Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Iraqi reconstruction, mafia capitalists, and the bait and switch 

Trudy Rubin of my own Inky writes:

Reconstruction must be treated like a strategic campaign, not a pork barrel for Republican buddies. Contracts should be awarded to whoever can turn the lights on, or stand up a phone network, whether they are local Iraqis, or gulf Arabs, or Europeans or Turks.

And ideological experiments should be curbed in a situation where they can reap disaster. Example: The administration wants to privatize state-owned Iraqi firms as soon as possible, with the exception of oil. But the only people with enough money to buy them are Saddam cronies who got rich off sanctions-busting. Such projects will only increase unemployment and anger at the occupation, while creating a Russian-style class of mafia capitalists.

And while we're on the subject of reconstruction funding, Bush still hasn't leveled with Americans about the cost. Republican officials say the real price of reconstruction will be $75 billion (apart from military costs), of which $42 billion is supposed to come from our allies.

As they used to say in the 1970s, is somebody smoking weed?

To sell the allies and the American public on such a massive project, the President has to tell them what went wrong - and how he'll change it. For starters, why did Bush officials lull the public into believing that occupation would be cheap?

Trudy, it was a bait and switch operation, and that the invasion would be cheap was part of the bait.

And it seems to me that the Bush gang would be entirely comfortable with creating a class of mafia capitalists—people just like themselves.

corrente SBL - New Location
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