Wednesday, June 30, 2004
Things Could Be Better II
BRICKS, MORTAR AND MONEYBut we got the oil running!
Reality Intrudes on Promises in Rebuilding of Iraq
More than a year into an aid effort that American officials likened to the Marshall Plan, occupation authorities acknowledge that fewer than 140 of 2,300 promised construction projects are under way. Only three months after L. Paul Bremer III, the American administrator who departed Monday, pledged that 50,000 Iraqis would find jobs at construction sites before the formal transfer of sovereignty, fewer than 20,000 local workers are employed.
From the start, refurbishing Iraq's dismal infrastructure and creating a thriving market economy were promoted by Bush administration officials as pillars of the American-led invasion — "the perfect complement to Iraq's political transformation," in the words of Mr. Bremer.
But more than a year later, supplies of electricity and water are no better for most Iraqis, and in some cases are worse, than they were before the invasion in the spring of 2003.
Repairs of three giant wastewater treatment plants in Baghdad, for example, are weeks or months behind, while water supply systems in the south of the country are months or even years away from functioning properly. Unrepaired bridges continue to create monstrous bottlenecks in many parts of the country.
For Iraqis, the delays have bred frustration and anger. Recent interviews in the upscale Baghdad neighborhood of Harethiya suggest that the electricity woes have, among other things, created a nation of insomniacs, sweltering in their apartments through oppressive nights.
James Glanz and Erik Eckholm, The New York Times
From the same atricle....
In perhaps the greatest technical success, oil exports have been restored to their prewar levels, bringing in money that will pay the national budget.Via Daily Kos.
After a year, you have to ask yourself, could this have been run better?
As is often the case in large projects, and not just those under Bush administration control, the answer is yes.
The next question you have to ask yourself is if you think the people in charge, in this case the Bush administration, deserve another term in office to continue what the've been doing.
I'll let you answer that on your own.