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Are Politicians Undermining Iraq Reconstruction Efforts?
By Sabah Hajjar :: Wednesday, August 6, 2008 :: 53431 Views :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

 

Michigan, USA  –  Michigan Senator Carl Levin (D), chairman and of the Senate Armed Services Committee, requested a report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) regarding Iraq’s financial ability to fund their own reconstruction. 

The GAO made their report public yesterday prompting renewed calls from Democrats and few Republicans that Baghdad pay more of the bill for its own reconstruction.   The Iraqi government could end the year with a small budget surplus reveals the GAO report.   Iraq’s budget surplus has been building due to increased oil production, stability in the region, and the government’s unwillingness to spend money, the report continues. 

 

In a statement made to the press, Levin says, “The Iraqi government now has tens of billions of dollars at its disposal to fund large-scale reconstruction projects.  It is inexcusable for U.S. taxpayers to continue to foot the bill for projects the Iraqis is fully capable of funding themselves.”

The GAO report includes the difficulty Iraq has been having in trying to spend the money.  “First ... (the) relative shortage of trained budgetary, procurement and other staff with the necessary technical skills as a factor limiting the Iraqi government's ability to plan and execute its capital spending,” the GAO said, adding that a second problem is the government's weak accounting systems.  The GAO report continues, “Third ... violence and sectarian strife remain major obstacles to developing Iraqi government capacity,” it said.

Jammo and many other Chaldeans see this as a political move.  “This is an election year.  In this game of poker, the Democrats have gone all-in on the failure of the war.  That is why Democrats are trying to undermine the success in Iraq and continue to harp on the U.S. economy which by all measurements is doing well.  However, if you listen to them and their media megaphones the uneducated parrot that we are two steps away from a depression.  Does anyone else find it coincidence that all the states run by Democrats are experiencing hard financial times.  Go figure.  This is political maneuvering at its best. Who cares about the American people, just as long as their party wins the White House,” Jammo sighs.

“Although America has broken it, they don’t want to buy it,” says Kevin Jammo.  “Democrats want to undermine the progress being made in the country.  They diminish the success of the surge and all the other progress taking place.  It is too soon to force Iraq to spend its meager money on a war waged against them.  This is an election year and these heartless politicians are playing games with a nation trying to stand-up.  As soon as Iraq starts to get their footing, Democrats want to foot-sweep them back to the ground.” 

St. Joseph, MI USA

St. Joseph Chaldean Catholic Church
2442 E. Big Beaver Rd.
Troy, MI 48083
Tel: (248) 528-3676
Fax: (248) 524-1957

Congregation Organizer:
Rev. Michael J. Bazzi

Church Constructing Pastor:
Rev. Sarhad Y. Jammo

Current Pastor:
Msgr. Zouhair Toma

Parochial Vicar:
Rev. Ayad Hanna

 Current Pastor: Msgr. Zouhair Toma

Msgr. Zouhair Toma (Kejbou) was born in Telkaif, Iraq in 1947.  He was ordained a priest in Baghdad, Iraq in 1968, and accepted his first assignment to serve the community of Baquba.  The Monsignor’s leadership skills and organizational talents along with his mastery of theology were immediately evident.  He later assisted Sts. Peter and Paul in Al-Salehia, and St. George in New Baghdad.

In August, 1978 Monsignor Toma was called to serve the growing community of persecuted Chaldeans finding refuge in Australia.   Being the fist Chaldean priest to arrive in Australia he quickly established a parish for the Chaldeans in Sydney to serve their social and spiritual needs.  The parish was named after St. Thomas the Apostle and built a rectory. 

In 1989, for his incredible work he was granted the title of Monsignor, Chaldean Patriarchal Vicar for Australia and New Zealand.  Continuing his passionate work to serve the Chaldean community the Monsignor moved the Parish Center to a more accessible location and built a large church campus featuring a modern community center, residence quarters, and administrative offices in 1995. 

In 2003, Monsignor Toma added a magnificent church to replace the previous one in order to serve the fast growing community and also opened two other centers.  The first was Our Lady Guardian of Plants in Melbourne, and the second was Mar Addai the Apostle in Auckland, New Zealand.  Mar Addai in New Zealand included two very large churches along with rectories and community centers.  Overseeing the Patriarchal Vicariate for 28 years, he managed to inspire six more priests to help minister to the fast growing Chaldean community. 

In August 2006, Monsignor chose to assist the St. Thomas the Apostle Diocese in the U.S. as more Catholic churches were being built in America and address the growing need.  On October 2006, Monsignor was incardinated and appointed Pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Troy.