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Reply #11: This story came out a while ago.... [View All]

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stillcool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-24-06 08:52 PM
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11. This story came out a while ago....
Edited on Fri Mar-24-06 09:03 PM by stillcool47
but not by this author?..."By Thomas Frank USA Today"
U.S. Has End in Sight on Iraq Rebuilding
Documents Show Much of the Funding Diverted to Security, Justice System and Hussein Inquiry
By Ellen Knickmeyer
Washington Post Foreign Service
Monday, January 2, 2006; Page A01
BAGHDAD -- The Bush administration does not intend to seek any new funds for Iraq reconstruction in the budget request going before Congress in February, officials say. The decision signals the winding down of an $18.4 billion U.S. rebuilding effort in which roughly half of the money was eaten away by the insurgency, a buildup of Iraq's criminal justice system and the investigation and trial of Saddam Hussein.

Just under 20 percent of the reconstruction package remains unallocated. When the last of the $18.4 billion is spent, U.S. officials in Baghdad have made clear, other foreign donors and the fledgling Iraqi government will have to take up what authorities say is tens of billions of dollars of work yet to be done merely to bring reliable electricity, water and other services to Iraq's 26 million people.

"The U.S. never intended to completely rebuild Iraq," Brig. Gen. William McCoy, the Army Corps of Engineers commander overseeing the work, told reporters at a recent news conference. In an interview this past week, McCoy said: "This was just supposed to be a jump-start."

Since the reconstruction effort began in 2003, midcourse changes by U.S. officials have shifted at least $2.5 billion from the rebuilding of Iraq's decrepit electrical, education, water, sewage, sanitation and oil networks to build new security forces for Iraq and to construct a nationwide system of medium- and maximum-security prisons and detention centers that meet international standards, according to reconstruction officials and documents. Many of the changes were forced by an insurgency more fierce than the United States had expected when its troops entered Iraq.

...and from Juan Cole at the time....
The Washington Post reports that the $18 billion voted by the US Congress for Iraqi reconstruction is mostly committed or spent, with large amounts diverted to security, prisons and trials. The administration does not intend to ask for any more. I'd say this is a good bellwether of administration intentions. If the US were staying in Iraq in a big way, and still hoping to make a significant place for the multinationals there, it would have to bite the bullet and continue to try to do reconstruction. If the Bush administration is throwing in the towel, then whether Iraqis have enough electricity really isn't its problem any more.

The political and propaganda effectiveness of the guerrilla movement is demonstrated in the article. Apparently, the US has been deprived of any credit for any of its good works in Iraq (70% of Iraqis don't even know about them), and has been deprived of the good will that might have come from getting the services functioning and the oil flowing freely.

There is an error in the WaPo article, which quotes Iraqi oil production as 2 billion barrels a day a day. That should be 2 million, and will no doubt be corrected on the web. But that still isn't right. They weren't able to do more than an average of 1.8 million in 2005, last I knew, and in December it was less. 200,000 barrels of petroleum a day is significant enough so that it can't just be rounded up. -...

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