This is kind of depressing.
Abu Nawall, a captured al-Qaeda in Iraq leader, said he didn’t join the Sunni insurgent group here to kill Americans or to form a Muslim caliphate. He signed up for the cash.
“I was out of work and needed the money,” said Abu Nawall, the nom de guerre of an unemployed metal worker who was paid as much as $1,300 a month as an insurgent. He spoke in a phone interview from an Iraqi military base where he is being detained. “How else could I support my family?”
Jeebus. $1300 a month would buy you one 23rd of a Blackwater guard. It’s about 1/150th of what it costs to run this war for one second. That $9 billion that we pissed down an unaccountable black hole would buy us one tenth the population of Iraq for three months. Disturbingly, stories like this imply that throwing tens of billions at corrupt contractors who aggravate the local population by flying in foreign (slave) labor and build leaky crap that doesn’t work was not necessarily the best use of our funds. I’m telling you, the American Enterprise Institute will be devastated.
Then we could revisit the genius decision to fire the Iraqi army. Even granting that this war might have been hopeless from the outset, some days it truly look like they wanted to lose.