A couple of recent commenters on my post about AT&T ripping off American soldiers in Iraq have mistakenly compared the $.21/minute AT&T is charging troops to call home with the rate on calls TO Iraq. Phone rates are not symetrical.
One commenter notes that the SkypeOut rate TO Iraq is thirty euro cents. However, the SkypeOut rate to the US is two Euro cents from ANYWHERE including Iraq.
You can find high phone rates anywhere. For example, I just paid $1.50/min for a credit card to the US because I was in a hurry. Then I found a hotspot I can get on for $10.95/day and made a series of SkypeOut calls to the US for the two euro cents a minute.
I have a choice. The troops in Iraq don't. I wouldn't presume to tell AT&T what to charge if the soldiers had a choice and AT&T didn't have a monopoly on PX payphones in Iraq and Afghanistan. If AT&T, itself, thinks its rates are reasonable, all it has to do is open the payphones to competitive calling cards as it would be required to do in the US.