Saturday, December 23, 2006

Merry Christmas, Iraq, three years late

Is it just me, or does anyone else think this is something we should have done THREE @#$% YEARS AGO?

THE White House is expected to announce a reconstruction package for Iraq as part of a plan for a “surge” of up to 30,000 troops into Baghdad when President George W Bush unveils America’s new strategy next month.
Bush is being urged to give up to $10 billion (£5.1 billion) to Iraq as part of a “New Deal” that would create work for unemployed Iraqis, following the model of President Franklin D Roosevelt during the 1930s depression.

But while some of us were suggesting this very plan the moment our tanks began their dash across the desert, the Bush administration was busy laying the foundations for the insurgency by carrying out their plan to carve up Iraq and feed the white meat to Haliburton and its no-bid contract winning no-Iraqi-hiring, no-work-finishing, tax-payer-money-squandering subcontractors from Hell. Instead of putting Iraqis to work, the Bush administration was busy freezing them out of possibilities to rebuild their own country. Now with possibly 600,000 Iraqis dead and the country embroiled in a vicious, bloody civil war, the Bush team may have finally decided to allow Iraqis to go to work to rebuild their country. If only they'd come to this conclusion before the Iraqis came to feel they had nothing left to do but destroy it. In keeping with their pattern, the Bushes are a few years late to the party. Merry @#$% Christmas, Iraq.

One other thing to note here: Apparently $10 billion U.S. is now worth only 5.1 billion British pounds. Historically, that 10-large should have been worth over £6.5 billion. Anyone else bothered by this?


Hugo said...

I have been reading your strip since I was in Berkeley in the late 1990s, when it was published in the Daily Cal and it was called "Lemont Brown." I didn't know that you were also fun as a blogger :) I have added you to my blogroll.

Chuck said...

To take a break from politics, just for a day:

Merry Christmas, people. Or, whatever greeting may be more appropriate to your beliefs.

The meaning of the season: Peace, goodwill to all.

Paul said...

Actually, that's what we did at the start (how many years ago was that?). I'm familiar with numerous projects in which we hired many, many local Iraquis who used shovel, buckets and wheelbarrows. No Americans in bulldozers. It was a deliberate decision to give Iraqis a stake in rebuilding. Why it changed, or to what extent, I do not know. I do know it was covered very little in the American press.

Regarding Haliburton - no-bid contracts are provided for by law - Congress enacted the process years ago (before Bush, by the way). There are not many companies with the capabilities of a Haliburton - and after those "emergency" contracts are let, an army of auditors from the services and DoD go over the billings - and where appropriate, recoups the funds. I've seen one or two articles to that effect on page P-16...

i.m.small said...


Tiger, Tiger, known as war,
Men have bidden thee before,
Called soft names, did thee endite
Friend--unknown thy appetite.

When the planes dropt down their bombs,
Did kids shudder for their moms?
Did they, as the world around
Splintered exploding, peep a sound?

Tiger, Tiger, burning red
Fierce fiery eyes, thou must be fed;
Then when the final days were seen
Of splattered gore were streets made clean?