S. private investors have become negligible players in Iraq." Meanwhile, Turkey, the nation that prevented U.S. troops from transiting through during the initial invasion, has become a major commercial player in Iraq. Likewise Iran, the nuke-seeking, genocide-promising nation that fomented much of the war, particularly the IED war, on U.S. forces in Iraq.

The sour experience of FedEx is revealing. This fall, the shipping company announced it was suspending operations to Iraq. "The reason is that Iraqi officials gave RusAir, a Russian airline, exclusive rights to cargo flight," the Times reports. "FedEx was one of the very few American businesses that braved the risks of working not only on American bases but also in the Red Zone, back when it was particularly dangerous to do so. Now that the danger is much less, its business is being thwarted by an upstart Russian come-lately."

Emphasis on "Russian." And, with the oil auction, emphasis on "Chinese." "We all know that China is on track to become a major economic as well as technological power," an Iraqi oil ministry spokesman told the Washington Post.

And the United States? More like an old shoe now than anything else. Which reminds me: After that Iraqi "journalist" threw his shoes at then-President Bush, The Scotsman newspaper reported that the Istanbul-based shoe manufacturer received orders from around the world, including an incredible 120,000 orders from Iraq.

What's that old Middle Eastern saying -- The shoe of my enemy's enemy is my shoe?

Diana West

Diana West is the author of American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character (St. Martin's Press, 2013), and The Death of the Grown-Up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization (St. Martin's Press, 2007).