Monday, September 22, 2003

WE INVADE, YOU PAY: Outrage of the day: apparently, Russia wants the Afghan government to recognize the $9.8 billion debt it somehow owes.

A U.S. official said on Saturday that Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin told Treasury Secretary John Snow Russia would contribute aid to Afghanistan once the issue of Afghan debts owed to Russia was settled. Kudrin told Snow that Russia calculates it is owed $9.8 billion by Afghanistan, debt that Afghanistan wants forgiven but which Russia is prepared to consider heavily discounting to a total $2 billion.

"The Russians are considering discounting 80 percent of the debt," the U.S. official said. "Then they said when the debt is restructured, then they will donate to the Afghanistan reconstruction."
Let me get this straight: you invade, but we pay for the costs? (For the record, the Soviets invaded in 1979 and left in 1989 after we gave them their Vietnam.)

The mind boggles.

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