Saturday, November 21, 2009

what? hospitals need electricity? get out of here!

the united states is worried that once they leave, iraqis won't be able to keep up with the reconstruction the americans began.

the u.s government has spent $53 billion on reconstruction in iraq since 2003. the money has been spent on hospitals, water treatment plants, electricity substations, schools and bridges.

from the new york times:

"The projects run the gamut — from a cutting-edge, $270 million water treatment plant in Nasiriya that works at a fraction of its intended capacity because it is too sophisticated for Iraqi workers to operate, to a farmers’ market that farmers cannot decide how to share, to a large American hospital closed immediately after it was handed over to Iraq because the government was unable to supply it with equipment, a medical staff or electricity."

surprise, surprise the american government spent billions of dollars on "reconstruction" that actually would never be used by iraqis.

let's just stop pretending that these billions of dollars went to not-for profit engineers, construction workers, etc because that just isn't the truth.

the reason the united states spent billions of dollars on 'reconstruction' in iraq is because the money went to american/american friendly contractors.

many years ago, when my little brother was still an apprentice in his trade, he was offered a job in iraq. pulling cable or something like that(which is what apprentices do).

he would get paid something like $10'000/month(at least) in american dollars if he wanted the job.

the only draw back was that the turn over for workers was so high because they were injured or killed so often so he basically had to sign away any liability on the part of the company for shady working conditions or death.

basically it's like the documentary iraq for sale, where they recruit truck drivers to run non-military equipment and then run them through red zones and live combat. then the truck drivers die, and the contractors are all like "sorry widows, we didn't put them in armored trucks or protect them in any way, because that would cost us a tiny fraction of the billions of dollars we're making on this project."

because truck drivers and electricians are expendable when there are billions of dollars on the line. (there's a really good article from 2004 about the "private contractor gravy train" compliments of the republican party HERE)

so of course all of the projects those men and women worked on will be useless once the army retreats, because they were never meant to work in the first place.

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