HGs World Commentary
Commentary by H.G. Listiak
Visa and Mastercard in Iraq

Wednesday 08/13/2003

Welcome to my world, where Iraq is on the brink of being shocked and awed again. Very soon they could be hit with a flurry of weapons of mass dinar destruction. The plastic gold and platinum bombs: the credit card. As U.S. occupation forces struggle with power, water, food, and terrorists, here they come. Even before the war, Visa International began mapping its strategy in Iraq. Like other U.S. companies they had been banned from doing business there because of sanctions only lifted in May after over a decade. The incursion is not without opposition though. Islamic leaders are advising that usury and profits from loans are serious crimes under the Koran. The Imam in Baghdad's biggest mosque for Sunnis says interest is like eating fire, while another Imam across town somehow brandishing a Visa Card, said this is not allowed, every loan in which profit is made hurts the man who gets the loan. (He must have seen my monthly statements). Still though Visa stays determined. Hani Qadi the head of Visa in Jordan says he knew it would be a huge opportunity after the fall of the regime. Although moving slower than Visa and MasterCard, American Express says they definitely would break into the Iraqi credit market. So it may not be long before those windowed envelopes start flying into the former war zone, like F-18s off the Lincoln. Act now 0% for the next 6 months on balance transfers. You know the drill. Saddam Hussein you are pre-approved. Go for it dude, I mean, what's in your wallet? At least in your case you won't have to worry about a lost or stolen credit card leading to identity theft… as I see it I'm H. G. Listiak.

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