Wednesday, January 25, 2006

US Reconstruction of Iraq Incompetent and Corrupt

An article in today's New York Times describes an incompetent and corrupt recontruction of Iraq.

A new audit of American financial practices in Iraq has uncovered irregularities including millions of reconstruction dollars stuffed casually into footlockers and filing cabinets

a $108,140 contract to completely refurbish the Hilla Olympic swimming pool, including the replacement of pumps and pipes, came to nothing when the contractor simply polished some of the hardware to make it appear as if new equipment had been installed. Local officials for the provisional authority signed paperwork stating that all the work had been completed properly and paid the contractor in full, the report says.

The pool never reopened, and when agents from the inspector general's office arrived to try out the equipment, "the water came out a murky brown due to the accumulated dirt and grime in the old pumps," the report says.

Americans who expected Iraq to be rebuilt as Europe and Japan were rebuilt after WWII must be wondering what happened. Although many Americans bought into the idealist talk the neocons were spinning about making Iraq an example of democracy and prosperity in the Middle East it is obvious from the results that the Bush Administration never believed a word of it. All the talk about the good things we were doing and going to do for the Iraqi people was just a huckster's pitch designed to fleece the rubes.

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